Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

October 30, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the weekly regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued, from the last puja, his enlightenment on Master Gampopa’s teachings about the qualifications of a guru and a worthy disciple. After the puja, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:40 p.m., Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped 37 believers relieve their worldly suffering with enlightenment of Buddha Dharma.

Before the puja began, a female disciple who had recently taken refuge made public repentance. She thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for bestowing blessings on her and her mother. Because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassion, she was able to take refuge and follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to learn Buddhism again.

She first took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on June 11, 2006; however, she did not observe the precepts after taking refuge. She was selfish and egoistic, and did not believe in cause and effect. She lived with greed, hatred, and delusions, and was filled with desire. In January of 2008, she committed an evil deed that was against one of the rules in the Buddhist center. She forgot to take an entry permit for her daughter. She was not willing to listen to her team leader’s advice, but insisted on calling the Dharma brother who was in charge of delivering the entry permit. As a result, this Dharma brother lost his job, and she also broke off the causal condition of learning Buddhism with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. All of her deeds resulted in the karmic retribution of falling into the Vajra Hell Realm.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once enlightened her, “You have harmed lots of people.” Recently, she met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and he enlightened her, “You have done many evil deeds!” She carefully reviewed her past 36 years. She had committed numerous evil deeds, thoughts, and speech, which cannot be described in words, and she had harmed many people, including her two daughters.

She repented for stealing her parents’ money to buy a snack when she was a child. She cheated her classmates in order to stir up trouble, and caused her classmates to feel wronged and disappointed. She killed ants and used smoke to burn ants’ nests. She destroyed spider webs and caught dragonflies, butterflies, and grasshoppers. She dug up worms, caught crabs, and destroyed pupas, tearing their bodies to feed chickens, ducks, geese in her home. She scooped tadpoles from the gutter, and dissected frogs and fish in biology class. She fed silkworms, but discarded the eggs afterward. She and her brother raised crickets and made them fight one another. She and her classmate stole vegetables, fruits, and flowers from others’ farms.

When she grew up, she dated boys behind her parents’ backs, skipped classes, and learned to smoke and lie. When she reached adulthood, she did not listen to her mother, and married a man her mother did not approve of. This caused her mother heartbreak for a long time. At the wedding, she had a large banquet, and every table was full of chicken, duck, fish, shrimp, lobster, snake, and suckling pig. She killed many sentient beings. After she was married, she was even more gluttonous. She went to fishing ports to eat fresh seafood, fished for shrimp, barbecued with friends, and to satisfy her own greed, even killed many crabs, shrimp, fish, and octopuses! After she was married, she still was not filial. She said bad things about her husband’s family, and broke the precept of adultery. She drank enchanted water on New Years, thinking it would bring protection and prosperity. When she was pregnant, she followed her mother-in-law to worship in the ghost temple, and besought the ghost gods! She harmed her daughter without even noticing.

At work, she lied to her customers to better her sales performance, caused many of her customers to lose money, and also caused them to generate evil thoughts and say evil words. To better her sales performance, she also prayed to the ghosts, and gave food that had been used to worship ghosts to her colleagues to eat, again harming many others. When working in an educational institution, despite lacking ability, she taught many children how to use the computer and harmed many children. In order to get a higher salary, she lied about her education qualifications. She also was often lazy and complacent at work, and caused colleagues’ inventories to be reduced. She did not take care of the parents who came to inquire about the courses. She caused one parent to fall, and this parent had to go to the hospital for stitches. She did not feel any regret afterward, but was angry and blamed her colleagues. When she was working as a cashier, she caused all kinds of problems. She let others steal company funds, and then she took other funds from the company to replace the stolen money.

Finally, she had the opportunity to take refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to learn Buddhism, but she did not cherish the causal condition she had with the guru. She seldom practiced the Dharma transmitted by the guru, nor did she obey and observe the precepts. She still lived each day with a selfish, self- interested attitude, and did not believe in cause and effect. She did not examine her past evil deeds, but disliked, blamed, and shifted the blame to others. She also gossiped and spoke harsh words. She was not reverent toward the guru, and she had doubt in the Dharma enlightened by the guru. She followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to the monastery in India and met His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, but did not have respectful thoughts. She was not grateful to the Dharma brother who had helped her, but had hateful thoughts.

To pursue her own happiness, she often forgot others’ pain and hurt people. To maintain her relationship with her children’s father, she indulged her mind, and did whatever she wished. After her daughter was born, she implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, on her young daughter’s behalf, for her daughter to attend pujas. She, however, either forgot to get or return the entry permits for her daughter. Her conduct has prevented her daughter from attending pujas and accumulating virtues.

When she broke the rules of the center, she didn’t repent wholeheartedly. She again used her own reasoning and desires to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for another chance. Compassionately and repeatedly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche granted her more than one chance. She, however, didn’t realize her evildoings and to the contrary, her greed grew. Thoughts of quitting and not learning Buddhism arose. She selfishly left the center for five months.

She felt that she deserved to be expelled, punished, and scolded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because her deeds were not like those of a human. She planted many seeds to enter into the Three Evil Realms and the Vajra Hell Realm. Since she didn’t observe the precepts and had not behaved according to the standards of a human being, she was in no position to talk about learning Buddhism.

When she was away from the center, she deeply realized her evil thoughts and deeds related to greed, hatred, and ignorance. She also deeply felt that it was rare to meet an authentic master and to hear Buddha Dharma! During the five months she left the center, she felt that she had no one to depend on. At night when she thought of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she couldn’t stop crying. She thought of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching, “After you take refuge, your guru, the Buddhas, and the Bodhisattvas will always be there for you to lean on. They will never betray you.” She, however, had betrayed her promise to the guru and the sentient beings. When she listened to the Dharma audio recording of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching on the “Three Marks of Existence,” she heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche say, “When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wanted to help you, you had already disappeared.” She profoundly felt Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassion toward sentient beings and his disciples. She, nonetheless, had been so ungrateful, disrespectful, and disobedient.

