Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

January 2, 2010

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

January 3, 2010

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the auspicious Lama Chopa during the regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei and bestowed the following teachings: The practice of Lama Chopa is not performed in Exoteric Buddhism. Ordinary people consider that they are learning Buddhism as long as they recite the Buddhist sutras and attend repentance ceremonies according to the instruction from their masters in Exoteric Buddhism they have sought refuge in. In fact, Buddha Sakyamuni is the teacher that guides us with the Buddhist teachings in this world. If one doesn’t act according to what the Buddha has taught, he cannot be regarded as a Buddhist cultivator. In Tibetan Buddhism, the relationship between the guru and the disciple is highly emphasized. During the time of Buddha Sakyamuni, the disciples who followed the Buddha were all practitioners who had been reborn in the world with their aspirations. We have neither virtuous roots accumulated in previous lives nor merits to have been born during the time of the Buddha. By contrast, we were born in this degenerate age because we all came with heavy karmic obstacles and lack of merits to see the Buddha in person. Therefore, the guru is a representative of the Buddha and bestows the Buddhist teachings to us. There will be no Buddhist teachings if there are no gurus. If one doesn’t learn the Buddhist teachings, he will live his life in vain.

In Tibetan Buddhism, a guru has a very close relationship with his disciple. Particularly regarding the tantric practices, one will never achieve any accomplishment without a guru. Someone who learns a few mantras considers his reciting mantras at home is practicing Buddhism. Nonetheless, as he finds such conduct has not produce any effects, he will think that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not efficacious. The disciple who shared her experience with the attendees prior to the puja had used to follow others to study Lamrim Chenmo and thought that such a way to learn Buddhism would work. Never had she realized that Lamrim Chenmo is about theories, not the methods of practices. You people are unable to see your own problems. As the guru is an experienced practitioner, he will be able to see the problems in your heart. Some disciples still reckon that they won’t be scolded for their conduct as long as they hide themselves from the guru.

During Buddha Sakyamuni’s lifetime, 1200 disciples always followed the wherever the Buddha went because they wanted to grab the opportunity of learning Buddhism under the guru by staying around the guru so as to be supervised and guided by the guru all the time. After the Buddha entered nirvana, those disciples then recorded and compiled the Buddha’s utterances and experiences in practice into the Buddhist sutras. Just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s weekly Buddha talks are all recorded in the event calendar, these records will become Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma words to the worldly people as his teachings after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche leaves this world. Nonetheless, during his stay in this world, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still supervises and teaches his disciples for only the guru knows and has the ability to point out your mistakes precisely.

A disciple should stay close to his guru. Because you are unable to see the changes in your own heart, you will constantly make mistakes unknowingly and even continue to make mistakes without the guru. The reason why the guru would on purpose do things you dislike to see or things you like to see most is that the guru would like to see your response. Only the Buddha knows the changes in the thoughts of the sentient beings, so the guru challenges you in various ways so as to see if you have carried out the teachings. Even His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche used to challenge Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche constantly from 1982 to 2007.

Modern people like to separate the Buddhist teachings from their personal lives and thereby cause a lot of problems. The Buddhist teachings are not supposed to be separated from mundane means and ought to be implemented accordingly in daily lives.

Whether one is applying the Buddhist teachings into his daily life could be inspected by an incident which took place in previous weeks. As everyone knows that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taken off all the imported Japanese food products sold in his company from the shelves to be destroyed 15 days prior to their expiration dates. These products are not distributed among his relatives, friends, or employees and can be listed in the refund application to the government for all the taxes previously paid at the point of importation. While reviewing the invoice of the destroyed products, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche noticed that some listed items were destroyed due to the unsellable condition caused by damages during shipment, not due to the expiring issue. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately inquired if the suppliers had made compensations. This company employee replied that the suppliers had made full refund. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the subordinate to remove those items from the list, for it was inappropriate to apply for the tax refund of such items since they had been compensated by the suppliers. One who practices Buddhism will handle it in different way from ordinary people. Though these items were few and cost little, one who is applying the Buddhist teachings into his life would not have done anything deceitful. Apparently, this subordinate has not conducted any practice, nor had she applied the Buddhist teachings into her life. Otherwise, she would have noticed details like this.

You all consider yourself practicing Buddhism, but you actually aren’t. Two ordained disciples of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche even had quarrels in the dormitory. What on earth are you practicing for? The first practice in the Six Paramitas is to practice charities and generosity and the learning of giving is the most important part of this practice. How can you practice if you are unable to bear with others’ comments on you? Do not think that you are capable of transferring the sentient beings. You don’t have the ability to help the sentient beings. All you can do is introduce them to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche so that they have a chance to get in touch with the Buddhist teachings. In particular, the ordained disciples shouldn’t say that they want to transfer the sentient beings. When one speaks of things that he cannot achieve, he is giving a false speech and will thereby violate the precepts.

Yunga Rinpoche, an accomplished siddha in Drikung Kagyu Lineage who passed away in the previous years, once said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had achieved the attainment of Spranbrala Yoga. His Holiness said so as well. The so-called Spranbrala Yoga is a state in which the worldly affairs such as compliments and defamation do not have any influence upon the practitioner.

His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche once said in public that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is endowed with subtle circumspection. Such circumspection refers to the fact that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does things and speaks with the consideration for the law of cause and effect. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always deals with the affairs in the state of concentration and isn’t influenced by the external environment, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thereby sees clearly the very details. As to you, you feel the external stimulation with your six roots, i.e. eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind, and live a careless life. What is carelessness? It is a reaction formation in your six roots under the external influence. Therefore, you deal with everything with greed, hatred, and ignorance instead of your clean and pure nature. What Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has said today on the Dharma throne is nothing but truth. Being afraid of the cause, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche takes on the responsibility of his own utterances. The so-called “Worldly people are afraid of the effect while the Bodhisattvas are afraid of the cause” refers to the fact that worldly people are afraid of having to accept the karmic retribution and that the Bodhisattvas refrain from creating more evil cause due to their fear of the cause.

All of you have desires in your Buddhist study. You pray for changing your fate and improving your physical health. Even if your wishes are really fulfilled, it will only last for three to five years in general. The so called fate changes periodically and never stops changing. Such phenomenon is related to your heart. One’s fate is related to the motion in the universe. When changes such as solar eclipses, lunar eclipses, or meteorites take place, conflicts of hour, day, and month thereby occur. This is no superstition. Nevertheless, if you are able to refrain from committing evil deeds and to carry out virtuous ones, you will be benefited instead when these conflicts of hour or day happen.

It is stated in the Sutra, to obtain rebirth in the Pure Land of Amitabha, one not only has to be a virtuous man or woman who possesses merits and virtues as well as proper conditions, but also has to be able to recite Buddha’s name unceasingly and rest in the single-minded state free from discursive thoughts. To recite Buddha’s name unceasingly means to recite the Buddha’s names continuously in the way that he attentively do what he is supposed to do and, immediately after finishing it, he is back to recite Buddha Amitabha’s name again. To rest in the single-minded state free from discursive thoughts is saying to rest one’s mind in the state of concentration on Buddha Amitabha. It is also stated in the Sutra that if one has one to ten thoughts of Buddha Amitabha, one is able to obtain rebirth in the Pure Land. One to ten thoughts here is not saying to recite the Buddha’s names for ten times. Its actual meaning is to solely have a thought of Buddha Amitabha without any other thought. Are you able to achieve that state? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is very busy in many kinds of affairs; however, after settling the affairs, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enters into the state of concentration right away. This is why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has the ability to speak your thing out in details and clarify your problem right away when you come to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with a clear and pure heart, or with dharmakaya, is like a mirror that reflects your various problems. Therefore, do not try to deceive, thinks no one else knows, and deceive your conscience. You cannot fool Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and your own karmic creditors.

The reason that one has to perform retreat practice is for him to learn solitude. One will be definitely alone for minutes while facing death. Even if surrounded by many relatives or hugged by your husband, you will still feel solitude. You may even want to kick them off as a dying person will feel much pain and suffering when his body is touched by others.

To benefit other people as well as oneself means that only when one is able to liberate himself from the suffering ocean of reincarnation and transfer himself to the other shore, he then will have the ability of providing help to others. “A virtuous friend” is the one who really has the ability and method of helping you be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, it is proper to say that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a virtuous friend as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is able to transfer the deceased’s consciousnesses to the Pure Land of Buddha Amitabha through conducting Phowa ritual! Even many Tibetan and Indian lamas say that they have never seen the Phowa practitioner’s ability of piercing a hole through the deceased’s head crown. They have thought it happened in ancient times only.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ever asked His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could attain the accomplishment of Phowa dharma in this life. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche enlightened there are three reasons: First, it results from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s deep virtuous roots in the past lives. Second, it is due to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has entered into the stage of Boddhi act from Boddhicitta. The last one, also the most important one, is because of Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s one hundred percent of loyalty to his Guru.

Why are there two holes appeared on the head crown of a disciple’s deceased mother after she obtained Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help with Phowa ritual? It is because this woman did not believe in Buddhism and had heavy karma of killing during her lifetime. Some beings’ consciousnesses in her body were transferred away through Phowa ritual. You may think the sentient beings are surrounding you. The fact is that they are in your body. You always do not believe your karma of killing is very heavy. Once one has ever eaten meat, he will definitely fall into hell realm after this life. You may think the meat you eat will be excreted or absorbed. But the truth is that all the eaten meat will be absorbed by your cells and become your blood, flesh, marrow and bone to be with you till your old age and death, awaiting you till your evil karma accumulated enough to collect debts from you! If you start to develop Bodhicitta, take refuge, learn and cultivate the Buddha’s teachings, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can persuade those beings to give some time for you to cultivate Buddhism and after you attain achievement they can also obtain liberation with you. Liberating beings means to transfer beings to the other shore. Therefore, do not say, particularly for the ordained people, that you liberate someone as you have not had the ability of liberating sentient beings. Your act is in fact providing sentient beings the opportunity of making virtuous connection with Buddhas. One has to be able to liberate himself before liberating others. Some people think their act of making meat dumplings for others is not killing by themselves. In fact the act is a worse one! To serve as stuffing for dumplings, the pork has to be grinded first by other people, or more scaring, by a machine for accelerated mincing. It is stated in the Sutra that mincing the meat by a knife or machine would get a karmic effect of being badly mutilated and dead without a complete corpse such as the terrorists who usually blow themselves up. Such is the karmic effect.

Everyday Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche transfers merits to sentient beings, surely including his disciples. The disciples definitely will obtain much more. It is not a form of favouritism. In fact, it differs from your mind! Since the day you made the determination to take refuge, the virtuous heart of ceasing evildoings and practicing virtuous deeds arose within you. Those people are so rare that all virtuous deities will come to protect them. On the other hand, if you do not want to take refuge, it means that you do not want to cease doing evil and you are afraid of being supervised by others. Without a virtuous heart, the blessings you obtain will be less accordingly. Buddha radiates the light in the equality without differentiation. It is your heart that decides how much you obtain the Buddha’s light. The case is similar to that the disciples and non-disciples are not differed in every puja Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche holds. All sentient beings are equal. In the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, no names of sponsors are announced; neither wealth nor social status is regarded as a measuring standard for seat arrangement such as to let the rich be seated at the front rows and the poor at the back rows. However, some people’s things just change after attending puja while some people’s things do not. It is all because of the attendees’ heart.

A disciple’s mother fell down from stairs but had not been hurt. The story indicates that as one’s karmic effects cannot disappear, something still happened to her. However, a severe accident was turned into a lighter one because her children have taken refuge and obtained the blessings and protection of Guru, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. One who learns and cultivates the Buddha’s teachings shows most filial obedience and devotion for his parents, as one can offer his merits and virtues accumulated from his diligent Buddhism cultivation to his favoring parents.

Today performing the rituals of Lama Chopa is to express our gratitude to the founder of Drikung Kagyu, Jigten Sumgon and gurus of each generation for blessing and protecting us for this year and also pray for guru’s blessing and protecting for the next coming year. Additionally, through the puja, it helps all of you to accumulate merits and reduce obstacle on your Buddhist path.

The last life of Jigten Sumgon is Nagarjuna whose is reincarnated from Layman Vimalakirti. Phagmo Drupa has repeatedly prophesied that his successor would be an Upasaka (a lay person) who has attained the position of ten Bhumis. It is stated in the Sutra “At a place called Dri, the source place of the Dharma, Ratna Shri will appear in the Year of the Pig.” A Bodhisattva of ten Bhumis, who has attained the realization of dharmakāya, is called Great Bodhisattva, namely Mahasattva. A practitioner who has attained the position of ten Bhumis is able to easily transform all materials in the world. If one is not able to transform materials, one will not be able to perfectly conduct Phowa ritual.

As being a reincarnated Bodhisattva, he had to restart from the very beginning, from taking refuge, becoming a disciple and cultivating Buddhism. He also fell into illness during his lifetime. Jigten Sumgon manifested leprosy and finally got recovered through Buddhist practice. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche had had eye problems, and healed it up by practicing Buddhism as well. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had skin cancer this life, and also came though it by himself through Buddhist cultivation.

Thereafter, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the rituals of “Lama Chopa” for everyone. During the conduction, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led all participants to recite the mantras for a long time. After that, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the volunteers of the puja to take back the dharma text of the “Lama Chopa” ritual from all of the non-disciple believers, and then led all disciples to recite a section of prayers. Subsequently, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche further led all attendees to practice meditation for a short while and then recited another section of dharma text to perfectly complete the conduction of the “Lama Chopa” ritual.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave enlightenment to all attendees that there was a section of prayers which only disciples are eligible to recite. Although those who had not taken refugee might hear the reading of the prayers, they would not receive any effects. This is the difference between those who have taken refugee and those who have not. Those who have taken refugee could at least accumulate their virtues; those who have not taken refuge thought they could practice Buddha dharma by themselves at home and were not dare to even take refuge, and are still dawdling. Even for those who have taken refuge, some of them are also dawdling. For example, there is someone who still eats meat; or there is someone who had an abortion after taking refuge and then wanted to come back to repent. These are not very good. There is even a male disciple of more than forty-year-old who spent several hours to accompany a girl to study and thought that when she studied he could recite mantras beside her to make her study better. It is simply a waste of his time and his life for this disciple with such an age to still play the young student’s romantic game; he, as a man, does not look like a man!

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not oppose you to find boy or girl friends, but just tell you not to get married first and then come to practice Buddhism and not to forget Buddha dharma. One has feelings and desires because one has this body of karmic retribution; but one should not emphasize on the lust and treat the lust as the most important thing in life.

You should learn to better control your own mind and look after your own mind all the time. A guru has no way to control your mind and can only give you blessings. The guru’s blessing is just like a horse halter which is provided as a tool for you. Even with a tool like that, it still depends on yourself to determine whether the horse will go or not, or where the horse will go. In order to control your mind, you have to practice Tantra and attain achievements.

Although the verses in dharma text that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led the disciples to recite comprise only a few sentences, it has made the disciples’ future auspicious cause and condition of receiving the fourth empowerment of Tantra in the future. Tantra is divided into four levels, namely Kriyayoga, Charyayoga, Yogatantra, and Anuttarayogatantra. You may practice Kriyayoga and Charyayoga and attain achievements in this life, but cannot practice and attain achievements in Yogatantra. In order to practice and attain achievements in Yogatantra, you need the fourth empowerment. In general, when a guru transmits dharma, he will only give first three empowerments, i.e. the empowerments of body, speech, and mind, and will not give the fourth empowerment. If the guru gives the fourth empowerment, it means that the disciple can break off from the cycles of reincarnation and liberate from rebirth and death. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche already bestowed the fourth empowerment upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at the former venue of Buddhist center in the past. At the time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not know it until later. Hence, when a guru sees a disciple who has the high capacity to attain achievements, the guru will give the disciple the fourth empowerment. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche today led all disciples to pray for being able to obtain the fourth empowerment in the future generations of everyone’s lives. For those who had not taken refuge, since they heard the prayer, they may have chances to obtain the fourth empowerment a few hundred generations of lives later. It should also be rare for any of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples to receive the fourth empowerment during Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s life time.

A moment ago when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led everyone to practice the meditation of Mahamudra, everyone had a lot of thoughts. It is just like the Buddhist sutra had stated that a person will have about two hundred thousand thoughts in an instant. There was children’s crying sound; and there were also people besides you moving their body; your minds were all affected by these. In 2007, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed a retreat in the more than four-thousand-meter high Mt. Lapchi, there had already had no human footmarks and voices, but had the moving sounds of animals and insects, the sound of flowing water, the sound of wind blowing tree leaves. Even if you were isolated in a quiet place such as recording room, there was still the sound of blood flowing in your body, the sound of your heartbeat, the sound of gastric peristalsis, etc. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did hear the children’s crying sound, but Rinpoche’s mind was not moved by it. Because we link our mind with the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, and the body, so our original nature is mixed with the eyes, the ears, the nose, the tongue, and the body. Practicing Buddha dharma is for you to learn to lest your mind be affected by outer phenomena. If we can meditate in such a noisy environment, we can instead train the strength of our meditative minds. Yesterday, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche met one hundred and forty people in the venue, from 3:30 in the afternoon till 8:00 in the evening, without going to the bathroom. For a person of more than sixty years old, how could this be possible? This is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has attained the achievement of separating the mind and the body; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mind is pure and clean and will not be affected by this body of karmic retribution and anything from the outside world. Because of this, every time when His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche called Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, H.H. Chetsang Rinpoche always wanted Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to pay more attention to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s own health.

The Mahamudra of Drikung Kagyu order is a method of meditation. Mahamudra comprises Exoteric Buddhism and Tantra. The last Zen master, the Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng once said that a flower blooms to five leaves; the words predicted that later Zen would be divided into several sects, such as Caodong zong school, and so on. The Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng only said blooming and did not say bearing fruits; this already predicted that Zen practitioners in the future cannot attain Buddhahood by depending on meditation alone. Some people say that when meditating, one should put everything down and not have any thought; but when you have the thoughts of “putting down everything”, or “having no thoughts”, you already has the thought of “thinking”; when you further think that “I should not think”, you have one more thought of “should not be thinking”!

Each of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism has its own method of practicing meditation. It is Mahamudra in the Kagyu school. It is Dzogchen in the Nymgma school. The Sakya school uses the method of treating reincarnations the same as nirvana. And the Gelug school practices a method which is the same as Mahamudra but with a changed name. The Mahamudra of the Kagyu school had been started from the founder Tilopa in India, then was transmitted to China. The Mahamudra of Drikung Kagyu order has been passed down from generation to generation. The Mahamudra teaching is only transmitted in the Kagyu school and is not the so-called Mahamudra you have heard from outside. The achieved state of Mahamudra cannot be described in words. When conducting Phowa dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can punch a hole in the skull of a deceased person from remote distance; it all relied on attaining the achievement of Mahamudra.

Last year, in northern Taiwan, there was an abbot of a famous Zen temple passed away; when he died, he was not able to die through sitting in meditation and had the appearance of suffering since he had not learned Tantra; learning only meditation could only let one’s mind be calmer, but could not purify one’s karma.

During the conduction of the “Lama Chopa” ritual, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recited the mantra faster and faster near the end of reciting, all of you could not catch up, why? That was not because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had recited the mantra many more times and had been more skilled; that was because, when reciting the mantra, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was in a meditative state and had no wandering thoughts in the mind. It was not like you; when you recited the mantra, you wished that you could read it more clearly or paid attention to other people’s errors in reciting besides you; so you could not catch up with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only breathed once to recite this mantra one time, but you might need to breath twice or three times; so you would be naturally slower. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had attained the achievement of Tantra and had enough Qi, the oxygen inhaled stayed very long in the body and the air exhaled had no oxygen left; and when you breathed, half of you exhalation contained oxygen. Slowing down the speed of breathing cannot be just controlled by thinking; if you body cannot meet such conditions, you will be unable to breathe deeply. Even if you want to learn, you cannot learn it since it is the physiological needs.

