Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

September 30, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious Chod Puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the following auspicious Dharma teaching. Today’s puja is a Tantric practice called Chod. Some of you are attending this puja for the first time so that is why I will explain it again. You often misunderstand Tantra as showing awe-inspiring ability; actually, this is incorrect. All Dharma methods are for the sake of being liberated from birth and death. They are not merely for displaying supernatural powers or a variety of abilities. Do not think that one who can speak Tibetan is able to learn Tantra. If it were so, all Tibetans would have learned Tantra. You should not think that one who can recite mantras or show some hand signals and hold the bell and vajra is cultivating Tantra. Moreover, you listen to Masters who transmit mantras on TV, and think that you are practicing Tantra. This all is misunderstanding Tantra.

Buddhism is divided into Esoteric Buddhism and Exoteric Buddhism. “Exoteric” refers to the Buddha Dharma in which the meaning is clearly understood. It also refers to Buddhist theory and foundation. Esoteric Buddhism is when the guru further teaches you Dharma methods of cultivation so that you can become liberated from birth and death and further benefit sentient beings. The cultivation of Tantra is divided into Kriya, Charya, Yoga, and Anuttara Yoga. Knowing the meaning of Buddha Dharma does not mean what you will able to implement all of its teachings. When you have a clear and correct realization of Buddhist theories, you need a guru who practices true Buddha Dharma to teach you and monitor the Dharma method you are cultivating. Exoteric Buddhism is the foundation of learning Buddhism. Your cultivation will be smooth when your foundation is stable. You must truly apply Buddha Dharma in your daily life. When a practitioner is able to deal with a matter in perfect harmony, he has attained the level of Yoga.

You have heard about “dealing with a matter in perfect harmony” in the sutras. It is not referring to the literal meaning of the words: not offending others, being thoughtful, or doing something successfully. Don’t think that you have achieved it when you are reciting a sutra or being a volunteer. Also, you should not think that you are doing good deeds when you donate hundreds of dollars to a foundation. Those tiny good deeds are merely the basics of human life. “Dealing with a matter in perfect harmony” refers to the stages of cultivating Buddhism. When you have realized Buddhist theories, you need to implement Buddha Dharma into your daily life. That is, your thoughts and actions have to be in accordance with Buddhism 24 hours a day.

Some people think that becoming a vegetarian, becoming a monk or nun, taking refuge, reciting a sutra, attending repentance ceremonies, or reciting mantras is practicing. In addition, some people keep track of the number of times they have recited mantras; it is useless. Actually, this is not cultivation. These things are merely to assist in the completion of causal conditions. Cultivation is to correct those behaviors that will cause you to fall into reincarnation. It is very difficult to correct your own conduct; therefore, you need the guru’s guidance. You cannot attain achievements by reading sutras or watching a Buddhist TV program. Cultivation must have levels and stages. Liberation cannot merely be achieved by reciting several sutras.

Why is it called “Tibetan Buddhism” ? It is because, at first, Master Padmasambhava brought Tantric teachings from India to Tibet. The teaching of Tantra in China is called Tang Tantra. It was transmitted to Japan and then it developed into the Eastern Tantric sect. Whether Tang Tantra or Tibetan Tantra, these Tantric teachings were transmitted from India by Buddha Sakyamuni. Tang Tantra, however, was unable to be transmitted to later generations. The reason is complicated and will not be explained today. Practitioners who would like to learn Tantra must learn Exoteric Buddhism when they are eight to twelve years of age. When they have understood Buddhist theory and their mind is determined to learn Buddhism, the guru will ensure the disciple’s conditions and capacities and then transmit Tantra to him.

