His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Puja Teachings – December 7, 2014

Before the puja began, a German disciple, accompanied by his wife, shared his experiences both past and present. Most importantly, the disciple shared an account of how he had met His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and how the guru had helped him to face his own causes, effects, and karma.

Born in 1988 in the Erzgebirge Mountains in central Germany, he had grown up in a village surrounded by forest. His family and ancestors had raised and slaughtered animals to eat such as rabbits, sheep, and geese. They had also harmed other sentient beings including horses, pigs, cattle, deer, and many fish. To this day, his father continued to raise animals and kill them for food.

When he was very little he had already stolen things from a local store and done things to harm sentient beings such as pulling the legs off of spiders and capturing mice. After getting his first computer and analog modem, he had begun to engage in many acts of theft and other online crimes. These had included stealing credit card information, illegal downloading, and hacking, among others. He had continued his nefarious ways until the age of high-speed internet, when thievery and cybercrime had become an everyday activity for him.

He said that for youths growing up in rural Germany, it was quite common to smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol. Even more regrettable was the fact that nowadays the children in those areas tended to try even more dangerous drugs such as methamphetamine, which is commonly known as “Prince An” in Taiwan. He had begun drinking and smoking from the age of twelve or thirteen. Moreover, he had increased his frequency of use from weekly to daily. By the time he was a little older he had begun to experiment with various drugs, including psychedelic mushrooms, acid, and ecstasy.

When he was eighteen and studying in America, he had begun to use marijuana regularly because it was easier to acquire there even than alcoholic beverages for someone his age. By the time he was nineteen he was smoking pot on a daily basis, and this had continued until he was twenty-two and met the woman who was later to become his wife. He had met her while in university in Germany. Because he was an extremely shy person, especially around girls, if it had not been for his friend taking the initiative to invite her to join their group, he might never have spoken to her. This event had later opened up an opportunity for him to meet His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

In the early days of their romance she had begun to tell him stories about His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the other Dharma brothers. He’d felt very suspicious, because he had never heard such miraculous tales before. However, this had sparked his curiosity, and he had decided he wanted to see this elder with his own eyes. At the time he still ate meat, even though she had urged him to go vegetarian and stop drinking so much.

Early in 2011 his wife had fallen pregnant. However, to their great misfortune, two months later she’d had a miscarriage. At the time she had written an email to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center imploring for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s assistance. The reason she had tried to contact the guru was that her doctors had all wanted her to undergo a gynecological curettage so as to prevent harm to the fetus during any future pregnancy. Two doctors in a row had advised her to allow the procedure, and even the disciple had agreed. However, after his wife had implored His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, another doctor had told her that she did not actually need to have this operation. A few days later, her uterus had discharged the remaining placenta and lochia naturally.

At the time he was still not a believer, and had been in favor of his wife having the procedure done. Thanks to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help, however, she had gotten through this difficult time without undergoing surgery, an operation which could have done great harm to her body. He and his wife were very grateful to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

In the summer of 2012 his wife had decided to return to Taiwan so that she could be near His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and her parents. Many people had urged her to remain in Germany, but he had told his wife that she could do what she wanted and that he would not force her to stay.

His wife had therefore returned to Taiwan in August of 2012, and he had flown over with her and stayed here for five weeks. During his visit he had sought his first audience with His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. At the time he had still been an occasional meat-eater. On the first Saturday after arriving in Taiwan, they had come to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center to seek an audience with His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He had asked the guru a question regarding marijuana, because he had felt that whenever he smoked it with friends he tended to become very social and talkative. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had told him that he did not need to rely on drugs, and that he could communicate with people quite well without them. The guru had said that if he truly loved his wife, he would quit smoking marijuana. Now the disciple understood, for over the years he had naturally become quite talkative indeed. In fact, he sometimes did not even notice how many words could spout out of his mouth.

He had also asked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche if he could participate in the general Sunday pujas while during his stay in Taiwan. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had granted him permission to do so, and before they left, the guru had bestowed blessings upon him. At the time he had not understood what had happened, but now he knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had given him an unimaginably precious gift—an opportunity to practice Buddhism. During his time there he had participated in the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness as well as the general pujas held every Sunday. This was the first time he had ever listened to the Dharma. Furthermore, he had stopped eating meat, and had begun to feel disgust whenever he looked at it.

Before he left Taiwan, he and his wife had sought another audience with His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The guru had asked him whether or not he had a friend who was a bit on the strong side. He did indeed have such a friend; before meeting his wife, he used to get together with that friend every weekend to smoke marijuana and drink alcohol. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had told him that if he could endure this trial of friendship and resist that person’s influence, then he would be able to quit smoking pot. From that day counting backward, over the past two years he had secretly desired to smoke marijuana again, despite his continuing association with his wife. It was as if he had grown psychologically dependent on it, and his wife had absolutely no idea.

