Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

April 2, 2011

From 4:50 p.m. to 10:15 p.m., the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped 124 believers solve all kinds of worldly suffering and gave enlightenment of Buddha Dharma at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei.

April 3, 2011

The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja, continuing to teach the important concepts from the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra.

Before the puja commenced, a disciple made repentance to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the attendees. He had taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for more than six years.  However, he had not been able to review his mistakes until now because of his heavy karmic obstacles and arrogant thoughts. The His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave enlightenment of the Sutra of the Great Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, “Each thought generated by an ordinary person creates karma and vice.” Before, he didn’t reflect on the meaning of this sentence. Up till now, he had lived a normal life with normal thoughts.  Suddenly, he was aware of his every thought; these private thoughts were all selfish. He made lots of mistakes, whether consciously or unconsciously. Even if he thought that he was a good guy and doing the right thing, he actually was at fault; only, he didn’t know this. If he hadn’t the blessing of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he woudn’t have had the opportunity to reflect nor the courage to admit his misdeeds. He was grateful that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave him the strength to repent. After repenting, he wished that he could eliminate his bad habits in his heart and never make the same mistakes again. Every time he thought of those mistakes, such as eating so much sentient beings’ meat, enjoying seafood, stealing, making oral karma, and having an arrogant mind, he was frightened. He had no idea how to repay those debts. He had lots of problems. His personality was extreme, he was opinionated, he was filled with resentment, envy, stinginess, and greed, and he was reluctant to make offerings and charities. He had committed almost all of the Ten Non-Meritorious Acts.

He grew up in the countryside near the sea. During his childhood, he enjoyed catching insects and fishing. He didn’t know that he had created much killing karma. He caught beetles, crickets, and butterflies. He used a slingshot to hit birds, dug out earthworms, hit snakes, fished for frogs, poured water into ant hills, destroyed bird nests, frightened ducks and gooses, and stole fruit from fruit farms. When he was young, he thought that this was fun. Now he knows that this was wrong. Lots of sentient beings were harmed because of his ignorant and greedy mind. His most detestable deed was poisoning the fishes in the stream and polluting the environment. He often sprayed pesticides to cruelly kill spiders, cockroaches, mosquitoes and ants. He dug out clams and felt happy as he watched them boil. He knew that he did was wrong and he regretted it.  He did not know how to repay the debt of killing karma for this life.

Afterwards, when he worked for a company, he stole sample items and sold them. He took a sales commission from the factory, and inflated figures for duty-travel reimbursement. The most detestable thing he did was inflate his meal expense figure in order to draw a profit when he served in the military. Now he knows that he was wrong.

He was introverted and shy. Every time he opened his mouth, he offended others with his words. Some people were annoyed with his self-righteous thoughts. He was a gossip and boasted. If someone had a conflict with him, he would become angry and blame others. Every day, whether consciously or unconsciously, he erred. He made oral karma, told lies, and spoke nonsense. Now he knew that he was wrong and that his pride had caused others trouble.

He lacked filial piety and let his parents worry about him. He liked to talk back to his parents because he thought that he was more educated than them. His parents cared for him with love and without complaint, but he was never grateful to them because he thought it was their obligation to do so. He lived with a heart of greed, hatred, delusion, self-conceit, and doubt. Once he had a serious illness and was unable to work for two years. He spent all of his savings. Sometimes, his mother would give him some money to live on.  He felt that his mother was very kind, but did not deeply appreciative his mother’s help. Now he knows that he was wrong. He was distant from his father since he was a child. He was not close with his father because he seldom talked to him. He also was not concerned about his father because he didn’t live with his parents. His parents missed him all the time, but he didn’t go to see them. Recently, one morning his father brought him a bag of pea shoots because he knew that it was one of his son’s favorite foods. The son suddenly realized that he is already fifty some years old and his father still cares about and loves him very much. He knew that he was wrong. He repented for being unfilial and not appreciating his parents.

It had been six years since he had taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. During this period, he received lots of assistance from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but he was never told of this help. He slowly realized that he could not survive without the blessing of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. If he could not realize his mistakes, then it was impossible for him to repent. He would like to praise the virtues of the His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. At the beginning of the first year after he took refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche orally transmitted the Full Prostration of the Four Preliminaries. When he heard the message, he could not help but burst into tears. He was so grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for transmitting this precious dharma. Before taking refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the disciple ran numerous Buddhist Centers and received empowerment. However, he never realized how precious the dharma was! Only the outstanding teaching from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche allowed him to cherish the dharma. Therefore since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had transmitted the dharma of making full prostrations, the disciple tried his best to fully prostrate every day. When he was thirty years old, there was one time when he was lying on the bed that his spinal cord was damaged because his son jumped on his back. Whenever he picked up something heavy, he would be paralyzed and unable to turn over or get out of bed the next day. There was one day when he had some extra time so he decided to do additional full prostrations. He was paralyzed the next day. However, he remembered the enlightenment that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave: this was a way of eliminating karmic obstacles. He continued to worship and endured the pain, and after enduring a few more attacks, his pain vanished.

Once he was awaken at midnight with a very painful ulcer attack. He prostrated and repented to the dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He thought that he could rely on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Even if he died while prostrating, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could help and save him. Therefore he was not scared, and endured the pain while prostrating. He recalled a time in the past when he fished for shrimp at midnight and soaked the shrimp in wine for eating. He visualized the curling shrimp suffering as they soaked in the wine. He repented to the dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. When he had finished 108 prostrations, the pain that he had for three months vanished. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassion was really marvelous!

More than ten years ago, he experienced a major illness. He took a lot of medication that affected his thinking and would cause him serious headaches. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche looked at him three or four times. Every time after being looked, his head would hurt especially bad, but the pain would gradually disappear within a few days and he would be able to think clearly again. After experiencing this three or four times, he finally knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was helping him.

He used to love eating seafood so he had skin problems for about two and half years.  Everyday, he would scratch until midnight and then fall asleep. Every morning, he awoke to find his bed sheets covered with blood. Fortunately, there is an ointment called Bao Yuan Gao created by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Every time, he scratched until the skin was broken and bled. When he showered, it was so painful that he would scream. After he applied the Bao Yuan Gao, he felt relief. He believed in the law of cause and effect about which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had given enlightenment. He believed that it would be gone and he’d have no problems. Due to the blessings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche he was able to endure until last year (2010). The day after he attended the Dorje Phurba Puja in Japan, he realized that he could sleep peacefully.

The human body was difficult to obtain. Buddha Dharma was difficult to hear. The master guru was difficult to meet. He had obtained the human body and met the guru. He would use the rest of his life to obey the guru’s order, to follow his guidance, and to learn Buddhism from the His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in order to be liberated from reincarnation. He also hoped that through learning Buddhism he could help other sentient beings be relieved from their suffering.

Following this, a female disciple shared an incredible story of how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saved her entire family of four from a very severe case of carbon monoxide poisoning.

On March 13, after the female disciple went home from the regular puja, her oldest daughter came out from her room and shouted that she was very uncomfortable. Her heart was beating very fast and she was weak, so her husband carried her daughter on his back and took her to the emergency room in the hospital. On the way, the daughter was very scared. She cried out saying “I want to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche! I cannot hold on!” She told her daughter to relax, and that there was no way she could see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at that moment. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said that if one only thought about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, they could obtain help. So the daughter thought about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and recited the Six-Syllable Mani mantra. She slowly calmed down. She then said that she wanted to take refuge.  She was afraid that she would not be able to go to the Pure Land. After being examined, her daughter’s blood pressure and heart rate returned to normal.  Later, her blood test came back and showed that she had no inflammation, only anemia. The disciple’s husband blamed her for letting their children adopt the vegetarian diet and for their poor health.  Moreover, when they were sick, they did not think about their parents; they only wanted to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He also blamed her for the children’s deviations on religion. She told her husband that when the children got sick, the parents could not help at all, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was like the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara who could help the children. Still her husband had many complaints. She thought it was because she had not done well enough so her husband could not believe in Buddhism.

The following Saturday (March 19), Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not sit for audience with the believers. On March 20, after the regular puja, the female disciple went home.  Her oldest daughter took a bath, and then her younger daughter took a bath. Not long afterwards, the older daughter cried and yelled that her heart was beating very fast. She did not feel comfortable, and felt as if she was going to die. She hurried to comfort the older daughter and helped her lay down. The younger daughter also rushed into the room and while laying on the bed, cried that she had chest pain and that she felt like she was going to die. The disciple’s husband thought that the younger daughter was being naughty so he scolded her and beat her with a wooden spoon. The younger daughter shouted and loudly cried out, “I am going to die!” At the same time, the disciple herself also started to feel dizzy. She let the daughters lay on the bed while she just rested against the window. When her husband opened the windows, she began to feel very comfortable so she told her husband not to shut the window. Then the two daughters’ heartbeats gradually slowed down and they fell asleep.  At the time, she also felt dizzy and she started to fall asleep. However, there was a voice telling her not to sleep and that she must wake up and save them.

Her husband was very upset and blamed her. He asked if she gave her eight-characters, her birth date and time for fortune telling, to someone. He even felt uncomfortable and dizzy. He wondered if she had cooked something for dinner that may had been poisoned. When she went to the kitchen to take a look, she fainted. She didn’t know how long she laid on the kitchen floor. It was like she was sleeping without consciousness. Suddenly, her heart chanted the Six-Syllable Mani Mantra. Just as she finished chanting, a sound like the snapping fingers woke her up. She opened her eyes and called her husband to hold her. When her husband came, she cried and told her husband that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said that once you took refuge, as long as you don’t violate the precepts, no ghost-related things would happen to you. She cried and said that she was finished. She must have done something wrong, and she would be kicked out of the center. Just as she finished, she began to calm down. She told her husband that they were all poisoned. She gave milk to her family, and drank some herself. Then, she went to chant.

She vomited after she drank the milk, but she remembered that she was not finished with her chanting homework so she went to the front of the Buddha’s photo and mandala in the living room and continued. At the same time, she discovered that the window in the living room was closed. She usually left the windows opened because of the oil lamp on the altar so she opened the window, did her homework, and thought about the mistakes she had made.

The next day, around ten o’clock in the morning, her entire family went to the emergency room in the hospital.  The doctor did not think their condition was serious nor did he want to give them examinations because they walked in there. She kept on telling the doctor the symptoms they were experiencing and what happened to each of her family members. She also mentioned that she had come to the E.R. once before with the same symptoms, but this time all four of them came.  She told him that it was more serious, that she suspected they had been poisoned, and that it happened every time the children took baths.  The doctor speculated that it may be carbon monoxide poisoning so they drew blood to be tested. It was confirmed that they all had carbon monoxide poisoning. They were treated with oxygen and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The disciple was the first to undergo the hyperbaric oxygen therapy. When she was examined afterwards, she was found to have the lowest poison level of the four. The two daughters who had not taken refuge but who had attended the regular puja had less toxic conditions then the disciple’s husband. When her husband was being treated, he saw a poster on the wall of the treatment room.  It was about the conditions and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. From the information on the poster, he realized that they shouldn’t have survived the poisoning.

She was very grateful to the His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for saving her whole family from their ignorant and dangerous conditions. Even her husband stopped opposing her study of Buddhism and her homework. Sometimes he would remind her that it was time to do her homework.  He would ask her whether or not the oil lamp in front of the mandala needed to be dimmed. She was very grateful to the His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his immense compassion. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was always looking after his disciples. She felt that she had heavy karma that were carried over from past lives. She had not given charities and offerings, she did not follow the teachings and act accordingly, and she did not have close relationship with the guru, but the compassionate and merciful guru still continued to bless her and her family.

After ascending the Dharma Throne, the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to enlighten the attendees with a few important concepts from the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Many Buddhist scriptures teach methods of cultivation. Only the Universal Gate Chapter describes in particular the practices and merits of Avalokiteshvara for saving sentient beings. The Universal Gate Chapter has described almost every kind of disaster one could encounter and all kinds of situations for untimely death. It teaches people how to avoid an “untimely death,” that is, the methods to avoid being killed in disasters or accidents. Why do Buddhas and Bodhisattvas want to help us avoid an untimely death? This is because there is almost a one hundred percent chance that anyone who suffers an untimely death will fall into Hell. If you are virtuous and able to help your family members have the condition and opportunity to encounter a great practitioner to help liberate them, only then can they avoid the suffering of falling into the evil realms. The reason why you need to avoid an untimely death is that if you suffered an untimely death, you would not have time in this life to repay your debt. If you have not repaid your debt in this life, you will have to come to this world in your next life to repay the debt. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas cannot bear to watch sentient beings suffering untimely deaths so they will use all kinds of methods to help sentient beings.

According to the Universal Gate Chapter, it is not that as long as you worship the Buddhas nothing will happen. Rather, disasters or accidents will still happen.  When those events happen, if you recite Avalokiteshvara’s name, Bodhisattvas will come to save and help you. The important point is that the karmic retribution cannot be changed. However, through reciting Avalokiteshvara’s name single-mindedly you can reduce the effects of these karmic retributions. That is the meaning of lessening the effect of heavy karmic retributions. If worshiping Buddhas would make nothing happen, then Buddhist scriptures would have told you to just believe in Avalokiteshvara, and would not have described so many stories of Avalokiteshvara saving sentient beings.

Your so-called “accident” is the thing you never thought would happen. But in fact, everything has its cause and effect. Those who suffer an untimely death do not have time to practice Buddhism because their lives are terminated early in sudden disasters or accidents. They suffer untimely deaths because of the killing karma they have done in this life or in past lives. Actually, it is not necessary to mention each person’s past lives. In this life alone, from birth up to now, everyone has harmed sentient beings and accumulated killing karma. Venerable Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has told us many times that any physical injury we suffer in our body in this life, as small as a bleeding cut, is the karmic retribution from our past killing deeds. Do not think that attending pujas, reciting sutras, or prostrating repentantly can eliminate your killing karma from past lives. If doing such things could change your karma, then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not have worked so hard to perform retreats. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often taught the disciples that one should not depend on the guru for everything. There is a limit on how much the guru can help you. You still have to cultivate for yourself and truly implement Buddha Dharma in your life so that you can protect and bless yourself first.

Buddhist scripture records a story: Sakyamuni Buddha was walking through a forest with his disciples. They saw a flock of birds on the ground. When Sakyamuni Buddha walked past the flock of birds, the birds were calm and did not panic. However, when the Buddha’s disciples walked past them, the flock of birds flew from the ground in a frightened manner. Sakyamuni Buddha’s disciples were very curious and asked the Buddha, “We all have eliminated our killing karma in this life and have attained the level of Arhat. Why were these birds still afraid of us and why did they fly away in a frightened manner?” The Buddha enlightened them that although these disciples had no killing karma in this life, the remaining effect of the killing karma from their past lives still existed. Animal’s perception is very keen. When they felt the remaining effect of the humans’ killing karma, they flew away in a frightened manner. Buddhist scriptures describe the effect of karma as if putting a fragrant piece of wood in a room for some time. Even if the wood is removed, one can still smell the aroma. If one puts a bucket of fish and seafood in a room for a long time, even if one removes the fish and seafood, the stench will still last for a very long time. From these analogies, we can know that a human being’s mind is very terrible and the effect of karma from past lives will affect a person in this life. Even if your current body, speech, behavior, and thoughts does not commit any killing, the remaining effect of killing karma from past lives still exists and continues to affect you. Therefore, you must practice Buddha Dharma and cultivate very diligently. If you can recollect and recite the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in your mind everyday and focus all of your thoughts on the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, then you can slowly change the effect of the karma. If your mind has become pure and clean, you will no longer have any killing thought.

The Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter has mentioned, “one should always recite Avalokiteshvara in one’s mind.” This means that one should recite Avalokiteshvara’s name with a sincere, respectful and non-beseeching mind. Doing so can then give the countless sentient beings who do not have the condition, the opportunity to be in touch with Buddhism and the opportunity to receive help from Buddha Dharma. Those who can really accomplish this are very rare. Therefore, if a practioner has developed such a mind, all of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will come to protect him.

When protecting us with the mighty divine power, Avalokiteshvara may not let us know. According to the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter, Avalokiteshvara will display different forms when helping you. As long as you are a true practitioner and revere the Three Jewels and the guru, even if someone wants to harm you, Avalokiteshvara will protect you and help you to deal with the matter without letting you know.

The Drikung Kagyu Lineage has a non-common dharma protector who specifically protects practitioners. Non-commonality means that the dharma will not be transmitted openly. The ritual of this dharma protector will only be transmitted to those practitioners who have attained the level of Rinpoche and above because only Rinpoche has achieved the level of a Bodhisattva. This dharma protector usually does not appear. Only when a practitioner is in danger, he will then appear. If someone wants to harm a true practitioner, this non-common dharma protector will definitely come out to protect the practitioner without even being asked.

Once a person tried to perform certain dharma to harm the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not know that there was a person trying to do him harm. Dharma Protector Achi was there to protect Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche personally saw that Achi protected him on several occasions. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was not harmed. On the contrary, the one who wanted to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche met with a mishap. As he performed dharma but failed to harm Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the harm rebounded onto him. So one should never intentionally criticize a Buddhist practitioner or have thoughts about harming a practitioner. It is not because practitioners dread your harming them. It is because the karmic retribution would return to you, since you don’t know what level of achievement a practitioner has attained. A practitioner does not hope that any of you be harmed.

If a person gets angry before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and criticizes Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche usually asks him to leave immediately. It is not because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gets angry, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not give rise to thoughts anymore. Instead, it is because the criticism would bounce back to the person, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche just does not hope that any sentient be harmed.

According to scripture, a practitioner who practices Buddhism on the Bodhisattva path will be fearless wherever he goes. This can be explained from two perspectives. The first is that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will protect a practitioner who truly practices Buddhism on the Bodhisattva path. Even heavenly gods and ghosts have to listen to him. Therefore, the practitioner has no fear. As this kind of person is very rare in the universe, as long as one of them is protected, he can benefit a myriad of sentient beings. The other explanation is that as a practitioner believes in the law of cause and effect and karma, he would think that any occurrence to him is nothing but his own karmic effect. He just needs to accept it and so there is no need to dread.

The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been invited to the Sikh region of India to propagate Buddhism for three years in a row. Sikhism is not the biggest religion in India. However, it is the most powerful and most united religion. The prime minister of India at the present is also a Sikh. The Sikh religion is very exclusive and very much opposes non-Sikh religions. Even today, Sikh men carry knives at their waists to protect their religion. In the province where Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was invited to hold pujas, more than ninety percent of the population is Sikh. There have never been other religious beliefs promoted in that area. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang considers the puja held there very important since Buddhism had never been propagated in that land. Even the Dalai Lama has never been there. So when the puja was held the second time, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang specially sent a few Lamas to assist Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. However, the Lamas did not dare to go as they knew that Sikhs were exclusive and fierce. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told these Lamas not to be afraid. As long as they were by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s side, they would be very safe. With Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s presence, even if something happened, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would handle it in advance. After hearing these words, the Lamas then dared to go. After visiting the place safely and nothing bad happening for three consecutive years, these Lamas then knew that there was really no need to fear.

In Sendai, Japan, there was a very big statue of Ksitigarbha that was toppled by the tsunami. A few days ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw on the news that the local residents of Sendai were erecting the toppled statue of Ksitigarbha. They were very respectful and prayed reverently with palms together. Why would such a major catastrophe still happen then? In Japan, people respect Ksitigarbha very much. Statues of Ksitigarbha are everywhere. Graveyards have statues of Ksitigarbha. Temples have statues of Ksitigarbha. There are statues of Ksitigarbha by the streets and on the street corners. Japanese almost worship Ksitigarbha as if worshiping an Earth Deity. This is the sorrow of wearing the coat of Buddhism but not the spirit. Theoretically, a place that had so many Buddhist statues should not have had such a serious disaster. But why was the disaster so serious this time? This was because these places had committed particularly serious killing deeds. These places were areas that had well-developed fisheries. With such serious killing karma, even having Buddhist statues in the place would be useless because disasters would definitely strike when the killing karma had come to fruition. Although Japan has such advanced technology, without the help of Buddhism, it still has frequent natural disasters.

Furthermore, since there are lots of natural disasters in Japan, Japanese pray to the Buddhas for their own peace and prosperity. If people merely pray for protection and for avoiding misfortune, it is just like having the appearance of Buddhism but lacking the true essence; therefore, it is all in vain. Bodhisattvas won’t come simply because you pray to the Bodhisattvas. While praying to the Bodhisattvas, if your thought does not accord with the Buddhist teachings, the Bodhisattvas still will not come. It isn’t that the Bodhisattvas are ineffective. Instead, what matters are the minds of the people who are praying.

The Japanese towns along the coastline that were devastated by the tsunami following the earthquake had been demolished 30 years ago by a tsunami. It took the people 30 years to recover. Even so, all of their reconstruction from the past 30 years was ruined. They had built a 10-meter high sea wall, but the tsunami waves that struck this time were 14 meters high. All of their efforts and riches accumulated in the past 30 years were destroyed. Man’s plans are not god’s plans. Because they had put great effort into developing the fishing industry since the disaster 30 years ago, a great deal of killing karma had been created. That was why the catastrophe occurred. According to Buddhist scriptures, wealth gained through committing killing cannot be kept long, so the wealth they accumulated through killing lives definitely could not stay with them. That is why the Buddhas constantly advise human beings to refrain from committing killing so as to reduce the occurrences of natural disasters, wars, and diseases.

Many people think that it is important to earn money and save it in the bank. However, the Buddhist scriptures say that one’s wealth is being managed by five thieves. Besides robbers, the first type of thieves is your children. In this degenerative age, one’s sons and daughters are born to use and waste your money. Your children are thieves and your karmic creditors. Why would you leave money behind for your children? If you had not owed them in previous lifetimes, you would not give your wealth and property to your children. Because you owed them in the past lives, you pay them back in this life. The second type of thief is a natural disaster. One’s wealth can be exhausted during natural disasters; the devastation in Japan is an example of this. What’s more, wealth can decrease due to wars and laws as well, such as changes in national policies. For instance, the government recently developed a new policy that impacted real estate agencies. During the past few weeks, several real estate agents came to seek guidance from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for this problem. One of them, a store manager of a real estate company, came because his business was not doing well. This kind of mind is very evil. While he was making money, he did not think about the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Now that his business is failing, he tries to seek help from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It is very inappropriate to regard the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as your money-making tools.

Therefore, while observing things, one should not be superficial. The Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara helps sentient beings with wisdom. “The profound observing wisdom of Avalokiteshvara” refers to the profound observing wisdom in the Five Wisdoms. If any one of the Five Wisdoms is attained through practice, it’s very remarkable. It especially points out that the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara helps sentient beings by utilizing the profound observing wisdom, that is, the ability to understand the causes of sentient beings’ karmic retribution and truly help to relieve sentient beings from their suffering. Just like when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performs the Phowa Dharma to transfer the consciousness of the deceased, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not know about the sentient beings’ attachments, how could Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche transfer their consciousness? The practitioners attain profound observing wisdom only after achieving the state of Bodhisattvas. If one does not understand the suffering causes of people but just bestows blessings whenever they ask, then he is not truly helping them at all. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specifically gave this enlightenment to ordained disciples: “Since you have not attained the profound observing wisdom, if others ask you to help, do not provide help in a careless manner. Do not promise others irresponsibly. If you do not know the causes of people’s suffering, how could you know the best way to help?

“Mercy” is to exchange your best things with others’ suffering. “Compassion” is to relieve sentient beings from the cycle of reincarnation. “Mercy” and “compassion” do not mean to be nice to others as you do usually. It’s also not merciful and compassionate to feel delighted by helping others with your own money or abilities. You like to see others’ happiness because of what you do. This makes you have a sense of achievement. You often see people who provide money for children’s education. When they see children succeed in their studies, they say, ”that is the happiest thing I have ever done.” This is not “mercy” and “compassion” but rather the feeling of using your ability in exchange for benefiting yourself. Some people pity children with no parents, but they never think about the causes and conditions of these children. Perhaps these children must grow up like this in order to learn to be independent. One should teach morals, ethics, and decent values to children, and do more than provide financial support.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps sentient beings, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not ask them to acknowledge the help nor needs them to give praise. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps depending on the conditions of sentient beings. When someone came to express thanks for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that it’s unnecessary to do so. It’s truly unnecessary. If one is truly thankful, one should come to learn Buddha Dharma. If you are unable to see the causes and effects of sentient beings’ suffering, you tend to repeatedly apply the same approach based only on the content of Buddhist sutra you know would help them. Therefore, since you do not have the ability to fundamentally solve problems with the profound observing wisdom, it’s enough to just have the intention to help sentient beings.

Why does it take Three Asamkhyeyakalpa to attain Buddhahood when practicing Exoteric Buddhism while it is much faster when practicing Tantric Buddhism? This is because there is empowerment in Tantric Buddhism. Empowerment is a ritual unique to Tibetan Buddhism. Empowerment means that through the guru’s cultivated virtues, the guru pleads the Yidam to authorize disciples to be able to practice the dharma method. Just like applying for doctorate or masters degrees, one needs to pass the oral exam. If you pass the written examination but professors fail your oral exam and disagree with your application, it’s all for nothing. It is the same with the meaning of empowerment. Without empowerment, it’s all for nothing, even if one recites very well.

During this Chinese New Year, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not realized that many disasters would happen in the future and if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not bestowed empowerment of Avalokiteshvara to you, then the disciple and her family members who had accidental carbon monoxide poisoning might have all died. You may all wonder, isn’t it enough for one to change his karma through his recitation of sutras and mantras and repentance? Is empowerment a must? Indeed, reciting sutras and mantras and repenting can help one to change his karma. However, one’s strength will increase after obtaining empowerment. It is not because the Bodhisattva would come to bless you during the empowerment. It is because the Yidam personally empowers you to practice the Yidam’s dharma. How could one predict the situation about carbon monoxide poisoning one week prior to its occurrence? It was fortunate that the disciple obtained the empowerment. She had set up the mandala at her home, and done the daily practice in accordance with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings so that all her family members could survive the accident. Her family members, including the one who at first did not believe in the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, were more scared than hurt, or as the saying goes, “When one has attained enlightenment, the nine degrees of his kindred will rise to heaven.”

Many people attend pujas. They think that they have already repented so they will not meet with mishaps. This is actually an improper concept. To repent is to admit all that one has done as wrong and to accept and face all of one’s karmic retribution. Karmic retribution won’t disappear into thin air. Instead, after you obtain empowerment and start the practice of the Yidam’s dharma, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will help you by letting your karmic retribution manifest earlier, so as to eliminate obstacles to your Buddhist cultivation. As long as you have firm determination to be reborn into the Pure Land, have one hundred percent faith in the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and guru, and hold an absolutely reverent heart, your karmic retribution will not affect your Buddhist cultivation. You will just be more scared than hurt. Karmic retribution will still happen. However, through the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ blessing and protection, the harm caused by karmic retribution will be reduced. Disasters such as tsunamis are caused by many ghosts and dragons. If one has not hurt ghosts and dragons in his previous lifetimes, one will not encounter this kind of disaster. Since you have done too much evil in your past lifetimes or in this life, you will definitely have the opportunity to meet with mishaps or accidents. However, as long as you truly learn and practice Buddha Dharma, you can still turn ill luck into good even when disaster happens. In this calamitous time, if everyone can learn and cultivate Buddhism, the virtuous power will naturally form, and the number of natural disasters will decrease. In recent years, the damage from natural disasters in Taiwan such as typhoons has decreased immensely due to the fact that many Buddhist Centers have held pujas and because the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has presided over the annual Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousnesses.

If you learn Buddhism reverently, the deities will protect your residence. It is stated in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows that if you reverently recite the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows everyday, ten thousand times a year, no disaster will come to your house. Many people think that this is a myth. However, the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has enlightened that every sentence in the Buddhist sutras is true. There is one characteristic of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s practice of Buddhism: it is the attainment of enlightenment through genuine Buddhist cultivation. If a subject that is in the Buddhist sutras cannot be achieved or has not been achieved by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you will not be asked to do so. Whenever the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche goes to a place and recites mantras, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will know the temples and deities that are nearby. Because once Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recites mantras, those ghosts and deities will come alongside right away. They know that the Most Venerable Rinchen Dorjee can help them. Therefore, as long as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performs dharma, everyone knows that there is something good at this place and rushes immediately to receive Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s merits. There is one disciple who resides in Tai-Chun. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never has been to her house but can clearly point out that there is an Earth Deity Temple to the right of the front of her house.

Everyone should learn the spirit of making offerings to and revering the gurus, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas taught in the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. You must not think that you truly carried out the act of making offerings by merely offering a bit of money to the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. To make a true offering, you also have to follow the teachings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and act in accordance with the teachings. Because you do not have the immense root capacity of the Patriarch Hui Neng, who attained enlightenment on his own simply by reading and hearing the Diamond Sutra, you must, therefore, follow these teachings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas: learn Buddhism, free yourself from the cycle of reincarnation, and after attaining Buddhahood, benefit sentient beings. Do not indulge your own desires by thinking that since you have such good root capacity you can still associate with evil friends. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asks you not to come close to those people. You disobey. Your minds are not firm enough and will be hooked if others just move their fingers. Maybe someone asks whether or not it matters if you just give him a ride. It may not matter now. But once you open the door, others will take advantage of the opportunity.

Many people attend pujas in order to seek success for their business, good health, or respite from scolding spouses. All of these are incorrect attitudes. Bodhisattva Samantabhadra said that the attitude of learning Buddhism should be as earnest as extinguishing a fire in one’s hair. You should not say, “Wait until I finish my studies”, “Wait until my business is successful” or “Wait until my children are grownup.” If you wait any longer, you will wait until the coming of death. Then it’s too late. So you should learn Buddhism immediately, right away. Without such an attitude, even if you learn more, it will be of no use.

While a practitioner practices the dharma method of Yidam Avalokiteshvara, he should cultivate the same vow strength and merits as Avalokiteshvara with a pure, non-seeking, unselfish heart. Moreover, with each thought filled with the compassionate power of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, you will become immersed in the Yidam’s vast ocean of merit. And naturally, when you experience suffering or difficulties, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will come to your rescue. In other words, the Universal Gate Chapter’s “the power of thinking Avalokiteshvara” can save you from your difficulties. It points out that if a practitioner truly practices in accordance with the dharma method of the Yidam, and fills every thought with the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, then he, naturally, is able to obtain protection from the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and relieve all suffering. When the Buddha Sakyamuni was in this world, Devadatta, who envied the Buddha Sakyamuni, planned to kill him with a huge stone. However, the huge stone was shattered by Vajradhara when it fell. Therefore, it goes without saying that the practitioners who are able to achieve enlightenment and benefit sentient beings are very rare and precious, and they will be protected by the devas, dharma protectors, Eight Divisions of Gods and Dragons, and all deities.

In the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the phrase “venomous snakes, agkistrodonhalys, and scorpions; poisonous air, smoke, and burning fire, etc…” respectively enumerate all kinds of disasters human beings may encounter in their life. These include natural disasters, warfare, poisoning, imprisonment, and drowning etc. All can be liberated by the august powers of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. These are not myths but the truth. It is said that “All phenomenal existence is created by the mind.” All things are from causes and effects as well as causes and conditions. If, in the past, you did not plant such evil causes, in this life you will not suffer and will not be impacted by these evil disasters. Although these are only a few sentences in the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, it covers all of the dharma practice methods in Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism.

The poisonous air in “poisonous air, smoke, and burning fire” is like the disciple who shared earlier, her whole family was poisoned by carbon monoxide gas but was fine. What is the gas? It’s the “poisonous air.” Originally, she and her two daughters, including the one who slandered the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, were ready to leave this life. The guru, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas took care of her and her family because she took refuge, completely revered the guru, received the empowerment of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara Yidam from the guru, and was about ready to start to practice. As a result, The reason the guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas helped her was not for her to watch her two daughters grow up; instead, it was to give her enough time to learn Buddhism so that she can be liberated from the cycle of life and death. The poisoning of the disciple’s whole family was also related to the evil karma in the past. “Smoke and burning fire” refers to being burned by fire. Do not think that things that happen to other people’s families do not matter to you. If the second building down from your house catches on fire, would you flee? Of course. Although it does not happen to your house, you are still affected. If you can truly aspire to learn Buddhism, practice, and repent, the fire can be at least ten buildings down from your place and you will not need to flee. It saves your time so that you may practice Buddhism diligently.

Scripture does not say that bad things will not happen to you while you recite the Holy Name of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. If it were so, it would be unnecessary for the scripture to describe the disasters that human beings can encounter. Instead, things would still happen and karmic retributions would still appear, but you would suffer less for heavier retributions, your death would not be accidentally or untimely, and you would escape disaster. After learning Buddhism, if something that you think of as bad happens, it means that the power from your reciting mantras and repentance starts to manifest. That is the correct direction because you are about to repay your debt. Very often, after you start to practice Buddhism, you hope to have good things happen to you soon. However, if you have not yet accumulated enough merits, how can you expect good things to appear right away?