After she left the center, an unknown rash and ringworm appeared on her right calf and it swelled up. Dermatologists didn’t know why this happened, and said that it was due to her physical condition. Applying balm didn’t improve her symptoms either. Deep in her mind, she understood clearly that it was due to her evildoings. After she went to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and knelt down, her symptoms disappeared without taking any medication. She deeply knew that without the blessing of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she couldn’t recover.

She was grateful that her guru did not abandon her, one who was deeply sinful! During the days she was punished to stay outside of the Buddhist center, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still bestowed blessings on her daughter, family members, and her. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specially allowed her and her daughter to wait outside of the Buddhist center on the seventeenth floor so that they did not have to bear the intense heat of the summer or the cold wind of the winter.

At the same time, she also expressed thanks to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for allowing her mother to take refuge, and for blessing her mother’s health and eyes. When she brought her mother to see an ophthalmologist who is also a Dharma brother, he told her that it was not possible, in medical science, for a patient with a maculopathy to recover. Nevertheless, her mother  recovered after obtaining Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also bestowed blessings on her mother every time she went back to Shanghai. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed her to not take the Shanghai subway. Sure enough, recently there was a rear-end collision on the Shanghai subway. Due to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing, her mother was able to lessen her evil karmic retribution in every mishap and repay many debts. Her mother knew that since she had heavy killing karma, her health would not have been as good as it was now, and she might have even lost her life if it were not for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing.

She said that she will remember that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps them to live safely to enable them to diligently cultivate Buddhism. This time Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately allowed her and her daughter to take refuge again. She would like to accept whatever karmic retribution she created. And she will never again make the same mistakes. She will never leave the guru and the center. Instead, she will be Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple forever and apply Buddhism in her daily life. She believes that, with the blessing of her guru, the Buddhas, and the Bodhisattvas, she will certainly cleanse her body, speech, and mind. Moreover, she will make offerings to her guru with her purified body, speech, and mind. She hopes that she can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death, and be reborn in Buddha Amitabha’s Pure Land.

Finally, she prayed for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to have good health, perfectly complete Buddhist activities, forever abide in the world, and eternally turn the Dharma wheel. She also hopes that every sentient being, with the blessings of the guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas, can learn orthodox Dharma, be liberated from the cycle of birth and death, and be reborn in the Pure Land.

She again thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for bestowing blessings, teachings, and care, and for not abandoning her and her daughter! She wishes that people will learn from her example. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always, regardless of his fatigue, benefits sentient beings, even without giving a thought to the possibility of losing his own life. She advised the people present that they should cherish the virtuous conditions of following Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in cultivating Buddhism!

Then, a male disciple shared his experience of receiving blessings from His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. First, he expressed gratitude to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for granting him an opportunity to verbalize his repentance and to continue to learn Buddhism. Without the blessing bestowed by the guru, he would not have been able to testify about the guru’s grace, for he was the unworthy disciple who recently repented to the guru while holding a toilet bowl and vomiting.

He and his wife, who stood beside him and who also was a disciple, felt very grateful for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing. The medical personnel in the hospital were amazed at his recovery and called it a miracle. They had never seen a patient with a Glasgow Coma Scale of three who was able to regain consciousness and leave the hospital within less than a month. The couple clearly knew that without the guru’s blessing it would have been impossible.

On the morning of October 4, 2011, he felt dizzy and did not know that he was on the verge of death. What he thought about, at the time, was whether or not he still had unfinished words to say to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche if he were passing away. He was afraid that if he died in such a hurry, he would not have the time to express repentance toward Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He would like to repent to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for committing the following deeds: He failed to show filial piety to his parents, follow the guru’s instruction, carry out Buddhist teachings properly, and take good care of his own health. He was capricious and did not follow the guru’s teaching to genuinely practice Buddhism and properly make offerings. From now on, he would be very obedient, learn Buddhism properly, and carry out the teachings in his life. He deeply repented for his disobedience, and therefore delayed the guru’s caring for others. He did not go to the Chinese medicine clinic even though his health was poor. Thinking that being a volunteer did not have to make regular offerings, he brought burden to the guru and many people, consuming everyone’s resource. His behavior was very poor.

He repented to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He had harmed sentient beings, including aborting a baby and harming insects he found when his house was remodeled. He hoped that they could receive help from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the Buddhist teachings. He also repented of listening to pirated music, gossiping, committing sexual misconduct, killing, and harming sentient beings out of greed, hatred, and ignorance in his words and actions.

Yesterday, when he came to thank Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, because of his double vision problem, he implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bless him. He appreciates Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s timely and sharp warning for his imploration. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche warned him that he was too greedy. He had already recovered from a stroke in such a short period of time, so he should not be so greedy and hope to quickly recover his vision to satisfy his desire to see things clearly. He repented of such a greedy imploration. At the same time, he reflected that he also had similar thought patterns in his life. He should eliminate this kind of attitude in order to truly practice Buddhism in his life. He wants to use this event to remind himself that he should not think about only himself, but benefit sentient beings constantly. Although he implored inappropriately, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still compassionately told him that his double vision symptom would improve in two months. He, who has a very evil mind, should not selfishly pray for his own good, but he should feel that his pain and sentient beings’ pain are in sync. He is very grateful for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings. He does not know where he would have drifted in his life if there were no Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

While he was sick during this period, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not only blessed him constantly, but also often asked about his situation in the hospital. He and his wife greatly appreciate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings, help, and care, and they also appreciate the help from the Dharma brothers and medical staff. He hopes that everyone can use his example as a warning so that they will, from now on, follow and rely on the guru, listen to the guru’s teachings, properly make offerings and learn Buddhism diligently. They should strive to do what the guru has taught, and they should not mistakenly think that Buddhist practice can be substituted with volunteer work.