Scientists have proved that for all people, animals, even insects, the number of breathing and heartbeats are the same in life, having at most a difference of only about one hundred beats or so. Hence, those who breathe slower will live longer. You can see that a turtle breathes very slowly and has a longer lifespan. Last year, when visiting India, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took an eight-hour flight, and then followed by an eight-hour ride rushing to northern India; nine o’clock in the morning the next day Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then took the Dharma Seat to conduct the puja; after the completion of the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again took an eight-hour ride to go back. How could a 62-year-old elder who did not sleep well for almost 72 hours endure such a trip? Even a young man could not endure. This could be done because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had practiced and attained the achievement of Tantra.

Learning Buddhism is to slow down your breathing by reducing your greediness, hatred and ignorance. If one can breathe more slowly, his meditative concentration would be generated between the inhalation and exhalation. The total number of human being’s breathes for one life is fixed and the same for all people. When you see something or someone you like much, won’t your pulse rate become higher and your breath become faster? Thus, your greediness for love would shorten your life span.

Those who have achieved the state of Arhats are not liberated from reincarnation yet. As soon as you hear this you’d ask the question: isn’t it true that Arhats are free from being reborn in the six realms? In order to be liberated from reincarnation and transferred to “the other side of the suffering ocean,” one must obtain rebirth in Buddhas’ pure lands. For Arhats, they only reach the achievement of getting rid of afflictions, but they still have the thought of “abandoning afflictions.” They haven’t accomplished the state of uncontaminated nirvana which means attaining Buddhahood, the state that they can genuinely be liberated from reincarnation.

It is necessary for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to visit vegetarian restaurants in order to have vegetarian food. Once when having vegetarian dishes in a regular restaurant, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche witnessed a female vegetarian Legislator being furious at having found scallion and garlic in her dishes. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightens that one shouldn’t react like the legislator; one can simply scoop up the scallion and garlic and that’s it. If you find scallion and garlic in your dishes, you should first introspect yourself because you might not have been clear enough when you ordered your food

How Buddhist teachings are propagated is very different among Buddhist centers. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had been experienced worldly problems such as personal career, marriage, and health, he knows what you need and what you don’t on your Buddhist path. Some lamas think Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s ways of teaching follow ancient methods in the tradition of Tibetan Buddhism: conscientious and strict. As a matter of fact, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche has also adopted such conscientious and strict methods to educate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. It’s all because of the compassionate blessings of His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche that led Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to be aware of his problems and then be able to correct them.

You ought to not have any guess or questions toward the guru’s words and conducts, because your guesses and questions are all based on your own moral standards. Moral standards, however, depends on different regions and societies. For example, the north region (of Taiwan) differs from the south region. Being the Buddhist, we shall follow the doctrines included in the Five Precepts, the Ten Good Deeds, and the Thirty-Seven Buddhist Practices.

A believer came to say that some certain stone has grown within her arm after she had completed nine times of manual transcription for the Sutra of the Great Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. She emphasized the doctor has not ever seen such phenomena, conveyed her doubts over the Ksitigarbha, and thought that the cause was due to the transcription. A person like her does not have any faith on Buddha Dharma, as she had blamed on the Bodhisattvas who have great kindness and mercy to us. Actually, through the blessings from Ksitigarbha that she was able to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to encounter the admonition.

We shall appreciate blessings by the gurus of the lineage. Because of their diligent efforts, Buddha Dharma can be in this world, we are protected and survive. Without the Buddha Dharma, people would not survive, nor could people be able to change sufferings due to the karma.

Upon the perfect completion of the ritual, we shall be thankful to the Bodhisattvas and the gurus of the lineage. Through their protection, none of the disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center died in accidents, the Buddhist center has been safe, and everybody has been away from starving. By the blessings from the guru, wish everybody be free from the obstacles to learning Buddhism. Today, by performing the Lama Chopa ritual, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the blessings in order to clear everybody’s obstacles to learning Buddhism. It would be useless to those who have not decided to learn Buddhism.

In June of 2010, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche will come to preside over a grand ceremony in Taiwan, with a scale of ten thousand attendees, in memorial to Lord Jigten Sumgon. And, in the October, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will conduct an Amitabha Grand Puja, with ten thousand attendees, to fulfill the supplication from the disciples. The two grand ceremonies are for the purpose to reduce disasters and unexpected damages on the land of Taiwan. Especially, it is a Tiger year, which is not a year of prosperity. The grand Lord Jigten Sumgon Memorial Ceremony by the His Holiness previously was scheduled and originally to be held in year 2008. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche then assigned a lama and a believer as general secretaries for this project, who would be in charge of communicating the messages. However, since beginning of the plan for the ceremony, many of the Buddhist centers raised different concerns. Therefore, during the trip in Taiwan in 2008, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche had ever integrated the opinions. Back in year 2002, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had earnestly requested His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche to preside over a ten-thousand-attendee grand ceremony. Following its well completion, grand ceremonies in such scale have been conducted year after year. Through the years, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche has acknowledged the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center being able to and having the experience of handling the project, therefore HH instructed the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center to prepare this ceremony. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not make requests to own the project. The principle of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center has been to make contributions regardless of labor and fund, but does not gain the fame.

The great Yogi Yunga Rinpoche, deceased, had ever said that there are three effective methods to accumulate merits. One of them is to carry out grand ceremonies. Having possessed such great merit, everybody has to be aware that: it is a grand ceremony of the Drikung Kagyu lineage, should fulfill it wholeheartedly, relieve the concerns about how many funds and attendees. It is a ceremony to be presided over by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, the guru of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The key point would not be the number of attendees, but rather the ceremony should be of highly solemness since it will be His Holiness that preside over this ceremony, and will be all Drikung centers in Taiwan that participate this ceremony as well. While you go through the preparations, some certain critics and comments would happen to you definitely. Hindrance alike would simply occur before the virtuous event could be realized, and these obstacles can be regarded as an encouragement. Therefore, disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center shall not become worried and have to shoulder the pressure. Recently, some people started a Taiwan headquarter for the Drikung Kagyu affiliates, which had been disapproved clearly by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche as the headquarter has been established in India long ago. You don’t have to pay attention to the so-called Drikung Kagyu headquarter in Taiwan.

January 9, 2010

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

January 10, 2010

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted an auspicious Vajrasattva puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei. First of all, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened the attendees that the biggest difference between the Buddhist teachings and other religions is the firm believing of the law of cause and effect. The law of cause and effect is not an invention of Buddha Sakyamuni, but an existing law in the universe. For example, if you don’t study hard, you won’t get good grades on your exams. When someone says that he doesn’t know what his mistakes are and even asks if he had done anything wrong in past lives, such a person doesn’t believe in the law of cause and effect. In fact, we were born with nothing but virtuous and evil karma accumulated by ourselves in previous lives. Furthermore, our virtuous and evil karma constantly increase and decrease with various conditions such as our parents’ background, family environment, and individual mentality. All things are created by oneself, not someone else, and are not the so-called original sins. When one has a deep faith in the law of cause and effect, he shows his sense of responsibility since one should take on the responsibility of his own conduct.

In common religions such as Catholics and Christianity, one who has made a mistake may confess his wrong-doings in front of a father or a priest, who will then forgive him on behalf of God and allow him to keep the fellowship with God. In Taoism, one may confess his wrong doings to a diety and substitute his mistake with another favor. In the strict sense, it is like admitting our own mistake when we were kids in response to our parents’ punishment upon us. Nevertheless, none of the aforementioned solutions are ultimate. If one’s mistake may be substituted by a confession towards a father or another favor, whom should the sentient beings that you have harmed ask for? Only the practice methods of repentance of Buddhism could be ultimate.

The reason why religious wars and terrorism still appear lies in that the dieties in other religious are regarded as omniscient, so everythiny would be fine when God forgives the one who has made mistakes. On the other hand, never did Buddhism cause any major battles throughout the history of mankind. It doesn’t mean that Buddhists are easy targets. Instead, it is because there is a faith in the law of cause and effect in Buddhism. Take today’s Afghanistan and Pakistan for example, Buddhism had used to be prominent in these areas before Muslims took its place. Judging from the appearance, it was a result of political changes. However, from the Buddhist perspective, such an event took place for no virtuous cause existed any more. As nobody wanted to commit virtuous deeds, the Buddhist teachings then went extinct. Everything is cause and condition. Without the virtuous cause, even if the Muslims hadn’t entered the region, Buddhism would have been eliminated automatically anyway. As stated in the Buddhist sutras, the Buddhist teachings will eventually vanish on the earth in the future. In Buddhism, the Buddhas are not omniscient and do not have the ability to eliminate our karmic forces. The Buddhas can only help us turn the karma. In Buddhism, to repent is to admit one’s own mistake and accept its consequences while never making the same mistake again.

The Buddhist sutras have prophesies about the end of the world differently from other religions which would claim that there are kings of devils to come to destroy the world. According to the Buddhist sutras, there are four phases of the earth: formation, duration, deterioration and emptiness. The planet forms in the phase of formation; the phase of duration is most suitable for beings to live; the planet begins to decay in the phase of deterioration and eventually dissolves into emptiness. We are currently at the end of the phase of duration and entering the phase of deterioration. As stated in the Buddhist sutras, when the phase of deterioration begins, the climate will turn dry with fewer and fewer water resources. Desertification will take place on the earth surface. In the end, two suns shall appear in the sky and all the human beings and living creatures will go extinct. Nowadays, global warming and atmospheric changes are graudually validating such predictions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recently saw a TV program which reported that a star behind our sun was found by the astronomers. As its temperature is on the rise, it may perish oneday and thereby produce enormous heat. According to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, such a discovery might indicate that the star, with its heat emitted at the time of destruction, might be seen paralel to the sun and thus become the second sun as predicted in the Buddhist sutras. Of course, such an event will not take place in our generation, but the tendancy of changes on the earth is definitely evolving towards this direction.

Time actually doesn’t exist. The reason why we have time lies in the fact that we human hearts are moving., the famous Hubble Telescope in the field of astronomy is able to see the most ancient galaxies which are billions of years old. Maybe you will question why it is able to see the past. From a scientific perspective, the reason lies in that it takes a long time for light to travel to the earth. Nonetheless, they all exist in the universe at the same time. Has time moved? Time has not moved. It is the earth that is moivng. Why is the earth moving? It is because the hearts of the human beings are moving. The past, present, and future are basically working simultaneously and time is created by the changes in human hearts. Recently, scientists found out that the angle of the earth’s axis tilt has increased and such a phenomenon was also caused by the fact that the human hearts are getting deviated.

Buddha Sakyamuni once said that, after Buddha Sakyamuni himself entered nirvana, there would be no Buddha to arrive on the earth before Buddha Maitreya are born to the world 56 billion years later. Therefore, the Buddha particularly bid Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha to protect and bless the sentient beings on the earth and asked Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara to continue to propagate the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows so as to prevent the sentient beings from falling into the three lower realms. Therefore, those who recite the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows will naturally learn the practice of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and those who practice Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara will natually recite the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows. The idea that every thought and aspiration is karma and crime is constantly stressed in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows while all the other sutras have not mentioned this at all. It is because Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha vows to refrain himself from attaining Buddhahood unless there are no beings in the hells. Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha doesn’t want any sentient beings to suffer in the hells.

95% of human thoughts are evil because each of them is self-beneficiary. The first practice in the Five Commandments and Ten Meritorious Acts is to refrain from killing. If you eat meat, you are committing killing. One bite of meat will bring you down to the hell. Recently, a documantary film has been published in the United States to record the extremely cruel as well as bloody process, including the terrifying origin of polluted and harmful feeds and raising methods, in the livestock industry. Researchers have pointed out that the emitted gases from the animals in the livestock industry have promoted the greenhouse effect. Even though it is still a controversial issue, its direction is correct nonetheless.

The idea of repentance expounded in the Buddhist teachings is to examine one’s own faults from the bottom of his heart and then vow to refrain from committing such acts thereafter and truly carry out all virutous deeds while stopping all evil ones. One who has made a mistake and fails to correct it is a shameless person. If one is shameless, he shall simply stop his Buddhist learning. You only know that you should repent when you felt harmed. Nonetheless, one should generate repentance at the thought of bringing possible harm to the sentient beings. This week, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche were ill for two days and didn’t eat anything during the period. Havin only had a bowl of congee at noon on Saturday, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still received  more than 100 believers on that afternoon. Without eating anything for 48 hours, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still showed no sign of illness. If you had been Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you might have had to take a leave or had someone assist you to walk. However, as the sentient beings had needs, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still went to the Buddhist center to receive them. One would not have done that without compassion and Bodhichitta. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas cannot eliminate your karma, but can help you to elimiate the hatred in your karmic creditors’ hearts so that they may stop hating you and give you the time to learn the Buddhist teachings. Thereby, these karmic creditors will eventually be transferred as well when you attain Buddhahood.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then took his father as an example for illustrating the importance of repentance: Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father had helped many people in his life. He worked for hospital and did not receive any kickback or take graft. After his ex-wife’s death, he still continued to take care of her mother, which is generally impossible for a person to do it. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother also followed her husband to show devotion to his ex-mother-in-law. One day in a winter morning, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw his father took out an overcoat, which was the only one his father had, and gave it to a help seeker from the north. At that time in Hongkong, the overcoat costed, if be pawned, one-month food provisions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father had attained the achievement in Taoism so that he had the capacity to cure people’s diseases, catch ghosts, and even to let his consciousness leave the body, which means that it is possible for his spirit to come out from the body to help people in other places, while the body remains at the original location. This is a very outstanding position for a Taoist practitioner. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father provide help for people without any charge. Before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father started to learn Taoism, he got a message in a dream that a master would come to him and give the instructions of Taoism to him. Just as what was prediced in the dream, two months later, a master appeared and started to teach him on Taoism. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father died of heart paralysis in his fifties! Theoratically, a virtuous person like him is not supposed to die in that way.

Though for those virtuouse deeds Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father had done, he however liked to eat meat. Moreover, in his twenties, he served as a subchief for the government intelligence bureau and had killed Japaneses. Although his killing people was for country, it still created a severe karma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s family became very rich in his grandfather’s generation who earned a lot of money by running a silkworm farm and selling silk. The clan at that time in Guangzhou virtually operated all types of businesses except the coffin store. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother ever made the description that their family collected the land rental fee in boxes of gold ingots. Because of killing countless sentient beings during raising sikworms, all the male descendants of the clan, including Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s uncles, had short life span and suffered from hypertension and heart disease. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche himself also had high blood pressure, and at the age of forty-five acquired skin cancer. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cured those disease by himself depending on Guru, Buddhas, Buddhisattvas and Buddhist practices, without going to see doctor or taking any medical treatment. Both of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s younger brother who developed cavernous hemangioma and younger sister who developed a brain tumor and later underwent a surgical operation in Canada were saved by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She could leave the hospital bed and walk the next day after the surgery. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s second elder sister acquired meningitis at a young age. All of these were related to their ancestors’ killing karma. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father had not known about the dharma of repentance, he got the effect of dying in young age. But He also had practiced many virtious deeds in his lifetime as well as evildoings, thereafter his conciousness did not go up or down or any place else, but had fallen asleep and remained there after he died.

It was not until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to cultivate Buddha-Dharma, learned the importance of making repentance, and made prostration, on behalf of father, of the Eighty-eight Buddhas Repentance at least one hour per day for a year, that one day Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw father standing before the Taoist temple with an appearance of twenties, his face sky blue in color, telling Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that he felt better now. Yet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still continued on making prostration for one year long. At last, one day there was a voice clearly whispering to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father was now with Ancestor Lu. Afterwards, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche learned from the Sutra that the people in the realm of God has a young face, azurein color. Additionally, as you know, Dong-Bin Lu started with Taoism but attained Buddhahood in the end. And Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father had ever learned Taoism, so he resulted in following Ancestor Lu in cultivating Buddhism.

Originally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father was bery rich in Guangzhou. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother persuaded him to buy the real estate in Hongkong, but he thought there was a colony so he did not want to buy. Later on, the mainland China became under the domination of the Communist Party, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father fleed to Hongkong and all of a sudden had nothing to his name. He had had the ability to buy real estate in Hongkong. However, although it seemed due to his political ideology, but in fact it was because of his killing karma, so the karmic creditors prevented him doing so.

Making repentance should not be superficial. The most important is to repent of one’s thoughts. Making repentance is the start of accumulating merits. Without the heart of repentance, one does Sutra recitation and Buddha prostration only for himself. In so doing, no matter how much one recites, prostrates or offers, one’s merits still could not be accumulated.

You often say that you don’t know how to make repentence, and have no idea what you have done wrong. You try to come to repent but can not clarify what you are going to repent for. There is a disciple who dated with a female staff who works for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company. This disciple thought he might not have been supposed to date with the staff, and he came to repent for it. In fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never forbits you being in relationship. However, this disciple chatted with her via e-mails for several hours during her working time. Before, he once had been a supervisor in a bank and at that time he must have disallowed his staff to chat via mails during office hours. But he himself acted like this just now.  Additionaly, this female staff critizied her supervisor on the internet, and the disciple even replied with agreement. He just broke all precepts. Chatting with the staff through Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company facility during office hours was actually stealing his Guru’s time and money. How desperately serious was for him to dare to steal Guru’s money and time! When in the refuge ceremony, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has told you to abandon evil companions who may make our three poisons, namely greed, hatred and delusion increase. This disciple, however, for the sake of love between woman, had put Guru and Buddha’s teachings aside. As long as your desire arise, you would put the Buddhist teachings aside. The act of repentance you make is like that when a child makes mistakes, his parents ask him if there is anything else he does wrong, and he would immediately answer: No! Like thus, you always try to hide your faults and do not want them to be known.

Last December, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had predicted that there will be volcano explosions this year. So far we have only entered into January of 2010 for several days and there were already explosions in four volcanoes. This will be a disastrous year, with unusually unstable water, fire and weather conditions. If you had barbequed and haven’t seriously made repentance for committing such evil conducts, your chances of being burned by fire or hot water will be greatly increased.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to enlighten: A believer came yesterday to explain why he won’t be able to attend the regular puja. He will be occupied by an obligation to take care of stray dogs. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche responded that this matter was not relevant to Buddha Dharma. For human beings, to protect stray dogs is a benevolent conduct. For Buddha Dharma, such conduct is not in accordance with karmic conditions. Specifically, for Tantra, we’d even wish these animals’ painful lives can end sooner. Without being fed, these stray dogs may seem pitiful to you. But the truth is that when they were born as human beings in one of their past lives, they must be stingy to give charities or make offerings. Therefore, such karmic retribution has come to fruition in this life. Being hungry all the time may be the way these stray dogs to repay their karmic debts. However, if you feed them, you’d interfere with the law of causes and conditions. As such, they probably have to continue being hungry in next life. The correct attitude is to act according to conditions. If you happen to encounter stray dogs, it’s all right to give them some food. The most important point for you is to remain your kind thoughts. Even when you have a sight of stray dogs, it’ll be beneficial to them if you simply wish them good. If you annoy neighbors by having adopted stray dogs, isn’t it an act of creating an evil cause? You are all very selfish. As long as it’s not your neighbors who keep stray dogs to bother you, you are okay with feeding and protecting stray dogs.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often asked, “if you will adopt stray dogs, then why won’t you adopt homeless people?” This is because you have a distinguishing mind and fear that the homeless people will harm you. You give food to dogs for the hope that if you become poor in the future, some one will come to help you. But because you now have a mind of giving alms to dogs, you may become a dog in a future generation of life and the current dog reincarnates as a human to feed you for repaying your kindness. The true protection of life is just not to kill. There are many killing of lives now, so there are more and more animals appearing; if we don’t eat meat, the animals in the animal realm will naturally be reduced.

Originally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche planned to take some disciples to perform retreats this year; however, not long ago, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche called and wanted Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to go to perform the retreat alone without taking any disciple. There are two reasons. Thinking from a good point of view, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche takes disciples to perform retreats, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche certainly will be distracted to take care of the disciples, while His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche hopes Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can perform the retreat attentively. Thinking from a different point of view, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not have any disciple who is good enough; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples have not accomplished the method of repentance taught by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and have not developed compassion and a Bodhisattva’s mind.

