His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Puja Teachings – November 25, 2012

Before the start of the puja, a female disciple expressed her gratitude to His Eminence Varja Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for bestowing upon her the opportunity to share her experiences during the 6-day trip from October 23rd to 28th to the Caoxi Temple in Yunnan.

She first made repentance for her attachment to money, because she was hesitant when told of cost of the trip. Now she was thankful that the group leader had encouraged her to let her parents make this auspicious trip. In the past, no matter how hard she tried to persuade her parents to participate in the trip organized by the Travel Services, it never materialized due to the timing factors and her parents’ complicated emotional issues. Her parents were also concerned with the facts that their trip could cost the children money and that their health might become a burden to the whole tour group. Hence they had always procrastinated. This time, however, it was wondrous in that while she was still undecided, her parents were acting quickly and had their visas done in Taichung. When they (the children) returned to Taichung to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival, they discovered that many of their neighbors were already aware that her parents were going overseas.

She did not know when her father finally overcame his psychological barriers. Before her father left for the trip, he suddenly asked her, “Will Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche go too?” This made her realize that her parents’ confidence sprang from the blessings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Even though her parents had not made a request to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as they did not observe vegetarianism fully, in their hearts they really desired to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She could finally understand her parents’ feelings and desires: she had always wanted them to go vegetarian and they got angry when they did little to comply. She now understood why they behaved in their almost child-like way in this regard.

During the journey, her father shared with fellow travelers, sincerely and sobbingly, that both he and her mother were totally grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s auspicious teachings. He confessed that the guru did what parents were not capable of doing, and he was thankful for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s guidance and blessings bestowed on his daughter and son-in-law (who were disciples that had taken refuge). In fact, she felt ashamed that she had not carried out all the teachings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She also realized that it was with forgiving and tender hearts that her parents accepted changes in her and her husband. It was with parents’ unqualified and unrequited love that they happily accepted the choice made by her and her husband. She therefore was determined that she must repay her parents’ love and kindness by reflecting on herself and, setting higher standards. She vowed to herself that she would be diligent in following strictly the precepts all the time and remind herself – every morning after waking up to remember the great benevolence of her parents, a benevolence that was unconditional and required nothing in return. Furthermore, she resolved to repent in body, speech and mind before going to bed every night so that she would be implementing the Practices of Bodhisattvas in her daily life.

The Caoxi Temple was the temple in which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche carried out Buddhist cultivation in his past life. It was because of this special causal condition that they were allowed to draw sacred lot there. She had heard that the content on the lot drawn by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple would always coincide with the teachings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for that disciple. When she was at the temple, drawing the lot, only two thoughts crossed her mind – that of repentance and gratitude. She was grateful for the blessings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for enabling her parents to travel in good health, arriving at the temple without any hassles and troubles. She repented for having a confused and troubled mind and she hated herself for being unable to overcome her evil thoughts.

The words in a poem inscribed on the lot she drew read “…unmoved by wealth and prosperity” and these words made her cry as she began to read them. These simple words proved to be powerful and had a huge impact on her mind. She could feel the boundless power of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassion. She was thus reminded of the dictum that she should be “unmoved by wealth and prosperity” and she realized the guru was trying to bring her back to the correct path – away from her erstwhile ways – and to give her an opportunity to reflect. She repented to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and thanked the guru for making her realize her greed and ignorance. Upon reading the words, she became calmer and more composed, knowing that she had no more precious time to waste.

Many emotions and feelings engulfed her within the three hours she was at Caoxi Temple. When she was circumambulating the stupa, she felt the strong and profound sense of repentance from within and she could also feel the fervently tireless efforts of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to liberate sentient beings life after life. Furthermore, she could sense that she was destined over all her life-spans to possess the causes and conditions of learning the Dharma; however, she never grasped the opportunities. When she thought about the great compassion of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in not giving up on liberating all sentient beings, she cried and wailed before the stupa, not stopping for a long while. A thought rose in her mind: it was as if she had gone back to where she began her Buddhist learning. She resolved never to waste her life in futility from then on.