Master Gampopa enlightened that the most immense offering is the reverent heart. As long as you totally submit to the guru, you can slowly accumulate your virtues. You do not have Buddha Sakyamuni’s kind of root capacity so it is impossible to become enlightened while just seeing birth, aging, sickness, and death. Do not think about whether or not you can become enlightened, when can you liberate sentient beings, or when can you reach a certain level in your practice. You should not think about any of these things. That year when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to learn Buddhism, he never thought that one day he would ascend the Dharma Throne, give enlightenment of Buddha Dharma, and have disciples. He only knows that learning Buddhism is a good thing, and practices just exactly as His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang teaches him.

You shall not expect immediate results right after starting to learn Buddhism. If you thought that you could attain achievement with only several years of learning, that is impossible. One should not be rushed to learn Buddhism, but should approach it step-by-step. The beginning is the most difficult part. One does not need to have any expectations. Only if you continuously practice without interruption will you be able to change your karmic retributions. You do not need to think about when the result will come. As far as helping others, it’s enough for you ordained disciples to just have the intention. Since you have not cultivated to a certain level, do not casually help and try to satisfy sentient beings’ desire with your own egoistic consciousness; otherwise, you may harm them.

Yesterday, an ordained female disciple sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She said that she had to take a leave of absence to Southern Taiwan for one month in order to handle the house affairs of her mother. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded her on the spot because she forgot her ordained status. In fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not only provides her food, clothing, shelter, and transportation, but also pays her salary. She was still worrying about those things. Within one night of her asking Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she caught a cold. She repented to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on the spot and prayed for compassion of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also enlightened that her catching a cold is light karmic retribution for this situation, and through that, she also repaid some debts.

Yesterday, two believers took their children to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. They said that their children were in poor health. It was their second visit. They did not bring their children with them during their previous visit so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not help them. Yesterday, they came with their children and knelt down. The wife said that she recited the Sutra of the Medicine Buddha every day, and the husband also said that he recited the Cundhi Bodhisattva Mantra every day. They wondered why their children’s health was not improving. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told them that according to the Sutra of the Medicine Buddha one has to set up the mandalas of the Twelve Yaksha Generals when reciting the sutra. Additionally, one has to offer incense, observe the precepts, take a shower, and wear brand new clothes before one recites the sutra. There are specific rituals and one has to recite single-mindedly. Besides, the sutra did not mention how long it takes for one to see the result. As the wife did not conduct her recitation accordingly, how could it be effective? They had recited for a long time, but the problem was still there. If it was unnecessary to follow the rituals, then the sutra would not say so. As for the husband, who recited the Cundhi Bodhisattva Mantra, he had not received oral transmission or empowerment of the mantra, nor had he conducted any retreats. There might be some results if he recites for himself, but it will never be effective if he recites for others. However, as the two had conducted recitation in utmost sincerity, they thereby created the causes and conditions to see and receive help from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. After all, their recitation did work!

Recently, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche received an e-mail from an official of a health governmental organization in Eastern Taiwan. The e-mail said that there was a disciple who had been diagnosed with colon cancer. The doctor suggested that she undergo surgery, and guaranteed that her cancer would be cured with the treatment. If she refused to have the surgery, her condition would be critical. Nevertheless, the disiciple refused the surgery by saying that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said before that one who has cancer should not undergo any surgery. In his reply to the official, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche first complemented him that it is rare for a government official to care so much about a citizen’s health. Additionally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told him that, according to the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, one who cares about the sick will obtain great merits. Moreover, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche merely teaches the Buddha Dharma, and does not know the medical treatments, whether or not the disciple should undergo surgery is, therefore, up to herself. Later, the official replied politely that this disciple had firm faith in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and hoped that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could persuade the disciple to undergo the surgery.

As a matter of fact, government officials have an obligation to persuade a patient to undergo treatments. Nevertheless, even though many disciples of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche are cancer patients, none of them are like the female disciple who has colon cancer. She failed to deal with her problem properly and even let the government official keep writing to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never told anyone not to undergo surgical operations. Instead, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always asks the patient to think clearly before making the decision. Whether the patient decides to undergo surgery, chemotherapy, or no treatments at all, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will help out as long as the patient prays for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help. All the attendees of the puja were witnesses. After knowing the name of the patient mentioned in the e-mail, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the e-mail to the disciple so that she could resolve the issue. Her younger brother went to see the official who had sent the e-mail, along with other family members and the disciple herself. As the official was so confident of curing the patient, he was asked to sign an affidavit to guarantee that the patient’s cancer wouldn’t recur after the surgical operation. If he agreed to do so, the patient would then undergo surgery. The government official would not put down his name and the patient herself, in turn, signed an affidavit of responsibility for all the consequences. Then, the incident eventually came to an end.

Yesterday, after it was all over, the disciple, along with her mother and other family members, came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told them that everyone in their family learned Buddhism without a clear understanding, except the mother. She knew clearly enough to say to her daughter, “The incident was caused by your greed!” Then, the female disciple with colon cancer admitted that she had the check-up because it was free of charge. When her exam results showed that she had developed cancer, the hospital then reported her case to the authorities. Therefore, the government official advised her to start treatment. Originally, it was the patient’s personal issue, but the official chose to write to a Rinpoche. As she told the official that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had instructed her not to have the surgery, the official thereby wrote to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about it. She should have just believed and accepted the law of cause and effect. Nonetheless, because of her greed, she went for the free check-up and was frightened after seeing the exam results. That was why she said that she would believe Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and not undergo the surgery. Her family did not understand her mistake and merely thought that she had made Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche angry. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was not angry at all. Her mother was the only one who knew what was wrong with her and said that her mistake was being greedy. Besides, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that the reason why this incident happened was that she has heavy karma, and ever since she took refuge, she was unclear about why she practiced Buddhism; moreover, she did not repent at all. If a disciple reverently and sincerely makes offerings, he or she will never create troubles for the guru. When you take refuge, you are told not to be greedy. Because of her greed, she rushed to have the check-up when she knew it was free. Are there any free meals on Earth? After learning the results of her exam, she didn’t want to undergo the surgery, she then had Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche deal with her problem.

Although Buddha Dharma does not emphasize the miraculous powers, as they also exist in Taoism and Christianity, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ miraculous powers do not serve to prove what level of achievement they have attained, for such powers naturally rise for the sake of benefiting sentient beings. A practitioner will develop the five or six miraculous powers stated in the scriptures when he is able to reveal his pure nature in his cultivation and increase the light of his wisdom. A guru of Rinpoche level is capable of reading the minds of others to a certain degree. Therefore, he knows about sentient beings’ affairs, and, accordingly, can apply his wisdom to help them. Without miraculous powers, the practitioner does not know what sentient beings are thinking about; then, it is very difficult to help them understand the Buddhist law of cause and effect. Miraculous powers are mere tools and conveniences for helping sentient beings. Sometimes, if you don’t let the believers know that you have some special capabilities, they will not listen to you.

As long as one achieves the level of a Bodhisattva, he will naturally develop miraculous powers without even asking for them. Miraculous powers are not to be sought after. When a practitioner has perfected his precepts, meditative concentration, and wisdom, he will naturally have such powers. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche dares not claim that he has such powers; nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has much greater sensing capability than any of you. If it were not so, how could Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche know the clinging hindrance thoughts of the deceased? How could the deceased be transferred to the Pure Land if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche failed to know their clinging hindrance thoughts? At least, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is capable of reading the minds of others; otherwise, how would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche know what the believers are thinking about? Therefore, do not try to tell lies to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. When a believer kneels down, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows what the believer is thinking about even before he or she speaks. If one wants to practice the Bodhisattva path and help others, all one has to do is to have a virtuous heart before he has developed such powers. It is painstaking work to help sentient beings. You should practice Buddhism properly and not expect to succeed at a certain time. Keep cultivating your practice. When your karma has been purified, you will naturally develop such powers. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never thought of becoming a Rinpoche. In the beginning, the only thing Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew was that learning Buddhism is good, so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche simply carried it out and continued doing it. How can you, especially those ordained disciples, help sentient beings without perfecting the practice of Tranquility and Insight? As you have not achieved the state of Tranquility, how can you enter the state of Insight? According to Madhyamaka, it is neither the left nor the right that one should be approaching. It is not the middle either. As for the means of Tranquility and Insight, one has to practice Tranquility first before practicing Insight. Without the practices of Tranquility and Insight, one will not be able to develop the miraculous powers. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained this because there are ordained disciples attending today’s puja. They heard about it before but did not know how to approach it. As it is related to Tantra, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not give any further explanations today.

“Extensively cultivate wisdom of skillful means” refers to the wisdom of expedient means. If one does not have wisdom, how can he know about the ways to help sentient beings? Even if a Bodhisattva has attained wisdom and all the miraculous powers, the Bodhisattva still has to extensively cultivate wisdom of skillful means. In other words, they continuously develop the profound oberving wisdom and attain the innumerable skillful means in order to help sentient beings. Even a Bodhisattva needs to cultivate diligently, not to mention the ordinary people who have not seen their own pure nature.

Many years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw a news story about an airplane that was forced to stay in Kimmen Airport instead of flying back to Taiwan due to torrential rainfalls. At the airport, a dharma master asked everyone there to recite the sacred name of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara so as to make the rain stop. However, the rain kept falling, even on the following day. Why didn’t their recitation work? It was because the master was praying to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for his own benefit; therefore, it was in vain. Maybe he thought the recitation could help those people go home sooner. However, he failed to look at worldly affairs with the profound observing wisdom and take their causes, conditions, and effects into consideration. What he did not consider was that the rain might prevent something unfortunate from happening. Hence, we can see that the dharma master was not able to help sentient beings with the profound observing wisdom.

Many people have explained “to constantly grant all sentient beings” incorrectly. It doesn’t mean that one always has to do what sentient beings want him to do, but that one always has to help sentient beings according to their causes and conditions. Just as the Diamond Sutra states, “ One’s intention should dwell nowhere while giving rise to the purified mind.” “Constantly” means doing it for eternity. It points to the fact that the practitioner will never retreat or change in his compassion and Bodhicitta for sentient beings. “To grant” is to help sentient beings according to their causes and conditions so as to create the conditions for them to have the opportunity to learn Buddhism and to cultivate their practice in this life. It is different from what you have heard in other Buddhist Centers, as when someone wants to learn Buddhism, the masters cater to the person’s requests and grant his wishes. They are afraid of being thought of as lacking mercy and compassion if they do not agree with the person. They think that attracting more believers to pujas and enabling them to have faith in Buddhism is to constantly grant all sentient beings.

Recently, many realtors have come to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Amongst them was a store manager of a real estate company who told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that he had problems with his leg. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told him that it was karmic retribution because he had cheated on workmanship and materials. This believer refuted Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saying that the houses were already built. How could he cheat? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told him that if he, as a realtor, does not tell the buyer the true conditions, he cheats both sides, the house owner as well as the buyer. Thinking that every realtor acts in the same way and knowing that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also runs a real estate company, the manager pretended to be a buyer and went to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company to make some inquiries. Afterwards, he realized that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, unlike himself who cheated, ran the businesses honestly. Yesterday, the man came again to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and confessed. What Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did can definitely stand tests of any kind. In this case, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have supernatural power to know the realtor’s lies, how would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche have been able to make the realtor willingly seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again instead of disconnecting his causal relationship with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has learned and cultivated the vast wisdom of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can apply different methods to help different kinds of sentient beings.

If a salesperson continues to make use of his previous company’s client resources or personal network after he is employed by another company, it is in fact the act of stealing. He should not think that the business relationship is built by him, as the previous employer pays him; therefore the resources do not belong to him but the company. Knowing that the commercial world is just like the battlefield, an employer usually hopes to hire an experienced salesperson to make money for the company through the person’s previous business network. In fact, this concept is not correct.

Here, “undefiled pure light” means that the Bodhisattvas’ pure nature is as clear as a crystal through which light can directly penetrate, with no hidden defilement. “The sun of wisdom that breaks through the darkness,” the world where sentient beings of the Six Realms dwell in reincarnation is full of sorrow and suffering as if they are in the darkness. Here, the darkness means that the light of the Six Realms is very dim, while the light of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is as bright as the sun, and therefore can dispel all darkness and help sentient beings leave the suffering seas of reincarnation. The light of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas always illuminates the world and continuously helps all sentient beings of the Six Realms. When one is in the intermediate state, one is used to the dimmer light and will dread the light of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas when he sees it. That is why one ought to daily cultivate Buddhism and get closer to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Otherwise, after one dies and is in the intermediate state, one will not be used to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ bright light that is going to provide help. Instead, one would head for the more familiar dimmer light, which would lead that person to reincarnation of the Six Realms.

“Is able to quell the calamities of wind and fire” means that the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara’s wonderful wisdom is able to subdue the calamities of wind and fire. Here, “wind and fire” can be explained in two ways. According to Buddhist sutras, when the earth destructs, it will experience calamities of wind and fire. This phrase expresses hope that we will not encounter the terrifying time of earth’s final destruction. The other explanation is regarding the physical elements of wind and fire. The biggest calamity is reincarnation in the Six Realms. When people die, they suffer a great deal both physically and psychologically while going through the pain related to the four major elements.

A human’s physical body comprises four elements: earth, wind, water, and fire. Prior to one’s death, one experiences the pain of the dissolution of the four elements. In a hospital, we often see dying patients ask others to fluff their pillow or raise their head because they suffer the pain of the dissolution of the earth element. No matter how thick the pillows, they still feel as if their heads are falling. Some elderly are humpbacked, their legs have no strength, and their teeth become loose. These are all signs of the dissolution of the earth element. Some patients don’t like to be touched, feeling great pain and discomfort by even a slight touch. Other people have no feeling at all when they are moved. This is the dissolution of the wind element. Some people’s skin starts to feel dry and have wrinkles. This is the dissolution of the water element. When people age, they gradually lose their sense of hot and cold. Even if the air conditioning is very strong, they still feel hot, or even if it’s very hot, they still feel cold and want to wear more clothes, or they have no reaction to hot and cold. This is the dissolution of the fire element. The dissolution of one’s four major elements can be seen one or two, even five, years prior to one’s death. If one has virtues before he dies, the earth element will start to disintegrate gradually rather than experiencing a sudden dissolution at the end, which is extremely painful. A cultivated practitioner is able to avoid that type of suffering. A practitioner who accomplishes the Phowa Dharma will know when his life ends, and he won’t experience the pains of the dissolution of the four major elements; instead, he will directly go to the Pure Land of Amitabha.

In “as it shines on all worlds,” “worlds” does not refer to the earth but to all sentient beings of the Six Realms. The light of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is extremely bright, and it illuminates all worlds without any discrimination. It does not illuminate the sentient beings in hells more because they suffer more, nor does it illuminate the sentient beings in heaven less because they enjoy their lives. Just like all sentient beings, as long as they are at the same latitude, they obtain the same sunshine. In the age of dharma decadence, it is very difficult to help and liberate sentient beings. That is why when Sakyamuni Buddha was in Tusita Heaven, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas had a meeting to dissuade Sakyamuni Buddha from coming to Earth, as sentient beings from earth are stubborn and obstinate, difficult to tame and subdue. However, Sakyamuni Buddha still eventually came to Earth. The wisdom light of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is always illuminating sentient beings of the Six Realms, but they cannot perceive it due to their vexations. Through Buddhist cultivation to purify the mind, one would realize that the pure light of the Buddhas never stops helping sentient beings of the Six Realms. Were it not for the guru’s, Buddhas’, and Bodhisattvas’ light shining and bestowing blessings on us continuously, it would not be possible for us to live this kind of life.

“The embodiment of compassion and precepts are like thunder in the sky.” Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva embodies great mercy and compassion in order to benefit all sentient beings. In the meantime, Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva observes the precept of true compassion and fills each thought with mercy and compassion for the sake of all. Because the Bodhisattva’s embodiment of compassion and observance of precepts are pure and perfect, the power of his mercy and compassion is like loud thunder cleaving the sky, shattering all kinds of chaos and evil conditions. Its awe-inspiring power is beyond description! Mercy and compassion is the greatest power in the whole universe, just like thunder that has great power. Even when the sky is cloudy and obscure, as long as it thunders, the sky will become bright and luminous. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas shatter our ignorance of past lives with undefiled and pure compassion, just as thunder cleaves the sky, and illuminates sentient beings with the light of wisdom.  Consequently, our undefiled and pure nature manifests itself and merges with the Bodhisattvas’ power of mercy and compassion. Accordingly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestows blessings on believers and helps all sentient beings with this same power of mercy and compassion. Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva’s awe-inspiring power is like thunder and lightning that illuminates the whole sky no matter how dark the night.

It is stated in the sutras that there is the light of the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, and Byakug. Many people don’t know about Byakug. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had this kind of experience. In fact, each sentient being has the Byakug. According to the sutras, the Byakug is the light that shines from the area between your eyebrows. As you have not attained this kind of state, your light is so weak that you can’t see it. The reason you can’t see it is because you haven’t opened your heart. Your heart is still dark and gloomy so you can’t see the light. Through Buddhist cultivation and developing compassion, you are then able to perceive that the pure light of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is always shining upon you. With your continuously diligent practice, the light of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is also gradually increased so that it will completely eliminate the darkness within you. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas help and liberate sentient beings with the Buddha’s light, Byakug, and dharma nature. This is also why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has repeatedly emphasized that you must listen and act in accord with Buddhist teachings rather than learn Buddhism with your own view.

The phrase “the merciful mind is like a marvelous great cloud” is very hard to explain. You certainly have not heard an appropriate explanation given by any other dharma masters. The compassion of an enlightened Bodhisattva is of emptiness in nature. “Emptiness” does not refer to nothing, but refers to the concept that causes and conditions arise and cease, meaning there is no attachment and no permanence. “Mind” here refers to the intention that arises from the mind of attachment, which is part of the conditioned path. Some people may wonder that since the Bodhisattvas’ mercy and compassion is of emptiness in nature, and if the compassion of emptiness and the intention of the conditioned path conflict with each other. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche provided teachings on this. Even though a Bodhisattva has attained boundless mercy and compassion, as well as Bodhicitta, if he does not give rise to the intention, how will he be able to help and liberate sentient beings? The mind here refers to the intention the Bodhisattva gives rise to liberate sentient beings in accord with their conditions. This is like the mind described in the Diamond Sutra, one that changes in accordance with non-abiding. The Bodhisattva’s mind arises first and then the intention arises. A Bodhisattva helps and liberates the sentient beings according to their causes and conditions, and after the causal conditions cease, it will be as if nothing ever happened. There is no attachment at all, like the clouds in the sky that assemble for a while and then disperse as the wind blows them away.

According to the Buddhist sutras, there are all kinds of clouds beside Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Here “cloud” does not refer to those in the sky. Clouds gather quickly and scatter quickly. They do not permanently stay in one place. Nor does it refer to a large cloud. People often say that when Buddhas appear, auspicious clouds follow. You may see the auspicious clouds painted beside images of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Auspicious clouds are not necessarily painted in five colors. There are different kinds of clouds. Where are the clouds from? “Marvelous great cloud” here refers to a kind of energy. The Bodhisattva is able to assemble the positive energy in the universe and make it a power that can help sentient beings. Upon finishing, the clouds naturally disperse. It is just like the clouds in the sky that come and go. Clouds disperse once the wind comes.

At this time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the believers who have not taken refuge to leave. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to bestow on the disciples the Tantric practice of Avalokiteshvara.

April 9, 2011

From 4:15 PM to 10:15 PM, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped 144 believers solve all kinds of worldly suffering and gave enlightenment of Buddha Dharma at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei.

April 10, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja, teaching important concepts from the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei.

At the beginning of the puja, a female disciple made repentance to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

She is aware that she is a wicked person. She has been prohibited from entering the Buddhist center to listen to Buddha Dharma and from making offerings because she did not change herself at all. Once she ate something that her friend said was good for her health. Her platelet count went down to 2000, and she almost lost her life. Were it not for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s saving of her life, she would have miserably suffered in the hells! When she got sick this time, the doctor said that there was no cure for her illness. He still arranged for her to undergo a bone marrow biopsy and chemotherapy. He also advised her to take steroids. Were it not for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who saved her life, she would be in the hells or suffering from the torture of medical treatment.

She is immensely grateful to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for saving her life so she could have the chance to thoroughly make repentance and wholeheartedly recite Buddha’s names. She came to realize that the importance of learning Buddhism is to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death, cease doing evil, and cut the path of lingering reincarnation.

Now, she is entangled in a lawsuit because she was a speculator in the stock market. She invested in stocks and helped her friend buy unlisted securities. However, she lost all of her friend’s money so her friend used gangsters to ask for money. All of this is the karmic fruit of her greed. In addition, she repented that she liked to be the boss and wanted others to listen to her. She was arrogant, opinionated, and self-righteous. She did not practice Buddhism nor did she correct her conduct at all. Rather than acting in accord with Buddhist teachings, she used Buddha Dharma and His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to satisfy her own desires. She did not deeply believe in the law of cause and effect nor did she understand repentance and offerings. Instead, she continuously gave rise to greed, hatred, and ignorance. She met with mishaps because she had often broke precepts.

Ten years ago, she suffered from depression. Rather than making repentance, she blamed others. She lived in her own world, and took antidepressants. After she took refuge under His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and started listening to Buddha Dharma, she came to realize that one’s mental illness is caused by very greedy thoughts, lots of desires, and heavy killing karma. Over a period of time, she gradually reduced the amount of medicine she took until she finally did not need to take any medicine. However, because she, the insatiable one, did not listen to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and attentively cultivate Buddhism, she again became ill. She again started taking antidepressants, and she also took a sedative to help her fall asleep at night. She felt deep regret because the drugs were indeed poisons. If one is unwilling to correct herself, even the Buddha cannot change her karma. It will be up to one’ s own determination to correct herself. Now, she has stopped taking all prescription medicine, and she is seeking help from Chinese medicine.

She expressed that from now on she will listen to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ’s teachings, attentively cultivate Buddhism, act in accordance with Buddhism, and cease doing evils. She will diligently practice what the guru has taught her and stop being lazy. She will completely obey His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings and make offerings with her body, speech, and mind. She will also be filial and obedient to her mother. Through this, she will repay the grace of the Buddhas, her guru, her parents, and sentient beings.

After this, an elder brother and younger sister pair who had taken refuge many years ago went to the front to publicly repent. Since 1997, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has helped their family on several occasions. When the family had financial difficulties, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche personally provided them financial support. Once, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche got up early in the morning to help them. Another time, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche skipped dinner and nighttime sleep to help them. In a different instance, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had just returned from perfecting a solitary retreat in Nepal, and, despite feeling fatigued, still helped them. However, as His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned, they are the most selfish family. Both the elder brother and younger sister do not appreciate His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who tirelessly helped and taught them a lot. They are self-centered, and avoid taking responsibility. They are not willing to attentively cultivate Buddhism, nor do they have any compassion or gratitude towards the guru, dharma brothers, or sentient beings. Therefore, they publicly made repentance to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the dharma brothers, and sentient beings.

In 1997, after the family moved into a new home, they were haunted by two ghosts. At that time, the family argued, the mother fell ill and had to move to a Buddhist temple, the younger sister stayed at her maternal uncle’s home, and the elder brother went to live in Taichung. The family, three people total, was scattered to different places; though they owned a house, they could not return home. Thankfully, the younger sister met His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who helped to resolve their evil karmic connection to the beings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche transferred the consciousnesses of their father, maternal grandfather, and family dog. Moreover, although not financially well off at the time, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche twice paid for a taxi to Keelung to conduct dharma in their home.

In 1999, one day prior to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s departure for India for a solitary retreat, the brother and sister’s maternal grandmother passed away at daybreak. The younger sister came to the Buddhist center to implore His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to conduct a dharma ritual to save her grandmother from the cycle of birth and death. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who was going to fly to India that afternoon to begin a retreat, put his affairs aside and got up early in the morning to immediately conduct a dharma ritual for their grandmother. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped their grandmother to be liberated from cyclic reincarnation without thinking about reserving energy for the upcoming trip and retreat.

When she sought an audience with His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the male follower’s wife was told that her grandmother still had not been liberated from the cycle of reincarnation. Therefore, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche let her attend a Chod Puja to save her grandmother.

Their ancestors made their living by fishing. They owned many fishing vessels and hired many people, and as a result, created heavy killing karma. In doing so, they caused the evil karma of having countless sentient beings panic and depart from their family. After taking refuge, the whole family member still did not act in accordance with the teachings nor did they attentively cultivate Buddhism. As a result, their karmic retribution manifested itself. In 2003, the man’s mother and daughter were accidentally poisoned to death by carbon monoxide. His wife was poisoned and came close to death. At 7:50 PM that evening, the male follower placed a phone call to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to report this event. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche skipped dinner, and instructed some disciples to help their family right away. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately hurried to the Buddhist center on Min-Sheng East Road and began to conduct dharma rituals for the mother, wife, and daughter until 10:00 PM that night. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the brother and sister to go to the Buddhist center to meet with His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help, no matter how late. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have dinner that evening, and had planned to leave the country very early the following morning. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave up rest and waited for the brother and sister until 2:00 AM. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught them the principle of impermanent life as well as the law of cause and effect. Before His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche rested, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the  disciple’s wife the auspicious and unique salt sarira to save her life.

The brother’s wife’s carbon monoxide poisoning was very serious, and she was in a coma. Originally, the doctor was not very optimistic, saying that she may die or remain in a vegetative state. Even if her life could be saved, her body and brain could suffer some very serious sequela. On the day of the accident, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed one disciple to send for the auspicious nectar pill. After she took the pill, she threw up large amount of yellowish fluid and woke up. After being helped by His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she recovered and three days later was released from the hospital. At her follow-up appointments, her body and brain were found to be normal and without sequela. His wife later changed jobs, and needed to go to Tao-Yuan. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specially performed a cleansing ritual on her car for safety because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche worried about her weak body as well as her unsettled and restless mind due to the recent loss of her daughter. Also, she became pregnant again very quickly, within six months. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specially instructed her to transfer the merits to all the pregnant mothers after reciting the mantras every day and to perform full prostrations. Later, when she was giving birth, she was able to deliver smoothly, even as the doctors and nurses were getting ready.

On the night of June 28, 2007, the sister had a car accident. She broke her pelvis and both femurs. She was in a critical condition. The hospital notified the family many times that this might be their last time to see her. At that time, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was performing a retreat on a snowy mountain in Nepal. Before the female disciple underwent surgery, her brother and sister-in-law went to the Glorious Jewel Store and, facing the dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, implored help. The sister was surprisingly protected under the Buddha lights of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and safely underwent eight hours of surgery and follow-up treatments. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche came back, despite having just completed a three-month long retreat and enduring the hardship and fatigue of a long flight, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the female disciple blessings and enlightenment.

This brother and sister believed that none of the disciples from the Buddhist center had received as much help from the His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as they had, but they were the most selfish and ungrateful. They did not learn Buddhism well, and did not do their practices. They haggled over every penny, and never made real offerings. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had enlightened that all the ways to eliminate karmic obstacles were taught to everyone, but if one does not carry out their actions in accordance with the teachings, what good are the teachings? They were vicious disciples, and did not carry out actions in accordance with the teachings. When something happened, they wasted the guru’s fortunes, merits, and energy, and caused the virtuous great practitioner to worry about the evil deeds they had done. They also prevented the great practitioner from benefiting other sentient beings with a full heart and mind, since their vice and karma were truly very heavy.

Whenever the guru gave them opportunities to accumulate merits or serve the Buddhist center, they would hide far away. In 2002, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the sister a job at Glorious Jewel Group International Ltd. She rejected this offer because she thought that the salaries were low. Later, the company where she worked was closed down, and she was unemployed for more than six months. In 2005, there was a group of malicious disciples who were trying to sabotage the Buddhist center.  The brother did not step up and protect the center; he was only concerned about keeping himself out of trouble. As a result, many Buddhist brothers had to appear in court. Although he was very afraid of trouble, in the end, he could not hide from trouble. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche established the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic, and helped their whole family. The brother used to love seafood, but as a result of eating it, he developed skin problems that troubled him for ten years. This was only cured through applying Bao Yuan Gao (skin medicine), which was created by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He only thought about protecting himself and was very self-centered. He always reacted quickly whenever he perceived that his interest was being violated. This evil karma made him allergic to all Western medicines, so he could only take Chinese medicine from the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic to maintain health. He injured his lower back when he was in college. Through the doctors from the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic, this gradually improved. When the sister had a major car accident, the Chinese medicine from the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic saved her life. She would have otherwise died due to low blood pressure in the Intensive Care Unit.

During the summer of 2010, the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic helped to cure his cousin’s child of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. They also discovered that the cousin’s mother-in-law did not have lung cancer, just inflammation in her lungs due to long-term coughing so she did not have to suffer through surgeries. His cousin bought some cordyceps from the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic. In November, the cousin suddenly called the doctor of the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic and said that the cordyceps may contain heavy metals. The doctor called the disciple and asked him to resolve the issue with his cousin. However, he was afraid of causing trouble and being inconvenienced, so he surprisingly told the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic to deal with the issue themselves. He asked them to do laboratory tests and give his cousin a report. He was totally ungrateful to the guru and the clinic. The Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic and the cousin sent the cordyceps to the most famous German laboratory in China for tests. The test results showed that there were absolutely no heavy metals. The disciple caused the His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the group, and the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic lots of trouble and worry. He should have paid attention to what he said, and have been considerate and responsible in order to avoid misunderstandings and problems. The outcome was as His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had enlightened yesterday: the disciple thought that he was very superior and proud, and his response to the clinic was also very clever. Consequently, he caused one Chinese doctor to resign due to fear over legal issues, and the Chinese clinic had to make several changes in procedures and schedules and recruit new physicians. It was very troublesome, time-consuming, and expensive. Everything was caused by the disciple’s selfishness and self-righteousness. The magnanimous His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not blame him for the losses and damages caused to the group and Chinese clinic, but, in contrary, asked him to pay attention to his status and be cautious with his words and actions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is always deeply concerned about helping the disciples. The disciple did not dare to ask the guru for forgiveness, but he was truly repentant in his heart.

Yesterday, they came to make repentance to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to attend the puja in Japan. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche looked at them intensely and asked, “Why do you learn Buddhism? Why do you want to go to the puja in Japan?”

They said to themselves, “Right. Why are we learning Buddhism? Why are we attending the puja?” Starting in 1997, they received help from the guru, but never had seriously learned Buddhism. Every week they attended the puja with the motivation of beseeching protection and well being for their family. They completely disregarded His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s tireless teachings. When the family faced trouble, they came to beseech the guru for help; however, when the family was safe and at peace, they became content and arrogant. They felt like they disappointed the guru, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the Buddhist center, and all of the dharma brothers who did their best to protect the center with their wholehearted effort. They received the most help from the guru, but believed the guru and Buddha Dharma the least. They only took advantage of the guru, Buddha Dharma, and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to appease the karmic creditors so they could have a good life; namely, they did not act according to the teachings at all.

They openly made repentance to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the negative karma from past lives, especially all kinds of karma generated from body, speech, and mind ever since they began learning Buddhism, from indolent attitudes in learning Buddhism, and from showing no respect to Buddha Dharma. They besought the guru to give them a chance to continue making repentance, and they also besought the Buddha and Bodhisattvas and His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to have mercy on sentient beings and to let sentient beings with conditions all hear Buddha Dharma, be liberated from birth and death, and be reborn into the Pure Land.

Then, a husband and wife, both of whom are disciples, also stepped to the front to make repentance. They were the evil couple mentioned by His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche last week. This female follower refused a dharma brother’s heartfelt invitation to their team’s dinner gathering due to her own selfishness and ignorance. She did not appreciate the volunteering dharma brothers’ efforts nor did she consider their earnest contribution and hard work. They merely wanted to listen to Buddha Dharma and had no interest to attend any other affair. They just did what they wanted to do. This kind of ignorant thought, merely for one’s own sake rather than for others’ benefit, is so mean and inappropriate. Furthermore, she clearly realized that she did not cherish the Vajra dharma brothers, the opportunity to meet them, and the karmic connection of many lifetimes. For these things, they made repentance to the Vajra Guru His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. They also expressed thanks to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for teaching them and letting them clearly see their bad habits, so they could re–examine their errors, stop being ignorant, and stop taking the rare, precious Buddhist causal conditions with which they are endowed for granted.