When Master Padmasambhava brought Buddhism into Tibet, the original religion in the local area was the Bon religion, not the so-called Black Order. In Tibetan Buddhism, there are only four main orders: the Red Order, Yellow Order, White Order, and Flower Order, There is no so-called Black Order. Till now, in addition to remote areas, there are some people who practice the Bon religion, although nowadays this religion has almost vanished. The Bon religion practices the smoke puja, a ritual in which pine twigs are burned in order to make offerings to the spirits. Master Padmasambhava adopted the local practice of the smoke offering so that Tibetans would quickly accept Buddhism, but the mantras and prayers were changed to Buddhist mantras and prayers. Therefore, the smoke offering is performed in Tibetan Buddhist rituals. You should not misunderstand the ritual of the smoke offering as the ritual of practicing Tantra. Actually, people who are cultivating Exoteric Buddhism burn incense every day. It is a kind of smoke offering. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has attained the level of Rinpoche, but he does not practice the smoke offering.

Real Tibetans do not use the term “Living Buddha.” It was merely a term used by people who wanted to flatter the Empress Dowager Cixi. If there were a living Buddha, would there also be a dead Buddha? It is impossible. The literal meaning of “Rinpoche” is “the treasure among human beings” because Rinpoches teach Buddha Dharma and help to liberate sentient beings from the suffering of Samsara. That is why the Rinpoche is the treasure among human beings. You can neither claim to be a Rinpoche by relying on another Rinpoche’s word, nor dream that you were a Rinpoche. You can’t be a Rinpoche because you talked with several Rinpoches, and they said that you were the reincarnation of the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas. The Order’s Throne Holder must publicly certify the level of Rinpoche, and the person must go through the ritual of enthronement. It is not valid to do it in private, and it should be publicly executed in the Order. The ritual of enthronement does not refer to moving a bed into the Buddhist temple and allowing the practitioner to sit on it. It is a ritual in which the Throne Holder of an order allows the practitioner to sit on a higher cushion, confers the Dharma robe and Dharma hat, and then transmits the mantras and sutras.

It’s not easy to be a Rinpoche; a human cannot do what a  Rinpoche does. You saw that many people bow and prostrate to a Rinpoche and it looks very impressive. This is not the case. A Rinpoche does not have his own life; he has no freedom. If this person does not keep pure precepts, cultivate merits, and accept prostrations from others, mishaps will result; the lightest of these would be bad health. It could possibly cause other problems too. Also, do not think that you can casually accept other’s prostrations if you are ordained or wear a “Buddhist gown.” These all need to be repaid. If you can accept prostrations because you wear a Buddhist gown, then we can hang up the gown and everyone can make prostrations to the gown. This also means that it had nothing to do with the practitioner himself.

For practitioners who have cultivated merits, when they accept prostrations from others, they enter the state of Samadhi, and at the same time, they give others blessings. It is written in the scriptures: If the guru meets a disciple who has the right vessel or capacities but does not transmit the Dharma, then this guru has broken the precept, and will fall into the Vajra Hell. If this guru transmits the Dharma to a disciple with a wrong vessel or if he does not have the capacities, then he could also fall into the Vajra Hell due to breaking the precept. Thus, being a Rinpoche is very hard work; it is not easy. If you imagine that you will cultivate to a certain position, or if you are under the impression that you are cultivating and benefiting sentient beings, these thoughts are all wrong. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also began cultivating and practicing Buddhism when he was a believer, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never imagined that he would attain the status position of a Rinpoche, have the opportunity to benefit so many sentient beings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only follows the guru’s teachings, and then act—never having any of his own thoughts or ideas.

Now the Drikung Kagyu’s monasteries in Jangchub Ling India also follow the traditional ways of separating Exoteric and Esoteric teachings into different Buddhist schools. Not everyone can learn Tantra. You need to go through the guru’s many observations and tests and peove that you are a vessel to learn Tantra before it can be transmitted. Also, “Tantra will not transmit to six ears.” It must be transmitted one-to-one, between the guru and the disciple. If it is publicly propagated, it is definitely not Tantra. You have not learned Tantra before. Therefore, it is difficult for you to determine whether it is real or fake. But a real Tantra practitioner can tell whether others are real or fake with just one glance, especially a practitioner who has cultivated Mahamudra and who has achieved Anuttara Yoga.

