Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

August 21, 2011

At the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, disciples and believers reverently listened to the audio-recording of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s dharma teachings for “Buddha Dharma is difficult to hear” made on December 22, 2002.

Before the puja, a female disciple who is lived in U.S for long time shared her processing why she took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

In 1972, her family emigrated to U.S; it has been almost 40 years since that time. On Feb 27 2011, she took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; there were lots of extraordinary karmic connection for the processing of taking refuge, and she would like to share her experience, including that how could she find the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching gave her help and influence.

In 1976, she was graduated from university; someone induced her to join a Japanese religious community, during that time, her life was on the valley, she looked for lots of requirements. That religious community told her to pray to the Spirit as much as she could. She was active in the religious activities for twenty-odd years, she prayed the Spirit as much as she could, however the more when she get something, the more vexation she had.

In 1999, she left that religious community because she had lots of vexation. Not long ago after that, her friend would like to establish a branch for a religious group in her city, and she volunteered to join that religious group for almost 10 years. She was started from being a volunteer to be a member of the committee, and she became a person in charge in that branch finally. In that religious group, there are lots of famous and good slogans, for example like, “Forgive someone, is in fact, be making merits to ourselves”. It is well known by everyone; furthermore those slogans can be recited as well. When she was the member of the committee in that religious group, she also taught others for those slogans. However she found that even if she could explain those slogans well, she could not fulfill the task when something happened, she felt frustrated for those matters. When she shared her experience to others, they all had the same experience, they felt frustrated when their thought was willing, but they were unable to fulfill it. But after taking refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she realized the reason why she could not correct herself when she was joining the previous religious group. She feels that she is very lucky to be in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, under the Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing and teachings, the disciples can realize their own mistake and make repentance immediately. By the mercy and compassion, as well as the blessing bestowing by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, not only we can immediately find out our shortcomings, but also we can correct it immediately, without the feeling of inability and frustration.

When she served as president for about a year, a good friend from local invited one Lama from India to the United States and made offerings to the lama, they made cultivations together, because this friend kept invited her to join, so she went. They together sang the rituals for Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and Bodhisattva Manjushri, after they sang, she felt very calm in mind then she continued to go, the Lama was very merciful and let her ask questions. Because at that time she thought doing charity is cultivating Buddha dharma, therefore she gave all of her heart and efforts to do, also she was very proud of it, but the Lama meant these was only just for fun, for which she was not agreed with, then she kept on asking questions. One day the Lama told her one story, and said this is a story from Buddhist sutras, not by himself. The content is about if one person is locked up in the dungeon, could not be changed for many lives and many epoch, bitter and suffered inside. One day he was released for 20 minutes, breathe the fresh air and enjoy the sunshine, then he must be back into the dungeon again, then again for many lives and many epoch without rebirth to other realm. Therefore if these 20 minutes he does not act quickly to find a chance to escape, the this person could only came back in to the dungeon. It was very difficult for us to attain this human body, it was like the 20 minutes in the story, if we do not find the method to liberate from birth and death quickly, then further more is the many lives and many epoch of dark suffering and bitterness days. Therefore after finished two years of presidency, she knew she need to search for a way to escape from the dungeon, therefore she insisted to leave from the religious group, but where could she go to find the method to escape? At the time the Lama had gone back to India, she had no contact with him anymore.

Later on she also met several guru from exoteric Buddhism, started to chant sutra and names of Buddha, read scriptures, practice the meditation seven, listen to the dharma guru’s tape recordings, continued to try and find out. But she realized the dharma guru from other venues does not have the abilities to take care of their disciples. Early year 2010, opportunity and fate led her to met one guru from Tibetan Buddhism, she learned the four preliminary practices, that guru was very emphasized on transmissions of dharma, taught many tantric dharma. At the time she saw many people had practiced for more the ten years, had many dharma texts, practiced many major dharma, but she and others practiced together also felt that, these people who practiced more than ten years made others do not want to be like them after many years of practice later. Back then, they did not know why they felt that way. These guru had venues in Canada, New York, and Taiwan, the guru asked her to visit more venues, learn more dharma.

In mid-October last year, she had a gallbladder surgery and felt quite weak after that. She couldn’t perform Four Preliminary Practices or make full prostrations. One day, she figured out that part of the guru’s Buddhist learning was originated from Drikung Kagyu Lineage so she hoped to acquire more understanding about this Lineage. She logged onto the Chinese official website of Drikung Kagyu Lineage, which has been maintained by Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. From the website, she learned the essential concepts and teachings of Drikung Kagyu Lineage. She was also able to connect to the official website of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. In it, she knew the dharma name of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and read “traces of liberating beings” which recorded many disciples’ stories of how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had helped them. The more she read, the more shocked she felt. She found that no matter who came to make an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, believers or disciples, Rinpoche would ask all of them to make repentance. They were asked not just to make repentance, but public, profound, and repeated repentance. Some were even required to listen to the dharma tapes about making repentance for 10 times before they could meet with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. After reading these stories, she was afraid and astonished. When reflecting on the history of her learning Buddhism, many masters did mention the importance of making repentance, but they simply said so lightly. As soon as she heard masters say so, she turned her back to it and was attracted by scriptures, Buddhas’ names and mantras. In her mind she only wanted to learn these and ignored the importance of making repentance. After reading these stories, she wondered whether it was really important to make repentance. Whether can making repentance eliminate her karmic obstacles? Is it true that no matter what dharma she learns would be futile if without making repentance? And then she mail ordered the book “Happiness and Suffering” in which she found a sentence “without making repentance, everything would be in vain.” She found the answer! She realized why many fellow Buddhists have learned great dharma but they still didn’t advance in various aspects. It is because they lack of making repentance. She kept reading “traces of liberating beings.” After reading most of the stories, she still longed for knowing more teachings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and finally she found the information in “event calendar.” Event calendar recorded Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment during every Sunday’s regular puja. As she finished carefully reading it, she was astounded. As a result, she knew she must follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to learn Buddha Dharma.

At first she was wavering in her mind, for she had followed another guru in Buddhist cultivation. However, she was still aware of that she should follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in learning and practicing Buddhism. Therefore she wrote Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche an e-mail wherein she asked for instructions for three things: First, she implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for salvaging her mother who just passed away; second, she besought for the audio-recording of Most Reverent Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings about “Repentance”; third, she asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for advice on adopting vegetarian diets. She knew that one who is going to take refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ought to adopt vegetarian diets. However, in 2003, she, having been a vegetarian for more than two years, was not healthy and her heart had some problems. Besides, she had thalassemia and her hemoglobin was very low. Once she was hospitalized for more than one month, and convalesced for another half year. At that time she was so weak that her husband and she concluded that she should not adopt vegetarian diets for that it would be jejune. Thereafter she returned to eat meat. She reported this situation to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately consented that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would salvage her late mother on the Chod puja of November 27th. Besides, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also consented to her beseeching of the audio-recording of “Repentance.” As for adopting vegetarian diets, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche unequivocally enlightened that her disease of thalassemia follows the law of cause and effect, and has nothing to do with adopting vegetarian diets. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her that one of his followers also had severe thalassemia. After the follower sought refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he got much improved. Reading this, she felt Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had already bestowed her blessing. What would she hesitate anymore? Hence, she started to adopt vegetariant diets from that day.

Being afraid that her husband, a doctor, would scold her and said adopting vegetarian diets was jejune, during dinnertime, she took a tall bowl and put the meals inside. Moreover, she was standing when eating, with an excuse that it could be good for digesting. Luckily, her husband used to watch TV news while eating, and did not find her adopting vegetarian diets for over one month. Afterwards, thinking being a vegetarian is such a good thing and hoping her husband to also adopt vegetarian diets, she spoke frankly to her husband that she was a vegetarian and felt healthy. She said she did not faint or something. To her surprise, her husband just lightly said that: “Arrange your meals carefully!” As she felt laborious to prepare other dishes for her husband, she simply offered her husband vegetarian dishes. Her husband made no complaint. Thus, her husband had two vegetarian meals per day. The problem was just resolved.