Then, the male disciple’s wife continued to tell everyone how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blessed her husband. When arranging her husband’s discharge from the hospital, she saw that the reason for surgery that was recommended in the doctor’s “consent of agreement from patients before performing surgery and anesthesia” was written as, “life-saving for brain hemorrhage.” She deeply felt how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had saved her husband’s life at the time. She is very grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because he allowed her husband to have the opportunity to practice Buddhism and worship the Buddhas again so that her husband could strive to cultivate himself diligently in this life and correct his behaviors.

When her husband was first hospitalized in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that her husband would be moved out of ICU between days ten and twelve. On the seventh day, she asked the doctor, “When will my husband be moved out of ICU?” The doctor did not answer. However, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said, on the morning of the tenth day, she received a message from the hospital that her husband could be discharged from the hospital.

When her husband underwent rehabilitation, some people asked how her husband was able to recover so quickly? During the first two days, he used the walker, but on the third day, he was able to practice riding a bicycle. The senior nurse who changed her husband’s dressings said that a very deep place in his brain was hurt. That he recovered like this is really a great miracle. Another neurosurgeon said that it is basically impossible to recover to a Glasgow Coma Scale score of sixteen when the initial score was three. With the guru’s blessings, it is really incredible.

Last time, a Dharma brother who is also a doctor said that doctors usually put patients who suffer a cerebral hemorrhage, like her husband, to the side after they are hospitalized. She heard of two cases. One person was pushed aside and hospitalized in the ICU. Although he was very fortunate to have survived, his Glasgow Coma Scale score is still six and he has not improved, even after many years. In the other case, the patient passed away this month. If not for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who clearly told her what to do, and helped and bestowed blessings upon her husband, it would have been impossible for her husband to repent here today.

She gave thanks for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings and teachings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave her timely instruction that her mindset was incorrect when she repented last time. She also thanked the Dharma brothers for their care. So many Dharma brothers cared about them during this difficult time. She realized that she did not show her care or help in times when many Dharma brothers had a problem or sickness in their family. She is ashamed that she was selfish and cold.

Once again, she thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his teaching. Under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s guidance, there is this large family, and the Dharma brothers can together follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching , reflect on themselves, and implement Buddhism in their lives.

Afterward, the Third Conference of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Cultural Exchange Association was held for the first time. During this meeting, the election of the member of councils and member of the Board of Supervisors was conducted.

At the beginning of the puja, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave enlightenment of Master Gampopa’s Dharma teaching. Master Gampopa taught, “Therefore, if a genuine guru and a worthy disciple meet each other based on their karmic connections, then, in an instant, the disciple will accomplish and attain all the merits of inner realization. First, there will be tranquility and stability. Then, there will be clarity and non-thought. In the end, the disciple will be far away from all views of conditioned existence and elaboration and will continuously, as a river flows, rest in the deep meaning of ‘like empty space.’” It is not like you have imagined that a qualified guru would have a dignified appearance. A guru with merits will reveal the appearance of merits sometimes, but you may not easily detect the merits of internal enlightenment. For example, a guru who has attained the level of Anuttarayogatantra will not reveal his ability or character arbitrarily unless he meets someone who has a karmic connection with him.

The guru is very important in Tibetan Buddhism. What is an authentic guru with virtues? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once enlightened that there are twenty criteria for being an authentic guru in the Maharatnakuta Sutra. It mentions the methods to judge whether or not a guru is authentic. You must pay attention, even if you are looking for an Exoteric Buddhist master. A good guru is not someone who can explain the Buddhist sutras well. Rather, you should judge whether or not the guru’s teaching is relevant to your future life. Many of the aforementioned criteria refer to a qualified guru, whereas the criteria of being a disciple is simpler.

During the last puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that a worthy disciple should possess seven criteria of fortunate states. They include having a virtuous caste, good appearance, long life, good health, virtuous karmic connection, abundant wealth, and great wisdom. One who possesses these criteria had cultivated and accumulated the virtues in previous lives. This does not mean that the Buddha requires a disciple to have these conditions. Instead, you will naturally be endowed with these conditions if you cultivated in your previous lives. If you do not possess these seven criteria, at least you have a body without defect, meaning one without any defect—including blindness or deafness, a body that is not missing limbs, or a mental status that is not abnormal. You are luckier than people who are born in the frontier or a place without Buddhism. You are also luckier than people who lack a consciousness, who are unable to learn Buddhism, and who are unable to make prostrations to the Buddha. If you do not possess the criteria to have the capacity of being a worthy disciple, you must be obedient to your guru. As long as you are always obedient to follow your guru’s teaching, you can attain achievement as well.

Buddhism emphasizes the importance of listening, contemplating, and cultivating. “Listen” means that one must have enough confidence in Buddha Dharma and the Three Jewels. You must accept it with your pure nature, without doubt or making comparison. Otherwise, you will hear the guru’s teaching, but not listen to it. When the guru transmits Buddha Dharma, you should not think, “Is this Buddha Dharma useful to me?” or “Why did the guru need to transmit this Buddha Dharma?” If you have these kinds of thoughts, you are only hearing it, and you did not accept it. For instance, when you listen to an orator who tells you how to make money, you may wonder, “Is this really okay?” or “Is he serious?” This is listening by comparison. When you listen to Buddha Dharma, you should not make comparisons. Don’t use your common sense, your consciousness, or experience to compare Buddha Dharma. No one can understand Buddhism after a few years of reciting sutras, nor can you lecture on Buddhism after acquiring a PhD at a Buddhist college. Rather, you must have true practice and validation from your guru in order to benefit sentient beings.