A Rinpoche who has been publicly certified must have records that can be checked so that others will not be deceived. Which lineage and inheritance, which guru taught him, and how he cultivated all must be clearly explained. Therefore, if you meet someone who claims to be a Rinpoche, you must pay attention to his inheritance and guru to see if he showed up at the important public events of a lineage, rather than seeing if he had any abilities to conjure up something. Those who say that they can become this or that or conjure up things are all fake. Supernatural power is just a by-product of cultivation, a convenient method. Buddhist scriptures state that even if you see a person who can walk on water or fire and not be hurt, this is not real Buddhist Dharma. Just like the employment of a university professor who must provide information regarding his or her graduate school, diploma, and advising professors during the application process. Furthermore, you should pay attention to his inheritance and certifications, and see if he is still continuing the Buddhist undertakings when you are evaluating the authenticity of a Rinpoche.

There are people in society who claim that they have attained the achievement of Buddhahood. They also said that they were certified through some association. This is absurd. How can an association certify Buddhahood? Only the Buddha can certify positions of Buddhahood. If someone claims to be a Buddha, then it at least should be in accordance with the Buddhist scriptures, which say that the Buddha attained 32 phases and 80 goodliness. Do not believe anyone who says that he is the reincarnation of a certain Buddha. Buddhist scriptures have recorded that only seven Buddhas will be here on this earth. Now, it is the fourth Buddha. It is clearly recorded how all the Rinpoche will emerge. The appearance of practitioners who have achieved Tantra will change. Even their bones will change. Change in appearance does not mean looking like wrathful yidams or becoming better looking. It means that because cultivation has been achieved, karma can be changed. Therefore, the structure and appearance of the whole body changes. You ordinary people cannot tell, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can tell in one glance if this person has achieved. If they have not, they are all fake.

For those who claim to have achieved Buddhahood, besides distinguishing whether they are real or fake from their appearance, you can also take them to a Chinese medicine doctor to check their pulse, because the pulse cannot be faked. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to China and met a Chinese medicine doctor. This doctor was very arrogant. In order to bring him to submission, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche let the doctor check his pulse. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the doctor that he was 64 years old, the doctor was very surprised and said that the condition and appearance of the pulse was that of only a thirty-year-old. The three Chinese doctors in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Chinese medicine clinics also had checked his pulse. They all said that the condition and appearance of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s pulse was like a thirty-year-old person. Through true cultivation, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche attained a pulse that differed from ordinary people.

A person’s life is drawn in by the force of karma. The incidents that happen to you are all manifestations of the force of karma. You believe that everything in this world is real and true; therefore, attachments arise. The heart of attachment will make you continue in Samsara. As you continue in the cycle of Samsara and accumulate countless karma, it covers up your original pure true nature. Therefore, you cannot see the real world in the universe. Buddhist scriptures state that if the heart is pure, then the land is pure. Buddha Sakyamuni was once asked, if the Pure Land of Buddha Amitabha is in the Western Paradise World, the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha has his Pure Land, and every Buddha has their Pure Land, then where is Buddha Sakyamuni’s Pure Land? Buddha Sakyamuni gave the enlightenment, “It is right here.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the enlightenment, “Buddha Sakyamuni’s Pure Land is right here on the earth. If it is here, why can’t you see it? It is because your hearts are not clear. You have not yet cultivated to the level of Buddhahood. Of course, you cannot see the Pure Land of Buddha. Therefore, the Buddha had Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya, and Nirmanakaya three bodies. When an ordinary person has the aspiration to cultivate Buddha Dharma, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will use all kinds of methods to make him accept the teachings of Buddha Dharma. With one word, one Buddhist scripture, one Buddha statue, or one guru who propagates Dharma, it is all Nirmanakaya who have come to liberate you.

If someone suddenly claims that he is a manifestation of a certain Buddha or Bodhisattva, you have to carefully observe him. You need to understand his heritage and ways of propagating Buddha Dharma. Do not think that any person who teaches Buddha Dharma is a genuine Buddhist practitioner. Some people may take advantage of Buddha Dharma to achieve their personal goals. Some Buddhist practitioners who teach Buddha Dharma will charge fees for various reasons. For instance, there will be different fees for becoming donors or having meals with gurus. Each has a different price tag. Some practitioners will give out gifts to lure believers. They say that if believers make donations, they will receive Buddha statues and blessings given by the gurus. This conduct is not appropriate. Why don’t they just make it clear that they are doing business? But teaching Buddha Dharma is no business!