Today, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continues to bestow upon all attendees the dharma teachings about the poetic verses in the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Sakyamuni Buddha taught people about why Avalokiteshvara had such immense blessings and merits to benefit countless sentient beings. Some of the poetic verses in this chapter, such as, “with the great vow as deep as the ocean,” are very important. Here, “great” means that the great vows Avalokiteshvara aroused when liberating sentient beings are too deep and expansive to be measured, like a deep ocean. Just as the depth and expansiveness of the deepest sea cannot be known even though the location can be confirmed with modern advanced science, the great vow aroused within Avalokiteshvara is so deep and expansive that it is unfathomable for ordinary people. Only the Buddha knows the depth and expansiveness of Avalokiteshvara’s vow. If a sentient being’s vow is different than Avalokiteshvara’s, he will not be able to immerse himself in Avalokiteshvara’s ocean of merits and, thus, will not be able to attain Avalokiteshvara’s blessings.

“With mindfulness of Avalokiteshvara’s power, the fiery pit will become a pond.” The mindfulness, here, refers to one’s thought. Avalokiteshvara’s power does not refer to his force, but the power of his compassion and mercy, which is the greatest power of all. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are endowed with boundless compassion and mercy, and help sentient beings with the Wondrous Observing Wisdom. Therefore, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can liberate sentient beings according to their conditions without generating any after-effect. Avalokiteshvara’s blessings and merits are extremely expansive, and his compassion is powerful enough to make the “fiery pit become a pond” in order to save sentient beings. This is really true. You will certainly ask, “How can this be done?” According to the biography of Master Gampopa, one of the forefathers of the Drikung Kagyu Order, an attendant of Master Gampopa once entered the Master’s room. He did not find Master Gampopa, but instead saw a pool of water. The attendant left the room for a while; when he entered it again, he did not see a pool of water, but fire. The attendant again left the room, and when he entered it for the third time, saw Master Gampopa sitting inside. Upon hearing this story, perhaps you will think it is a fairy tale. However, the content recorded in Buddhist scriptures is true and not a myth. After practicing Tantra and attaining achievements, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows that this can be done.

Those Tantra practitioners are really able to attain the ability of flying in the sky since practicing Tantra can eliminate the karmic power of the four major elements, earth, wind, water, and fire. After eliminating the karma of the earth element, a practitioner can fly in the sky free from being pulled down by gravity.

You may have heard of Tummo meditation and think that it involves practicing channeling or Bindu. Actually, this is the method for practicing meditative concentration. When practicing Tummo meditation during a retreat on Mt. Lapchi, Venerable Milarepa attained achievements to the point that he could melt the snow around him. In 2007, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed a retreat on Mt. Lapchi at an altitude of 4500 meters. The local temperature was very low; water froze at night, as did the morning dew on the grass. The retreat shed was constructed from pieces of wooden planks. Chilly winds often blew in through chinks between the planks. No matter how many clothes one wore, the cold  still could not be resisted. It was extremely difficult to perform a retreat at such low temperatures. If one had not attained achievements of Tummo meditation, it would have been impossible to perform a retreat there. Although the toilet had a roof, it had no other protective walls, and the chilly wind poured in from all directions. An ordinary person would have probably caught a cold when untying his clothes and pants under such conditions. As a result, retreats in Esoteric Buddhism are performed in cold places, not tropical areas, and Esoteric Buddhism is being propagated in these cold areas. In southern tropical countries, Hinayana Buddhism is the main focus.

Avalokiteshvara uses the Wondrous Observing Wisdom to help sentient beings. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have the Wondrous Observing Wisdom, how could Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche help the sick female disciple who just publicly repented? That female disciple is used to speaking fluently, but she almost could not speak when she wanted to repent publicly. Recently, the capillaries in her whole body bled for no reason, and only twenty percent of her blood remained in her body. A disciple who is a doctor said that her condition was very critical. When the volume of blood in a person is insufficient, the body will be deprived of adequate oxygen supply (Hypoxia), the heart will wear out, and the peripheral organs, like hands and feet, are prone to necrosis. Her doctor was at a loss for what to do about her critical condition. The disciple, herself, her family members, and the doctor all thought she was going to die, so her grandson came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and beseeched Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform the Phowa Dharma for his grandmother. Looking at her condition with the Wondrous Observing Wisdom, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that this female disciple would not die at this time, and told them that she contracted this illness because she had eaten something wrong. As it turned out, this female disciple mistakenly took someone else’s suggestion to take an over-the-counter medicine to promote peripheral circulation. Once she took this medicine, it caused her capillaries to bleed incessantly due to her high blood pressure. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also reminded everyone not to arbitrarily take this kind of medicine or any over-the-counter medicine. You should go to a hospital or a clinic when you get sick, and take over-the-counter medicine with a doctor’s recommendation.

She originally thought she was going to die this time, since even the doctor said that no medicine could save her. One of her sons even asked her to do a bone marrow biopsy. If she had undergone the biopsy, she would have suffered a lot more pain. It was because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s merits and blessings that she now lived. Whenever Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche received believers on Saturdays, she persistently waited outside the Buddhist Center. Although she was outside, she still obtained a small blessing because she was there. Because of this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still saved her. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not attained the Wondrous Observing Wisdom, she would have died this time. Even her doctor said that this was a miracle and that it was Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who saved her. If you, who have not attained the Wondrous Observing Wisdom, met this kind of situation, you might have thought that the woman was dying, and you may have told her not to be distracted, to calm down and recite the Buddha’s name. Or you might have tried to comfort her and advise her to contemplate Avalokiteshvara and so on; however, she would not have been able to avoid being distracted. Those who can avoid being distracted while they are dying are those who have already cultivated Buddhism well when they are alive. They are so old that their bodies are no longer usable, but since they have made good preparations they will not be distracted while dying. Also, she was not able to recite the Buddha’s name at that time because she had no energy. Furthermore, how can those who never recite Amitabha Buddha’s name remember it?

In fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been waiting for the opportunity to save her when she is dying because this female disciple is very arrogant and feels that she is invincible. It is not until now that she knows she is wrong. Why did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche save her? If she died now, she would not have the opportunity to repay the debt she owed; she would go directly to the hells to repay her debt. If she died now, she would be reborn as a cattle or a horse in her next life to repay those who lost their money because of her greediness, even though she did not take their money. Moreover, she would not have the opportunity to really know that she is wrong and truly repent. If she did not make repentance, how can she know where her faults are? Many people do not know their faults until they are dying. Therefore, it is good for her to have lawsuits now so she can repay a little bit of her debt.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advised all attendees that Buddhist practitioners should constantly contemplate death and impermanence, and be determined to die. It is not to say that Buddhist practitioners will die; rather, a human being will definitely die at some time. There was once a person who became afraid when he heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche talk about this. Now, he does not dare come to practice Buddhism. Buddhist practitioners should be very determined and strict with themselves. All of you are accustomed to indulging yourself; if you are not careful, you will easily do something wrong.

The “throughout kalpas” in “throughout inconceivable kalpas” means that after cultivating for so many eons on the Bodhisattva path, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara has benefitted countless beings, and his vow to liberate all sentient beings has never regressed; thereby, the accumulated virtues are so profound. “Inconceivable” signifies that all of these things are beyond ordinary people’s imagination; they are inconceivable and cannot be fathomed.

“Kalpas” are also classified into “minor kalpa,” “medium kalpa,” and “major kalpa.” The period of one minor kalpa means counting from 84,000 years of age, for every century, reduce one year of age until ten years of age is reached. From then on, increase one year of age for every century until 84,000 years of age is reached again. Three minor kalpas equal one medium kalpa and three medium kalpas equal one major kalpa. Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara has existed for countless kalpas.

“Attend to thousands of billions of Buddhas, and arouse the great pure vows.” Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara arouses the great vows to benefit sentient beings after cultivating on the Bodhisattva path for so many kalpas. Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara also attends over thousands of billions Buddhas, and accumulates virtues and merits in numerous lifetimes to benefit sentient beings. So here, Buddha Sakyamuni briefly explained Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s merits, which cannot be explained in details even within a minor kalpa.

The reason why Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara could accumulate immense virtues and merits to benefit sentient beings through attending hundreds of billions of Buddhas is that, in addition to uninterrupted offerings, the most important offering he makes is to endlessly act and arouse immense and pure vows to liberate sentient beings in accordance to his guru’s teachings. It is very important to arouse the vows even though you may not be able to benefit sentient beings in this life. But if you often make vows in this way, your thoughts of benefiting sentient beings will be in effect in the seventh consciousnesses field and then they can enter the eighth consciousnesses field. In this way, they will continue to accumulate energy for your Buddhist cultivation in your next life.

Why can ordinary people not make great pure vows? One reason is that they lack the virtuous root of lifetimes. Another reason is that they have no faith, but the most important reason is that they are not led and guided by authentic gurus. It is the gurus who help you find your virtuous root of lifetimes. You are not qualified to say that you have regressed. Regression is used to describe those practitioners who have cultivated the Bodhisattva path and aroused Bodhi vows, but stop benefiting sentient beings. As for you, you are slacking off and being lazy.

Some people would call their spouses “co-practitioners.” In fact, “co-practitioner” refers to the dharma brothers who practice the same dharma method under an authentic guru. It does not refer to your husband or wife. There are many names for your spouse. You can call them “husband,” “wife,” or “honey.” Do not think you are a Buddhist and can casually misuse the terms of Buddha Dharma.

Everyone has seen the statue of the Thousand-Armed Avalokiteshvara. What is the origin of the Thousand-Armed, Thousand-Eyed Avalokiteshvara? Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha vowed not to attain Buddhahood until the hells were empty. Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara returned with compassionate voyage and vowed to liberate all beings. However, how can all sentient beings be liberated? Seeing that sentient beings repeatedly commit evils after they are saved and fall into suffering again and again, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara realized that it was impossible to save all sentient beings, and feeling anxious, his head then split into seven pieces. At that moment, Buddha Amitabha, the root guru of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, came to reconstruct Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s head into eleven heads and the the top of the heads was that of Buddha Amitabha. Buddha Amitabha also gave Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara 1,000 hands so he became 1,000 armed and 1,000 eyed, because there are so many sentient beings to save that Avalokiteshvara needs more transformation bodies and Nirmanakayas. The 1,000 hands also represent the many different kinds of sentient beings; therefore, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara must be equipped with various kinds of Dharma methods in order to save them.

Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara was an ancient Buddha, meaning that he already attained Buddhahood before human civilization. Everyone knows that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas began to practice in the realm of human beings. Buddhist sutras depict Buddha Sakyamuni as the fifth Buddha, while there were four Buddhas previously. It also shows that the modern generation of human civilization is not the only one. Also, many scientists have proven that this modern human civilization is not the first human civilization; others existed previously. This is identical to the view in the Buddhist sutras. Some people claim that human beings evolved from apes and monkeys. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that if this is true, those who are in the same epoch should evolve into human beings at the same time. Why are there so many apes and monkeys? It is not convincing. Many scientists also have gradually made this discovery, that human beings never evolved from apes and monkeys. As soon as human beings enter a mother’s womb for rebirth into this world, there exists a mist between cascading lives. You do not know your previous lives because you forget them. Only by practicing Buddhism to find the virtuous root of accumulated lives, can one possibly know.

“Pouring nectar rains of Dharma to extinguish flames of sorrows.” Nectar is classified into two categories, visible and invisible. Although something is invisible, it does not mean that it does not exist. For instance, atoms and molecules are too minuscule to be seen by our eyes. Also, everyone knows about the existence of souls, but scientific instruments cannot detect these. It is said, that there once was a person who covered one bowl with another. After uncovering the bowl, he saw particles and called them nectar; but this is not true.

Why does it mention “nectar” in the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra? Because just like one with overly warm liver always feels bitter in his mouth, and everything he eats tastes bitter too. If his liver cools off, he naturally can taste the sweetness of foods. This is just like if your mind is pure and without the afflictions of greed, anger, and ignorance, you will naturally be nurtured by the sweet nectar of Dharma from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Human beings arouse afflictions due to their ignorant thoughts, and because of afflictions, they commit negative karma and continuously fall into the cyclic reincarnation of Six Realms. These afflictions originate from desires, and these desires are like fiery fire that needs water not wind to be extinguished. Here, “rains of Dharma” means that Buddha Dharma is like the rain that sprinkles and extinguishes the fire of desires. How many raindrops are there in a rain shower? No one knows. No matter how advanced human science, rain can only be measured by millimeters; there is no way to know how many raindrops have fallen. It also means that rain is formed by an immense and enormous quantity of raindrops, signifying that we need an immense and enormous amount of Buddha Dharma raindrops. In other words, we need to attend pujas to learn Buddhism unceasingly and for a long time. Do not expect that your problems can be solved through attending the puja just once. Buddha Dharma points out “edification.” However, as for the brother and sister who just came forward to repent, the killing karma of accumulated lives in their family is too heavy. It’s difficult to totally repay their debts while slowly edifying in this life. So Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded and punished both the brother and sister in order to let them know their faults, correct their faults, and have the chance to rapidly pay back . It’s as if only the heavy, rain-like nectar blessings can help them.

Ratnakuta Sutra is the sutra that describes all practices and behaviors of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If you want to learn Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, you should know how Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara cultivated his body, speech, mind, and practice methods. In the Ratnakuta Sutra, the signs of attainment corresponding to each Bodhisattvas level are described. It depicts which dharma methods a Bodhisattva should practice upon the presence of a certain sign. You might not have wondered how a Tantric guru knows so many things about Exoteric Buddhism. Because Exoteric Buddhism is the foundation, and according to the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism, only those who realize a certain level of theories in Exoteric Buddhism can practice Esoteric Buddhism. Both Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism are contained in Tantric Buddhism. Moreover, you should only listen and practice the contents of the Buddhist sutras or the teachings transmitted by an authentic guru. Some people say there are no tantric teachings because they have never seen these teachings in the Buddhist sutras. In fact, the tantric teachings do exist and they are written in many of the sutras; you just do not know about them. The Buddhist sutras are jewels. Learning Buddhism is to act or practice in accordance to the sutras. Some people teach so called “Avalokiteshvara Qigong,” but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reads through every sutra and has never seen such a depiction. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that you should not be an inventor. Anything that is not depicted in the sutras is not part of Buddha Dharma, unless it is orally transmitted by a Tantric guru.

An authentic guru will clearly tell you about the historical transmission of his lineage. Just like the Drikung Kagyu Lineage, which stems from the first patriarch to the present-day thirty-seventh successor, the whole transmission will be clearly explained to you because it is necessary to let sentient beings understand the practicing process of the generations of gurus. These are not myths but real. Just like Buddha Sakyamuni would clearly tell you that he was once a prince, and his practicing processes were all clearly recorded. Some lineages suddenly appear and do not explain the heritage from which they derive. You should not believe this kind of fake Tantric sect or the people who claim they are some sort of patriarch. As we know, in the Zen School, there are no “patriarchs” after Master Huineng, the sixth patriarch.

While practicing the Avalokiteshvara Dharma, do not believe others when they say you have practiced so well that you look like Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and that you look majestic, or you may become arrogant and proud, and feel that you have indeed accomplished a great deal. Someone may say that you should not enshrine this Buddha statue, or you did not enshrine this Buddha statue in the right place and that is why your life has not gone well. Those statements are incorrect. What is “majestic”? What is the definition of “majestic”? So if you purchase a Buddha statue, it is when you feel joy at first sight. You do not have to listen to what others say except for the guru, because your guru knows what is good for you.

A while ago, the brother and sister repented for the faults they committed. They thought that they had to repent because they had made mistakes. However, according to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s previous teachings, we actually have to continuously repent as long as we haven’t attained Buddhahood. We have been receiving immeasurable grace from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, all we can do is to attain Buddhahood and benefit more sentient beings so as to repay the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ grace. Therefore, we all have to repent. The reason why they continue making mistakes even after learning Buddhism for years is that they have been under the influence of generations of their family’s killing karma. Killing karma is horrible, as it will bring one to hell. Nevertheless, because they came to learn Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been continually looking for opportunities to help and rectify them for over ten years. Otherwise, they will definitely go to hell. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not admonish you, you will never know your faults. Without knowing, you will never be able to correct the faults. Without correcting, you can never make progress towards Buddhahood.

“Wondrous sound of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Sanskrit sounds like the ocean’s tidal sounds.” It is very difficult to explain these two sentences. “Wondrous sound” does not refer to beautiful music, though some people think that “Sanskrit sounds” refers to music or the Hindi language. Neither of these explanations is correct. Here, “Sanskrit sounds” refers to mantras. Although there are consonants and vowels in Hindi as well as English, the consonants and vowels in mantras have different meanings. “Ocean’s tidal sounds” does not refer to the sounds of real waves. If it did, the phrase “reciting Buddha’s name without interruption” would not exist. This actually refers to a tantric practice. When you recite the Six Syllable Mantra, you usually clearly recite every single word. In Tantra, there is so-called Vajra recitation, or reciting without moving your lips, but you can still hear the sounds of Six Syllable Mantra. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche demonstrated Vajra recitation for the attendees. The recitation method mentioned above is the one in which sounds are uttered. There is another recitation method in which no sounds are uttered; the mantra is recited in one’s central channels. These are called meridian channels in Chinese medicine and central channels in tantric Buddhism. However, you are not able to hear such sounds; the person who is reciting mantra hears this sounds with his ear root. One’s ear root is not his ears; therefore, if one can hear such sounds in his ears, he must have mental problems.

It is like hearing the sound of our own breathing when we are in a quiet place. Since you haven’t reached that level of achievement, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can only try to use the breathing example to help you understand. Only when you are able to direct your qi into your central channel and recite the mantra there, can you move the qi of your karma, and subdue or change it. Sometimes, when you are reciting a mantra, you cannot hear the sound of your own breathing if people around you are reciting aloud. However, if they recite in a low voice, you can hear the sound of your own breathing. How does a human being breathe? A doctor said that breathing is the process of exchanging fresh air and waste gases through the respiratory system, and letting the air constantly moving in and out. This is just like the sound of a mantra streaming upwards and downwards inside one’s central channel. You have heard that a human body is a Dharma instrument. Today, you have come to understand that it is not merely a metaphor but a fact.

“Superior to worldly sounds.” The word “worldly” does not refer to the world, but the universe. In the universe, there are no other sounds more beautiful than this. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps the deceased by performing the Phowa Dharma to bring his karma out of his body through his channels. The sound that accompanies the performance of the Phowa Dharma may seem very loud to you. However, to the deceased, it is the “wondrous sound of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara” and “Sanskrit sounds like the ocean’s tidal sound.” This is like music from heaven, and signifies the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ arrival to bring them to the Pure Land.

“Thought after thought, let no doubt arise.” Buddha Sakyamuni specially mentions that we should not have any doubt, and advises us again on the importance of faith. If you have firm faith in the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and gurus, you will be bestowed with blessings. Buddha Sakyamuni is so compassionate to again advise you to believe in Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. In other words, when you pray to Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, neither seek to satisfy your desires or worry about what to do if you can not do anything well. There is nothing to worry about, for the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will help. All you have to do is follow their teachings.

“Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the pure Holiness.” Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara is a Holiness whose body, speech, and mind are all for the benefit of sentient beings, and he does not think about his own benefit.

What is special about the Universal Gate Chapter is that it employs many metaphors that are easy to understand; for example, using the rain and sea to introduce Buddha Dharma. Do not look down upon the Universal Gate Chapter, as it includes many theories of Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism. When some people explain the Universal Gate Chapter, they interpret meanings of each individual word and try to paraphrase it. They merely explain a word with another. As these people don’t have real experience practicing Tantra, they are not able to provide explanations like what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gives through real practice experiences. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have such experiences, he would not be able to clarify it so well.

In other centers, some people spray water with a sprinkler, and say that they are giving blessings. If blessings were to be bestowed in this way, the term “spraying” would be used instead of “sprinkling.” When we learn Buddhism, outer forms such as containers might change, but the inner spiritual meanings of Buddhist teachings can never change. That is why the Buddhist scriptures say that one should rely on Buddha Dharma instead of a person, meanings instead of language, and realized meanings instead of unrealized meanings. To rely on language is to literally explain the Buddha Dharma, whereas relying on meanings is to reveal the true intent of Buddha Dharma.

“Watch sentient beings with merciful eyes.” This phrase does not mean that Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara sees sentient beings gently with his tender loving facial expressions. Instead, he looks at sentient beings with equality and non-differentiation. Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara does not bestow more blessings upon people he likes better or people who make more offerings. Instead, he helps them based on their causes and conditions. “Merciful” refers to mercifulness and compassion. There are two meanings of “merciful eyes.” First, the Buddhas do not discriminate between good and bad or right and wrong, and they have no attachments. Second, “eyes” actually refers to the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s five kinds of eyes, physical eyes, heavenly eyes, eyes of wisdom, Dharma eyes, and Buddha eyes. Without these five kinds of eyes, there is no way to know about sentient beings’ various causes and conditions; therefore, it is impossible to help them with the most appropriate approach. One who has developed the eyes of wisdom will not employ the wrong means while helping sentient beings. There are ways for developing the eyes of wisdom. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has taught Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche how to develop the eyes of wisdom. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is able to make use of the eyes of wisdom, namely the Wondrous Observing Wisdom, to help sentient beings in the wisest manner.

“Merits accumulated as a boundless ocean. Therefore, all should make prostrations to him.” Here, this refers to the vast merits of Avalokiteshvara, which are immeasurable like the amount of water in the oceans. In other words, the amount of water in the oceans is a metaphor for the merits of Avalokiteshvara, which can’t be quantified or calculated. Why is it that Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva can accumulate such a tremendous amount of merits? The first reason is because he makes offerings, and the second reason is that he has attended to thousands of billions of Buddhas. The existence of a Buddha is very long, and Avalokiteshvara is a reincarnation of an ancient Buddha. If according to scriptures, Buddha Sakyamuni is the fifth Buddha, the period of existence for thousands of billions of Buddhas should be very long. In other words, Avalokiteshvara didn’t achieve this accomplishment in one lifetime. Instead, it took countless kalpas during which he continually practiced in accordance with various Buddhas’ teachings so as to accumulate merits. Similarly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s accomplishments weren’t achieved in one lifetime either, but they took several lifetimes to practice and accumulate. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows about a few of his previous lifetimes, but not the total number of lifetimes; only His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang knows.

Emperor Wu of Liang once asked Bodhidharma if he had accumulated merits from doing so many good deeds. Bodhidharma responded that Emperor Wu had not accumulated any merits, just virtues. Why did Bodhidharma give this reply, since Emperor Wu had carried out so many benevolent acts? For instance, Emperor Wu had issued a decree that required all ordained practitioners to be vegetarians, and he also built many Buddhist temples. Yet, because Emperor Wu was overly self-conscious about what he had done, so his good deeds had turned into virtues only. Buddhist practitioners should strive to cultivate merits rather than virtues, which can’t be used until one’s next lifetime. On the other hand, if you cultivate merits, you can transform your karma in this lifetime. However, you will not be able to cultivate merits with even the slightest thought of self-interest while carrying out good deeds. During the previous puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned that a so-called Buddhist organization in Taiwan went to Japan to provide disaster relief, and even promoted its name. For this reason, their actions were suspected as means of advertising their organization. Then, a believer came to question Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, stating that this organization did not advertise. Nonetheless, if this was not a Buddhist organization, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not make such a comment, but since they claimed that they are a Buddhist organization, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would point out their inappropriate acts. A Chinese proverb says that one who carries out benevolent acts shouldn’t expect to be noticed. Sometimes people are offended by the true words of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because they can’t accept the truth. The same situation also occurred with Bodhidharma, whose comments to Emperor Wu of Liang resulted in Bodhidharma facing a wall for nine years.

A good friend of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had studied Buddhism, attended many pujas, received many empowerments, and made a great number of offerings. However, he eventually died of a stroke because he didn’t vow to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. He could not change his karma in this lifetime because he had not cultivated merits. He cultivated some virtues that could only be used in his next lifetime.

Making offerings, here, refers to the Seven Branch Prayer. The reason why Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva accumulated profound and extensive merits to help sentient beings is that he continually practiced the Seven Branch Prayer and benefited sentient beings unceasingly. At the beginning of every puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructs attendees to recite the important text of taking refuge, making vows, and the Seven Branch Prayer. The Seven Branch Prayer reads, “We should do prostrations, make offerings, show repentance, rejoice in others’ merits, pray for our guru to forever abide, accumulate every single bit of virtuous karma, and dedicate everything to attain perfect Buddhahood.” The seven deeds mentioned in the Seven Branch Prayer are for accumulating merits. You bring someone to attend the puja, not to accumulate merits, but to help the person establish a virtuous condition.

Repentance is mentioned in the Seven Branch Prayer. Many people say that if they commit misdeeds and go to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to make repentance and ask for forgiveness, they will be ok. All of these acts actually have nothing to do with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The fact is when you commit evil deeds, all of the merits resulting from your practices and your recitation of mantras will be transformed into virtues, which can only be used in your next life, not in this lifetime, so you have to start from scratch again. If you continue committing evil deeds, you simply are wasting your time. Why has Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche been so strict in teaching disciples? It is because life is impermanent, and we don’t have an abundance of time to throw away. The minds of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are still, which means they won’t become angry towards anyone, nor would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche get upset. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teaches Buddha Dharma in accordance with sentient beings’ causes and conditions. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gets mad at anyone, he is not a Rinpoche at all. Some people may notice that after learning Buddha Dharma, their life becomes more smoothly. That’s because after learning Buddhism, those people do less evil. Consequently, obstacles that might have originally occurred decrease, so you feel as if your life is better. However, whether or not your life goes smoothly has nothing to do with learning Buddhism. Learning Buddhism will not  make your life better or worse; it will not affect your work or family life. Whether you should get married before learning Buddhism, or the opposite, isn’t related to Buddha Dharma; it actually depends on your causes and conditions.

The reason why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teaches you to do prostrations is not because the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, or your guru have a higher status than you; instead, when you do prostrations, you are making an offering. Nevertheless, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and your guru will not owe you anything, in other words, when you make prostrations to them, they will return something to you. For instance, when you make prostrations to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, as soon as you kneel, and unbeknownst to you, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has already bestowed his blessing upon you. Another reason for making prostrations lies in learning how to be submissive and humble, and teaching you to repent. Actually, this is not to being submissive and lowly toward the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas; it is being submissive and humble to your karmic creditors. Some have posted incantation papers all over their homes, thinking that doing so can prevent ghosts from entering their homes. At a young age, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche practiced Taoism, and learned that if even a house full of such papers can’t prohibit any spirits from coming because there are always adversaries stronger than any obstacles. Non-Buddhists deal with problems through fighting, but in Buddhism, the power of compassion is the key. It can temporarily subdue the hatred of your karmic creditors so that the obstacles for your practice of Buddhism can be reduced. As a matter of fact, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and your guru do not bless you, but your karmic creditors so they are contented and thus do not interfere with you. Try to imagine how many sentient beings you have harmed in this life and past lifetimes? How much do you owe? When your karmic creditors appear at your door and ask for something in return, do you still try to fight back? Do you still act arrogantly? You must humbly ask for their forgiveness. When you are willing to kneel and make prostrations, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas then will be able to help you negotiate with your karmic creditors, and ask them if you can pay less interest on what you owe. You still have to pay the principal, though your karmic creditors may be willing to give you some time to accumulate merits to repay them.

One of the reasons why you are asked to do prostrations is to eliminate your arrogance and self-righteousness. If you are arrogant, you won’t be able to cultivate your compassion, which is the foundation of Buddhism. Another reason is to do prostrations on behalf of all sentient beings. When you do prostrations with a virtuous mind, you will generate extremely great energy, and will influence sentient beings around you. As far as the great prostration, the reason why it is called “great” is because the extent of the influence is huge when you are doing it.

A disciple shared his thoughts on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching of the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. Although he had listened to other gurus’ teachings of the same scripture, what he heard was simply superficial explanations of the text. They were not as profound as what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had explained. Based upon the actual experiences of Dharma practice, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is able to teach the difficult text using plain words. For instance, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained the meaning of “Sanskrit sound like the ocean’s tidal sound,” the teaching was very distinct from other masters. They simply described the sound of reciting mantras as continual, unceasing, and surging ocean waves.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to give enlightenment on the meanings of “entering the way by principle” and “entering the way by practice.” Many people think that the Chinese characters “解門” (entering the way by principle) refer to “explanations.” But the characters actually mean “untangling” the nodes of our greediness, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubts. Only by untangling these five nodes are we able to enter the way of practice. Compassion is the foundation of all Buddha Dharma. Without compassion as the foundation, nothing can be achieved in one’s Dharma practice. Some people think that the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra is simple and the Diamond Sutra is advanced. In fact, this view is wrong. Buddha Dharma is the method to achieve Buddhahood; therefore, no sutra is greater than another. People employ different methods in Mahayana, Hinayana, and Vajrayana depending on their capacities and dharma conditions. The ultimate goal for all methods is to teach sentient beings how to be liberated from the cycle of reincarnation, reborn into the Pure Land, and attain Buddhahood. After listening to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching on the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, you now know that a seemingly simple scripture actually has Tantra embedded in it. However, the text does not mention how to practice; this indicates that only the entering way of principle exists here, but not the entering way of practice. Thus, in Exoteric Buddhism, it will take a very long time to attain enlightenment. While in Vajrayana, one’s Buddhist practice entirely depends on oral transmission and the teaching of an authentic guru.

April 17, 2011

At the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, disciples and believers reverently listened to the dharma audio-recordings taught by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on July 13, 2003. The teachings were about the Four Common Preliminary Practices.

Before the puja, a couple, who were also disciples, took the podium to share the story of how His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped their son and their entire family. This female disciple mentioned that if there was no Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she would live in hell on earth.

Their son had a rare condition called “marble baby,” which is also known as Osteopetrosis (a bone hardening disease caused by gene mutation). Because of that, their son owned a Catastrophic Illness Card. Fortunately, ever since they met His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, their child not only was able to live for two and a half years longer, but he also lived a quality life. The mother even forgot that her child had a serious and rare illness, and that her child was hospitalized and staying in the ICU with lots of tubes in his body for medical treatment. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned in his book, “When one’s life force still remains, he will naturally recover from his illness; however, when one’s life force is exhausted, if you forcefully make him stay alive, you will cause him a great deal of suffering and negative effects. Therefore, whenever you are in need, you should place complete trust in the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and gurus; they will help and benefit you.”

After they met His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, their child no longer needed invasive medical treatments. They were grateful that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continually bestowed the blessing to compassionately take good care of their child. As His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave enlightenment on the dharma throne earlier, the couple, their relatives, and friends, thought that their son would grow up smoothly . They never thought that their son would be reborn into the Pure Land so quickly.

Since last November, they have been able to do 500 full prostrations at the Buddhist center every day; this is because of the guru’s compassion. From the beginning, their attitudes were superficial and without reverence; later, they accumulated blessings and their child was given the opportunity to receive the Phowa Dharma. During that period, the woman occasionally thought clearly; three days before her son passed away, she suddenly had asked herself if it was time to beseech the guru for the Phowa Dharma. She also gave gold, which was her dowry, to the guru as an offering. The guru compassionately asked if her husband agreed with her. Her husband fully supported her. The offering might have provided the cause and condition for her son to receive the Phowa Dharma.

The wise guru had already discerned her son’s situation. The guru’s simple sentence, “It will be all right,” relieved her, and her self-righteousness made her think that her child could safely overcome difficulties. Her compassionate guru had already known that if she knew that her son would die soon, she would collapse and do something terrible; even worse, she could slander Buddhism. Actually, some dharma brothers had already reminded her to beseech the guru for the Phowa Dharma, but she was not willing to accept others’ suggestions. She thought that because His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned that it would be all right, she didn’t need to beseech the guru for the Phowa Dharma. She was so stubborn; how could she have known the true intention of the guru’s words, “It will be all right,” which enabled her to spend time with her son during his last days with a stable and joyful mind. Even if her son passed away, he would be “all right” and reborn into the Pure Land to cultivate himself.

She recalled that when they met His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, especially after they went abroad with the guru to attend the pujas, her son was full of energy and vitality. Even his teacher at school told her that her son was a vigorous boy who liked singing. Because the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas took care of him, they never thought that their son would leave them so quickly. They had already decided which elementary school was suitable for their son, and scheduled his physiotherapy. The day before their son passed away, he walked for seventeen minutes on the treadmill at the school. The teacher even mentioned that his left leg was getting stronger and stronger, and that there would be one day when he would be able to walk by himself. Can you imagine that a boy with a rare illness could go abroad, that he did not need to stay in the hospital but was able to go abroad three times to attend a puja and to receive the Bodhisattvas’ blessings?