Not everyone has the karmic connection to meet an authentic guru. That is why the Buddha said, “Rely on the Dharma instead of the one who teaches it,” and “Rely on the truth instead of speech.” “Rely on the Dharma” does not refer to the Buddhist sutras. It is impossible for you to figure out all of the Buddhist sutras. Buddhism is not merely quoting the Buddhist sutras, nor is it learning the knowledge of Buddha Dharma. You will see the real benefit of Buddha Dharma after actual cultivation. What Buddha Dharma teaches is absolutely beneficial unless you do not implement or do it. Some people would like to figure out all of the Buddhist terms before cultivating. This is an attitude that shows lack of confidence. One who has confidence will implement it immediately after listening to Buddha Dharma. You will not start to do it until you have the “feeling.” However, everyone has a different feeling. For instance, I feel warm when I wear one layer of clothing, but you need two layers of clothing. Being confident in your guru does not refer to being obedient on the surface. You must surrender and completely obey the guru’s teaching.

Why are you unable to accept Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment? It has to do with your mindset. Why do you learn Buddhism? If you listen for the sake of learning the way to be liberated from birth and death, you will be able to accept Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment. On the other hand, if you are only looking for blessings or to satisfy your desires, then you will definitely have problems one day. All of you think that learning Buddhism is to expect the guru and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to satisfy your desires. If it is not what you expect, you will feel that the guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas are not capable. The guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas will help you in the best way possible, but it will often not be what you expect. A virtuous guru will help people find out all of their problems, as well as their shortcomings. But the the guru’s enlightenment always differs from their expectations, because learning Buddhism is not for satisfying their desires.

Many believers come to seek enlightenment from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but they do not want to learn Buddhism. They only care if their illness will be cured, if their son will get married, or what will happen to their spouse. In fact, these are all related to conditions and causes and effects. When they come to ask about these things, it means that they do not believe in cause and effect. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not help believers for his own fame and wealth. If he did, there are about 250 people who come to seek an audience weekly, 1,000 in a month, and 12,000 in a year. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche easily permitted these believers to take refuge, he would have more than 10,000 disciples. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not propagate Buddhism for his own fame and wealth, he knows whether people want to learn Buddhism or not. If they only want to get well, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will talk to them in simple ways. If they are seriously ill, then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will give them help. If they really want to learn Buddhism, he will let them take refuge.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave enlightenment that one should not spend time studying the meaning of the Buddhist sutras’ texts. Some people think that they must fully understand every meaning of every word before they can begin to act. If you think this way, it will be tough for you. Every verse of the Dharma text has different explanations due to different levels of cultivation. How can you fully understand it? In fact, after so many transcriptions and translations of the scriptures, the Dharma text that was passed down became different from the Dharma taught by the Buddha himself. We must understand that the meaning of Buddha Dharma is the most important, so there is no need to explain the texts. Therefore, Buddha Sakyamuni said to rely on the ultimate meaning instead of the relative meaning of the Buddhist sutras. One should learn the way to be liberated from birth and death and not get stuck in the sutras’ texts. You are not necessarily cultivating Buddhism even if you memorize the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. Each of the thirty-seven practices can have different explanations and meanings. If you are a worthy disciple, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will talk to you about the nature of Emptiness. If you are at the level you are right now, then he will teach you how to do it, that is, act according to the guru’s teachings. This is “liberating sentient beings according to their causal conditions,” which means to help you according to your capacity.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then gave enlightenment that prior to the puja, the male disciple who reported to everyone about the help he received when he suffered from a stroke, in fact, missed one part. He did not mention it to his wife either. When he saw all black in front of him, according to the Red School’s Dzogchen, the red and white Bodhi met together, turned over, and then went into the black completion heart, which is real death. Next, he would have seen the light. You have heard that people who are dying experience “seeing the light.” They do not actually see a light, but it symbolizes that the consciousness is about to leave the body. Although he had received help from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ten years ago when he had the first stroke, he did not cultivate Buddhism during these ten years. Fortunately, he thought of the help he received ten years ago from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could help him. He had some confidence, and finally gave rise to a repentant heart. Therefore his virtues and merits manifested immediately, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to save his life.

This disciple who had the stroke believed that his volunteer work was the same as almsgiving and cultivating Buddhism. He did not truthfully practice the guru’s teachings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stressed again that volunteering only creates favorable conditions. At most, you accumulate some virtues. If you do not practice the guru’s teachings about liberation from birth and death, you will not accumulate merits and change your karma. Then you cannot be liberated from birth and death. You only have some human and heaven virtues to be used in the next life. Many organizations ask people to volunteer, claiming that this is Buddhist practice. In fact, it is not. Being a volunteer is what a human should do. This is a fundamental principle: you are supposed to do your best to help your group. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has found that some disciples are very indifferent, and they do not want to help with work in the Buddhist center. Do not think you can hide, because there is nothing that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not know.

In comparison, the male disciple who recently passed away due to a myocardial infarction took longer to die than the disciple who had a stroke, because the blood takes longer to flow to other organs. It took about twenty seconds before the brain is dead. But within these twenty seconds, he only thought about his insurance policy, family, and children, and did not think about the guru, mantra, and Bodhisattvas. From this we can see that when he came to the puja, it was only to seek protection and to implore for his own life to be better. The difference of one thought caused the outcome to be very different. Therefore, the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, the Maharatnakuta Sutra, and the Buddhist sutras frequently state to always think of the Buddha, Bodhisattvas, and the guru. If one normally has a strong self-consciousness, when it is time to die, they will not be able to think of the guru and the Bodhisattvas. The contrast can be clearly seen from the examples of the two disciples.

