Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

October 2, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the weekly regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei. Following the teaching of the last puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to give enlightenment of “Worldly Truth” and “Ultimate Truth” by Master Gampopa. After the puja, from 4:35 p.m. to 5:10 p.m., Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche proceeded to meet disciples. He helped 14 believers solve all kinds of worldly suffering, giving enlightenment of Buddha Dharma and helping them to relieve all kinds of suffering in the world.

Before the puja, a female disciple, along with her elder sister, sister-in-law, niece, and nephew, shared how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped her mother pass through the last stage of cancer, and bestowed the extraordinary Phowa. She also shared the story of how she took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

In 2005, this female disciple found several lumps in her chest. She was very nervous, and she went with her sister to beg the gods and ask diviners everywhere. Her husband’s business had engaged in killing karma for several generations. When they took over the factory, she was exhausted by family and work trouble. She had several sleepless nights, and cried without rhyme or reason. Later, her sister-in-law found out about her situation, and asked her to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately asked her, “What has happened to you”? She cried and replied, “I have lumps in my chest.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gently laid his hand on her palm for a second, and then told her, “There are three lumps in your chest” She made repentance to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because she had undergone several abortions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately asked her to attend the Chod Puja and bestowed blessings on her. This was the first time she saw Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and seeing him caused her suffering mind to gradually calm down.

Her husband only reluctantly allowed her to attend the Chod Puja. Afterward, her mother’s cancer spread to the lymph nodes, and she again asked her husband’s permission to attend the puja on Sunday and to take refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had enlightened that if you are genuinely filial, you should learn Buddhism. Therefore, her husband reluctantly agreed.

In April of last year (2010), her mother was diagnosed with liver cancer. Since her mother decided to have surgery, they besought His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche agreed to make the surgery go safely and smoothly. The surgery went safely and smoothly, and the wound recovered very quickly. Later on, her mother personally thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who then asked her, “Are you a vegetarian?” Her mother answered, “I eat very little meat.” His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her mother, “Eating very little meat is still eating meat. Isn’t having your stomach operated upon like the way fish are killed? The cancer cells in your body are the manifestations of karmic retribution from many lifetimes, which all have to be repaid. Selfishly, you only think of yourself. Weren’t those sentient beings more miserable when they were hurt?” But her mother did not really listen to the words of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Then, just six months later, her mother’s cancer spread to her lymph nodes, and she again besought an audience with His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She asked to join the puja, and the compassionate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche agreed. He also let her brother make prostrations on behalf of her mother, to make repentance to sentient beings.

Later, her mother participated in several pujas and one Chod Puja. During this period, her mother was still taking a target therapy drug and undergoing electrotherapy. She also had undergone an embolization and surgery to remove various parts of the tumor. Again and again, she sustained harm to her body and harmed sentient beings. Therefore, her mother broke the conditions to continue attending the puja which she could accumulate virtues to repay debts to sentient beings. Although the cancer spread very quickly, her mother did not experience pain like other terminal cancer patients. She still had strength to plant vegetables and go to the hospital for electrotherapy.  Except for becoming a vegetarian, her mother did not listen to any enlightenment from His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She also did not believe in cause and effect, did not repent, and had deep hatred in her heart toward her father. Along with physical pain, her mother certainly would fall into the lower three realms after death. Fortunately, there were blessings from His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. This female disciple was very grateful to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

This female disciple also reported that her mother didn’t die from cancer. She had been spraying pesticides over the melons she grew under an awning. As a result, she not only harmed sentient beings, but also poisoned herself. She was hospitalized for one week because she was poisoned by the pesticides. When she was discharged, her doctor specifically told her that there was residue of toxins in her body. If anything happened, she should immediately go to the hospital. She became very weak after returning home. Walking up to the second floor became very hard for her. She had difficulty breathing and her body started to ache. All her children could do was implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to make the best arrangements.

Her mother’s condition deteriorated day after day. She didn’t have the strength to get out of bed. Breathing became a difficult task for her. On August 8, the doctor suggested that they insert breathing tubes. Since her mother was still conscious, they asked her if she wanted breathing tubes inserted. Her mother nodded yes; however, this decision added to her pain. After the treatment, she couldn’t open her mouth to talk anymore. She thought that her mother must have deeply regretted making such a wrong decision. Her mother’s face had a panicked expression. She tried to remove the tubes several times, so her hands were tied up. When the disciple saw this, she felt very sad and pained. The disciple felt so blessed that she had taken refuge. With the teachings and blessings of compassionate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she comforted her mother, and attempted to visualize Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowing blessings on her mother and relieving her pain. Once again, the disciple implored His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to make the best arrangements for her mother.

The disciple sincerely thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for compassionately bestowing blessings on her mother so that she did not suffer much. On August 12, at 6:03 a.m., her mother peacefully passed away in the intensive unit care. From the time she was hospitalized to when she was sent to the intensive unit care, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s book Happiness and Suffering was with her at all times. The disciple deeply believes that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always took care of her mother. When her mother died, her face was peaceful, her cheeks were rosy, and her mouth was slightly open. They put nectar pills into her mouth and whispered in her ears to not be afraid, as His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas would definitely help her, and they told her to listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

The disciple’s elder brother touched the crown of his mother’s head, and it felt warm though her limbs felt cold. Knowing this, the disciple felt peaceful and glad. Under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate blessing and arrangement, they recited the Six-syllable Mantra for eight hours following her mother’s departure. After completing the recitation, they sent their mother’s body to the mortuary. There, the undertaker let them see their mother for the last time. They discovered that her mouth, which originally had been open, was closed with a smile, and it looked very peaceful. The disciple was immensely grateful for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate blessing. Due to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s care, her mother did not have much pain! Also due to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing, they did not feel grieved but very peaceful and at ease!

On August 12, her mother passed away, and on August 14, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness with more than 20,000 participants. She quickly wrote her mother’s name on the list to be transferred. Dharma brothers who knew her mother were happy, because she could be liberated only two days after death in the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness. This is really auspicious.

Thanks to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing of mercy and compassion, her mother’s funeral proceeded smoothly. Here, the disciple expressed thanks to the Glorious Jewel Company, Ltd. for helping them prepare the book Happiness and Suffering and Japanese food as presents to give to the guests. There also was a pair of flower baskets with Japanese food that decorated the place. She also thanked the Dharma brothers who attended the funeral from far away so that her relatives and friends could have the opportunity to know about the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. She hopes that through the book Happiness and Suffering people can find the correct answer when they are confused. She furthermore prays that they can have the causal conditions to obtain His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help.

After her mother was cremated, her skull looked intact, and colors of pinkish orange, light purple, and creamy yellow could be seen in her remains. The colors were astonishingly beautiful. There also was a small round opening in her crown chakra. On September 11, before the regular puja, a Dharma brother gave her photos of her mother’s skull, and told her that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had liberated her mother with the auspicious Phowa. Upon hearing the news, tears immediately welled up and flowed from the disciple’s eyes. Her emotions were beyond description. She could only thank His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his compassionate blessing and care, for performing the auspicious and rare Phowa on behalf of her mother.