There is a proverb in Guangdong, “When an unfortunate man is out of luck, his lover will appear.” When your undertaking prospers, you will not have any lover. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not oppose disciples to fall in love; but you should remember not to leave any after-effects. In another words, do not promise things that cannot be done; this is the foundation of a human being; do not do anything that could harm the other person because you are enveloped with sensual feelings and desires. If both of you have such a condition, you may go for it. Moreover, love must be followed by desires and lust. Yesterday, there was a follower who asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche whether she should practice Buddhism or get married first. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche answered, “You just get married first!” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not say like the other Buddhist masters would that she should practice Buddhism instead of getting married. Because she asked such a question, it indicated that she had already had the idea of getting married; if she had not had such thought, she would not come to ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave her an answer which followed her thought of wanting to get married.

The first sentence of the second practice of “the thirty-seven practices of Bodhisattvas” is “the attached mind to loved ones wavers like water”. It means that our relatives are like waters, coming and going; when they leave us, they will never return. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not oppose you to have a family life or the happiness to be with your family. It is just that all of you should be prepared in your mind that your loved ones will not be eternal. Even the water has been frozen to become the ice, it will still be melted under such a hot weather. A certain disciple knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would conduct Buddha dharma rituals at the end of the year, so he/she comes back to attend the pujas. At usual times, he/she would accompany his/her son and help to take care of the grandchildren. Ostensibly, he/she was doing that for his/her son, in essence, he/she was doing that for satisfying his/her greedy desires. This is also using Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not care about that and still let he/she take advantage of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wants to advise the disciple that when he/she passes away, who can help him/her, will the person be either Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche or his/her son? The disciple has an old age already and not much time left, so he/she should cherish the opportunities of attending pujas to accumulate his/her virtues, in order to obtain the chance of being reborn in the Pure Land.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche makes so much effort to practice Buddha dharma because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thinks that his virtues are not enough; as long as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not attained Buddhahood, Rinpoche would repent every day. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche let Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche take refuge and follow His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche to practice Buddha dharma; but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche himself still had to practice diligently; otherwise, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche may had already died at the age of 45. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is now 63 years old and is still alive; it is all because of practicing Buddha dharma.

We have to deeply believe in the law of cause and effect. In this life, whether you are rich or not, whether your family life is happy or not, all of them are the karmic results of your past lives. If you had no money in this life, it is because you were reluctant to give alms and make offerings in one of your past lives. If you had never come between the couples of other families in your past lives, you will have no one coming to destroy your family in this life. So if you become divorced, it has nothing to do with your practice of Buddha dharma; probably because you have practiced Buddha dharma, the fruit of this karma becomes mature earlier. Hence, when getting divorced, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche readily accepted everything.

If one does not have a reverence towards the guru, Buddha, and Bodhisattvas, one does not make offerings; if one does not make offerings, one does not have virtues. Even Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has agreed to conduct the Phowa dharma for you, if you do not have virtues, you will not obtain the Phowa dharma. A human being has been reborn for so many generations of lives, so the causes and conditions in them are very complex.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then proceeded to conduct the ritual of “Vajrasattva” and recited the one-hundred-syllable Vajrasattva mantra for all attendees for a very long time in a meditative concentration. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche further asked all attendees to sit straight and contemplate that there were black water, bloody water, or pus flowing out from the places in one’s body where one feels uncomfortable or have illnesses and streaming down to the deep underground when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was reciting the mantra. The meditative strength and the compassionate energy of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s dharma conduction let all attendees be very much awed and moved. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led everyone to recite the short Vajrasattva mantra and to read the prayer and dedication text to complete the dharma conduction successfully.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened us that the ritual just conducted was not only reading the dharma text, there were many Tantras and contemplations in them; even if you had taken the dharma text, it would be useless without the guru’s oral transmission and teaching. In the dharma text, there is a paragraph of repentance prayer saying that “Pray to the Yidam of Vajra holder, please receives us as your refuge and blesses us; I will sincerely and openly repent all pollutions of evil deeds and immoral behaviors; My body, speech, mind have generated the karma of heavy crimes, ignorance, neglect, and all other obstacles.”

Buddha and Bodhisattvas’ light has always illuminated all sentient beings without any discrimination. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s light has always illuminated all sentient beings as well. Although what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has enlightened us are all Exoteric Buddhism’s contents, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has used the method of Tantra to help you. That’s how to gather you. Because you are drawn, you then can obtain the blessings and helps from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Buddha dharma. It is certainly necessary for us to pray in order to obtain the acceptance. Right now, we want to pray for Vajrasattva’s acceptance and blessings.

“Being thoroughly wholehearted” is different than “being sincere”; a sincere heart is not enough. “Being thoroughly wholehearted” means that one wants to repent wholeheartedly and asking for nothing in return; it is not the repentance for avoiding bad karmic retributions. The Chinese character of remorse means to admit, accept, face, and be responsible for what one had done in the past generations of lives; the Chinese character of regret means not to do the things again; this is true repentance, otherwise, it is just an apology. In our childhood, when we did something wrong and faced parents’ punishment, we would not admit in detail all of our faults, but would escape. If we repent with an attitude of “seeing what you can do after my repentance”, this is not a wholehearted repentance and is conditional. If we repent with an attitude of “doing anything you want after my repentance”, this is a true repentance, a repentance of asking nothing in return.

The Chinese character of disclose means revelation. If one says out loud about the mistakes one has done and never does them again, such repentance can then be really useful; furthermore, one has to repent to one’s guru. Catholicism and Christianity have the so-called confession which means that one says in detail the evil deeds one has done in front of the priest or minister. The difference from repentance is that the priest or minister will say that God has forgiven the person and the person will push all the responsibilities to God. The repentance in Buddhism is different. In the sutra of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, it has stated that one should read loudly the sutra of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva. We may think that Buddha and Bodhisattvas would know what we thinks in our minds; the ghosts would know, but because we know things from the hearing of our ears, and the sentient beings in the realm of Hell are sufferings, if we do not speak out loud, how could they hear us? Moreover, we have a sincere mind only if we can say them loudly. Even if we can deceive the guru, Buddha, and Bodhisattvas, we cannot deceive our own conscience.

“Ignorance” means that we came to this world due to the ignorance of our past lives; when we came to the world in this life, we had the same ignorance to forget and not believe in Buddha dharma, so we began to perform evil deeds again! The evil karma from our past lives makes us not believe in Buddha dharma, so ignorance continues to be generated. “Neglect (No examination)” means that we lost the ability to examine and report our own faults; because of the karmic creditors’ blockages, we have no ability to examine and know where our faults are. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wanted the disciples use the Five Precepts, the Ten Meritorious deeds, and the Thirty-seven practices of Bodhisattvas to examine whether they had done any evil deed from all of that day’s body actions, speeches, and minds before going to sleep every day. But the disciples could not follow the instruction because they did not repent sincerely and refused to pay off their karmic debts; the karmic creditors will come and prevent you from doing good deeds since they fear that once you are doing good deeds to increase your virtues you will be even more reluctant to repay them!

The moral standards usually mentioned will be changed based on the differences of time, place, and culture. In ancient times if a woman committed infidelity, she would be locked in a bamboo cage and drowned in the water. In modern times, if people do such thing to a woman, it is committing a murder.

A disciple’s father has been lying in his death bed for a long time but can’t accumulate appropriate conditions to die. It’s because his children haven’t diligently stroven to learn Buddha Dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother is already eighty-six years old and yet she can take good care of herslef. She doesn’t need help while using toilet. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mothers also fell down several times, but her bones were all uninjured. This is all because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once slipped and fell,almost flying out, on the floor of his home. His bones, however, were not broken. This accident means that, even for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, karmic retributions can’t be avoided. Many elderly here have some health problems and when they fell down, their bones would be broken. It’s due to the fact that all of you have had soup made out of hogs’ thighbones and you also have had beaf, too. Broken bones are the manifestation of such karmic retributions. The truth is you don’t have to wait until you die to experience the hells. Years prior to your death, you will know it. To prolong her father’s life, one disciple has been providing meat and fish dishes for her seriuosly ill father. Doing so will only increase hunderds of years for her father, after passing, to suffer in the hell. If one’s neck shrinks and belly bulgys before dying or one has been reluctant to make offerings during his entire life, it’s the manifestation of falling into the hungry realm. If one has to go through sergical operations before dying, it’s the manifestation of falling into the hell realm. If one doesn’t believe in Buddha Dharma and enters into vegie state or becomes unconscious before dying, it’s the manifestation of faling into the animal realm.

When your worldy intersts are in conflict with Buddha Dharma, you’d choose the solution to benefit your mundane life. You are used to dichotomize your living: carrying out mundane life is on one side and practicing Buddha Dharma on the other. When both can’t be in harmony, you’d put aside practicing Buddha Dharma. In 2007 when H. H. Chetsang Rinpche commanded Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conduct a three-month retreat in Lapchi Mountain, before leaving for the retreat, Rinche Dorjee Rinopche didn’t leave messages about how to run the company but only make clear about how to pay employees’ salary. And then off he went to practice the retreat. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche dutifully followed H. H. Chetsang Rinpoche’s instructions for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche firmly believed in the blessings of H. H. Chetsang Rinpoche and left the rest to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. In the end, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche attained the accomplishemet.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche believes that the life would be poor if without Buddha Dharma. It is the Buddha Dharma that the life could get nourishment and attain its growth as well. However, all of your lives literally wither away. Learning Buddhism is not to obtain happy life or good jobs, but is to change one’s own self-righteous mind.

Yesterday, a believer come to ask for advice for his mother. When the believer began to speak, he emphasized that his mother is so great. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately guided him that all the mothers are great simply because we are born by the mother. The believer made his supplication with selfishness. When he said that, he had been trying to exert pressure upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, which meant that it would be merciless if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not cure his mother. Many people who come for supplication bear arrogance and selfishness, therefore without reverence, toward Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and take it for granted that their wishes must be fulfilled. Such conception is incorrect. Lots of the people are that arrogant and self-righteous. Through the practice of repentance it can help eradicate your arrogance. Some people would air their grievances and expect sympathy from the other. That is also a kind of greediness, and is incorrect neither.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has bestowed in public the practice of repentance for a couple of times, and you have listened the recordings of the teachings for many times. Why the Rinpoche would bestow it again? Simply because you have not made true repentance. This practice is of utmost importance. If one does not accomplish true repentance, one could not have attainment for any Dharma practice. Not only can the guru help you escape from life and death, but also help you obtain oppertunities for accumulating merits, disclose your faults and problems and teach you to correct them.

One of the disciples, while on duty, has been worried that her child would have no study companion and her mother would be left alone at home. The disciple has been anticipating something not yet happened. You simply have no faith on cause and effect. Will a child become a good one or a bad one depends on the accumulated karma, good deeds or bad deeds. The child’s karma would begin increasing or decreasing upon his birth. The parents, circumstances and one’s own mind each would have influence to oneself. It involves complicated factors whether a child would be good or bad. However, it could not be assured to stop the child from learning bad examples even though you go off duty on time everyday to accompany your child in study. For example , Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been desperately devoted in helping the sentient beings, therefore Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would look after the Rinpoche’s children. If one has true faith on the cause and effect, one ought to rely on Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to look after one’s children. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that to cultivate the independence for his children, the Rinpoche accompanied the child to the school at the very first day, but the child had to go to school alone though the Rinpoche was standing at the balcony to make sure. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche achieved the attainment of a lay Rinpoche in this life. The Rinpoche has encountered many problems as you have, and has experienced a great deal of the feeling. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could not have experienced such many sufferings of the life, the Rinpoche believes that His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche would not acknowledge the attainment as a Rinpoche.

Some disciple complained that jobs are quite complicated. They feel it’s hard to accomplish job responsibilities. In fact, it is because they have a complicated mind. To do a job is straightforward. If one takes his own emotions into account, it would become complicated. As long as one stays away from self-centered, one would not make faults all the time. If one does not take into account one’s own interests in doing the job, one can clearly identify what should be achieved and what could be accomplished.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche further explained on the practices of the Vajrasattva. The practice could not be found in esoteric Buddhism, while it only exists in exoteric Buddhism. Tantric teachings manifest themselves in flexible and integrated ways, while esoteric Buddhism only refers to theories. One, who can fully realize the theories, and use tantric methods to help the beings, can be acknowledged as capable. Not only can one cut through the cyclic existence, but also can help the beings escape from samsara. There is difference between Buddha Dharma and general religions. For example, in Catholic or Christian the supplication made by the believers connects each other in unidirectional style. The God or Lord would not attain anything. However, in Buddhism it is a bidirectional and interactive connection. Because of your presence, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could elaborate the Buddha Dharma and perform the actions of the Bodhisattva Path, while you disciples pay attention to the teachings and use them to correct yourselves. In such circumstance, you are also accumulating the merits. Not only could you obtain benefits from the Buddha Dharma, but also Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would accumulate merits too. The connection in between is mutual and interactive.

January 16, 2010

The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the auspicious pujua of Avalokiteshvara at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche first gave the enlightenment: Avalokiteshvara is well known to all Chinese, Japanese and Korean people, but is not heard of in the countries of Theravada Buddhist traditions such as Thailand, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

The full name of Avalokiteshvara in Chinese is Guan-shi-yin (or Lord who looks down) Bodhisattva. The meaning of the Chinese character “Guan” in Buddhism doesn’t refer to seeing with your eyes or thinking with your brains. Nor does it refer to seeing with divine eyes. No matter how carefully you scrutinize things with your eyes or think with your brains, or even if you see with your divine eyes, there would be a limitation to what you see and think. The meaning of the Chinese character “Guan” indicates to perceive with wisdom eyes or dharma eyes. The wisdom that Buddha Dharma refers to isn’t the mundane intellect, capacity, or knowledge. It refers to the thorough understanding of all causes about the arising, changes, ceasing of all phenomena in the universe. And, with such understanding, one can attain the realization to help sentient beings be liberated from suffering ocean of reincarnation.

The second Chinese character of Avalokiteshvara, “shi”, doesn’t refer to this mundane world. Instead, it indicates all sentient beings who have been continuously reborn in the six realms. The character “yin” means the sound emitted by the suffering sentient beings. With his wisdom eye and dharma eye, Avalokiteshvara perceives yelling sound for help from sentient beings in suffering.

Wisdom in Buddhism means void of nature or prajna. Sakyamuni Buddha had propagated Buddhism on Earth for forty-nine years and spent the last twenty years in teaching the concept of void of nature. Great Prajnaparamita Sutra accounts for one third of Chinese Buddhist Canon (Great Treasure of Scriptures) and it is all about the explanation of void of nature. For this fact, it is clear that comprehending the wisdom in void of nature can’t be easily attained by ordinary people. Thus, Sakyamuni Buddha deployed all sorts of explanations to enlighten the meaning of void of nature. Diamond Sutra, however, depicts that Sakyamuni Buddha claimed that he had never taught any dharma in this mundane world. All dharmas are natural laws and the truth of the universe. They essentially exist and are not invented or created by individual Buddha or God.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to enlighten the meaning of wisdom in void of nature by the example of how a table comes to existence. How would you know that is a table? It is because someone had told you so. Someone had named this object “table” and later on people accepted it. That’s it. Modern archaeologists discovered numerous tools used by ancient people but have no idea how they were used and don’t know how to name these objects. Thus the question is, from the very beginning, how did you start to “know” things? The truth is your “knowing” is passed down from someone else’s “knowing.” All our knowledge about this world is created by this way. Yet, this kind of knowledge can’t be counted as wisdom.

From physical perspective to think about the existence of a table, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche further enlightened the meaning of the wisdom about void of nature. A wooden table is composed by certain constituents which are originated from wood and a tree. Due to various conditions, a huge tree was grown from a seed. If we trace the process back further back, where did this seed come from? Where did the first seed come from? Which came first, a tree or a seed? Theorists in literature, science, and philosophy had argued these questions but couldn’t come to any conclusion. Although scientists had found that the smallest element in the universe is atom, but later they found quark is the smallest. Is it true, however, quark the smallest? In fact, there are elements smaller than quark, but the scientific tools human invented can’t find it yet. In Buddha Sutra, the truth has already been depicted that there are dust worlds within a dust world. Depending on logical inferences, Western scientists would only reach contradictions at the end, not able to find any answer. Only through attaining the wisdom in void of nature can we perceive the truth of the universe.

Rather than being superstitious, Buddhism is fairly scientific. For instance, nowadays scientists have proposed a query: Why does the water level of oceans on Earth remain about the same regardless of the volume of each year’s rainfall that was collected into oceans? Additionally, the volume of moister evaporated, by heat, into atmosphere is also limited. Scientists can’t explain where the water has gone. In a passage of a Buddhist Sutra, Sakyamuni Buddha had enlightened that there were three heat origins deep in the seabed that could evaporate water from oceans. It was not until a while ago when scientists found an opening emitting heat that is several tens of thousand feet down on the seabed of the Pacific Ocean. How come Sakyamuni Buddha had known the answer to the phenomenon 3000 years ago when science had not yet developed? It is because Sakyamuni Buddha had the divine eyes and the dharma eyes to acknowledge such phenomenon. Buddha Sutra has depicted that there are four billions of ten thousand species of animals, including insects. Consistent with this description, modern scientists have kept finding new species. That is why Buddhism is the cutting-edge science. Unlike other religions that simply preach you to believe in them, Buddhism is able to explain numerous phenomena in the universe.

Sakyamuni Buddha never threatened sentient beings that “if you don’t believe in him, you’ll fall in the hells after passing away.” All what he talked is about the law of cause and effect and the law of cause and condition. You have to take the karmic fruit resulting from the causes you’d sow by yourselves. Non-Buddhists, however, often advocate that if you don’t believe in God you’ll fall into the hell after death. The law of cause and effect is the truth in the universe rather than being invented by Sakyamuni Buddha. The concepts of void of nature and wisdom in Buddha Dharma are to teach us that all phenomena in the universe are resulted from our deeds. Everything is developed according to the law of cause and effect as well as the law of cause and condition. Some people would think learning Buddhism is to read sutras, make repentances, recite mantras, and meditate. They also think phenomena in the universe aren’t relevant to Buddha Dharma. These thoughts are all incorrect. As a matter of fact, Buddha Dharma is the truth of the universe. If we can’t cherish this life to practice Buddha Dharma, we’d waste the opportunity to be reborn as humans.

Avalokiteshvara is the representation of compassion. It is not that other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not compassionate. It’s rather that the conditions of Avalokiteshvara with sentient beings on Earth are extremely deep. Practicing the dharma method of Avalokiteshvara and learning and cultivating compassion is the foundation to attain all accomplishment of Buddha Dharma. Without compassion, one can’t accomplish any tantric dharma. Compassion is the most effective power in the universe. Only through cultivating compassion can one’s karma be altered.

There is a Buddhist group that advocates “big love,” which is now gaining its popularity among lay people. Actually, Buddha Dharma doesn’t emphasize on love because love has specific targets, is purposeful, and has requisitions. Instead, Buddha Dharma talks about mercy and compassion which doesn’t have specific targets. The meaning of mercy and compassion is twofold. Mercy refers to the capability to liberate sentient beings from suffering ocean of reincarnation. Therefore if one doesn’t yet attain such ability, he shouldn’t claim that he has cultivated a merciful heart. The compassion means exchanging one’s favorable things and happiness with suffering of sentient beings. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed Chod puja, he’d give away his flesh to satisfy sentient beings’ cravings. This is the manifestation of a compassionate heart. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that you have not attained compassionate conducts but you should have compassionate hearts. Compassionate conducts can’t be achieved by your wishful thinking. You’ll need incessant practices and receive trainings step by step. No one can attain compassionate conducts in one shot. Without the power of compassion, there will be no bodhicitta which is a wonderful treasure. Without bodhicitta, you can’t complete any achievement, no matter how hard you’d try. Thus, cultivating compassion is the most fundamental practice to all dharma methods. In some Buddha sutra it has been mentioned that, with the vow of bodhicitta, one can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death even without repenting. However, you have not even achieved a compassion heart, not to mention the vow of bodhicitta.