This February, she planned to return to Taiwan. Although she had purchased the flight ticket and planned to go back to her former guru for transmissions, she felt struggled. Nevertheless, she thought that, since that guru has many gurus himself, she, an ordinary person, should be allowed to have 2 gurus. However, that center encourages meat offerings and does not promote the vegetarian diet. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, on the other hand, is very strict and earnest. If she still went to the center out of embarrassment and watched them making meat offerings, wouldn’t she actually show approval of their behavior? As she wanted to learn the Buddhist teachings from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and refrain from committing evil, wouldn’t she become a yes person and conduct more evil-doings because of her visit to that center then? In that case, she would be lying to herself and wasting Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s time. Therefore, when she returned to Taiwan, she merely went to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and sought refuge with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and left the other center without making any fuss!

In order to seek refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she read the traces of liberating beings and compile a lot of  previously-asked questions, finding out standard and nonstandard answers to questions possibly raised by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She memorized all the answers. As she merely stayed in Taiwan for a limited period of time, she did not have the opportunity to make a second request. Therefore, there was no room for failure. She had to succeed. However, when she implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for taking her under his refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche readily agreed, without a second word. She was stunned at this development. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed his attendant to remind Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche of holding the refuge ceremony before her departure for the US. In retrospection, she felt that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was truly amazing. As Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that she could answer all the questions and that she, an evil person, would feel arrogant, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not give her any chance to be arrogant and asked nothing.

When she listened to the audio recording of the Dharma Talk on “Repentance,” she remembered that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said in a strict tone, “Listen carefully, learning Buddhism has nothing to do with your desires.” She was so shocked that her tears fell, for she knew that she had been wrong in her previous study. However, she felt delighted to have someone teach her the correct Buddhist teachings. If one learns Buddhism without repenting and correcting his or her behavior, it will be impossibly for he or she to absorb and digest any major practices, let alone being correspond to such practices. Therefore, she put aside the major practices and was not reluctant to refrain from reading them. She conducted everything in accordance with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching.

She used to think that only great accomplished masters like Milarepa and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could benefit the sentient beings. It would be impossible for us ordinary people to achieve that. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught us that we could act on behalf of the sentient beings when we burn an incense stick or do a prostration to the Buddhas, rather than think that “I” am doing the prostration, burning the incense stick, or reciting the mantra. In the beginning, she felt herself being pretentious, as she did not have that kind of personality. However, after she kept practicing, she felt that her mind capacity increased. Gradually, many things were achieved without being requested, just like what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said.

After taking refuge, she felt fortunate that she could participate in the English translation work of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s event journals. She had always had the illness of a migraine. Once this illness recurred, she had to lie in bed for three to five days or even one week, not being able to do anything. However, recently when she was doing the English translation work, her migraine recurred. She thought that her karmic retribution had matured; so she contemplated that she was suffering in the Hell of Headache on behalf of all sentient beings. Then she told herself that because of a tight schedule she did not have time to lie in bed and rest for three or five days; she then continued to do the translation work. Strangely and unexpectedly, 30 minutes before she finished the translation of the article, she found that her headache was gone and there was no need for her to lie in bed this time. Hence, now when she felt uncomfortable, she would go to do the English translation work of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s event journals. This task could really drive away illnesses!

Her job of helping to translate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s event journals was her causes and conditions as well as her blessings, because she often had to read the event journal again and again for many times before she understood thoroughly and could use English to translate it correctly. Therefore, when she encountered difficulties in her life, she could quickly recall Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s related enlightenments and then resolved her problems in a short time. Those dharma brothers who live overseas really relied on the event journals on the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center web site to live their lives. In the three or four weeks before returning to Taiwan, she cried every day, not because she was moved to tears for returning to Taiwan, but because she saw in the event journal that as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had wanted to transmit Tantra Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had instructed the believers who had not taken refuge to leave the Buddhist center and then nothing was recorded in the event journal after that. This was the reason for her to feel very sad. The dharma brothers who had taken refuge together with her at the same time had listened to Tantra taught by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; only she had not seen, heard, and learned any Tantra.

One day when doing the morning practice, she cried too hard to recite the mantra again; so she just put her face directly on the table and cried for a long time before she could recite the mantra again. Under a depressed mood, she once again browsed the event journal on the web site and suddenly read Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment on July 10th, 2011. Many years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had asked His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, “I have already been beyond certain age. Can I attain enlightenment?” His Holiness replied, “You can, as long as you have faith to the guru.” Later, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, “I have already beyond certain age. Can I attain achievement on the practice of Anuttarayoga Tantra?”  His Holiness still replied, “You can, as long as you have faith to the guru.” At this time, she immediately calmed down and wrote down the phrase “as long as you have faith to the guru”. She treated the phrase as a motto and recited it constantly. Like this, her grief for having no chance to personally listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment on Tantra disappeared about 95%, only a slight 5% remained.

But just still reciting “only be completely confident with the guru”, the marvelous thing happened again. She suddenly recalled a story enlightened by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in April: once upon a time a king offered money to hold a puja presided by Buddha Sakyamuni. The attendant asked Buddha Sakyamuni that who had the greatest merit in today’s puja? Buddha Sakyamuni then pointed an old woman far way and said: she had the greatest merit. Because she takes all money she owns to ignite a lamp to offer to Buddha. Furthermore, she had all merits dedicated to the king since she saw the king holding this puja. It made many people participate the puja and she aroused the mind of accordingly rejoice. The merit is the most greatest. The disciple thought that the old women is poor whereas the disciple does not have to worry about food and clothing but is poor in her mind. So she determined to learn from the old woman. After having such thinking,  the disciple’s little sorrow feeling was relieved.

Meanwhile, this disciple also realized that, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened repeatedly, all mind and intention aroused by ordinary people are karma and crime. What the disciple considers is just for herself. The disciple felt pity and sad about herself. She seemingly wanted to learn Dharma but actually all she had were selfish intentions and she always did evil things. When she thought of that, she felt that she did not have to cry anymore.

Last time she, along with others, participated the puja in Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Japan. She talked with many dharma brothers and felt everyone had so much bliss. Many people join Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center as their first Buddhist center. But she wandered and endured difficulties, then just entered Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is like the oasis in desert. She had joined many Buddhist centers. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has such great ability, immense wisdom, auspicious marvelous observing cognition, compassionately salvages beings, strictly and diligently teaches disciples, cherishes and cares about disciples thoroughly. Such practitioners are not only rare but the only one she felt. Every time she recites ”the precious and extraordinary gem who propagates the teachings of the Victorious One” in “Long Life Prayer for the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche”, she really felt that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is precious. Everyone should cherish.

Although the disciple says that she believes in causes and effects, but it is like what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that she did not deeply believe in causes and effects. Thereafter she did many evil things. She took the opportunity to reveal and repent: She had aborted twice, has miscarriage once and had done something sorry to her husband. She even stole things when she was young. She felt glad for many young people in the Buddhist center, especially for the girls, under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching, they would not make such mistakes and karma as she did and the karmic retribution she had to bear. She felt no fearing or panic anymore. Because she knows Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would lead her to escape from the dark earth jail of cycle of reincarnation. She is grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Next, disciples and believers reverently listened to the audio-recording of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment, which was recorded on December 22nd of 2002.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche first enlightened that at any time in the Buddhist center the lay people can never stand in front of the ordained people, and scolded that there were several disciples turned their backs before the ordained people when giving prostration to the mandala. Unless you, as lay practitioners, have attained the level of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you can make prostrations in front of ordained practitioners. Moreover, you should give the way to ordained practitioners when leaving the center. It’s not that these ordained practitioners had accomplished something special. The fact that they had abandoned all the worldly assets in order to learn Buddhism should render them some respect.  When walking into the venue, you only focused on finding yourselves a comfortable spot without considering others. After making prostrations, you at once located a place to sit. With such an attitude to learn Buddhism is incorrect. No matter where you go, or it is a Buddhist center, we first should pay our respect to ordained practitioners, and then to elderly. After taking into account these people, we should look after young children. Being a human, this is a fundamental principle to follow. If you can’t observe such a basic human principle, you are not qualified to learn Buddhism. Nowadays, due to lack of hierarchy, Taiwan society has been in such a chaos. Students would beat up their teachers and children would kill their parents. What a catastrophe!  Being a Buddhist, you should not be so disordered, only caring your children without concerning others. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded a mother and instructed her not to bring the bread into the Buddhist center, it is a clean center, and you should not carry any food made of eggs into the center.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has granted the opportunity for children to attend pujas. You as parents shouldn’t just take care of your own children. You should also care for others’. It is a selfish conduct, only minding your business without concerning others. Those with children simply paid attention to their children but not others’. If others’ children disturb yours, you’d get upset. Your conducts actually have been training your children, since young age, to contend and compete with others. As men and women who would like to learn Buddhism, if you fail to relate to one another in a human way, it’s in vain no matter how much Buddhism you’d listen to. Being born in this human realm with its specific standards and conditions, we should understand and follow proprieties and hierarchies of a human society. Without such thinking, you shouldn’t be viewed as human beings.