She was very ashamed, for she continued to have greed, hatred, and ignorance. She neither acted in accordance with the teachings nor made any great offerings. How could she dare to implore for the auspicious Phowa? However, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never gave up on foolish people. She verbalized her repentance toward the guru, the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, and the Buddha-mother Achi. She used to think that other people did not treat her well, and that they wronged or harmed her. However, when her mother fell ill and later passed away, she realized that she had looked for the suffering herself. She had invited her own consequences, and had only criticized others instead of reflecting on her self. When she was young, she often told lies and took others’ possessions. She did not care about herself and even ran away from home. Her mother fell down the stairs and broke her legs when she rushed to pick up a phone call she thought was from her daughter who had run away. She had done a lot of things that made her parents worry. She had complained about the unfair way her father-in-law treated her. For a very long time, she did not say anything to her in-laws. During that period of time, her mind was filled with hatred.

After she sought refuge, she gradually realized that she did not have any filial piety toward her mother-in-law. Her maternal grandfather and her husband’s family had committed heavy killing karma through catching fish, purchasing seafood, and running a food factory, not to mention the beings she had harmed. She repented for failing to correct her own mistakes after committing so much evil karma because she had not controlled her own heart, nor had she corrected her own behavior properly. She expressed repentance for the evil karma she created. From now on, she will exert effort to change herself, remind herself to learn Buddhist teachings with gratitude, repentance, and tremendous faith, and employ Buddhist teachings in her life. Furthermore, she will follow the instruction, firmly remembering the teachings of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche all the time.

Then, this female disciple’s older sister-in-law shared her story with everyone. Her mother-in-law did not experience a lot of pain between when she was diagnosed with terminal cancer and when she passed away. Because her mother-in-law had not believed in the law of cause and effect, she continuously harmed sentient beings in order to save her own life. Though she had attended pujas, she took advantage of the guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas. However, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still compassionately conducted the auspicious Phowa for her. The disciple’s sister-in-law is very grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who is a rare and great Bodhisattva and a practitioner with true cultivation and enlightenment. Taking refuge under His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is the most correct decision she has made in this life.

She took refuge eight years ago. Before she took refuge, her eldest son received the auspicious Phowa conducted by His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Her youngest son, who had developed a rare disease that required medication his whole life, was alive because he always received His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help as well. After meeting His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he did not need medication any more and rarely had asthma attacks. If not for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, her youngest son would not have been able to live a normal life like ordinary people. If not for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she definitely would not be who she is today.

The female disciple is so grateful but also ashamed. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped her and her family so much, but she had not made many offerings. Furthermore, she did not act in accordance with the teachings, and did not keep the Five Precepts, the Ten Meritorious Acts, or the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. She repented for capturing insects on a mountain and catching fish from the sea when she was young in the countryside. She intentionally or unintentionally harmed countless beings. She cannot even remember how many times she had an abortion. Her killing karma is so heavy. Years ago, she borrowed checks from a neighbor for the convenience of cash flow. She even exchanged checks. Finally, people were gone and evil seeds were planted. She deeply repented for doing such evil deeds even after taking refuge.

She often failed to keep her promises to others. Everything she did planted bad effects, even evil causes that could cause her to go to hell, and she felt that her evil karma was so profound. If His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not given her compassionate blessings, as well as the opportunity to stay in the Buddhist Center, listen to Buddha Dharma, and accumulate virtues, she definitely would be very pitiful now. She repented and vowed not to make those mistakes again. She vowed to correct all bad habits that lead to Samsara and to arouse Bodhicitta to benefit all sentient beings. She implored His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help her be liberated from the Three Worlds and be reborn in the Pure Land. She also made offerings to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with her body, speech, and mind, and prayed that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma body will be healthy and his lifespan long, that his activities will be widespread, and that the lineage flag of Drikung Kagyu will fly over the Five Continents.

Lastly, she thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, gurus of each generation, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, Dharma Protector Achi, as well as all beings she had harmed. She wishes that all beings will have the opportunity to listen to Buddha Dharma, be liberated from life and death, and be reborn in the Pure Land.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended the Dharma throne and continued to explain Worldly Truth and Ultimate Truth. Dharma talks about the truth in the universe. The Buddhism that Buddha Sakyamuni taught has 84,000 Dharma methods. Each method is according to sentient beings’ causal conditions and for solving sentient beings’ various problems. Therefore, they are true Dharma methods that can help sentient beings be liberated from Samsara. The scope of the 84,000 Dharma methods includes Worldly Truth and Ultimate Truth. “Worldly” does not refer to vulgar matters; it refers to all phenomena that happen to sentient beings in the Samsara of the Six Realms. Only Buddhism divides Worldly Truth and Ultimate Truth; other religions don’t. This is the difference between Buddhism and other religions.

The Buddha tells us that all sentient beings are equal and possess Buddhahood. They can attain Buddhahood through sequential Buddhist cultivation. Buddhism is divided into Esoteric Buddhism and Exoteric Buddhism. Exoteric Buddhism is the theory of the Buddha’s teaching. It is the foundation of everything. When you are able to understand the profound theory and basics of Buddhism, you will build on this solid foundation and make progress in cultivating Buddha Dharma. Therefore, you often hear, “dealing with matters in perfection and harmony,” which emphasizes that one should first understand basic Buddhist theory, and then the foundation will be stable. Buddha Dharma is like a knife that is very powerful, but you have to be careful because others may be hurt when you say the wrong words. Why are so many people unable to make progress in their Buddhist practice? It is because they did not learn the theory of Exoteric Buddhism well and their foundation was not stable. You may say that the scope of Buddhism is vast and the content of Buddhism is too profound. Actually if you get hold of the key point, it is not too profound at all. You may say that Buddhism is difficult to cultivate, but if you cultivate sequentially, it is not difficult at all.

Some people are impatient when they learn Buddhism, and they expect to learn many Dharma methods in a short amount of time. Some disciples ask the guru to transmit Dharma to them immediately after taking refuge. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not transmit Dharma to them because the have a greedy attitude. Don’t think that you can learn any Dharma as long as you ask the guru. There are 84,000 Dharma methods. How do you know which one is suitable for you? How do you know when you should start to learn it? The guru has the experience of cultivation, and he knows when and what to transmit to the disciples. You should follow the guru’s teaching, step by step, and when you have sufficient conditions and virtues, naturally, the guru will transmit the Dharma. When you lack causal conditions, it is useless to beseech the guru for it.

Tantra is divided into Kriya, Charya, Yoga, and Anuttara Yoga. In the beginning, when His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang transmitted Yoga and Anuttara to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness did not mention what kind of Dharma he would transmit to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche next. It depended on whether Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could attain the achievement of the previous teachings, and then His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang would decide on what to transmit later on. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche believes that it does not matter what kind of Dharma it is; as long as His Holiness transmits the Dharma to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, it will be the best for him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche tried his best to cultivate without expecting any achievement. In this way, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to attain great achievements. However, until recent years, as long as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche implored His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to transmit certain Dharmas to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness would definitely transmit them. This is because His Holiness knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche needed various Dharma methods for the sake of benefiting sentient beings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not cultivate these Dharmas for his own benefit. As a Buddhist beginner, what do you need to learn first? Learn to be obedient.