It is wrong to think that after attending pujas two or three times, all matters will change positively. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has learned Buddhism from age 36 till now, age 64. How many years has Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche devoted? If your participation in two or three pujas is enough, it means that you have better root capacities than Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. It means that you can sit on the throne. Nowadays, people are often very lazy. Think about it. You have spent many years in school, starting at a young age to the time you graduate from college. And you have to study from morning to evening. How will learning Buddhism be easier? If you attend pujas in hope that your health or your children’s grades will improve, you should not come to the pujas. Whether or not you can have good grades doesn’t depend on blessings. Rather, it has to do with whether or not your karma obstructs your study. Those who can not study well are people who have not carefully taught others how to do things.

Instead of using his abilities, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche uses his life and a heart of equality to benefit all sentient beings. Nearly 1,400 people are attending today’s Chod Puja that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will perform. Whether or not this puja will be effective has to do with your attitude. If you doubt Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s achievements, it means that you doubt His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. If you doubt His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, it means that you doubt the entire lineage. If this is so, you actually don’t have to attend the puja. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began performing Chod Pujas, attendees have steadily increased. This demonstrates that the puja indeed can benefit sentient beings. Those sentient beings in the intermediate state or the Ghost Realm understand more clearly that this puja can help them. If it can’t help them, they will definitely harm the practitioner who conducts the puja. They will also prevent many people from coming to the puja.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t ask you to come. You are here because your karmic creditors asked you to come. If you are reverent enough to the Three Jewels and completely accept Buddha Dharma, there will be benefits to attending today’s puja. In this center, everyone here is equal, regardless of status or occupation, whether you are rich or poor. You can see that there are no specific seats for contributors. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t accept offerings from believers who have not taken refuge. To the contrary, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specifically allows them to sit in the front rows so that they can observe how strict Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is. Disciples who have taken refuge sit in the back. As long as you can have a reverent, repentant, and compassionate mind when you attend the pujas, those sentient beings related to you can be helped. If you hope Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will flatter you like other practitioners, you shouldn’t come to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center anymore.

All the worldly phenomena are simply manifestations created by our minds. The Sutra of the Great Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva states that every single thought arising from ordinary humans is karma and vice. This is because everyone of our thoughts is to benefit ourselves and to harm others. You learn Buddhism in order to teach you what kinds of things you should and should not do, and then you should make up your mind to cultivate and practice Buddhism. Do not think that learning Buddhism means that you are constrained and can’t do anything. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued doing business after he started learning Buddhism, and he also traveled frequently. Unless you are ordained, there are different precepts to observe. Otherwise, learning Buddhism will not interfere with your life.

Buddhism emphasizes the law of cause and effect. In fact, there are something that you really shouldn’t have done. Buddhism teaches you the negative effects you will obtain if you do certain things. It is all for your benefit. You don’t learn Buddhism to make your life better, but to pay back your karmic creditors. All you have to endure in this life results from what you had done in past lifetimes. The important thing is not to suffer in your next life. When you are crystal clear about the purpose of learning Buddhism, you will be able to give up and change all the bad habits you learned in past lifetimes. You will become determined to learn Buddhism and be liberated from the cycle of birth and death. Various obstacles you encounter in this life will vanish, too. If you want to understand the meaning of life, the only way is to learn Buddhism. There is no other method.