With sufficient merits and being reborn with human bodies to learn Buddhism is due to the fact that you had accumulated causes and conditions in past lifetimes. The opportunity you have acquired once again in this lifetime to listen to Buddha Dharma should be carefully cherished. You really should strive to correct all your shortcomings. The reason you’d be reborn as human beings because you had not diligently and conscientiously cultivated Buddhism in past lifetimes. Yet, since you had listened to and practiced a bit of Buddha Dharma, you’d obtained the causes and conditions to become a human again. If, however, you do not cling to this opportunity, no one knows when you’ll be reborn as a human next time. It takes 400 years for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to be again reborn as a human. It’s not necessary, as you may imagine, that you can return as soon as you die. It is not until the age of 37 when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to learn Buddhism. Without appropriate causes and conditions, this life would be in vain for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Even if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had attained certain level in Buddhist practices, without spiritual friends to teach Rinpoche and give Rinpoche opportunities, it would be a waste of this life for him.

Learning Buddhism is a great and profound matter in our life, more important than anything else. You should remember the following: Fame, wealth, family and children in our life are originated from the law of cause and effect, as well as the law of causes and conditions. These aspects of your life are not in conflict with learning Buddhism. Do not think that learning Buddhism will negatively affect your family and business. Some people come because they have no place to go on Sundays. This attitude is wrong. You should listen to Buddha dharma with pure, expecting, and yearning mind. Although it appears that you come alone to listen to Buddha Dharma, the related family members and karmic creditors from past lifetimes are countless to join you here. You’ll greatly disappoint them if you can’t wholeheartedly and mindfully listen to Buddha Dharma or can’t follow your guru’s advises and teachings. Perhaps the sentient beings present here are one hundred or one thousand times more than three hundred of you, even more than this. With mindfulness, repentance and earnestness to listen to Buddha dharma, your life will gradually turn for the better because your karmic creditors would benefit from it. On the contrary, if you still wish for your interests and better grades and obedience of your children, such attitude will do you no good because your karmic creditors have yet benefited from your listening to Buddha dharma. If both the guru and the attendees wish to benefit all sentient beings, the power of the puja can reach all over the universe. As a result, all sentient beings in the six Realms and even in the ten directions of the dharma Realm can also listen to Buddha dharma. It, however, requires that all of you should always keep such a state of mind when participating in the puja. When teaching Buddha dharma, why was Buddha Sakyamuni able to summon Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the ten directions of dharma directions and sentient beings in the six Realms to attend the teaching? It’s because Buddha Sakyamuni’s state of mind and all the followers’ was all for the interests of sentient beings: helping them to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

Your notion is only caring about yourself, earlier when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded the mother feeding her child with bread, her eyes at once opened widely, and feeling that she was mistreated. In the Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, it stresses that when being criticized in public, you should still see the critic as a Bodhisattva. The mother’s state of mind would prevent her from being helped by Buddha Dharma because she refused to accept the dharma. Why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained the Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas so detailed? If you can apply the Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas in your daily life, you’d be granted with no troubles or enemies. In both Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism, the Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas are the most fundamental, important and essential. You did not cultivate Buddhism indeed, as long as guru mentioned something, not only you were generating an improper attitude, but also changing your emotional expression.  This is not a proper attitude for following guru’s teaching. Without Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas as guidelines of being a human, you will definitely carry out evildoings. Even you have taken refuge, joined different Buddhist centers, made repentance, and listening to Buddha dharma, it’s to no avail to do all these. Your evildoings are unavoidable. Hurting others is not the only misconduct. As long as you have any evil thought or any thought without benefiting others, it is an evildoing. This standard is indeed very strict, but at least you should be able not to feel you are correct. When you think you are right, it means your counterpart is wrong. Why is your counterpart in error? It’s only because he or she can’t satisfy you.

Why is that this time before transmitting the four preliminary practices, had to tell you every concepts and ideas in great details, when you are clear, then you would not have problems when practice the four preliminary practices. During this process, it would take a very long time to talk, it depends on if you have the patience or not to continue further. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be more and more cruel, and more and more strict. Last Friday, fifteen of you didn’t wear your vests to the venue. From now on, these fifteen disciples will always be in the waiting list for Friday’s Chod puja. You can’t simply explain “I don’t know, I was not clear about it, or I don’t understand.” Your explanations indicate your lack of mindfulness. A Buddhist center without rituals and rules will be in trouble in the future when more and more people take part.

Any spiritual friend would hope you can be liberated from birth and death. It, however, can’t be accomplished simply by reciting mantras, practicing seven-day meditation, or attending many pujas. These activities can only accumulate some merits for you. To be liberated from birth and death, you have to let go a great deal of things. First you have to let go of your pride and dignity. If you still keep your self-righteous thoughts and can’t abandon your pride and dignity, it’s impossible to break off the cycle of birth and death. After letting go all these, you’ll gradually understand the suffering of reincarnation. Even if you had listened to a great amount of teachings from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, it doesn’t mean you’ve fully comprehended the teachings. You have not undergone the abandonment of the thought about “me”, which have been permeated and cultivated in your mind since many past lifetimes. It’s difficult to let go of the self. That’s why it took 49 years of Sakyamuni Buddha and thousands of years of many great Bodhisattvas and masters to incessantly propagate Buddha Dharma. They all hoped sentient beings will eventually genuinely discard the self. Therefore, the Four Preliminary Practices are extremely important for those who wish to learn tantric dharma in Tibetan Buddhism. Without accomplishing the Four Preliminary Practices, no tantric dharma will be transmitted to you. In Tibetan tradition, the tantric dharma Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had learned was originally not transmitted to Han people. Because of the special connection between H. H. Chetsang Rinpoche and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, many practices of tantric dharma were taught to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Yet, learning the tantric dharma isn’t to advance Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s interests, it is for benefiting sentient begins who in turn must be willing to be helped. Otherwise, it would be very difficult to carry out.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche furthermore enlightened: it is really hard for us to obtain the unblemished human body. Without practicing the Ten Meritorious Acts and without filial to the parents in past lives, it is not possible in this life to acquire a human body. Even one obtained it, the body would still have problem. Therefore, the Buddha has kept on giving the enlightenment about the difficulty and rareness of obtaining the human body. More strictly speaking, among all sentient beings in the six realms, only the humans on the Earth in the South Continent are able to learn and cultivate Buddhism. only the humans on Janbudvipa, Earth, among the four dvipas are able to hear the Buddhist teachings. There are human beings living in the other three continents where no Buddha abides. Therefore, this body we obtain is also the manifestation of all the karma effects of past lives along with this life. The body is jewel, it is not for you to enjoy or show the prestige, but to make it an instrument for learning and studying Buddhism.

Nāgārjuna once said that orthodox Buddhism can’t be learned by those who are born in the realms of hell, hungry ghosts and animals, barbarian, long-life god, the realm of wrong view, the realm where the Buddhas do not reside, and those who cannot hear or speak. The so-called Ten Endowments include the five internal assets and five external assets. According to Nāgārjuna, the five internal assets are as follows. First, the human body. Second, the birth on the Middle-earth. Third, the intact organs. Fourth, not committing severe crimes. Fifth, the faith.