In Exoteric Buddhism, it is stated that our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and consciousness are six thieves. Everyday, our six roots receive information from the outside world. Our minds are stirred due to the function of the six roots. When our minds are stirred, we create karma that influences us life after life. The six roots affect all humans. Even when humans die, they are still being affected. You even claim that the six roots do not affect you because of your Buddhist cultivation. However, in the daytime, you may rely on your consciousness to suppress the six roots, and when you fall asleep, although your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body are not functioning, your consciousness is still active and continues to affect your mind. In Exoteric Buddhism, these six roots are called the six thieves. However, from the perspective of Vajrayana Buddhism, it is completely different. Since we humans cannot get rid of the six roots, in Vajrayana cultivation, we take advantage of the six roots as tools for cultivation. We utilize various responses of the six roots to correct behaviors that will cause us to fall into Samsara, and we enable our minds to be in control of all the reactions of our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and consciousness. With this kind of cultivation, our pure nature will gradually be uncovered. Only in Buddhism there exists this cultivation method. People in other religions also practice meditation, but if they fail to reveal the pure nature from within, even if they have attained meditative tranquility, they still cannot achieve enlightenment.

Many people think that they have to close or half-close their eyes in order to practice meditation, so that their eyes will lose their function, and they can enter the meditative state sooner. However, human eyes cannot stand to be half-closed for long periods of time. As a matter of fact, the cultivation method for meditation in Tibetan Buddhism is to open your eyes. If you close your eyes, you will not only fall asleep quickly, but also give rise to illusion easily. Even if you close your eyes, you are still affected by the light; if you plug your ears, you still feel the sound vibrations; or if you plug your nose, you still taste in your mouth. Even a vacuum is actually not without matter; materials and atoms still exist there. “Emptiness” in Buddhism does not refer to nothing-ness. It means that everything arises and vanishes accordingly. “Meditative state” does not mean to empty everything. Some people say that when one has no thoughts, he enters a meditative state, and will thereby achieve enlightenment. You can see a table that is left in a place for a long time without any thought of its own. Can you say that it enters a meditative state? Can it attain enlightenment? Therefore, this kind of cultivation method is wrong.

At this point, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned that recently a new disciple sent an email to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. This disciple stated that not long ago, he followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to Drikung Thil Monastery in Tibet. After completion of the Protector Achi Dharma ritual, he sat down to meditate in the main hall. Once he closed his eyes, he saw many “things.” This is problem for all of you. You think that you will have some sort of telepathy when you visit a holy place; you are wrong! Learning Buddhism is not learning telepathy. If you are interested in learning telepathy, it is much easier to learn from other religions, not Buddhism. If your mind is not the same as the Bodhisattvas, how can you see the Bodhisattvas? You don’t believe that you have heavy karmic obstacles that prevent you from seeing Bodhisattvas. What you saw was a demon! Furthermore, this kind of meditation is wrong. When you close your eyes for a long time, you are prone to illusions, and then you might think that you see something.

From the moment we enter into our mother’s womb, we are influenced by her body, speech, and mind, and begin to create karma. You cannot remember all the things you encountered after birth. Humans rely on the eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind to receive much information. Although you may forget this information, it exists in your Eighth Consciousness. When you fall asleep, your eye, ear, nose, tongue and body will not produce an effect, only the consciousness will still be in effect. You say that you dream about things that you have not experienced. In fact, you just do not remember. The information you have received and the effects of the consciousness caused your dreams. Maybe it was your previous life or this life’s consciousness, but 99% of those were false. The Maharatnakuta Sutra mentions that some dreams may manifest the meaning of your cultivation, but that was meant for practitioners who have achieved the level of Bodhisattva. In addition, the dreams will be related to the attainment level of one’s cultivation from the previous life. One finds his or her cultivation direction for this life through dreams because cultivation in the previous life was not effective. You have not attained the level of Bodhisattva, so it is impossible to have these kinds of dreams. Therefore, these have completely nothing to do with you.

Do not tell Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about your dreams. You will not dream of anything meaningful unless you have cultivated to the level of a Bodhisattva. Some people have dreamed of their deceased relatives wearing very pretty clothes, and then assumed that their relatives had gone to a good place. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave enlightenment that if the deceased had gone to the Heaven Realm, they would be wearing Heaven Clothes. Also for every level of the Heaven Realm, the Heaven Clothes are different. In the highest level of heaven, the clothes are transparent. If you saw your relatives wearing beautiful clothes, it means that they are still in the Human Realm, and still have not been liberated yet.

You have heard of Dream Yoga in Tantra. Do not think that you can practice this by yourself, because it requires meditative practice even in your sleep to cultivate Dream Yoga. For a real tantric practitioner, no matter if he is awake or asleep, every second and every minute, he is in meditation. One needs to sleep because the human body still needs to rest. A real tantric practitioner sleeps in order to maintain his or her human body to benefit sentient beings, but in fact his or her consciousness is still clear and awake. This is unlike you, who fall into a snoring sleep, completely unconscious, because you do not have enough meditation skills. Dream Yoga is when the practitioner clearly knows his or her own thoughts in the dream, unlike you who recall dreams after you wake up, and then feel as if it had occurred. If dreams are very clear after you wake up, it means that they had to do with your desires. There are people who say that they went to places they had never been before in their dreams. In fact, you had these dreams because you unconsciously absorbed much information and stimulation during the day (for example, watching TV, computers, etc…).

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang confirmed that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche achieved the state of Dream Yoga. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche naturally cultivated to the state of Dream Yoga; therefore, he has no way to tell you how to cultivate. When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon first instructed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform a retreat, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche automatically woke up and got up to make repentance when he had thoughts of greed, hatred, or ignorance in his dreams at night. He is not like you who wait until the next day, wake up, and carefully think about the previous night’s dreams, before you make repentance.

Many people cannot sleep well because they constantly absorb information the whole day, and continually stimulate their brains. Therefore, their brain cannot settle down at bedtime. From the Buddhist perspective, the consciousness is constantly affected by outside influences. From the medical perspective, it means that the brains are stimulated too much. Nowadays, there are a lot of hyperactive children. Why is this? Other than karma carried from previous lives, our brains, since birth and childhood, are continually stimulated by the outside world. Children nowadays have too much contact with media, television, video games, and computers.

As soon as they are born in the hospital, children are surrounded by electronic equipment and electromagnetic waves, and these are constantly affecting children. When you complain that children are too noisy, you let them watch cartoons. Therefore, children’s brains are constantly being stimulated. How can children calm down? How can they concentrate? It is not good for children if their brains cannot rest, and you all have done the same. Children are not only like that; your brains are constantly being stimulated too. Recently, everyone is fond of social networking, and they spend a lot of time on these websites—every day, at least half an hour online, talking about meaningless things. If you have this time, why not use it for reflecting on the body, speech, and mind, and your behaviors for the day? Why not think about if you have done anything wrong?

Master Gampopa enlightened, “‘Worldly Truth’ refers to karma as the cause, and karmic retribution as the effect. Therefore, it is indeed extremely important that you deeply believe in karma, and cause and effect.”