There are three things that the Buddhas are unable to do: liberate every single sentient being, liberate those without cause and condition, and change the karma of sentient beings. This means that the length of the child’s life could not be changed, but the quality of his life could be improved and made normal. The dharma brothers who had cancer, but were freed from suffering even at the end of their life through Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing, is a similar example. Some of the dharma brothers did not have to rely on morphine. They could go anywhere, even abroad to attend pujas. The situation concerning the woman’s child was the same.

Last August, she forgot to ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for instruction as to when her son’s brain drainage tube should be removed. This caused her son’s cheek started to swell and leak blood and pus. Despite this, her son still had the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing. He did not wail or whine about the pain in his cheek, and only cried when the dressing was changed. Other children with the same illness have passed away from a tiny wound, but the wound of the woman’s son lasted for more than four months without becoming ulcerated and needing a blood transfusion. Furthermore, the boy was able to travel abroad and attend the puja in Japan.

It is just like what His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned on the dharma throne, this child did not violate any precept because he did not commit any killing act or eat meat, nor did he make others angry or abuse anyone. He especially liked to say “thanks” to others, and he willingly accepted all of his adversities. The child should have known ahead of time when he would pass away, that was why he continually thanked others one week before he passed away, and also continually said “goodbye” to his mother.

Compared to the suffering the child endured in the Intensive Care Unit, the child’s passing was really blessed. He laid in his mother’s arms peacefully and serenely, and did not suffer from any medical torture. The child chose to pass away when his father was doing full prostrations at the Buddhist center, and while his mother was at home holding and accompanying him. In the meantime, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was getting ready to leave home. She remembered that the child laid in her arms; his breath became slower and slower until it stopped. At first, she panicked, nervously held the child, and kneeled down in front of the altar shouting, “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche help me!” Then, she seemed to accept the fact that her child was gone, and hurried to call the ambulance. She told the paramedics not to shock the child back to life. She hurried to find His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and besought the Phowa Dharma for her child. There was no time to cry and release her emotions; this contrasted to the time when her dog died and she lost control emotionally. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche really saved and helped her so much. After the compassionate guru completed the auspicious Phowa Dharma, her child’s body showed blissful signs: the top of the head was warm, the facial expression was serene and calm, even the swollen cheeks and wounds on the chin were miraculously healed. All of these things surprised and impressed the other family members. Especially when the woman’s mother-in-law held the child’s left hand, she found that the body was still very warm, and she thought the guru had made the child come back to life. Her family and friends, one after another, came to see the child after the body had laid in the freezer for three days. They were all surprised that there was a difference in temperature between the child’s forehead and the top of his head, and that his facial expression was peaceful, like he was sleeping.

As other disciples shared, as long as there are blessings from the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, everything will be accomplished smoothly and flawlessly. Originally, on the day of the cremation, they were routed to an alternate preparatory furnace. It was estimated that they would have to wait for a long time, maybe even until the afternoon. At the same time, they were informed that on the day the sea burial was scheduled, there might be big waves due to the weather so they might not be able to go too far out to sea. The cremation staff who was responsible for picking up the bones reminded them that because the bones were those of a child, it was very likely that the skull bones may be incomplete, and that there was a possibility that there would be no bones to pick up because they might be all burned into ashes. But in fact, their child was the first to be cremated, and it was done quickly. The auspicious sign of Phowa Dharma-–a small round hole on the parietal bone of the skull–was found very quickly. Also, there were many vividly colored bones. More amazingly, it was bright and sunny on the day of the sea burial, and it was smooth sailing out to sea. Especially on the way to Dan Shuei, although it was Saturday and part of a multiple day holiday, the weather was bright and there was no traffic congestion. Before the cremation and sea burial, the woman’s mother-in-law worried if it was bad luck to attend her grandson’s sea burial ceremony, so they besought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that the Buddhist sutras never mentioned that a grey-haired person (older person) should not attend the funeral of a black-haired person (younger person); this was only a folk belief. Therefore, the mother-in-law attended the sea burial. At the same time, all of the family and friends who attended felt that it was a different funeral; it was very calm and serene. For all of these things, she was very grateful to the compassionate Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

At the same time, she repented. If there had been no guru, as sinful as she had been, how could her child possibly have been transferred to the Pure Land to cultivate Buddhism? Especially since she had committed evil deeds such as smoking, drinking, smoking marijuana, taking ecstasy, deceiving others for money, eating countless sentient beings, having four abortions, and never being filial. She should have gone to hell; how did she have the opportunity to meet His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche? Because of the child, the people around her had the causes and conditions to become vegetarians, learn Buddhism, and meet the compassionate Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She was even more grateful to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who did not give up on her and who let her have this child; therefore, an opportunity for a different path of her life journey was opened up for her. If there had been no His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she would not have known about the Pure Land in this life. Also, it would have been impossible for her to witness someone being liberated to the Pure Land.

She also repented for lacking confidence in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. For example, she used to buy ganden grass from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company. Not long ago, she saw cheaper ganden grass elsewhere so she brought those to try; she wanted to compare the two products. After burning them one time, a layer of black grease accumulated in the incense burner. In the past, when ganden grass from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company was used for more than a year, there was no grease at all. She thought, “If all of that grease was inhaled into our lungs, wouldn’t it be harmful to our health?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s business was all for the benefits of the disciples and sentient beings, but because she was greedy for a cheaper price, she doubted the guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

From the child, she witnessed what His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had enlightened. That is, a dying person will go through the decomposition process of the four major elements, from the falling out of teeth to coldness in the four limbs and dry skin. As a stubborn and self-righteous person, she must be reincarnated and suffer in the lower three realms life after life without knowing. Previously, it was impossible for her to move back to live with her mother-in-law, and reunite the broken family. However, the family members totally agreed that they should follow the guru’s instructions to make arrangements for the child; there was no opposition at all. Moreover, the mother-in-law participated in all of the processes, and also expressed her intention to show gratitude to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in person for compassionate blessings. All of the people who participated witnessed the auspicious signs of the Phowa Dharma after the body was cremated. The child bravely lived his life. It was more spectacular when he left, enabling many people to witness the awe-inspiring compassionate power of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche so they could have a chance to be close to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, to change the course of their lives, and live a different life. The child used his life to let his mother learn. Although she could no longer touch him, all the presents he gave her stayed forever in her heart. She was especially grateful to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who allowed her, someone filled with evil thoughts and deeds, to still have a chance to learn Buddhism.

After this, the believers and disciples reverently listened to audio-recordings of dharma teachings on the “Four Common Preliminary Practices” given by His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on July 13, 2003.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained that they were joined in recent two pujas by Khenpo Namdol of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. Khenpo Namdol was specially sent by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang at Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s request in 2001. Khenpo Namdol has been practicing Buddhism in a Drikung Kagyu temple named “Lai Yuan Temple” located in Shangrila of Yunnan Province, once called Zhongdian. This temple is already more than three hundred years old. There is a place above the Lai Yuan Temple that is called “Cave of the Founder” by the local people. According to legend, Bodhidharma once stayed in that place to practice meditation after coming from India. People say that if any sentient beings in the animal realm, including ants, are born in that cave, they will never be reborn into the Three Evil Realms. Khenpo Namdol was ordained at a young age in Lai Yuan Temple and then continued his practice at the first temple of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage, Drikung Thil Monastery, in Lhasa. After that, Khenpo Namdol went to India. The purpose of inviting him to join us is that many rituals of Tibetan Buddhism are not known to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but Khenpo Namdol is familiar with them because they are taught to Khenpoes when they are young. These rituals include making tormas, ways of preparing statues, practices of Tibetan musical instruments, making a sand mandala,  and the layout of a mandala. If you want to learn these things, you must first put your name on the list and then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will select the most suitable persons.

The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is special amongst the Buddhist centers of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. Usually all Buddhist centers are led by Rinpoches who are followed by two or three lamas to assist with matters in the centers. However, since the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center’s founding in 1997, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has permitted Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to propagate Buddhism. It has always been a place for lay practitioners to learn Buddhism until 2003, when three ordained practitioners joined the center. Since the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is a center for teaching Tibetan Buddhism, in which there are a great deal of rituals and ceremonies, every disciple should have some understanding about these rituals. Otherwise, you may still have certain mystical feelings towards Tibetan Buddhism.

Actually, many rituals and ceremonies in Tibetan Buddhism follow methods passed down from Buddha Sakyamuni. These rituals and ceremonies also consist of elements from native Tibetan Bon religion (Black religion). Black religion has nothing to do with Tantra. The main practice of Bon religion is reciting mantras. In fact, Hinduism has many mantras, too. In other words, reciting mantras is not practiced exclusively in Tantra. Many non-Buddhist religions, such as Taoism and Catholicism, also have mantras. When Guru Padmasambhava went to Tibet from India, he adopted a few Bon rituals into Tibetan Buddhism to help Tibetans quickly accept Buddhism. For instance, the smoke puja, which originated from the Bon religion, involves burning some kind of tree leaves and spices to make offerings to the mountain spirits and ghosts. That’s why smoke pujas are very popular in Tibet, even today. For Tibetans to propagate Buddhism faster, Guru Padmasambhava incorporated smoke pujas in Buddhism but changed the Yidam dieties, prayers, and mantras. Many Taiwanese mistakenly think that performing the smoke puja is practicing Tantra; this is wrong. As a matter of fact, your burning incense every day to make an offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is a smoke puja. You don’t have to burn leaves or spices and read prayers like the Tibetans do; however, there are certain rituals in Tantra that have to remain intact, they shouldn’t be changed.

The Chinese translation for “torma” is “食子” (shi-zi). Long ago in Tibet, it was not easy to prepare food due to the cold weather and the inconvenience of transporting materials. In order to make food offerings to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and all sentient beings, Tibetans invented this kind of food named torma, which was made of hulless barley flour and yak butter. Nowadays, because of advancements in technology, there is a kind of already-made pastry for making torma. In the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, ten huge tormas were made in 2002 when His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang came to preside over the Grand Puja. The meanings embedded in a torma are multifold, and different tormas represent different Yidam deities. Likewise, tormas for making offerings to Buddhas and Buddhisattvas are different from those that are for offerings to external spirits and ghosts. In addition, tormas made in the four major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism differ according to the individual lineage’s tradition. For instance, tormas made in Drikung Kagyu are distinctive from those of Karma Kagyu. Although Drikung Kagyu and Karma Kagyu share the same origin, gradually these two lineages developed differently. As a result, the tormas made by practitioners of these two lineages are different.

In Tibetan Buddhism, in addition to tormas, there is a kind of mandala made of very fine sand. The meaning of “mandala” is the embodiment of the palaces where Yidams live; this visual transformation is for us to see. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has a series of special collections of mandalas that practitioners have to visualize when they have achieved advanced levels of practice in Esoteric Buddhism. Individual mandalas vary slightly in accordance to different Yidams. With your poor root capacity, you won’t be able to learn how to visualize a mandala. Therefore, you don’t have to plan when you will learn this. Right now, you have lots of problems just visualizing Avalokiteshvara of Four Arms, which is the easiest of all. Why do you have so many problems? Visualization is not difficult, rather, the problem stems from your complicated minds that are full of wandering thoughts and garbage. Consequently, you are not able to visualize Avalokiteshvara with undefiled minds to the extent that the dharmakaya of the Yidam would appear. All you do is imagine, which is not incorrect, but is part of the learning process. Why should you base your practice of Tibetan Buddhism on dharma texts? It is because the practice includes both the generation and completion stages; through that, you can cultivate both virtues and wisdom.

What we call “Tantra” is related to our body, speech, and mind. The most important function of visualization is to envision our bodies turning into undefiled dharmakaya, our minds into undefiled sambhogakaya, and our speech into undefiled nirmanakaya. When you practice with these three, the time you need to accumulate sufficient wisdom will be shorter. The shorter time doesn’t mean one or two days, nor does it mean one or two years, but it is much shorter than the Three Asamkhyeyakalpa required in Exoteric Buddhism. If you want to learn Tibetan Buddhism but do not use the method of visualization and would rather use your own method, there definitely will be problems. This is because your mind and your methods are still that of an ordinary person, not the methods passed down to us by the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, or achieved masters. Therefore, in Tibetan Buddhism, the different phenomena we see with our eyes are to help us to reduce our wandering thoughts and to help our minds focus on the presence of rituals and dharma instruments.

In Tibetan Buddhism there are many colorful objects on a mandala because we humans are accustomed to using our eyes to decide our preferences. Those who don’t understand may say that the Buddhas taught us to abandon everything, and why should practitioners in Tibetan Buddhism decorate a mandala in such an extravagant fashion? In the past, Tibetans used to make offerings to statues with their most precious objects, thus many huge, ancient statues were decorated with jewels and fine objects. As a matter of fact, scriptures of Exoteric Buddhism have described that if we attach gold foil onto statues, we will be extremely wealthy in our future lives. Similarly, in Thailand, when practitioners of Hinayana go to worship the Buddhas, they must bring some gold foil to stick onto the statues. These practices also originated from the sutras; therefore, it is inappropriate for people to criticize such practices because of their lack of understanding. The Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra has described how Bodhisattva Aksayamati made offerings with gemstones to Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Some may ask, gemstones are jewels, why does a Bodhisattva need to wear jewels? A Bodhisattva who has not accumulated enough virtues will not be able to have these exquisite objects. It has been described in the sutras how beings in the Heaven Realm, not to mention Bodhisattvas, have jewels or other very precious objects to dignify their bodies. So, some concepts nowadays are incorrect. Although Zen Buddhism has taught that we need to let go, the meaning of letting go refers to the things we don’t need such as wandering thoughts, preferences, and attachments, rather than these rituals.

If you want to be transformed from an ordinary person to a practitioner and, further on, to an achieved master, you ought to begin your practice in the ways that you are accustomed. You are accustomed to using your eyes to listen and ears to hear; therefore, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and achieved masters will teach you to start your practice with these means. Gradually, they will teach you how to forgo these means. Finally, they will show you how to practice even without Buddha Dharma; of course, this will be the last stage. In Mahamudra, the last of the four stages is Non-meditation Yoga, which doesn’t refer to not practicing meditation. In other words, when a practitioner has reached the state of seeing his self-nature, he no longer needs to recite mantras, practice meditation, or worship Buddha statues like others who carry out all of these mundane practices. On the other hand, before you realize your true nature, you are not able to correct or discard your accumulated habits from previous lifetimes right away. For this reason, we teach these mundane practices to help you to subdue and reduce your wandering thoughts. When you reduce your wandering thoughts, then, you can gradually experience genuine self-nature. In Exoteric Buddhism, the process of attaining self-nature will take Three Asamkhyeyakalpa, which is an extremely long period of time. But in Tibetan Buddhism, by combining and integrating methods of Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism, there are many expedient dharma methods for you to attain the level of realizing your self-nature faster.

In the Age of Right Dharma, which coincided with the lifetime of Buddha Sakyamuni, sentient beings’ karma was quite light, so they could attain enlightenment by observing precepts only. In the Age of Semblance Dharma, which is the period of five hundred years after the death of Buddha Sakyamuni, even as sentient beings’ karma became heavier, they could still achieve enlightenment by methods of meditation. However, in the Age of Degenerate Dharma, which is our time, you can’t attain enlightenment by methods of meditation and observing precepts. You need recitation of Buddhas’ names, mantras, and Tantra to help you.

Why do sentient beings born in the Age of Degenerate Dharma have heavy karma? It is because they are self-righteous, self-centered, and never listen to others’ opinions. They always find excuses for their behaviors with their own reasoning. Tibetan Buddhism, thus, emerged in Tibet about 1,500 years ago when the Age of Degenerate Dharma began. In Tibetan Buddhism, in addition to the emphasis on Buddhist classics and theories, the foundation lies in Tantra. However, Tantra is not something that can be transmitted to you as you wish. In order to learn it, your sense of self-attachment has to be diminished or even completely erased. The basic requirement is that you must be able to realize your true nature before you can learn Tantra. What is the purpose of Tantra? It is to help you accelerate the expansion of your capacity to benefit sentient beings, rather than freely transforming or duplicating yourself. Tantra is a way to reinforce the power of your cultivation, increase the energy of your practice, accelerate the pace of your attaining Buddhahood, and empower you to benefit sentient beings.

Before learning Tantric teachings, you should listen and act truthfully according to the Exoteric Buddhist teachings and not discount it at all. Many people may think that Buddhist cultivation departs from one’s everyday life; this concept is wrong. In fact, Buddhism exists in one’s everyday life; if it departed from one’s daily life, it would not have been Buddhism. If you apply Buddhism in your daily life, it means you practice and cultivate Buddhism every minute and second. It is also incorrect to think that Buddhist cultivation is limited to reciting mantras, doing full prostrations, chanting sutras for others, and so on. These activities are merely to accumulate your virtues and subdue your wandering thoughts, while true practice is to correct your behaviors.

Our habits accumulated from past lives are not easy to change. For example, many Buddhist practitioners are afraid of being scolded by the guru, and even some ordained practitioners think His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is so fearful that they don’t want to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. In fact, we often read in the Buddhist sutras that Buddha Sakyamuni would scold people who didn’t act in accordance with dharma or show obedience. You may see His Holiness the Drikung Kabgon Chesting smiling. In fact, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang only smiles at ordinary believers. However, he is not so polite to his disciples, root disciples, or lamas close to him. Hence, when a guru is polite and smiling at you, he does not count you his disciple but a friend, or possibly, not even a friend. He just wants to create some virtuous conditions for you. On the contrary, if he starts to be fearful to you, it shows that he takes you as his disciple. For decades, people have disregarded ancient Chinese ethics, particularly, respect for teachers and value for morality no longer exists in Taiwan. You may erroneously think that a dharma teacher should smile, cater to your needs, and not displease you. As a matter of fact, even in childhood, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s guru beat the noble one’s hand with a ruler. As soon as His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang saw the guru doing prostrations to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the noble one would immediately run because His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang knew that the guru was going to deliver a beating after prostrating. Who do you think you are? Can’t you be reprimanded? How can you learn Buddhism well with such an arrogant mind?

There are two kinds of people who dare not scold you, those who depend on you financially and those whose wisdom is inferior to yours. Which one of these do you hope your guru will be? Rather than a place for you to have fun or joke, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Buddhist center is a sublime center where you can completely change your future. Your future will not be changed merely by a few words. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will pay attention to your every action and word. If you neglectfully commit wrong deeds, it will be very difficult to start all over again.

Four months have passed, and those twenty-some disciples who kept changing their minds about the offerings they would make are still not allowed to make offerings. It may sound that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not being reasonable. You will know why they are not allowed to make offerings later, when the precepts are discussed. The power of karma is created once one speaks or acts out of his anger. Merely apologizing or repenting won’t stop the karmic effect from manifesting. The seed is stored in one’s Alaya-Consciousness and will manifest someday. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche deeply believes in the law of cause and effect, while you do not. You often think that you will not suffer consequences for doing things like losing your temper with others or quarreling with others before the Buddha and Bodhisattvas during a puja. In fact, this kind of thought will keep you continuously falling into Samsara.

Therefore, today Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche invites Khenpo Namdol to come here to train you in these aspects, and to let you understand that Buddhist cultivation is your life. Working and doing routine jobs are things about which we have no choice but need to do. If you do not work, you may starve to death quickly or be nagged by your wife about how you will pay next month’s mortgage. You have no alternative but to work, as your karma brought from previous lives leads you to this kind of life. However, this is not a true life! These ordained practitioners live a freer and happier life than yours. Think carefully about the decades you have lived and you will find that you have not truly lived! You live like an animal: you wake up in the morning, hunt for food, and fill your stomach; going to work is just like hunting for food. Everyday you live this way. You actually imagine the so-called fame and wealth.

The Buddha abandoned the status of a prince and became a monk to cultivate and propagate Buddhism. It is not to say that we must follow his lifestyle. The Buddha, however, told us to let go, stop chasing and clinging, and be aware that worldly fame and wealth only exist to support our physical bodies that enable us to benefit sentient beings in need. You must learn and practice Buddhism in order to really live a life without fear; in other words, you can live a safe and meaningful life through the edification and help of Buddhism. Otherwise, we live in fear everyday. For example, we worry when our children come home late. When our husband is late coming home and doesn’t call, we wonder if he’s keeping secrets from us. A wife may fear that her husband will find out that she has had coffee with a friend. Even some married people who attend Buddhist activities lie to their partner, saying that they went to visit their parents. In these ways, our lives are full of fear and lies; consequently, our minds always feel insecure and anxious. As a result, we constantly seek hope and for something to ease our minds. Why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestow so many teachings on you before transmitting the four preliminaries? It is because your bright and pure minds are tightly covered with the dirt of greediness, hatred, and delusion, so you cannot see your true nature nor can you arouse the mind of cultivating Buddhism, making repentance, compassion, or Bodhicitta.

After explaining the suffering in the Six Realms, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will tell you the importance of precepts. Precepts are not created by the Buddhas, nor are they tools of reward and punishment. Precepts are to remind us to stop committing any deviant behavior or speech. The Buddha talked about precepts in order for you to have a specific direction. If you have sufficient virtuous roots, you will naturally keep precepts and won’t need to be taught. However, as your virtuous roots are shallow or barely existent, the Buddha has no choice but to tell you about precepts that can be your guiding principle. If you think that precepts will limit your conduct and thoughts or control you, you are wrong. In fact, other religions also have precepts, such as the Ten Commandments in Catholicism and Christianity. Islam and Taoism also have their commandments. If you are going to do virtuous deeds and make a change for the better, you must have some disciplines upon which to reflect, to examine if you have done anything wrong with your body, speech, and mind. Why do we continuously fall into Samsara? It is because we have indulged ourselves in past lives. It is easy for us to indulge, especially in today’s society which is full of temptations. And they exist everywhere; even phone sex counts!

Precepts are tools that help us to control and manage ourselves. Never think that observing precepts will make us insane, unreasonable, or different than others! We control ourselves, and we don’t need to tell others that we perfectly keep precepts while they don’t, or that they will have bad luck because they break precepts and the like. One who makes comments like these does not observe precepts.

From time without beginning, our essence was pure and undefiled. It is the thought of ignorance that gives rise to greediness, hatred, and delusion. Then, we start to do evil, which leads us to fall into Samsara. Therefore, precepts are to remind us of our wrongdoings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often reminds you not to reprimand others with Buddhism; instead, you ought to change your own body and mind through precepts, and then others will naturally see and feel it. Your family members will naturally come with you and start to learn Buddhism. If you arrogantly think that you are superior to others because you keep precepts, you will also have problems. With this mindset and if you possess more virtues, you may be reborn in heaven. If you have less, you will be reborn as an Asura, or even much less, reborn in the Animal Realm. Precepts are the methods that help you attain Buddhahood; thus, they are not employed to restrain or punish you.

Many people dread practicing Buddhism because they dread observing precepts. They fear that they will not be allowed to do anything if they have to keep precepts. This is just like one is not supposed to smoke or drink alcohol, since these acts are harmful to one’s health. Killing people also is not right. As for those people who dread learning Buddhism, this just means that they are indulgent and don’t control themselves at all. They feel restricted, and as if they’re losing freedom if they practice Buddhism. From the Buddhist perspective, people who think like this lack virtuous roots. However, we should not look down upon them or criticize them, as we also might have done something like this in our past lives or in this lifetime. It is only that your ancestors have accumulated virtues so you are given the chance to change.

Years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche treated his friends to dinner. The managing director of a car company also came to dinner, along with a few beautiful girls seated besides him. As soon as he sat down, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw a departed old woman standing behind the manager. She rapped on his head and said, “My grandson is so unethical!” In other words, his ancestors had accumulated virtues so he had the blessing to become a general manager, but he was immoral. That is, the precept of sexual misconduct includes refraining from soliciting girls from bars. Before, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was given the nickname “monk” in the bars, since they knew that Dorjee Rinpoche was a vegetarian, did not drink alcohol, and did not take girls out. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thought that what he did was right as he did not touch those three things but merely kept his friends company and paid the bills. It was not until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to learn Tantra that he realized he had been wrong, most terribly wrong! If he had not gone to the bars, his friends might not have had the opportunity for sexual misconduct. One who creates the opportunity for others to do evil is actually the chief instigator.

Nowadays in Taiwan, it is popular to receive Bodhisattva precepts. Even though receiving precepts is easy, it is not really easy to observe precepts. This is because people are often self-righteous and mistakenly think that since they do not harm others, they keep precepts. There was a disciple who disappeared during the period of SARS and just recently showed up because cancer cells were found in her breast. Yesterday, her son cried miserably and wondered why his mother was so unfortunate, since she did not do evil in this lifetime. Those who talk like this don’t have a repentant mind or don’t think they are wrong. They blame others for harming them. They feel that they are unlucky and are unwilling to accept the reality! Those who are unwilling to accept that they have a heavy angry nature, marked by hatred, complaints, anger, and fighting with others, will have a greater chance to develop cancer. When she said that she was unwilling to accept the reality, it clearly showed that she was full of hatred and anger. And it also indicated that she had always haggled and resisted suffering in her lifetime; as a result, she developed cancer.

In continuing his teachings on the precept of refraining from sexual misconduct, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned that a couple in their twenties had just hanged themselves the previous day. What they committed was considered sexual misconduct. If one engages in sexual acts without his or her parents’ permission, he or she will commit sexual misconduct, strictly speaking. The rising divorce rate in Taiwan and in the world is a result of sexual misconduct by many people. In ancient times, , whether in China or other countries, one could not get married without his or her parents’ permission. Nowadays, personal freedom is greatly advocated; therefore, people do not want to be restrained, and they want to do whatever they like. That’s why the divorce rate is rising, and children are difficult to teach, both of which are their parents’ faults.

Now, women in Taiwan and Western countries, where people are sexually promiscuous, suffer more, especially from female diseases. There is only one reason why women have these diseases: their internal qi channels are all in disorder. That is why, in ancient society, women were required to be chaste. Such a practice has nothing to do with chauvinism; instead, it is for women’s good so they can enjoy better health when they are old. When you do whatever you like, you will have to take the consequences yourself. However, such consequences can linger for numerous lives.

Practice of Buddhism begins from the causes. As we start from the causes, we should refrain from committing any evil deed so as to have a good effect. Good effects enable us to extend Buddha’s life, instead of being used for us to enjoy a good life. “Extending Buddha’s life” means that Buddhism will be eternally perpetuated. Every sentient being has the responsibility of perpetuating Buddhism in this world, and the way to do so is for every sentient being to learn Buddhism, cultivate his practice, and influence the people around him. Only then can Buddhism be neither born nor extinguished and forever perpetuated. When we say that the dharma wheel is constantly turning, this means that everyone turns the dharma wheel by learning Buddhism. Moreover, if we wish to be protected and blessed by the Buddhas, we have the responsibility to correct many of our problems that should not have occurred with Buddhist teachings. Thereby, the lineage of Buddhism may be passed on without interruption.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained the various ways one can create verbal karma. One of them is “making false speech,” which is to say incorrect things. Many people think that telling a lie is making false speech; actually, this is only partially true. There are several other important factors as well. The “object” refers to the specific person about whom you speak. The “intention” refers to your desire to deceive others through speech. The “act” refers to deceiving others by means of speech and action. The “motivation” refers to your greed, hatred, and ignorance. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often says, “There is no such thing as ‘blurting something out’ or ‘I didn’t mean to’.” Whatever is uttered has the motivation of greed, hatred, and ignorance. People who say things to hurt others’ feelings do so because they believe that they know more than others, and that others are idiots so they speak sarcastically. Such a deed stems from greed, hatred, and ignorance. Before uttering a sentence, one should think whether or not he is trying to deceive the person or if he is motivated by greed, hatred, and ignorance. The final aspect, “completion,” refers to the other person’s understanding of your words.

Sometimes, when you speak about something and realize that it is not appropriate, you will stop speaking. As the words are not yet finished, your karma is lessened. When you utter the words, the karma will form, unless the person you are talking to is a practitioner who does not form attachments to your words and doesn’t mind what you are saying at all. Then, the karma will have no effect on him, but you will still bear it. In your eighth consciousness, the memory is stored in your “computer” since you have the motivations of greed, hatred, and ignorance. Because you often like to criticize, speak sarcastically, and tease others, you never speak good words. Good words are not words that you like, but words that can change your behavior and thinking. Even though the words sound harsh to you, they can be considered good words as long as they are able to bring positive changes in your behavior. The loving words mentioned in the Four All-Embracing Virtues are distorted in Taiwan as one who always speaks with a smile and says to people, “Great Virtue, you have really aspired to learn Buddhism.” If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche flatters people like that, maybe many more people will come. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is good at flattery and making people feel like they’re floating on “cloud nine,” due to experience as a salesperson. However, when you fly high, you eventually will fall. Therefore, when you praise others, do not be too obvious.

There are different types of making false speech. Masters making false speech about dharma means that the one who teaches Buddhism does not explain the teachings in accordance with Buddha Sakyamuni and the guru. For example, someone said that one will definitely go to the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss if he or she spent one million NTD to purchase a lotus. This is false speech. How can the many poor people go? Another example is when a guru does not talk about Buddhism while on the dharma throne; rather, he tells you about worldly affairs and, thereby, incites your greed and hatred. This is making false speech as well.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once asked his master of Exoteric Buddhism, “Why does the major sponsor of a Buddhist congregation have to donate so much?” and “Why does the major sponsor get to sit in the front whereas those who do not have the money have to sit in the back?” No answer was given. However, another master told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that it was because the major sponsor has great aspiration and sitting in the front will allow the Buddhas to more clearly see him. If Buddhas still have differentiation, the Buddhas would no longer be Buddhas. The Buddhas’ eyes can see all the corners in the universe and spot microscopic matters as small as a particle of dust, unless the Buddhas won’t look at it. During the inauguration ceremony of the library, His Holiness the Dalai Lama was seated in the middle. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and a young His Holiness in the Taklung Kagyu were seated on the right of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Two Their Holinesses, from the Sakya and Gelug schools respectively, were seated on the left of His Holiness the Dalai Lama. Several great Rinpoches and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche were seated on the upper platform. The laity you saw sitting at the back were aristocrats, such as former kings, dukes, and government officials. Other Rinpoches and lamas were seated on the lower platform. Among them were some sponsors and people who often made donations to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang; they had to sit in lower seats as well. Therefore, a person who propagates Buddhism must not violate the law of cause and effect while giving Buddhist teachings. Only when one does not deviate from the Buddha’s and the guru’s teachings can one avoid making false speech.

Last time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked you to explain the greeting gesture. Someone went to ask another master, who then replied, “It is to see things with the mind of equality.” This is making false speech. If one doesn’t understand, one should admit it and not employ a random term so as to muddle the believers and disciples. One who sits on the dharma throne must not speak without careful thought. Before accomplishing certain attainment, some people claim that they have done so. For instance, in Taiwan there are many fake tantric practitioners, Rinpoches, or masters who have violated the precept of refraining from making false speech.

Upon his arrival in Taiwan, someone who used to be a young lama claimed to be a Rinpoche. This is making false speech. If you do it before your guru recognizes your attainment, you will violate the precept too. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often tells you that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will never do anything that His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang disapproves of even though Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows and understands how to do it. Such conduct is observing the precept. Therefore, when a master, Rinpoche, or guru teaches you Buddhism and constantly brags about his capabilities, you should be careful.

The second type is common false speech, which causes others to profit or suffer loss. For example, someone is looking to hire a person and asks for your opinion. If you happen to be a good friend of the person in question, you will exaggerate a bit and help him be hired. Such conduct is making false speech. We often do this kind of thing, for we are afraid of offending others; many people often do that. For example, they will say that their superior has made the decision so it is impossible to change it because they do not want to be held responsible. Many years ago, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche managed a sales team, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never told the subordinates how the boss scolded. All Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said was that they had to give their very best, and if they couldn’t measure up, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be fired with them; this way, they were convinced that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was on their side. Furthermore, when you don’t tell the truth and conceal someone’s shortcoming because you want the person to owe you a favor, you make false speech. Due to your concealing, the whole group, or even the country, can be harmed.

A certain female disciple likes to say, “Don’t tell Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; otherwise, we will be scolded.” What she says actually is false speech. Her attitude is the most terrible. If you make a mistake, you should admit it and not try to cover it up, for it will eventually be revealed. There is nothing in the world that can be concealed from people. Additionally, false speech includes words that don’t bring profit or harm to others, but speak of things that are unreal and don’t exist.

