Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

November 6, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, and continued to enlighten the teachings of Master Gampopa about when a worthy disciple encounters a genuine guru and about the Dharma method of practicing charity.

Before the puja began, a female believer, who had taken refuge before, made public repentance to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She began by telling about her childhood and how her father and uncle operated a shrimp, cow and pig farm. Every week, the family went to an expensive restaurant known for its special seafood, particularly sashimi (raw fish), which was their favorite. It reminded her of her mother’s cooking, which always included lots of meat. As a result, her mother had accumulated much killing karma. As a child, she caught many ants and burned them to death after dipping them into hot wax. She did this for entertainment without a thought about their suffering she was causing. She also caught lots of tadpoles, frogs and crabs from the river. She raised fighting fish, silkworms, rabbits and soft-shelled turtles. Many times she squashed cockroaches or scalded them with boiling water. She always swatted mosquitoes and houseflies, as well as killed numerous other insects. She never showed sympathy for them, as if their lives were of no consequence.

Because of her hot temper, she was quick to start arguments and talked back to her teachers in class. She also frequently made fun of them. She was generally disagreeable and always gossiped with her classmates. She cheated on examinations. Often, she even lost her temper and talked back to her mother.

After graduation, she worked in a restaurant. She did not regret and make repentance for hurting so many sentient beings. Her father was a farmer; therefore, they bred many rabbits, dogs, chickens, ducks, geese, pigs and cattle.  Many sentient beings were killed on the farm. As a result of the killing karma, many members of her family suffered. One of her aunts and two of her uncles died of cancer. One of her aunts committed suicide, and one of her uncles died very young. Her grandmother died from complications of diabetes, as well as her grandfather, who also died after a long illness. Her father also suffered from diabetes for many years and needed to take lots of medications. All these negative occurrences in her family led her to realize that the killing karma is very terrible. If there were no blessings from the great practitioner, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, her ancestors would be unable to be liberated and would still be suffering from reincarnation in the Sixth Realms.

Ever since her teen years, she had suffered from skin problems, such as itchy rashes and inflammation. When she scratched it, her skin became infected discharging pus that smelled like dead fish. This reminded her of when she used to eat seafood and barbecue. She realized that her skin was just like the meat on the grill. Her whole body was affected by these painful rashes; sometimes it would get better, sometimes it would be worse. For this reason, she was urged by her ex-colleague to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at Glorious Jewel Company in April of 2006.

She thought that she could solve her own problems without the help of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked her, “What has happened to you?” Arrogantly she thought,“Doesn’t Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche know everything? ” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once said that people must speak up in order to find help.  She told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about her skin problems. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied, “You can see a doctor and take medicine, and soon you will recover.” She wondered why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would reply this way. She told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she was concerned about the side effects of the steroids, and that is why she didn’t take the medication. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied, “But you are not a vegetarian!” She answered, “I am a vegetarian now.” Actually, she had just started her vegetarian diet only three days before. However, there was one time she ate a piece of sausage. “But if your boyfriend asked you to eat meat, you would start to eat meat again?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked her. She was surprised that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that she had a boyfriend. She thought for a while and replied that she would stick to her vegetarian diet. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “OK, show me your hands.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed blessing by asking her to hold her palms upward and told her that her liver was not good. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then asked if she was usually thirsty and full of eye discharge in the morning. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also reminded her to go to bed early. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s reminder, she realized that she had not been taking good care of herself. She was grateful that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the blessing upon her; her skin was much better than before and her rashes had been gone. This gave her the confidence to persist as a vegetarian.

On January 6, 2008, she took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. In February of the same year, she began to work in the Japanese food trading business section of the Glorious Jewel Group. For a long time, she had been working in the service industry, never in the office, because she thought she was not very detail oriented. She also was often very moody, which made her unsuitable for office work. As a result, after the store was opened, she was transferred there. She knew that she was disorganized and easily distracted, always in need of someone to help clean up her mess. She also was aware that she never worked well under pressure, and she was impatient when training new personnel. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also knew all about these flaws and often reminded her that she is young and must be patient with herself when learning new things. For her new job she must learn new tasks carefully and methodically.

When she was in the main office, she often relied on other colleagues to help clean up her messes, she would also leave her duties for them to finish. But in the store, there was only herself to depend on; she must be responsible for everything. She was grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for giving her time to learn. It made her learn from the bottom up and be thoroughly trained. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche treated all employees as his own children and took excellent care of them. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche adjusted business hours for the safety of the employees and  also hired guards, who were on patrol regularly to protect them, Every day the vegetarian restaurants would deliver the most fresh and delicious lunch to all staff. Even during the afternoon tea break, they would enjoy the finest Japanese foods carefully selected by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche personally. In the company, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche rewards and punishes fairly. When something wrong was done, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would explain the problem, so all the employees could be warned not to repeat the same mistakes. When an employee did something praiseworthy, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not be stingy with his praise and rewards, and always encouraged his employees by looking after them as he would seedlings.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche hoped to train and nurture his employees so they could be a good influence in society. In the future, when the Glorious Jewel Group no longer exists, the employees could support themselves in the outside world. She is very grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, whose every thought and every second of the day was about how to benefit the greatest number of sentient beings, with far and deep vision. It was not Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s goal to make a big profit for the company.  She had many other types of jobs but never met such a broad minded, caring and dignified boss.

She made deep repentance to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she did not listen to his words, did not act in accordance with the teachings, did not use the Buddha Dharma taught by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche or implement it into her daily life. She worked in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company, took a salary from the company, was taken care of and nurtured by the company, but she remained ungrateful, and often forgot things or delivered the wrong items, made mistakes on the ledger sheets and was never able to balance the inventories correctly. She even mistakenly sent the confidential information to Dharma brothers. She did not focus on her tasks and only wanted to relax.  She complained that the working hours were too long and too tiring, and she was haggling over every ounce with the guru. She made so many mistakes that it was obvious that she was not allowed to participate in the company trip.  Instead of learning from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she had harbored hatred towards the guru. She was unaware of her own culpability in the situation and continued to believe that it was all the fault of others.  She was so self-involved that she could never realize her own mistakes and never felt that they were very serious. Her careless behavior caused the guru, the supervisor and the colleagues to worry about her, and now she felt that even going to hell would not be punishment enough for her evil acts.