When performing the Chod Puja, the practitioner has to take off all objects used for protection, and allow all the ghosts from the Ghost Realm to freely eat his body. That’s why this puja is called “Chod,” which is “almsgiving with one’s body” in Chinese. The practitioner has to contribute his or her entire body to make an offering. By meditating, the practitioner visualizes transforming his flesh, bones, blood, and organs into nectar. One purpose of doing this is to feed sentient beings from the Ghost Realm, and the other purpose is to make offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Sentient beings in the Ghost Realm are those who loved eating meat. Through the ability to meditate, the practitioner can change into things these sentient beings liked to eat when they were alive. But, in fact, what they eat is nectar that can purify their nature. Therefore, they will be able to listen to teachings of Buddha Dharma. The practitioner uses this method to inspire them so that they can accept the help of Buddha Dharma. Although the Meng Shan Food Offering is practiced in Exoteric Buddhism, that method only offers sentient beings food without liberating and transferring them. The sentient beings from the Ghost Realm will return next year. In Exoteric Buddhism, this kind of ability is called meditative concentration, whereas in the Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, its name is Mahamudra. There are four stages in cultivating and practicing Mahamudra: One-pointed-ness Yoga, Simplicity Yoga, One-taste Yoga, and Non-meditation Yoga. Each stage can be divided into three levels. Thus, there are twelve levels total. Practitioners who perform Chod Pujas must at least achieve the stage of Simplicity Yoga.

A practitioner who wants to learn the Chod has to practice Exoteric Buddhism for ten to twelve years. Then, he or she has to practice the Four Preliminaries, i.e. 100,000 full prostrations, 100,000 Hundred-Syllable-Mantra, 10,000 mandala offerings, and 10,000 practices of Guru Yoga. A practitioner who practices the Four Preliminaries quickly usually takes about three years to complete them. Thereafter, he or she has to receive empowerments, do a retreat, and conduct a Yidam’s mantra. Usually, such a practitioner practices the Avalokiteshvara first. The guru bestows the means of visualization practice and the mantra of the Yidam. You will need to achieve one million recitations during the retreat. At completion of the retreat and after receiving the guru’s recognition, it will be determined if the Chod can be transmitted.

Generally speaking, there are at two kinds of Chod Dharma texts: one is used for individual’s practice and one is used for helping others practice. A Chod practitioner has to at least achieve the Yoga of Simplicity. A practitioner who has achieved the third stage in the Yoga of Simplicity views everything in the world differently than ordinary people. Everything in the world is like a game, and just like what is stated in the Buddhist scriptures: It is nothing but a dream and illusion, fake and unreal. Such a practitioner will not have attachment to anything in the world, including how other people think of him or her. The practitioner won’t give rise to any thoughts, no matter how other people praise or curse him or her.

In ancient times, there was a monk called Ji Dian. He once visited Tibet and practiced for a long time. He acted different than ordinary people and seemed to be crazy. He, in fact, was a practitioner who had attained the Yoga of Simplicity. Such practitioners have been mentioned in historical documents. A practitioner at this level can sometimes do something on purpose just to stress the intensity of simplicity regarding Buddhism. However, in this Age of Degenerate Dharma, this practice method is not appropriate anymore. If a guru who adopts this method says something crazy or abnormal, he will become a headline in the newspaper. People will then think that this guru is crazy.

The Chod was established by Machik Labdron, a Tibetan Yogini, based on the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra. Prajna refers to wisdom. A Chod practitioner is able to cut off sentient beings’ afflictions with wisdom, just like the symbol of wisdom: a sharp sword held in Bodhisattva Manjuri’s hand. A practitioner has to attain mercy and compassion realized in Emptiness. There are two kinds of mercy and compassion. The mercy and compassion you have are thought out and pretentious, instead of the mercy and compassion realized in Emptiness that displays naturally from the bottom of one’s heart. For example, your attendance at today’s puja on behalf of the sentient beings in the universe is based on a thought. Nonetheless, we still need to learn to generate mercy and compassion. Mercy and compassion realized in Emptiness refers to “Great mercy of the void condition, great compassion of the equal body.” The Buddhas liberate all sentient beings with equal mercy and compassion. Some people might wonder, since the Buddhas are known to be very merciful and compassionate, why so many places that continually have disasters are not liberated by the Buddhas. The reasons lie in the fact that they lack favorable causal conditions. The Buddha once said that those without proper causal conditions cannot be liberated. Lacking causal conditions does not literally mean that these sentient beings don’t have causal conditions. It means that the Buddha cannot help those who do not have faith in Buddhist teachings or the law of cause and effect.