Before you realize the nature of Emptiness, you are still in the state of Worldly Truth. You must believe in karma and cause and effect, and know that everything that happens right now is something we did in the past. There will be karmic retribution in the future for the causes we make now. Buddhism is about the past, present, and future. You should know that you did everything yourselves, and you all are subject to the functions of karma, and cause and effect. Consequently, you will face your life positively, and arouse the repentant and regretful mind. But repentance does not mean that no bad things will happen. It just gives you the chance to start from the beginning again. “Repent” means to admit, to accept the wrongs you have committed in the past, and “regret” means to never commit these wrongs again. After you make repentance, not everything will change for the better. Bad things will happen, and karmic retribution will occur, but it might be reduced or you might not feel that it happened. This is called “lessening the effect of heavy karmic retribution.” Before the energy of the karma vanishes, its effect will continuously exist. For example, even if seeds are not good, the plants will grow better if you give them fertilizer and take good care of them.

Recently, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led the disciples to Tibet. When one female disciple discovered that everyone was planning to greet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at the airport, she had evil thoughts and wondered why there should be such a big scene. As a result, when she arrived in Lhasa, she had the most severe altitude sickness of all the group members, and suffered a lot. This shows that the disciple did not respect the guru and that she took refuge merely to take advantage of the guru. Therefore, she had this kind of evil thought. Additionally, she will have obstacles in her future cultivation. This female disciple who had the evil thoughts is neither young nor famous. If she were very famous, maybe when others saw her, they would think that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a famous person’s guru.

In fact, there are famous singers among Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not specifically mentioned them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t like to make a big scene or let the disciples greet him. Yet, he wanted to create another opportunity for the disciples to make offerings to the guru and accumulate virtues. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche really wants to be famous, he only needs to find the media in Taipei and make a report. Is a big scene at the airport necessary? Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows that you will not be able to attain a high level of achievement, the guru uses many different expedient and skillful Dharma methods to teach you and to create causal conditions for you to accumulate virtues.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only feels grateful toward his guru, and doesn’t have even a slightly negative thought toward the conduct of his guru. Howecer, because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t have sufficient virtues, so he has many less desirable disciples. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, however, has great virtues, so it is enough to have an accomplished disciple like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Why did this female disciple arouse such an evil thought? If she had always been reverent to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she wouldn’t have had that kind of thought. Instead, her every single thought would be full of gratitude to the guru. Therefore, this proves that the disciple simply used the guru for protection and blessings, without truly respecting the guru and Buddha Dharma. Moreover, this shows that the disciple has not always made offerings.

If you don’t continuously train and cultivate your reverent mind toward the guru, you will judge the guru’s words and actions based on your own ego. When they are different from your expectations, evil thoughts will soon arise. All of you have minds like this. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under Three Kindnesses Root Guru His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the only thought in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mind toward His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has been reverence. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has no other thought because deep in his mind, he knows that without the guru’s teachings, he would not be who he is today. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not have attained the ability to benefit sentient beings, and many people would not have been helped by Buddha Dharma. We shall not criticize or judge any conduct of the guru, because we don’t have the ability to understand the guru’s actions. No matter what the guru does, as long as he teaches us Buddha Dharma, we owe him a debt of gratitude. The Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and gurus don’t need your reverence. Rather, if you do not develop sufficient reverence, repentance, and faith, you will not be able to receive the guru’s blessings.

When you took refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught that if you violate some of the precepts, you will not receive the guru’s blessing. If you do not respect the guru, the blessing bestowed by the guru will be cut off. It only takes one thought to cut off the blessings. That’s why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always instructs you to cultivate the habit of exactly following the teachings of the guru and Buddha Dharma. Otherwise, the moment before you die, you will fall into the Evil Paths because of a single evil thought. This is not the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ punishment, but the result of your own conduct. Do not think that it is you who have been cultivating and practicing Buddhism. Without the guru’s blessings, it’s impossible for you to attain any achievement, regardless of how many sutras you have read, mantras you have recited, and prostrations you have made. If you harbor evil feelings toward the guru who teaches you Buddha Dharma, naturally, you will most definitely commit evil deeds toward others. As a result, you will not be reborn in the Pure Land.

The practice of Buddha Dharma is to cultivate meditative concentration, which can be used when you are dying. As long as we can breathe, we will have thoughts. The sutras describe how you can be reborn in the Pure Land if you recite the Buddha’s name one to ten times when you are dying. But “recite” doesn’t mean to say it with your mouth. When you are dying, how will you have strength to recite, unless you are an achieved practitioner who is able to sit down and meditate while you are passing? That is a different story. Usually you still need someone next to you to recite the Buddha’s name with you so that your mind can remain strong. “Recitation,” here, means “thought.” When your first to tenth thought are all of the Buddha’s name, you will definitely be reborn in the Pure Land. However, the length of one thought can be long or short. It is not fixed. Some thoughts can be so short that they vanish in a flash. Within an instant, one can have many thoughts. They can be too short to be felt.

Buddha Dharma teaches you how to solve your problems, and it helps your mind to not be disturbed before death. But is it easy to remain undisturbed? If a person who is dying suddenly thinks of his or her grandson or a matter he or she can’t let go of, he or she will be dragged by these thoughts. The Buddha is very compassionate, and knows that sentient beings can’t live without any attachment, so the Buddha teaches you to be attached to a Buddha’s name or mantra. Then, there is a chance you will be guided by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas upon your death. To cultivate Buddhism is to learn how to take control of your consciousness. All we learn about Buddha Dharma is for the last few seconds of our lives. Practitioners of Vajrayana who have achieved higher than Charyayoga Tantra see every sentient being as a Yidam and hear every sound as a Buddha’s name. When these practitioners are dying, their last thought is a Buddha’s name. Then, how can there be any evil deeds? Naturally, they can be reborn in the Pure Land. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are very merciful, and they understand that we human beings have strong attachments. Therefore, they utilize such attachments to desires and transform them to an attachment to a Buddha’s name or a mantra. This practice at least will be helpful. If our attachment is to affection or money, it will not be beneficial!

Since you can’t carry out such a practice, you must learn to exactly follow your guru’s words. Why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche keep teaching you to follow his words and teaching and not to have too many of your own ideas? It is to cultivate this habit so that when you are dying, you can do what your guru instructs, and then your guru will be able to help you. Otherwise, if you have too many of your own ideas, it will be very difficult for your guru to help you. For the same reason, you should learn to rely on your guru and be reverent to your guru. The reason Tibetan Buddhism stresses the importance of one’s guru and seeing one’s guru as a Buddha is that with such reverence, your guru will appear to guide you on behalf of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas when you are dying, or your guru can appear to teach you. Without such a habit of following your guru’s words, you will call for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche one, two, or three times when you are dying, but will not see him come. At that moment, you will wonder why the guru isn’t coming. It will be disastrous if you arouse the evil thought that the guru is not helpful after all. If you see your guru as a Buddha, your guru will come and guide you on behalf of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas when you are dying. If you see your guru as an ordinary person, your guru will appear as a person who reprimands you after you die.