Since her return from the Caoxi Temple, she noticed she had undergone gradual changes in that her heart had become softer and her conviction grown stronger. Her wish to surrender to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche grew stronger and more profound. She gradually sensed that now her desire to learn Buddhism sprang from deep within her heart. She was no longer attached to the issue as to when her parents could partake the pujas, nor was she worried about when she could be transmitted the Dharma. She now knew that the most important thing was to live through every day solidly, treasuring and dedicating every moment to the learning of Buddhism. It would be futile to indulge in wishful thinking. No sooner had an unrealistic thought appeared in her mind than an invisible hand emerged to wipe it off instantly, preventing it from entering into the Eight Consciousness Field that could form her karmic cause of reincarnation.

Lastly, she would like to thank the Travel Services for their arrangements and understanding shown and corrections made by the Team Leader as well as the patience of fellow Dharma brothers. She had caused many problems to the Travel Services, giving many apparently valid and high-sounding reasons in expressing her perceived filialness. The fact was she selfishly hoped to get more than her money’s worth from the trip. For that she now expressed her deep compunction and repentance.

Since returning from the trip her parents had shown marked changes, thanks to the Dharma brothers in the tour group. Thanks were due to the elder Dharma brothers who showed strong faith in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and made it possible for her parents to witness the wondrous and incredible blessings of the guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings transcended the limits of body and age, making her parents’ reverence and obeisance for the guru more resolute. Thanks were also due to Dharma brothers of the same age as she and her husband, who took care of her parents as they would their own parents. Her parents were deeply touched by the fact that the disciples of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche were so warm-hearted and caring of them. They were so happy to share their joy with their relatives, friends and neighbors, saying that the said disciples behaved and acted like their own children. There was a little Dharma brother whom she wanted to thank most. This Dharma brother’s lovely and sincere reverence towards Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche made her parents’ hearts soften and melt away completely. Upon their return from the trip, when her parents went to prostrate at the Buddhist Center, they did sit straight up for a full 2 hours and a half, with the adjusted mindset waiting for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to grant them an audience.

There was one more thing she wanted to share and to express her gratitude and repentance thereof. She repented for the fact that as she seldom went for overseas trips with her parents, she was never cognizant of her parents’ living habits and she was also unaware of the items they took along. Though the tour guide did inform them before boarding the plane not to take along sharp objects, she saw her parents put their small bags into the luggage bag. They probably thought it would be fine and she did not really remind them with exhortations. The result was that when going through Customs the Swiss army knife (scissors) brought along by her parents were discovered and confiscated. This brought some distress to her: she blamed herself for causing delay to the tour group. She was the picture of unhappiness and upset. Thinking back she wondered why she did not realize that her parents were very helpless at that time. Her father explained that because he had to take medication throughout the trip, he brought along the scissors to make it more convenient to cut open the medicine packs so that the powder would not come off. She felt she was not filial in that she had not comforted her parents at all. In this regard she felt she had done Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings a disservice by not showering her parents with tender love and warm comfort.

When her mother put the small knife/scissors into the security box at the Customs, she remarked softly that the scissors were souvenirs she was reluctant to part with. What was strange was that the Customs officer who normally was tight-lipped and serious looking informed her gently to contact the airline for a possible return of the scissors. Along the walk-way to board the plane the tour guide quipped that in the many years she led tour groups she had never once heard that objects confiscated could be returned. One week after returning from the trip, her parents called her to say that the scissors had been returned to their home at Taichung. What could she say? It was a miracle that objects confiscated by the Customs could be returned. She had the blessings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to thank.

Finally, she expressed her heart-felt gratitude to His Eminence Varja Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She reminded herself to constantly express her gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, to treasure the causal condition of learning Buddhism, and to act according to the guru’s teachings. She prayed for the Drikung Kagyu lineage to prosper, the eternal presence of His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang and success of their Dharma activities. She prayed that His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has good health, keeps turning the Dharma wheel, and spreads the Dharma far and wide and for all sentient beings in the Six Realms to be liberated from the suffering sea of reincarnation.

Afterwards, the leading disciple led all attendees in chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra for an hour. Then the attendees sat quietly until the conclusion of the puja.

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Updated on January 14, 2013