Soon after the grand opening of the new branch, she’d often feel exhausted and take a nap at the computer desk. How could this conduct be tolerated? One time, after a trip overseas, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went directly to the store because he was concerned about her lack of energy. As a great master, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has traveled long distances to benefit sentient beings without concern for his own wellbeing and never complained about tiredness. however, Rinchen Dorejee Rinpoche was worried about her condition. She suddenly felt deeply ashamed and realized that she really had no excuse to complain about her own fatigue. Another example of her distraction was when she put Japanese tea in a cabinet near a French window. The cabinet would be bathed in sunshine all day, which would be bad for the tea. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reminded her to relocate the tea. However, due to her laziness, she only moved the tea to the lower shelf, where it would still lose its flavor in the hot sun.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche came to check the store, he asked her why she hadn’t removed the tea. Because she was afraid of being reprimanded, she talked back by replying that there was no sunshine there. Compassionate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately gave her blessing and told her, “Do not talk back!” She felt deeply ashamed. She had not only failed to exactly execute the order of the guru but talked back and made excuses which showed that she had no reverence toward the guru. The other time, when the store needed restoration, Rinchen Dorejee Rinpoche came to see the work and found that she had carelessly put the products in boxes on the floor. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche admonished her by asking, “Don’t you have to also treasure the things that don’t belong to you?” She was ashamed again because she didn’t have respect for the guru’s business.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw that her skin became swollen and red again, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately asked, “Does your skin feel better?” She knew that her rash was because she had not changed her conduct.  But the compassionate guru told her to prepare a bottle of mineral water the next day. After  receiving believers  the next day, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche made a special trip to the store to recite mantras and  bless  the mineral water, which turned into nectar for her. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave her the nectar and told her to apply it to the trouble spots. She repented to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she had taken refuge but still let Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche worry about her. She indeed had received a great deal of blessings and care from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has always cherished all sentient beings’ lives as more important than his own. In contrast, she didn’t cherish the guru. She had filled herself with greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and illusion every day, which constantly brought afflictions to sentient beings. She had been ungrateful, selfish, self-righteous, and arrogant. Additionally, her serious discriminating mind had made her look down upon others, thinking that it was her great achievement to work in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company. She had not truly implemented the Buddha Dharma into her work and daily life. When she did her daily practice of reciting mantras, she did it in a sloppy hasty way. She has never examined her conduct with the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. She lived her life ineptly and had wasted the guru’s virtues and strength. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often took time to check the store, but she didn’t appreciate and cherish his caring but felt stressed.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche treats all disciples as his own precious children and teaches and cares about them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often told her that it was not appropriate to frequently think about her boyfriend while at work. Additionally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also reminded her to pay attention to how she talks to her boyfriend. She reflected on her behavior and found that she was indeed very impolite when talking to her boyfriend and didn’t give him the respect he deserved. She would order her boyfriend to do things for her and used him to satisfy her physical, psychological, and material needs. She often said harsh words to him, forgetting that he is also a sentient being. She was petty over trivial matters when she was with her boyfriend. In addition, while at work, she was often thinking about her boyfriend and not concentrating on her job. As Saturday night approached, she would quickly finish up her work, without carefully and repeatedly checking and verifying reports. She feared that her boyfriend would become upset if he had to wait for her too long. Consequently, there were always errors in her reports. She is very grateful that the guru has kept giving her second chances. But she never learned from her mistakes. She felt that she was not even qualified to be a human.

After she got fired, she was also asked to return her Dharma texts and red vest. It was not until then that she became aware of the seriousness of her situation. Afterwards, she worked at a clothing store and often worked overtime, so she returned home very late. Her mother worried so much that she was unable to sleep most nights. At work, she usually spoke ill of others and had harsh words for everyone.  She did not pay attention to her work but gossiped and shopped, and in so doing she stole her boss’s time. Moreover, she often affected colleagues and customers with her bad mood. She was unable to remember Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s wise words; instead, she was overtaken by her own greediness and desires. She felt that her boyfriend was very nice and respectful to her, because he did not have his own opinion and always agreed with whatever she said.

Her relationship with the boy started when she was a senior in high school eight years ago, but she did not dare to take him home and introduce him to her father. She knew that her boyfriend could not meet her father’s high standard. However, finally she allowed her boyfriend’s family members to go to her home to propose marriage. Indeed, her father was not satisfied, saying that her boyfriend would not be a good husband because he could not support her and would make her suffer. However, she ignored her father’s advice, thinking that her father looked down upon her boyfriend merely because he was not rich. She misunderstood her father’s concern for her, and often argued with him. She even spoke ill of her father to her mother in private, acting like an ungrateful daughter.

As a Buddhist disciple, she did not insist on serving vegetarian food to family members and guests on the day of the proposal because she was afraid her boyfriend’s family members might not accept her idea. Therefore, she let many sentient beings suffer and also violated the precept of not killing. Afterwards, regardless of her father’s opposition, she still dated her boyfriend. One day she had a dream in which she foolishly asked for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s advice and said, “May I marry him?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, not saying a word, smiled and shook his head. She pretended that she did not hear the answer, and again she asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his blessing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again shook his head, giving the same answer. In the dream she felt joyful because she had been looking for a definite answer. To tell the truth, she was also afraid to live a life full of hardships. Besides, the man never even tried to become a vegetarian, and his parents never understood that either. It seemed that they had no future after all.

She has immense gratitude toward Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for never giving up on her. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often allows her to sit outside the entrance of the Buddhist Center for every Sunday’s puja. It was not until the end of August that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately consented that she could enter the center to listen to the Buddha’s teachings and she felt very grateful. In the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught that: “If your boyfriend eats meat while you are a vegetarian, at the beginning he may be willing to try. However, after a while, he will feel impatient. If you don’t take the advice, you will continue to sink. As you get older, your life with him will become harder. Then you should not blame your guru because he tried to warn you.” She was grateful for the guru’s wisdom and finally she made up her mind to listen to him. She was thankful to the guru for not abandoning her and helped her to make a decision about the relationship. She thanked the guru for his compassionate blessing that broke her clinging and stubborn mind. It was as if the guru had predicted the outcome. She thought she could change her boyfriend. But if she could not even change herself, how could she change any one else?

She was grateful that the guru had never given up on her. However, she merely clung to her own hope for the relationship without facing the problem. She had procrastinated about facing the issue over and over again and wasted a lot of time. Also, she confessed to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she had had affair with another man while she was dating her boyfriend. She also failed to have her relationship with the boyfriend approved by her parents. She violated the precept of refraining from committing sexual misconduct. Additionally, during her high school years, she had taken contraceptive pills. She had smoked, cussed, harbored hateful feelings, bad mouthed her teachers, and saw nothing wrong with any of these behavior.

She had constantly lied to her mother and her mother was extremely sad after finding out all of this. She felt she could never trust her daughter again. Her mother felt responsible for it all because she had allowed her daughter to move away. The disciple felt sorry for her parents. After she broke up with her boyfriend, she was much more in control of her life and she felt free again. All this she attributed to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings and help.

She felt ashamed that she had failed the guru who was sincere and caring. Because she had not followed the teaching and only wanted to live a good life, she had attended the pujas just as an opportunity to make friends. She had not genuinely tried to change her evil behavior and thereby lost the opportunity to learn Buddhism under the guru. She felt that she was a terrible person because she had wronged all the sentient beings, particularly the His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Because she had not observed the Five Commandments and the Ten Meritorious Acts, she forgot the grace and kindness of the guru. She never showed reverence, faith, care, or made any offerings to her guru.

She repented for the evil acts she had committed. She promised that she would not repeat her mistakes and would implement the guru’s teachings into her life. She would not be lazy or doubtful and would follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in her quest to learn Buddhism. She was grateful that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche allowed her to express repentance verbally. During the two years when she was prevented from coming to the Buddhist Center, she eventually realized that it was very auspicious and rare to be able to rely on an accomplished practitioner and listen to the orthodox Buddhist teachings. She prayed that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would grant her another opportunity to learn Buddhism and to make offerings to the guru, the Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas.

She hoped that everyone could benefit from her example. One has to treasure the opportunity to learn Buddhism under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, for the guru dedicates his life to benefit all sentient beings without asking anything in return. She hoped that she could receive the blessings from the guru, the Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas so as to purify all the evil deeds she had committed in this life, to be freed from the suffering sea of  reincarnation, and to attain rebirth in the Pure Land of Buddha Amitabha. At last, she prayed that His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have good health, perfect Buddhist activities and long life as well as turn the Dharma wheel eternally. She expressed her gratitude towards His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for their great mercy and compassion.

Then, another female disciple thanked Richen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for granting her the opportunity to express her verbal repentance and personal account openly. She was the disciple whose husband had passed away due to myocardial infarction and received the precious Phowa performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche two weeks ago.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once commented on the evil conduct her husband had committed at the Swayambhunath in Nepal. Her husband had eavesdropped on the teaching bestowed by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Additionally, in order to make himself popular, he told everyone what he had heard without permission. The female disciple expressed her repentance for she was the one who had urged him to do so. Therefore, all her present hardships were the consequence of her own conduct.