At the beginning, after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang did not actually transmit any Dharma but taught Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche the Dharma method of “following the guru’s words.” This is actually the most difficult to practice. It is very difficult to “follow the guru’s words” without your own opinions. Not until the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang conducted the Grand Ceremony of Ascending the Throne, the Dharma robe and hat were bestowed on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang publicly recognized him, did the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang begin to continuously transmit many Tantras to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche simply follows the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s teachings without expecting to attain any level of achievement, benefit many sentient beings, or learn many Dharmas. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche completely accepts karma and causes and effects.

Master Gampopa taught, “As we can see, in Worldly Truth, before we are able to completely change our arbitrarily differentiating mind of self and others, we must know that virtues and evils are real. Therefore, we should especially emphasize the correct choice of avoiding evil deeds and choosing virtuous deeds. If, in the present life, we accumulate virtuous karma, we will have the joy of receiving virtuous effects in later lifetimes. If we commit vicious deeds now, we will have evil effects that come to maturation in later lifetimes, and we will slide into an abyss of suffering.” Our cultivation of compassion is pretentious as long as we are still in the scope of Worldly Truths. We think that our cultivation and practice are for benefiting sentient beings, but our minds continue to differentiate between the four appearances of sentient beings. Before we realize Emptiness, we should see that all virtues and evils are true and are subjected to the functions of karma, causes, and effects. In this way, we will be able to tell virtuous causes from evil ones, and we will be able to stop committing evil deeds and start carrying out virtuous deeds. Consequently, we will attain virtuous effects in the future.

Everyone has a strong notion of self. In our daily life, we always believe that we are right, and the rest of the world is wrong, or we blame others for our poor performance. We might also believe that we are not wrong, but rather not well-informed. These are thoughts from our differentiating minds of self and other. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructs you to recite The Thirty-seven Practices of Bodhisattvas to teach you ways of carrying out your daily conduct according to the principles of being a Buddhist. Through this, you can gradually eliminate your differentiating mind of self and other.

The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas is the standard that Buddhist disciples must follow. If you do not carry out the practices, even merely one of the practices, you are not qualified to say that you cultivate Buddhism, and you should not come here again! When you see a person suffering or dying, you feel only a little bit sorrowful and cry, at most, a few tears. You cannot feel as sorrowful as the one who is suffering because you always differentiate between you, me, and others. One who does not differentiate between self and others achieves the state of “great compassion of the equal body.” It is what is depicted in the Diamond Sutra about no distinction between the appearance of self, others, sentient beings, and lifespan. One has to eliminate differentiation of the four appearances in order to be liberated from Samsara and to benefit sentient beings. Moreover, those who are able to help the deceased must know the thoughts and attachments of the deceased.

Master Gampopa enlightened, “You who have come here to listen to Dharma teachings must keep in mind that when we feel that our existence is real, the existence of the sentient beings in the Six Realms who are our opposites are certainly real as well.

When you are still in the state of Worldly Truth, you must believe the real existence of sentient beings of the Six Realms. Because of this, you will make up your mind to cultivate Buddhism in order to be liberated from the suffering sea of Samsara. Some people may say that they can’t see the Hell Realm, Hungry Ghost Realm, Animal Realm, Heaven Realm, or Asura Realm, and they wonder if the Six Realms are just made up by the Buddhas to scare them. This shows their disbelief in karma and cause and effect. Why can some people not make repentance? It is because they don’t believe in karma and cause and effect, and they don’t believe that the Six Realms are real. For example, some people seem hopeless when they find out they have cancer. They may ask if they have done many evil deeds in previous lives. This indicates that they don’t believe in karma and cause and effect.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightens that the evil deeds you have committed in this life are bad enough, not to mention those committed in previous lives! Many people self-righteously think that they haven’t done much evil in this life. However, in fact, even if you merely ate one bite of meat, you have done evil. Additionally, it is not possible for you to pay off what you have done in this life, let alone what you have done in previous lives. Many people mistakenly think that one who falls into the hells must have done much evil. But in fact it is very easy to fall into the hells; merely one hateful thought will lead to it. If you have not diligently practiced Buddhism, you will get angry when death comes and situations arise— for example, when others uncover your blanket, move your feet, or cry by your side—and the thought of anger will make you fall into the hells. This shows that one thought is enough to send you to the hells. Don’t think that it is very difficult to fall into the hells.

Some people think they are pitiful because they have cancer. They think that people all over the world should feel sympathy for them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that if he hadn’t had cancer, he would not have been qualified to teach you. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also had cancer, and now he is already 64 years old. He dares not say that his cancer is completely gone. However, it does not affect his life at all. Accepting it as his own karma and cause and effect to have cancer, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not undergo any medical treatment nor did he pray to the Bodhisattvas and His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to perform a Dharma ritual for him. Although he had cancer and no one sympathized with him, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continues to exert his utmost effort to liberate and benefit sentient beings.

There is no term such as “Human Buddhism” in the Buddhist sutras. If you think there is, you will be attached to the thought that only humans can be helped. In fact, Buddhism helps all sentient beings of the Six Realms. Yesterday, a person who sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that when he recites the sutras, ghosts suddenly appear before him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that you who are scared when you see ghosts do not have mercy and compassion because you are afraid of being hurt. Will a compassionate person be afraid of being hurt? A true Buddhist practitioner does not fear ghosts. It may be due to some karmic relationship that the ghosts show up during your Buddhist practice. And there is not even enough time for you to help the ghosts. How can you be scared of them? The Buddha’s vow is to help sentient beings of the Six Realms—not merely Human Realm—be liberated from Samsara. If you still fear ghosts, it indicates that you think that Buddha Dharma is only used to help humans. The truth is that Buddha Dharma is suitable for helping beings of the Six Realms.

It is not necessary for disciples who have taken refuge to come and ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s a lot of questions. As for those who have not sought refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is supposed to help them because they don’t understand. Those who have taken refuge attend and listen to the Buddhist teachings during the weekly regular puja. It is enough for you to solve all your problems. As long as you repeatedly listen to and read the teachings, you will obtain great help and definitely solve all of your problems. Those who can’t solve their problems haven’t gained strength from their Buddhist cultivation. They haven’t thoroughly applied the guru’s teachings to their everyday life. As long as they continue to mix their own thoughts and ideas with the guru’s teachings, they cannot be effective in their practice; therefore, they won’t be able to solve their problems. You must first act in accordance with the guru’s teachings. Don’t think that because you have a sickness, your guru should sympathize with you and please you. This kind of mindset is incorrect.

Many people become very nervous when they find out that they have cancer. They hurry to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to transmit the Dharma to them. Is cancer that serious? Must Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche transmit Dharma to you once you implore? It is not that easy! It takes you at least three visits before you begin to study in a cram class. The first time you go to see the environment. The second time you go to ask about the price, and the third time you go to enroll. Why are you so imprudent when imploring for Buddha Dharma? There is an advanced Tantric Dharma that is not easily transmitted, and the Dharma seeker must make an offering to his guru with gold equal to his own weight. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche joked that someone whose weight is 100 kg would have to offer, according to the current price of gold, a huge amount of money— more than a house. This is not to say that the guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas want you to offer gold; instead, it is to let you know that Buddha Dharma is more precious than gold. This is an analogy. You should cherish it, and know that it is very difficult to encounter Buddhism.