The third type is major false speech, which is about evils and virtues or the law of cause and effect. For example, an ordained practitioner once said that there was no such a thing as the law of cause and effect, and as a result, he was reborn as a fox for 500 years. What he said was major false speech. If someone says that death is just like switching off a light, what he says is false speech. Some people claim that Samsara does not exist; such a remark is major false speech as well. Some people say that karmic retribution cannot be so terrifying and that the Buddhas are trying to threaten and scare you by telling you lies. These remarks are the worst lies ever. In order to prevent our family and friends from making such remarks, we should change our body, speech, and mind and never ever admonish others with Buddhist teachings. If they don’t see that you have corrected your behavior and acted like a practitioner, they will not listen to your words, no matter how hard you try. When you say more, they will say something like, “What are you learning in Buddhism?” This is making false speech as well. Many people have been irritated by such remarks, and have held angry thoughts in their minds such as, “I AM learning Buddhism! I’m much better than you. At least I recite mantras every day, attend the pujas, and make some offerings.” Therefore, to prevent others from having such thoughts, we should definitely control our words.

The most serious false speech is defaming the Buddha. If a Buddhist practitioner does not accept the law of cause and effect, and worships the Buddha as if the Buddha is a deity, the person will eventually defame the Buddha. For example, during the SARS outbreak, a male disciple told his mother not to attend the pujas because he thought the Buddhist teachings wouldn’t protect her; such remarks are defaming the Buddha. Some people learn Buddhism well in the beginning. All of a sudden, something would happen to them, and they would think that the Buddha did not help or protect him and that the Buddha was inefficacious. Such remarks are defaming the Buddha as well. In fact, those who defame the Buddha are mostly Buddhist disciples. In fact, believers of other religions have fewer chances to defame the Buddha, for they are not close to us, and we get along well.

Recently, a believer said that his sister contracted lupus. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche met him for the first time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told him that his sister would not die at that time. However, he should definitely accept the law of cause and effect and believe in Buddhism. She would recover with daily recitation of the Six Syllable Mantra. Nonetheless, he did not have firm faith. He spent 5 million NTD for medication rather than making a donation for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to find 1,000 lamas in Tibet to recite mantras for her. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always makes it clear to the many people who come to seek an audience that they won’t be helped if they worship the Buddhas as deities or regard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as a medium. Why is this so? It is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is afraid that they will defame the Buddhas in the future. As soon as their desires are not fulfilled, they will start complaining again.

Why did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not permit these disciples to make offerings? It is because they promised to buy a DVD but then changed their mind; that is making false speech. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was afraid that they would continue to do evil things, deceive the guru, and slander Buddha, so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped them to stop the evil, and did not accept their offerings. Thereby, we are all getting along well. Denying their offerings was not punishment, but for their own good. If you can deceive the guru, whom in this world can you not deceive? You all made a promise but were being irresponsible. When one takes refuge, it is said in the vow, “to act in accordance with the teachings.” You should follow the teachings taught by the Buddhas, and wholeheartedly apply them in your life without any compromise. So you who couldn’t do this deceived the guru and violated this precept.

So before you take refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche must give you a two to three month grace period to let you clearly watch, listen, and think. If you do not keep your promise and still think that you can casually change after words are spoken, naturally, you don’t know how serious the consequence will be. This makes your karmic connection with sentient beings weaker and weaker in the future. Why don’t your family members listen to you? Why can’t someone in your family speak? That is because the precept of making false speech was violated. Deceiving the guru is very serious. From the time when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to now or even to the future, everything Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche promises will be fulfilled, even at the cost of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s life. Do you dare do so? Whenever there is a bit of conflict with your interests, you change your mind right away. How can you learn Buddhism with this kind of attitude? How can you benefit sentient beings in the future?

The following topic is about deceiving parents. Everyone has done that. What is “deceiving parents”? Here is one example about starting a business: Someone tells his parents that his business is promising, and that they don’t have to worry. He says that he will take responsibility if he loses money, and asks them to contribute money. Here is another example: A girl clearly knows that her parents do not like a certain boy, but she just goes home and tells her parents that she cannot be without him. So Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolds many elders, and admonishes them not to give money to their children again. When they help their children deceive them, they cause their children to fall into the hells. Their children do anything, but lack wisdom.

After listening to this section that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened, how dare you call yourself good person? Just think for a moment; we lead a very dirty life. We live a life of deception; that is to say, we speak or do things without thinking and without regards to other people in order to gain our own benefits. As a result, you cannot figure out what your problem is even if you come to learn Buddhism every Sunday. This is because no one reminds , advises, or scolds you. No masters dare scold you because they are afraid that you will complain, “The master is not compassionate.”

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche made these mistakes in the past too. But the difference is that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always reflected on these things, repented, and corrected the mistakes. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never regards wrong deeds as right. Moreover, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continuously self-reflects, “I am still an ordinary person.” Why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often say that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is still repenting? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is still unable to live up to the grace of the guru and the Buddhas. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not attained Buddhahood, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche needs to repent, as do you! In our daily lives, we really need to be cautious and not indulge. One oversight will endlessly harm us and it cannot be reversed, even if we regret it. It will be too late to save the harm you caused others. The precept of making false speech is the most easily violated by human beings. Sentient beings in the Hell Realm, Hungry Ghost Realm, or Animal Realm cannot violate this precept since they cannot speak but just have thoughts.

The second verbal mistake we often make is “divisive speech.” “Objects” refer to people who get along harmoniously. This means that they get along harmoniously at first, but you have incited disputes. “Intention” means to expect their division. “Acts” are the behaviors that alienate. “Motivation” is the Three Poisons of greed, hatred, and ignorance, especially greed. “Completion” refers to the other party’s understanding of the meaning. We often violate the precept of making divisive speech; women in particular have this problem. Among your relatives and friends, if there is something wrong with someone’s husband, you should never comment on it. If you are asked about it, just say, “Family harmony is most precious.” Never say, “Your husband shouldn’t do that. You are such a good woman. How can he still be messing around?” That is called, “adding fuel to the fire.”

Many years ago, two women sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because the husband of one of the women had suddenly disappeared. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche looked at them and said, “Your husband is all right, but just cannot bear your pressure. He went out to get some fresh air. He will return at some point.” Her friend became angry and asked, “Did he leave to find another woman?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded that woman on the spot, “Is this any of your business?” Initially, this woman had listened to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and calmed down, but she was again agitated by her friend.

Men, if you see your friend’s wife drinking tea with another man, you should not talk about this; it is not your business. Women, if you see someone else’s husband with another woman, this also is not your business. Do not think that you will be a “good guy” if you tell her. This is divisive speech. Whether or not one has an extramarital affair is due to his causes and conditions as well as causes and effects.

Once, a couple quarreled and came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who simply asked, “Did your wife step out on you?” That husband answered, “No, I am sure that she did not.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “Great. If a woman does not have another man on the side, then she must be a good wife. And what else do you want to ask?” Things calmed down, and the couple did not quarrel after returning home. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche touched upon another example. A woman discovered that her husband had an extra-marital affair, and put a knife on the table ready to attack her husband when he returned home. It just so happened that she ran into Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who asked, “When did you discover that your husband had an extra-marital affair?” She answered, “One week ago. A neighbor saw him, and I went to see. It was true.” How bad was the neighbor? If the woman had not bumped into Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, it would have affected at least one, or maybe two lives. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the woman, “Didn’t you have happy days before you knew?” She answered, “Yes!” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “You should pretend as if you don’t know.” The woman then pretended as if she did not know, and put the knife away. At times, people are driven to death by a few words. Affairs between men and women cannot be perceived by our ordinary human eyes. Only Arhats, Bodhisattvas, and Buddhas are able to see the causes and conditions of past lives. Whether they are good or bad has to do with causes and conditions; therefore, you should speak less and offer less advice. The most serious part of divisive speech is inciting others to divorce.

Secondly, someone has gradually forgotten his hatred towards another, but you provoke him, saying, “Do you forget what he did to you?” Many people have spoken these words, which are divisive speech. It may seem like we are bringing someone to justice by provoking their hatred. Why is the passing of many fortune tellers so bad? It is because they often say these kinds of words, since it would not be effective if they did not say that. How could fortune tellers charge without effectiveness? When others have their fortune told, tellers say, “You are destined to be mismatched; this cannot be solved.” As soon as the woman hears this, she cuts off the relationship. In ancient times, divorce was very serious. So we incite others, and cause them problems. Others are harmed, but we still think that we are right. From now on, when we face our friends’ situations, we help them with our abilities instead of just reminding them. We all like being the teacher and reminding others. Except for things we know that will definitely happen, we only should tell others about things we have the ability to solve. Otherwise, don’t tell.

If a moral fortune teller sees that someone may die or encounter big trouble, he usually does not tell him. Before, several fortune tellers told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s life up to age 45, and then stopped. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thought that life would start to be fantastic after 45 years of age. This was not the case. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche later realized that at age 45, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would leave. In regards to divisive speech, thoughts, in addition to not speaking, should not even be aroused. The behavior of inciting others also should not exist. What is this behavior? For instance, junior or senior high school students like to write anonymous letters.

Making divisive speech can be classified as direct or indirect acts. Writing letters, anonymous letters, and accusing someone with advertisement are all indirect divisive speech, as if you say to someone, “I will tell you something that you should not tell him.” And there is the third kind of making divisive speech, invisible divisive speech, which proceeds secretly. What does it mean to proceed secretly? It means to gradually carry out acts, not immediately but step by step, just like sowing seeds.

Among all of the behaviors of making divisive speech, the most serious one is to divide a master and his disciples or a Sangha. Those who practice Buddhism in Taiwan, especially lay practitioners, often commit this wrongdoing. Many people compete for credit and lay blame upon others in front of their guru. They speak about their guru’s faults or the other disciples’ faults and cause the guru and disciples to divide. A Sangha is a group that practices and cultivates Buddhism together, and breaking it up is the most serious thing. Venerable Atisha once was asked, “What is destroying the harmony of a Sangha?” “What is wrong with doing such a thing?” Venerable Atisha replied, “Those who destroy the harmony of a Sangha instigate conflicts inside the Sangha.” Sangha is defined as a group with four kinds of Buddhists, monks, nuns, laymen, and laywomen, who practice and cultivate diligently towards the dharma of enlightenment and liberation from the cycle of birth and death. It is not a group that conducts charitable acts. A harmonious Sangha is a group in which four kinds of people practice Buddhism together harmoniously, under a common ideal. In Taiwan, people often sabotage Sanghas and create internal struggles. For example, after the abbot of a Buddhist temple passes away, people usually contend for the property and cause conflicts. Many people, including monks, nuns, and lay people, have committed such wrongdoings. These are very serious vices, and are considered as destroying the harmony of a Sangha. People who destroy the harmony of a Sangha will fall into the Hell of Unremitting Pain (Avici). Among those who fall, the ordained practitioners will stay in this hell for endless kalpas; whereas the lay practitioners will stay for sixty kalpas. This is very serious.

Even if we are not involved in conflicts, but we divide a Sangha into parties, we will be in the Hell of Unremitting for eight kalpas. Even if we do not divide a Sangha into parties, but we cause members of a Sangha to become hostile to each other, we will stay in hell for seven kalpas. Even if we do not cause any strife, but we create discord or bad atmosphere inside a Sangha, after our death, we will be reborn as ants. After our life as ants ends, we will then be reborn into that hell.

Why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not allow you gossip or criticize the dharma brothers and ordained practitioners? It is because if people in a practice group often criticize each other, in the end, the group will be divided into parties and disagree. Those who initiate such things will fall into hell; those who go along with them will also fall into hell. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows the severity of the law of cause and effect; what’s more, such karmic retribution will never change. If you plant an evil cause, it will be very difficult to revert it. Although it is said that repentance is salvation in Buddhism, you have to truly repent. If you are reluctant to repent and continue to regard faults as correct, it will be very easy for you to make many arrogant misdeeds. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has emphasized the importance of “The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas.” You must repeatedly listen to the dharma tapes on this topic, and cultivate these practices. Anytime you feel that you have a dispute with anyone, regardless if this is a dharma brother, a colleague, or a family member, you must listen to these dharma tapes so you will clearly recognize your problems. You should correct them immediately and without delay; if you postpone them, more problems will surface.

The other day, a female disciple came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She asked for leave from the regular pujas to attend a tuition-based course on “Developing the Potential of Self.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked her not to come to pujas in the future. Listening to the Buddhist teachings is far better than attending the so-called “Developing the Potential of Self.” When you think you have a self, your self-attachment is very strong. It is impossible for those who have strong self-attachment to learn Buddhism. However, the people in the world are so ignorant; they believe that places that charge fees are good. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche changed his policy, and asked you to pay two hundred thousand dollars to listen to a series of Buddha Dharma for three months, would you come? You certainly would have come everyday, and you would not have missed even a day since you paid the money. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has disciplined you strictly, not to make you obey, but to keep you from breaking precepts.

After destroying the harmony of a Sangha, even if you truly cultivate (such as performing a retreat) in a place where Buddhism is prosperous, you will not attain any achievements, even after twelve years of true cultivation. If you have any problem, you should come to talk to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who knows how to judge while you do not. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will focus on the matter, not the person, but you will focus on the person, not the matter. Now there are some new and old disciples who are very discontented with their group leaders, and who complain about their leadership ability. Why didn’t Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ask you to be the group leader? It must be that you had problems. If the group leader has not done well with certain things, you can remind and even help him. Do not stand by the side and watch him fail; this is not very good.

In 2001, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to organize a performance of the Vajra Dance. The purpose was first and foremost for Taiwan’s benefit. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche clearly knew that Taiwan would have many disasters and hoped that, through the performance of Vajra Dance, these disasters could somewhat be reduced. Second, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche hoped that, through the performance of the Vajra Dance, the name of the Drikung Kagyu Order could be recognized by all Taiwanese people. Third, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche hoped that, through the performance of the Vajra Dance, he could help His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to raise the needed funds to build a library. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to organize the performance, all people inside or outside of the Drikung Kagyu Order did not feel optimistic about this. Fortunately, the Dharma Protector Archi helped them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche prayed to the Dharma Protector Archi everyday to let the performance of the Vajra Dance be very successful so that two hundred thousand U.S. dollars could be raised for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. As a result, two hundred thousand U.S. dollars were raised from the performance, not more and not less. During the process of organizing the performance, there was a disciple who thought Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche should listen to him about everything and not others, since he was an expert. Now, this disciple has left the Buddhist center. This destroyed the harmony of the Sangha. All of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples are qualified to give their opinions. As for accepting the opinions or not, this is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s decision. This is to prevent disputes and any alienation. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche obviously knew that this disciple would leave, but let him leave anyway. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not let his strong personality affect the operation of the entire organization. It is not very easy to be a guru; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has to take into account situations from all aspects in order not to break precepts.

Buddhist scriptures have mentioned many times that, in the future generation, if ordained practitioners kill each other, they will fall into the Hell of Unremitting Pain. If ordinary people treat them as the Buddha’s disciples just from their appearances, and construct stupas to make offerings to them, these ordinary people can be reborn into the Heaven of Thirty-Three Gods. Although the members of the Sangha break precepts and will receive karmic retribution and fall into the Hell of Unremitting Pain, if ordinary people make offerings to them, and treat them as Buddha’s disciples, the ordinary people will still attain the effect of being reborn in the Heaven of the Thirty-Three Gods. However, they will not be reborn in Buddha Amitabha’s Pure Land. This is because this Sangha has not acted in accordance to Buddha Dharma and therefore cannot help people to go to Buddha Amitabha’s Pure Land. Killing each other may not necessarily mean killing ordained practitioners. However, if you cut off a monk’s wisdom life of promoting Buddha Dharma, it is called killing. This is, in fact, the most serious offense. Therefore, Buddhist scriptures often warn us not to criticize ordained practitioners. Even if an ordained practitioner made thousands or millions of mistakes and planted many evil causes, that will be his karmic retribution and will have nothing to do with you. And since he is willing to be an ordained practitioner, he has a stronger desire of doing virtuous deeds than you. Just because of this virtuous mind, he is worthy of your reverence. It is irrelevant whether you make offerings to him or not. At least, he has the blessings and conditions to become an ordained practitioner in this life. So you cannot criticize any ordained practitioner; the karmic retribution of doing so will be very serious. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche occasionally will say something related to ordained practitioners. However, this is not criticism, but a warning to tell you that even though you are an ordained practitioner, if you do not follow Buddha Dharma, you will not attain any achievement. So, regardless if you are ordained practitioners or lay practitioners, you have to diligently practice Buddhism and benefit all sentient beings, under the principle of equality and the teachings of the Buddha. If an ordained practitioner thinks he is better or higher than lay practitioner, this is wrong. If a lay practitioner thinks that some ordained practitioners have not practiced well, this is wrong as well. Everyone should be equal-minded to treat each other’s causes and conditions. If you have the cause and condition to become an ordained practitioner, that is yours. If you do not have such a cause and condition, that is theirs. We have to be equal-minded to treat all practitioners.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche talked about speaking harsh words. “Objects” refer to sentient beings, while the “intention” is to speak unpleasant words. “Acts” means the behavior, and “completion” means that you have spoken it. The “motivation” means the Three Poisons, especially hatred. There are three types of speaking harsh words. The first is when you speak harsh words in somebody’s presence. The second type is laterally speaking harsh words, which is to lightly scoff with uncomfortable words. The third, speaking harsh words indirectly, means instigating someone to speak harsh words. These misdeeds are made by everyone. Speaking harsh words includes cursing someone. Even if the person has done something too wicked to be pardoned, we cannot curse him. An example of this is a criminal, who was a fugitive. Lots of people cursed him and wished him to be caught and put to death as soon as possible. These were all behaviors of speaking harsh words. In Buddhism, if someone does evil deeds, it is his karma retribution; it has nothing to do with us. As a Buddhist, we can only have compassion for his behavior because he lacked the virtues and karmic connection to hear Buddhism; therefore, he did evil deeds. We should treat him as an incarnation of a Bodhisattva, and be vigilant for ourselves and our family in order to avoid greed, hatred, and delusion. And we should not curse him, pretend that we are really great, or wish that all evil people are in jail; these all can be considered in the range of speaking harsh words. We often make mistakes and speak without thinking; this includes going along casually with what someone else says. Many old women like to curse children, saying that they will “die young.” This is an example of speaking harsh words. Don’t think that this is just a common saying; don’t think that it does not matter. As long as you speak it, the seed of speaking harsh words, as well as the karma retribution, belongs to you.

People who speak harsh words have many illnesses, high blood pressure, and respiratory problems. When one speaks lots of harsh words, gradually those unfortunate things will come true in his own life, because he curses the same things all day. Some ordained practitioners still speak harsh words, such as, “Can you recite it, or not?” “Can you do it, or not?” Those are examples of speaking harsh words. Unpleasant words that are considered as harsh words include ridiculing someone or something, belittling someone, or making unpleasant and hurtful statements about someone. Speaking harsh words in the presence of someone is cursing him. Laterally speaking harsh words means that you speak with a sense of humor, but still criticize someone. Indirectly speaking harsh words means that you ask someone else to say them. A while ago, there was a person who was upset with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wondered why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could ascend the dharma throne, but he could not. He convinced someone to write an anonymous letter to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. It just so happened, that this person met a Khenpo of our order, and the Khenpo advised him to not write the letter, saying, “Firstly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche truly benefits sentient beings and works for the Drikung Kagyu Order. Secondly, you would break precepts if you write the letter. This is why you cannot do that.” You can imagine that the letter writer easily broke the precept of speaking harsh words when he listened to the person’s complaint by thinking that it might be unfair, for people who are from same period of learning Buddhism, if one can ascend the dharma throne, but the other cannot. Thus, he would like to remind His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang about this issue. So many people would do the same thing, reminding their guru about someone’s mistake; this is a kind of speaking harsh words. Although some people may not speak harsh words, they use gentle words to enrage someone; this can be considered”harsh words.” For example, you may intentionally speak ironic words to someone when he especially dislikes another person, such as, “You MISUNDERSTAND him; he is really nice.” The more you talk about it, the angrier he gets. Similarly, some people know that there are certain people who cannot stand being agitated, so they agitate them by speaking nice words, and thereby cause them to become angry. Particularly, someone’s sister-in-law may purposely speak in this way when there is an argument between a mother-in-law and daughter-in law. This is very inappropriate.

The most serious mistake is speaking harsh words to your parents or a saint. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has reminded you, your parent or guru might have a behavior that is not acceptable by outsiders. When outsiders criticize them in front of you, you must go away and not listen to them. If you would like to listen to them, to argue or satisfy your curiosity, you will actually be like them, involved in speaking harsh words. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has told you before, if someone were to criticize Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you don’t have to resolve the situation yourself; that is the first reason. The second reason is that the criticism might be caused by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s previous lives. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can repay debts in this life when someone expresses such criticism. If you try to explain things or argue, it will give others more opportunities to speak harsh words; then, the real instigator is you, not them. Therefore, with this logic, we should avoid listening to other people, and not speak harsh words about our parents, the saints, or our guru.

Many people who came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche complained that their parents were not getting along. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always advised them by saying, “Do not talk about your parent’s affairs. That is their business, not yours. You will break the precept of speaking harsh words if you criticize them.” Likewise, divorcees like to talk about the wrongdoings of their other half, and let their children criticize their ex-husband or ex-wife. This is speaking harsh words. As a parent, even if you are not divorced but you have a conflict with your spouse, you should not criticize them in front of your children. Because when you do so, your children, after a while, may think that their parent is wrong, and start to criticize them as well. This is why there are so many “problem children,” who come from this kind of family. When there are conflicts in the family, children think that one parent is bullying the other, and, naturally, the children will speak harsh words. How does homosexuality come about? When the mother always criticizes their father, the children naturally dislike men. If a father always says something wrong about the mother, the children will be afraid of women, and stay far away from them.

So parents should not talk about each other’s shortcomings or criticize each other in front of their children. If you are united, then be happy together; if you are separated, do not become enemies. As sons and daughters, you should absolutely not talk about your parents’ shortcomings; even if they were really wrong, you should not talk about it. Society will draw its own conclusions; it is impossible to escape the law of cause and effect. We, as Buddhists, should repent and earnestly cultivate virtues for them. Is there really a need for you to add another criticism? Our society is ill; our society creates problems by constantly criticizing others’ problems. We never talk about our own problems, so the next generation is poisoned by continuously receiving negative information. It is good enough to be aware of our parents’ behaviors. If there is a chance, we must first change ourselves, use Buddha Dharma to slowly persuade them, and change those incorrect behaviors. There is no need to criticize their faults.
The following is about frivolous words. “Objects” refers to sentient beings; “intention” refers to the sentient beings chatting in order to lighten their hearts; you all love to chat. “Acts” refer to meaningless speeches and singing. Why were you scolded when you went to sing karaoke? Now you will hear the reason! “Completion” refers to when they finished speaking these words, and “motivation” refers to the Three Poisons, especially ignorance. There are three types of frivolous words. The first is reciting non-Buddhist prayers or mantras and regarding non-Buddha Dharma as dharma. These are frivolous words of an inverted heart. Lately, many Buddhist Temples are promoting the “White Garments Gods Mantra.” In the Chinese Buddhist Canon (Great Treasure of Scriptures), this mantra does not exist. This mantra should have been written down previously in Taoism. Whatever is newly created and not included in the Chinese Buddhist Canon is called frivolous words of an inverted heart, unless it is in Esoteric Buddhism, but the mantras of Esoteric Buddhism would not be taught or practiced publicly. There used to be a so-called red lineage Buddhist center run by a couple. They printed one Buddhist sutra, written by Yit Kuan Taoism. Someone once showed it to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; with one look, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that it was a fake Buddhist sutra. These were all frivolous words, including the non-Buddhist prayers.

Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always reminds us that if someone has to attend a family-related, non-Buddhist religious activity on occasion, you can let your body attend, but your mouth should not speak. This means that you do not pray or ask someone for something. Your mind should be still, and not try to feel anything. It is best if you can avoid these situations.” Regarding non-Buddha Dharma as dharma,” what is called non-Buddha Dharma? Non-Buddha Dharma is not authentic dharma. It does not help us to leave suffering and gain happiness in this life; nor does it help us be liberated from Samsara. Even if one uses many Buddhist phrases and terms in his speech and appears to practice Buddhism, his theories and methods will all be considered non-Buddha Dharma if they do not liberate us from birth and death. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche previously talked about how, in the “Ratnakuta Sutra,” Buddha Sakyamuni taught sentient beings of the Age of Degenerate Dharma twenty conditions by which to evaluate an authentic guru. You should listen to the recordings, then you will understand what is called a guru of non-Buddha Dharma.

“Their hearts sought to be lightened so they chatted.” This phrase signifies a very high standard. For the ordained practitioners, any worldly matter that they should not speak about, anything associated with fame, fortune, and the eight winds, is considered as frivolous words. In the temples, many masters say to the believers, “You are a great inspiration,” ”Your appearance has changed,” and so on. These are all considered frivolous words. Just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has always been telling you, from the time Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang until the Grand Puja of the snake year, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang never publicly praised Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. This is because His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang holds a very high standard based on Buddha Dharma; consequently, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang will not publicly praise anyone who has not met such a standard. If a believer did not fulfill the acts of five precepts and ten merits, and you praised him publicly, it would be considered “frivolous words.” If you always say that someone is a great inspiration, this is considered frivolous words. Being a great inspiration does not mean how much money you have donated; it depends on if you have aroused the heart of Bodhictta. Do you really arise the heart to be liberated from this world? If you did, then you can be praised; if you did not, then you cannot be praised. Otherwise, it would make you conceited and arrogant. So for ordained practitioners, it is best not to talk about these mundane matters; even if you have heard something, just pretend that you did not understand. For lay practitioners, do not discuss the clothes some singers wear or what has been going on with celebrities lately.

Previously, there was an incident of a surreptitiously recorded CD. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche strongly prohibited you from watching the CD, because if you saw it, you would break all of the precepts. The first precept you’d break would be the precept of sexual misconduct. When you peep at others’ sexual acts, it is committing sexual misconduct. If you discuss these things with others after you have watched it, you break the precept of speaking frivolous words. Now do you know the consequences, and why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not let you watch it? Many say that they are just being curious, and that they will forget it afterwards. Is it so easy to forget? What if you cannot forget? The seed was planted very firmly in your alaya store-house consciousness. In the Buddhist sutras’ discussions of cause and effect, anything we do causes other negative effects. If this thing disappears from the earth, then one’s karmic retribution would disappear too. If not, then one’s karmic retribution is to stay in hell and never get out. So the people who sneakily recorded the video, the people who sold the video, and the people who uncovered the incident all will go to hell. The people who felt good after watching it, as well as those who criticized it, will also go to hell. To begin with, we are born with strong desires for sexual misconduct from past lives, and if we let the temptations from outside continue to build up and influence us, our behavior will deviate. This is how Buddha Dharma always emphasizes the method of “permeation.” Because the seed has no causal conditions in the beginning, it will not sprout, or cause fruition. Although we carry the habits and seeds of desires for sexual misconduct from previous lives, and will get married and engage in sexual conducts, we cannot let this behavior influence our principle of Samsara; that is, we cannot let it affect our thoughts at the moment we pass away. Therefore, we should try to reduce these things around us, not increase them. That is why the scriptures mention that ordained practitioners are prohibited from watching boxing matches. It is to prevent their hearts from being gradually permeated, and to keep the desire to fight from gradually arising. We have the cause and condition to get married and be lay practitioners. We cannot refuse this cause and condition, but we should not go after these desires, especially peeping at other’s private matters. This would break many precepts.

Therefore, in our daily life, try to ask less and know less about others’ private matters. Many people will ask about your work when they first meet you, and try to gather more information about you. Foreigners respect others’ privacy more, and very rarely ask, unless others voluntarily offer their information. When someone beseeches an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the guru first asks, “What is the matter?” If the person had asked, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have answered. If not, then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would give no answer. Even though Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew some secrets about him, the guru would not speak if the timing is not right, or if the person does not believe. If you speak too much and are very interested in others’ private matters, it is very easy for you to think this way.

Chatting about others and speaking nonsense is speaking frivolous words. According to the Buddha’s standard, our words are for others’ benefit. The benefits are not wealth or fame; they are the benefits of learning Buddhism, understanding the law of cause and effect, and being liberated from birth and death. As for other words, if they have no effect, then they are unnecessary. You may say, “Learning Buddhism is boring. You can’t talk about anything. You can’t talk about this; you can’t talk about that.” First, we need to understand the meaning of “boring.” What is it? It is when your heart is not calm and is enticed by worldly desires that it becomes restless. Why do you have to watch TV, read newspapers, watch movies, and drink coffee? It is because your heart is restless. Because of this, you cannot practice a retreat. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche practices retreats in silence for one month at a time. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche acted like you, one who love to gossip about others, the retreat would be difficult. Even if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had no one to talk to, the guru might talk to himself if he was like you. So you must take a look at your daily life. It would be better to recite more mantras or chant more names of Buddha than to gossip. Why do you talk so much? Nonsensical words and singing are considered frivolous words.

You may argue that Tibetans sing all the time. However, the songs that Tibetans sing, especially those sung in temples, praise various compassionate acts of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and all kinds of the gurus’ cultivation practices. The lyrics are not, “You love me; I love you. I hate you; you hate me. I want to break up with you; you want to break up with me.” When we take a look at any popular song, which one isn’t like this? Those singers who are very popular today must have been practitioners in previous lives. They must have led others in the recitation of sutras and mantras. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have become singers in this lifetime and become popular. Due to losing memories from previous lifetimes, however, they forgot what they had done as practitioners, and as a result, they become singers. Why singers? It is because their minds are still embedded with frivolous words about which they have thoughts. They can’t forget the feelings of lust and love so it is manifested in their songs. Those who like to sing karaoke for a long time feel as if they are the main character because this environment easily affects their minds.

The mind of an authentic practitioner can alter its environment, but the mind of an ordinary person is altered by its environment. When your minds are not still enough and you enter a place, you first survey the surrounding. You feel that the place is comfortable or that it is filthy. Why? It’s because your minds are affected by the place. Thus, when you sing karaoke, as the lights dim and the atmosphere changes, the more you sing love songs, the more likely that anything could happen. Many people believe that singing songs is a heartfelt act to release emotions and feelings. This is wrong! For example, a woman didn’t think about her old lover before singing the love song, but after she sang it, the memory of the man’s betrayal surged in her mind. When she returned home, she immediately tore up pictures of him and flushed them down the toilet. The reason is that our memory, so-called seeds, can’t be activated without the appropriate cause and condition. The sutras have frequently addressed the effects of singing songs; dancing also is included. Why do people love to dance? It is because when they dance, they embrace each other. People don’t like other sports because there is no embracing.

Why was China once known as a state of refined courtesies? It is because when Chinese dance, they dance alone without embracing each other. But now it is very different. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was young, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also liked slow dances. As soon as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche became a Buddhist, such dancing was relinquished. Don’t feel bored or suffocated because you can’t do this or can’t go there. Nor should you think that being a human is no fun at all. You might think that life as a Buddhist practitioner only consists of working, listening to Buddha Dharma, and being reprimanded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Actually, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolds you, listen for some jokes too. Even though the life stories of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche may not be so colorful, they are quite complicated. What’s more, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s stories are indeed a book of Buddhist cultivation.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s life is very different from those of monks and nuns, because the guru had experiences of singing songs, going to movies, and dancing. Having done all of these, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realizes that these activities will truly distract our minds, change our attitudes, and alter all of our behaviors and thoughts. A long time ago, both in Taiwan and Hong Kong, school authorities didn’t allow students to hold parties, nor were dances allowed. This rule is indeed necessary, though back then, people thought it was wrong. Why couldn’t student have dances? Some students would violate the rule only because there was one. After learning Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realized that it is truly wrong because children easily misbehave in such an environment. Thus, as parents, if you still have habits such as listening to love songs or going out to dance with your spouse on your anniversary while your children stay home and have dinner, how can you ask your children not to dance? Nowadays, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t dance or sing karaoke any more so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can ask his daughters not to engage in these activities.

A few days ago, a female disciple beseeched an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; she wore a mask over her mouth and nose because she caught a cold. As she kneeled in front of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she took off her mask and coughed a little. Perhaps she thought if she passed the germs to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, her illness would be cured. Then she reported to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she couldn’t attend the following puja because she had to go on a company outing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed her to take a sick day and miss the outing since she had been ill, but she said that she could not take a sick day on a company outing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche responded that if she couldn’t take a sick day for the outing, she didn’t have to come to listen to Buddha Dharma anymore.