During the last puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught that we must cultivate Ultimate Bodhicitta and that there are three conditions. One of them is to enter the guru’s blessings. When you can listen to the guru’s teachings and cultivate, then you can enter the guru’s blessings. As long as the guru observes the precepts—even if you meet a guru whose merits are not very obvious—and his heart is undefiled when transmitting the Dharma, and if your heart is also undefiled when accepting the Dharma, thinking of this guru at the last moment of your life can be helpful. Why were you taught to have a very clear understanding about the heritage of the lineage? It is because the guru’s blessings are not just from this one guru. The guru represents the heritage of all past gurus in the lineage. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has enlightened that the Drikung Kagyu Lineage’s has never been broken and it is extremely pure. Therefore, blessings from the guru can be traced back all the way to Budda Sakyamuni and to even earlier Buddhas. Therefore, the blessing of the guru, past gurus, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas add up, and it is tremendously powerful.

The meaning of “obtaining all achievement instantaneously” doesn’t mean that you can achieve Buddhahood in a second. Rather, it refers to when a worthy disciple and a genuine guru meet according to causes and conditions, the disciple will very soon enter the guru’s blessing. The disciple will diligently march on the path of achieving Buddhahood by means of benefiting sentient beings and being liberated from cyclic existence. It is like how after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche met His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never deviated from the path of cultivating Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, starting in his thirties, was able to quickly achieve his present level of accomplishment in less than twenty years! Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never planned for achieving such accomplishments from the beginning. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang once said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been very loyal to his guru, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. That is why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can always stay under the blessing of his guru. The thought of becoming a guru and teaching Buddha Dharma has never occurred to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Due to one hundred percent faith in his guru and exactly following the guru’s teachings, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been able to enter the blessing and, within very several short decades, attain the achievement. The speed of his achievement is unimaginable.

As disciples enter into the blessing of their guru, the obstacles to learning Buddhism, which have accumulated from past lives, will be eliminated. “Obstacles to learning Buddhism” does not refer to negative matters such as illness, poverty, or bad luck. It, instead, refers to the forces that will hinder your learning of Buddhism. In fact, the obstacles are mostly one’s family. If there were no anger or hatred, people would not become a family in this life. If a genuine master and a capable disciple meet due to causes and conditions, the disciple enters the blessing of the master. Then, the disciple’s obstacles will naturally be removed, and they will not disturb their Buddhist practice. If you keep doing evil deeds, not only will your karmic creditors from past lives appear to hinder your Buddhist practice, but ghosts and spirits will also become your obstacles. You will not be able to accumulate virtues to learn Buddhism because you are too vicious! After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, his obstacles immediately disappeared. Any obstacles—people, things, or objects—that hinder Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Buddhist practice naturally left. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s most difficult time, when he was penniless, only lasted for about half of a year.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to teach the meaning of “one will achieve all the merits of inner realization.” The phrase indicates that you will cultivate your mind in which greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt will continually be reduced. Your cultivation will be on that path until your Dharma nature manifests. In other words, you will be on the way to achieving Buddhahood.

“Tranquility” does not mean that your mind becomes static. If Bodhisattvas’ minds do not move, how can they benefit sentient beings? When you have achieved the merits of inner realization, your greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt will be reduced or even disappear. Thus “tranquility” means that you will not emotionally reveal your internal world, nor will you be influenced by the external world. The five poisons will gradually be subdued. As a result, when you experiences nice things, you will not become ecstatic. When something bad occurs, you will not feel unbearable pain and behave like a pitiful stray dog. You can examine your own reaction. If you become less excited or disturbed when something joyful or painful occurs, it means that your greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt have been reduced. Your mind is in the state of tranquility.

“Stability” refers to when your mind rests on the Dharma nature. Dharma nature is the undefiled self-nature. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught that you should, “live by adapting to each rising condition, and keep calm despite what happens.” This is to teach you to not have attachments, because all phenomena are due to causes and conditions. When conditions arise, your mind will be affected and you will act accordingly. As the conditions end, your mind should then rest in the Dharma nature without being influenced by the external world. Your mind shouldn’t be influenced by the five poisons or the Eight Worldly Winds. If your mind is not affected, your true nature can be revealed. When people scold or praise you, you are not impacted and will always be happy. When believers come to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on Saturdays, the conditions arise as the meeting takes place. But when the meeting ends, the conditions also vanish. Some people may say something bad about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but he will not be influenced and will still feel peace and joy because those people have helped Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pay back some karmic debts. Both positive and negative matters are empty in nature. All matters will arise and cease according to causes and conditions. Their coming and going are not eternal. When you are ill, your mind will not feel pain; only your body feels pain. If your mind is not tranquil, you will feel pain in both your body and mind. This is the state of “suffering on top of suffering.”

After being diagnosed with skin cancer, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wasn’t deeply worried and continued to live a normal life. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did this because he has achieved the merits of inner realization in which his mind is tranquil. Yesterday, a mother and her two daughters—all three of whom had already taken refuge—came to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for a blessing. The mother was ill because of a spinal problem. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche didn’t give the mother a blessing. Their coming for such a reason indicated their confusion about the reason for learning Buddhism. In more than one year of listening to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment, they didn’t really understand the teachings but simply hoped for blessings, as they came to the center every week and only wished to have better health. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has a spinal problem, too. Many years ago, a disciple who also is a doctor was concerned about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s health. He brought Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to see a chiropractor twice, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche didn’t want to go after that. On one hand, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t like to be touched; on the other, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has accepted the fact that being ill is the manifestation of his karmic retribution. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can pay back his karmic debts, such pain doesn’t really matter. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, with a sense of humor, said that the disciple who is a doctor wasn’t actually concerned about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s health. He, instead, was worried that if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche died, no one would teach him the Phowa.