This female disciple reported that she had committed many immoral acts before taking refuge; after taking refuge, she still did evil things without any repentance even knowing that these things were wrong. When she was a child, she did not love her younger sister, did not show filial obedience to her parents, and amused herself by catching fish and crabs in fountains to eat. Actually, such a fish the size of a   fingernail had not been much of a meal, but for some reason she still wanted to eat it. When she became an adult, she also had barbecue many times; and she did not listen to her parents’ advice and engaged in casual relationship, which lead to two abortions.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught that those who have had abortions have had the evil habit of killing people or babies in their past lives. As a result of the abortions, she had to have many spinal surgeries. When studying in school, she cheated on exams and indulged by smoking, drinking, playing mahjong, and going to night clubs. She visited fishing ports during holidays and ate fresh seafood. She also ate dog meat, snake meat, and countless sentient beings from the sea, the air, and the land. Because she broke up the families of these sentient beings, she has had to suffer the karmic retribution.

Before taking refuge, she had committed all kinds of evil deeds. She had felt that she had already lost control; her health had become very bad; and she had had thoughts of suicide to escape her terrible life. She had not known what to do. Later, she visited Tibet. Because of the blessings of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on this trip, she knew of the reincarnation of the Six Realms. So she knew that her troubles would not be solved even if she died; and after she died, she might fall into all kinds of major or minor hells and the Three Evil Realms. While she felt that she could neither live nor die, she heard, by chance that there was a guru who was very skilled at liberating sentient beings. And in fact, she had heard the guru’s name three years ago. Because of this, she could then have the opportunity to take refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Knowing that their disciples have had much serious evil karma from past lives, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would continuously create opportunities for the disciples to accumulate virtues so that they could have more time to practice Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche let her learn how to make Torma by inviting the Khenpo Namdol from Yuan-Nan to teach the disciples the technique and paid for the classes. However, she quarreled with the Dharma brothers from the Torma-making group in the Buddhist center and instigated discord among them. In this way she had committed the offense of the “Fourteen Fundamental Downfalls.” Furthermore, at work, she constantly spoke ill of other colleagues and stirred up troubles. She not only forgot about all the help other colleagues had given to her, but also became a back stabber.

In addition, earlier when disciples voted to decide whether to buy a new tract of land for the Buddhist Center, she voted selfishly for a place right next to the old Center, without considering the needs of others.  She said that she had even changed her mind about practicing Buddhism and keeping her promises to the guru, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. This is an example of her empty and broken promises in her daily life

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once gave a teaching about why reincarnation occurs. One reason is that when one has promised something but does not fulfill it, one must be reborn as a human to right this wrong. Even after hearing this teaching, she did not change her conduct. For instance, she originally planned to take a trip to Tibet; however, she didn’t keep her promise to join the group in Tibet because it was too expensive. She valued her money even more than her life and that’s why she married into such a family that also values money too much.

This disciple was grateful that the guru kept granting her chances. Even when she was able to do a tiny favor for the guru, she didn’t always do it well. Even worse, she felt a sense of arrogance and disrespect toward the guru. This type of thought could cause her to enter the Vajra Hell after death. She twice tried to help her students to attend study abroad programs, and she asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s travelling company to help. The trips didn’t work out but the company had done its best. She, nonetheless, didn’t even pay any deposit. She had wasted the guru’s money and the company’s time and resources.

When she became pregnant the second time, she had violated the precept of refraining from committing sexual misconduct. When the guru transmitted the full prostration for the second time, she did not make the prostration with her heart. She was lazy and continuously violated precepts. Once, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led disciples to participate in a Hevajra Empowerment Puja. There was a night for disciples to pray for dreams. However, she dreamed that she argued with the guru three times. Although she was also scolded three times by the guru in the dream, the next day Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specifically queried his disciples: if someone had a nightmare, those people could stand up and the guru would bestow blessings on them. But again, she did not dare to stand up due to her ego. As a result, she lost the opportunity to repent immediately. After the empowerment, the guru again reminded them that the red string tied to the arm must not fall off within a certain time. But she was arrogant and thought it would not. Before long, the red string had fallen off, and she had not even noticed. It was the other Dharma brother who found it for her.

At the beginning of 2009, her mother was stricken with cancer. She was at a loss and realized that she listened to the Dharma teachings every week as if they were stories. She never grasped the true meaning of them, never cultivated the concept of   impermanence, and thought that it was enough just to do the Buddhist homework. She
stole company time by doing her Buddhist practice in the office; consequently, she did not follow the Dharma text when she was doing the homework and even lost the golden amber Buddha beads she had bought in the antique store.

Even though she had committed so many evil deeds, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still did not abandon her. In fact, he even performed the auspicious and rare Phowa for her husband. During her most difficult time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave her 100,000 NTD to pay for her husband’s funeral. She thanked the Dharma brothers, who had been very helpful in her time of grief. In their presence she felt a wonderful sense of peace. Many of the Dharma brothers took time away from their duties to attend the funeral, which moved her deeply. It made her incomparably excited in her mind, because the Dharma brothers came with the red vest, and it is like the guru’s protection net coming to help her.

This female disciple hopes the Dharma brothers could use her as an example to not make similar mistakes. After the flower of retribution appeared, she felt so disgusted with herself. She knew that she did not take the time to learn Buddhism, and was not mindful of her body, speech and mind. She failed to live up to the guru’s expectations and wasted the guru’s energy. Many suffering sentient beings did not get the help they needed because of her selfishness. Her retribution would be to fall into the Five Avici Hells and Vajra Hell for countless times.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has said that he would dedicate his life to extend the disciples’ time to learn Buddhism and always give the disciples as much help as possible. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sees all disciples as a treasure. But how did disciples repay the guru? She did not obey, and did not serve the guru either. Instead, she continuously troubled the guru, for which she was deeply regretful.

She repented for all the evil karma created by her body, speech and mind in the past. From now on, she would begin to change herself fundamentally.  She will make offerings to the guru and serve the guru with the purest body, speech and mind. She wished the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have  long life, always turn the Dharma wheel, and enjoy good health.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended the Dharma throne and proceeded to give enlightenment of the Dharma teaching by Master Gampopa regarding when a capable disciple meets a guru with merits. The purpose of Buddhism is not to seek health and protection in life or search for telepathy. If you search for these things, you will search in vain. You might think that Buddhism is like any other religions, and its purpose is to encourage people to do good deeds and be kind to each other. However, the difference between Buddhism and other religions is that Buddhism teaches us the truth of the universe. That is, through the teachings of Buddha Dharma, we can correct our behavior to avoid falling into the cycle of reincarnation.

Many people who have had illnesses have beseeched Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bestow blessings for their recovery. They said that they would be able to learn Buddhism when they regain their health.  Actually, it is threatening to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas! When one is learning Buddhism, one should not have the attitude of looking for protection, good health or peace; one would not find it. Who says that one must be healthy to learn Buddhism and one cannot practice Buddhism without good health? In fact, anyone can cultivate Buddhism regardless of health. There was one disciple who had Lou Gehrig’s disease and was unable to speak and recite the mantra in the disease’s final stage. He never lost faith in his guru and Buddha Dharma. The Six-Syllable Mani Mantra was always in his thoughts.  He died within a year after he took refuge. Nonetheless, he had attained the ability to know the time of his death.

A believer came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche yesterday. When she knelt down and said that her daughter lived in Kaohsiung, she burst into tears. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her that it was not necessary to say anything and she should bring her daughter personally to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche if her daughter had any problem. However this believer still insisted on finishing her story that her daughter had attracted many ghosts since she started to recite the sutras. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reprimanded her, “You are slandering Buddha with this kind of talk!  How could Buddhas and Bodhisattvas harm you? ” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had already known what she would say before she began to speak. In order to prevent her from slandering, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stopped her immediately. But she ignored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and still kept on telling the slanderous story.

Why do many people have this kind of thought nowadays?  We could not blame them completely; we could only say that those people who propagate Buddhism do not explain the real meaning of Buddha Dharma to believers. They simply encourage people to attend puja and recite mantras frequently, and assure them that their problems will be solved. This is merely a kind of marketing statement. When people ask for good health, they would be told to recite “the Sutra of the Master of Healing;” when a couple wish to have a child, they would be told to recite “the Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra;” when believers wish to liberate their deceased family members, they would be told to recite “the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows.”  However they were never told why they need to recite those sutras. The sutra should not be recited arbitrarily; it must be done according to some specific rituals. When believers do not see any effect after doing what they were told, they begin to say things and slander Buddhas. It is mentioned in the Maharatnakuta Sutra that some people will cater to believers and twist the meaning of Buddha Dharma in order to gain fame and wealth in the Age of Degenerate Dharma. However, the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is not a market place, rather, it is a Buddhist Center where the true Buddhist teachings and the way of liberation from the cycle of reincarnation are taught.