If one attains the human form and is born in an area where the Buddha, the four groups of followers (catasso parisa), and the disciples take residence instead of the land of extremes, it is called the Birthplace Asset. For example, those who are born in Africa or those small islands in the South Sea are not able to hear Buddhism. If one has normal organs and limbs without defects, it is called the Organ Merits Asset. It is earned through practice in one’s past lives. Whether you are ugly, beautiful, tall, short, dark, white, fat, or thin has something to do with the offering and the practicing of generosity done in your previous lives. If you wish you look pretty, you have to truly practice Buddhism in this life. As stated in the Exoteric Sutras as well as the Esoteric, one who conducts true practice in accordance with the teachings will change both internally and externally. It is the change of heart that alters one’s appearance. If your pictures taken currently look as rebarbative as your previous years’ looking, it illustrates that you have not practiced well. If you look smart but not compassionate or kind at all, you have not practiced. If others people dare not to close to you, and they only make friends with you for a while and then stop keeping contact with you, it means you have not corrected yourself. It is truth that one who conducts true practice will change both internally and externally, Even the body odors can disappear. Therefore, those who still eat meat could be definitely perceived by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche through smelling when sitting aside. Those who have heavy karma and whose heart is irreverent also could be perceived by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche through smelling as soon as they take a seat beside Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Due to his irreverent mind, his all outer appearance would be affected. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often said you looks black, even with the makeup powders on still is black, this black does not mean the skin black or white, is the heart is black, the heart has not yet turned around. Even a fortuneteller who reads your face and says that you are of great merits, those merits are brought from past lives. But you have not changed your current life. Hence, the body we obtain for use is the result of the practice in past lives. In the same way, if you wish to receive a sublimed appearance in the future, you must conduct Buddhist practice now, or you will still be born with the ugly face like now. All the appearances of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are surely perfect, this perfect full round does not mean like a cookie’s round, as Buddhas and Bodhisattvas possess perfect merits. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’s cheek bones are definitely not outstanding. If one’s cheek bone is more outstanding, it indicates that he likes to control other people, thinks himself is the best and smartest, likes to take everything under his control, and would scold those who are not obedient to him. These mindsets and attitudes are also brought from the past lives. Don’t learn the way Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolds people, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does it not for himself, nor for asking others to do him good, on what basis you can reprimand others? As being born with intact organs, we know we had at least done some virtuous deeds, contacted some Budhda-Dharma, made some offering, and practiced some charity in past lives.

The second is that one does not made evildoings in this life. The most important lies in that one cannot commit the Five unlintermitted karmas (namely, matricide, parricide, killing an arhat, shedding the blood of a Buddha, and destroying the harmony of the sangha) and he likes doing virtuous deeds. Liking doing virtuous deeds is not talking about financial donation, but refers to practicing by himself. The most important is to rejoice accordingly in others’ merits and virtues. Rejoice does not refer to, as being normally considered, the amount of the money one donates. That is, one rejoices and praises from his heart and speech when he sees all merits that his Guru or practitioners has done to benefit the sentient beings through Buddhist practice. This is what you lack most! The reason why you blame on others and not look after others’ children lies in your much discrimination. The same, it is also his habitual pattern brought from past lives for him to like doing virtuous deeds. For these years, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has helped many sentient beings, among which some would initiatively say they want to seek refuge without being asked to, while other some would not be willing to take refuge. It is because of the lack of a thought of doing virtuous deeds. Seeking refuge is the beginning to cease and abstain from evil and to practice virtue. Some people who think it does not matter to make a little bit evildoings. This kind of thinking is not to like doing virtuous deeds.

This is called “completeness of supreme mind consciousness.” The Buddha’s teachings are the toning place from where all virtues arise. Therefore, if one develops very firm faith in him and has devoted to the Buddha’s teachings, it is thereby the “completeness of firm faith.”

One could obtain a human body of leisure in this life is due to his purely keeping precepts, doing virtuous deeds such as making offerings, practicing charity and so on in past lives. This is also the reason why a Buddhist practitioner has to observe precepts and practice charity. As one is not able to gain liberation from the cycle of birth and death, by practicing those virtuous deeds, he could at least obtain a body of leisure – the perfect and previous jewel of human body, in the coming life. In general, however, there are few people, after owning a precious human body, are able to keep precepts. Even for you who have taken refuge and started to learn Buddhism, as long as a conflict of interest exists, it is easy for you to forget the Buddha’s teachings and break the precepts soon. You may think the precepts are restrictions imposed on you. You may think you can break it first and talk about it later. With those inappropriate thoughts, the repentance you make is actually nothing but an apology. You do not sincerely acknowledge you are wrong. Even you are wrong but you do not know what you’ve done wrong, still asking: “Why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded me again? Where am I wrong?” Those who have this kind of words and thoughts think their acts do not break any precept.

In fact, from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ point of view, you have to be immediately corrected as soon as you transgress precepts in your body, speech, and mind even only a little bit. It can’t be wait to correct you. You come here for learning and cultivating the Buddha’s teachings thoroughly, not for making friends with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, not for fulfilling self desires. Therefore, without a Guru’s supervising all the time, you are easily to break precepts. Do be mistaken since your furtive acts will not be known by the Guru, it is all right to conduct evildoings. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do know! Dharma protectors do know! Therefore, you will naturally leave this Buddhist center once you transgress precepts.

Even people observe precepts, but there are very few people who achieve purity. What is observing precepts and achieving purity? It is saying about that one observes the precepts without wishing to obtain anything through it. He solely thinks observing precepts is for being the teacher of human and god in the future, and for self to step on the path to perfect Buddhahood. He does not wish to get reward or praises for observing precepts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has seen many people who think themselves terrific due to their act of adopting the vegetarian diet and make it widely known that they have been a vegetarian beginning from mother’s uterus. They may be reincarnated from a cow or a lamb that does not eat meat so that they have been a vegetarian beginning from mother’s uterus. In this way, it is not worth showing off at all.

Observing precepts are our personal behaviors. The most important is the precept observing in our mind. You ought to be very lucidly clear about whether or not the acts of your body, speech, and mind hurt any sentient being, and whether or not any angry thought arises in you due to self benefits. If yes, it is transgressing precepts. What do the self benefits here mean? Those include the feelings of being looked down, disobedience to you showed by others, making you lose your face by others, along with the consequently anger aroused and the act of scolding the people, by which all transgress precepts. It is really hard to purely observe precepts. There are even fewer people who can observe precepts when facing the benefits and the outer temptations.

While learning Exoteric Buddhism, before conducting his Esoteric Buddhist study, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche quit alcohol immediately after taking refuge. One day, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche discussed potential deal with a man. The man knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not drink. He also knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was a Buddhist. So, he said that he would put down his signature on the contract if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche drank a glass of beer. No drinking, no deal. This business deal was worth over tens of millions of NTD. If you had been in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s shoes, you would have drunk it first and then went back home to express repentance to the Dharma protector Achi, promising the Dharma protector that you would make donations later on. Nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche insisted on not drinking and merely said to the man, “If you force me to drink this glass of beer, we will definitely become enemies in the future even with the business deal. If we do not do business together, we will definitely be friends in the future.” The man replied, “Since you are so insistent, it shows that you will never set me up if we are partners.” As a result, he put down his signature at once.

Therefore, you salespeople sell your conscience and character in the outside world and even lie to people in order to achieve your so-called standards. Furthermore, in order to deliver your feeling of love, you disregarded what your guru had bid you about not seeking any more publicity through press and media, for it would consume your merits. You did not listen and still think it was right because everybody does that. Such conduct is not observing the precepts. Even if you did, it would not be conducted in a clean and pure manner. If you have sought refuge, it will be like a Cantonese saying, “Your hair is already getting wet, and you’ve got to wash it.” The same principle applies to one’s Buddhist study. Since you have entered Buddhist world, taken refuge, and vowed to your guru, will your life be smooth if you keep living against the methods that your guru has taught you? Your life will never be smooth. Hence, as it is already quite difficult to observe the precepts, it would be even harder to observe them in a clean and pure manner.

As stated in the sutras, even if you have great academic capabilities, you will still fall into the lower realms if you do not observe the precepts. Even with all the Buddhist teachings you have heard of, you will not be saved. That is why the Thirty Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas is so important. Having listened to lots of Buddhist teachings, you can still lose all your virtues and merits from your previous listening to the Buddhist teachings simply by generating a single hateful thought, especially a defiant one against your guru’s words. You think that “to burn down a forest of virtues” is for one to get really angry, to scold or beat someone up. In fact, it isn’t. It is that you forget the Buddhist teachings told by your guru and fail to remind yourself, not telling yourself that you are a Buddhist. What is a Buddhist? We have to live our lives in accordance with the methods taught by the Buddhas. Therefore, some people began to become sick recently. The reason why they would be sick lies in that they have forgotten what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught. Therefore, they lost the tiny virtues they have accumulated in practice. Such a consequence can come along really fast!