What human beings most care about? It is the physical body. We keep working, studying and eating is all for satisfying the need of the physical body. If one able to abandon his own body, he will be able to exchange his own happiness with the suffering of sentient beings. You always use your eyes to look at what you like, use your ears to listen to what you want, and all these acts are for satisfying your greed and hatred. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would do something you dislike or do not do something you like. Sometimes Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also does it on the contrary. And it is to reduce your discriminating thought. Without discriminating thought, one then can start to practice Buddhism and develop compassion. We ought to reduce and eliminate the feeling of like and dislike, and to learn to accept unfavorable conditions. The reason that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could attain the Buddhist achievement so fast is that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could take unfavorable conditions. The one who truly practices and cultivates compassion would have no enemy or a mean person, no one who does wrong to him. For him, all happening to him just follows the law of cause and effect as well as the causes and conditions. You do not have to think about the things that have not happened yet by others. The more you think about it, the more possible it will happen. There was a piece of TV news about a car accident, and the shot showed there was a Buddha image hung in the car, in which the reporter metaphorically expressed that the one who believed in Buddha would still have an accident. However, it is a wrong concept. The cause and effect therein was too complicated for ordinary people to understand.

When some disciples are punished or scolded, there would be some people who came to care for them and asked them about the reason of his being punished. Those people did not have the compassion. Some may say they just wanted to know the reason of being penalized so as to avoid making the same mistake by themselves. However, if the case would be helpful for everyone in Buddhism cultivation, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have told you. The teaching materials could be the obverse side or the adverse side. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thinks it is still without proper causes and conditions, or not helpful in your Buddhist practice, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not tell you about it. The cause and effect as well as the causes and conditions are very complicated. Do not ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to speak ill of others just for satisfying your curiosity. Some people who are afraid of being punished or scolded do not practice to have the compassion, either.

Compassion and wisdom have to be practiced together, which means the dual functioning of compassion and emptiness. Some people may say they do not need to practice the profound Buddha-Dharma, they just need to be a good guy and do virtuous deeds, and they won’t do others harm either. However, the truth is, when a person does not understand the compassion of emptiness, or practice virtuous deeds without wisdom, they may harm others without being aware of it. You can not attain the accomplishment of obtaining wisdom is because you do not observe precepts well. No concentration will be generated without keeping precepts well, and no wisdom will arise without concentration. If one dose not possess wisdom but only have compassion, he might become a yes man. It is stated in the Sutra that even a yes man can fall into the hell. The one who only possess wisdom but no compassion would be arrogant and self-pride. Some people practice concentration, sit in meditation, and live in solitude so as to generate wisdom, but they do not practice compassion so they look down upon the worldly things and become very arrogant. Therefore, one has to develop the compassion of void so as to truly benefit sentient beings. That is the so-called “great mercy of void conditions, great compassion of the equal body”.

It is stated in the Sutra that, in the late Sui Dynasty and the early Tang Dynasty, there was a translator from India called Kumarajiva who appeared as an ordain person but with wife. His disciples thought their Guru already transgressed the precept and felt angry about it. One day, the honourable one summoned all his disciples and before them, he drank a grip of needles with vinegar. Then he took a piece of cloth to wipe with his body and from which he took out every needles he drank. Then, he said: if you are able to do the same thing as I just did, you can also get married. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that it is not possible for you human to comprehend a true practitioner’s acts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is able to pierce a hole through a human’s crown of head far away in a distance of two-thousand kilometers by conducting Phowa ritual. If you are able to do so, then you might have qualification to judge what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has done. This does not mean that a practitioner with thus ability can do whatever he likes. Its true meaning lies in that you are not supposed to judge a tantric practitioner’s behaviors and acts by your own thoughts, since you have not known the cause and effect or the leading result of the actions of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

There is a section of the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra mentioning about that always respectfully memorize Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, all kinds of suffering will get solved. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the enlightenment: “always” refer to permanently and unchangeably, but not refer to often. “memorize” mean that one’s each and every though is Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, but not really to keep reading it out again and again. Reverently refers to completely believe without a single thought of one’s own, by which means that one believes that what the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas said is all for our benefit. The Universal Gate Chapter also mentioned that for one who is loaded with greediness, one ought to constantly recite the name of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara; for one who is loaded with hatred, one ought to constantly recite the name Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara; for one who is loaded with sexual passion, one ought to constantly recite the name Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Thus, one ought to learn and cultivate compassion for eliminating his greed, hatred and delusion.

There is a section of the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra demonstrating the method of making offering: Upon hearing about Buddha Sakyamuni’s praising the merits and virtues of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Bodhisattva Aksayamati’s aroused joy and took out his most precious ornament to make the offering to Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Without saying a word, Avalokitesvara did not receive it at first. The Buddha smoothed things out and also performed in a play for us by persuading Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara to receive this offering for the sake of sympathizing with sentient beings. Under the Buddha’s persuasion, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara received the jewels offered by Bodhisattva Aksayamati. And then, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara separated them into two parts, in which one of them was offered to the Buddha, and the other to the stupa. This section teaches us that: the original offering made by Bodhisattva Aksayamati with the arising of the joyful heart was not correct. Buddha-Dharma is all for benefiting sentient beings, not for oneself likes and dislikes. In current days, some people make offering to some dharma master merely because they listen to the dharma master propagating Buddhism and the joy arose within them. This kind of act still belongs to the conditioned dharma, as they do it according to their likes, by which they could only accumulate merits, but not virtues. Bodhisattva Aksayamati should make offering on behalf of all the sentient beings who do not possess proper conditions of cultivating Buddhism. Besides, Bodhisattva Aksayamati took the most precious jewels of ornament as the offering objects. As for you, you do not even make an offering.

The one who practices Mahayana Buddhism and Zen School is taught by the dharma of directly pointing to people’s minds that all problems result from the thoughts of greed, hatred and delusion arisen from one’s heart. However there is no way to help the one to cut off one’s mindsets, while the tantric practices directly teach you how to practice so not to generate the thoughts of greed, hatred and delusion. Before people act, they must have the thoughts aroused within them. Prior to your act starting, Guru would correct your thoughts as soon as they arise. Just like in last week puja Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned a case of a disciple who dated with an employee of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company. The disciple did not know what his problems were, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche viewed everything from the law of cause and effect, so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could see the movement of the disciple’s mind and directly pointed out what’s wrong with it.

Without the supervisor and teachings of a guru who possesses virtue, one’s practicing Buddhism would be like a blind person leading a group of blind people groping for an elephant. They merely grope one part of an elephant and can not get clear picture about the elephant’s true colors from first to last. It is also like a blind person leading a group of blind people on the path. When the leader falls into by a steep cliff, the followers fall, too.

All of you only believe what you see with your eyes, hear with your ears, and feel with your body. Some people even want to see Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in their dream, which is hardly possible for the sentient beings of the decadence of Dharma. Without generating great repentant heart and reverent heart in Buddhism cultivation, one is not possible to see the emanation of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara; Without developing Bodhicitta and practicing the Bodhisattvas’ path, one is not possible to see the Samboghakaya of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara; Without practicing to attain the compassion of emptiness to benefit all sentient beings, one is not possible to see the Dharmakaya of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.

Human being may develop over 400 illnesses for they have over 400 afflictions. While you cling to the idea that you are sick and need to recover, some of you would spend millions of dollars to undergo medical treatments and thereby make your children suffer. Such deeds are all attachments and afflictions. Human cells experience life and death every 7 years. A person will definitely recover from his illness one day, for it will be gone when he loses his body after death. Last week, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche suffered from diarrhea for consecutive 48 hours and completely lost his strength and ability to eat. Nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still received the believers and hosted the puja as usual. If you had had such conditions, you would never have done that. However, without clinging to the suffering from the illness, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thereby recovered rapidly. Besides, as everyone knows that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has severe scoliosis, how is it possible for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to stay for 5 or 6 hours without moving a bit on the Dharma throne? As to you, you feel your legs hurt after sitting for a while and constantly move or even raise your knees up. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has managed not to cling to his physical suffering. If the pain lasts, even to death, it will be gone by then.

There is a mistaken saying among people: With the practice of necromancy, a person with an illness such as lung cancer during his lifetime will cough when he comes to you as a ghost. Or, one who used to have an illness before death would still have the illness with him after death. Additionally, some people think that illnesses follow a person to his next life. All these are misunderstandings, for the same illness wouldn’t necessarily develop in one’s next life and might be transformed into other conditions.

The meaning embedded in the heart mantra of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is definitely more than “a clean and pure white lotus” as you think. As stated in the Buddhist sutras, if the Six Syllable Mantra were to be explained with the Buddha’s wisdom, it would take more than a great eon. How much time is there in a great eon then? A great eon is composed of three middle-sized eons, and each middle-sized eon contains three small eons. A small eon takes an amount of time which allows the human lifespan to decrease from 80 thousand years to 10 with 1 deducted every hundred years and then to increase from 10 years up to 80 thousand with 1 added every hundred years. Therefore, it takes a great deal of time. At the time being, human beings are in the phase of lifespan decrease, which means that the merits of human beings are decreasing. Although the current lifespan of humans is more than 80 years according to some statistic data, let’s not forget the many young people who die in accidents. Therefore, the average lifespan of human beings should be 70 years. In addition, the Buddhist sutras state that the earth will be devastated someday. Nonetheless, the devastation of the earth will not be caused by some devil as mentioned in Catholic or Christian beliefs. It is human beings themselves who will devastate the earth.

In earlier times, the Great Compassion Mantra was quite efficacious. However, ever since someone translated the mantra, the Great Compassion Mantra has not been as efficacious as it used to be. Mantras don’t need to be translated because human beings all have discrimination. When one recites a mantra and considers it a representation of a particular Buddha or heavenly king, he will have adulterated thoughts. All mantras contain the merits, virtues, aspirations, wisdom, and activities of the yidam and serve as the essence. When one recites a yidam’s mantra, he stays in the sea of the yidam’s merits and virtues. Therefore, no translation is needed. It is because the wisdom of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is beyond the explanation provided with human languages, nor can it be understood with your life experiences.

Before commencing the practice, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained the three most profound means bestowed by the great accomplished master Gampopa for practicing and learning mercy and compassion.

First: Treat all the sentient beings with cause and condition.
According to the theory of reincarnation, we have had parents during each lifetime. Therefore, the sentient beings must have been our parents in the incalculable lives we have had. The flesh we eat is either from our parents or our family members of our previous lives. Just as the ancient story of those cutting off their own flesh to feed their children, parents wouldn’t want their children to suffer from hunger and therefore would feed them with their own flesh. Those who don’t have any cause and condition with you will not be sent into your mouth for you to eat. As there are so many cows and sheep in the world, why is this one eaten by you? What makes you pick a certain piece of meat when you go to the market? These are all sentient beings who have got cause and condition with you. Once you have eaten their flesh, you will have to come again to meet the debts next life. Everyone considers that they won’t fall into the three lower realms. As long as you have eaten a mouthful of meat, you will certainly fall into the hell. Some disciples still fail to refrain from eating flesh of sentient beings. Since they dare to commit such a deed, they will absolutely commit other evil-doings. We should treat the mother-like sentient beings with mercy and compassion and be grateful to all the sentient beings.

Second: Treat all the phenomena with cause and condition.
One should regard all the phenomena in the world as the law of cause and effect as well as cause and condition. The body we have and all the enjoyment in this life result from the causes created with our body, speech, and mind. Everything is made by oneself. Good as well as bad things shall pass. Additionally, one’s wealth and lifetime are limited. Nothing is permanent in the world. When one is able to agree with this statement in his body, speech, and mind, he will then drop the attachment to his own greedy and hateful thoughts. Do not consider yourself getting nothing when you let go of your attachment. In fact, you will get more. Any wealth or fame in the world cannot compare to the precious Buddhist teachings. Also, any feelings of pleasure or happiness cannot compare to the Dharma joy. Only when one attains Buddhahood can he obtain everlasting great bliss. As stated in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, “Each thought generated by a worldly person is karma and crime.” Through practice with such a means, one should always practice generating mercy and compassion towards the sentient beings. Without any cause or condition to learn Buddhism, the sentient beings fill their hearts with greed, hatred and ignorance and are thereby reincarnated in the abyss of sufferings. Mercy and compassion are the most powerful forces in the universe. As the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are unable to turn the karma of the sentient beings, they can only practice and learn mercy and compassion so as to turn their karma.

Third: To practice with a thought freed from cause and condition.
As all the phenomena in the universe rise and fall with their causes and conditions, their existence is not permanent. As stated in the Vajra Sutra, whatever we experience is dream-like and fake, so we should generate the thinking to leave the games. All the phenomena in the universe are like a game, too. The saying, “Life is like a drama. A drama is like one’s life,” is correct. As a child can get tired of playing a game, so can a person feel so towards his life. If one realizes that life is but a dream, he will not generate hatred towards others. One’s job and marriage are nothing but gameplay with many supporting roles. When each act is performed, the drama will come to an end and everyone will leave. It doesn’t mean that you should thereby have fun in such a game. On the contrary, knowing what life is, you will let go of your attachment and thereby be able to learn, cultivate, and practice mercy, compassion, and aspiration Bodhichitta. Furthermore, you should always practice actively, realize Emptiness, and then benefit all the sentient beings with the wisdom realized in Emptiness, mercy, and compassion.

The great accomplished master Gampopa bestowed the 3 aforementioned means to practice and learn mercy, compassion, and aspiration Bodhichitta, and no practice means is more profound than these.

As long as a practitioner practices the Six Syllable Mantra and achieves accomplishments with tantras, he will be able to leave the cycle of birth and death in this life, seal the door to the six realms, and attain rebirth in a pure land. Don’t think that you will not be reincarnated. In fact, chances are high for you to fall into the three lower realms.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to conduct the abridged practice of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and then led the attendees in the practice of the “Prayer of Mani Dedication to Rapidly Attain Great Bliss.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led the attendees to recite the Six Syllable Mantra and prayed for blessing on behalf of Taiwan. The attendees felt the immense mercy and compassion of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and were moved to tears.

At completion of the practice, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained that this Dharma text provides further details of mercy and compassion. After seeing the content of the prayer, everyone should feel fortunate for you do not have the sufferings stated in the text. In the dedication section, the prayer is conducted for the sentient beings rather than for self benefit. Just as the practice of Avalokiteshvara previously performed, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led everyone to keep praying Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara for his guidance so as to lead the suffering sentient beings in the six realms to leave the sea of sufferings in reincarnation and to help the sentient beings to form cause and condition with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas through everyone’s sincere praying. There are still innumerable sentient beings who lack the cause and condition with the Buddhas and therefore have no cause and condition to get in touch with the Buddhist teachings. For all the sentient beings who are either related or unrelated to us, we pray for the refuge and blessing of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara so as to enable them to attain rebirth in his pure land.

Your usual dedication prayers were all for your own interests; this kind of dedication prayers does not work. But making dedication prayers with a compassionate heart will work. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche’s dedication prayer certainly will work; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s dedication prayer will certainly work as well. Sometimes, after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recited mantras and looked at you, your troublesome matters would start to be changed; that was just the strengths of dedication prayer. If a person wants something to be changed, we need to conduct dharmas; but this does not just happen by the person’s praying, it all depends on if the person has the cause, the condition, and the virtues or not.

In fact, everything in this world happens because of causes and conditions. It is like the relationship between the seed and the tree mentioned at the beginning of the puja. Scientists has always been discussing continuously that whether a chicken appear first or an egg appear first; but such kind of discussions has always had no conclusion at all. Buddha dharma consider this problem from the angle of causes and conditions; if the cause and condition of an egg appear first, the egg will appear first; if the cause and condition of a chicken appear first, the chicken will appear first. No matter which one comes out first, it all rises from the conditions.

The final paragraph of the dedication prayer text says that “I pray to quickly attain the level and body of Avalokiteshvaro with the merits accumulated today; I vow that the endless sentient beings can be placed in Avalokiteshvara’s Pure Land.” Today, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche leads all of us to recite mantras; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mind really prays on behalf of all sentient beings and is the same as the minds of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, hoping all sentient beings can be reborn in the western world of Ultimate Bliss. If everyone reverently prayed with belief and with a mind on behalf of all sentient beings, even though these were only a little more than 1000 people here, the dedication prayer everyone made today, leading by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, certainly could reach the realm of Heaven and the Pure Land, and be known by all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. What being prayed for in the dedication prayer text are not for your relatives, nor for your work and health; the prayer text wishes all sentient beings can leave the cycles of reincarnation and be reborn in the western world of Ultimate Bliss. Since everyone is among all sentient beings, this helps everyone plant a very deep cause and condition for being able to be reborn in the pure land in the future.

Some people think that there are more Tibetans who recite the Six-syllable Mani mantra and there are more Chinese who recite Buddha Amitabha’s name. This kind of statement or thinking is not quite correct. In the region of Kham in the past, because of the geography, grains could not be harvested; so there were very few vegetarians and most of the people ate meat. However, the founder of our lineage, Jigten Sumgon, was a vegetarian, and His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is a vegetarian as well. In central China in a certain period of time, some practitioners vigorously advocated Buddha Amitabha; so many people began to recite Buddha Amitabha’s name. There are even some people who think one should recite Avalokiteshvara’s mantra when one is still alive and recite Buddha Amitabha’s name when one passes away. Or some people think that ghosts will not appear in the day, so one can recite Avalokiteshvara’s mantra, while ghosts will appear in the night, so one should recite Buddha Amitabha’s name then. These all are incorrect. Originally, Avalokiteshvara had promised Buddha Sakyamuni that she would make every effort to help the sentient beings on earth. So the condition between us and Avalokiteshvara is very deep. The vow of Buddha Amitabha is to help all sentient beings of all the universe, not just earth; this is a bit different than the vow of Avalokiteshvara. So it is easier to get effects for the sentient beings on earth to practice the dharma of Avalokiteshvara.

Avalokiteshvara is Buddha Amitabha’s disciple. Buddhist sutra has prophesied that after Buddha Amitabha’s dharma teaching period in the western world of Ultimate Bliss has finished, Avalokiteshvara will succeed and become the Buddha of the western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. It is faster to implore a Bodhisattva for help than to implore a Buddha for help since a Bodhisattva still has a slightest thought of liberating sentient beings. There have always been many practitioners appearing on earth to help sentient beings; it is because the sentient beings have this kind of needs. Hence, when the sentient beings have minds of hoping to be liberated and prayed reverently, Bodhisattvas will appear to help.

Compassion is the foundation of all dharmas. When conducting the dharma of the fortune god, if one has not attained accomplishments in the dharma of Avalokiteshvara, the fortune god will not come since the fortune god is Avalokiteshvara’s disciple. How would the guru’s disciple come if one has not attained accomplishments in the guru’s dharma? Maharatnakuta sutra has documented that Maitreya Bodhisattva once asked Buddha Sakyamuni, “What kind of a mind a Bodhisattva should have in order to be reborn in Buddha Amitabha’s Pure Land?” Maitreya Bodhisattva had already had his own Pure Land, but still praised Buddha Amitabha’s vowing power and asked such a question. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will not distinguish among the Buddha lands of one another; those who will distinguish are not Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. One does not have to recite Buddha Amitabha’s name in order to be reborn in the western world of Ultimate Bliss; reciting other Buddha or Bodhisattva’s name could let one be reborn in Buddha Amitabha’s Pure Land as well. It is not that if you practice the dharma of a specific Buddha you will certainly be reborn in his Pure Land either. It all depends on causes and conditions. Sometimes if you want to go to a certain Buddha’s land, another Buddha will come to help you. Actually, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ Pure Lands are all connected. As long as you make vows, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will come to help you succeed. Buddhist sutra has demonstrated this truth; it is you who still distinguish among the different Pure Lands.

Mercy, compassion, and Bodhicitta are the Buddha dharmas we must learn, practice, and attain achievements. However, they cannot be easily achieved in a day, two days, a month, or two months; they have to be continuously sustained and accumulated for a very long time. Without compassion and Bodhicitta as the foundation, reciting even more mantras can only accumulate your virtue of listening to Buddha dharma in your future generations of lives and will not have any effect to your Buddha dharma practice.