At this time, a believer stretched out his legs. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded this person, and asked him to put his legs down. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that if you constantly shift your legs because of discomfort, your body will not be in an upright position and your mind will lose focus. Other Dharma masters might not scold believers for such a matter, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will definitely scold when he sees that. In the past, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was just a believer, he felt pain in his legs as well. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never moved due to leg pain because he had reverence. He felt that someone was making an effort to explain the Dharma teachings and help everyone, so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche showed his respect. Why do your legs hurt? For one, you are used to sitting in a cross-legged position. Secondly, you eat meat. When you cross your legs, your qi cannot pass when it comes to the joints. Therefore, the nerves inform you through pain instead of numbness. When you neglect it, such a feeling will cease to exist; but it takes time to practice.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has nerves just like you. During the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sat in the full cross-legged position for several hours without moving his legs because of reverence. The fact that you stretch your legs shows that you are not reverent. Of course, it takes some time to get used to it. No one has ever broken his or her legs because of attending a puja. If you are able to tolerate your leg pain today, you will eliminate a lot of evil karma accumulated in your previous lives. Do you hope to repay everything when you are bedridden later on? If you are unable to tolerate this, how can you sympathize with other people’s feelings?

Some people may say that they could not understand what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said or that they had never heard anything like that before. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche propagates orthodox Dharma without asking for fame or gain. That is why you have not heard such teaching in the past. According to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, whether or not the puja is efficacious for you has nothing to do with the practitioner. What matters is the hearts of the attendees. Do not be afraid of being tricked, as you have been tricked many times. This time won’t make much of a difference. Even though you came because you were tricked, you will lose nothing. It is easy to trick People, but ghosts are difficult to trick. If a practitioner cannot liberate these beings, his or her body will certainly have problems. Also, the number of participants will not increase, but will instead decrease. There are comfortable chairs to sit on and water to drink in other Buddhist centers, but you chose to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. This shows that you have karmic connection with this center.

All of these words are not spoken for you, but for the innumerable sentient beings you cannot see. When they are able to listen and take it in, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will find it easier to perform the Chod. As long as you attend the puja with reverence, you are representing the sentient beings that have causal conditions with you. As long as you are in this world, your ancestors need the help of this puja. Apart from liberating other sentient beings, the puja also has to liberate you. Liberation is not only for the deceased. You living beings need to be liberated as well. Your incorrect values, wrong insights, and the sentient beings inside your body need to be liberated. We should attend the puja with reverence and repentance, and hope that the karma of the sentient beings in this universe can be reduced substantially. Many practitioners are constantly propagating Buddhist teachings and holding pujas in hope that the evil karma sentient beings accumulated in their previous lives can be reduced.

If you calm your mind down, you could visualize your parents and elders on your right side, your generation on your left side, sentient beings of the Six Realms behind you, and your karmic creditors in front of you. You should contemplate just once. There was once a person who came to consult Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche a few days after attending a Chod Puja. His right shoulder was very sore after the puja because he had continuously visualized the beings during the entire puja. There are a lot of people in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist center so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can tell you a variety of stories.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the auspicious Chod ritual, and led all participants in reciting the Six-syllable Mani Mantra for a very long time. After successfully conducting the ritual, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened all attendees that Ksitigarbha and Avalokiteshvara had come to receive the sentient beings they wanted to help during today’s Chod ritual. Some of the sentient beings that came today had drowned or died as the result of mountain climbing accidents. Some of the sentient beings’ bodies began to rot before their death, similar to a diabetic that has had ulcerated and fetid wounds. There was a female sentient being that had serious resentment before she died. After she died, her soul stayed at her home, causing trouble and affecting her family members. Some of the sentient beings came up from the Hell Realm, which means that some of you have ancestors who raised animals, but who were not kind to them. Therefore, your ancestors obtained such karmic retributions. Thus, when we are alive, we should train our mind to reduce hatred and attachment. Otherwise, after we die, we still will not be able to attain liberation because of such a hateful mind.