Therefore, taking a look at the numerous sentient beings, many of whom have done prostrations to the Buddhas and made donations, you should see them change some of their karma with such deeds. Why can’t they change it? It is because they have been having an incorrect thought: I have done the prostrations. I have made the donations. With the virtues and merits, I will be just fine to carry out a few evil deeds. One should never have such a thought, for we have brought a lot of evil karma from our previous lifetimes. Most important of all, when you begin to seek refuge and learn Buddhism, your karmic creditors from previous lifetimes will stop bothering you because they feel that they now have the opportunity to attain Buddhahood together with you. That is why they stop. However, if they see you resume your deceitful conduct against yourself, the sentient beings, the guru, the Buddhas, and the Bodhisattvas, they will come bother you right away. Why would they come back to bother you then? Since your conduct is still deceitful, why should they enable you to live a comfortable life then?

Many people do not understand this. Thinking that they have recited sutras and dedicated to their karmic creditors, they wonder why these creditors refuse to go away. It is because you have not acted in accord to the teachings. One who does not act according to the teachings is always at the level of ordinary human beings. The logic presented here is simple. Having listened more does not mean that you have got the merits and the virtues. Therefore, as stated in Exoteric Buddhist sutras, reading a sutra is less than listening to the sutra and listening to the sutra is less than taking action according to the sutra. It means that you have to carry out actions and live your daily life by the content of the sutras. Listening to a lot of Buddha Dharma doesn’t necessarily mean that it can change your life styles. You must completely apply Buddha Dharma to your life after listening to it.

Why wouldn’t Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche let the disciples who did not wear their uniform vest attend the Chod puja next Friday? It is because they forgot what they had heard, thinking that it was a simple matter, not a big deal, and unrelated to the Buddhist teachings. However, this matter was spoken by the guru. If you don’t listen to the guru, you won’t have to listen to the Buddhist teachings, either. Even though you do listen to the Buddhist teachings, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not think you can carry them out. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is forced to impose strict disciplinary measures upon you. Because you are used to living your own life and being your own king, you would feel extremely uneasy with someone suddenly starting to control you.

In front of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, you are no different than a child. Every one of you is naughty and mischievous and has your own thinking. Every one of you struggles in your heart wondering whether you should listen to and act upon the teachings. So, as stated here, when you have heard so much without protecting and observing the precepts, the Buddhist teachings will still not be able to save you. Therefore, if one can prevent the precepts from harm after receiving them, the Dharma lineage of the order will thrive and all the evil armies will be subdued. That is why we must protect and observe the precepts.

The precepts include the simplest Five Commandments for us laity, and include your vows made towards the guru and each yidams. As to the ordained, they surely have vows for bhikkhu or bhikkhuni, Bodhisattva vows, Bodhichitta vows, and Samaya vows, all of which should be protected and observed. If you do not protect and observe the precepts, the lineage or even as small as a Buddhist center will gradually decline. The prosperity of a Buddhist center does not rely on the capability of the guru. What is most important is that the guru protects and observes his own precepts and strictly demands his disciples to protect and observe the precepts in the same way. In such a case, the Buddhist center will thrive.

To thrive is not to have a great deal of wealth, to receive a lot of donations, or to have many people’s help with the construction of a monastery. It means that the number of those who sincerely learn Buddhism will get larger. The so-called prosperous order is determined by whether more people genuinely consider it a must to practice and learn Buddhism for the benefit of sentient beings. If that is the case, the lineage of such an order will thrive and all the inner and outer devils shall be subdued. If all the people listen to Buddha Dharma and cultivate Buddhism with one mind, any devils would not do any harm.

Not long ago, a disciple told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that he had driven his elder brother to the Eighteen Lords Temple for fun after attending the puja. His brother had extremely heavy karma. As a disciple of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he went along with his brother to worship those ghosts instead of advising him to seek refuge in Buddhism. After that, all of the people, except for his wife, who had prayed or merely entered the temple felt sick. The reason why they felt sick lies in that the ghosts clearly knew that he had attended the puja. With help from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, he was still not obedient but went bother those ghosts. The ghosts had to go away upon seeing him. If it were you, you might think the ghosts caused you trouble. When you took refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said that a disciple should not follow and practice the non-Buddhist religions. He did not properly tell his older brother the greatness of Buddha Dharma and still worshiped Buddha Dharma as gods. Many people are like this. Any Taiwanese would know that the spirits enshrined in the Eighteen Lords Temple were ghosts and would know that the spirits were worshiped by people who do illegitimate businesses.

So tell me, had he broken his precept or not? Once the precept was broken, he then immediately felt uncomfortable. He came to find Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche nervously the other day because his high blood pressure and other symptoms had come back. This was because he did not prevent his older brother from going; it was he who drove the car; he could say that he did not know the road and cancel the trip. His older brother had had such a heavy killing karma and had finally come to attend the Chod puja. The disciple still took his brother to play the next day. This indicated that he had not believed in Buddha dharma yet. If he had believed, the behaviors on that day would not have appeared and he would have absolutely advised his brother not to go. He neither persuaded nor prevented his brother, but still let his brother worship the ghosts. Was it odd that you did not pray to Buddha, but worshiped a dog? Today you don’t need to make a joke on him, as you also have done this kind of thing. You have learned for so long, why are you still wandering outside the entrance door of Buddhism? It is because your mind is not firm and your confidence is not enough.

Why is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche qualified to sit on the dharma throne today? It is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not unlike you on this point. Since the day of taking refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has put away all items of Taoism which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had learned and practiced since a child. When taking refuge, many people would still ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche how to re-arrange the statue of the deity they worshipped before. Since nine years of age, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had begun to learn Taoism from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could cure illnesses by drawing Taoist symbols and could not be injured by knifes and guns. However, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that Buddha dharma is so wonderful and so auspicious, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave up those things right away. You still thought back and forth and hoped that it was best to be on both sides. Of course, if you believed in both sides, either side would not come. After you take refuge, all non-humans and ghosts will leave when they see you. But when your mind violates the precept you have taken, your deities of dharma protectors will also leave you. If the ghosts leave you and the deities of dharma protectors leave you as well, you will be suspended in the midair and your karmic creditors will come to you immediately.

Speaking from all perspectives, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has explained so clearly. It’s so sad that you still do not listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche! This is the sorrow of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had owed all of you in past lives. A friend of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often asked whether Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had encountered any disciple of excellent capacity. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always answered no. It would be Buddha Amitabha’s blessings if these disciples did not come to bother Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Why is your capacity not good? It is not saying that only those who have excellent capacities can learn Buddhism. The biggest problem you have is having no faith. You did not fully follow the methods taught by the guru and Buddhas in your lives! This is having no faith. You may think it’s not a big deal and doesn’t matter. But today Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche felt thankful for the Eighteen Lord for giving the disciple a lesson. This event let the disciple realize his error and mend his ways, so that he could then talk to his elder brother and be aware of the law of cause and effect. If one could get protected by burning a joss stick to the ghosts, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not have practiced dharma!  After hearing so much about Buddha dharma, you are still muddled.

Even if we have not done well on the precept of liberation, we should exhaust all our efforts to hold and protect all other precepts. Once we break our precept, we should immediately repent according to Buddha dharma. Making repentance means that you will not do it again later. Hence, after breaking the precept, we regret it and hate ourselves. And such people are better than those who are arrogant due to holding precepts. For example, some people are very proud of being vegetarians. This is the arrogance due to holding precepts. These people are even worse than those who have violated the precepts but know to repent. This is because those who are arrogant, thinking they are holding precepts, will enter the path of devils.

If, because of doing something wrong, you are scolded by guru today so that you repent and never commit it again, you are instead better than those who are arrogantly holding precepts. This is because you have been aware of your fault and will not fall into the path of devils. Therefore, we should often accordingly rejoice in those who are holding precepts, and feel we can hold precepts as well. We should often repent and accordingly rejoice for others’ virtuous deeds. We should repent every day before we have attained Buddhahood. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still repents. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche repents that he has not attained Buddhahood to benefit sentient beings and that this is his fault. How could we repay Buddha’s kindness? Making some offerings could not count as repaying the kindness. To truly repay the kindness, one should learn and practice Buddha dharma, completely in accord with Buddha’s teachings, and attain Buddhahood for the benefit of sentient beings. This is just the sincere mind of gratitude.