Some people seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for their cancer. There are also many people here who are afraid of cancer and death. However, exaggerated information by the media and doctors makes people dread cancer. In fact, cancer patients do not necessarily die in a short time. They still have time to recite mantras and do prostrations to Buddhas. But you act like it is the end of the world when you get cancer. Those who suddenly die in a car accident do not have time to cultivate Buddhism. According to statistics, more people in the world die in traffic accidents than from cancer every day. On average, people die in traffic accidents every minute. Hearing this, are you afraid to ride in a car? You still ride in a car. It is all because of your mindset. When you get sick, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has enlightened, you should transform the disease into tool for your Buddhist practice. Because we have sickness, we ought to reflect on our faults. We should even pray for a more severe sickness so we can pay off all of our karmic debts in this life.

Some believers come to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help their children who have not married. In fact, marriage also follows the principle of causes and conditions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that he is not worried if his own son gets married. As it is the child’s business, parents need not worry.

Now there are more and more disciples in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. Every person has a different individual background. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would like to again emphasize that all disciples are strictly prohibited from borrowing or lending money to each other. Before, there were two disciples who made this kind of mistake, and they were expelled as punishment. If the disciple’s financial condition is really bad—except for home loans, their children’s tuition, or satisfying their own desires— he or she can report this to their group leaders. The group leaders of the center have taken refuge for a longer time, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has examined them. They have not made big mistakes, and they also understand the ways Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche handles things. They may help to report to the board of directors who, in turn, will report it to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sees that you are really in need, he will definitely provide help. Long ago, some disciples came to ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help because they could not pay their mortgage. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advised them to sell their house or let the bank take it. They were not really in poverty.

You can depend on your guru, but you should not excessively depend on your guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reminded the female disciple whose husband passed away a week ago that she should no longer report her trivial family matters to the guru. For important things, such as performing the Phowa for the deceased, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, as a guru, will definitely provide help if he sees a disciple who has trouble. But you should try to deal with domestic matters by yourself. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows that she suffers now, but she is the one who chose to marry that man. Another female disciple, before she took refuge, had a child out of wedlock and had to raise the child on her own. However, she did not work hard nor did she take good care of the child. The child developed late and slowly, and he was not even able to sit well. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw her child and knew that malnutrition prevented the child, at more than one year of age, from standing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche felt pain for the child and immediately asked a female disciple who is a nanny to help take care of the child. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche personally paid the nanny 20,000 NTD per month for caring for the child. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not instruct the young female disciple to study in school. Instead, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked her to find a stable job from which she could learn. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the nanny to raise the child for two years rather than twenty, because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that the nanny did not have enough energy to take care of the child for so long. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, after twenty years, may not be able to help them any longer.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will definitely provide help when he knows a disciple has difficulties. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche even helped raise the young disciple’s child for two years. Even more, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the president of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center to assist in applying to the Department of Social Affairs for the child’s future arrangements. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that the other disciples should not help the young female disciple, since they don’t know what is good for her. They generally misuse compassion. If you want to help her, you should encourage her to find a job and work hard.

Yesterday, a female believer came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. When she entered the Buddhist center, initially she could not walk and was unconscious. She also could not open her eyes. It was also hard for four disciples to carry her. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that she had twins. One of them died 22 days after birth, but the child’s spirit was still attached to her. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed blessings on her, she regained consciousness and opened her eyes. At that moment, she could not understand why she was at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked if she was able to walk, and she walked out by herself.

During that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped her first by scolding and then by blessing. You may not understand this kind of method, think that the sick person is pitiful, and wonder why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still scolded her. You may think that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche should follow your way. In fact, yesterday Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche first told the child who was attached to her about the dreadfulness of killing karma. The believer’s husband is a cook. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche let the child know that his short life is related to the family’s killing karma. When the child listened and accepted this, he then received the blessing and left the woman.

One who becomes a cook in this life is someone who had heavy killing karma in previous lives, unless the cook works at a vegetarian restaurant. The fact that you are married to such person in this life is because you have collective killing karma. Therefore, you should be careful when choosing your spouse. When the other person is a cook, you will have to suffer the collective karma with him or her if you are treated to a meal. This doesn’t mean that being cook is a bad thing. Without cooks, nobody would cook for us. Nonetheless, if you worry about having no one to cook for you, you can learn how to cook.

Recently, an employee at Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s jewelry company reported to him that she had notified the new disciples to come and shop the jewelry. Upon hearing this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that something was wrong, and asked how she had gotten the new disciples’ personal information. The employee then replied that it was the secretary general of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center that had given her the information. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche called on a male disciple who works as a prosecutor to tell the puja attendees about which law the secretary general and employee violated. The disciple said that they had violated the Personal Data Protection Law and committed an offense against secrecy. The employee at the jewelry company was no different than an accomplice. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told all the disciples that recently sought refuge that if they wanted to accuse the two of this crime, they were free to do so. The Director of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and the disciple who works as a prosecutor will provide assistance. As for the male disciple who leaked the information, his secrets will also soon be revealed to others, for this is his cause and effect.

Why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche have to do business? It’s because the disciples lack the heart of making offerings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has to run his own businesses and earn his living. In addition, as a lay practitioner, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche needs to financially support many disciples in need. With his businesses, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche provides jobs for them. Moreover, the lineage has many needs for funding, so it is inevitable that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche runs businesses. More importantly, sometimes it is more appropriate for a businessman to deal with some matters. It is more convenient to travel overseas to help sentient beings as well. It is just as the Buddhist scriptures say: one who is on the Bodhisattva path helps sentient beings in accordance with their causal conditions. If you are told to see an accomplished monk in the mountains, you might be nervous. Nevertheless, being a businessman allows a practitioner to meet with others in different places and makes it easier to help sentient beings.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will never ask his disciples to make purchases at his companies. If you are interested, you can go and buy something but you don’t have to. Don’t think that since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche owns the companies and you are Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples, that you are free to use this information as you see fit. Taiwan has its laws and everyone has to abide by these laws. If you do not pay attention to the laws, you would constantly make mistakes. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again stressed that he will never regard his disciples as his possessions. If all of the disciples were Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s possessions, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be very rich from all of the real estate owned by his disciples, since at least 300 of the over 1,000 disciples own real estate. Whether jewelry or food sold by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you can buy whatever you like; it doesn’t matter. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never claimed that the food was blessed by him and would bring benefits. Neither did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche say that you would become more beautiful when you wear the jewelry he sells. Nonetheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s merchandise is of exceptional quality and different from selections in other places.