People’s reasoning is sometimes very hard to follow. She thought if she didn’t go to the outing, she might not be welcomed amongst her colleagues or might be seen as not being friendly. Perhaps, she thought her role in leading her colleagues in singing was necessary so she must go. It is not that you have to abandon all fun. Rather, it is that listening to Buddha Dharma is more important than anything else. Actually, it is all right; even lamas have fun by tricking one another occasionally. On the other hand, it is inappropriate to joke around or have fun when a puja is being held at the Buddhist center. You especially violate the precept of speaking frivolous words when there is a puja but you don’t attend. For instance, when Drubwang Norbu Rinpoche presided over a puja for two consecutive days, you find an excuse to go out with friends. Additionally, many people try to unwind by joking, pushing, and hitting others in the office; this is also wrong.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has advised us to not criticize our country’s president, nor do we need to criticize anything. The people of Taiwan have this kind of government and president today because they do not have enough virtues. As you all know, Liu Bang was an unlearned, ordinary person. At the beginning, when he became the emperor of the Han dynasty, he only ruled with the Three-Point Law. In this circumstance, however, the country was under good control. Employing the Taoist principle of “govern by doing nothing that goes against nature,” he managed few things and merely asked everyone to keep the Three-Point Law. Subsequently, the Han dynasty started to flourish. The reason is that people of that dynasty had virtues so the wise emperor appeared.

Hence, your criticism of government officials or certain officers is all within the scope of speaking frivolous words. Even the success or failure of a general who leads  soldiers into war has to do with his virtues and causal connections. From the standpoint of fortune telling, it has to do with one’s luck. In fact, in the history of China and foreign countries, there were many wars that were won without rhyme or reason. Sometimes a police catches a criminal without rhyme or reason or the criminal just brings himself to the police, whereas some criminals cannot ever be found. All things happen based on the causes and conditions and one’s virtues. If you have virtues you will naturally meet a good boss. It is all related to your virtues; it’s not that your boss is bad. Therefore, it is not proper for you to speak ill of your boss before your subordinates; this is speaking frivolous words. However, in modern days, people do not accept this kind of viewpoint but think that their boss is wrong or that their government is not well run. This is erroneous.

Where would we be if we didn’t have the government? The government has done a lot for us, whether good or bad. Taking Iraq for example, wasn’t the country in a mess during the period of anarchy? Although many people criticized Iraq’s government, try to imagine what condition Iraq would be in without the government. Likewise, don’t criticize your boss either. It is not you who should judge. You can just leave or quit if you don’t like him. You should not speak ill of him all the time, or say what your boss should have done. If you had virtues, you would have been in your boss’s position or would have had a better leader. If you had blessings and virtuous conditions, you would have been born in a nice place. While you live in this society of shared karma, you can neither change anything, nor should you criticize.

Gossiping about singers, models, or beauty pageant contestants is all speaking frivolous words; girls, especially, like to discuss who is fashionable or unfashionable. Yesterday, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche watched a funny news report about some people who waited in a line at 4:00 AM till the next day to get a 1,000 NTD beefsteak for free. Nevertheless, if they were asked to come and listen to Buddha Dharma, even after given 1,000 NTD as a reward, they would not stand in line. Do you believe it? Human beings’ greed is so terrible.

What was mentioned just now is the aspect of worldly frivolous words. Now, we are going to talk about real frivolous words, giving dharma teachings to those who are not dharma vessels. It should be said that teaching Tantra to someone who is not supposed to learn Tantra is speaking frivolous words. Therefore, many centers in Taiwan that publicly teach Tantra break this precept, as they are not supposed to do this. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recalls that one year His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang gave the opportunity to believers to ask questions. One believer asked, “Is there qigong in Tantra?” Hearing and understanding the question clearly, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang turned his head away, ignored him, and gave no answer. It is just because the believer was not a dharma vessel. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang did not explain to him even though His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang understood the terminology.

Therefore, some disciples have followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for years but they have not heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teach Tantra. Honestly speaking, as you are not a dharma vessel yet, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cannot tell you or the guru would break the precept. For a Buddhist practitioner, in order to observe the precept of speaking frivolous words, he does not utter a word unrelated to Buddha Dharma. Years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reverently invited His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang to travel from Tibet to preside over a puja in Yunnan. Upon hearing this news, a believer traveled to Yunnan from Shanghai to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. At his meeting with His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, he immediately made an offering of 10,000 RMB, which was a great deal of money at the time. Then, he took out two name cards, and asked His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang who would be a better business partner for him. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang ignored him, and did not look at him or say anything. If it were you, you might mutter to yourself, wondering why the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang took the money but said nothing. You might think the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang was not compassionate because he did not say anything about your important business.

Seeing the awkward situation, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche briefly explained to the believer, “His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang is a true and enlightened practitioner. The question you asked is not related to Buddha Dharma, and therefore the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang will not answer you. Besides, you asked which person was better. By this, you may cause the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang to break a precept. If the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang was to answer you, the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang would have criticized one and praised the other. This would be breaking a precept. This is why the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, a true practitioner, will not answer you.” Likewise, if some people seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche feels like they are not asking about Buddha Dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will ask them to leave. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is stricter than the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not even receive the offering, in order to keep you from murmuring and complaining that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche received your money but said nothing. The guru is to prevent you from doing evil.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has told you that if you are not a worthy vessel, Drubwang Konchok Norbu Rinpoche will not take notice of you. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also personally saw Drubwang Rinpoche throwing an offering back to a believer. You are lucky to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. If you followed Drubwang Rinpoche or the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, you may not to know whether to laugh or cry, whereas Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will teach you the principles. Hence, for those who are not worthy vessels, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and all the gurus will never teach them Tantra or even tell them a mantra. Many people say that Tantra is to hear and acquire mantras upon attending the empowerment puja, or to copy some mantras from the Tantra part of the Tripitaka for disciples to recite. This is all speaking frivolous words.

Any Yidam mantra of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas must be orally transmitted by a guru. How does a guru transmit the mantras? First, the guru has to receive empowerment of the Yidam, and be recognized with achievement in the four practices, Peace, Power, Increase, and Wrath. It is not what you have imagined, that mantra and tantric practices consist of reciting the Ten Short Mantras, the Rebirth Mantra, or mantras copied from the Tripitaka. This is wrong. The fundamental principle of practicing Tantra is that one’s body, speech, and mind have to be firmly fastened. Therefore, the practice of visualization is more than thinking about the image of the Buddhas. One has to practice in the stages of generation and completion so as to begin his external Tantric practice.

Nowadays, our Taiwanese Buddhist society is stepping out of place. If you practice in the Precept Sect, you should just observe the precepts, and not copy mantras for the disciples to recite. Otherwise, they may think that they are practicing Tantra. If you practice in the Zen Sect, you have to abandon everything. You should be secluded deep in the mountains, practice hard by yourself, and not even try to convert anyone. If you practice in the Pure Land Sect, all you should recite is the Buddha’s name, not the Ten Short Mantras or anything else. If you practice the Avatamsaka Sutra, you should immediately exhibit the appearance of an ordained practitioner. Only the Tantra in Tibetan Buddhism is composed of all the dharma methods. After being sorted and classified, the teachings are bestowed by a guru to each disciple in accordance with the individual’s capacity.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used to recite the Ten Short Mantras and the Great Compassion Mantra. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wondered why the recitation was not effective. Who lied to Richen Dorjee Rinpoche? The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas never tell lies, and mantras that have been stated must be able to work. Why are they ineffective? It is because the practitioner’s body, speech, and mind are not firmly fastened. Without practice of the generation and completion stages, it will be in vain. Furthermore, it will not be effective without the blessing of the lineage gurus.

Therefore, “frivolous words” includes any mantra that is casually transmitted by a master or a guru. Do not think that the Great Compassion Mantra is very common and that everyone who practices Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara will recite the Great Compassion Mantra. In fact, the means of practice is clearly stated in the Great Compassion Mantra, itself. One has to be in a retreat, refrain from eating meat, abstain from sex acts, and recite the mantra for a period of time until signs of correspondence are indicated. Therefore, the recitations that you conduct five or seven times in your morning and evening practice sessions are all in vain. All they do is to help you form a virtuous condition with Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara so that you will return to the world in the next life. Nonetheless, it is still impossible for you to have effects as stated in the Great Compassion Mantra.

Presently, people are given five-colored Vajra knots in Tibetan Buddhism. Actually, it is stated in the sutras that five-colored strings that are tied in knots and blessed with mantra should be given to believers to wear. Exoteric Buddhism fails to do that, whereas Tibetan Buddhism carries it out in accordance with the sutra. Why don’t Rinpoches of Tibetan Buddhism explain this? It is because they have not read the Exoteric Buddhist sutras, and, therefore have no knowledge of it. That is why they cannot explain it. In fact, many things are truly carried out in Tibetan Buddhism.

These days, many people unknowingly violate the precept of speaking frivolous words. It is stated clearly in the scriptures that one cannot be taught Tantra if he is not qualified to learn it. Being qualified does not refer to one’s educational background or social status, but refers to whether or not he is a dharma vessel. In the past, a man in Kunming wanted to transmit a mantra to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. At the time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had just sought refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, and did not understand that it could be serious. However, as he began to speak the mantra, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who had received transmission of Acalanatha from His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, felt that Acalanatha was inside him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stood up at once. Upon seeing this, the person’s face immediately turned blue, and he said that he would not continue any more. When the person said this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche felt Acalanatha leave his body. When one who transmits the mantra is not legitimate, if the receiving person is a dharma vessel, the Yidam will exert his protection over the receiving person and not let him even listen to it. Judging from this, we know that receiving teachings when they are not in accordance with Tantra is a very strict matter, and we should not do it. Likewise, one who is not a dharma vessel but still transmits and receives the teachings violates the precept of speaking real frivolous words, which is far more serious than speaking worldly frivolous words.

Therefore, before we follow a guru to learn dharma, we should understand his background; this doesn’t refer to his family background but his process of learning Buddhism. From whom has he learned? What is his lineage? Everything must be explicitly stated. It is major false speech and very inappropriate for someone to claim that he is a reincarnated guru or Buddha. A virtuous guru, even His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, would explicitly explain where and from whom the practice was learned, just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told you clearly who his guru is and how Richen Dorjee Rinpoche himself learned the Buddhist teachings. A guru like that is in accordance with the Buddhist teachings. Whether such a guru has achieved a higher or lower attainment has nothing to do with you, because he will not be able to give his attainment to you even if he has accomplished much. Whether or not the guru has achieved the attainment you expected will not have any effects on your Buddhist learning. As long as the guru can explicitly explain his lineage and bestow teachings that do not deviate from orthodox Buddhist teachings, the guru is a dharma teacher and you are the dharma vessel. We should be clear about the interaction, roles, and background between the imparter and the receiver. After we understand it, we will prevent ourselves from violating the precepts, and know what mindset we should have while learning the Buddhist teachings.

Regarding frivolous words, it is most serious when one’s mind is distracted while  seeking the teachings. Now, you understand why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolds you when you yawn or fall asleep during the teachings. Why do you yawn or fall asleep while listening to the Buddhist teachings? It is because your mind is distracted and fails to focus on the teachings; that is why you yawn. You feel bored because you have already heard what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is saying. This is committing the worst frivolous words. When someone sits on the dharma throne and bestows the Buddhist teachings on you, you are not the only one who is listening. All of your ancestors and karmic creditors will be listening as well. When you listen, you pay off your debts and accumulate merits and virtues. If you don’t listen, everything disappears in an instant.

When you fall asleep or yawn, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will ask you to stand up and run. That is to keep you from violating the precept; this is to love and cherish you. In fact, what does it matter to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche if you fall asleep or yawn? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche speaks by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s, and you listen by yourself. Because we are Vajra Vehicles, we do not listen by our ears but by our hearts. So when you seek dharma, you naturally yawn and fall asleep if you think about other things, have your own thoughts, and listen with discriminative mind. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has told you that whenever His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang enlightens dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never yawns or dozes off. Sometimes His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang speaks Tibetan and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cannot understand. But how does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never yawn, and yet stay still? That is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mind does not wander, and remains concentrated. More precisely, the guru listens in a meditative state.

Previously during the Great Puja of 2002, everyone obviously remembered that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not sleep the night before the puja. It was so hot on that day. Did you ever seen Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche close his eyes, let alone yawn or sleep? From beginning to end, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always sat in the front and motionlessly listened to Buddha Dharma. This was because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche clearly understood that on that day many sentient beings were listening to Buddha Dharma from His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can be motionless, so can many sentient beings. Very often, you are distracted, calming your child, eating, and dozing off; these are all signs of a wandering mind. That is the worst type of frivolous words.

When we are doing our morning and evening prayers, it is speaking frivolous words if we mix in talking, and because of this, achievement cannot be attained. While reciting mantras, many grandmothers may yell at their grandchildren to behave or ask someone to answer the phone. These are all frivolous words. Ordinary dharma masters would say, “It is fine as long as you recite the Buddha’s name.” During morning and evening prayers, first, you must put aside all personal matters. If the telephone rings, it is the same whether you answer it or not because whatever the caller wants to tell you has already happened. If it is something important, the caller will call back. If you are reciting mantras, and the rice is not well-cooked, this also is your fate. Does anyone ask you to start cooking rice before reciting mantras to save time? Frequently, you put rice into the rice cooker and plug it in; the rice is cooked by the time you finish reciting. If you do this, no wonder your mind is distracted and preoccupied with trivial matters. When reciting mantras in a retreat hut, we have to start all over if we sneeze, cough, or yawn, not to mention talk. Look at you, sitting here and yawning all day long, and just after reciting mantras for a brief period, you start to scratch here and there. If you follow the conditions described in the dharma text, you will definitely attain achievement. The reason why you do not achieve is because you don’t follow. Did you think that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche tells you this casually, and the Buddha will forgive you? That does not matter to the Buddha or Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Whether you attain the achievement or not, that is your own business, but the Buddhas and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explain the methods for you.

When some people recite, they think, “My husband has not called me back,” and then they take something to stop the prayer beads. Or they recite to a specific place and continue reciting after making a call. It is all in vain. If you decide to recite 3000 times today, you cannot talk during this period. If you think that 3000 times is too long, you reduce it a bit. Start by reciting 500 times; then gradually increase to 1000, 2000, and 3000 times. In other words, you definitely do not have to rush from the beginning; by reciting 3000 times a day, you will soon reach one million recitations. Do not do that. Because as long as you mix in talking while reciting, even if you have visualization, the mantras you recite today are not effective or functional. What is the reason? It’s not sincere and pure. It’s reciting with two minds, not one, so the energy of the mantra can not be generated.

Especially during the regular puja, many people speak frivolous words. It is particularly serious when someone recites a sutra wholeheartedly and another person tells him a joke that makes the person reciting to lose focus and laugh. This act will corrupt the sentient beings’ merits from practicing dharma. Especially, if you exhibit the appearance of an ordained practitioner, you will fail to live up to the guru and patriarch’s expectations. In addition to telling jokes, speaking frivolous words also includes reciting sutras in a hurry, reciting halfway and stopping, and disputes due to differing opinions before, during, or after the Buddhist rituals. Those who don’t understand the dharma meaning but only the words and who do not recite seriously not only have their own faults but also corrupts others’ merits. For example, when we recite the Six-Syllable Mani Mantra, we know how to recite it but we do not know the meaning. We can listen to the dharma tape of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s Dharma method by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explains the Six-Syllable Mani Mantra in great detail to help you understand the meaning; thereby, you will seriously recite it. The so-called, “corrupt the other’s merits.” Who is “the other”? Your karmic creditors. Today, you can listen to Buddha Dharma, recite mantras, and recite sutras because your karmic creditors fulfill your wish, help you, and do not stop you. But if you do not pay attention, such as when you yawn or doze off, you not only have faults, but you also harm your karmic creditors and benefactors. So from now on, we should adjust our mind when we listen to Buddha Dharma, and we ought to be more conscious because it is not for our own sake, but for the sake of sentient beings.

Thus we must strive to practice diligently while speaking few words. “Few words” does not mean you should not speak, but it means you should speak less. The karmic retribution of speaking frivolous words is very horrible. Do not think it will be okay after you say certain things; for example, there is a story about a man who said that the way in which someone else recited mantras sounded like the voice of a cow, and as a result, the man himself became a cow in his next life. This also is within the scope of speaking frivolous words. Do not laugh at others’ pronunciation, whether or not it is correct or pleasant. That is also within the aspect of frivolous words. What you say about others will affect your karmic retribution. If you say that another person recites just like a chicken, then you will be a chicken in your next life. We must be cautious with our words. The “few” in “few words” means that we should not say words that don’t benefit sentient beings. Even when we tell jokes or are being funny, we do not need to tease or criticize. We can speak words of humor to make others see how they should change, but it is awful to pick up other’s faults or open wounds and scars. Consequently, the precept of speaking frivolous words is the easiest to violate amongst body, speech, and mind. That is why we often say that trouble comes from the mouth, and all effects and causes start from the mouth. If we are not cautious to speak less, then the problems will mount. We may harm someone else’s life or cause others trouble if we are careless and negligent.

Previously, there was a woman who said that another woman’s husband was not good. It resulted in the woman committing suicide by drinking poison. While she was speaking, she thought she was doing it for her friend’s sake because she hoped that her friend would not stay with that man. As a result, she brought an early ending to this so-called “misfortunate marriage.” Eventually, the woman could not let go and committed suicide. Who really caused this disaster? It is the woman who spoke; she caused the other woman’s death. She said, “Why is she so stupid that she cannot let go? Everything will be fine if she divorces him.” The woman’s sin and evil was so grave. Therefore, we must reflect on every word we say. Never say, “It just burst out from my mouth,” “I just do not understand the art of speaking,” or “I do not know how to speak.” If you can’t talk, don’t talk. Use your actions to show. If you don’t understand how to talk, speak less; never say, “It just burst out of my mouth.” These words allow us to avoid responsibility and not admit our faults. Hence, we must pay special attention to the speech in “body, speech, and mind,” and never make mistakes.

There was once a person who came to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for a blessing for his sick brother. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche visualized that his brother was soon going to die so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave him a nectar pill. The first sentence he said to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was, “My brother cannot take this.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately took back the nectar pill since his words cut off the condition. It is very easy for many people to make this mistake. Other people must have their reasons when they give you something, speak to you, or make a movement. You may ask them, “Why do you give me this? How can I use it?” Many people think they are very smart, just like the person who implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He thought his brother could not swallow the nectar pill because his brother had a tube inserted down his throat. As soon as he refused the nectar pill, the condition disappeared right away! When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform a retreat for the first time, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still hesitated and asked His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang whether it could be delayed for a month or whether it could be shorter, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have refused this condition. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately answered, “Yes,” without knowing when he would go or from where the money for this trip would come. This was because any word of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang must be for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s benefit and there was no need for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to think! You all have made this kind of mistake where you first think and explain whether or not you can carry out what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has said. Therefore, the most important thing in our life is speaking. We should never say the wrong thing or speak carelessly. If we can be careful in our speech, we have already made some progress in our cultivation.

April 22, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious puja of Drikung Kagyu’s Chod at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei. More than 1,300 attendees participated in this puja. At first, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the following auspicious Dharma teaching. Chod, being performed at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center each month, is one of the eight major sadhanas of Tibetan Buddhism. At present, the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is the only center in Taiwan that holds the Chod Puja on a monthly basis and more than 1,000 people attend every puja. Buddhism can be divided into Esoteric Buddhism and Exoteric Buddhism. The Dharma methods of Esoteric Buddhism are not secret, instead, they are methods that can help sentient beings gain liberation from suffering. Further details of Chod will not be explained today. You can visit the official website of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center to read the Dharma talks regarding Chod that were given during the previous Chod Pujas.

To liberate the deceased is not so simple, nor will it work if you request ordained practitioners to recite mantras or sutras, fold paper lotus flowers, or cover the deceased with the Dharani sutra covering blanket. It would take a very long time to explain the meaning of liberation with the wisdom of Buddhas. Simply speaking, liberation means to set free sentient beings’ suffering in the ocean of Samsara and enable them to reach the other shore. It will take a long time to liberate a deceased person by the methods of Exoteric Buddhism. There is a custom where the families or friends hold a ceremony to recite the mantras or sutras for the deceased every seven days after his passing. Actually, this is incorrect. The recitation should be continued 24 hours a day for 49 days. Can you do it? If you can, please raise your hand. At this time, a female disciple raised her hand. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to teach, “How can you think you could do it? You must recite continuously by yourself for 24 hours; you can’t recite for three hours, and then find someone else to take-over. The person who raised her hand was self-righteous, and wanted others to praise her for her filial piety.”

The aforementioned requirements are most basic. Before the recitation, you must decorate the mandala according to the description of the sutra, offer fresh flowers and fruits, bathe, and dress in new clothing every day. And you must not offer incense from the ordinary Buddhist craft shop that costs you only a few hundred NTD. The incense should be made of sandalwood, with a market price of 100,000 NTD per kilogram. In addition, you have to offer perfume that is distilled from boiling flower water, not the perfume that you spray on your body. Why should we do so much preparation?  Because the human body is filled with the force of karmic retribution, thus, it would not be easy to liberate sentient beings by reciting the sutras. Therefore, these requirements are to help you arouse reverence. Additionally, imagine if you were to meet an important person, would you wear an undershirt, shorts, and sandals? No, you would not dress this way; instead, you would dress more appropriately. That is the main reason. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not purchase sandals, in order to avoid wearing sandals to meet people. This only refers to men, not women. Who, in the modern age, can fulfill the above requirements? Therefore, the reason why your recitation does not produce results is that you do not fulfill these requirements as depicted in the Buddhist sutras. In ancient times, people would observe a three-year mourning period, that is, they could stay in the mourning place for three years without going out. But modern people can barely stay for three days. Often, on the second day, they make as many calls as possible, perhaps to complain that they’re bored, and ask someone to take them out for a breath of fresh air.

The scriptures of Exoteric Buddhism are about the theories Buddha taught, and all of the teachings are about how to change oneself. Liberation was barely discussed amongst these teachings. The esoteric teachings are about the methods of liberation. Liberation is not just requesting someone to recite the sutras. Some would say, “It’s not like that? We recited; it must have helped the deceased.” That might work for those who truly cultivated Buddhism and who achieved accomplishments of a certain level before they died. If the person never learned and cultivated Buddhism, no matter how much you recited for him or her, it would yield no result.

The first story related to liberation was regarding Venerable Maudgalyayana, one of Buddha Sakyamuni’s disciples, who rescued his mother. With his great supernatural powers, Venerable Maudgalyayana saw his mother was suffering in the Hungry Ghosts Realm. In general, the sentient beings in the Hungry Ghosts Realm were suffering greatly; all of their food became fire when it reached their mouth. They were also very thirsty, but they could not drink even a sip of water. Their eyes bulged, their neck and limbs were very thin, and they had large stomachs. They looked like starving children in Africa who do not have food to eat and cancer patients before death. Aren’t cancer patients unable to eat during their final days? The doctors believed the cancer patients develop large stomachs due to ascites, but in fact it is because they have eaten sentient beings. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performs the Phowa to liberate the deceased, the ascites of the deceased also disappears. Why? It is because the sentient beings that were eaten have also been liberated together with the deceased. Therefore, you do not need to wait until after death to know where you will go; the realm into which you will be reborn can be predicted by what you look like in this life. Superior beings in the Hungry Ghost Realm have the chance of eating excrement or smelling urine. More superior beings will eat a human’s sputum or secretions. How miserable this is! Why would one fall into the Hungry Ghost Realm? It is because he was reluctant to give offerings and alms during his lifetime, forbade others to make offerings, or persuaded others to make small offerings. Similarly, when someone is reluctant to give offerings and alms, he will suffer from being unable to eat or from having nothing to eat after he dies.

Venerable Maudgalyayana then besought the Buddha Sakyamuni for any method that could help his mother leave the Hungry Ghost Realm. Buddha Sakyamuni then told Venerable Maudhalyayana, to make offerings of vegetarian food after the end of the summer retreat to the 1,200 ordained practitioners who completed their retreats, and then to dedicate these virtues to his mother. Venerable Maudgalyayana faithfully carried out the teachings, and that’s why his mother could be reborn in the Heaven Realm. Why was there a summer retreat? It was due to the weather in India. At the time, it happened to be the end of summer. Nowadays, the temperatures there might reach 50 degrees centigrade; in the past, it reached 30 or 40 degrees. The weather was too hot for outside activities. The second reason was that there were lots of insects moving around outside, so the summer retreat was scheduled to keep the practitioners from accidentally trampling them to death. The third reason has to do with sanitary conditions. With such hot weather, it was not suitable to beg for alms from door to door. Therefore, the practitioners were gathered together. But please pay attention to these three points; first, they followed the teachings of the Buddha and did so accordingly. Secondly, the food offered to the practitioners who completed the retreat was vegetarian not meat, and thirdly, these practitioners who completed retreats had achieved the attainment of Arhats. Since they had great merits, the virtues from supporting them through offerings were numerous too. Therefore, we can see that the food offering ceremonies of today do not follow the previous conditions. Because the mother of Venerable Maudgalyayana did not learn Buddhism before her passing, she could not be reborn into the Pure Land. Instead, she was reborn in the Heaven Realm of the Three Virtuous Realms.

Not all sentient beings who are liberated can be reborn into the Pure Land. It depends on the deceased’s causes, conditions and virtues. Although Zen Master Bao Zhi, the author of Emperor Liang Jewelled Repentance, helped Emperor Liang’s concubine gain liberation, he could only help her be reborn in the Heaven Realm. From this story we know that liberation involves various complicated factors. Many people came to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on behalf of their deceased family members to help them be reborn into good places. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would ask them if the deceased ate meat, and if so, it’s impossible for him to be reborn into the Pure Land. Where is the “good place”? Actually, there is no such differentiation between good or bad places. It entirely depends on the deceased’s causes, conditions and virtues. Even though Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performs Dharma without discrimination, the 1,300 attendees who participate in the same puja gain different results. Since Chod includes the Phowa, as long as you attend Chod Pujas you can help countless sentient beings in the Six Realms. If the deceased learned Buddha Dharma, when he was alive, had possessed appropriate causes and conditions, then he may be able to be reborn into the Pure Land. The deceased who possess virtues may at least be reborn as humans. Moreover, when they are reborn as humans, they will be able to be reborn into Buddhist families. Those with many more virtues may be reborn in places of the Heaven Realm where they can listen to Buddha Dharma. You shouldn’t think that attending the puja once can solve all of your problems.

Many of you attended tonight’s puja on behalf of your deceased family members. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that among those people some have been wondering how much they should pay for attending this puja, because they heard from the funeral home that usually there is a fee of 50,000 NTD for reciting sutras for the deceased. In most other centers, there is a price list for lighting a lamp or writing down a deceased family member’s name for liberation. People who make larger cash offerings can sit in the front during the ceremony. These rules, however, do not apply to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. There is no price list for listing the deceased’s name for liberation of the deceased family members or karmic creditors. Moreover, there is no lamp to light in front of Mandala, no so-called “major contributor”, and no tablet set up for any deceased person. These are all free of charge here. Likewise, you are free to give or not give. In this center, there is no such thing as people who make larger offerings have front seats while those who make smaller offerings sit in the back. To the contrary, believers who usually do not make offerings can sit in the first rows, because they are guests of the center.

There are various ways to make offerings, and “making an offering” doesn’t mean how much money is offered. Scripture depicts a story about this. A long time ago, a king sponsored a puja, which was presided over by Buddha Sakyamuni. When the puja approached the end, an attendant asked Buddha Sakyamuni who had accumulated the greatest merits in the puja? Buddha Sakyamuni pointed to an old woman who was positioned in the far back in the crowd, saying that she had accumulated most merits. The attendant thought it was strange because the king had paid for the puja’s expenses. Why had the old woman accumulated the greatest merits? Buddha Sakyamuni explained that it was because she had spent all her money to light a small lamp as an offering to the Buddha. More importantly, she had dedicated all the merits to the king because he had sponsored the puja, which enabled many people to attend. Upon witnessing so many blissful people, the old woman rejoiced. The old woman rejoiced in others’ merits so her merits were the greatest today. As Buddha Sakyamuni prophesied, although the lamp she lit was small, it would never burn out. It proved to be true. Similarly, because of your participation, the Chod Puja is possible this evening.

Many people, when making an offering, ask other people how much they should donate. The other person may say, “Do it according to your condition.” Please do not improperly use the Buddhist term. In this case, “according to one’s conditions” is not doing as one wishes. The true meaning, rather, is that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas liberate sentient beings in accordance with their causes and conditions. Therefore, the most important thing about making an offering is to give the amount that first comes to mind. You should not hesitate and calculate. For example, you may plan to offer 100 NTD at first, but after seeing other people offering 1,000 NTD change your mind and want to increase your offering. On the other hand, if you see other people offering 50 NTD, you may then want to decrease your amount. It is also inappropriate for you to regret after you make an offering, to calculate, or take out a wad of bills to count how much you will give. Instead, you should just offer how much you take out from your pocket. In this Buddhist center, you deposit the money into the offering box; no other person knows how much you offer or who you are.

According to the Buddhist Sutras, Ksitigarbha offered all of his property to Buddha in one of his previous lives in order to know in which realm his mother was reborn. Besides, he unceasingly prostrated to the Buddha till his limbs, joints, and forehead were scraped and bleeding. Then, the Buddha appeared and told him that his mother was in hell. The scriptures did not mention how long it took, but merely said he continuously prostrated. In fact, prostrating is one kind of making an offering, and you can accumulate merits by doing it. You should not mistakenly think that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is very impressive because many people prostrate to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As long as you make an offering, in the form of money or prostration, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will pay you back and never owe you anything. Since beginning to cultivate Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never thought that he would become a Rinpoche who would ascend to the dharma throne someday, and that it would be so laborious. This is all because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was appointed by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and sought by sentient beings.

In this world, there are many natural and man-made calamities, epidemic diseases and catastrophes continuously happen. If you want to avoid these disasters, you ought to stop doing evil deeds and abstain from meat. The tsunami that was caused by the earthquake occurred in the coastlands of Japan, an area with heavy killing karma. Thirty years ago, there also was a tsunami that swept away the land. Afterwards, the Japanese government built a ten-meter embankment. However, they did not expect the tsunami to reach up to fourteen meters. As a result, it destroyed what the people had accumulated in the past thirty years again.

Those people who are Buddhists but do not adopt vegetarian diets ought to be ashamed.  There is a Christian hospital in Taipei where all the doctors, nurses, and patients adopt vegetarian diets for health reasons rather than for compassion. In Europe, even many young people have also started to be vegetarians. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche feels that the people who claim to be Buddhists but are not willing to be vegetarians are very daring. This is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche deeply believes in the law of cause and effect, perceives it, and understands it thoroughly, so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche must warn you if you still do evil deeds and eat meat. Disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center should absolutely adopt vegetarian diets. One must repay what he has eaten based on the principle of “Whatever you take from others, you must return the same.”  You may say that you eat meat for its nutrition; where does this nutrition go? It is in your body’s cells. Hence, you are what you eat. Besides, if you eat lots of beef, you smell differently; the same is true of pork.

You worry that your family or mother-in-law might disapprove of your adopting a vegetarian diet and scold you. They oppose because of the saying “birds of a feather flock together;” that is, if you continue to eat meat, you can all go to hell together. Furthermore, if you are scolded for being a vegetarian, your karmic retribution will be lessened. If you are not scolded for being a vegetarian, perhaps some misfortune will happen to you. In other words, because you are scolded for being a vegetarian, your karmic retribution is lessened; thus you might be able to avoid unfortunate events. Therefore, when you are scolded, do not get upset, just bear with it quietly. In fact, it is quite easy to be a vegetarian. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a lay practitioner who has his business and family just like you. Nevertheless, during his business trips around the world, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always eats a vegetarian diet without any difficulty. You might think that a vegetarian cannot get business deals, but this is not the case. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche first became a vegetarian, friends asked if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s decision to become a vegetarian was due to committing numerous evil deeds. All Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said was, “Yes,” and they said no more. When you admit your depravity, others will not further comment. If this happened to you, you would have tried to explain that you had not done anything wrong. Then, the quarrel would have begun.

The Phowa is included in the Chod. Whether or not one can receive the Phowa depends on his causes and conditions from previous lives. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche owes the person, the person will be helped; another factor is the attitude of reverence. Recently, a female disciple’s mother passed away and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the auspicious Phowa to liberate her mother. Although the disciple was only able to offer a couple hundred dollars, she continued to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s instruction to do full prostrations at the Buddhist center at the time of her mother’s passing. Under similar circumstances, someone else might say that there are many things to take care of at home, and discontinue doing full prostrations. Nevertheless, this disciple faithfully followed the guru’s instruction. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was moved and decided to conduct the Phowa for her mother. According to the disciple, her mother did not fulfill the qualification of being reborn into the Pure Land. Her body was stiff and cold, and livor mortis had set in after she drew her last breath. However, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche completed the Phowa for her mother, all the livor mortis disappeared and her body became soft. Even though her body felt cold, her crown chakra was warm. She looked peaceful and smiled. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained, livor mortis is the karmic creditors we ate and harmed, so they want to bring us down with them. Why would livor mortis vanish? It was because they too have been liberated to the Pure Land. Some people see their relatives or people they trust the most appear in front of them during their final moments. All these images are transformations of their karmic creditors, and they want to bring the deceased down to hell. What offering did she make with the couple hundred dollars? None! Regardless of that, because she was obedient and reverent, which was an offering, her virtues accumulated.