Hence, repentance is very important. If you think you are right and making repentance is just for living a better life, this repentance is wrong and useless. You make repentance in hopes that the karmic creditors will not give you any trouble and that, after dedicating your repentance to the karmic creditors, they will leave you. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, instead, asks them not to leave. Since you want to salvage sentient beings, why don’t you salvage your karmic creditors first? With so many karmic creditors, you still want to salvage those who have no karmic connection or relationship with you. Can that be right? Therefore, many people have explained repentance incorrectly. Many people interpreted wrongly that eliminating karma is to drive your karmic creditors away or to make them run away with the power of repentance. That is not true. The strength of your repentance is just to let them stop interfering with you; they still exist because you have not attained Buddhahood and they cannot attain Buddhahood together with you. If you can truly aspire to learn Buddhism, these karmic creditors will become your Dharma protectors instead. You should know clearly how to repent, rather than pray on a daily basis that the karmic creditors can leave you while having no idea what it is all about. This kind of practice is horrible. It is wizardry. Since you want to learn Vajrayana, you should understand that a practitioner of Vajrayana has Buddha’s mind that endures sufferings for all sentient beings without having any complaint. So it is normal for us to be sick or have accidents because we have not attained Buddhahood and these accidents are stimulus given by the karmic creditors to tell us to practice sooner. Otherwise, it would be too late. Do not think that nothing will happen since you are learning Buddhism. Because you have not attained Buddhahood, you cannot be all right. Even with his Enlightenment this life, Buddha Sakyamuni still had to experience nine hardships: having a headache, being thrown stones, being defamed, eating horse food, and so on. These manifestation were his karmic retributions. You hope that nothing will happen to you. Is it possible?

So, learning Buddhism is to enable us to leave the cycle of birth and death. After understanding the real reason, you can then learn Buddhism in a proper way. When you get sick, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche relieves your symptoms or even helps you fully recover. This is not to let you live a better life, earn more money, or care for your children. This is to extend your lifespan so as to enable you to spend your limited time in life to attain enlightenment in this lifetime and be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Therefore, the guru has to pray for himself to live longer every day. Such a prayer is not said to live a longer life, but to attain realizations and Buddhahood for the benefit of all sentient beings. Life is very short and impermanent, so we need the help of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas so that we can attain achievements in this life and will not be reborn in to this world again. If we have to come to this world again, we must come only if we have attained the attainment of a Bodhisattva.

So you should rejoice and repent. You should commend others for any virtuous acts they conducted for the benefit of sentient beings. Even it is a minor incident, you should praise the person. Even if you don’t verbalize it, you should rejoice in your heart. You should rejoice those who observe precepts so that you and his precepts will be in the same ocean of merits. Why do lay practitioners have to courteously give precedence to monks and nuns? This is because the monks and nuns have kept the pure and clean precepts while you have not. This is to rejoice. It doesn’t mean that monks and nuns have higher status, greater, or more powerful than you. That is not true. This is because they live their lives within the range of precepts. As you fail to do that, you should rejoice. Rejoicing includes giving precedence to others courteously and showing reverence to others. Therefore, you now know why you have been scolded today. We should constantly repent and rejoice.

Even though we have accumulated great fortune through practice in this life so as to let us attain reborn in the heavenly realms, we still cannot be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. That is why the Avatamsaka Sutra states that it is very rare to be a human and it is even rarer to obtain the pure and clean endowments and leisure. Hence, being a human is not simply for studying, graduating, getting married, having children, or working hard for your career. These are just the process of life, the necessary matters for us to live on. But we should pursue such matters. Having more family members or more businesses may not be a good thing. We have this body so that we can practice. One’s practice is based on one’s conditions. True

The central land stated here is India’s Bodhi Gaya, the place where Buddha Sakyamuni attained Buddhahood. If we do not have the five roots, we could not become the device of receiving the precepts and would not have the virtuous conditions of listening to, thinking of, and practicing the Buddhist teachings. Therefore, many precepts are for us to have causes and conditions to learn Buddhism. Some people are born in places which are not good. For example, some people are born in a family of hunting, fishing, or aquaculture. At meeting many believers from central or southern Taiwan, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could see that they had heavy killing karma. They often said that they could not avoid the killings. But saying such things indicated that they did not have a repentant mind. They thought that they had been born in to this condition and felt no repentance of their conduct. They did not accept the law of cause and effect or cause and condition. So, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often told them that it was not like this when you were born this way. Maybe you had done a great deal of negative karma in your past lives, so such negative karma let you continue committing evil deeds. However, you can still change it. If you do not have enough causes and conditions or virtuous conditions, you will be born in an evil place. As for the offspring born in the brothel, that is, the children of those who are in the sex profession, learn non-Buddhist religions since they were young, their body, speech, and mind are in violation with Buddhist teachings. So it is very hard for these people to listen to the Buddhist teachings. And it is very easy for them to make the Five Actions of Immediate Consequence. No matter how auspicious or how powerful the non-Buddhist religions say they are, they cannot liberate you from the reincarnated cycles or evil realms. So, we should have faith in the Buddhist teachings. This is called the Five Internal Assets.

In addition, Bodhisattva Nagarjuna also explained there are five external assets: Buddha has appeared in this world with his four teachings, a Buddha taught the precious Dharma that continues to his retinues, and there is loving kindness for the benefit of others. Although we can’t see Buddha himself, his teachings continues and many masters are still propagating the Dharma continuously, teaching us with the most loving and kind heart. We often hear about the age of Degenerate Dharma. In other words, even with the teaching of Buddha Sakyamuni, which will last for another 12000 years, we will have to wait for 50 billion years after that until the coming of Maitreya and his attaining the Buddhahood. During the 50 billion years, even if you are reborn in this world constantly, you will not be able to listen to the Buddhist teachings. All you will do is linger in the reincarnation unceasingly. Moreover, you can be sure whether you could be reborn and listen to the Buddhist teachings in the following 12000 years

You were not born into a dark kalpa. You were born at the time of Buddha Sakyamuni’s teachings, which is called a bright kalpa. Thereby, you are able to be successfully guided by auspicious spiritual teachers. If a Buddha landed onto this world without preaching any Dharma, his appearance will not benefit beings. Therefore, we should pray for the Dharma Wheel to be turned unceasingly. This is why one of the verses of Seven Branch Prayer, which can be found in many prayers, is about praying for the constant turning of Dharma Wheel. Although the Buddhist teachings have been taught, it is difficult for the teachings to remain in this world. As the teachings are still in this world, it is called the asset of residing in this world. Although the teachings have been kept, it would still be very difficult if no one protects, explains, or learns the Buddhist teachings. Therefore, when there are people protecting and explaining the Buddhist teachings, such a condition is called the asset of getting along with the teachings. When we begin to learn Buddhism and are able to renounce the obstacles in the family, it is even rarer for one to be able to cultivate through listening to, contemplating upon, and practice with a calm mind.  This is called the asset of promoting the joy in mind.

It is very hard for lay people to let go of everything. However, this is also a very skillful means for cultivating one’s practice. There is one advantage for being a monk or a nun: cut off all the karmic connections with their families or businesses. As for the laity, they have such attachment even on the verge of their death. As we have this human body, we still have afflictions even if we give up our families or businesses. The ordained population has their own afflictions, such as worrying about getting a venue to propagate the Buddhist teachings, having believers to listen to their teaching, and learning the orthodox teaching so as for them to be liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

For Vajrayana cultivators, affliction is not a kind of poison, but is a way to let them understand the sufferings in life and is the reason to let them determine to listen to and practice Buddha Dharma. Therefore, all our relatives and work places are also the scopes where we practice the Dharma. If we can continuously adopt the Buddhist teachings to live our lives in the family and in the work place, can gradually influence ourselves, and influence others to follow us to learn Buddhism, we extend the scope where we practice Buddha Dharma. The scope of practice of a lay practitioner is their daily life. If one can use Buddha Dharma in one’s life to face all problems and afflictions, one is under cultivation practices. When it is really the time to leave this world, one will feel that one has done so many things and should go back, instead of feeling that one still has some attachment and wants to stay in this world.

If some of your family members oppose your practicing of Buddhism, do not lie to them. Tell them honestly. If they still do not agree with it, do not come to learn Buddhism for a while. The reason that they are opposed to your practicing of Buddhism is because you have not corrected your behaviors. These family members who obstruct you for practicing Buddhism in this life are those whom you had obstructed for practicing Buddhism in your previous lives. If you do correct your deeds in accordance with Buddhist teachings and use Buddha Dharma in your life, your family members will surely agree and welcome you to come to practice Buddhism. Some people do not dare to tell their parents that they are practicing Buddhism. Why can others practicing other religions announce their beliefs openly while these Buddhists are so surreptitious about their practicing of Buddhism? What kind of mindset do you have?  Is it because practicing Buddhism is too out-of-date and not modern enough? Practicing Buddhism is not an out-of-date activity. Your Guru is not out of date at all. This is because your mind is incorrect and you are using a surreptitious mind to practice Buddhism.