Ordinary people might think that it was not a big deal. Some might even commend the employee because she knew how to promote sales. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately knew that it was wrong because he had attained the merits of inner realization and a tranquil mind. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not influenced by greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt. He is able to pay attention to subtle details, and every problem will be detected. Therefore, as long as it is wrong, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not do it. Even if it might benefit himself, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not do it, and will try to stop it immediately. As every problem begins with something very small, all the evil deeds need to be cut off right from the beginning and should not be done. For this reason, one who has attained the merits of inner realization will contemplate on the cause and effect of everything he does. Such a person takes actions only when he is able to see the possible consequences clearly. It is just like the traditional Chinese saying by Confucius, “Think before you leap.”

Nowadays, people often feel that as long as they start something, the rest will automatically progress smoothly. They will do things, and when the consequences occur, they will then find ways to deal with the effects. This is a completely different concept than what is taught in Buddhism, that one should stop the possibility of doing wrong things at the beginning. One should not do any bad deeds at the beginning, because as long as one does something bad and generates a cause, there will be a result. Even if you repent later for your behavior, the karmic retribution will still happen. So even if a Buddhist practitioner has a fiery desire in their heart, they will not, regardless of the consequences, do something to satisfy their own desire. Even they will lose their job or wife, they will never do anything that violates the law of cause and effect.

A few weeks ago, a female disciple was scolded publicly by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and punished, demoted from a believer to a disciple because she had haphazardly spread untrue information. Recently, because she was sensitive about her feelings and felt embarrassed, she did not dare to attend the pujas. Actually, public scolding is a way to help you break from the attachment of self. Your ego is worth nothing. Those who want to keep their ego should not come to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. The Buddhist scriptures often mention that Buddha Sakyamuni scolded his disciples in public, not private. You need to have great virtues in order to have your faults pointed out in public, especially by a guru. Furthermore, this is also a kind of almsgiving, using one’s faults to help others realize that such faults should not be repeated, that they should not obstinately adhere to their errors, and that they should be obedient. What happens in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, regardless of whether it is positive or negative, is always teaching material that can help you experience the existence of Buddha Dharma. This indicates that this Buddhist center has obtained the blessings of the Dharma protectors, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas.

Master Gampopa taught, “Therefore, if a genuine guru and a worthy disciple meet each other based on their karmic connections, then in an instant, the disciple will accomplish and attain all the merits of inner realization. First there will be tranquility and stability. Then there will be clarity and non-thought. In the end, the disciple will be far away from all views of conditioned existence and elaboration and will continuously, as a river flows, rest in the deep meaning of ‘like empty space.’”

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the disciples in particular not to tell others things that were said by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and use the title of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to pressure others. Perhaps Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had really said something, but when facing different people, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche might say it differently. Have you heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche use the name of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to pressure you? No! You have only heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche say that certain things were based on His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s teachings.

After you have practiced obediently and attained the merits of inner realization, the karma accumulated from your past lives will then not hinder you from practicing Buddhism. Reducing the barriers to practicing Buddhism actually means that you will obtain the virtues you originally had so that you can practice Buddhism diligently and progress quickly. However, you should not be complacent and allow arrogance to appear, because such a mindset will go against your Buddhist practices and cause you to lose the merits of inner realization. Without the merits of inner realization, greed, hatred, and ignorance will all appear within you. Those who are arrogant and conceited do not have compassion. Those who do not have compassion will not be able to generate merits even if they hold mantras, recite sutras, or worship Buddhas. If you do not have merits, you will not be able to change the karma accumulated from your past lives, and you will not be able to help sentient beings. After listening to this, you must be very surprised, because no one can speak so clearly about this matter.

Do not think, “I must be able to do it” or “I have to achieve it.” These are all arrogant thoughts. Buddhist teachings often mention “one’s own power” and “other’s power.” In this Age of Degenerate Dharma, it is impossible to rely on one’s own power to learn Buddhism and to be liberated from the cycle of life and death. They have to depend on the help of “other’s power.” That is why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wants you to hold mantras, recite Buddhas’ names, and rely on Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. This is also the reason Tibetan Buddhism particularly emphasizes that one needs to rely on the guru’s blessings. You should reflect on the conditions you have and never be arrogant. Reciting the Buddhas’ names or meditating is only a process. Only a Buddha can know how much karma we have. We should learn to put aside all of our arrogance, rely on the guru and be obedient. The Buddhist scripture Maharatnakuta has mentioned the criteria of a guru. Master Gampopa also explained the three conditions a practitioner who has attained Ultimate Bodhicitta should have. With all of these conditions, you should clearly know that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a virtuous guru. Therefore, you should resolve to disregard your own ideas of Buddhist practice, and truly implement Buddha Dharma that you have heard in your daily life.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has practiced to the level where his mind has abided in Emptiness. As a result, he knew the four worries of the disciple who died of a myocardial infarction. He also was able to help transfer the consciousness of the disciple with the Phowa, punching a hole in his skull. When Buddha Amitabha transmitted the Phowa to Padmasambhava, he especially said that it should not be widely transmitted since it is Esoteric Dharma. I don’t know why so many people teach it now. Actually, even if it is transmitted, practitioners cannot successfully practice the Dharma if their foundation is not well established. In the past, if someone wanted to judge whether or not the Phowa was successfully conducted, a Kusha-grass would be inserted into the deceased’s fontanel. If it could be inserted, it would be regarded as a successful “skull-penetrating.” Using such a method to judge whether or not the Phowa was successfully conducted was actually to give confidence to the learning practitioners in ancient times. A guru who is accomplished at conducting the Phowa, however, does not need the Kusha-grass at all, but only needs to touch the crown point of the deceased’s head to know whether or not the skull has been penetrated. The most important thing is to establish one’s foundation, and then one will learn to practice this very quickly. However, even if the skull is penetrated, the hole will close again if one does not continue to practice. In other words, continuous practice will prevent the hole from closing again. Therefore, your foundation needs to be well established; otherwise you will only see the appearance of your own ego.