Another disciple’s mother-in-law did not receive the Phowa. Although Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had promised to perform the Phowa for her, she did not learn Buddhism and began to eat meat again when her health condition improved. As a result, she severed the causes and conditions to receive the Phowa, and had to suffer for several days until her liberation. Nonetheless, you should not wonder why you didn’t receive the Phowa for your family members even though you did full prostrations. That is just an example. Whether or not one can receive the Phowa still depends on one’s causes, conditions and virtues.

Recently, a believer from Shanghai sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the first time, and made an offering of 200,000 RMB. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only accepted 1,000 RMB, and asked the believer to give the rest of the money to others in need. The son-in-law of this man made an offering of thousands of RMB, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche accepted everything. If it were you, you would accept that first amount worth 1,000,000 NTD, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not do so. Why did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche accept all the son-in-law’s offering of thousands of dollars? The difference was in the reverent heart, not the quantity of money. Sometimes poor people’s offerings are accepted entirely.

All of you have heard that “genuine sincerity leads to great effectiveness.” The Chinese character for “effectiveness” has three mouths. Before, wizards recited mantras with mouths. Now, it refers to the three entities: you, the participator, the Dharma-practitioner, and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Buddhas have immense and perfect wisdom. Why does not it say that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are very effective? Why does it say you must have “genuine sincerity”? If you are not sincere, even when practitioners and Buddhas and Bodhisattvas want to help you, it is not effective with two entities. If you have genuine sincerity but do not have the virtuous guru’s help, there is still no effectiveness through two entities, yours and that of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. So the deceased must have all the causes, conditions and virtues in place in order to be truly helped. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only represents you when praying to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Some of you seated may think, “How do I know whether or not Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has effectiveness?” You should know by the fact that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can perform a three-month long retreat on a 4,500 meter snowy mountain, whereas ordinary people would not live long in this harsh environment.

You should not be suspicious and think, “Is this useful or not?” or “I don’t understand what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is doing.” You surely do not understand. If you understood, you would be a Rinpoche. Tantra also is called Vajrayana, which means that the practitioner has developed an aspiration for Bodhicitta, not for how much money to donate. In other words, his promises to the sentient beings, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and his determination to liberate sentient beings will never regress. From getting up at 6 AM until now, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never stops. After flying back to Taiwan, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to the company right away to take care of business for several hours straight; then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche hurried here to conduct the puja. If it were you, wouldn’t you be exhausted and dozing off?  You will see how much strength and energy Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche must use when performing the Chod later. All these endeavors are to help sentient beings. In addition, you also showed your earnest sincerity by rushing to the puja after all day of work.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche attains great achievements through painstaking effort in this life. You will never know how much Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has experienced and accomplished if it is not told; however, you may not clearly understand if you are told too much. So, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche simply exerts all his might without regard to his own life! Particularly, the Chod, which is to benefit sentient beings, can only be performed by the practitioner who does not have regard for his own life. Furthermore, there are two kinds of Chod, one is “practicing for oneself” and the other is “practicing for others.” When performing the Chod, the practitioner has to remove all protective objects and protective wheels from his body. Usually there will be a boundary set to protect the center while performing Dharmas. For the Chod, there is no boundary, so that all sentient beings with the proper conditions may come and benefit from this. You should settle your mind so that sentient beings in the Six Realms can receive the help of Buddha Dharma.

April 23, 2011

From 4:00 PM to 10:15 PM, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, helped 142 believers relieve all kinds of worldly suffering and gave enlightenment of Buddha Dharma at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei.

April 24, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, teaching important concepts of learning Buddhism, and the difference in the process of cultivation between Esoteric Buddhism and Exoteric Buddhism.

Prior to the beginning of the puja, a female disciple publicly repented. First, she was grateful that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave her the opportunity to repent in front of the mandala. She had taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for four years, and regretted that she was unable to repent in front of the mandala until now.

She felt that she was arrogant and selfish, and clung to greed and desire. She was not filial to her parents, nor was she patient, and she would often talk back in defiance. She also was not filial to her ex-parents-in-law, and did not fulfill the role of being a wife and mother. She was disdainful to the people around her and she did not show gratitude and compassion. Often, she caused others vexation without knowing it. Furthermore, she took samples of the company’s products for home use. When she was a volunteer in the Buddhist center, she did not fulfill her job and also offended many dharma brothers. Moreover, she harmed numerous sentient beings; she used to eat meat and enjoy scooping up fish for fun without the least bit of compassion, even after seeing dead fish. Additionally, she killed cockroaches, pinched spiders, poisoned mice, and drowned a colony of ants. Now, she realized that she had committed hundreds of thousands of wrong deeds.

She stated that if Buddhism didn’t exist, there would be no worthwhile human existence on earth. If she had not met His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, how would she have known that Buddhism is so great and vast? If she had not heard the teaching of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, how would she have known that Buddhist cultivation means to thoroughly and intensely correct her own behavior? How could she have realized that her mind was so evil and rotten?

In 2007, she requested an audience with His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to greedily implore help for her illness. The compassionate and powerful Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not only bestowed blessings on her, but also gave her a precious nectar pill and cured her dry eye disease, myoma, and dermatitis. The superior Baoyaun Ointment, created by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, stopped her skin from itching anymore.  At that time, she thought carefully about what had made her so fortunate as to deserve such a great, accomplished practitioner’s help.

However, after taking refuge, she did not listen to the guru’s teaching and broke precepts. She did not implement Buddhist teachings into her daily life, and was stuck in her old behavior, not examining her undisciplined mind and indulging herself in greed, hatred, delusion, conceit, and doubt.  Nevertheless, she saw that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche patiently teaches countless sentient beings and tirelessly bestows blessings upon them with his own virtues, strength and energy, without regard for his own life. Because Rinpoche Dorjee Rinpoche cannot bear to see the disciples fall into hell if they carelessly commit wrong deeds, the guru never stops watching over them, even while telling jokes or strictly reprimanding them.

Now she understands that everything His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does is to protect and support the lineage, to promote Buddhism and benefit all sentient beings so that they can be relieved from their suffering. Therefore, she sincerely prayed to the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and dharma protectors, to protect His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s well-being so the guru would not be too exhausted. All sentient beings need Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching very much. She was appreciative of her current pain and illness and the wrong things she did, because they allowed her to experience the suffering of sentient beings she had harmed. Because of this, she had the causes and conditions to take refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She also implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to liberate the sentient beings she had harmed, so they could be relieved from suffering as soon as possible. In addition, she vowed that from now on she would act in accordance to the teachings, listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s words, and deeply believe in the law of karmic cause and effect. She further pledged to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to learn Buddhism well and to be liberated from Samsara in order not to disappoint the guru and Buddha.

Next, another female disciple repented. She was grateful to the Vajra Guru who gave her the chance to confess and repent. She had been prohibited from entering the Buddhist center and making offerings for more than two years. She had heavy karmic obstacles; she was arrogant, insolent, ignorant and self-righteous. Although sometimes she recognized some of her minor faults, deep within her heart she knew that she did not recognize her fundamental problems. In February of this year, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the auspicious Avalokiteshvara Empowerment Puja. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blessed the believers and disciples in the center, the guru specially went out and blessed the disciples who were prohibited from entering. She was very touched, and self-righteously thought that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was very compassionate to give her blessings. It was not until these last few days that she deeply realized Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s great compassion. In fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was blessing the sentient beings she had harmed. This made her understand her faults and change herself. If His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not compassionately bestowed blessings, she would not have realized her faults, and would not have even had the courage to confess. Moreover, she would not have had the opportunity to face her wrongdoings and repay her debts for the rest of her life.

Because her parents spoiled her as a child, she always believed that she knew better than her parents. She always caused her parents to worry, and loved to talk back. Besides, she insisted on keeping her relationship with a boyfriend that her parents disliked. Her mother was concerned about her health, and frequently made nutritious foods for her, which she rejected as troublesome. When she was looking for a job, her mother worried that she might be deceived and asked to take a look at her company, but she thought that her mother was making a big deal out of nothing. She always took her parents’ love, which was given without regret and complaint, for granted. In other words, she was neither grateful nor filial to her parents.

When she began her first job, she saw that her supervisor and colleagues sold the company samples for extra lunch money. Even though she knew that it was wrong, not only did she not speak against it, but she also joined their actions. Additionally, during work hours, she’d go out and had fun in the name of visiting clients. She also used office equipment for doing her second job. As a result of all of this misconduct, she violated the precepts of making false speech and stealing. Later, to make extra money, she lent her savings to a stock company that also ran a usury business. She now realizes that her act of lending endangered the society and created many broken families. Finally, to satisfy her desire to eat, she harmed many sentient beings; she also asked others to cook meat for her. All in all, she had committed all Ten Non-Meritorious Acts for a very long time. She honestly didn’t know when she would be able to pay back all of these karmic debts.

In addition to the aforementioned misdeeds, she also made several mistakes when she worked at Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company:
1. Due to her laziness, she sent an e-mail to all departments instead of sending a separate email to each department. As a result, her colleagues read information that did not pertain to them.
2. When she didn’t get support at work as she expected, she complained to a colleague whose confidence in the company was, therefore, shaken. In so doing, she created the karma of “making divisive speech”.
3. When encountering problems at work, she failed to communicate with colleagues from related departments but, instead, wrote an official report directly to the president and bypassed her boss. What’s more, her report wasn’t clear enough, thus, some innocent colleagues were punished.

She was grateful for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s correction, which taught her to take the time to think when she later had to face similar situations.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has helped her very much. Before she took refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche liberated her children’s ancestors. After she took refuge, her health improved, family conflicts decreased, and everything went fairly smoothly. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche even liberated her father, maternal grandfather, and two grandmothers. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught her to face the impermanence of life and learn to let go. Her father died of liver cancer; he only lived for seven to eight months after falling ill. She had been clinging terribly to her father’s departure to the extent that she couldn’t shed one tear at her father’s funeral. The suffering of this attachment has lasted 18 years. It was not until she took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she was able to truly let go. If not for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate blessings and teachings, she would have still been holding fast to her father. If this happened, her father could not have been liberated, thus, they would then have to continue their entangled relationship in the next life. She is truly grateful to Most Venerable Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for helping her solve this problem.

It has been six years since she took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. During this time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has helped her a lot. However, she is still selfish and she still thinks that she will receive blessings whenever she worships. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has said, “Some people are very devout in cultivating Buddhism during the first year, but during the second year, they put the Buddhas aside. Then, in the third year, they feel that they are most superior, and totally disregard the Buddhas.” Before, when she heard this, she did not think she would behave like that. Now as she thinks about this, she realizes that she is just like that. She does not correct herself in accordance with the guru’s teachings. Because she is selfish, arrogant, and self-righteous, she escapes any conflict with her own profit. Besides, she has strong angry nature. Rather than reflecting on her own problems, she always blames others when things do not turn out as she wishes. In addition, she does not have the proper mindset when making an offering because she mistakenly thinks that all of her difficulties should disappear after she makes her offerings. When her life goes smoothly, she arrogantly believes it’s due to her own Buddhist cultivation, and completely forgets that it is all due to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s protection and blessing. She commits the Ten Non-Meritorious Acts all the time, not to mention the fact that she carries out the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. She has wasted the guru’s time and energy. Nevertheless, she is appreciative to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for not abandoning her but always bestowing dharma teachings even though she has committed so many wrong deeds. She hopes that through today’s repentance, she can remove the evil tendency in the depth of her heart. From now on, she will carefully watch her body, speech, and mind, act in accordance with the guru’s teachings, and diligently cultivate Buddhism in order to be liberated from Samsara. She will never leave the guru. In conclusion, she wishes that the guru will live long, eternally turn the dharma wheel, and that Buddhism will always abide in the world.

Then, a male disciple shared the story of how the guru helped him. First, he expressed his thanks for having the opportunity to praise the guru’s merits. In 2006, he resigned from his job. After three or four months of rest, he still could not find an acceptable job. Later, he found a job in Hong Kong. He was worried that he could not stay in Taiwan and continue to learn Buddhism. Due to this urgent need, he implored the guru for help in his heart, and asked, “What should I do if I can’t find a job in Taiwan?” A few days later, he had a dream that he lay in an open field and that there was an elder beside him. After he woke up, he merely remembered that the elder told him not to leave, or he would waste his effort. At the time, he did not figure it out. Not long afterward, he found a job in Taiwan. That company even offered him a better salary and benefits than the first one. At that point, however, he did not perceive this as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s ingenious arrangement. After some consideration, he still decided to work in Hong Kong, and come back to Taiwan biweekly to attend pujas.

Shortly after, he was involved in some changes in personnel at the Hong Kong company where he worked. It happened that he read the book, How to Become the Student of the Buddha, and saw a section where sentient beings were compared to children, who were attached to their toys, playing in a burning house. The guru and Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are like elders who tempt the children to leave the burning house for better toys. At that moment, he suddenly understood the guru was the elder in his dream, whereas the burning house was like the suffering of Samsara. At that moment, he was moved and burst into tears. He realized that Buddhism is the most precious in the world, and made up his mind to return to Taiwan to find a job. Subsequently, he easily found a job in Taiwan.

After returning to Taiwan, he implored His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to allow him to take refuge, but the guru did not approve. At that time, he was not aware that he was very arrogant. It was not long after that he was laid off because his company merged with another. In the following months, his life was unstable and he changed jobs back and forth. He felt it was like paying back his karmic debts. During that time, he utilized his social networks to find a job. One day, a Human Resources Agency accidentally delivered his application to a company in the U.S., and that company decided to hire him. Since the annual salary that company offered was very tempting, he suddenly did not know how to choose. Then, he thought about his previous work experience in Hong Kong, and realized that this time it may be a test to see whether he would give up the chance to learn Buddhism for a high salary. If he gave up the chance to learn Buddhism in this life, he might as well just wait to fall into hell after his virtues were exhausted. As a result, he turned down the company in the U.S. Later, he again sought to take refuge, and finally Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche approved.

According to his understanding, Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha vows not to attain Buddhahood until hell is empty. He thought Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s vow, “not to attain Buddhahood until every sentient being attains Buddhahood” is greater. He felt that he was a very evil man. In the past, he would have rather died than be without wealth, achievement, or fame in this life. Now, he knows this kind of thinking is extremely wrong. Before, in order to preserve his job, he made a lot of verbal karma. He not only repents of this but also pledges that he will definitely treasure the opportunity to learn Buddhism, to correct even the subtle evils, and to be liberated from Samsara in this life or a future life. Meanwhile, he wishes to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in every life. If he cannot be liberated from Samsara, then he wishes that he can remember the guru’s and Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ grace in his future lives.

Then, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended the dharma throne and bestowed on the attendees teachings regarding some important concepts related to learning Buddhism.

Originally, Buddha Sakyamuni taught Dharma through oral transmission. The meaning of “Kagyu” is oral transmission. Buddhist cultivation is not merely reciting mantras and sutras; it is studying Buddhism and adopting Buddhist teachings into your daily life. By doing this, you can experience the meaning of what Buddha Sakyamuni taught. Following the passing of Buddha Sakyamuni, his disciples gathered to write down the contents of his teachings and compiled them into sutras. At that time, it had been a while since Buddha Sakyamuni gave these teachings; how could his disciples remember them so clearly? The disciples who had achieved the state of Arhats used their supernatural powers to write down Buddha Sakyamuni’s teachings. The original sutra was written in Sanskrit, the language that was initially used in the ancient India. In Sanskrit, a dot or a tick can make a great difference in the meaning of a word. The Tibetan written language is very similar to Sanskrit. It was developed in reference to Sanskrit, which is the spelling system. The meaning changes if a dot or tick is added to the same character. Therefore, there are lots of meanings for the same character.

There are different languages in each region of India. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to promote Buddhism in the Sikh region of northern India, the event was widely reported in the newspapers. It was reported in at least four different languages, including English, Hindi, the local language used in the Sikh region, and the language used in Islam. Even now, the historians are not certain which language was used when Buddha Sakyamuni promoted Buddhism. However, according to the history record, when Buddha Sakyamuni was alive, he journeyed to India, Bhutan, and Nepal to promote Buddhism. Therefore, drawing from the inference, it is thought that he should have used the local language. This is like how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s first language is Cantonese, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used Mandarin to promote Buddhism in Taiwan. However, when translating from Cantonese to Mandarin, it is difficult to avoid discrepancies. They would have faced the same situation when they translated the sutras.

The sutras spread from India to China, and were translated into Chinese by accomplished practitioners during the Han, Song, Sui and Tang Dynasties. Buddhism flourished during the Tang Dynasty, and many eminent monks and Masters appeared during that time. After that, the Chinese translation of the sutras remained the same. When you read different editions of the sutras translated in different ages, you will find different writing styles and subsequently the feelings of reading them are different. This is because those sutras were translated into the current popular language of that time. Even if they all were written in Chinese, they are all affected by different factors such as the time period, culture, and background. As you know, the writing of a government official and folk writing were expressed differently. The translation of sutras was written in a way that common people could easily understand during that time.

For instance, in ancient times, the Chinese character for “flower” was written differently. Therefore, if someone could not understand the connotation, he would misunderstand the content of the sutra. Besides, in the editions of sutras translated during the Han Dynasty, Buddha Sakyamuni was referred to as Da-Luo-Jin-Xian (which means “the Great Deity”). This was because people were not familiar with Buddhism during that time. Taoism was very popular at that time. The highest level of achievement in Taoism was called Da-Luo-Jin-Xian; therefore, they used the Taoist term as a kind of metaphor. Otherwise, how could a Buddha be merely at the level of God? During a later period, the people already knew that Buddhahood is the highest level of cultivation, so they referred to the “Buddha” in the sutras after this.

You will also find that, even within a family, there are specific language usages that differ from other families’. Just like when parents scold their children, the vocabulary would differ from one family to another. For example, people speak Mandarin and Min-nan in Taiwan. Actually, Min-nan has developed into a type of Taiwanese that is specific to this area, and this language differs from the Min-nan used in the Fujian Province, in southern China. Which one is correct? From the native speaker’s point of view, they will each think that their own usage is acceptable. Yet, there is no right or wrong.

Therefore, when you read different editions of the sutras from different dynasties, even if they were translated in modern times, you can have a different understanding of the different writing styles. However, while something can be expressed in many ways through language, there is only one kind of Dharma. Language is accumulated through humans’ experience of life, but Dharma is completely different from the experience of life. No matter how hard you try to describe something with language, you can’t express the real meaning of Dharma. Therefore, it is of no avail to repent or recite mantras or sutras at home by oneself. You must be guided by a guru who is virtuous and has real experience in cultivating Buddhism.

Buddhism prospered greatly during the Tang Dynasty. Wu Zetian, an empress of that period, certainly would have had a lot of people to elucidate the Dharma to her. The reason why Wu Zetian would say, “I wish to comprehend the actual meaning of ‘Tathagata,’ ” was because after reading many translated sutras, she realized that the meaning of Dharma is more profound than can be expressed in words. Therefore, she made this wish.

If one just studies the contents of the Sutras, no matter how he has explored it, he is not able to understand the meaning of Dharma. It is said that one must “listen to, ponder and practice” Buddhism. Why did they use “listen to” instead of “hear”? It is because the ancient masters who translated the sutras had at least perceived their self-nature, therefore they realized the true meaning of the sutras. Thus, “listening to” was used here to indicate the effort in one’s mind to understand, while “hearing” only implies the function of the ears. Why do some people misunderstand others’ words? One reason is because they do not pay attention the words go “in one ear and out the other”; another reason is that they have heavy karmic obstacles that transform the most beneficial words to them into something else in their ears.

Upon listening to the Diamond Sutra, the Sitxth Patriarch Hui-Neng perceived his nature, but he was not enlightened immediately. Through the Fifth Patriarch’s teaching, he came to realize the mind, but he did not have enough virtues to benefit sentient beings yet. Therefore, he had to live with hunters and cook for them for over ten years. During this period, he continually cultivated Buddhism until he finally could attain enlightenment. From this example, it is evident that without the guidance of a guru, you will not achieve anything in your cultivation. Your capacity is far from the Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng’s. How could you expect that you could be accomplished by only listening to Dharma? Don’t be so arrogant. If someone still says that he is afraid of being scolded by the guru, he must have a very evil mind. A guru’s job is to scold his disciples. It is the same with a teacher, and even a university professor will scold his students as well. They just use a different method. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and the great practitioners in the Drikung Kagyu Order also scold people as long as there is something wrong related to Dharma or their cultivation. They will even scold if the person is a Rinpoche. When a guru sees that your behavior will cause you to fall into the evil paths and does not tell you, this is your guru’s fault. If he told you, but you were not willing to listen or accept his advice, then it will be none of the guru’s business.

When the Buddha was still alive, he orally transmitted teachings to his five attendants. At first, because Buddha and his attendants saw worldly suffering, they practiced asceticism to gain liberation. You have seen pictures of the Buddha who was emaciated; that was the look of an ascetic. But after many years of ascetic practice, he still could not find the method to be liberated from birth and death so he left mountain. First, he met a shepherdess, and drank goat milk offered by the shepherdess and then recuperated. Afterwards, he attained Buddhahood under the Bodhi tree, which astonished the devils palace and the king of devils sent devil women to disturb the Buddha. Sometimes people ask if Buddhists can drink milk? Of course; even Buddha drank it. When the Buddha came to meet his five attendants of the past, they saw that the Buddha’s face was plump and flushed. Thus, they despised the Buddha for giving up ascetic practices. Nevertheless, the Buddha bestowed upon them teachings on the “The Four Noble Truths,” Suffering, Origins, Path, and Cessation, which clarified the origin of suffering and the method of relieving suffering. As a result, the attendants felt that the contents of Buddha’s teachings were acceptable, so they stayed. Following that, the Buddha revealed the “Twelve Links of Dependent Origination.” in which he explained the twelve causes and origination, including “Why does vexation arise?” He also taught sentient beings to contemplate each and every of dependent origination and how to detach them. At that time, there were many other popular religions in India, and many of them accepted the idea of Samsara. Because of life’s hardships, everyone wanted to avoid suffering. But why must one endure so much suffering? How can one avoid suffering? Different religions offer different ways of cultivation. That is why there were so many ascetic practitioners.

In ancient times, the people of India had nothing to do after mealtime, so they had a lot of time to quietly contemplate each and every one of the dependent originations. But modern people cannot cultivate in this way. Buddha knew that people in the Age of Semblance Dharma and the Age of Degenerate Dharma have very heavy karma, and they don’t have much time to practice Buddhism. Therefore, he later taught the Bodhisattva Path and Mahayana. The Dharma taught by Buddha during this period is also called original Buddhism.

The Sutra of the Great Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva states that every movement and thought generated by an ordinary being creates karma and offenses. Karma is a kind of force which causes us to be continuously reincarnated. Both the virtuous and evil deeds we do before we attain the state of emptiness creates karma in our lives. But today, if you could direct all of your motivation and thoughts to benefit sentient beings, you can turn the evil into virtue.

During last Friday’s Chod Puja, everyone remembers that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned one female disciple.  Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was moved by her sincerity when he found out that she still obeyed the previously given instruction and went to the center to do full prostrations, even though her mother was passing away. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche decided to perform the Phowa for her mother. However, at that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was in Japan, and was actually in a car. Everyone who has witnessed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche perform the Phowa knows that the guru utters a special sound, which vibrates the central channel of the deceased and pushes his consciousness out of his body so that the deceased can be reborn into the Pure Land. If you feel afraid when you hear the sound, it means that your karma is heavy. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the Phowa inside the car, the loud sound would have scared the driver; maybe it would have caused a traffic accident. Besides, the driver did not know that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was a Buddhist Practitioner; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not wear the dharma robe on that day. So, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche suddenly started to perform the Phowa, the driver might have become panicked. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used the method of visualization and contemplation to perform the Phowa without uttering any sound. When the Phowa was complete, even the two front passengers did not know anything about it.

There are three conditions for recieving the auspicious Phowa. The first is that the deceased must have cultivated Buddhism and accumulated enough causes, conditions and virtues before death. The second is that the deceased must have karmic connection with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in his or her previous lives. The third is that you must follow the guru’s teachings accordingly.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has said that when seated on the dharma throne, you regard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as a Rinpoche but when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche descends, you see the guru as a fool. Similarly, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wears the dharma robe, you regard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as a Rinpoche, but when the dharma robe is not worn, you do not treat the guru as a Rinpoche. In fact, whatever Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says, does, or thinks is all to benefit sentient beings, even one glance at someone. Do not use your human brain to guess about the guru’s behavior. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was like you, who have have a mind of differentiation, how could Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche be able to help the deceased?

This is like the female disciple’s mother who had very heavy karma. But due to the obedience of the female disciple, she moved the guru to help her mother. Being moved is a Buddhist term, people nowadays often misuse Buddhist terms. For example, a man who kneels down in a movie theater to propose hoping to creates a romantic atmosphere. If the woman likes his way then maybe she would agree because she was moved. But if the woman does not like his way of proposing, it would not move her. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew a man who sent 999 roses to a woman; however, the woman threw the roses on the ground, because this was not what she liked.

How can you move the guru and Buddha and Bodhisattvas? It has nothing to do with how many offerings you make. The obedient female disciple previously mentioned did not make many offerings. The main point is your heart; if you are absolutely sincere and reverent, you will be attuned to the guru and the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. The so called “attunement leads to interaction” is when you are truly sincere, do not have your own ideas, do as you are told, follow the teachings and act in accordance. Then, you can be on the same path toward achieving Buddhahood as the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Buddhist sutras state, if you reverently prostrate to a Buddha statue, you are already on the path to Buddhahood. It does not mean that you have achieved Buddhahood, rather it means that you are heading on the path and direction to Buddhahood. Modern people also misuse Buddhist phrases such as “It was all understood without words.” It does not mean a man and woman who are in love, as they exchange “subtle looks of love which were understood without words.” Instead, it is as Buddha “holding a flower and smiling” that the Venerable Kasyapa attained enlightenment. It happened in a situation where no words were spoken.

Therefore, without the guru’s teachings, it is very easy to misunderstand Buddha Dharma and go in the wrong direction. For example, if a train track ran parallel and you were on the same track, you could move forward in the same direction. But when crossing an intersection, if your direction deviated a little, you would go farther and farther away from the correct road. There is the saying, “Missing by a mere millimeter will lead to a gap of thousands of miles.” For example, if the leader moves forward, but you follow behind with one step forward then three steps backwards, or if your directions are off to the side by a little, you will not arrive at the destination even after a long time. The person who leads you on your way is your guru. That is why being obedient is so very important. If the guru leads you in a certain direction, and you insist on your own opinion, then you will go the wrong way. Only a small deviation in thought will make it very easy to fall into the Three Evil Realms.

A man who had been Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple for many years recently passed away. He contracted a bacterial infection, and fell into a coma after a few days of high fever. Then, it was only a few days before he passed away. Even the doctors could not diagnose the cause. Logically speaking, he already had taken refuge, adopted a vegetarian diet, and continued to attend the regular puja; he should not have been misdiagnosed. What is “being misdiagnosed”? It means that the doctors could not correctly diagnose the patient, or the prescriptions did not work. On the other hand, if you have virtues, even the doctor just casually prescribes some medicine, it will help you. Similarly, whether or not the patient could be cured has to do with both the patient’s and the doctor’s virtues.

A few years ago, this disciple followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to Nepal. During the trip, some nuns needed service at a restaurant, he helped them to communicate with the waiter in his poor English; thereafter, he sat at the same table to eat with them. The fact that a male practitioner and nuns ate at the same table is a violation of the precepts. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw this, the guru immediately scolded him for his misconduct. Even though this disciple didn’t say anything at that time, he complained about it after returning home, thinking that he was carrying out a kind deed. Why did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche have to publicly reprimand him and cause him embarassment?

It is wrong to have such a thought. An Accomplished guru has the ability to know others’ thoughts. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche clearly knew about this disciple’s complaints, that he was angry at the guru. It is precisely for this reason that the blessings of the guru were cut off, and he was not able to receive the Phowa. The disciple’s karmic effect of slipping into a coma before death signified that he would be reborn in the Animal Realm. To be in a coma is the same as to be ignorant. And to be ignorant in Buddhism means someone does not accept Buddha Dharma nor the guru’s teaching. But when his wife whispered into his ear that the guru had given him blessings, he shed tears of repentance. Because of his repentance, he was able to receive the guru’s help to liberate him during the Chod Puja, and avoid falling into the Three Evil Realms.

A guru without compassion or Bodhichitta is not worth relying on. To rely on a guru doesn’t mean total dependence on him. Nor does it mean that you do nothing but simply depend on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help of the Phowa. If you are too ill to recite mantras, then you can depend on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. However, you have to absolutely follow and believe what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says. Likewise, “Relying on the guru” means that one genuinely follows and practices the guru’s teachings. The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is very unique in that you can see the manifestation of the Buddha Dharma in the many cases unfolding here. This deceased male disciple has shown us that a change of thought can cause one to enter hell or be reborn into a good place.

A friend of a disciple who is around forty years of age attended the Great Pujas presided over by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche two or three times. However, he did not listen and stop eating meat. Later on, he had a stroke at young age. Someone brought him to seek the help of a capable “dharma sister.” This dharma sister saw that a bodhisattva and a guru wearing a dharma hat of Tibetan Buddhism were behind him. Upon hearing this, he recalled that he had participated in the Great Pujas presided over by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche so he requested an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. In general, during each Great Puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always earnestly and patiently advised attendees that they should become vegetarians. Many of them, however, still did not believe in the law of cause and effect, and continued to eat meat to satisfy their desire. Although Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has urged participants, while on the dharma throne, to adopt a vegetarian diet time and again, many of you totally disregard this, and think that this has nothing to do with you, so you keep eating meat. Continuing to eat meat indicates that you come to the pujas only for the sake of seeking blessings. That’s why this man couldn’t alter the karmic retribution of having a stroke. Nevertheless, because he came to participate in the puja, he was bestowed some blessing, and survived the stroke. Therefore, he was able to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Otherwise, he would have been dead.

There is a story about the mud stupas Tibetans usually build on the sides of roads to worship one hundred peaceful and wrathful deities, the Yidams that Vajrayana practitioners must practice. Once upon a time, it was raining very hard. A person passed by a mud stupa and worried that it might be destroyed by the rain. He thought it would be very disrespectful if the stupa was ruined by the rain, so he searched for objects to shelter the stupa from the rain. Finally, he found a straw shoe and then reverently put the shoe on top of the stupa for protection. Later, another man came by the stupa and saw the shoe. He thought that it was disrespectful to put a shoe on the head of Bodhisattvas, and took away the shoe. Who was right and who was wrong? If these two men came across each other, they might have an argument. The first might think the second man was wrong, and vice versa.

Buddhas and Bodhisattvas won’t judge them by their outward behavior, but instead by their true intent. What were their motivations? The first man acted out of reverence, fearing the rain would destroy the stupa; that’s why he put the shoe on top. The second man didn’t know why the shoe was put there so he also took away the shoe out of reverence. These two men were both right because they acted out of their reverent and undefiled minds. So they were both correct and both accumulated merits. What this story teaches us is that our mindsets are the most important. For some people, they probably didn’t have many problems before they took refuge. But after taking refuge, they began to worry about many things such as fearing that objects on their mandala were improperly or incorrectly arranged. They’d bother Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for such trivial matters. Why did they keep asking about such matters? It is because they are afraid of making mistakes and being punished. Actually, if your mind is reverent and undefiled, even if the statues are tilted a little bit, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will forgive you. However, this does not mean that you can arrange your mandala carelessly; rather, you should do it with respect and purity of heart.

Many ordained practitioners do not eat after noon. This rule was set by Buddha Sakyamuni, and should be taken into consideration according to the cultural background of the time. This is like what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been teaching you, that the precepts are not for punishment or reward. It is also stated in the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, “the embodiment of compassion and the following of precepts is like the thunder in the sky.” The reason for this precept was because the weather was extremely hot, the sanitary conditions at that time were not good, and Indians had nothing to do; they would sleep after meals. Besides, the ordained practitioners usually practiced meditation in their huts, which wouldn’t require very much of their strength, consequently they didn’t have to eat. But it doesn’t mean that you have to do the same. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang doesn’t observe this, nor does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. This precept isn’t quite appropriate for modern times. Even if you are an ordained practitioner, you still have a lot to think about, which will consume your energy. Without eating, you won’t have enough strength! If you think too much, you will have poor health. Strictly speaking, from the standpoint of precepts, nuns should not even go out of the main gates of their temples. But now we can see many ordained practitioners dining out at restaurants after 10 PM.