So far, your so-called compassionate minds are all pretentious and pure imaginations. The most important thing right now is not to ask you to do, but is to train your mind. One needs to have a compassionate mind first, and then one can have the strength of compassion to help sentient beings later. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has already attained the strength of compassion; any action Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche takes is for benefiting sentient beings. When a person has a compassionate mind, anything cannot harm him and he will have no enemy as well. After Buddha Sakyamuni had attained Buddhahood, someone took stones to throw at him; but it did not hurt Buddha Sakyamuni because Buddha had attained the perfect compassion. One’s every behavior is generated from one’s mentality; if one has the thinking of compassion, one will naturally demonstrate it out. After you have attained compassion, even if someone wants to harm you, he will not be willing to do it when he sees you. This is definitely not because you kneel down fawningly to beg for mercy, but because the strengths of compassion are in there to protect you.

Sutra of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva has stated, “Any mind or thought an ordinary person gives rise to is karma, is crime.” You should look after your mind. December, 2009 in Japan, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has already prophesied Year 2010, the year of tiger, will not be a good year and will have many fires and earthquakes. In fact, after the beginning of this year for just more than ten days, there was already a big earthquake which killed many people; the factories of some big companies were burnt by fires occurred one after another; there were deaths and damages caused by serious car accidents. Because of their evil karmas, these people were affected by the manifestation of the evil results of the year confrontation of this year. If you have not attained a compassionate mind, many things seeing in your eyes will let you feel very sad. Those who have done evil deeds will get involved in the sentient beings’ group karma very easily.

A disciple felt that he could not feed his sick father with meat, so he asked other person to use meat to feed his father and thought that this will have nothing to do with him. However, it is three times of the original crime if one knows clearly that something should not be done, but sill instigates others to do it.

Buddha dharma follows the principle of causes and conditions. Buddha Sakyamuni had once enlightened people that he could not liberate all sentient beings and could not liberate those who did not have the conditions with him. Some people did not believe that there were people who had no condition with the Buddha in Buddha Sakyamuni’s era. Buddha then said, “There is a woman who had no condition with the Buddha in the previous generations of lives, so she will not see the Buddha.” When Buddha Sakyamuni walked in front of her, because of the Buddha’s solemn appearance, she bowed her head and did not dare to look at the Buddha. Buddha then squatted down and lifted his head to let this woman see him; but she lifted her head up and did not look at the Buddha. Buddha then stood up on tiptoe and wanted to let her see him again from top to bottom. The woman then turned her head and never had any visual contact with the Buddha. Hence, if other persons do not see you even with a glance, they do not have conditions with you. In fact, this can be a good thing for you.

Many people would consider someone as having no karmic conditions if they have not learned Buddhism. But actually it does not refer to those who have learned Buddhism but they do not show firm belief, nor do they follow Buddhist teachings. While people are hearing the Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teachings, some of them could realize but some of them could not; some people accepts while some other people do not believe the teachings at all. Those are simply having no karmic conditions. The analogy can be found in a teacher-and-students relation. Some students comprehend so quickly but some students could not understand after all. It means having no conditions. People who are encountered sufferings come to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, if they do not implore for the help, they have no karmic conditions. Not long ago, a disciple who is a woman accompanied a believer, a man, to meet Rinpoche. The disciple hurriedly spoke a lot and intended to have Rinpoche perform a favor for her in order that the man would consider she is a nice person. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the disciple to go away. However, the man mistakenly thought that Rinpoche was also asking him to leave and he went out right away. It is another example of having no karmic conditions.

Recently a disciple, female, was diagnosed with cerebral tumor. Some people might doubt the efficacy of the Dharma that why she acquired the disease even though she has been attending pujas for a long period. 7 years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had aware they will encounter something, and instructed them to join Rinpoche’s company as employees so that they could be under the protection of Rinpoche’s merits. But the couple refused the offer as they calculated the salaries and thought of their other interests. Regarding their refusal, they thought it had no big deal because they will have reverence toward the guru as well. Actually, the power of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is definitely efficacious. Each time what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche tells is truth; if you do not accept it you would have arguments with the guru. The blessings upon you would become void. Right upon your taking refuge to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Rinpoche has explained in details to you that do not have any arguments with the guru. But you have separated the teachings based on your own mind. That is, you accept the speech that Rinpoche gave on the Dharma throne as Dharma; but you consider the words, those Rinpoche talked about you, as your own private business and consider it to do nothing with the Dharma. The Dharma is not necessarily conveyed in Buddhist terminologies, as long as the speech and actions that benefit other people they are the Dharma. If the disciple who has cerebral tumor has not been attending the pujas regularly, she would have been passed. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not decide what you should do or not, but rather your own karma would determine the results.

Some people who have cancer are thinking that they are almost dying. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recited recent scientific discoveries why human dies is not due to the disease but is because the body organs degenerate to the point of death. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did tell us everybody that cancer is not equal to the death. Many patients of cancer have not died of cancer itself but have died of second disease taking place at the same time. You ought to not mistake that your cancer will be cured because you have attended pujas for years. Through your presence in the pujas, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could relieve your painfulness and sufferings in contrast to those cancer patients, could relieve your fear as well. It is because of the sufferings, you are motivated to attend pujas and to learn Buddhism. Many Siddhas of the lineage had experienced a lot of worldly sufferings before their attainment. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was diagnosed with skin cancer, Rinpoche did not forget it but instead Rinpoche made dedications to the skin cancer, get along with the cancer and offer all the Rinpoche’s benefits to it. Not until year 2007 during the three-month retreat at Lapchi snow area, the final piece of cancer crust dropped off and now the disease is completely cured. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not consulted with doctors for his skin cancer, nor has any medical examinations and tracking. It does not mean you should not go to see doctors. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would take some medicine as well, but Rinpoche’s motivation has been to maintain the body for the benefits of the beings but not to cure his own disease.

Each time when you come to the puja, you should not have the notion that it is merely to participate a study class or to listen a lecture. What the teachings bestowed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche should be practiced and take actions by yourself. The Thirty-Seven Practices of the Buddhists should be practiced before you go to bed each day. It is to inspect your own body, speech and mind, to find out your own evils. The Five Vows, the Ten Virtues, and the teachings by the guru has to be fully followed, you have? You have to follow the teachings completely, so that things might change. Take Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as an example, Rinpoche has been always completely following the teachings and guidance of His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, so there are changes encountered in this life.

After completion of the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to have audience meetings with believers and disciples at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei who come to implore for Rinpoche’s help, and gave enlightenment to them with Buddhism and helped them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world. It was almost without a break; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had fulfilled all their requests till eight thirty in the evening. A great practitioner as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who has not any regards for his own hardships, has shown us the perfect manifestation of wisdom, mercy and compassion.

January 24, 2010

The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the auspicious puja of Green Tara at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei, and bestowed the following teachings: The dharma of Green Tara is not practiced in Chinese Exoteric Buddhism. Perceiving all sentient beings in the six realms were undergoing the suffering of reincarnation, Avalokitesvara wept two teardrops that became the White Tara and Green Tara, respectively. Practicing the dharma of White Tara can subdue our obstacles, whereas practicing the dharma of Green Tara can fulfill sentient beings’ wishes. What are often practiced include the dharma of Green Tara, White Tara, Red Tara, and Yellow Tara. Taras are the deities that have not attained Buddhahood, nor have they achieved the level of a great bodhisattva. The emergence of Taras was to correspond to the vows of Avalokitesvara. Therefore, Taras are responsive to all requests from sentient beings so to help Avalokitesvara liberate all sentient beings in suffering. Additionally, since Green Tara is the head of twenty-one Taras, practicing the dharma of Green Tara is equivalent to practicing the dharma of twenty-one Taras.

The word Tara comprises two meanings. One is to help sentient beings to be liberated from the suffering of reincarnation, and the other means a female. Female forms in Buddhism are often used to represent compassion, which is metaphoric to the caring of a mother to her children. “Drolma” is a popular name among Tibetan girls; it means Tara (Du-Mu) in Tibetan. In Tibetan Buddhism, many deities such as Green Tara and A-Chi are female; female forms represent wisdom and compassion. It, however, doesn’t mean that only females can practice dharma of these deities. Male practitioners can practice dharma of female deities, too. Every one of us must have a mother to give birth to us so the mothers, that we are well aware of, are used to represent compassion. Why not fathers? In general, fathers represent authority.

According to the Buddhist sutras, one’s birthday is indeed his mother’s suffering day. It’s because the pain a mother endured while delivering a baby is as if she was entering into the gate of hell. Some mothers would even die during or after delivering. Although there is caesarean section to help reducing the pain, a mother still suffers many torments during the ten-month pregnancy. The meaning of birthday lies in the fact that after this particular day you walk closer towards death. It’s, therefore, actually not worthwhile to celebrate your birthday. It’s erroneous to celebrate one’s birthday or to get upset when your boyfriend or girlfriend forgot your birthday. On the special date of your birth, what you should do is to diligently practice Buddha Dharma, carry out more virtuous deeds and then dedicate all the merits to your mother of present life, and even to your mothers and fathers of past lives.

We shouldn’t be oblivious to our mothers’ grace. As long as she’d given birth to you, she is a good mother. Someone would complain that his mother has not been kind to him. This, however, is due to your mutual gratitude and resentments of lifetimes. Without such gratitude and resentments, you’ll not gather in the same family. If you ever talked back to, quarreled with or ignored your mothers, you would fall into the Hell Realm. You’d accomplish nothing in learning Buddhism if you can’t practice filial piety to your mothers. In ancient China, Confucius had advocated “xiao-shun (filial piety),” which two Chinese characters have profound wisdom. Without “xiao”(filial), there can’t be “shun” (piety).

Buddhist sutras have also described that in addition to not being oblivious to your mothers’ and fathers’ kindness to give birth to you, you shouldn’t forget your guru’s kindness, your country’s kindness, sentient beings’ kindness, Buddhas’ and Bodhisattvas’ kindness. How can you be a human being if you would forget your mother’s kindness? You are all ungrateful! If one can’t be grateful to his mother, he can’t be grateful to his father, teachers, elderly, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas. It’s no use to learn Buddhism, if one can’t support and look after his mother.

Most westerners believe that humans are created by God and are given birth by mothers’ bodies, and therefore they don’t take filial piety seriously. Although they also feel grateful to their parents, they don’t think highly of the filial piety as the Asian people do due to the absence of the Saints like Confucius.

One would obtain Green Tara’s blessings and help by praying Green Tara with devotion and reverence. Now you can see there is a dharma photo of Green Tara on the glass pane of the Mandala. The photo was printed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in 1989. At that point of time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was unemployed. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reverently prayed Green Tara for helping Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to find a job as soon as possible so as to provide and care for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother. Soon after that, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche found a job and was employed just as prayed. To thank Green Tara for the blessing, and to let more people obtain Green Tara’s help, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche offered all of his first month salary, excluding expense for food, to print hundreds thousands of the dharma picture of Green Tara and to present them to people. Now the one on the glass pane of the Mandala is the last one.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to conduct the Green Tara rituals. After one section of rituals was completed, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche proceeded to bestow enlightenment: the prayer that was just recited is about the arousal of aspiration as well as the offerings. Arousal of aspiration refers to developing Bodhicitta, i.e. the aspiration of practicing Buddhism for others to obtain Buddha-Dhamra’s help, but not for egoist benefit. During the process of conducting rituals, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on behalf of sentient beings constantly made offering to Green Tara. This was a particular offering ritual, the Four Mandalas Puja to Green Tara. It was said in the prayer verses to make the offering with own wealth and virtuous roots. Virtuous roots here means practitioner’s accumulated virtues and merits of lifetimes by practicing of Buddhism, which you have not achieved yet. It is stated in the dharma text “one who possesses compassion”, therefore, to make the prayers take effect, the ritual needs to be conducted by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on behalf of you, since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not pray for self own.

All the performing of rituals needs making offering. Making offering is a kind of skillful means. The so-called skillful means are the methods to practice Buddha-Dharma in daily life, no matter while eating, waking, or sleeping. Through making offering, sentient beings whose wisdom have not been enlightened yet could accumulate their provisions. All Buddhist learners must have the accumulations of merits and wisdom. Without merits, one could not approach Buddhism. Without, wisdom, one could not understand Buddha-Dharma even if he listens to it. Through the rituals of Green Tara, Guru could help you for tranquilize all kinds of obstacles such as illnesses, poverty, and battles. That is, these obstructions would not necessarily disappear, but they would not hinder you from learning and cultivating Buddhism. However, the enhancement of life, merits and virtues, and wisdom still depend on one’s own practice and cultivation of Buddha-Dharma. Obtaining these is not for enjoyment and use in this life, but for liberation from the cycle of birth and death, for cut off reincarnation.

While making an offering, what really matters is the intention, not the offering objects. Although merely they are just some small pieces of pastries, making offering of them during the conducting of rituals would still took effect.

Prior to the start of puja, a female disciple shared with attendees a story about her son who acquired cancer in the bones and, after his heath, obtained transference of consciousness to the Pure Land through Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducting Phowa ritual for him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the enlightenment: before her son’s consciousness was transferred through Phowa, the female disciple had harbored suspect for all the Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings that she listened to in puja. She did not believe what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said. It was not until her son passed away did she started to believe and tried to make an offering of a house, which is still worth millions dollars, deducted the outstanding loans. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche refused to accept her offering of house due to her incorrect motivation. If she had made the offering before her son died, her son would have suffered less. Knowing her lack of offering heart, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still compassionately gave her instructions of doing 200 times of full prostration per day, so as to make an offering with her physical pains and reduce her son’s suffering and sorrow.

You all have a habit to present gift money before and after the favor: You would give a little bit before the thing takes place and give some more after the thing is done. Yet, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche makes an offering with all his wealth as well as his merits and virtues accumulated through practice. Do not get mistaken that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wants the money. The fact is that one will not have merits without making any offering. Without merits, one cannot understand the Buddhist teachings even he gets to hear them. Without merits, someone will stop you from learning Buddhism, too. If one has the heart to make an offering, he will be able to make an offering even with something as small as a thread. If one doesn’t have the heart to make an offering, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not accept his offering even it is a house. The key is not the amount of money in an offering, but the heart of offering. Many people are reluctant to give up and are afraid of having nothing after making an offering. In fact, they get even more in return. If one doesn’t give, how can he obtain?

The female disciple’s family thought the doctor should be consulted when it comes to illnesses and even argued over such an issue. You all believe the doctors, for they have studied and are knowledgeable. Nevertheless, will the compassionate Buddhas and Bodhisattvas possibly deceive us? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t say that the doctors are wrong. However, what you are doing now is just like mistaking the illusionary dreaming as stated in the Heart Sutra: You regard the right things as the wrong ones, and yet regard the wrong things as the right ones.

For those with illnesses, inharmonious families, or unsuccessful businesses, this practice will work. Nonetheless, though Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducts the same practice, it works for some people but doesn’t work for others. It is determined by the faith in each attendee’s heart. Therefore, the most important thing of all for one while attending a puja is to have repentance, faith, and reverence.

The Buddhist teachings cannot be understood with your life experiences accumulated in previous and current lives. The Buddhist teachings are to be realized. Realization doesn’t mean that you are able to understand and know what the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas talk about. There are many types of realizations, such as a profound and complete realization or a minor and partial realization. In modern language, to realize is to completely know your faults, and thoroughly correct them without making them again. The reason why you would make the mistakes again lies in that you lack repentance. As to those who know the suffering in reincarnation and don’t want to be reincarnated, would they ever make another mistake?

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that the Dharma text of the practice of Green Tara conducted today is extremely auspicious. As stated in the text, the practice would help the sentient beings to practice and observe the attainment. The so-called practice refers to one’s correction of his own body, speech, and mind and his applying of the Buddhist teachings to his daily life. To observe is for one to make use of the Buddhist teachings and precepts bestowed by the guru to keep oneself mistake-free. Before the action is taken and the thought is generated, one should take notice of their evil. It will be too late after the thought is generated. After one generates an evil thought, it would be better if he knows about his own evil thought. However, when a thought is generated, an action shall follow naturally. Someone went to seek the advice of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and asked why he himself kept having evil thoughts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that it was because the person didn’t practice, observe, or follow the teachings. If one acts according to the teachings, takes notice and eradicates the origin of his evil thoughts, he will refrain from having evil thoughts in a natural way as time passes. When one practices and observe the attainment, his evil karma will then be eliminated so as to enable him to accumulate merits and wisdom. If you fail to practice, keep, or know for sure what your mistakes are so that you can correct yourself without making such mistakes again, your merits and wisdom won’t arise. If one’s merits and wisdom don’t arise, he will be deceiving himself and the others even with daily recitation at home while considering himself a Buddhist. It is not certainly sure that a person who listens to the Buddhist teachings every day is someone who practices and observes.

It also stated in the dharma text that the dharma can help “…. to eliminate bad karma” for everyone. This does not mean that bad things will not happen. The “elimination” in the dharma text does not mean that the karmic retribution will no longer appear; it means that the power of the karmic retribution will not affect you and become your obstacles of learning and practicing Buddha dharma. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will get ill like others; however, for others, it may take 5 days to get better while it only takes one day for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to recover. Things will still happen as usual and karmic retributions will still appear as usual; but the strengths of these happenings will not prevent us from practicing Buddha dharma. In 1994, although a full year without a job, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still did not starve to death; although having no money to pay the rent, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not become homeless and still had clothes to wear; during the summer, there was no air-conditioning in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s home; and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not dare to turn on the fans for fear that there would be no money to pay electricity bills and only kept a refrigerator at home. Under such circumstance, however, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still lived happily and spent the whole year to repay the karmic debts. This was because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had received the protection and support of the Yidam deities. It was the same as what had stated in the Buddhist sutra that those practitioners who truly practice Buddha dharma will obtain food, clothes, and shelters naturally without asking for these things.

The greatest evil is to sit here and listen to Buddha dharma but still have doubts in your mind. All of you here should no longer have doubts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not charged you any admission fee for you to attend every week’s puja, so you should not listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Buddha dharma teachings with a doubtful mind.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led all attendees to recite a paragraph of the prayers and to recite the heart mantra of Green Tara for a very long time.

After the perfect conduction of the dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to bestow all attendees the enlightenment about the auspicious benefits of conducting the dharma of Green Tara for everyone. Conducting the dharma of Green Tara can let the practitioner be reborn in a place where there are Buddha dharma. Do not think that as long as one is given birth in the world where there is Buddha dharma one will be able to listen to Buddha dharma. Haiti where an earthquake disaster has recently happened is a place where Buddha dharma does not exist; even if one wants to learn and practice Buddha dharma, one will not be able to find a way to start. So we pray to Green Tara for helping us to be reborn in the human or heaven realm in our future generations of lives and in a place where Buddha dharma can be heard.

It has stated in the dharma text that conducting the dharma can help all sentient beings “… to cleanse the two hindrances”. There are two major types of hindrances for practicing Buddha dharma, namely the hindrance by the known and the afflictive hindrance. If one thinks that one knows and understands because one has learned a lot, one will not be able to achieve the attainment of compassion. Each person has already reincarnated for innumerable generations of lives in the six realms. What he has accumulated and has known are all life experiences; and life experiences are completely irrelevant to the thing of liberating from the cycles of reincarnations. Every person has the afflictive hindrance. The Buddhist sutra has stated that human beings have eighty-four thousand kinds of afflictions. Our feeling hot and cold or feeling hungry are all afflictions; we worry when we have nothing to do and we also worry when we have too much things to do; having no money causes us trouble, but having too much money causes us trouble as well. Everything in the world is our affliction. Even practicing Buddha dharma causes one to feel worried; thinking that you recite mantra better, others recite mantra too loud, or others recite mantra better than you, etc are all afflictions.

Affliction comes from greed. Conducting the dharma of Green Tara can help everyone reduce afflictions and delusions, or reduce nightmares at night. Having so much delusions or having nightmares at night are all because one has too much greed.