A few years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed a disciple to do some tasks for the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. However, the disciple said that he was busy with his domestic affairs and was not available. Hearing this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said no more. He did not know to take advantage of the situation that the guru gave him, an opportunity to serve others. As a result, during the past few years, he has had health problems. The guru gives you an opportunity to serve others in the Buddhist center in order to contribute and accumulate virtues for yourself. Don’t ever think that you have such extraordinary talent that the Buddhist center cannot do without you. The person who has real talent is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and you are just an “errand runner.”

Master Gampopa explicitly said, “You will not realize the wondrous Emptiness before you can attain perfect cultivation in your various roots.” The perfected virtuous roots refer to cultivation of pure virtues in one’s six senses, i.e. eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and consciousness. None of you have fulfilled this yet. Every day, we generate more evil than virtuous thoughts. Without perfecting the various pure virtues, it is impossible for one to realize Emptiness. The Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows states that every single thought arising from ordinary humans is karma and vice. In general, every thought a person generates is for his or her own benefit; therefore, he or she definitely has more evil thoughts than virtuous ones.

A disciple who lives in Australia recently wrote to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saying that he had attained Emptiness and had a lot of realizations. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied to him with severe admonishment. You often read books on your own and think that you have entered the state expounded in the books, or you interpret your dream as signs of your accomplishments. Whether or not your dreams are true, they are nothing but reflections of your consciousness. Do not think that you have accomplished something because you dream of unfamiliar scenes, and then report them to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Realizing Emptiness is not about having feelings after reading a few sentences. Long-term practice is required to correct all the deeds that will make you fall into Samsara. When you sought refuge, you were taught to completely eliminate evil behaviors and carry out the virtuous deeds in your body, speech, and mind. Then, you will have the causal conditions to realize Emptiness. Moreover, you cannot claim your attainment in Emptiness; rather, it has to be recognized and confirmed by your guru.

Master Gampopa said, “Therefore, if one does not practice the Ten Meritorious Acts, the Ten Dharma Deeds, or the Six Paramitas as the cause, one can never attain the result of Buddhahood. Judging from this, without relying on the practices of the Ten Meritorious Acts, the Ten Dharma Deeds, or the Six Paramitas as the cause, one is likely to become someone who appears noble and generous, but in fact is a plain and ordinary person.”

When you learn Buddhism, you should carry out the Ten Meritorious Acts and fulfill your vow of eliminating evil and conducting virtues made at the time of your seeking refuge. Just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has told you, you should practice the Ten Meritorious Acts and the Six Paramitas every minute and second of your life. Otherwise, according to Master Gampopa’s warning, you will have the appearance of a practitioner, but, in fact, practice nothing in your mind. A “plain and ordinary person” means that you cannot help yourself be liberated from the cycle of life and death through your learning, nor can you help liberate others from the cycle of birth and death. This is what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told you when you sought refuge, that when you begin to learn Buddhism, you will arouse an auspicious path in your mind. Therefore, you must attain this through the practices of the Ten Meritorious Acts and the Six Paramitas. After you seek refuge, if you abide by the precepts accordingly, there will be one virtuous deity for each precept you abide by to protect you. This is to prevent you from being harmed, and not to bless you. They enable you to find a good guru to guide you.

Here is an explanation of the Exoteric theory regarding true practice of the Ultimate Truth. According to Master Gampopa, the scripture depicts that there is no karma or karmic retribution in the state of the Ultimate Truth. Then, in what condition does one realize this true Ultimate Truth? Once we are away from greedy and hateful delusions, pretentious arrogance, and flowery expressions, we can enable all the differentiating thoughts of self and others to be purified at their origin. Thereby, the dichotomy in self and others will be completely eradicated. That is, when Ultimate Truth is realized, under this condition, there will be no karma or karmic retribution.”

Greedy and hateful delusions refer to the fact that people, filled with greed and hatred, always consider themselves right and others wrong. As long as you look down upon someone, you have hateful thoughts. If you want something good and reject something bad, you are greedy. Such greed and hatred in our minds causes our minds to be filled with delusions and impurity. Pretentious arrogance is a common problem among Buddhist practitioners. Many people think that they practice better than others. In other cases, ordained practitioners think that they are different than others. Such thinking, including criticizing others, is arrogance. Some people think that they are practicing Buddhism and that they will attain the capability to liberate sentient beings through practice. Then, they became arrogant and proud. The Sugrangama Sutra states that Zen practitioners tend to have this kind of attachment. When they become arrogant, devils take advantage and possess them.

Once we can get away from greedy and hateful delusions, arrogance, and differentiating delusional thoughts, we can then restore our original and pure nature. When one can see through the four appearances, realize Emptiness, and accomplish the attainment of a Bodhisattva, he will be a practitioner of the Ultimate Truth. Karma and cause and effect will not be real to him, because they do not have their own nature and they rise and cease according to causes and conditions. As such a practitioner has been liberated from the cycle of birth and death, freed from the influence of his or her karmic forces, the forces of karma, cause, and effect will not have any impact on his or her mind. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has severe scoliosis, but you saw that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to remain still in the full cross-legged position for several hours during the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness. That was because the power of his mind was able to control his physical body.

When liberating the deceased, Richen Dorjee Rinpoche is able to know the thoughts and attachments of the deceased. Because of his attainment of mercy and compassion realized in Emptiness, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not differentiate himself from others and is able to sympathize with others using his great compassion. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can perform the Phowa to transfer the consciousness of the deceased to the Pure Land. However, some of the deceased did not learn Buddhism or cultivate during their lifetime. According to the Amitabha Sutra, it should be impossible to do so. Why can Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche do it? Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is able to know the attachments of the deceased, he can then create causes and conditions for the deceased, enabling them to accept Buddhism, show repentance, become absolutely reverent toward Buddhist teachings, and arouse virtuous thoughts. Therefore, the deceased, with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing, can restore their pure nature and turn their karma, cause, and effect. Then, the deceased can be transferred to the Pure Land. Likewise, just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said during the Chod Puja, when the deceased swallow the nectar visualized by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, they can then reveal their pure nature and accept Buddha Dharma.

You often gasp in amazement, “Why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche know about my problems?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not find out about your problems from your facial expressions or words. Instead, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not differentiate between himself and others. In other words, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is the other person; therefore, he knows the real situation of the other.

A practitioner who has attained enlightenment on the nature of Emptiness and Ultimate Truth will not be affected by his or her karma. For this person, the sentient beings of the Six Realms are also unreal, because they are changeable and not eternal. A practitioner who has aroused the Bodhi vow and carried out Bodhi deeds can freely enter and leave the Six Realms to help sentient beings, according to their causes and conditions. This means that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can come back to the Human Realm again to fulfill their vows. If you have not attained the level of a Bodhisattva in this life, you will come again, helplessly driven by your karma, and fall into Samsara of the Six Realms. According to your conditions, all of you came to the Human Realm by the force of your karma.