In the contents related to “merits of inner realization”, “clarity” refers to understanding everything in the universe. “Clearness” refers to the pure Dharma nature. It is the same as “clearing the mind and seeing the nature of things” in Zen Buddhism. Because of the pure Dharma nature, everything in the universe is understood clearly. Zen Buddhism uses the phrase, “clarifying the mind and seeing the nature of things” whereas the two words “clarity and clearness” are used in the Tantra. When practicing to the level of clarity and clearness, the mind is undefiled, like the clear sky. In Zen Buddhism, Buddhahood is attained when one realizes the state of “clarifying the mind and seeing the nature of things.’” Actually it is not. “Clarifying the mind and seeing the nature of things” is to see that one’s own nature is the same as the Buddha nature, and to understand why and how the mind functions. According to the Tantra, one needs to continue to practice in order to attain Buddhahood.

“Non-thought” does not mean that there are no thoughts, nor does it mean to “space out.” It means that when practicing to the level of “non-thought,” any aroused mind or intention is not for oneself but for the benefit of sentient beings. No thought is generated to benefit one’s own body or the seven kinds of emotions and six desires. Those who practice to the state of meditation are all Bodhisattvas above the fifth ground. In fact, it takes several lifetimes to practice to the state of clarity and clearness, purity, and non-thought. It is impossible for you to achieve it in this life.

“In the end, he will be far away from all views of conditioned existence and elaboration and will continuously, as a river flows, rest in the deep meaning of ‘like empty space.’” At this time, one’s cultivation of merits of inner realization will be very solid and he will not be attached to anything. His mind, like the continuously flowing river, will abide in the Dharma nature. In such a state, he will be able to discern the rising and ceasing of all conditions. He will look at everything as illusory as a drama. For example, when sentient beings come, he will help them, and it will end after that. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often says that many believers came to seek an audience many times, unless it is a special situation that can be shown as teaching material, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche usually forgets who they are. This is because of “non-thought.” – everything is the rising and ceasing of causes and conditions.

Why did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recently enlighten so much about this and the three ways of cultivating Ultimate Bodhicitta? It is because this is the most important basic mindset. If you first establish this basic concept and mindset, you will make great progress in your future practice. If you do not lay the foundation well, even you perform a retreat, you will sleep in the retreat room for a few days and you will not achieve anything. Therefore, the reason why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche spends so much time giving enlightenment before teaching you Tantra is to help you to establish a good foundation.

Some people may ask, “Doesn’t Buddhism refrain from talking about supernatural power? This refers to those people who show off their supernatural power or tell you about supernatural power, but do not teach you Dharma methods of being liberated from life and death. That is not Buddhism. Furthermore, some of you claims that you saw many ghosts kneel in front of you or that you saw and heard some strange sound while you were reciting the Six-Syllable Mani Mantra. All of this is nonsense. It is impossible unless your guru validates it to be true. Every religion has supernatural power and you should not talk about it.

In fact, supernatural power comes from four aspects: tranquility, stability, non-thought, and clarity and clearness. These are abilities you naturally derive. You do not deliberately practice Buddhism in order to have supernatural power. Those on a non-Buddhist path also can have supernatural powers if they practice precepts and meditation. Buddha Sakyamuni enlightened, “Do not show off supernatural powers.” This does not mean that supernatural power is bad. Rather, we should refrain from doing anything that is of no benefit to sentient beings. We also should not frighten people or make people believe that practitioners who can fly or demonstrate supernatural powers are the accomplished ones in Buddhism. That is why Buddhism does not emphasize supernatural power. Jigten Sumgon cured his leprosy in a retreat hut, but he did not exit the retreat until the scheduled time. Jigten Sumgon can fly, as can Jetsun Milarepa. In fact, many practitioners in Esoteric Buddhism can fly, but they do not show others because it will frighten them. Therefore, Jetsun Milarepa prefers to walk.

Supernatural power is not a bad thing. It depends on how people use it. Even if people can move mountains or empty oceans, or become this and that, if they cannot help sentient beings become liberated from life and death, such supernatural power is useless. But if there is no supernatural power, how is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche able to know about sentient beings’ problems and help them? If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not have supernatural powers, how was he able to know about the problems of the disciple who had a stroke and the disciple who just passed away, and help them?

The Buddha taught everyone to stay away from evil friends. Evil friends are not those who make you live a corrupted life, but those who tell you, “Do not worship too much,” “It is not too late to practice Buddhism after you get married,” “Practice after your children grow up,” or “Learn Buddhism after you retire.” You do not know when you will die or when your guru will die. You should grasp the moment to learn Buddhism.

Today’s puja came to a perfect completion. While some attendees left the Buddhist center, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to receive 37 believers who came to implore for help. After many hours of giving enlightenment in the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still patiently enlighten every believer and helped to relieve their suffering until 6:40 p.m.

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Updated on December 29, 2011