The pureness and cleanness mentioned in the dharma text doe not mean having nothing, but means that not letting the energy of evil karma affect your practice of Buddha dharma. In fact, these sins will not affect us originally; we feel affected because our mind moves. If we can cleanse these two types of hindrances, we will be able to accumulate two types of assets, namely wisdom and virtues, which will let us be liberated from the cycles of rebirth and death in this life and leave the suffering ocean of reincarnations. Why won’t some people listen to Buddha and Bodhisattvas’ words? Sometimes, you just did not listen to the Buddha dharma taught by the guru. This was because you did not have a repentant heart so your karmic creditors did not want you to listen. As long as you have a repentant mind, your karmic creditors will then let you accept the teachings of Buddha, Bodhisattvas, and the guru. If you have accumulated virtues and wisdom, you will be able to listen and accept Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s words.

Don’t let your ill parents take any meat as they wish. Nowadays, there are many kinds of vegetable flesh made to imitate meat available in the market. You could use it as a substitute for meat. If they reacted that the taste is somehow different, you could say that their sense of taste is affected because of their illness. Doing so is not a lie, but is giving clever words for their sake. Do not rely on Bodhisattvas and the guru to help solve all your problems. When important things happen to you, you might come and entreat the Rinpoche for help. Besides, you have to also exercise your wits. If members of your family always would like to take meat, that would be due to your karmic debt through the act of killing. Furthermore, if you quarrel with each other over eating meat, it indicates that you do not well follow the teachings. If you, as the owner of your home, do not practice the teachings, how would it be possible to ask the others to follow as well? As the owner of your home, you do not enforce the rules according to your own ideas, but you have to be the first one to make good deeds.

In the scripture, it is written “Tara, please do understand my sorrows and sufferings, bestow your blessings upon me, and let me be free from grief and fear.” The aforementioned sorrows and sufferings are not referring to the worldly aspects such as painfulness of illness or emotional sadness. It refers to the sufferings from reincarnation. All the worldly sufferings, even though suffering of the death, cannot be compared to the suffering of reincarnation. And, the grief and fear also refers to those of reincarnation. In comparison between death and reincarnation, reincarnation is indeed more horrible. Therefore, the supplication we made of the Tara is to realize our sufferings of reincarnations and to show us a way of rebirth in the pure lands. Although the doctrine of non-Buddhist tells that the spirits will go back to the place of the God; all the sentient beings in the Six Realms will fall into samsara, as indicated by the Buddha Dharma. Don’t ever think that reincarnation has nothing to do with you. You simply could not see and feel the extreme torment of the sentient beings, which is caused by reincarnations in the Six Realms; you have the delusion that you have a happy life.

If the Green Tara ritual is performed for a king, the wealth of the nation would be increased and the neighboring countries would be delighted.

The practice of Green Tara would stop horrible things from happening, earthquake for instance. It also tells in the scripture that one can be free from troubles of plagues. Having the blessings from the tutelary yidam (deity), a practitioner would not be infected with the plagues except that he violets his vows. In general, plagues are caused by the bacteria disseminated by the Maras. We called them the god of plagues.

Upon completion of the ritual, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had all the attendees to follow him to recite the dedication prayer. In the scripture, it tells that “By this virutes quickly accumulated as I could, may I soon attain the spirits of Tara’s supreme holy body.” The utmost virtue is to liberate oneself from the cycle of life and death. Through the dedication, the practitioner’s obstacles to the Buddhist path could be eliminated, the virtues for rebirth in the Buddha’s pure land could be increased then. Attainment refers to that one can be liberated from the cycle of life and death and escape from reincarnations. One has to make supplications so that the blessings could be received.

Right after the completion of today’s puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to have his audience with near eighty believers. It was not until more than 7:30pm that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche left the throne.

January 29, 2010

The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the auspicious Chod puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the following teachings: The non-Buddhist religions do not have the dharma of liberation as Buddhism does. The Buddhist liberation comprises two meaning. One is to help sentient beings refrain from the suffering ocean of reincarnation; the other meaning is saying to help sentient beings reach the other shore. Or the Buddhist liberation is to help sentient beings gain rebirth in the Pure Land of Buddhas. It can’t be achieved just by reciting sutras, reciting mantras, placing the Dharani sutra covering over the deceased, sprinkling vajra sand, burning paper money, tossing the jiao in front of a coffin, nor folding paper lotuses printed with Dharani sutra. None of them was depicted in the Buddhist sutras. Performing methods that are not stated in the Buddhist sutras is superstitious. Buddha would never deceive us. Additionally, “not lying”, one of the precepts that Buddha Sakyamuni taught us to observe, is to teach us not to lie, or not to say things we don’t know and to say things we know that could help others.

Some people think they don’t have to continue attending pujas anymore because they thought their ancestors and karmic creditors had already been liberated by their one-shot attending puja. Such a thought is incorrect. It is recorded in the Sutra of the Great Vows of Ksitigarbha that one should widely perform Buddhist activities for the sake of the deceased. The meaning of “widely” here doesn’t refer to reciting sutras or worshiping Buddha statues in numerous temples. Instead, it means these Buddhist activities, through the pujas conducted by capable practitioners, are powerful to have absolute faith in Buddhism and earnestly pray and make offering to Buddhas with reverence and repentance. People are likely to be forgetful after having received helps from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, thinking their ancestors had already been liberated and they are now safe and sound.

Nonetheless, we shouldn’t be ungrateful. Buddhas won’t become upset, nor will Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. It is the karmic creditors who will get enraged. Since they are still in suffering of the three evil realms will get enraged, we ought to continuously learning Buddhism so that they may eventually be liberated. Even some of them who had been liberated by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and were reborn in the heavenly realm or pure lands haven’t achieved Buddhahood yet, still having the habitual mental patterns of human beings. When alive as human beings, their power was limited. But where they were reborn in the heavenly realm they would have supernatural power. As soon as they realize that their offspring doesn’t sincerely learn Buddhism, they’d become furious. When your parents are ill, you’d feel uneasy. If your ancestors are still suffering in the three evil realms, many troubles would emerge in your life, too. Don’t think that the killing karma of your ancestors has nothing to do with you. In fact, if you had not committed the same karma, you’d not be born in the same family. You have the same genes with your ancestors. If your ancestors’ genes haven’t improved by your learning Buddhism, your genes won’t be changed, either. That’s why you’d become ill.

Because of your attending the pujas, your ancestors of previous generations can obtain opportunities to be liberated. Basically, all sentient beings should have equal chances to be liberated, but it is the case. Why? It’s because the lack of help from their offspring. In addition to the causes and conditions of your attending the pujas, what is more important is to have an authentic practitioner who has achieved realization to help them. It’s like when you need to travel to some place by airplane but you don’t have enough money. You’ll need a wealthy person to help you. If this person doesn’t have enough money, he won’t be able to buy you a ticket. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are the ones who manufacture those airplanes and ships that are used to reaching the other shore, whereas Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is the one who can assist you to aboard the airplanes or ships. Those who come to attend the pujas are the ones know and inform you the information of transportation.

Each of the dharmas performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche during pujas is equal to attendees without discrimination. How come they are useful to someone while useless to others? The effectiveness is connected to the cause and condition and the merits of the deceased as well as to the reverence of the attendees. In other words, the effectiveness is related to whether the deceased’s family has sufficient reverence towards Buddha Dharma. If attendees came with doubts and without respects, the effects of the dharmas are certainly negligible, nor will it be helpful to the deceased. It doesn’t mean the dharma doesn’t work. It doesn’t mean Buddhas and Bodhisattvas don’t work, either. It’s your heart doesn’t work. He who can perform this puja to liberate sentient beings must have accumulated sufficient merits, diligently practiced Buddha Dharma, and attained compassion and void of nature, and must not pursue for worldly fame and wealth. Above all, he must have achieved the first stage of Bodhisattvas. Not to cultivate the fame is not to appear on TV shows, newspapers, nor advertisement for the sake of popularity. Not craving for wealth is not to designate any fee for attending the puja. Whether attendees make offerings or not is also at their will. Don’t think that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is an ordinary human being who eat and sleep like you. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is by no means similar to you. If the conductor of the Chod puja has not attained compassion and void of nature, he’ll die after one or two pujas. To liberate sentient beings can’t be achieved effortlessly as one’s please.

That evening, one believer in the puja was yawning while listening to the Buddha Dharma. This was an indication of lack of reverence. He felt exhausted after a long day work, feeling that the enlightenment of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche didn’t relate to him. That’s why he’d yawn and his body couldn’t hold still. Seeing such behaviors, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reprimanded him and asked him to leave if he didn’t wish to attend the puja. Managing about one hundred employees and taking care of about one thousand disciples, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche surely is busier than any of you. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has neither the holidays nor breaks. Even for the convenient store, 7-11, from time to time, it’d close for some reasons. For Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the mission to help sentient beings would never cease. For instance, beginning at nine o’clock in the morning till the evening to perform the Chod puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not rest at all.

The reason of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche being so severe lies in that all of your behaviors during puja will cause their effect. For example, yawning during puja will plant the seed of falling into the realm of animal, and it is also a behavior of one’s delusion – like a dog that yawns once it feels tired. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not want to see that you come to puja yet plant the evil seed, so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would strictly remind you of not making any mistake on the spot, so as to help you eliminate an evil cause. Those who constantly attend Chod puja but unwilling to adopt a vegetarian diet and learn Buddhism do not believe in the law of cause and effect, nor do they believe in Buddha-Dharma. Thus, they cannot obtain blessings even though they attend pujas. One ought to attend puja with his body, speech and mind.

A few days ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the rare and auspicious Phowa ritual for a female disciple. This female disciple had lung cancer and brain cancer. Her lungs and brain were full of cancer cells. Doctor did not think she could live up to such a long period. In a normal case, when a patient of lung cancer is dying, the patient’s nose and mouth would bleed; when a patient of brain cancer is dying, he would lose his consciousness. And there is no cancer patient who does not cry out in pain. However, this female disciple did not have this kind suffering or pain. Moreover, no morphine was applied to her but she remained fully conscious until she passed away. What was the true help? It was Buddha-Dharma. This female disciple had ever defamed Buddhism and guru. She thought she just needed to stay at home to practice Buddhism and recite Buddha’s names by herself. For a while, she learned Buddhist teachings in fits and starts. Afterwards, however, she made repentance as well as offering. Although her karma could not be changed, Buddha-Dharma lightened her karmic effect, and gave her an opportunity to repay her debts incurred from life after lives in one time with her physical suffering.

Buddhist teachings do not change as time or space changes. Now it is popular in Taiwan for people to watch Buddhist television channels at home. But in fact, the phrase “The big Buddhist center in living room” is not a correct concept. Practice at home by oneself, lying in a sofa, is impossible to attain achievement. One always has to sit straight and proper when doing Buddhist practices. It is never stated in the Sutra that it should charge for participating in lamp lighting or for liberation. It is wrong to make profit through Buddha-Dharma. To set the fee means to seek wealth, which would increase the practitioner’s greed. If a practitioner has greed, he would make the deceased angry instead, and it won’t be possible for him to liberate the deceased. This is why there are no charge fees for attending pujas of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, the attendees make offering in the amount at their will, and no names of sponsors are announced. If one could obtain rebirth in the Pure Land merely through own recitation of the Sutra at home, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have been the first who would not perform retreat.

Some people make use of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and guru. They think the Friday’s Chod puja conducted by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is beneficial for them, so they come to attend. But for the Suday puja in which the Buddhist teachings are propagated, they have not decided to learn and cultivate Buddhism, so they arrange Sunday as a family day to take a rest and accompany their family. The so-called “accord with conditions” is to act in accordance with your conditions, but not doing as you wish. It is your conditions for you to attend puja, as it is also your conditions for you not to attend puja. One who haggles over everything would eventually come home to roost. Lord Jigten Sumgön has ever enlightened: after sentient beings make use of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, they will no longer diligently cultivate Buddhism. You just act in this way, making use of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and after you recover from diseases, or your problems solved, you would no longer want to cultivate Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has ever advised a female disciple not go to the USA to visit her son, she’d better spend more time in attending puja and learn the Buddha’s teachings. However, not believing and taking Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s advice, the female disciple thought family relationship is more important. Later on, in the USA she got a fall and broke her bones. Only after she got a worse health condition did she come back to Taiwan. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche speaks in view of your future, your next life, rather than the present. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not speak casually. What Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche speaks is all about your future and conclusion.

You know Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has great power, but you don’t believe in the Buddha’s teachings bestowed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Science has proved that once a thought arise in a person, it would leave a mark in the Universe. However, you neither believe in science nor the fearfulness of the law of cause and effect. You only believe your own thoughts. Thus, it’s hard for you to survive in the society. You live a life of contradictions. During the Chod puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could help to cut off all kinds of evil, as evil thoughts do not arise in you during puja. However, as soon as you leave the puja, you return to evildoing, just as what is stated in the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva: human beings on the earth are most difficult to tame and difficult to subdue.

You do not make the offering. It does not count making the offering to give your one hundred, two hundred, one thousand, or two thousand in NT dollars for attending pujas. As it costs one thousand NT dollars for you to watch a movie, you actually do not make any offering. The main karmic connection to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is through making offering. As long as you reverently make offering, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will take care of you life after lives.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has conducted Chod puja for thirteen years since 1998. Currently there is no Buddhist center in Taiwan but the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center that monthly holds Chod puja with more than one thousand attendees. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not possessed the power of liberating beings, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche would be the first one to oppose Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performing Chod, and to disallow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to ascend the dharma seat, in fear that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche may get hurt. The engraved patterns on the dharma seat and the back of it have their symbolic meanings. In the old Buddhist temples in Japan, there was a halfpace from the Tang Dynasty for a guru who was transmitting dharma. Now, no halfpace was seen in the Buddhist temples of Taiwan. The reason may be that in that period, when the halfpace was delivered to Taiwan, the Taiwanese dharma masters did not use it to sit in order to express their modesty. You don’t have to get a same one for sitting. It is not appropriate.

Once, Buddha Sakyamuni asked the disciples how human beings die. After the disciples had expressed their various opinions, Buddha then said that one dies when a single breath cannot be drawn. Breathing is a habit of human beings. When one is on the verge of death, he doesn’t know that death is coming. He then opens his mouth for the next breath but fails to get air. It is an extremely fearful experience. That is why the mouths of the deceased ones are open. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained, “You can try to pinch your nose and hold your breath underwater and see if you can experience the terrifying feeling when you fail to draw in any breath.” The Indian nun, Mother Teresa, had carried out much more virtuous deeds than you all have done, but still opened her mouth at the point of death and had to go through the terror of death. If you still do not refrain from committing evil acts and carry out virtuous deeds, nor learn Buddhism diligently, you will suffer a lot before you pass away. Any deceased one who has been transferred with Phowa by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gradually closes his open mouth. It means that he is freed from suffering. With the scary experience on the point of death, the muscles throughout one’s body become stiff. One’s joint at his mandible gets fixed once he passes away. Only when pressing it with hot water can others force his mouth to close. However, the fear in a deceased person who is transferred with Phowa will vanish at the moment when his consciousness leaves the body along with his suffering and his body thereby becomes flexible. That is why the mouth closes automatically. It is impossible to explain with the medical sciences. Everyone has to go through this process when he or she dies, unless you are a practitioner with help of the Buddhist teachings.

Everyone here shall die, no matter how old you are right now. There isn’t any other education to teach us to face our future. There isn’t any other education to teach us to face our death, either. Only the Buddhist teachings can. Without the Buddhist teachings, we will have no lives. All of you have been helped by the Buddhist teachings, but you could not realize this. Without the Buddhist teachings, it is impossible for you to survive until now. Besides, when you are granted with all the things mentioned in the Dharma text such as longevity, it doesn’t mean that you may enjoy your life with them. Instead, it means that you are granted with more time so as to have sufficient time to learn Buddhism. Even when you have the merits to enjoy great power and wealth, you should not be proud of them. One should know how to lower his head in his conduct. The humbler you are, the less damage will be brought to you.

The Chod puja is one of the eight major means of accomplishment. The meaning of “accomplishment” refers to the fact that one who solely practices this puja in this life can attain Buddhahood in this lifetime. Those with lesser capacities can attain Buddhahood within the 49 days of intermediate state after his death. Those with even lesser capacities can conduct practice again until they attain Buddhahood in their next lives. The Chod puja was composed by Machig Lapdron, a lay yogini in Tibet, 1200 years ago. Machig Lapdron, who was married and had children, composed the puja based on Emptiness stated in the Mahaprajna-paramita-sutra expounded by Buddha Sakyamuni, Buddha Sakyamuni’s sacrifice with his body as a practice means, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s practice means of mercy and compassion, the Phowa, Tsa Lung Trulkhor, and the four activities of Peace, Increase, Power, Wrath. The Chod puja being conducted today can not only be for liberation, but also cure diseases, eliminate karma, and clear obstacles in one’s Buddhist study.

A practitioner usually wears protection wheels and statues of the Buddhas, but these items such as the protector wheel which protects the practitioner must be taken off during his practice of the Chod puja. This also means that the body of the practitioner who conducts the Chod puja has to accept the attacks or even be eaten or drunk by all the sentient beings. Some elderly or young children who just learned to talk often witness many sentient beings eating the flesh or drinking blood from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s body. Why would the elderly and the young children have the ability to see and you can’t? The more you want to see, the less likely you will see. The reason lies in that your heart is too complicated. The elderly and children believe in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche without having any complicated thoughts, so they naturally see it.

On behalf of the sentient beings, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche made an offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas with his own blood and flesh, which were then distributed for the sentient beings to eat. Why would the beings in the ghost realm fight to eat then? It is because they have heavy greedy thoughts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche satisfies their desires to eat and suppresses their greed and hatred so as to enable them to receive help with the Buddhist teachings and to make the obstacles in their Buddhist study vanish.

Richen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the attendees to visualize their parents and seniors on their right, their peers on the left, the sentient beings in the six realms in their back, and the karmic creditors from previous lives in front of the them facing the mandala. When the puja commenced, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked everyone to recite their own names and the names of the living ones who they wanted to help three times. Additionally, everyone was told to recite three times the names of those deceased ones who they tried to help. During the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led the attendees to recite the Six Syllable Mantra for a long while. That the attendees followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to recite the Six Syllable Mantra today was true supportive recitation, which enabled them to have the karmic connection with those who may conduct supportive recitation at their death.

At completion of the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that various types of sentient beings had come to be liberated, including those who had died in wars, fires, accidents, floods, or suicidal attempts. Even a buffalo was seen to be liberated. It meant that the ancestors of some attendees had ever killed the buffalo. The process of conducting the puja s divided into three sections: One is the preliminary practice, which tells the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that we attend the puja in order to help the sentient beings. The second section is the main practice, which is to make offerings and practice charities and generosity. The recitation of the Six Syllable Mantra is to perform the liberation. The final section is the dedication prayer. Attending the Chod puja not only transfers the beings, but also cure diseases as well. It helps to cure cold, fever, liver, gall, and to eliminate phlegm. The obstacles in your Buddhist study can be reduced or eliminated as well. Besides, it helps to get rid of the hatred in the three devils of males, females and nagas and brings youth and beauty to you. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t have any holidays and benefits the sentient beings all the time. Nevertheless, the older Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gets, the better his health condition becomes. If one wants to be young and beautiful, he or she should learn Buddhism instead of wasting a lot of money in beauty salons. You either have pale complexions or dark cloud on your face.

Chod puja will also bless all ghosts and deities to obtain a youth of painlessness and joyfulness as well as longevity without death to remain enlightened. “Without death” indicates that, in Esoteric Buddhism, there exists a dharma for practitioners to keep alive forever. In Drikung Kaygu Lineage, there are thirty-seven throne holders to this date. Among them, the thirteenth throne holder had achieved accomplishment of this dharma to remain alive so far, residing in the venue of Manjushri Bodhisattva in Mount Wutai. Several years ago, someone had recited praying text. The thirteenth Kyabgon had appeared then. Yet, in recent years, no one had gone there to recite the praying text.