Finally he had implored His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bestow a Chinese name upon him, and the guru had promised that he would do so the next time the disciple came to Taiwan. In September of 2012 he had left Taiwan with His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s book, Happiness and Suffering, in hand. However, he had still harbored many doubts, and had still not truly understood how precious the blessings Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had bestowed on him were.

After returning to Germany, he had resolved to move to Taiwan after he was finished with his studies. This was because of His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and his wife. That year in Germany he had felt very calm and had not been overly worried about a lot of things. Many people had urged him to stay in Germany and not go back to Taiwan until he had gotten a master’s degree and worked for two years. Although his family members had all said the same thing, their advice had gone in one ear and out the other, because he had already made his decision.

In November of 2012, however, he had done something extremely stupid. One day after work, he’d suddenly had an intensely strong desire to smoke pot, so had gone to the apartment of the friend His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had told him to stay away from. There he had smoked a joint. After a while he had gone to the bathroom, where he had suddenly seen a very clear vision of His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche standing in front of him, as well as of his wife’s face. In that moment he had suddenly felt extremely disappointed in himself, and had thought, Damn! What have I done?! How can I just throw away this opportunity to learn and listen to the Dharma, all over a stupid drug? And practicing Buddhism is the opportunity to change my life that I’ve been looking for all along! From that day forward he had not so much as touched marijuana.

In September of 2013 he had finally graduated and returned to Taiwan. After arriving he had been granted the name promised him by His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, as well as the opportunity to resume participation in the general Sunday pujas. Now he knew how uncommon it was to have a name bestowed by His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and for this reason he cherished his new name. Likewise rare and precious was the opportunity to participate in the general Sunday pujas. We must not take this opportunity for granted as if it is just a normal activity that will necessarily happen every weekend.

Listening to the Dharma every Sunday had helped him develop more faith in His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and give rise to a rather profound attitude of respect. During one of the pujas the guru had said that we should neither hesitate nor wait when it comes to practicing Buddhism. However, the disciple had asked himself, why did he want to practice Buddhism?

He had never encountered anyone like His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Every Saturday the guru received believers and helped them with indiscriminating patience and compassion. After observing such behavior by His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he had once thought, If more people were like the guru, the world would be a better place. There is so much suffering in this world, and it just keeps getting worse and worse. As His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught us, if we want to help others, then we should start by practicing Buddhism so that we can learn how to liberate ourselves from reincarnation.

In November of 2013, he had supplicated for the opportunity to take refuge in His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. On July 20th of this year he had been granted it, and for this he was extremely grateful to the guru.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had helped him to understand the mistakes he had made in the past. “Even if we are poor we should not commit theft, and entertainment and recreation are a waste of precious time which can hinder our Buddhist practice,” the disciple repeated. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had also taught him to begin facing the causes and effects he had sown; that is, the karma his evil acts had created and which he would have to face in the future. These nefarious deeds had consisted of theft, including illegal downloading, internet credit card theft, hacking, and other financial crimes, as well as helping others to commit these crimes; the harming of sentient beings, such as shooting snails with a BB gun, pulling the legs off of spiders, and catching mice; and the use of various types of drugs over the years which had hurt his body. He had also uploaded pornographic videos to the internet, thereby evoking sexual desires in others.

Because of all of this he must redouble his efforts in his Buddhist practice and repay the debt he owed his karmic creditors from past lives. He must also think about the next generation of his children, and do his best to prevent them from being influenced by his erroneous ways and the evil karma he had created. At the same time, he also must be even more vigilant when it came to his thoughts; he must constantly remember not to give rise to any notions or behavior that would violate any of the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas. Finally, he wished to say that if he had any selfish or lazy thoughts, he would keep telling himself that nothing is more important than practicing Buddhism, and that he must remind himself of impermanence of life and Emptiness.