You should not watch soap operas about a husband’s “mistress,” “affairs,” and “other woman,” nor should you imagine yourself as the main character in a soap opera, and curse your husband while watching and pinching him. This strengthens your hateful mind. Those who shout at or blame the heavens are those who do not believe in the law of cause and effect. If you have a bad marriage, you should blame yourself for your bad deeds. If you want a future life in which you no longer create new evil karma, you have no other ways to help you other than Buddhism. Since the arrival of television, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never watched soap operas because he feels that they are not real. It is fine if you watch them just for fun, but you should never take them seriously.

Not only will women give rise to a hateful mind, but men will also. The most important thing for a man is to take responsibility. A man should promise things he can deliver, and he should not speak nonsense about things he cannot fulfill. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche jokingly said that a woman remembers every word a man has told her until he dies. At the time of your death, if she remembers anything you have not done and speaks about them beside your remains, it will lead you to bad places. For example, there was a male ghost who came today whose relatives, at the time of his death, spoke by his side about the evil things he had done.

There are many people who claim they have a supernatural ability. They will tell a person that they see a bunch of ghosts following him or her. However, they cannot help the person resolve the situation, and just say something that makes the person fear. An accomplished practitioner who can really see ghosts will not easily tell people about this. They will not tell others even if they have seen something; they do not want to make others worry. In fact, we all have a group of ghosts following us. Who can be excluded from this? How do you know that those who follow you are not there to protect you? True practitioners will not be afraid of ghosts behind them, because they believe in the law of cause and effect. If these sentient beings do not hold any grudge or hatred against you, they will not harm you, but will wait for you to accomplish your Buddhist practices and attain achievements with you together. Buddhism teaches the law of cause and effect. What you have obtained now is the karmic result of what you had done in the past. What you do now will affect where you will go after you pass away. Everything is caused by your actions. When you realize that there are a lot of ghosts following you, you should have a repentant mind, recognize the evil deeds you did in the past and correct your behaviors from now on. For example, during the ritual, there was a sentient being that limped in. He was lame when he was alive; this had been caused by his killing karma. There also was a snake wrapped around his body. This indicated that he had killed the snake when he had been alive.

It is common for people to “resolve” when they have this kind of situation, and they are charged various fees. Actually, conducting some ritual cannot resolve it. To truly resolve, you need to depend on yourself. Repenting, correcting mistakes, doing good deeds, and learning Buddhism lets your karmic creditors obtain benefits. Thus, the hatred between you and your karmic creditors can be resolved.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specially explained three sentences in the Dharma text of the Chod. One sentence is, “all over the lower three worlds above the skin.”  “Above” means the “skin” of all the planets in the universe. All beings beneath the shell of the earth are also included. Through visualization, practitioners pile their own bone, blood, meat, and viscera as high as the mountains, and they let all guests, namely beings, enjoy those at will because all beings in the Six Realms still desire to eat meat. If practitioners want to transfer those beings’ consciousness, they must first satisfy the beings’ desires and then tell them, “Listen to me!” If you visualize vegetables piled as high as mountains, they may turn around and run away when they see it.

This does not mean that you should give an offering of meat because the visualization involves bones, blood, meat, or viscera. Don’t think that you can eat meat. In fact, the reason why you visualize meat is that beings that fall into the Three Evil Realms eat meat before they die, so by visualizing meat you let them eat food they used to have. After beings eat this meat, they realize that it is nectar. The nectar is not Red Bindu or White Bindu as people on the outside say. Beings’ anger and affliction is like a fierce fire. Therefore, it takes the nectar analogy to extinguish the fierce fire and to eliminate their affliction. If Dharma practitioners have not cut off their own afflictions and attachments yet, beings in the Ghost Realm will not eat the nectar but the unclean water. In other words, if Dharma practitioners are not able to cut off their own afflictions, how can they help other beings?