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, clearness 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 the void of the sky.’” The above teaching represents the state of one’s Buddhist cultivation and contains the state of prajna expounded by the Buddha.

“Clarity, clearness, and non-thought,” enlightened by Master Gampopa, means that one who has realized his own pure, self-nature will not be clinging to worldly matters, for those matters are like the human drama. Regarding the meaning of “like the void of the sky,” it frequently appears in sutras. Because people have not realized their own self-nature, therefore, “like the void of the sky” has to be used here.

The aforementioned “void of the sky” does not mean nothingness. Rather, the Dharma nature, which is like the nature of the void, is unchanging. When we see the sky, sometimes it will be covered by clouds. However the clouds are not permanent, they are changeable and fleeting. The clouds will come and go, and the everlasting sky will regain its clarity. Our mind is just like the void of the sky which is pure and clear. The causes and conditions are like the clouds that are movable and impermanent.  Sometimes we can see the dark sky covered by the clouds, sometimes we can see a bright day, but the nature of the sky is never affected at all. Similarly, the nature of the true mind never changes. On the other hand, karma and causes and conditions change constantly. Moreover, conditions arise and cease. If no evil deeds are committed, there will be no retribution. For example, if one does not hinder others, there will be no retribution of being hindered by others. When you realize the impermanence of causes and conditions, you will refrain from evil acts and practice virtuous deeds.

Usually, after the diagnosis of cancer, one would have surgery, chemotherapy or shoot poison into the body and kill the sentient beings in the body. How could the body heal? Nowadays the targeted therapy is still very popular in Taiwan. However, recent reports have indicated that many American doctors start to not offer treatments to cancer patients. Because they find in clinical research that the cancer cells spread quickly once the surgery is performed on the patient. The reason why you obsess with your illness is because your mind is not clear and you feel that you are a victim. This is actually the result of past karma. When you think that something is not good for you, you give rise to greed. However, according to Buddhism, there must be previous causes for illness. Having cancer is not the fruit of karmic retribution, but just the flower of retribution. Before the fruit ripens, there is still time to change the flavor of the fruit. Without practicing Buddhism diligently, there is a chance for people who have cancer to fall into hell.

All Han people believe in cause and effect because we have been in touch with Buddhism since Han Dynasty. We know there will be good results for good deeds, and serious retribution for evil deeds. The good results from good deeds in this life, however, can only come to fruition and be used in the next life. Instead of spending so much time taking care of your body, you should be determined to accept Buddha Dharma and believe that Buddha would not lie to or harm us. Often, you were too lazy or too stingy to go to the doctor, but you always think that you can just hand over your problems to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. However, it takes a huge effort to make changes in this life. The reason why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s skin cancer is cured is that he has made many offerings and practiced charities, as well as upheld deep faith in Buddha Dharma and his guru.

As you cannot comprehend the state of Buddhahood, the words, “void of the sky” would be explained to you in a way you can understand.  Even a blind person, hearing other’s explanation of these words, can understand it. When practitioners have attained some specific level of enlightenment, they have a clear mind and have come closer to understanding it; and this understanding comes from their own experiences, instead of from Buddha’s teachings. You may occasionally feel the revelation of your Dharma nature, or may feel a sudden tranquility while reciting mantra. At this time, you may feel that you are having fewer thoughts or no thought at all – your mind is clear. These feelings, however, are intermittent, interrupted and have no continuity. You have not reached the state of “endless continuity”. It is impossible for you to attain such a state yet. The accomplished practitioners can continually abide in their Dharma nature, and their mind-continuum is as endless as  flowing river. Through concentration and learning, one can attain tranquility and stability; as a result, he will no longer have worries. However, it is very difficult to realize the state of  “the void of the sky.” Most likely, you will not be able to attain such a level in this lifetime, but it is still important for you to understand it. At most, you can practice to attain inner tranquility in this lifetime. Today’s enlightenment is only an introduction.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche received believers yesterday, the ordained disciple who served Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, witnessed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s patience when he faced with all kinds of people and problems. Without a mind of stability, it would be impossible to help sentient beings and free them from sufferings. Additionally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche no longer has self-attachment. A female disciple, who has breast cancer, brought her husband to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She hoped that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would solve their problems and make her husband accept Buddha Dharma. She did not expect that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, on the contrary, would ask her to listen to her husband’s advice on her medical treatments. In fact, if she had good virtues, she would have married a husband who would want to learn Buddha Dharma with her! After becoming sick, she still did not realize that she needed to repent for the evil deeds she has committed.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not faint of heart. If the guru were, he would not practice the Vajra Vehicle Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not let others slander Buddhas or gurus. If your friends have any problem, you can invite them to ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help. Do not, however, use the guru to impress your friends, thinking that you are a good person simply because you learn Buddhism and thus, you are different from others. Do not be so self-righteous.

The most difficult job in this world is to be a Rinpoche. You should not think that Bodhisattvas live an easy life. Bodhisattvas bear so much suffering, which cannot be endured by ordinary people. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that you must desire to be reborn into the Pure Land, instead of wishing to return to this world to help others. The reason is that sentient beings are very difficult to help. Although sutras teach us to aspire to come back and help sentient beings, however if you have not solved your own problems in this life, how can you return to help others? Do you know where you will be reborn in next life? Are you in control of your own life-and-death? If not, do not arbitrarily make vows and do not be an inventor of vow-making.

“Freely he travels to all places where virtuous conditions abound,” is from “The Long Life Prayer for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche,” bestowed by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. That is, the guru will go where there are virtuous conditions. It is not necessary to come back to the earth because sentient beings are difficult to help. “Virtuous conditions” refers to when sentient beings believe Buddha Dharma and realize they can be helped by it. Nevertheless, “virtuous conditions” does not refer to wealth or power. If everyone here does not need Buddha Dharma but only need satisfaction of your desires, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will leave to help other sentient beings.

There was once an ordained person vowed to make one million people be ordained in Taiwan. This is impossible. Vows made by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are what they are certain they can achieve, and have already achieved. All you have to do is to pray to be reborn into the Pure Land. For example, at the end of each puja, the “Prayer for Rebirth in the Pure Land” is recited. If you aspire to be reborn in the Pure Land, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are sure to help you achieve it, because no Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, or gurus want to see sentient beings fall into three Evil Realms or the reincarnation of Six Realms. It is stated in the Buddha Amitabha Sutra: “All Buddhas praise the auspicious merit of Buddha Amitabha with the form of long, and wide, tongues.” Hence, when you vow to be reborn in the Pure Land of Buddha Amitabha, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will help, protect and support you.

Master Gampopa enlightened: “When a disciple has no false confidence in the guru, the disciple is moving toward the path of attaining Buddhahood. It is not to say that the Buddhahood is attained immediately. It is like what is depicted in Lotus Sutra that if one makes prostration to Buddhas, one has already started on the path to Buddhahood.” It means that when you have no doubts about the guru, you have started in the direction of being liberated from life and death, as well as attaining Buddhahood. From the first day when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began learning Buddha Dharma, he never thought that in the future he would ascend the Dharma throne to propagate Dharma, or make the great vow of liberating sentient beings. It is necessary to clearly see surrounding conditions and make vows accordingly.

It is depicted in the Lotus Sutra that when Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara saved sentient beings from the forest full of vipers and beasts and set them aside so as to save others, the sentient beings foolishly returned to the forest. Looking at this, how can all sentient beings be saved? The vow of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha is “not to become a Buddha unless the hells become empty”. How can hells become empty? Thus, Bodhisattvas are hard at work. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s vow is much the same. Why did Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara shed tears? It was because Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara saw the way sentient beings act and became very anxious. Similarly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is very anxious too. Even so, no matter how disobedient you are, once you have taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would still help you.