Practicing Buddhism is a just and honorable thing for one to do. Buddha has taught us to do things towards the right direction. So why would you be afraid of letting your parents know about it? For the young people here, if your parents still oppose you for practicing Buddhism, it indicates that you still have not had filial piety to your parents, that there are many things you have not done well, and that you must have done many things in the past that let your parents feel very unhappy. That is the reason why they do not accept all of your behaviors. Now there are many wrong views in other Buddhist centers such as persuading kids to become monks or nuns and not to go to school for study. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not act like this. Whether you will become a monk or a nun is your personal behavior. For those of you who practice Buddhism surreptitiously, being afraid of letting people know your Buddhist belief, being afraid of telling others your Buddhist belief, please do not come here again. If you behave like a thief after practicing Buddhism, then what is the purpose for you to continue to learn Buddhism? Has Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught you to do evil things? Has Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught you to worship in front of Buddhist statues 24 hours a day? Has Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught you not to get married? Has Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught you not to have children? Has Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught you to come here every day and not to go to work? Has Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught you to give all of your money to the guru? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not taught people all of these things! Then why do you have to practice Buddhism surreptitiously? The only reason is that you still have many problems that you have not yet corrected. You are still a child with many incorrect behaviors.

You have to correct your mind of practicing Buddhism and do not fear that others will laugh at you for practicing Buddhism. As Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to practice Buddhism and have a vegetarian diet, his friends say to him, “You must have done a lot of evil things, so you become a vegetarian.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied immediately, “Yes! I have done a lot of evil things, so I become a vegetarian.” It was true that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had eaten a lot of seafood before. If you were there, you would not have dared to say such words. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche dared to say so and to admit his faults. After that, none talked about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s vegetarian diet anymore. Contrarily, you just dare not admit that you are a bad person and always say that you are a good person. But you do not actually let others feel that you have become better after practicing Buddhism. So others do not know what your purpose of practicing Buddhism is. Why do we want to practice Buddhism today? The purpose of practicing Buddhism is for ourselves to know that we are bad and have done many bad things and to have the courage to face and correct our faults. If we can so after practicing Buddhism, others will naturally accept our behaviors of practicing Buddhism. Some people said that after they became a vegetarian their mother scolded them or their wife wanted to divorce them. If you want to have a vegetarian diet, you can just say that you do not like to eat meat. The problem is that you have not seriously communicated with your family members that you were bad and wrong and wanted to learn some good things to change yourself and to change your family. You dare not speak these, so naturally others will not accept your decision of practicing Buddhism. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche admitted that he had done a lot of evil things and that he had been wrong, no one said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was a fool to become a vegetarian. This was equivalent to that one pleaded guilty in front of a judge and would get a lighter sentence. You just do not admit your faults and thus do not have a repentant mind. You just apologize. Hence, you just have so many problems on practicing Buddhism.

You should let others know clearly why you practice Buddhism. Do not let others feel you are much nobler because of practicing Buddhism. You should let others know that practicing Buddhism is good to your future and your family because you have many erroneous behaviors and practicing Buddhism will let you correct these wrong behaviors. If your mother-in-law does not allow you to practice Buddhism, you can tell her, “I would like to go to learn Buddhism because the Buddha has taught me how to be a good daughter-in-law. Besides, the guru has scolded me that I should show filial obedience to my mother-in-law. I know I have not done it well so far, so I would like to learn and have more filial piety.” You just do not speak these words. Others will surely stop you from practicing Buddhism. Therefore, all of you have to thoroughly correct yourselves.

According to the Buddhist scripture of the “Words of my Perfect Teacher”, if we do not have the suitable condition to be taught by a virtuous guru, we will not be able to understand clearly the Dharma nature. Even if we have taken refuge, it will be useless to us. Therefore, we must follow the teachings of a virtuous guru. For these five things, we need the helps of others in order to fulfill their conditions. That is why they are called the “Five External Endowments”.

Moreover, a kalpa is the life period of a natural world, a planet, or an Earth that passes through the stages of creation, maintenance, destruction, and emptiness. A bright kalpa is the kalpa during which a Buddha appears, and otherwise it is called a dark kalpas. According to Buddhist scriptures, log time ago there was a bright kalpa called “Xian-Xi Kalpa”. From that bright kalpa till now, there have been 4 bright kalpas and 1400 dark kalpas. In such a long period, there was only 4 kalpas during which Buddhas appeared to give Dharma teachings and to benefit sentient beings; during these 4 kalpas, the number of sentient beings that were able to hear Buddha dharma was also very limited. The period of a kalpa is very long. Today’s earth is on the ending of the maintenance stage and the beginning of the destruction stage. Every planet will pass through such a process. The history of Earth has been more than 5 billion years long till now. Therefore, one kalpa is very long. How painful the sentient beings will be in a kalpa when there is no Buddha appearing in the kalpa. Therefore, it is very rare that you can be born in this bright kalpa and meet a Guru, in a Buddhist center, who can truly follow the Buddha’s teachings and teach you Buddha Dharma.

Among the 21 million people in Taiwan, numerous people are learning Buddhism. But they almost can’t chance on a Guru who often scolds disciples. None! Why gurus in other Buddhist centers never scold disciples because they are afraid that their disciples may leave. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is afraid of too many disciples. Today you have the causes and conditions to come to this center and keep staying here despite of being scolded by Guru, meaning that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche owe you in previous lifetimes. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not owe you in the future because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught you clearly in this life. When you have chances of hearing the Dharma, do not just hear and do when you have spare time, otherwise it will be too late. With Buddha’s wisdom and abhijna, as well as the history Buddha sees, you can think that is it difficult for you to enter the Buddhist center of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche today? When you return home and detailedly considerate, it is really difficult and non-easy. It is especial that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not make any advertisement, publish any dharma magazines, show on TV program for he fears that other people know. But you can find the spot. It shows that it is owed in the last lives. If you do not utilize the chance to make Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pay you back in this life, you must be unable to find Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in future lives. Excepting that His Holiness the Drikung Kagyu Kyabgon Chetsang comes back, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would just come back too. It is much rarer and more difficult to hear Dharma than to win the lottery.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cited himself as an example, saying that his life had been over if he did not have causes and conditions to come to Taiwan. If he successfully makes money by selling jewels in his twenties, possibly he would not come to Taiwan. Amount of money was gone then and it pushed him to Taiwan. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang and Most Venerable Drubwang Rinpoche both recognized that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has intense karmic connection with Drikung Kagyu in past lives. It is this karmic power that guides Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche towards the second half of life. But you do not have such intense karmic connection as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has. Therefore, you should cherish the causes and conditions to come to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center of Drikung Kagyu Lineage and to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who is a very strict guru, and do not waste this lifetime or easily say that do not want to learn. If it goes as Buddha said, it is horrible since you could just learn Buddha by chance of one billionth.

In our present kalpa there are 1000 Buddhas and it is called Bhadra Kalpa. Hereafter there will be 60 dark kalpas, and after that there will be another one bright kalpa. That is, after Buddha Sakyamuni and the Maitreya Buddha’s teachings, there will be no Buddhas in the next 60 kalpas. That will be a long long time period. It’s so awful. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not dare to say how good he practiced in past lives. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was an ordained practitioner in the past live but he returned after 400 years. It is very difficult. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows many things now, he is really afraid that time is not enough. You people who do not understand may think it is all right and wait! It would terrible if encountering one bright Kalpa after 60 kalpas. That bright kalpa is called “kalpa of adornments of merit.” Moreover, after that Kalpa, there will be 10,000 dark kalpas before another bright kalpa, which is call “kalpa of beautiful sound.” Bright kalpas and dark kalpas interleave as such. The ratio of bright kalpas to dark kalpas is so small that there are only 7 kalpas which Buddhas exist from 14060 dark kalpas. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often advises that everyone should stop evil deeds and do virtuous ones immediately. But you don’t obey. You thought you could get through your problems with a little virtue. That is impossible. You must stop evil deeds immediately. It was not until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has learned Tantra Buddhism that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realized all evil deeds have to be stopped immediately and well practice, otherwise it would be too late. Among 14060 dark kalpas, Buddhas only exist in 7 kalpas. But it is not guaranteed for you to listen to the Buddha dharma even if the Buddha appears since Buddha does not know what your karma power turns. It is your business. No one knows what your next life could be. It depends on what you do in this life.