Ordained practitioners should not think that they have already attained enlightenment and realized the Ultimate Truth. If you cannot totally break the four appearances mentioned in the “Diamond Sutra,” (i.e. self, people, sentient beings, and the lifespan) it is impossible for you to attain Ultimate Truth. The appearances of self, people, and sentient beings are the discriminating mind regarding you, me, and others. And the appearance of lifespan does not refer to a person’s longevity, but to the discriminating mind of time and space. If you still have not attained such achievement, you should completely follow the teachings of Buddhism and apply the Six Paramitas in every thought of your cultivation practice, and vow to be reborn in the Pure Land. The difference between Tibetan Buddhism and Exoteric Buddhism is that Tibetan Buddhism takes the essence of all Buddhist scriptures and combines them to become Dharma methods of practice, including Dharma methods of Pure Land and meditation. Then, a guru will teach disciples these Dharmas according to the disciples’ causes and conditions. Worldly Truth is to cultivate from karma and causes and effects, and thereby achieve liberation from Samsara of the Six Realms. The teaching of Vajrayana is to cultivate Worldly Truth and the Ultimate Truth at the same time. If you attain the realization of Ultimate Truth, you have achieved the level of a Bodhisattva.

After someone dies and before that person follows the force of karma to be reborn in the Six Realms, they do not at all know where they will go, and they feel as if they were placed in the ocean, not able to see the shore from any direction. That person suffers very much. They do not know where they will go or how long they will stay there. All of you are afraid of death, but not the dying process. The dying process lasts only a few seconds, except for when your karma appears before the time of death and you suffer from medical treatment and the decomposition of the four major elements of your body. However, real suffering is during the period when you are in Bardo. Although we have forgotten all of this now, in our consciousness, we remember the suffering of Samsara from our past of lives. Therefore, we are afraid of death. Sentient beings in the state of Bardo are even lighter than smoke. When there is thunder and lightning, they are afraid and want to hide. A bright light causes them to hide, as do a large number of people. They want to eat, but cannot, and they are scared and hide all day long. Don’t you think they suffer greatly? Hence, you should vow to not return to the cycle of Samsara.

When we were in our mother’s belly, we were in the dark and in much pain. The ancients have said that women should not have intercourse during the first and last three months of pregnancy, because if there is intercourse during the first three months, the fetus will feel as if it were knocked unconscious. If it happens during the last three months, the fetus will feel as if it were beaten savagely. For a fetus, this is very painful. However, modern people do not believe the advice of the ancients, so they do whatever they like during a woman’s pregnancy. When a baby is born, regardless of whether it is by caesarean or vaginal delivery, the baby will feel as if it were sandwiched between two mountains. After birth, the baby will feel as if a layer of skin was stripped off; it is very painful. This kind of suffering is also why a baby cries when he or she is born.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the following teachings to the ordained practitioners in the puja. You have not attained enlightenment about Emptiness. Before you have the ability to know the attachments of the deceased, you may want to help liberate him or her. You should simply recite sutras without thoughts such as, “I will recite for you” or “I will help you to be liberated.” Are you capable of doing this? Do you have this ability? In fact, after a person passes away, this person’s ghost will have a supernatural power that is one hundred times more sensitive than human beings. Ghosts know very clearly whether you can help liberate them or not. When you continue to think, “Reciting sutras for a deceased person can help that person go to the Pure Land,” but the deceased actually cannot go, then who, do you think, will the deceased follow? Perhaps some people’s causes, conditions, and blessings will not allow them to go to the Pure Land, but when you recite sutras for them, you tell them that they must go to the Pure Land. Wouldn’t you cause the deceased to give rise to attachment? What will happen to the deceased if they cannot go to the Pure Land? So, when ordained practitioners of Tibetan Buddhism recite sutras for a deceased person, they will not assume what the result will be. It is enough for them to know that reciting sutras is good for a deceased person. Why do you think that reciting a few Buddhist sutras can help them go to the Pure Land? It is fine to merely have this kind of virtuous mind towards the deceased.

Yesterday, a female believer sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because her husband died. She constantly blamed herself for not taking good care of her husband and causing his death. She cried sadly in front of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As a result, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded her severely and asked her to go to the back of the room to think for five minutes before again seeking an audience. You must think, “Her husband has died. Why did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scold her?” He scolded her because when she sought an audience, she was terribly upset and could not listen to any of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s words at all. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had done what you expected and agreed with her, she would have cried incessantly, and she would not have been able to listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that the deceased husband had suffered greatly and was anxious to help him, but his spouse did not implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to liberate him. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have the condition to help the deceased, and he scolded her severely. When she heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s reprimand, she suddenly realized, “I am so sad, but why was I scolded so badly?” After standing at the back and following Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s instruction to think for five minutes, she returned again, and then paid attention to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, using his great ability, told her many things that only she and her husband knew. Shocked, she then knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could help her husband, so she implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to liberate him. With such a condition, her husband then had the chance to receive Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then asked the disciples who were present yesterday if they were shocked. The ordained disciple who was serving Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and was by his side at the time said that this believer did not listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s words at all in the beginning. However, after being scolded severely and thinking for five minutes in the back, she came back to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and her mind was open. This incident shows that the method Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche uses to help each sentient being is very special and excellent. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then said that this female believer is a rich person. Ordinary people might have thought that they should not offend rich people and that they should treat her more politely. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not think this way, but instead focuses on how to use the most effective method to help sentient beings. When a sentient being’s karma is heavy, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will use severe measures.

When some people have newborns in their family, they think that these newborns will carry on their ancestral line, and they are very happy, like they have received the most valuable treasure. They hold newborns in their arms like they are princes. Such a feeling is an attachment. As to this child’s life, it is unknown whether the children came to repay gratitude or revenge! How do you know the karmic condition behind the child’s coming to your family? If you have such strong attachments, you will suffer before death, and you will not be able to let it go.

Learning Buddhism is a commitment for lifetimes. Do not set a schedule for yourself. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed retreats in the beginning, he made no presumptions about what he would see, what he would feel, to which level he would realize, or what in the Dharma text he would attain. He didn’t think anything, but just did it. When you have advance expectations, they are attachments. It is definitely not better if you do more. When learning Exoteric Buddhism in the past, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche meditated between 45 minutes and 1 hour every day. He learned Vajrayana Buddhism, and now he has no time to meditate, but is in meditation every second. You cannot do it now, and you should not study how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does it. You do whatever your homework is. For example, have you truly implemented Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Buddhist teachings in your body, speech, and mind? If your environment does not allow you to make full prostrations, so that you have difficulty carrying out the “body” aspect of practice, you should at least fulfill the aspects of “speech” and “mind.” Furthermore, continuously arouse virtuous thoughts in your mind each and every moment. Someday you will understand how Buddhism helps you and sentient beings.

The Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices of Tibetan Buddhism require one to perform 100,000 full prostrations. However, another guru who transmits the Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices says that laity believers only need to perform 10,000 full prostrations because they don’t have enough time. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not compromise at all, but completely follows the traditional teachings to instruct disciples to perform 100,000 prostrations. Why are 100,000 full prostrations required? It is because 100,000 is a perfect number. Some people may argue that 10,000 also is a round number. But 100,000 thousand is a number with an auspicious meaning in Buddhism. You may also hear about 100,000 or 100 million Buddhas. Additionally, your karmic retribution body is full of karma. Performing full prostrations will help you reduce or even eliminate the karma in your chi channels. However, if you do not perform enough prostrations, it will be difficult to reduce your karma.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed his disciples to perform 100,000 full prostrations. Performing only 10,000 prostrations will not have much of an effect on the body’s chi channels. The stages of practice in Tantra are divided into Kriya, Charya, Yoga Tantra, and Anuttara Yoga Tantra. All of these are for practicing the chi channel. In general, practitioners of Tantra start to prepare themselves in their twenties; otherwise, they do not have enough stamina after they reach forty. By that time, they will have many difficulties practicing and attaining. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who practices the Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices and started to learn Tantra in his forties, is very special. This has never been seen before.

Initially, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have to perform a retreat this year, but His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang suddenly instructed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform a retreat. Since His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang knows that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, in order to liberate sentient beings, exhausted too many of his virtues for you, so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche needs to perform the retreat again. It will recharge Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s physical energy and thereby enable him to benefit more sentient beings.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching is very strict. He is unlike other Dharma propagators who talk softly to you, are afraid of displeasing you, and seemingly act very compassionate saying, “Amitabha.” In fact, the traditional teaching method is to beat, scold, or admonish disciples. The tradition of the Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices in Tibetan Buddhism is very long. The Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices, as traced in the Buddhist sutras, is not invented. The other guru who casually changes the content of practice does not follow the tradition. In fact, making 100,000 full prostrations relates to the Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities in our bodies. It also has to do with Tantra, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cannot say any more.

Why do you practice the Six Paramitas? By practicing the Six Paramitas, you will not fall into the Six Realms. The first three of the Six Paramitas are “almsgiving,” “observing precepts,” and “forbearance.” By practicing “almsgiving” and “observing precepts,” you will not fall into the Ghost Realm or Hell Realm. Performing full prostrations is not for yourself but sentient beings. That is to practicing almsgiving for sentient beings. Following the tradition of the Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices means to keep the precepts. You also observe the precepts by acting in accordance to the guru’s teachings. “Forbearance” is not talking back when scolded, but to endure all things that are difficult to endure. When learning Buddhism, if you have a heavy angry nature, you will fall into the Asura Realm. Also, those in the Heaven Realm are very arrogant. When you endure pain while performing full prostrations, you cultivate forbearance. You have never heard of anyone dying from performing full prostrations. What’s wrong with pain in your body after performing prostrations? It’s great! It is for paying back karmic debts. If you feel almost dead while performing prostrations, it is actually better. It makes you experience the feeling before death so you will know how to practice in the future.

Do not say that you are laity and too busy to perform 100,000 prostrations. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is also laity and he did it. Moreover, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed full prostrations when he was in his 40s; it was his hardest time. Often, he only had money for one meal per day. If he ate at noon, he ate nothing in the evening, but at most bought a chocolate bar. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have enough money to take the bus, not to mention pay the electric bills for the air conditioner or fan. You all know that the summer temperature in Taiwan is so high. Even at night, it is as high as 38 degrees Celsius inside. How can anyone perform prostrations under such circumstances? But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche believes in karma and cause and effect. He pleaded for the guru’s blessing to let him finish performing full prostrations. Why do you make full prostrations? If you have never suffered, you will not understand suffering. Since you do not understand suffering, you will not want to leave suffering. Then, how can you sympathize with sentient beings’ suffering and help them be liberated from the suffering ocean of Samsara?

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that when he was a child, even as the venerable His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, he was naughty. The sutra teacher scolded and beat His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang after performing prostrations to him, because the sutra teacher treated His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang as a disciple to teach. Similarly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche treats you as disciples so he corrects you with scolding and hitting. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche treats you courteously some day, he is treating you as a non-disciple and trying to expel you.

You can recall that when you were in the first grade, you did not understand anything. You did whatever the teachers said. Did you dare ask the teachers what they would teach? You think you are grown-up and can decide for yourself. However, Buddha Dharma is the Dharma method that teaches you to be liberated from life and death. It is totally different from your life experience. From the Buddhist perspective, you are lower than elementary school students. Do not set your own schedule when you are learning Buddhism. You should believe that everything centers on karma and causes and effects. When you devote yourself to Buddhism without seeking anything, you will naturally see the result when the causes and conditions mature. In other words, if you plant the virtuous cause of learning Buddhism, the effect will definitely appear.

As long as you reincarnate, you will need to start your practice all over, even if you are a “His Holiness” or Rinpoche. Regardless of your position, background, influence, power, and knowledge, you will have to start from the beginning. Do not believe that you are different because you are an ordained practitioner. Nor can you learn the latter part directly without learning the beginning part first. This is just like when you study English, you have to start by learning A, B, and C. The difference between ordained and lay practitioners may be, for example, that the ordained write A, B, and C better.  They still have to start from the beginning.

Master Gampopa enlightened, “If one has realized profound truth, then one will not only stay away from the narrow mindset of seeking self-interest, but will also carry out all the glorious activities and benefit sentient beings joyfully. Therefore, when our realization and enlightenment have become perfect and wondrous, our immense compassion toward sentient beings will be boundless and profound as well.”

During the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness, you saw Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche shed tears on the Dharma throne, not because the guru was so moved or aroused thoughts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw countless sentient beings from the Ghost Realms unendingly rush into the puja venue. They came, one myriad group after another. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could not possibly liberate them all. Seeing sentient beings’ great suffering, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche aroused immense compassion and could not help but burst into tears. Do you know how the Bodhisattva Green Tara came about? When Bodhisattva Avalokitshvara saw that the suffering sentient beings were too numerous to be liberated, he was so anxious that he shed two tears. Then, the tear became Bodhisattva Green Tara. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not dare say that he is the same as Bodhisattva Avolokiteshvara, but the reason for shedding tears is similar.

One does not necessarily have to show compassion by shedding tears. The guru saw countless suffering sentient beings; however, the attendees—the main characters of the puja—kept running to the restroom. Once they saw that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche shed tears, they settled down somewhat. Then, the sentient beings that followed the attendees to the Grand Puja finally got the chance to be helped by Buddha Dharma. After that, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed that next year during the Grand Puja, attendees who cannot suppress the urge to go to the restroom should wear a diaper so that they don’t have to keep running to the restroom. If they don’t have a diaper, the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center will provide one for them.

In today’s teaching, stages of practice including Worldly Truth and Ultimate Truth have been elaborated. In fact, a true practitioner will practice both of them at the same time. Right now, you are not able to do it yet, but you need to be aware of it. You must listen to and follow the guru’s teachings accordingly. It will not be effective if you practice Buddhism with your own thoughts and ideas.

Today’s puja came to a perfect completion. While some attendees left the Buddhist center, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to receive 14 believers who came to implore for help. Although it had been many hours, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, despite fatigue, compassionately gave enlightenment and blessings to relieve their suffering and sorrow until 5:10 p.m.

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Updated on October 30, 2011