You really should stop consuming any meat. One bite of meat or one spoonful meat soup will be redeemed. Even in the United Sates of America, people begin to advocate vegetarian diet. Don’t worry about the depletion of nutrition. Many elderly would break their bones when falling because of their habits of eating meat. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother is eighty-six years old and had fallen down a few times, but her bones were never broken. She is able to take care of herself without others’ assistance. She can also walk without a cane. You must believe in the law of cause and effect. After attending the puja, don’t rush immediately for a beef noodle. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother has a son Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who has been practicing Buddhism to help her. Your parents don’t have a son like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and your son may not learn Buddhism. Therefore, you have to rely on yourselves. Relying on practicing Buddha dharma by yourself diligently, you will be able to face the challenge of such significant matter as death.

For some attendees, this was their first time to attend the Chod puja. They might be curious about the need to use so many dharma instruments during the puja. Actually, every dharma instrument is endowed with certain meaning. Deploying these instruments is to benefit sentient beings. It’s not so easy to liberate sentient beings as you might imagine. Don’t think that reciting a few sutras can liberate them. Especially for those who died of resentment, you’ll have to incessantly recite sutras for one or two years in order to alleviate their implacable minds. In Exoteric Buddhism, practitioners would recite sutras in the hope to liberate the deceased. But the deceased can choose not to listen to the reciting. It’ll be effective only if practitioners recite sutras without any distracting thoughts during the entire process. Thus, this is not an easy task in Exoteric Buddhism. Reading the Sutra of the Great Vows of Ksitigarbha for several times won’t be enough, unless Ksitigarbha appears to recite the sutra in person.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche especially enlightened us the meaning of the dharma instruments. It’s necessary to use a drum and a bell while performing Chod puja. It’s not because of the pleasant rhythms they’d make. In ancient Chinese temples, on the left hand side stood a bell tower and on the right hand side a drum tower. The sound of the ringing bell Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has made can help the minds of those who came to be liberated to be calm and peaceful, ready to eliminate their hatred and to receive the help of Buddha Dharma and mantras. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then asked attendees to sit upright, listening to the sound of the bell. Distracting thoughts of all attendees all disappeared; they only heard the sound of the bell. There are different kinds of bells made with different methods and of different materials. It wouldn’t work if you simply buy a bell to ring. In addition to using a bell, the drum represents the meaning of impermanence. The sound of the drum used during the puja is similar to the sound of human heart beats. The sound of drumming can directly access to the human minds; every beat is to remind us “the impermanence.”

When conducting the dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blew a dharma instrument of a human leg bone. Using these dharma instruments made of bones in Esoteric Buddhism did not mean to scare people. Buddhist sutra has stated that there is a kind of methods called “cooperation with them” in the four dharmas of attraction. “cooperation” does not mean work together; it means that one who wants to liberate sentient beings has to become the “same species” as the sentient beings; this way, the sentient beings then can accept the dharma of liberation. The Master Dashi of scorched face in the Great Compassion Liberation Rite of Water and Land is the Avalokiteshvara’s appearance for liberating sentient beings in the ghost realm. On the one hand, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blew the human leg bone, this sound is the sound with which sentient beings in the ghost realm are familiar; so they will come quickly to receive the helps. It needs the blowing sounds for the dharma conduction because people need to hear the sounds to know what actions are taken. And bones also represent that there is only a pile of white bones left for a person in the end and there is nothing worth obsessing. In the era of Buddha Sakyamuni, he taught many monks the dharma of “contemplating skeleton”; that is, one contemplates that the fleshes of one’s body are decomposed, and are eaten and bitten by insects, finally leaving only a pile of white bones. The human leg bone dharma instrument owned by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was the dharma instrument used by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche in his previous and current lives who personally transmitted the instrument to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. There are rules for a human leg bone to become the dharma instrument; and there are definite procedures, including blessings, and so on, during the process of making the instrument. So you should not find an animal’s leg bone to blow by you and also do not think that you can learn and do the same thing as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to offer your own body for sentient beings to eat. This is of no use.

The Buddha’s crown of five skulls wearing on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s head represents the five poisons, namely greed, hatred, delusion, arrogance, and doubt; it also represents the five wisdoms and impermanence; there are a lot of meanings in it. No matter how beautiful, knowledgeable, or rich you are in this life, at the moment of your death, you have nothing. Everything is impermanent; if a thing belongs to you, it will be yours all your life; if a thing does not belong to you, you will not be able to get it by using force. It will be fine as long as you have done your duties diligently and well; there is nothing worth fighting for or obsessing in the mind. To Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, impermanence exists in every minute and every second. Attending a puja inattentively is a demonstration of one’s delusion; one will fall into the animal realm in the future.

There are black threads under the Buddha’s crown covering the eyes of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. This does not mean that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche deliberately appear mysterious or is afraid of the coming of the ghosts. This is a manifestation of compassion. The sentient beings in the ghost realm will not dare to come close for fear of the Buddha light emanated from the body of a practitioner. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will enter the meditative state when conducting the dharma and Rinpoche’s eyes will emit strong lights which will make the sentient beings in the ghost realm fear and not come close, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s eyes are blocked by the black threads in order to let them come to accept Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help. This is a display of mercy and compassion.

Those happened in your present life was rooted by the causes you had made in your previous lifetimes; while what you have been doing will turn into results of the future. The karmic results can no longer be changed because one had planted the seeds in the previous lifetimes. Only can it be changed through learning Buddhism. One should not have the notion that all the bad karma would disappear after attending pujas. If the bad karma could be simply removed, the benefits or fruition of your attending pujas would neither happen. Karmic debts must be repaid; don’t evade it. It is because one has the capability so that one’s karmic debts could be repaid. No debts, no burden on the shoulders. Therefore, if you are faced with unhappy encountering after attending pujas, the Rinpoche would congratulate you as your heavy karmic retribution has turned to slight and your bad karmic debts are thus reduced, almost to be cleared. Originally the fruition can be at the death’s door, but it gets repaid with your illness. So, if one refuses repaying the karmic debts to the death, more karmic interests of the debt would be perhaps increased. You ought to believe that whatever you encounter is under the help from Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Without Buddha Dharma, we might have fallen into any one of the lower realms.

It is the last one of Chod ritual performed in this year of cow. One cannot be here without karmic conditions and merits. While you were heading for the puja, it was during the traffic peak hours. It is not common that you are here, without a hitch, attending this puja of more than thousand people. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would like to advise everybody again that the Chinese New Year is coming and do not take the food of sacrificial offerings to the deities and ghosts. Some people think that taking the food would be beneficial, or think that it would be considered no filial if not taking the food. Indeed, taking it is not beneficial. The manner you outflank the others to get the meat of sacrificial offerings to the deities and ghosts is similar to those ghosts who struggled to take the flesh and blood of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in the Chod ritual. Confucius had ever said that respect deities and ghosts but stay far away. Cantonese have a convention that they used to take vegetarian diet in the very first day of the Chinese New Year, although few of them are still following it. In fact, taking vegetarian diet is good to you. Though your family might oppose to it at present, they will learn some day. However, one should not cause one’s family members to defame Buddha. Be alert and think about the techniques. For example, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to become a vegetarian, his family disagreed that. The Rinpoche then had masqueraded to vomit the taken meat for a couple of times, and his family did not object it any more.

Chinese people are that bad, because they used to complain that their geomantic omen is bad, the name tablet of their ancestors is not well set, they blame on their ancestors. But they would not honor their ancestors if they encounter good things. As an analogy, if your parents would have got sickness, would the children be also affected? If your ancestors are still suffering the reincarnations, would you become better? It is up to you to attend pujas or not, however don’t commit to bad evils any more.

January 30, 2010

The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over a refuge ceremony during the puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei, to grant 62 believers’ seeking refuge. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has bestowed the following teachings: The ceremony of taking refuge would be held because some believers have implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for it. The Buddhist refuge ceremony is simple, but the meaning of taking refuge is extremely far-reaching and profound. The ceremony of taking refuge in Buddhism is different from that of receiving baptism in other religions. In other religions, their gods are omnipotent. The purpose of being baptized is to let you become citizens of gods. You would be subordinate to and serve your gods. Nonetheless, the ceremony of taking refuge in Buddhism embodies a very different meaning. It is like, prior to going to school, you have to register and then receive education from your teachers. In Buddhism, it never occurs that you’ll fall into hells if you don’t believe in Buddhas or that nothing will ever happen to you as long as you have faith in Buddhas. In a strict sense, Buddhism is not even a religion. Rather, it’s an education. Buddha Sakyamuni isn’t the founder of Buddhism but rather a mentor to all sentient beings, who is also called an root teacher. Buddha Sakyamuni had taught sentient beings the ways of leaving the suffering ocean of reincarnation and achieving Buddhahood by demonstrating his own experiences. As Buddha Sakyamuni attained the realization under the bodhi tree, he had raised a question: Since Buddha has obtained realization, why can’t sentient beings obtain Buddhahood, given the fact that they are all endowed with the same quality as Buddha? Although Buddha had guided the path to reach Buddhahood, it still depends on ourselves to practice Buddhism and to carry out virtuous deeds.

If one can rely on his guru without any practices, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be the first not to practice because his guru is His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. Why would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche go to perform retreat for three months at Lapchi Mt. in 2007? When you started first grade, you all followed your teachers’ commands accordingly without your own thoughts. Now you just began to learn Buddhism, but you already perceived yourselves as college students. You have your own thoughts and don’t follow your guru’s teachings. In fact, metaphorically speaking, you are less than kindergarteners. When you are in first grade, teachers would show you how to be a good student. If you don’t do home work nor review lessons after classes, you can’t learn anything. You won’t receive a good report card, either. Learning Buddhism is the same as if you were in first grade. If you don’t follow what your guru have taught you accordingly, you’d achieve nothing. Don’t think you have learned enough only because you know how to read sutras.

Lord Sakyamuni had enlightened that he couldn’t help sentient beings in three situations. He couldn’t help those who were lack of conditions, couldn’t liberate all sentient beings, and couldn’t alter karmic retributions of sentient beings. The meaning of “lack of conditions” refers to the situation in which one doesn’t accordingly follow Buddha’s teachings. Buddha can’t change karmic retributions, either, but he can teach sentient beings how to do it by themselves. So-called “Buddha sutras” are the practicing experience of Lord Buddha, in which Buddha taught sentient beings how to alter their karmic retributions. Some people are mistaken that everything will become better and their illness will be cured after taking refuge. Such concept is incorrect. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have been equally looking after all sentient beings, especially those who are most in pain. All those sentient beings who had been harmed by you would also implore Buddhas’ and Bodhisattvas’ help. Buddha Dharma has taught us to abandon our greediness. If you think every trouble of yours will be eliminated because of your taking refuge, such thought is a presumption, a kind of greediness. Moreover, such thought has deviated from Buddha Dharma. As soon as your greediness emerged, you’ve continuously committed evil karma. Because your every single thought is for benefiting yourself, therefore you linger in reincarnation continuously.

Buddhism stresses on the law of cause and condition. The cause and effect and the cause and condition are the natural law in the universe. If you have done evil deeds, you will certainly get retributions. If carrying out evil deeds will not be redeemed with retributions or conducting virtuous deeds will not get kind in return, who is going to conduct virtuous behaviors? If so, this world will turn into chaos. One may argue that someone has done many evil deeds, how come he’d still enjoy all kinds of good fortune? This is because the time hasn’t come yet. One also may as well challenge that someone has carried out virtuous deeds why he’d still get ill? Perhaps it’s his virtuous deeds that have materialized his bad karma so that he will be able to repay all the karmic debts in this life. All human beings were reborn to this world for only two things: one is to pay back your karmic debts; the other is to collect your karmic credits. For the later, you don’t have to redeem, whereas for the former, you must be responsible for paying back in this life. After taking refuge, you’ll receive help from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who will guide you to pay back karmic debts. Your guru, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can’t pay them back for you, but they can play the role of negotiators. They will suggest your karmic creditors to grant you more time to learn Buddhism so that you’ll pay the debts. Even if the evil karmic fruit would manifest, the taste might turn a bit sweeter. Your obstacles of learning Buddhism will decrease, if you can immediately put a halt to evil behaviors and carry out virtuous ones so as to prevent any development of bad karmic fruit.

Although Buddha sutras have described that one can take refuge under Buddha statues if there exists no accomplished guru within 500 kilometers, one still has to find himself a guru in the future. An accomplished guru is an authentic spiritual friend. In the path of learning Buddhism, one needs supervision from his guru in order not to go astray. Otherwise, one’s way of learning Buddhism would be very much like a blind man touching an elephant. Buddha Dharma and life experience are two completely different matters. Your guru is an experienced practitioner who would teach you in accordance to Buddha Dharma. He would watch over you, tell you what’s wrong with your behaviors, and how to correct your errors. You’ll never achieve anything if you think you don’t need a guru and you can learn Buddha Dharma based on your life experience, worldly thinking and knowledge.

In 1988, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to make offering of 300,000 NTD per month to support the first Buddhist center of Drikung Kagyu Lineage in Taiwan. It was a huge amount of money more than twenty years ago. Even for now, none of you has made offering of such amount. You actually have not made any offering yet. In the year of seeking refuge in Esoteric Buddhism, all the karmic retributions manifested at the same time including a broken marriage and a failed career. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had become penniless and been diagnosed with skin cancer. With absolute belief in his guru and immeasurable faith in Buddha Dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had even exerted more efforts to learn Buddhism. It was also because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s grand offering that allowed him to pay back all the accumulated karmic debts within one year. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had no money for food but he wasn’t starving to death. Moreover, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still had an apartment to shelter him and gained more chances to walk so as to become healthier. It was crystal clear to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that his poverty was resulted from his reluctance to make offering in one of his past lives. He contracted skin cancer because he enjoyed eating fish. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche delightfully accepted what had happened to him without seeking help from H. H. Chetsang Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche spent the year in diligently practicing Buddha Dharma in order to become more capable of benefiting sentient beings.

You are humans full of greediness, hatred, and ignorance. So you need a guru to teach you how to learn Buddhism and how to change yourselves. As a matter of fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has already achieved the level of not being an ordinary human being. Therefore, you really shouldn’t use your ordinary minds to think what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has said and done. Among those who would take refuge today, some came with lawsuits. After taking refuge, don’t expect completely relying on the guru to solve your lawsuits. Some can be worked out, some can’t. Whether or not your lawsuits can be solved depends on your merits. If you haven’t accumulated sufficient merits, even the unrelated matter may involve you into it. However, if you have accumulated enough merits, the most troublesome lawsuit can be easily resolved. In the sutra of Universal Gateway, it has described that if one can focus on reciting the name of Avalokiteshvara, one could be away from the jail with two locks that he was supposed to be in. The meaning of such description is twofold. For the one thing, if you have enough merits, you can’t go into the jail even you had to originally. For the other, if you really are put in jail, the serving time will be reduced.

Harbor a purely reverent heart, that is, a heart of asking nothing in return, toward your guru. However, you all had odd minds when coming to seek audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. A believer asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she should choose to get married or take refuge. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that she has to make the decision by herself. She was afraid her boyfriend would leave her if she would not marry him. She was also worried about that, if not taking refuge, evil karma would manifest and no one could help her in miserable conditions. All of these thoughts were herself greedy thoughts. It was all her conditions no matter taking refuge or getting married. Why did she have so many problems even before taking refuge yet? It was actually a test to see if her heart was steady. In Buddhism there is no demon test, which is so-called in Taoism. Only when one nearly approaches to attaining Buddhahood, devils would show up to test. However, it is not yet related to you. The test of Buddha-Dharma completely lies in your heart of cultivating Buddhism, not like the worldly tests on which you make points.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advised the believers who have not taken refuge and who are going to take refuge: eating meat is actually eating one’s parents of past lives. The meat you are biting may just be the meat of your parents of your previous lifetimes. This is also the reason that it would bring you so heavy karmic effect from eating meat. Eating a slide of meat would make you fall into hell. Are you willing to cut a piece of meat for others to eat? The one who thought meat was nutritious and asked his father to eat meat was doubly guilty since he forced other to eat meat. Some people think provide help to stray dogs is a good deed, and they volunteer at the stray dogs rescue centers. But it would increase the dogs’ evil karma of eating meat if you adopt stray dogs and feed them with meat. Who says a dog must eat meat? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ever raised a dog that just ate vegetables. However, do not think you are greater than others to adopt a vegetarian diet. Both cows and sheep eat vegetables. Do not consider adopting a vegetarian diet is a Buddhist practice.

It is going with the evil deeds and also transgress your refuge vows to cook meat for your family to eat after you take refuge. Is it so serious to eat a piece of meat? Yes, it is! Many people may ask: “What should I do if my family members eat meat? As a housewife, how do I cook?” Although the 6th Patriarch HuiNeng, after received the mantle and alms bowl from the 5th Patriarch, escaped and hided himself in a hunter’s home and there he cooked for them. However, you are not the 6th Patriarch HuiNeng who has the ability to transfer the consciousness killed. You can cook vegetables for your family. If they still want to eat meat, which is their own choice, you can ask them to purchase by themselves as nowadays it is very convenient to buy any kinds of food. If you usually sacrifice yourself to bring a satisfactory conclusion to others, your family will not complain about your doing something dissatisfying. If your husband divorces you, saying that it is because you adopt a vegetarian diet, it is actually he already wanted to split with you but found an excuse, not really because you are a vegetarian. If he loves you indeed, he will not break your marriage for the reason that you adopt a vegetarian diet or do not prepare meat dishes. If your karma is virtuous, you can naturally meet a consort who accepts you being vegetarian. Even if you push him to abstain from meat, he still loves you.

The reason that in Buddhism, the other religions are called non-Buddhist path is that the others are seeking outward, while the Buddhism look inside into the heart. One ought to see his heart clearly. In last puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that “attaining realization” refers to thoroughly and clearly see one’s own faults and never commit again, not meaning that one can read and understand the Sutra, nor, as normally considered, enter into the profound meditation and feel nothing. By being enlightened, you do not know what you do wrong. Your naked eyes see outward only and can not see inward yourself. Without facing a mirror, do you know how you look? After you take refuge, guru will confer precepts to you, and you will be protected by the essence of the precepts. However, if you transgress precepts and make evildoings after taking refuge, you commit the mistake intentionally. All of your accumulation would become minus zero which is lesser than zero. Then, you have to restart your Buddhist practice from the very beginning.

Taking refuge is to seek refuge under Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha. “Sangha” does not refer to the ordained people. “Sangha” refers to a group, including the lay and the ordained people, that learn and cultivate the Buddhist teachings, practice Buddhism according to the guru’s teachings together until they attain awakened mind and realize the nature. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche repeatedly reminded you to think clear over taking refuge before doing it. Today it is you who pray for seeking refuge, but not Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche lacks of disciples and asks you to take refuge. It is also not because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche makes such an eloquently appeal that you want to take refuge. Later, do not come up to attend the refuge ceremony if you can not achieve the aforementioned.

A few days ago, a female disciple passed away and obtained transferred by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducting Phowa ritual for her. Ten years ago, she had sought refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but she thought she was seeking refuge under “Buddha” and guru was not important. She thought that since guru had transmitted the Mani Mantra to her, she just needed to recite mantra, read the Sutra, and practice Buddhism at home by herself. With this kind of inappropriate thought, she no longer attended puja. She considered it was Buddhist practice to recite one-million times of Mani Mantras at home and thought everything would be fine as long as being a nice person on her own. In fact, it is the minimum requirement, a very beginning, for a Buddhist learner to recite one-million times of Mani Mantra, which let the one could learn compassion. You all think you can learn Buddhism from Buddhas that provide help to Bodhisattvas. You, as an ordinary, are not able to see a Bodhisattva, let alone to have the qualifications to a Buddha. Hence, you have to rely on an authentic guru’s help. Not until six years ago when she found she had a breast cancer did she realize that she had to make repentance and implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help.

As Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has conducted ritual to transfer this disciple’s consciousness to the Pure Land, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could take her as an example for you to learn the lesson: she had ever gone with the evil deeds after she left the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. She catered her husband fish dishes. Moreover, she thought her daughter who followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in cultivating Buddhism was superstitious and was distracted from taking well care of her grandchild for learning Buddhism. She even dissuaded her daughter from making offering to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and from cultivating Buddhism, which was the evilest deed. Besides, she had slandered guru and in thus way, in a short while, she consumed all her merits of taking refuge. Serving as a teacher in her lifetime, she had never committed evildoings except for the killing karma of eating meat and being arrogant. Nevertheless, in her lifetime, she had delusion of unbelieving in her guru and Buddha-Dharma, so she appeared to be the manifestation of an animal, lying prone on the floor when she was sick. Due to her greediness of being unwilling to make offering toward guru, she appeared to be the manifestation of a hungry ghost, who could not eat anything during the period prior to death. Due to her heavy killing karma, the karmic effect of her having cancer would definitely cause her to fall into hell. It was as what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has ever enlightened that one would show the appearance of the being in which realm before one is reborn in it. When she came back to beseech Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for re-take refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, her evil flowering karmic effect already started to fruit. And the fixed karma is really hard to alter!

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped her in various ways and also permitted her to take refuge again. Her time was prolonged by four years. Afterwards, she generated great repentance and reverently made offering to guru. She was willing to repay debts with her physical suffering. Additionally, her sons and daughters have all taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and accumulated merits for their mother. Therefore, this female disciple in this life paid off her debts owed from past lives with her physical pains, and obtained Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help on being reborn in the Pure Land. Buddhas are not able to change her karmic effect. During her sick period, the festers of the breast cancer smelled as of rotten fish, for she had killed and eaten many chickens and fishes in this life. Although she had the same health conditions as other cancer patients’, she never suffered the same pains as other patients of cancer in the final stage suffer. She did not use even a shot of morphine. And this is just the power of Buddha-Dharma. This disciple thought her daughter’s two children did not receive attentive care, but the truth was that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was taking well care of them. Her grandchild was very naughty and feared nobody but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. It was because when her grandchild was a little boy, he scalded himself so severely that his bone could be seen. He was originally diagnosed to need a surgery by doctor. Later on, however, he recovered soon after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave a puff to his wound. From then on, this child was very obedient to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Although bulges of cancer cells could be felt on the female disciple’s breast and head, she felt no pain because the hatred in her karmic creditors who she had harmed in her previous and current lifetimes had been suppressed and they had left her body. As to why the cells still became like that, it was because her previous evil deeds had transformed them already. Nowadays, it has been found in medical sciences that some people are born with cancer genes. Nevertheless, some of them would develop cancer while others don’t throughout their lives. This has something to do with your virtuous and evil deeds. If one has evil thoughts and commits evil deeds, his cells become evil as well; if one has virtuous thoughts and carry out virtuous deeds, his cells will turn virtuous.

Here is another example. Seven years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked a couple who had sought refuge to work for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company. However, they didn’t like the salary of the position and considered themselves free from anyone’s control while working for their elder brother-in-law. Therefore, they gave a lot of excuses to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and didn’t accept the offer. Not listening to the guru’s instructions is having arguments with the guru. Therefore, they couldn’t receive the blessing because they themselves turned the blessing from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche off. That was why the wife’s disease broke out. The Buddha light shines on everyone and the blessing of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the guru is being given without any interruption. Nevertheless, everybody gets different amount. It all depends on one’s own conduct and heart. When one violates the precepts, he turns the switch off by himself and the blessing upon him will stop. If you are obedient, the blessing from the guru will continue to be delivered to you. As to the karmic connection between you and the guru, the Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas, it is neither the guru’s nor the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas’ decision but yours.

After you seek refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will bestow precepts upon you. In terms of precepts, if one is not a guru who can bestow precepts, he will not be qualified to say that others have violated their precepts. If you say that others have corrupted their precepts, you are speaking of false words. One can observe, open, or break his precepts. Sometimes, it might appear that he has broken his precepts but he actually hasn’t. It is a complicated situation and cannot be determined by you, so you need to seek the advice of the guru. In one of Buddha Sakyamuni’s lives, the Buddha went on a ship with 500 people. The greedy captain wanted money and decided to murder those 500 people so as to take their wealth. Buddha Sakyamuni therefore killed the captain and saved the lives of the 500 future arhats, preventing the captain from committing the evil karma of killing arhats. Such a deed generated great merits and virtues. Outwardly, one who practices on the Bodhisattva path cannot violate the precept of refraining from killing. In fact, it was opening the precept instead of violating it. Nonetheless, you cannot go kill someone and say that you are opening the precept. The Buddha could transfer the person after killing him and you don’t have such capacities.

Thereafter, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed refuge with Bodhisattva vows upon those who had completed the practice of mandala offering. The greatest difference between Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism lies in that the four preliminaries are not practiced in Exoteric Buddhism. When one practice the four preliminaries, he shows repentance while doing full prostrations and makes offerings while practicing mandala offering. If one hasn’t got sufficient provisions, he cannot learn Buddhism. Therefore, only those who have practiced the four preliminaries can receive the Bodhisattva vows. The Bodhisattva vows cannot be bestowed by ordinary masters. Only a Bodhisattva who has reached a clean and pure stage of enlightened attainment can do that. The Dharma text was conferred personally by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, so the attainment of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cant be seen. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not a human being any longer. The, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had the disciples who were to receive the vows recite the Dharma text after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Those who are not qualified to receive the Bodhisattva vows are not even qualified to listen to the vows. Nevertheless, you people are allowed to listen to them so as for you to have the karmic connection to receive the Bodhisattva vows in the future. However, a believer who was not receiving the vows recited along and was scolded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately. As Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had explained so well just then, someone still wouldn’t listen. What the believer had done was to show his pride because he thought he could learn the vows if he recited along with them.

In the beginning of one’s Buddhist study, it is conducted for one to gain liberation from both birth and death. However, one who receives the Bodhisattva vows should receive such vows on behalf of the sentient beings in hopes that they may be freed from reincarnation. After one has received the Bodhisattva vows, one needs to do everything to benefit the sentient beings in his body, speech, and mind. If one doesn’t generate aspiration Bodhichitta, he will not be able to observe the precepts even though they have been bestowed upon him. The aspiration Bodhichitta is a marvelous jewel and the guru is the mani jewel. As long as one implores them in order to learn Buddhism, any requests will be responded.

Nobody hopes to have suffering for himself and everyone wants himself to leave the suffering. The sentient beings suffer with me in reincarnation for they have carried out evil deeds and have thereby suffered after the beginning of cause and condition. Therefore, one should generate aspiration Bodhichitta so as to help the sentient beings leave their suffering.

All the sentient beings have been our mothers in previous lives. We cannot repay our mother’s care for us. Mother gave us milk as much as oceans, clothes as many as the clouds in the sky, and food as much as mountains. After we were born, we have been raised with her seas of milk. Even though some mothers don’t breastfeed their children, they do their very best to let the children survive and grow up. Mother has such immense grace for us and we will feel bad if she gets sick or suffers. All the sentient beings have been our parents in our previous lives. In order to help them leave the suffering, it is already late for us to do everything for them. How can we still think about benefiting ourselves? We should generate perfect and supreme great aspiration Bodhichitta so as to help the sentient being to be liberated from reincarnation and all the sufferings in reincarnation.

If one visualizes his guru as an ordinary person, he will only receive blessing from an ordinary person. If one visualizes his guru as someone no different from the Buddha, he shall receive the blessing from the Buddha. A guru with a clean and pure lineage actually bestows the teachings on behalf of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and should be seen as an emanation of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. When the guru sits on the high seat to bestow the teachings on behalf of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, one should regard the guru as a Buddha from the bottom of his heart and generate pure faith and pray for the blessing form the guru so as to generate perfect and supreme great aspiration Bodhichitta. Without the blessing from the guru, it cannot be done. As to the reason why one fails to generate aspiration Bodhichitta, it is because he hasn’t showed absolute repentance and thus will fail to generate aspiration Bodhichitta.

The Seven Branch Prayer was stated in the Dharma text: We should do prostrations, make offerings, show repentance, rejoice others’ merits and virtues, pray for the guru to live on, accumulate every single bit of virtuous karma, and dedicate all of them in order to attain perfect Buddhahood. The Seven Branch Prayer is very important. As stated, to make prostrations is to generate pure reverence towards the guru, the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas. To make offerings is to expect nothing in return with a clean and pure heart. To show repentance is to admit and take on one’s mistakes and refrain from committing them again. To rejoice is for us to rejoice everything the guru, the Buddhas, and the Bodhisattvas do for the benefit of the sentient beings. We need to keep carrying out every single bit of virtuous deed and accumulate the provisions for our Buddhist study. As to any bits of merits and virtuous that we have generated, we shall dedicate them to all the sentient beings.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche looks into one’s inner mind instead of his appearances or conduct. Some people would be scolded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche when they carry out tasks whereas other wouldn’t. Some people don’t do anything and still wouldn’t be scolded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche whereas others would. To scold them or not depends on their heart rather than their conduct. As long as their heart is wrong, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would scold them.

Whether sitting on the Dharma throne during the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says every sentence for your benefit. Do not differentiate. One who practices on the Bodhisattva path has to benefit all the sentient beings, so what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says or does is all for your benefit. All the gurus vow to prevent the sentient beings from falling into the three lower realms. Therefore, as long as a disciple supplicates his guru sincerely, the guru will fulfill his wishes. After receiving the Bodhisattva vows, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will have higher expectations of you. Do not talk nonsense any more.

You have grown up now, so your elders will not tell you where you are wrong; your peers will be embarrassed to tell you such things as well; the younger generation will also not dare to tell you. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas cannot speak. Only Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who does not care about his life or having any money will tell you what you have done wrong and how to correct them. A person’s eyes are always looking outward and only see other people’s mistakes, but cannot see his own heart. If a person does not practice Buddha dharma, even if he looks in a mirror, he will think that what appears in the mirror is himself. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, as a guru, in order to amend the minds of the disciples and help the disciples not to fall into the three evil realms, will just point out the disciples’ innermost problems. A good and virtuous teacher or friend will help those who practice Buddha dharma walk towards the path of liberating from the cycles of reincarnation, while a bad teacher or friend will let you walk away from the road to liberation. A bad teacher or friend may not tell you not to practice Buddha dharma, but rather teach you Buddhism on the surface and in fact let you reincarnate continuously. If your husband does not let you be a vegetarian and practice Buddha dharma, he is not your evil friend, but your benefactor, because he makes you realize that you had once hindered other people for practicing Buddhism and you should repent for that.

After the completion of the transmission of the precepts of bodhisattva, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started the refuge-taking ceremony.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche first enlightened us that “taking refuge” is to let us come back to follow Buddha’s teachings and have supports life after lives. After you have taken refuge under Buddhism, you will have supports and can rely on all the helps given by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the guru. Tibetan Buddhism is divided into four major schools, namely yellow school, red school, flower school, and white school. The lineage you are taking refuge today is the Drikung Kagyu order which is part of the white school of Tibetan Buddhism. Drikung Kagyu order is a lineage directly transmitted from India. Until now there have been a total of 37 Drikung Kyabgons. Currently there are two Kyabgons in the Drikung Kagyu lineage; one is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s root guru, His Holiness 37th Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang; the other is His Holiness 36th Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang in Tibet. The founder of the Drikung Kagyu lineage is Jigten Sumgon. Jigten Sumgon wore a red dharma hat; a monasterial guru wears a red dharma hat while a lay guru wears the dharma hat of Gampopa.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then transmitted and taught the five precepts to the new refuge-taking disciples. The first precept is no killing; one should not eat meat after taking refuge. The second precept is no stealing; stealing includes the use of pirated optical discs, counterfeit brand-name objects; one should not buy any counterfeit brand-name goods for showing off or satisfying the desire of using brand-name things. The third precept is no committing adultery; adultery does not only refer to extra-marital affairs, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will explain it another day. The fourth precept is no lying; it includes no harsh words, no lying, no frivolous words, and no slandering. The fifth precept is no drinking alcohol; it includes not using any narcotics or tranquilizer.

One needs to be careful about the following things after taking refuge.
(1) Never pray and prostrate to heavenly gods. After taking refuge, one should not pray and prostrate to other heavenly gods, including any temple, any god, or any other religion.
(2) Never harm any sentient being. After taking refuge, you should not hurt any sentient being and should certainly become a vegetarian. If you can be a vegetarian, your chances of hurting sentient beings will naturally be reduced. The remaining killing will only happen to such insects as ants, mosquitoes, or cockroaches.
(3) Never follow and rely on non-Buddhism.
(4) Revere the Three Jewels.
(5) Never give up your refuge precept for the convenience of any particular thing.
(6) One should make offerings routinely for offering to the guru and supporting the dharma venue of the Buddhist center. The dharma venue belongs to all disciples of Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and all users of the venue should pay the use fees. Now the number of disciples increases, so the spending increases as well. Every disciple has to support the dharma venue each month. For those who do not have money, one dollar is still ok; the bus fees one has saved can be used to support the venue. how much money one can support does not matter, but one should do with his best effort. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows whether you have money or not.

If you do the following things, you will not obtain the blessings. (1) Arguing with the guru. If you feel that the guru does not understand you or misunderstand you, you are just arguing with the guru. (2) Unwilling to accomplish the guru’s assignments. (3) Not respecting the guru. (4) Lack of praise to the guru. (5) Not prostrating yourself to the guru. (6) Despising or abusing dharma protectors. Dharma protectors will protect those who practice Buddha dharma. If you treat a dharma protector as your hired thug and implore the dharma protector to help you solve some things, your wishes will not be granted and you will think that the dharma protector is ineffective. This is counted as abusing the dharma protector. (7) Unwilling to praise or propagate the guru’s merits. (8) Unwilling to visit the guru (some people have been hiding themselves from the guru lately). (9) Having anger to the guru.

If a disciple does the following five things: not believing in the law of cause and effect, being lazy (unwilling to practice the dharma transmitted by the guru), speaking harsh words (especially slandering the guru), being shameless (making the same error again and again), being close to evil friends (a evil friend may not be a non-Buddhist, but is one who make you feel that librating from the cycles of reincarnation is not necessary), the guru can treat you with the following five things: no talking, no teaching, no sharing together, no granting the opportunity to do virtuous things, and no staying in the same room. Doing these does not mean that the guru is not compassionate or not giving him any chance after he has made mistakes; it means that because he does not have the heart to practice Buddha dharma, the guru will not continue to teach him Buddha dharma in order to reduce his chances of slandering Buddhas, and to prevent him from continuously accumulating virtues which would increase his strengths of doing evil deeds in the future. Many people were very diligent in the first year after taking refuge; in the second year, they began to slacken; in the third year, Buddha dharma was far away from them in the sky. You are not qualified to say that you are falling back. “Falling back” refers to the reduction of the mind of benefiting sentient beings for those who have attained the level of a bodhisattva. You are lazy, or slack, euphemistically.

One can get eight advantages by taking refuge.
(1) Becoming a Buddhist. If there was no practitioner who could represent Buddha to propagate the dharma, it would be impossible for one to practice Buddha dharma. One should have strong faith in the Three Jewels.
(2) It becomes the support of all precepts.
(3) All non-human beings cannot hurt you. After taking refuge, you will have good gods and dharma protectors to protect you. Ancient people had stated that there were two lamps on the human shoulder. And now the scientists, through the photographic detection technology, have proved that there are very strong energies in a human head, shoulders, chests, and abdomen. After you have taken refuge, Buddha’s light will shine on you; any ghost, unless it had very deep connections with you in your past lives, will not come to harm you.
(4) All sin and karma can be reduced or even eliminated.
(5) Accumulation of virtues and merits in one’s heart increases to a vast amount.
(6) One will not fall into the three evil realms after one’s death, the animal realm, the ghost realm, and the hell realm. For this, one must still observe all the precepts of taking refuge and be respectful to the Guru and the Three Jewels.
(7) The auspicious path of Buddha dharma will arise in one’s mind. The auspicious thought could not arise without Guru’s blessings.
(8) One continues to practice Buddha dharma until attaining the unsurpassed enlightenment and benefiting all sentient beings.

You should not eat the food that has been used to worship the ghosts and the gods, especially the meat used to worship those spirits. Do not fear the scolds of your mother-in-law or husband. Do not think that it is just eating a piece of meat or drinking a bowl of soup, how serious can those be? It is just a celebration of the Lunar New Year, can we just enjoy the event with our family a bit? Everything is under the law of cause and effect and this is breaking the precepts. If you cannot do this, do not take refuge today.

Under the sound of reciting Vajrasattva’s heart mantra, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to conduct the ritual of cutting hair for taking refuge. There were 62 believers who took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and became the disciples of Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. They all felt joyful with blissful mind.

Upon the completion of the convertion ceremony, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued giving teachings. Cutting hair in the ceremony signifies that the disciple would like to stand aloof from worldly affairs. It is not to become ordained; but would like to escape from the home of reincarnations. It also symbolizes to cut off all the distracting thoughts. Converting to the Exoteric Buddhism differs from converting to the Esoteric Buddhism, in that the esoteric one last for your present life but the exoteric one last through your lifetimes. The guru would protect and shelter you through your lifetimes before you attain Buddha-hood. Even if the guru has become not alive, by his vows you are still under his blessings. In his present life, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been rescued twice by the guru of the 830 years ago, the Lord Jigten Sumgon. In one time, it happened in a severe car accident, the guru saved the Rinpoche’s life. The other time was the guru transmitted a mantra to the Rinpoche. Therefore, for the disciples of the Vajrayana, the guru is of utmost importance. A disciple has to hold pure reverence, apart from any greediness and desire, toward the guru.

His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche had ever said that reciting mantras, reciting sutras and worshipping for repentance are not cultivation. The cultivation requires one to change and to correct one’s own bad conducts. Those newly converted disciples should avoid rushing to ask if you have to take certain regular homework practices, though you might have observed that the other Buddhist centers are doing so. Regular morning sessions and evening sessions of the practices are set for the ordained ones who have plenty of time in each day. But you, as lay people, have been busy in your daily life, it would turn out become too complicated for you. Currently, it suffices that you recite each day the Text of the Refuge. Why there is lots of different Dharma is because each individual possesses different capacity and thoughts. That many Dharmas are not necessary for you to learn as long as you are not a guru. The so-called cultivation does not rely on how many sutras or mantras you have recited, but rely on your accomplishment of the teachings guided by your guru and correct your own conducts. Some old women who have never attended a school shall cultivate themselves with the simplest form of practice — following the guru’s doctrine; act accordingly.

At the time when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, the Rinpoche did not ask his guru if the Rinpoche should practice certain rituals, the Rinpoche neither implore anything from his guru, but the Rinpoche did supplicate to his guru for cultivating the supreme Bodhi-mind. Given the teachings from His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, all that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would do is simply following the teachings. Later, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to help on the beings and required different Dharmas so that the Rinpoche made supplication to his guru for the Dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has more than one hundred employees in total and has more than one thousand disciples. The Rinpoche has to spend almost all of his time in dealing with so many things. So, could you tell that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been no cultivation? In fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been realizing the Dharma in his daily life, in every single second.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not, by his own interests, call for your abandoning the worldly home and become ordained. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a lay practitioner. If anyone would like to become ordained, the Rinpoche would send them to India and it would take much expense. In the Ratnakuta Sutra, it is said that if your family dependent needs you, you shall not refuse them. You have to bear in mind that we lay people differs from those ordained individuals. The vow to refrain from any sexual conducts is for the ordained individuals but not for you lay people. Learn no mistakes of some other Buddhist centers that many couples become sleeping alone from each other. If you have the appropriate conditions, you would have become ordained in your early lifetime. Now that once married, you shall be responsible for your family. In ancient time, the master would ask the disciples, who would like to become ordained, if they have repaid the merits of their parents and the debts due to their family dependents? It referred to completely repay debts due to their love. And, if the parent’s mercy and merits and the family dependent’s love were not repaid completely, it would not be allowed to become ordained. Therefore, you shall be clear-minded while learning the Buddhism; live as common people do.

After the regular puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately had audiences with seventy seven believers, one by one. Through his steady and unfailing supply of mercy and compassion, the believers received help and got the opportunities to relieve their sufferings. Working so hard for the beings, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stayed at the venue till seven thirty in the evening.

Updated on February 3, 2010