Upon his enlightenment, Buddha Sakyamuni would not like to give Dharma teachings because it is hard to educate and influence the beings. Initially Buddha would not want to come or speech in this world because human beings on the earth are the most difficult to be taught in all universes and in Ten Realms of the dharma world. Human beings are self-centric and difficult to be changed. Instead, Buddha might have left for some other world of utmost sufferings because the beings, when staying in the world of bitterness, could be easier to be liberated. For example, the Guru Padmasambhava is the king in the Raksha World now. Raksha is a kind of ghosts who eat human beings. Some people might contract strange diseases because Raksha ghost are eating them. In order not to let those beings continue to do evil deeds and help human beings, Guru Padmasambhava went there to be the King and managed Raksha ghosts. In the ancient history, there were so many people dieing without any reason. It is because of those Raksha ghosts. So Guru Padmasambhava went to manage those Raksha ghosts. In the beginning, Buddha Sakyamuni actually was unwilling to teach human beings. Since the Indra and the Mahabrahma had made supplications, Buddha Sakyamuni then started turning the Dharma Wheel. The history was recorded. Therefore, you have to make supplications when you want to hear Buddha dharma. Some people asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche: could the guru tell me what problems do I have? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche must not respond. There must be some faults while being a human being. It is special in Buddha dharma that you must initiate upon your speaking the requests. The reasons are: first, the connection cannot be initiated if you do not tell; second, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and gurus have their vows of commitment to help beings. As long as your pleading is spoken out, gurus, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas must help. If you introduce others to come but they do not talk and take the guru as the fortune-teller, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would scold people who introduce their friend. You can directly ask if having the problem. Some people are shy. Some just see whether the guru is efficacious or not and just try.  Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be non-efficacious any time.  More efficacious than any others if being efficacious, vice versa. So the tradition of Dharma supplication is passed down to the present time and further will be passed to the future. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche must plead for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang if presiding the puja. If not pleading, even His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has such thought, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not do because of no condition. While Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pleads and His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang approves, thing must be done successfully. So you must plead. If you do not plead, there would be no Buddha dharma.

Among all the Buddha’s teachings, esoteric teachings are very rare and unique. As of exoteric theories, which is very easy, one might be able to figure out their concepts, while in esoteric teachings one could not find out how to accomplish the practices without the guru’s guidance and instructions. It is very rare that Tantric methods can be passed down to this world, in addition that the exoteric theories exist in this world. Under many circumstances the Buddha Dharma may not appear. For example, during the period that the Buddha’s teaching in the past is lost and the future Buddha has not yet appeared, there would be no Dharma teachings available. Perhaps, the Dharma teaching is in the world but only very few people could have opportunities to learn. Perhaps, there are too many non-Buddhism religions in the world; for example, before the Buddha Sakyamuni came to this world, the whole world is non-Buddhism of various kinds. As another example, Chinese people worship ghosts since more than 5,000 years ago, and why do Chinese still worship ghosts nowadays? That is the nationality. The Chinese worship ghosts to now. That is non-Buddhist. There were so many non-Buddhist in India in the before.

Even if one has heard and learned true Dharma, most of them are only pursuing pleasures and results in this life. They are similar to you – are not aspired to escape cyclic life and death; it is non-Buddhism and is against the true Dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has advised and reminded you repeatedly that as long as you have firm belief and accomplishments on supramundane practices, there would be no obstacles in your worldly affairs. If you only seek results of your present life, wishing to have delight in this life, it turns out that you will not achieve the supramundane practices and your mundane affairs would not work out either. Simply speaking, why learning Buddhism? It is to escape from life and death. Anything good or bad happen to you should not be kept in your mind. As long as you have strong belief to escape from life and death, as well as to benefit the beings, how could your karmic creditors and debtors play tricks on you whereas they cannot wait to help you? Therefore, your world affairs would become easier. In the contrary, if your mindset toward learning the supramundane practices is rooted in mundane thinking, your karmic creditors and debtors would not have any satisfaction and would not help you accomplish the practices. Naturally there would be many problems in your mundane affairs. You should clearly listen. Whether you are rich or not, as well as study well or not, it does matter to whether you learn Buddhism or not. That is what you bring from last lives. It would not be better because you learn Buddhism, excepting that you practice to like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and things can be better. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has no attachment on anything and does things according to the conditions. But you are attached. You even ask so much while marrying a husband. You are not determined after asking this and that. That is attachment.

Nowadays, many people do not understand, or have rejected, the true meaning of Buddha Dharma even though they hear the Dharma. Many people have indulged in, or have biased interests of, the Buddhism theories and its logic threads. Those people, who emphasize on terminologies or learn Zen by talking about theory all day long without true practicing, do not truly apply Buddha Dharma in their daily life to change their attachment mind to everything. For example, some lecturers have constantly given speeches through TV shows as if they are the knowledge. However, they could not withstand their problematic situations. Their comprehension of Buddha Dharma is obtained based on the theories and their studies. Thus, they are explaining texts with texts; It is not for them to practice and realize the meaning of Buddha Dharma in daily activities and hence give teachings based on their experiences of true practices experience. Many people would like to learn the terminologies and have considered the Buddha Dharma as a study. If the Buddha dharma is a kind of study, you can see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s suite of canon . You cannot read it over within 6 years while reading 8 hours a day. So-called “read over” is that you cannot understand the true meaning but just turn pages and read.

Buddha Dharma is not one kind of knowledge to research. It completely teaches us the means to change our future as well as living style. You may know Buddhist terms but do not get trapped in them. Many people enjoy talking about profound Buddhism terms. But how long will it take to know all of these terms comprised in the thick dictionary of Buddhism? It’s very hard! Many of terms were introduced by later masters, instead of Buddha dharma. Moreover, different schools have their own terms. Therefore it wastes time while studying these terms. The true realization of the Dharma is to adopt the Dharma into the daily life to gradually reduce the attachment, discrimination, and distraction. That is the true practice. One, who still has profound attachment, discrimination or distraction in own mind, has not truly learned the Dharma even though one could entirely remember the scripts of the complete Buddhist Canon. Up to now, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still cannot remember Buddha sutras. Some people are so awesome that can remember Buddha sutras. They can remember the whole suite. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cannot remember but just can understand the meaning of Buddha sutras.

Venerable Master Guang Qin and Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng were illiterates. Neither did the great Drikung Kagyu masters Tilopa, Naropa, Milarepa. Only Marpa was literate. Many believers in Taiwan wish their masters have earned the PhD. degree. They thought only those who graduate from Buddhism College with PhD. degree truly know the Dharma. It is not said to be wrong thought but at least it is needless to be superstitious or attached. Languages or letters are just tools. The Buddhism learners should learn Buddhism from their mind. Languages are inevitable tools. If teaching Buddha dharma as logical debates, it is not Buddha dharma. The Dharma is true when it is adopted into the daily life. Buddha Dharma is not apart from the worldly means. Buddha Sakyamuni was used to a human being. Therefore human beings surely can achieve all of the teachings Buddha preached. Otherwise, Buddha would not talk about these. There are sutras that Buddha Sakyamuni imparts to the beings in the Heaven Realm. But human beings are not able to see these sutras because human beings can’t achieve these teachings. Like the 37 practices of the Bodhisattvas that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had taught, you definitely could adopt these practices into your daily life, and your life will surely be improved by utilizing the 37 practices of the Bodhisattvas in your living. How many of you restart to listen to the 37 practices of the Bodhisattvas, taught by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, after going home? How many of you start to apply these? How many of you start to truly apply the 37 practices of the Bodhisattvas to practice? It is not difficult to perform the 37 practices of the Bodhisattvas. It can definitely be achieved. You cannot achieve because of unwilling to perform the practices. You thought you should learn more Dharma that you don’t know yet. But actually the Dharma is really very simple if you could realize the key point. What is complicated? It is your mind too complicated, and that’s why your problems happen one after another. Therefore, the most important thing about learning Buddhism is the Guru. Do not go in the wrong way and forget the true meaning of Buddha Dharma. It is incorrect to show others with terms in order to make others see you practice very well.

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Updated on September 13, 2011