In the following, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the teachings of Gampopa, which are about the differences between Exoteric Buddhism and Tantric Buddhism. It will take more than several years to elaborate on each phrase of the Tripitaka. Therefore, Gampopa summarized it and taught us the important parts. “A Paramitayana of a Mahayana practitioner takes as his object (of practice) the principle of common characteristics (that is assumed with consciousness rather than witnessed personally) while a Vajrayana of Mahayana practitioner takes the realm of pure reality as his path of Buddhist cultivation.” This phrase may be understandable for those who studied in a Buddhist college, but most people do not understand its meaning. For instance, when you want to get to a destination, there may be many different routes leading to it. You may encounter traffic jams on some of the routes or avoid them by taking others. If you take a wrong turn, you will be delayed. Exoteric Buddhism and Tantric Buddhism are like two different paths, and you can arrive at the destination by taking either path. However, through Tantric Buddhism and your guru’s guidance, you can find the path without traffic jams and arrive at an earlier time. It is just like the president’s car that smoothly and swiftly passes through areas of traffic congestion with its lead cars. The other cars in traffic are still there on the roadside, not leaving or disappearing. Similarly, a guru can stop your karmic force from interfering with you for a while, but your karmic force still exists. A virtuous guru who guides you in the front is just like the lead cars. If you follow closely after him, you will arrive at the destination sooner. If you can’t keep up with him, or you don’t follow the same route as the lead cars, you will probably get caught in a traffic jam.

Hevajra is the most important Yidam when one learns and practices the Anuttarayoga Tantra. In 2007, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted a solitary retreat in Mount Lapchi, and practiced the Yidam Hevajra. After perfect completion of the retreat, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reported his entire experience to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang judged which was correct and which was not correct. As a guru is an experienced practitioner, he knows how to do what is most helpful to you. Gampopa bestowed the teachings with a verse of Hevajra: “It is very important to understand that death is impermanent and that Samsara is a severe torment. Otherwise, on the path of Buddhist cultivation, the world is full of the Eight Worldly Disturbances and the practitioner will not be able to be liberated from Samsara. Moreover, death is a taboo topic in many religions, but not in Buddhism. We do not have to wait until our physical death to experience death; in reality, the rising and ceasing of causes and conditions is itself like death, which we already experience every day.

The cells of a human body are always changing between the cycle of birth and death. A disciple who is also a doctor reported that, on average, human cells are refreshed every seven years. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that the number seven is frequently mentioned in the Buddhist sutras. For example, Sakyamuni Buddha took seven steps under the Bodhi tree. Why not five, which associates with the concept of yin and yang and the five elements? Or eight which represents wealth (the two words are homonyms in Chinese)? In fact, it has some reason related to Tantra. As you can see, a child changes a lot between the ages of one to seven. The period from seven to fourteen years of age is the age of puberty during which teenagers start to revolt. Between ages fourteen and twenty-one, people’s emotions become very different. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche read a newspaper which reported that ninety-nine percent of large enterprises will begin to wane after fifty years; not one of them can exist forever. This is also in line with the teachings of the Buddhist sutras.

According to the Buddhist sutras, the human life is currently in decline. Before, we might have thought that this meant that our life span is decreasing. Recently, the earthquake in Japan caused the earth’s axis to tilt at a greater angle. Therefore, the earth revolves at a faster speed and the time of each day decreases accordingly. Although the time of each day decreases by less than one second, our life span surely decreases because it passes faster. This is also in line with the Buddhist Sutras.

What should be the proper mindset of a Buddhist practitioner? A Buddhist practitioner should contemplate the impermanence of death, the law of cause and effect and karmic retribution, and the severe torment of Samsara. Most importantly, the impermanence of death is the basic foundation of Buddhism. Death, from the stand point of Buddhism, is not simply referred to as physical death; instead, it is the end of everything that happened. Impermanence means that all phenomena change and move at any time. “Death is impermanent” means that death is like a shadow that always follows the body, and can come to you at any time. Similarly, anything, whether good or bad, may end at any time. This does not mean, though, that you have already realized the nature of emptiness, even if you contemplate the belief that “death is impermanent”. Emptiness means that all phenomena do not inherently arise or cease, but rather, the existence of all phenomena depends entirely on the arising or ceasing of its conditions which are forever changing, unstable and transient. If you often contemplate death’s impermanence, you will not feel distressed about the disappearance of a favorable condition; in the mean time, you know it will eventually end when an unfavorable condition appears. Therefore, your attachments will decrease and even vanish. This is also what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has always taught, “Live by adapting to each condition and keep calm despite what happens.” This male disciple, as a retiree, did not reflect on the impermanence of death and spent more time watching TV and gossiping than reciting mantras.

The Eight Worldly Disturbances are, in fact, the Eight Worldly Winds, namely: gain, loss, fame, infamy, praise, blame, suffering and happiness. A human’s mind, being affected by the Eight Worldly Winds, will give rise to various kinds of afflictions. When you are not affected by the Eight Worldly Winds, your discriminating mind will subside or even disappear, and only then can you develop mercy and compassion. If you encounter some adverse situations after starting to practice Buddhism, you should know that these adversities will happen anyway, only they would have happened sooner. Lord Jigten Sumgon taught that even the timing and position of a rolling stone rolls has its causes and conditions. Hence, how could there be accidents? Some people work more easily at their job and quarrel less frequently with their family members after they start to practice Buddhism, and they may think they earn these results through their Buddhist cultivation. Nevertheless, if you still cling to the joy of family relationships, for example, having meals with your children, you are affected by the Worldly Eight Winds. In other words, the attachment of this joyful feelings makes you forget the suffering of Samsara. Therefore, don’t go haggling over how much money you give for offerings to your guru. The guru has helped you so much that you can enjoy your family, which you can not attain through your own effort. Actually, it does not matter how much money you offer to the guru, since the biggest offering is to serve the guru.

If you still complain when others say you are fat or speak ill of you, you are affected by the Eight Worldly Winds. As a matter of fact, being thin or fat is a result of the causes and conditions brought from one’s previous lives. Some children requested Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform a dharma ritual to fight against the people who spoke ill of them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, however, would never perform a ritual to get even with people! To the practitioner who has attained the level of Anuttara Yoga, all sentient beings are regarded as Yidams, without distinction between right and wrong, good and bad. When others say something unkind to you, if you don’t react, they will take it back. It is just like when someone wants to give you a gift: if you don’t accept it, they will take it back. On the other hand, if you get upset, then, you have accepted the gift from them.

Nowadays, many people like to find trouble for themselves. For example, children wonder what to do if their teachers or classmates don’t like them; parents worry when their adolescent children disobey. What is there to be worried about? Who has not been through this rebellious period? Did any of you listen to your parents and not talk back when you were growing up? If anyone dares to raise his or her hand, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will ask the person to immediately leave. Why does a child rebel? It is you who passed it on to him or her. What is there to be angry about? In the future, your child will pass the tradition to his or her own children, who will then challenge their parents. You must know that the karmic retribution of talking back to your parents is to fall into hell. If your parents did something wrong, you need not say anything because they will get their own karmic retribution, and you must still respect them in your heart. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s son and daughter were not obedient at one time and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not talk to his son for two years. Do any of you dare to do so? You would be afraid that your children might not regard you as their parents anymore. In fact, it would be just fine if they don’t regard you as their parents. The fewer children you have, the less you have to worry about them.

People nowadays are very strange, for they all wish their children to become as powerful as a dragon. In fact, what good it is to be a dragon? According to Buddhist scriptures, dragons, which can fly in the sky, are still in the Animal Realm. They are merely animals with some virtues. Besides, dragons are creatures full of hatred. Since you wish your children to become dragons, it is no wonder they hate you.

You should not rush and should take time to comprehend the Buddha Dharma. Do not expect that your family will join in learning Buddhism any time soon. Some people insist that they must save their mothers and that their family should learn Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, you do not have to be so hard on yourself. If you can not even save yourself, how could you save your family members? After Buddha Sakyamuni attained Buddhahood, some people from the Sakya family still could not be saved. Therefore, what makes you think you can save all your family members? Only when you practice well can you help your family members. You and your family members share the same genes. When your genes are changed, your family members will then likely change, as your genes have connections with theirs. For example, the female disciple mentioned earlier, helped her mother receive the Phowa performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and then attain rebirth into the Pure Land. This is also like the saying, “When one achieves accomplishments in practice, one’s entire family will go to the heaven.” Similarly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has cultivated so well that the guru could protect the disciples. Additionally, whether or not your family will listen to you depends on their conditions.

Do not expect that because you have learned Buddhism, cultivated the practice, and accumulated virtues that things will get better immediately. You must know that virtues are for your next lifetime. Likewise, even though you have worked very hard at your job, can you receive your salary this month? No! You will have to wait until next month. In the same way, the virtues you have accumulated through practice in this life can only be used in your next life.

Humans do not have to wait until after death to experience Samsara; instead, Samsara constantly takes place in our lives, including Samsara of emotion and Samsara of thought. Samsara of thought refers to the changing thoughts you have from second to second. If you are unable to stay away from the Eight Worldly Winds, you will experience Samsara of thought. For example, you might wonder, “Is he praising me?” or ask, “Is he criticizing me?” or even think, “Is this doing me any good?” Is it likely that people will praise you all the time? You have heard your spouse say, “I love you,” or “I am very affectionate towards you.” Do these last forever? None of them are real. What is “being affectionate”? In Chinese, every word has its meaning. The Chinese characters for being affectionate are “ti tie,” which mean that one is physically attached to you. However, if someone was physically attached to you all day, would you be able to stand it? Why is it “physically attached” instead of “spiritually attached”?

According to the great Gampopa, do not expect others to tell you about your nature, instead, you must realize your own nature through the teaching of the guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas. Our primordial wisdom is none other than our Buddha nature or self-nature which is depicted in the Heart Sutra. The mind is neither rising nor ceasing, neither increasing nor decreasing. The guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas can only introduce it to you, but cannot unlock it for you. No matter how much the guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas teach you, you will not realize it if you don’t practice truthfully.

As stated in historical documents, many accomplished practitioners lived lives of adversity. If you do not live in adversity, you will not understand suffering. As you suffer, you will be able to grasp the suffering of sentient beings in the Samsara of Six Realms and, thereby, seek to relinquish such suffering.

The Buddhas are eternally still. This does not mean that the Buddhas are not compassionate or will not help sentient beings. Rather, the Buddha’s light never stops shining on all sentient beings. The Buddhas do not insist on liberating certain races or realms of people, nor would the Buddhas merely liberate the beings in hell because they suffer the most. But, you do not get the Buddhas’ help directly. Why not? This is just like a rich person who wants to give money to the poor; he would never do it by himself, but would certainly find some helpers. It doesn’t mean that the rich person is too busy to do it. For example, if there is a beggar on the roadside and a rich person stops his luxury car to ask the beggar to get in the car so that the rich person can help him, the beggar would be scared and would not dare to get in the car. Therefore, rich people usually send their subordinates to take care of these matters. As you do not have the virtues to directly receive help from the Buddhas, you are a beggar in Buddhism. Furthermore, Buddhas teach the Bodhisattvas of Dharmakaya, and the Bodhisattvas of Dharmakaya teach the Bodhisattvas of Sambhokaya, and the Bodhisattvas of Sambhokaya teach the Bodhisattvas of Nirmanakaya, who then help you, sentient beings in the Six Realms. According to Buddhist scriptures, there are ten directions in the Dharma Realm, which means ten dimensions from the modern scientific perspective. We now see the Buddhist center, but the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are able to see other dimensions in the same place, as well. Unless you have accomplished the same attainments as the Buddhas, it will be impossible for you to leave the universe. In other words, you will have to attain Enlightenment to be immersed in the Dharma Realm.

You will accumulate more merits by making offerings to a virtuous guru than to a Buddha. Why? It is because you are unable to directly make offering to a Buddha, unless you do so in the state of Emptiness or through transformed mantras. Whereas, in Exoteric Buddhism, an offering mantra has to be recited, and in Zen Buddhism, one has to attain the state of Four Meditations in “Four Meditations and Eight Concentrations” in order to make an offering to a Buddha. For instance, if you want to give a present to the president without passing it through the manager, the president will be puzzled and the manager will question your intention. A newly aspired Bodhisattva does not owe anything to sentient beings and will definitely repay them. Why do people still fall into Samsara in this life? It is because they owe each other; that is, whoever owes others or is owed will have to come back to Samsara. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pays you back with Buddhist teachings, he will not owe you anything.

Once, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the Phowa for an unknown believer. During the Phowa, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche became aware of the cause. In a past life, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who was an ordained practitioner, had just come out of a retreat, and was noticed by a person standing on the side of the road. The person reverently brought his palms together to pay homage to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Because of this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche owed him and repaid him with the precious Phowa to liberate him. Incidently, the person worked in a shop that sold roasted ducks, and he helped hang up the ducks. As a result, he was also strangled to death by a rope in this lifetime. The guru also reminded them, do not casually criticize the ordained practitioners, for you have no idea how well they practice. They are better than you as they have the causes, conditions and virtues to be ordained practitioners, so you should revere them. If ordained practitioners commit something inappropriate from your point of view, do not criticize them because you don’t know about their practice. They will have their own karmic retribution if they commit misdeeds and you should refrain from commenting.

There are three important conditions to unlock the Primordial Wisdom, that is, to follow a virtuous guru, to follow his skillful teachings, and to accumulate adequate virtues. The reason why many ordained practitioners could not make progress in their practice is because they don’t have a virtuous guru and adequate virtues. In a specific space and time, the guru will teach you, through skillful means, the way that fits you the best. The specific space and time, here, refers to when the causes and conditions are ripened or harmonized. For example, when you seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to implore something, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, after meditating the insight, may not tell you in advance if the causes and conditions are not mature.

From Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s experience, first listen to Buddha Dharma and then directly practice and carry it out. Thoroughly amend all of your behavior that cause you to fall into Samsara. If you get a result from your practice, you should request the guru to examine it. When you read Buddhist sutras, you must continue to contemplate to a certain level until you can correctly contemplate. Only then can you verify the teachings depicted in the sutras.
On the contrary, after listening to Buddha Dharma, you doubt everything, kept wondering about the intention, and eventually you have only listened but not practiced; therefore, you will never get a result even if you listen for ten thousand more years. Do not doubt whether or not you can do it, or whether or not you can do it well. An accomplished practitioner once said, every year, we should reflect upon ourselves: Do we have a little more understanding in Buddhism? Do we have a little more mercy and compassion towards sentient beings?

Many people have heard, “The nature of arisen conditions is emptiness.” Even if you understand the meaning of the words, what is the real feeling? You cannot understand it by merely sitting there and thinking it over, again and again. If you cannot truly experience “the nature of arisen conditions is emptiness” through practice but just try to interpret it by words, you are totally unable to explain it clearly. It is because your thinking is based on the imagination of your consciousness and ordinary life experience; this differs from the teachings of Buddha Dharma. In other words, your human brain cannot truly realize it. Alternately, if you follow the guru’s teaching, continuously practice, and accumulate enough merits, when the causes and conditions are sufficient, then “Pow,” you will naturally and truly realize the state of mind in this verse. When are the causes and conditions sufficient? Everyone’s situation is different. Do not expect that because some practitioners experience “the nature of arisen condition is emptiness” when breaking cups, you also can experience the same by breaking cups all day long. Are you Greek, the ones who breaks cups during special festivals? The virtuous guru has the ability to create the proper conditions to help you achieve enlightenment. For example, when Buddha Sakyamuni saw the time was right, he smiled with a flower in his hand, thereby, the Venerable Kasyapa became enlightened. Perhaps, someday Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will ask you to run 100 meters back and forth and then you will achieve enlightenment.

The Great Gampopa said, “When it comes to the unsophisticated state of mind, in its initial stage, it cannot be achieved by force. In the middle stage, it is not fixed. In the final stage, it is imperishable. It is far away from the three states of mundane teachings, which are to generate, exist, and vanish.” In the initial stage, you should not learn Buddhism by exterting force, by pondering each sentence of the Buddhist sutras, by non-stop thinking, by prostrating to the Buddhas many times or by diligently reciting the sutras. “Not exerting force” means to reflect upon oneself everyday, correct behaviors that cause one to fall into Samsara, and arouse the compassion and Bodhicitta. As stated in the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, “The grand vow is as deep as the ocean.” The more Bodhicitta that exists, the more power that exists. Additionally, the “initial stage” does not refer to the believers who have just taken refuge, and who recite sutras or attend pujas, but to those who continuously contemplate the impermanence of death, karmic causes, and the torment of Samsara so as to truly arouse compassion. This state of mind occurs within the initial stage.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has modestly said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is in the middle stage, or “the non-dwelling mind.” In other words, the mind of the guru never attaches to a specific point, but comes and goes. However, this does not mean that the mind is always moving. As it is stated in the Diamond Sutra, “One’s mind should not dwell anywhere in order to attain enlightenment.” If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mind attached to external things, how would it be possible to transcend space and perform the Phowa through contemplation and visualization, 2000 kilometers away, without uttering any sound? Some may question why, last time in the VIP room at the airport, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was unable to perform Phowa for other. These are two different matters and cannot be compared in the same breath. It is depicted in the Buddhist sutra that the Phowa can be performed where ever birds fly. “Where ever birds fly,” in fact, means that as long as the deceased is on earth, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can successfully conduct the Phowa.

There are steps in learning Buddhism. You should follow the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th steps to learn and practice. But if you have mastered the 5th step, you don’t have to rigidly adhere to the other steps and you can act freely. In the end, Buddha Dharma is really unbelievably simple. Furthermore, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas always help sentient beings without letting them know. Once he has helped you, he would not tell others in a big fanfare, but he would let you know if you are his disciple.

The difference between Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism is that the teaching approach in Exoteric Buddhism is to infer Buddha Dharma through surmising a common phenomenon while Esoteric Buddhism is to verify through true practice. A common phenomenon is derived from surmising and inferring from the words. It is very easy for us to misunderstand and very difficult to achieve enlightenment if we take common phenomenon as the object of practice. Why has the Tiantai Sect gradually declined in present days? The reason is not that it is not good but that it analyzes the thought in too much detail to fit modern people. In the Age of Degenerate Dharma, sentient beings’ karma is very heavy and therefore, it is really difficult for them to achieve enlightenment only by contemplating Buddha Dharma. Many people have heard about the Byakugo Light. But what does the Byakugo Light look like? How does one practice it? It will be difficult to understand the Byakugo Light by the approach of Exoteric Buddhism, so some people guess about what it looks like. Whereas in Esoteric Buddhism, practitioners can follow the dharma text and strive to attain the achievement of Byakugo Light. That is true understanding, not merely guessing.

Why does Bodhisattva Metteyya exist? Many ordained practitioners vow to be reborn into the Tusita Pure Land of Bodhisattva Metteyya to practice because Tusita is the place where Sravaka and Pratyeka practice. Beings there are all Avaivartikas and Bodhisattvas of the first ground. While the Pure Land of Buddha Amitabha is for you ordinary people. At this time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also enlightened ordained practitioners to not hasten to help sentient beings; it is enough to have the intention. If you do so, you will cause many troubles.

One male disciple reported that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is the great practitioner who truly practices and accomplishes. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s practice is profound and immeasurable. The guru always enlightened Buddha Dharma through his experiences of cultivation. For example, in the previously teaching of the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche uses true practice experiences to narrate the content of the Buddhist sutras so that it becomes solid teaching. When the male disciple was learning sutras and Abhidharmas before, he often self-righteously interpreted or guessed the content of sutras. Everyone had his own guess and idea of what the “common phenomenon” was, and did not feel like it was well-grounded, so it was a definite blessing when he heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment.

Another female disciple reported that she felt very moved every time she listened to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment of Buddha Dharma and realized that each word is a blessing to her. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned the Byakugo Light earlier, she remembered the story she once heard. The first time Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to the Cao Xi Temple in Yunnan, the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s statue in the main assembly hall emitted the Byakugo Light to bestow blessings on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She also admitted that although she sometimes was inattentive during the pujas, as long as she concentrated and listened to the guru, she became aware that every word was a ceaseless flow of blessings, penetrating her heart and bringing her serenity.

Another ordained practitioner reported that previously, when she recited the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra in the Buddhist temple, she interpreted the text merely from the superficial meaning of the words. After listening to enlightenment from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she now understands that there are many methods of cultivation embodied in the sutras and she is very inspired.

A nun from Tainan, who came north to attend the puja, also reported. When learning Buddhism before, she often contemplated the meaning of the sutras from her consciousness. Nevertheless, she was always unable to grasp the true meaning no matter what she did. Today, after listening to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment, she understood that the direction of her future practice should be that of the straight heart, and she deeply appreciated Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

After the puja was over, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche proceeded to meet believers from 4:50 PM to 5:10 PM. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave Buddhist enlightenment to six believers, and helped them relieve all kinds of suffering in the world.

April 26, 2011

At noon, When His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche arrived at the Auckland Airport on Northern Island, and was welcomed by His Holiness’s attendant, who was sent by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, several Chinese believers, and local New Zealanders. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was presented with flowers and khatas, which showed His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s regard for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Due to earnest concern for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Three Grace Root Guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately proceeded to pay homage to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and eat lunch with His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang.

April 27, 2011

On April 27, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led fifty-two disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center to visit the Drikung Kagyu’s Milarepa Retreat Center near Auckland and to pay homage to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang as well. The Milarepa Retreat Center is surrounded by hills and mountains, and is about a ninety-minute drive from downtown Auckland. It is a secluded and tranquil site, currently inaccessible by larger vehicles. The entourage, consisting of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples, drove the large vehicles to the hill to wait for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. While they waited, they were amazed to see dozens of cattle, that were initially scattered on the hill, move toward the hedge around the road, quietly line up, and face the road to wait for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned before that animals have spirituality too. Upon seeing the cattle respecting the great practitioner, the disciples considered themselves not as good as the cattle.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang planned the Milarepa Retreat Center for many years, and then started building it in 2010. At the entrance of the Milarepa Retreat Center towers a sign of the Drikung Kagyu Order as well as a wooden sign with “Welcome to Milarepa Retreat Center of the Drikung Kagyu Order” carved in Tibetan and English. Currently, they are building around ten retreat rooms. Building this establishment is extremely costly due to strict regulations regarding construction materials, methods, and environmental protection measures. Additionally, since the location is quite remote, the transportation expenses increase the total cost. Nevertheless, in order to fulfill the vow of the guru and uphold the Drikung Kagyu Order, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been providing tremendous financial contributions for purchase of the land, planning, and construction of the retreat center, and will continue to do so.

While His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang presided over the construction of the retreat center, many believers from New Zealand sought an audience with His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. However, they were not granted audience, and therefore they could not visit the retreat center. But the fifty-two disciples from the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center were not only very fortunate to visit this auspicious place, they were also granted enlightenment of Buddha Dharma by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang instructed the local believers to prepare lunch with special local New Zealand fruit for the disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, and also greeted them warmly. The disciples were very grateful to the guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who bestowed this extraordinary opportunity on them.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang gave the disciples from the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center precious enlightenment of Buddha Dharma: Seven years ago, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang visited many places in the United States over the course of one week, including Esoteric and Mahayana Buddhist centers. On the way back from the United States, the plane made a short stop in New Zealand. At the time, there was a Taiwanese believer named Nina who beseeched His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to build a retreat center in New Zealand. She said that she would find the land. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang said that the air and land were very clean in New Zealand, and therefore His Holiness agreed. It was left like that without much communication. Two years later, Nina called His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and said that the land had been found, and now was the best time to buy. Prior to this, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang instructed that the land should be an hour drive from the airport, in a quiet place, not in town, and about one hundred acres or so. At the time, Nina said that fifty acres would be enough for the retreat center, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang said that it was very good, and then Nina went to find it!

Nina found four places, each about fifty acres in size, so His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang began to apply for a visa to New Zealand. But in India it is not easy to apply for a visa; many lamas’ applications were not approved. Only the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang obtained a visa to New Zealand. As a result, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang brought along Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to New Zealand. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche didn’t sleep on the airplane, but His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang slept very well. When they arrived in New Zealand, it was three o’clock local time. Since it was a three-day trip and His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was concerned that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not sleep enough and needed to rest, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang went to visit the first property alone, but felt it was not suitable. The next day, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang led Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to search for an appropriate piece of property, but they didn’t like that property either. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was quite tired. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was very considerate and let Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche rest in the other car while Nina’s car followed behind. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang then asked whether there might be some newspaper advertisements they could check. While in the car, they read advertisements and found an ad for about one hundred acres at only half the price of the other properties. The fifty-acre properties they looked at before sold for 750,000 NZD. In the ad, a 120-acre property was being offered for only about 650,000 NZD. At that time, they had not yet eaten lunch, but His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang said it was all right! They made a stop on the highway, called the real estate company, and asked them to prepare the documents for them. They then drove to the office, which was within a twenty-minute drive, by the seashore, and afterward, they went to see the land. There were many trees blocking the path so they couldn’t enter. They could only see mountains and flat land, but they knew it was the place! So they left after seeing the landscape. Later, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and Nina helped purchase the land. During the first year, they built roads. During the second and third years, they made necessary preparations. Now, the small retreat center is on its way.

Fifteen retreat rooms have been built and will be finished this June. There will also be four bathrooms. These rooms are for performing three-year, long-term retreats. Others are for performing short-term retreats that range from one, two, or three weeks to one month in duration. Bathrooms for performing short-term retreats are located in different places. This is how the construction of the retreat center began. Next year, there will be an inauguration ceremony on the day of Milarepa’s death, which will be soon after the New Year. Additionally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will be helping with another project that will be discussed this afternoon. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples were here and everyone was interested in the construction plans, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang took the opportunity to talk about how the retreat center came to be.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang also gave a dharma talk on the relationship between a guru and his disciples. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has been in contact with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for twenty some years, since 1986. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been the greatest help in, but not limited to, India, New Zealand, Tibet, Qinghai, and Nepal. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has helped to restore the gilded roofs of the Drikung Thil Monastery, the main seat of the Drikung tradition. Its glided roofs have been missing since the Great Cultural Revolution. Now, the secondary main temple is Phagmodru Monastery, which is also the major monastery of Lord Jigten Sumgon’s guru. Phagmodru Monastery is authorized for restoration by the government and well known to the Eight Great Kagyu Orders. Although the government protects, maintains, makes plans for, and funds the monastery, it doesn’t take care of the monastery’s internal matters. It is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who provides financial support to gild the monastery’s Buddha statues. The restoration will be done this year and the Buddha statues will be consecrated in the next years. Besides, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also has done a lot in Qinghai, such as construction in Jigten Sumgon’s birthplace in Yushu. These projects are too numerous to mention! Anyway, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s devotion to the Drikung Kagyu Lineage and to the guru is steady and unswerving. For this, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is very grateful.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche may be very strict with you. Sometimes, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang feels that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche may be too strict. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples answered in one voice, “No. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not too strict.” On the other hand, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang thinks that because ordinary people in this world all have bad habitual patterns, they can’t do without a strict guru. Before, Marpa was strict too. Marpa did not talk to Milarepa, and just ordered him to move many stones back and forth. Repeatedly working hard, Milarepa even broke his back. Before, in the first retreat center of the Drikung Kagyu Order, Drubwang Konchog Norbu Rinpoche also was very strict. Many people said that Marpa must have acted the same way before! If Drubwang Rinpoche had not been that rigorous, the three-year solitary retreat practice would not have been completed. Now, it is Drupon Sonam Jorphel Rinpoche. Once, some people from Rinchen Ling Monastery went to Nepal for consecration. Amongst them was a person who performed his first retreat. He was also strictly taught and even got beaten. Therefore, he tried to escape several times but failed. Another retreat practitioner suffered from diarrhea, but was not allowed to see a doctor. If he died, he would have died in the retreat room. He was sick but he was still not allowed to see a doctor during his retreat. It was just that strict. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang felt content with the first three-year retreat, but did not feel satisfied with the second. Being content with the first three-year retreat, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang made a treasured sword and waved it in the sky! His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang said that it was strict in a good way!

Therefore, a guru is very important. In the Kagyu Lineage, in particular, and every other lineage, in general, the guru is of utmost importance, just like a teacher plays an important role in school. Many blessings are passed down through the guru’s channels, so having a guru matters a lot. A blessing can be bestowed when two conditions are met, as all the phenomena have their causes and conditions. A guru cannot simply do everything for you, nor can you rely solely on your reverence generated at a given time. Therefore, it takes two conditions: the guru’s mercy and compassion, and the disciple’s faith and sincerity. When the two have contact with each other, it is like a match being struck to create a fire. This explains why all phenomena have their causes and conditions. One who is sincere and faithful will receive blessings only upon contact with the guru’s mercy and compassion. So, it is very important to have such a cause and condition.

Additionally, Lord Jigten Sumgon said that the ultimate realization of Mahamudra is determined by one’s great accomplishment of Guru Yoga with his guru. Besides, the guru and his disciples should not be too close or too far away. In fact, this is true not only in one’s practice, but also in many social relationships. As the Tibetan saying goes, “When it is cold in Tibet, one needs to warm himself by a fire or under the sun, but it must be done at a certain distance.” Likewise, you need to keep a certain distance from your relatives in order to help them. It is true in the Buddhist teachings as well. The relationship and distance between you and your guru are very important in terms of achieving accomplishments to benefit yourself and sentient beings.

The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is growing bigger and bigger, and the staff is working harder and harder. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also works very hard. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang hopes that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will definitely have some rest time. Now, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is older and still receives many believers; this demands a lot of time. However, you must make sure that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has time to rest. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is very compassionate and knows that many believers want to beseech Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for blessings. Furthermore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is always very warm-hearted to the believers and never fails to make time to see them. However, it is only good if one’s physical health is well enough to do so. This is very important since benefiting sentient beings is not for a short period of time like a few months or a year, but is a long-term effort. Therefore, you must care for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s health. And you, as staff, have to carefully consider and coordinate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s time for receiving believers and time for rest. You, the staff, also work very hard, but you should not treat your work as general work that is done for a salary. We should not do things with this attitude since we are cultivating Buddhism. It is the same here; when you remove a weed or lift some things, you are doing it for this center, this center of cultivation, sentient beings, and Buddha Dharma; it is not for yourself. So everything you have done is for the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and for benefiting sentient beings. Therefore, your every move is for eliminating your karma and is also an opportunity to accumulate blessings and merits. It is meaningful if you do things with such a mindset. If you do not keep this attitude when doing things, and you treat them as a normal job that you have arranged, it is not good. Very importantly, the main focus of Buddhism is the working of the mind. You as a Buddhist practitioner should, in your mind, apply everything you do and know to Buddhism so you can accumulate virtues and merits to benefit sentient beings, and meanwhile, cultivate your Bodhicitta. That is, if you combine your knowledge and work with Buddhism, you can attain many benefits. After listening to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s enlightenment, all the disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center wholeheartedly appreciated His Holiness and spoke in unison, “Thank you, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang! Thank you, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche!”

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang said that the weather forecasted for this week was not good. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang now has an iPad. With one touch, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is able to find out the weather for the next half of the month and the local temperature. About a week or ten days ago, many leaves were falling due to the strong wind and rain. Therefore, His Holiness the Drikung Kaybgon Chetsang decided to make a phone call and change plans because of concern that it would be difficult to walk. When you arrived in New Zealand yesterday, it was still raining here but it is only sprinkling now. After seeing you, the weather cooperated too! You may rest and take a walk. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche jokingly said, “If you get lost, no one will look for you.” His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang said, “You can go for a walk on the roads up there. The air is fresh. Since you are all from the city, you should take a walk.” All of the disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center again said, “Thank you, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang! Thank you, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche!”

April 28, 2011

On April 28, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again led the disciples to the retreat center to greet His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and to take His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to see nearby tourist sights. On the way, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was informed that a disciple’s father had just passed away. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately performed the dharma for this disciple’s father to protect his father’s consciousness. The disciple and his wife, who had also taken refuge, came to New Zealand together, and thanked Most Venerable Vajra Guru for compassionately performing the dharma.

On that day, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and the disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center ate lunch together. Then, they visited a nearby forest of giant trees. During a fifteen-minute walk on a primitive forest trail, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang walked in front while Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche followed behind. All the disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center closely followed, one after another, in the footsteps of the guru. They marched step by step, with the guru leading everyone out of the dark forest and toward the brightness. As Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened, this was like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas saving the naughty children out of the forest. It was really inspiring!

April 30, 2011

From 4:30 PM to 9:10 PM, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave enlightenment to 113 believers of Buddhism, and helped relieve all kinds of suffering in the world at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei.

Updated on July 27, 2011