“Wishing that my merit today could be given as an offering up to the Three virtuous Realms, as well as down to all beings in the Avici Hell.” “Avici Hell” refers to the unremitting hell of five actions. Those sentences from the Dharma text belong to Esoteric Dharma and should not have been spoken; however, they are given in order for you to know the compassion of Buddha Dharma, as well as how Buddhas and Bodhisattvas plead. In Vajrayana, the capacity of the heart is so great. Esoteric Buddhism is absolutely not performing magic or pleading for your own happiness or blessings, as you think. Instead, it is to infinitely expand the capacity of your heart. It is hard for us ordinary people to imagine that there are so many beings in the universe. You may ask if it can it be achieved by just visualization? Of course. Whether or not you like a person is based on the thought you have. Whether or not you like to eat something is also based on the thought you generate. You should not go home and imitate the visualization Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned during the Chod Puja today. Absolutely not! If you vixualize without the training of Tantra, you will definitely have some health problems.

As to practicing meditation, it is not closing your eyes, seeing nothing, and sitting still like some people think. Why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still not teach you meditation? You have too many thoughts. Many people think that your eyes must be closed in order to meditate. However, if you open your eyes, you will see again. Do you think that you can avoid distraction by closing your eyes and not seeing things? Even if your eyes cannot see, your heart can. Meditation in the Mahamudra is not closing your eyes. The biggest problem for your Buddhist practice now is your sense of feelings. It is impossible for you to have your eyes blinded or ears cut off! Since the sense of the six roots cannot be removed, you need the guru’s teaching to truly utilize your six roots as practice tools. At that time, a male disciple’s phone rang, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed him to leave the Buddhist center right away.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that after attending today’s puja, you may choose to learn Buddhism in other Buddhist centers. You do not necessarily need to come to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. However, whether you learn Buddhism now or in the future, or if you temporarily cannot learn Buddhism because you have family problems, you must practice the Ten Meritorious Acts. The Meritorious Man and Meritorious Woman depicted in the Buddhist Sutras refer to people who practice the Ten Meritorious Acts. The first item in the Ten Meritorious Acts is to refrain from killing; that is, to be a vegetarian. You women like to be beautiful. Although make-up has some results, your face will collapse after age sixty, but becoming a vegetarian will make you beautiful. If a man becomes a vegetarian, women will like him more. This is because a man who eats meat stinks, and women, of course, do not like that. The term “stinky man” is from ancient times when men had more opportunities to eat meat. When they ate meat, they became stinky. If they ate vegetarian food, they did not stink.

The second item in the Ten Meritorious Acts is to refrain from stealing. Simply speaking, do not take things that are not yours. This includes pirated items and knockoffs. Some people like to buy fake designer bags. Practically speaking, you should not buy these if you have no ability. Now in Europe, if you have fake bags, you will be arrested by customs. Why is buying knockoffs considered a crime? The reason is that if you do not buy them, no one will manufacture them. Refrain from saying harsh words, and refrain from divisive speech, which means do not be a mischief-maker. Refrain from luring others with words, and refrain from telling lies. If you have not practiced to some level, do not casually say that you have attained.

The Amitabha Sutra depicts that we live in the Evil World of Five Turbidities now. There is the so-called Turbidity View, which states that the modern views are all the wrong. In fact, if people can be taken advantage of, much trouble can be reduced. For example, recently some people were on the news because a vendor didn’t give them the amount of red tea they had purchased. Such a thing was reported. It is exaggerated by the media. Maybe the vendor gave them less because he was not paying attention, or maybe there were some other reasons. If you are not satisfied, do not buy from this vendor next time. Also, if you encounter such a thing, it is your retribution. It symbolizes that you have treated others like this before. Modern people are always unwilling to be taken advantage of; that’s why some people steal from convenience stores. There are so many problem kids nowadays, and so many social issues are developed. It is all because family education has failed. If they were taught well in the family, these things would not happen. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recalled that in the past, people haggled less.

If you had not practiced in past lives, you would not have had the opportunity to listen to Buddha Dharma in this life, but because your practice in past lives was not strong, you should grasp the opportunity in this life to determine to learn Buddha Dharma and to be liberated from life and death. Today, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche dedicated his whole life to help you, and also appealed to everyone not to eat meat anymore. Those in attendance thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in unison.

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Updated on October 20, 2011