Last week, a female disciple stricken with cancer brought her husband with her to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Her husband knelt down and beseeched Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to let his wife live for four or five more years, in order to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and learn Buddha Dharma. This is a form of intimidation to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Although the husband spoke very politely, since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can perform Phowa and has some supernatural power and he knew what her husband was thinking. Wishing his wife would receive treatments of western medicine, he beseeched with soft words outwardly, on the inside he was ready to explode. He was upset with his wife for delaying critical treatment because of her learning Buddhism here. In order to stop the dispute between the husband and wife and prevent the husband from slandering Buddhas, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the female disciple to listen to her husband and go to see doctors. If her husband wanted her to have chemotherapy, then she should do it. Since her husband asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to let her live for four or five more years, then, to be fair, her husband should ask the same from her doctors. However, doctors would not dare to guarantee such a thing. Many people like to ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche if they should seek treatments. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche tells them they should but the illness is not cured later, they would blame Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. On the other hand, if the guru advised to reject treatment and the illness is not cured later, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would still be blamed; even a press conference might be held!

Why did this female disciple’s husband act in such a manner? It was because she had never clearly explained to him what Buddha Dharma teaches. She just thought that it was good enough for her to learn Buddhism and there was no need to talk too much about it with her husband. When she became sick, she did not bother to see doctors either. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not against seeing doctors when someone gets sick. Otherwise, why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche operate a Chinese medicine clinic? Currently, your favorite act is to dump your sickness or problems to Buddhas and Bodisattvas and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche but you do not bother to go to see doctors when you are sick.  However, when you buy a house, get promoted or get a raise, you don’t think of offering these “good things” to Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The reason you behave this way is because you are lazy to see doctors, fearing that seeing doctors will cost money. It is not a correct attitude that you don’t remember your guru when situations are good, but you are always quick to rush to the guru when there are problems.

Most men always give an excuse that they need to work hard in their career and have no time to learn Buddhism. They feel that it is good enough that their wife comes to learn, which they believe will bring peace and harmony to the family. That is superstition. Ordinary Buddhist temples would cater to believers in order to gain fame and wealth. For example, while male believers cannot attend pujas because of busy schedule at work, Dharma master would say, “That is fine to have your wife and children to come and represent you.” There is no such saying in the Buddhist sutras.

A believer who recently had surgery for cancer sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help him recover. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told him that good cells were all killed and the surgery did the killing for the second time. Most cancer cells were killed during treatment, but some would survive and hide. Nowadays Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always says that he will help people regardless they have treatments or not. If people die after treatments, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would help to liberate them with the Chod after a certain amount of time. Furthermore, if they die without treatments, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would also help to liberate them, and they may receive the Phowa. Those who are very greedy, hateful and ignorant, and would not listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s advice anyway, could only wait until there are enough causes and conditions for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help.

The guru teaches Buddha Dharma, but if you are not diligent about practice, it would be too late when problems occur. Then, even the guru has no solutions. After Buddha Shakyamuni had attained Buddhahood, he still could not stop the Sakya clan from being killed. The enemy army was entering the city to vanquish Buddha Shakyamuni’s family. When Maudgalyayana, who had great supernatural power, found out, he could not bear to see Buddha Shakyamuni’s family being killed, therefore he put 500 members of the family inside a magic bowl and lifted it to the sky so it would be protected from the enemy. After the army left, Maudgalyayana was to take the bowl back to the city but found that all the family members had turned to blood. Even Buddha Shakyamuni, who had attained Buddhahood, and Maudgalyayana, who had great supernatural power, could not change the family’s karma. How can you change your karma?

Many people think that divorce, bankruptcy or illness is the end of the world, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche experienced all of these before, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has a different view. Because of these hardships, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s distractions were all removed and he was able to exert himself to complete the Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices within a year. Exertion does not mean doing many things at once, instead it means concentrating on doing one thing. If these terrible things happened to you, you would probably feel miserable and feel like it is the end of the world. As a result, it would probably never cross your mind to learn Buddha Dharma at time like this. In 1993 when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was learning Buddhism and he was going through a very hard time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still used the best incense available to offer to Buddhas. Although Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had no money to pay for rent, electricity or even food, the incense-offering in front of the mandala was never interrupted and it is the best in quality. It is likely that you only make offerings with what money is left after subtracting all daily expenses. A disciple, who is in incense business, said that a small piece of incense of $150 NTD bought by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at that time equals to $5,000 NTD worth of agilawood incense at the current price.

“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.” You may ask, “If the guru is able to help so many sentient beings and accomplish so many Dharma activities, why does the guru still need worthy disciples?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained, “No matter how accomplished the guru is, he will get old and die one day. Also, many conditions are temporary and everyone has different causal conditions in their lives. A worthy disciple can continue the Dharma lineage and benefit more sentient beings.”

Why was Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s cancer cured without seeing doctors, reciting mantras, or beseeching His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to help? It is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realizes that everyone’s self-nature is pure and undefiled. What suffers from cancer is merely the body of karmic retribution, which does not affect Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma nature. Hence, when the pure and undefiled nature is aroused, so do the cancer cells because they in fact have the same essence as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. This is why when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche regains his pure nature, the cancer cells are doing the same. This is the meaning of “great compassion based on sameness in essence” with no differentiation between “you,” “I” and “he/she.” The accumulation of different karma from past lives leads to the different reincarnations in the Six Realms; however, the true nature of sentient beings is the same. When the cancer cells regain their pure nature, how then would they affect Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche? Have you ever heard of this kind of Buddhist teachings before? According to Buddhist sutras, all the myriad things in the world, including stones, let alone cancer cells, have Buddha nature.

There is no differentiation between “you,” “I,” and “he/she.” When you regain your pure nature, the cancer cells in your body also regain it. Don’t say that you will co-exist with the cancer cells. The real co-existence refers to the oneness of same essence. Some people came to beseech Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings and their illness became better. It is not that the cancer cells get liberated; it is that they regain their pure nature through Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings. As long as a person is not dead, cancer cells would not leave, and are still in the body. They would only be liberated with the person when the person dies.  If you have the opportunity, you should see pictures of cancer cells. They look ugly and grotesque. All are black. Why? It is because your heart is black and filled with evil karma. By the same token, cancer cells are also black and grotesque-looking.

Master Gampopa enlightened, “Practitioners should listen to the guru’s Dharma teachings without any hypocrisy. Concentrate on Buddha Dharma without any distractions. If one can practice as such, one day his or her wishes would surely be realized.” When death comes, no one can help you. If you do not practice Buddha Dharma before you die, you will not be in control at time of your death. This is because you have not had faith in the guru and have not truly practiced at all. The attachment of human mind is hard to break; therefore, the Dharma teaching of Vajra Vehicle says that one needs to believe in the guru. Buddhist practice is a preparation for death and is not for peace and security in this lifetime. Do not expect that your disease can be cured without treatment, because you do not have such virtuous karma from previous lives like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. So you must believe in the guru and the guru will help disciples. Everyone must follow the guru and change their own thinking by not complicating things, and in this way, things will change. Similarly, Bodhisattvas do not have their own thoughts while helping sentient beings. All they do is to create favorable conditions so that sentient beings will have opportunities to learn Buddha Dharma in the future.

There was a female disciple made repentance before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recently. During the “Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness,” a security guard on duty asked the female disciple why she is interested in Buddhism. She then shared with the guard why she follows Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to learn Buddhism. They had good impression on each other. After the puja, the security guard called the antique store owned by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and defamed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Because the guard who is interested in this female disciple, hearing her praise Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, thought that if in the future he has a relationship with her, he might not be able to control her. Therefore, he called to defame Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. With a smile, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that he is better than a psychologist, as he thoroughly understand what people are thinking.

Yesterday, a believer came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and asked for advice. He said that he had been cursed when he went to see a Chinese medicine doctor six years ago. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took a look at him and told him that there was no curse on him. He answered back immediately, “Yes! There was!” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again told him that there was really no one cursing him, but the man insisted that someone cursed him. The guru then bestowed the enlightenment, “In cases like these, many curses are real and many are not. If you were really cursed, you would not be able to walk in to such a pure Buddhist Center.” This believer, however, kept insisting that he was cursed. Because of his lack of faith in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he could not get help from Buddha Dharma.

People who are willing to learn Buddhism naturally receive blessings without asking. This wisdom would definitely guide them away from behaviors which may cause the cycle of reincarnation. In addition, without worries and negative thoughts, their health would improve. If one has sufficient virtuous condition for learning Buddha Dharma, he or she will not plant evil causes. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are very patient in helping people. Moreover, because time remains still for all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, so they help sentient beings according to their causal conditions. Debating with non-Buddhist people is not to win over them, but to help and inspire them to learn Buddhism. You must clearly understand the direction of your Buddhist practice, and not to curse yourself. If you think that all problems come from other people, you do not have a repentant heart. Any evil deeds you do in this life must be repaid. For example, people who pressure others to drink would have the retribution of being reborn for 500 lifetimes as animals with no hands. If one has never committed such acts, this retribution would not happen; this is cause and effect.

Because human beings are selfish, full of wandering thoughts and afflictions, they fall into the cycle of reincarnation. When you clearly understand the Buddha Dharma, you will be able to let go of your sufferings. This is all to prepare for death. Mantra-reciting is to prepare for the meditative state of death and is not to improve your life now. They allow your consciousness to remain focused, which will be helpful when you are in danger. You should not ask Buddhas and Bodhisattvas all day long to satisfy your desires. Life-and-death is the most important matter and we should know that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas mainly help sentient beings to avoid falling into the Three Evil Realms. If you act in accordance with the teachings of Buddha, even when your karmic hindrance appears, the guru can still save you.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed Master Gampopa’s teaching on “giving one’s self-attachment.” Master Gampopa taught, “You should start small until you can give up all things you love, cut all the greed, realize and rid yourself all of your faults. Moreover, you must observe carefully where your faults exist. Once you realize them, you must get rid of them relentlessly.”

In Exoteric Buddhism, the first of the Six Paramitas is the practice of giving, which is to let go of self-attachment and all greed. Buddhism emphasizes on mercy and compassion, rather than love. If somebody promotes love, you should not listen. When you love someone, you hope that your love would be responded to you in the same way. Moreover, it is not Buddhism when you love someone and wish to find satisfaction of your desires from the others.

The real practice of giving is to give up all people, circumstances, objects and even our own faults that cause our afflictions. Giving is not sacrificing oneself for the sake of others or transforming a small love into a grand one. For example, you may like a table but you would not embrace it and kiss it because the table will not respond back. Just imagine that if you kiss your children but they say “don’t kiss me,” how would you feel? When you kiss your husband or wife but get no response, don’t you get angry immediately? Hence, love involves a counterpart and is conditional.

Without practicing giving, one will not be able to eliminate afflictions and self-attachment. With self-attachment, one will not be able to cultivate mercy and compassion; without mercy and compassion, there is no Buddhism. You are selfish and always seek something in return to benefit your physical beings. Our bodies are not our true selves, but only the manifestation of our karma. The most important thing is to have a pure, unpolluted nature. The Zen School says that even stones have Buddha nature; how could human beings not? Every sentient being’s pure nature is the same, and there is no good or bad one. After recovering the pure nature, sufferings will naturally be reduced. Through the Dharma method of giving, our pure nature can be recovered. This cannot occur through outward appearances of the manifestation in causal conditions.

When one is able to eliminate self-attachment, he can then eliminate the four forms mentioned in the Diamond Sutra, “no forms of beings; no forms of time; no forms of self; no forms of humanity.” Why did the disciple, who died of heart attack, only think about his own mother, daughter, insurance policy, and house, rather than his guru, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas or any mantras? That was because he had attachments. When we learn Buddhism, we are preparing for our last moment of life. In everyday life, we should train our body, speech, and mind for this last moment. None of you believe what Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha said, “Every single thought arising from ordinary humans is karma and vice.” The “vice” here does not mean some bad or erroneous actions, which brings punishments from deities, as in the doctrine of other religions. In the Buddhist teaching, “vice” refers to anything that will prevent you from being liberated from the cycle of birth and death. As long as you still have the thought of “I,” you will create negative karma for yourself. It is because in an effort to satisfy your desires, you will do many things to harm many sentient beings.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was born in a very generous family. Since childhood, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has seen his parents donating household items in order to help others, even when there was no money for food in the family. Therefore, giving is a natural thing for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and it is as natural as breathing. On the contrary, you may think, “I” want to get everything for myself, and “I” do not want to suffer losses. You may even think only of earning virtues when practicing giving. If one hopes to gain virtues while practicing giving, one has a stingy mind. There will be retribution for this type of stinginess. The more calculating you are, the heavier retribution you will get. There are different degrees of retribution for stinginess.  Genuine practice of giving is to do it without asking anything in return. There is also the concept of “Threefold Wheel of Essential Emptiness,” but it will not be discussed today.

The most important part of practicing giving is to give up all people, circumstances and objects which cause afflictions for us. Do not envy the spouse of others. If one has no spouse in this life, it is because one did not accumulate enough karmic connections in previous lives. However, one does not need to give up family life in order to learn Buddha Dharma. It is similar to what is said in the Maharatnakuta Sutra, “If a practitioner has the causal condition of having spouse in this life, they cannot refuse but need to pay back completely.” If conditions are right, one would be ordained. Also, those who are ordained had the thought of being ordained in their previous lives, and then it actually occurred in this life. We must be clear about the meaning of practicing generosity. The real karmic retribution we get in practicing giving is to eliminate the affliction of self-attachment so that we can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

When you make donations to a charity foundation, 70 to 80 dollars out of 100 would be used to pay salaries of their employees. If you really want to make donations and help others, you can make your donations to the Department of Social Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior in Taiwan. As government officials receive salaries, you would be able to file a lawsuit in case you found them embezzling the money. Nevertheless, you would not dare to file an embezzlement lawsuit against the charity foundation because they are too big and powerful.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s spouse tried to hinder his Buddhist practice, he got a divorce right away. Nevertheless, you should not follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s example because you will suffer greatly after a divorce. Do not imitate what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did. In Ratnakuta Sutra, it is said that one who has karmic connection with his or her spouse, must not reject reasonable requests from the spouse. If you had the cause and condition to become a monk or a nun, you would have been one a long time ago and you should not leave your spouse to pursue this path. You should make good use of this life to pay off everything you owe to them. If you have the causal condition to be ordained, your spouse will naturally leave you when the time comes.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not against you having a boyfriend or girlfriend, but merely warns against having an unsuitable boyfriend or girlfriend. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sees that a man will become an obstacle to your Buddhist practice, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will remind you about it. Some of you even met at this Buddhist Center and got married. Yesterday, a couple came to ask Rinchen Dojree Rinpoche to bestow a blessing in witness of their marriage. In fact, what is bestowing a blessing in witness of a marriage? Are there couples in the world who are truly in love?

The female disciple mentioned above was very greedy in love. Obviously, it was impossible for her future husband to come with her to learn Buddhism, still, she was willing to marry him, moved to Taichung, and raised his child. However, she was reluctant to make offerings to the guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has enlightened before that when you live with your spouse, if one is a vegetarian and the other is not, your spouse may eat vegetarian food in the beginning. After a period, however, you two would surely quarrel about food. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche definitely does not oppose love affairs or marriage between men and women. Otherwise, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not enlighten what is taught in Maharantnakuta Sutra, “People, who have the causes and conditions of having spouse, cannot refuse them.”

What Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gives you are lessons to help you understand Buddha Dharma. Nevertheless, you always think that marriage is extremely important and even say to yourself “I cannot live without my spouse.” People who say this should know that when human beings die, they certainly die alone. If there are other people who die with you, it must be a car accident or airplane crash and you certainly do not wish that to happen. It is explained in Buddhist sutras why a female’s body is formed the way it is, because females have strong desires. “Desire” does not necessarily refer to desire between a man and a woman, but the desire for people, circumstances and objects. If women have problems with their breasts or uterus, the problems originate from this type of desire in their past lives. The ancient Chinese were very wise in saying that a woman should be chaste. That is also the reason why women should not have strong desires. Modern people, however, do not listen to these ancient sayings.

People with strong desires are more prone to have diseases. Dharma-propagators’ goal is to help people to understand the source of their problems, instead of simply asking for offerings, or asking them to attend pujas without teaching them to believe in the law of cause and effect. If one can correct all evil deeds, one would naturally have a better life in the future. Do not deliberately brag about your practice, instead, you should recite mantras with full concentration. There would be no protection once your mind wanders. The most important thing for Buddhists is to see whether their inner world has changed, instead of just focusing on the outward appearances.

Only by eliminating all desires from one’s ego, does one reach the state of what the Diamond Sutra calls, i.e. no forms of self; no forms of humanity; no forms of beings; no forms of time. To achieve total elimination of desires, one should tackle the task little by little and step by step. Do not ask when you will be able to accomplish the task. Learning Buddhism is a very natural thing and should not be carried out artificially. If you worry about the result, you are still self-attached and will be unable to learn Buddhism. The late mother of a disciple had sought refuge with an Exoteric Buddhist master. The master, who had terminal cancer, was unwilling to close her eyes to fall asleep, because she worried that, if she fell asleep, she would miss the arrival of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, hence, the chance of being led to Pure Land. This was also a type of attachment. If you have sufficient virtues, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will naturally come to take you, and certainly not to let you miss your opportunity. So it has nothing to do with whether you are asleep or not. As a Tibetan folk tale goes, “An old woman used to recite the Six-Syllable Mantra reverently every day. A lama corrected her pronunciation in her recitation and she became distracted, as a result, she lost the protection of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

People pray for many things while reciting sutras or mantras. For example, if your children do not have good grades, you would pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to improve their grades. You worry that your children would have difficulties finding jobs because of bad grades. This is to pray with greed. It is wrong to pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in order to fulfill selfish and self-benefiting wishes. Your prayers cannot be fulfilled, unless it is performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because everything Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche prays for is to benefit sentient beings. If you generally pray to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas with such attitude, praying for health and protection, your prayers to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas before death will not be heard, since you have used up your virtues while you were alive.

If you do not practice giving, you cannot break the self-attachment and rid yourself of greed. If you do not get rid of greed, you will never realize your faults and will continue to embrace them. Also, it is your fault if others misunderstand you because you did not speak clearly. You should truly practice the Dharma method of giving and carefully observe to find out where your faults are. Once you discover them, you should get rid of them relentlessly.

Next, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche queried the Chairman of Taipei Glorious Jewel Buddhism Culture Exchange Association. The secretary-general of the Association, mentioned in last week’s puja, had revealed members’ data to the disciple who works in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company, but the council of the Association still decided to allow the secretary-general to continue in his position. Was this the correct decision? Do you think it is enough of a punishment to prohibit him from attending puja four times? Another disciple, a prosecutor, also confirmed that the secretary-general’s action is illegal. The duty of the council is to ensure there is nothing illegal occurring in the Association. The council, however, decided to let the secretary-general, who had made a mistake, keep his position. This is because the council thought what the secretary-general had done was not a big deal, and, besides, the council took into account that everyone knows each other for a long time that there was no need to break up the long-standing friendship. Everyone wants to be the good guy but let Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche be the bad guy. In fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is carefully observing the council to see how this matter is handled.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reminds everyone repeatedly that all big mistakes come from small ones. One must tirelessly eliminate small mistakes so that they will not lead to big ones. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been continuously practicing the Dharma method of giving and making offerings, therefore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gradually eliminated his greed, as a result, he was able to instantly detect the mistake this secretary-general had made. Even though the secretary-general and the female disciple, who works in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company, intended to increase Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s business, nonetheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not let them get by with their mistakes. It is not that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is so careful and is able to observe the mistakes the disciples made. Instead, it is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not have the notion of “me” anymore, and his greed has been completely eliminated. This ability comes from practicing the Dharma method. The members of the council, however, obviously have not practiced the Dharma method of giving well, have not found their own mistakes and eliminate them relentlessly. That was why they were willing to overlook the mistake made by this secretary-general. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not hesitate to sacrifice the small individual’s benefit to accomplish the greater good. In other words, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would rather give up business sales than have illegal activities occurring in the Buddhist Center.

If the council elected by all members acts as such, how could it be responsible to all the members? How will this affect the future of the Buddhist Center?  “You council members are so “mixed up”! Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked: “Is the term, “mixed up” considered foul language?” “Mixed up” should not be considered foul language. There is a history about it. In northern China, there was a custom in the past that many people slept on same bed and shared a mosquito net, so the southern Chinese use this term to describe people from the north. Likewise, the northern Chinese call the southerners “barbarians.”

The Buddhist sutras teach us to eliminate “self-attachment”. However, it is hard for you not to think of yourself first. It is impossible for you to feel nothing if your skin is being cut off. People could die from this. It is also impossible to dig out the eyeball without feeling anything. Does it count as “elimination of self-attachment” if all organs are dug out? When a person obviously exists, but he or she is to be eliminated, then the paradox appears.  Even after a person is dead, the consciousness still exists for a period of time. The biggest problem for a practitioner is the self-attachment, because you would think: “I” am learning Buddha Dharma; “I” am practicing; or “I” have feelings.

In fact, self-attachment results from reactions of our six senses, which are the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. You have also heard of the concept of “provisional self and true nature,” but you cannot yet understand its full meaning. All people, circumstances and objects in the universe do not have self-nature. Their forms are not real, and are a result of causes and conditions as well as causes and effects. How does one eliminate this “self”? That is why, in the Buddhist sutras, the practice of “giving” which teaches us to give is listed as the first and foremost in the Dharma methods of the Six Paramitas. We give all we possess, even our bodies. The purpose of giving is not for gaining rewards or virtues. Virtues received after giving is just the law of cause and effect, as well as cause and condition. When you are able to practice giving, the most fruitful effect is not to gain some virtues, but to eliminate your greed.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had first taken refuge under the guru of Exoteric Buddhism, the guru only taught Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche the practice of offering and giving. After taking refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the $300,000 NTD of monthly expenses of the first Drikung Kagyu Center in Taiwan was all paid for by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. If it were you, you may think that, with such generous giving, all personal problems should totally disappear! Nevertheless, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started learning Tantra, his business failed; he got divorced; his friends pretended they didn’t know him, when bumping into him on street; he was too poor to eat or pay rent. He also had no money to pay for his son’s high-school tuition fees. But before then, he was a major donor while learning Exoteric Buddhism. Additionally, he supported the first Drikung Kagyu Center in Taiwan for $300,000 NTD a month. If it were you, you would surely regret having given so much money before. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, however, was very glad since the retribution of being poor in this life, caused by being stingy in past lives, had been repaid; another karmic debt had been paid. You many think these happenings would be obstacles for learning Buddhism. To Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, however, it was a good thing that those events occurred. Because all external distractions were removed, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to concentrate on practicing and completing the Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices within a year. After taking refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continues, even now, to give offerings of wealth, Dharma and fearlessness.

Even if you make offerings, you would be considered very greedy if you are preoccupied and calculating about the money you offer. Some people would find out how much others give before deciding the amount to offer. For example, some people give $500 NTD; others give $100 NTD and another, $200 NTD. After finding out these amounts, some people would give an average so as not to seem stingy. There are people who give money so they could have rewards later. Some organization encourages everyone to give by saying that an entrepreneur donated 100 million NTDs and consequently received a business order of 1 billion NTD. All of these are not appropriate and not correct teachings in Buddhism. The causes and effects depicted in Budhda Dharma absolutely exist. These people only demonstrate the rule of causes and effects of Buddha Dharma — Positive actions result in good effects. However, they do not explain the true meanings of Buddha Dharma. The true intention of Buddhism is to help sentient beings be liberated from reincarnation in the Six Realms, understand the truth of the universe and then they may practice to attain Buddhahood.

Once, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and his friend drove to a Buddhist temple. On the way, they were forced to make a sharp turn, and the car almost fell over a cliff.  Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately recited once the name of “Namo Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.”, the car then righted itself. This is to show that if you have Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in your mind all the time, at the critical moment, your thought will be still with Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

The disciple previously mentioned who died of Myocardial infarction only thought of his daughter, mother, house and insurance policy at the time of his death, but did not think of the guru, mantras or Buddhas at all. This shows that his faith in the guru has been fake. Some people may say that they recite sutras dulcetly, and therefore they are very arrogant. What does it mean to “recite well”?  If you can fix your thoughts in Buddha’s name and mantra while dying, then that is “reciting well.” In Exoteric Buddhism, the follower recites Buddha’s name. In Esoteric Buddhism, the follower recites mantras. This does not mean that mantras are more powerful. The reason is because a sutra is very long and it is impossible to recite a whole one while dying. Hence, followers are taught to meditate on mantras. You have no virtues to see Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in person. If you are asked to meditate on Buddha statues when you are dying, the meditation would fail if you are still deciding on which statue to meditate. Then that would be truly the end for you! For example, for Buddha Shakyamuni’s statues, there are different mudras. For the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara statues, there are Four-armed Avalokiteshvara in Tibetan Buddhism; and Baby-delivering Avalokiteshvara, or Pure-vase Avalokiteshvara in Exoteric Buddhism. In China, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara has 32 kinds of appearance. Because Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are compassionate, so they teach you to meditate on the yidam, guru or mantras. If you train yourself well, you would naturally think of them, and they would help you at the most critical moment. Similarly, even if you have never seen Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in person but have seen the Dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you will definitely get help if you think of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s face before your death.

You claim that you believe in causes and effects and understand that bad results would occur from evil acts. But you think that the “evil acts” are the very serious ones. However, many actions you consider small or insignificant actually have their causes and effects too. You may say, “Wait until I retire, or wait until my children grow up, and then I will…”  However, causes and effects will not wait for you and neither will the suffering of reincarnation. Reincarnation comes when it comes. The reason for covering so much material today is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is going to India soon. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not in Taiwan, you should quietly reflect upon yourself. Many people say that they do not know what faults they have, or how to repent, and they want Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to tell them. How does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche tell them? These people are just unwilling to rid themselves of their own faults. Faults are generated whenever any bit of your body, speech and mind benefits you only.

Next, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche transmitted to the new disciples the ritual of Dharma Protector Achi, and enlightened, “Dharma protectors can be categorized into worldly-Dharma protectors and surpass-mundane-Dharma protectors. Worldly-Dharma protectors are those who have not practiced to reach the level of Dharma body. The surpassed-mundane-Dharma protectors have attained at least the level of Bodhisattvas of Dharma body. The examples of this are the two major Dharma protectors in Exoteric Buddhism – Dharma Protector Skanda and Dharma Protector Sangharama. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to practice Exoteric Buddhism, one day, right before dawn, he clearly saw, not dreamed, as you might think, that he ate with a group of people. There were so many fish and meats on the table. When the people around the table asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to eat, Dharma Protector Skanda appeared with a sword in hand and hacked the foods on the table to bits. From then on, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never met anyone to ask him to eat meat again. That is, if you are determined to learn Buddhism, the Dharma protectors will surly help you.

Dharma Protector Skanda protects and supports the true Buddhist practitioners, whereas Dharama Protector Sangharama is responsible for protecting and supporting the Buddhist temples in Exoteric Buddhism, especially the ordained practitioners. The Dharma protectors in Esoteric Buddhism can be categorized into common and uncommon Dharma protectors. The common protectors are the Dharma protectors, whose rituals are practiced in all Four Major Lineages. For example, Mahakala is a Dharma protector of this kind, although the specific rituals may be different in respective lineages. The uncommon Dharma protectors’ rituals are not commonly practiced, and Dharma Protector Achi is the uncommon Dharma protector for Drikung Kagyu Lineage. Before Achi’s birth, her parents walked to a Buddhist stupa in Nepal, far from Tibet. They circled the Buddhist stupa to pray for a son. Consequently, after returning home, Achi’s mother had many auspicious dreams, and then Achi was born. After hearing this, you may wonder, didn’t her parents pray for a son? Why did they get a daughter? It is because Buddhas and Bodhisattvas give help to sentient beings according to their conditions. It is not “what you pray for is what you get” to fulfill your wishes. Later, Achi naturally became a female Yogini. Her grandson was Jigten Sumgon, the Patriarch of Drikung Kagyu Lineage. Dharma Protector Achi’s vow and aspiration are to protect all disciples in the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. The word “protect” here refers to that when you are determined to learn Buddhism, Achi will protect you from untimely death and help you gradually remove the obstacles in your Buddhist practice.

To practice the Ritual of Dharma Protector is not to help you have a fight with others. You also should not pray to the Dharma protector to make your spouse or your children obedient while practicing the ritual. The prayer of a Buddhist practitioner is completely written on the Dharma text. You come to the puja every week and follow the prayer text to pray and vow, therefore you do not need to pray for anything extra. The vows made by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can all be fulfilled. Whereas your vows must be overseen and confirmed by the guru that they are achievable before you make them. In Drikung Kagyu’s teachings, all rituals and Dharma texts need to be orally transmitted by the guru. For example, it is the tradition that lamas of our lineage also need their gurus to orally transmit the Buddhist Canon to them before they can recite it. In Exoteric Buddhism, Dharma Protector Achi is the head of Dakini. In Esoteric Buddhism, Dharma Protector Achi is the emanation of Vajra Varahi. It is pretty simple to practice the ritual of Dharma Protector Achi. Since Achi used to drink Pu-erh tea, so a cup of hot Pu-erh tea is the best offering. After the ritual, you should pour the tea into the sewer to form the causal connection with sentient beings there; instead of giving it to yourself or your children. Furthermore, you should be reverent to the Three Jewels while making prostration or reciting mantras.  It is disrespectful that you practice the ritual of Dharma protector without brushing your teeth or wearing pajamas.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche heard that some disciples cut the 5 grams of Pu-erh-tea into four pieces, and use only one small piece to offer to Achi Dharma Protector each time. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that such people might as well not to offer Pu-erh tea. If you really can not afford, the Dharma protector will still be glad to accept your sincere offering of a cup of hot water. You haggle over every ounce, calculating in advance how much Pu-erh tea you will use for making offering to Achi. Whereas Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never thinks so much but would use a whole piece of Pu-erh-tea to offer to the Dharma protector. Even when there was no money to buy food, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had never stopped offering the best incense to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Many people are reluctant to offer the best incense to Buddhas and Bodhisattvas simply because they are stingy.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will leave Taiwan for India for a period of time; therefore, you will not be reprimanded for a while. During this time, you should reflect upon yourself, find out where your problems come from, and truly correct yourself. If you cannot get rid of all of your faults and change yourself, you will be still the same no matter how much or how long you practice. Moreover, you should practice giving in your daily life, instead of doing it in an artificial way. If you are so preoccupied in saving your money and time when making offering to the Dharma protector, then you will not have much time to practice Buddhism either, because all you want is to save time. Again, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche emphasized that Buddhist practice is not about giving lengthy speech, but to diligently implement Buddha Dharma into your daily life.

« Older Page Go to Event Calendar Newer Page »

Updated on January 12, 2012