At length he wished to thank His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for having helped his wife and their unborn child. His wife had once been a disciple, but had broken the precepts. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had still given her the opportunity to gather the signatures and opinions of Dharma brothers who were on the same group as her, and she was now allowed to come to the Buddhist Center again. In the past she had been forbidden, a punishment which had lasted until April of this year when they had received a phone call from a Dharma brother informing them that from then on she could come upstairs and participate in the puja while standing outside the door. At the time they had very much wanted to know the reason why, because his wife had made a great many mistakes. Two weeks later they had discovered that she was pregnant. Apart from being surprised, they had also felt grateful to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. During an audience with His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the guru had bestowed blessings upon his wife and granted her permission to enter the Buddhist Center and participate in the pujas. They were extremely grateful to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

In addition, the disciple shared that he had recently begun to dream again. For years he had not been very prone to having dreams, but lately he’d had a couple of extremely vivid ones. They had terrified him, causing him to cry out in his sleep until his wife had shaken him awake. He had never had such dreams before. One of them had been about spiders; he’d had this one the night before a Chod Puja. He’d thought it must have been because he had harmed spiders when he was little, and had therefore gone to participate in the Chod Puja firmly resolved to help them. During the puja, his legs had begun to hurt very intensely. However, while visualizing these spiders before him, he had told himself that what he had done to them in the past was even more painful, and that now he must experience that agony for himself without moving a single inch. During that moment he had concentrated on the sound of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s voice, visualized the spiders in front of him, and remained completely still. After His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had finished performing the Dharma, the pain in the disciple’s legs had gradually begun to subside. He deeply believed that were it not for the guru he would be just like those spiders, and might forever have been out of reach of help. He and his wife were both extremely thankful for the assistance His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had given them.

Next a second disciple shared her story. Impermanence had struck that very morning. While attempting to get out of bed, she had felt completely dizzy, as if her consciousness had been about to leave her body. She had felt chills all over, and her body had felt very heavy to the point that she’d been unable to get up; all she could feel had been a force pulling her downward. At first she had happily thought it must be her time to leave this world, but immediately afterward she had felt an inexplicable wave of terror at not knowing whether this process was part of death or a sign that she was about to disappear forever. She said she was not afraid of death; rather, what she feared was death’s process. She also worried that during it she might not have sufficient faith, and therefore might not be able to follow His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Anyone who had never experienced such an indescribable terror really could not understand.

She remembered that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had once said that before going to sleep each night one should reflect upon the actions one had taken that day, and contemplate the possibility of not waking up the following day. While her consciousness had been on the verge of floating away from her, she had heard a phrase over and over: “All Dharmas are selfless, all acts are impermanent, and all experiences are suffering.” She expressed her earnest and heartfelt wish that everyone present would genuinely understand the bitterness of reincarnation. In that instant she recalled details of her life, from childhood to adulthood, and knew that she truly had suffered greatly. Although this suffering might have been interspersed with a lot of seemingly happy events, she had remained stuck in reincarnation nevertheless. Life really was full of suffering: Of birth, death, sickness, and old age, as well as the burning suffering of the Five Aggregates, of not being able to obtain what one seeks, of meeting people you feel resentment and hatred, and of parting with loved ones. How many people suffered from the unobtainable?

Right then she felt genuine regret, for as a cancer patient she had lived her life unproductively over the past six years. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpochehad granted her time and physical health in the hope that she could practice Buddhism diligently and use what little good fortune she had to listen carefully, immerse herself in her practice, and at least appear as a disciple should. However, in that moment she repented for not having done anywhere near enough, and for being completely unworthy. Now, while sharing her story, her head still felt quite dizzy. She did not know whether this would be her last time sharing or not; she could wake up alive and kicking once more tomorrow, but such was the impermanence of life.

She had once heard a story of how Tibetan lamas always keep their bowls covered at night because they do not know whether or not they will wake up the next day. She remembered when she had first taken refuge, and His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had allowed the disciples to obtain a Dharma CD about taking refuge. In that recording Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said, “If you want to renounce reincarnation and be liberated from it, then you must maintain a mindset of respect, repentance, gratitude, compassion, and—most importantly—renunciation.” Every day as the sun came up and the moon set, she would become engrossed in her work, family, and children, and over time she had come to the profound realization that these things really were like dreams and visions in a bubble. As her consciousness had begun to float out of her body, there had only been one person on whom she could rely: The guru. She let out a sincere and heartfelt sigh, and mentioned how lucky she was to be able to follow His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The guru was so absolutely precious!

The previous week, a few directors and supervisors of the Center had had the good fortune to eat dinner with His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. During the meal the guru had said that whenever he performs the Phowa, he does not need to be next to the deceased’s body for the Dharma to be effective. He does not even need to make a ”peh!” sound; he only needs to visualize, and the deceased’s consciousness will leave the body. Everyone knows how precious the Phowa is. As the disciple understood it, there were five different types of Phowa: Dharma Phowa, the Sambhogakaya Phowa, the Nirmanakaya Phowa, the Phowa performed for oneself, and the Phowa performed for others. Without even making a “peh!” sound, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to transfer a person’s consciousness out through top of his or her head and on to the Pure Land. When she had heard this, her entire body had broken out in goose bumps. She had not known her guru was so precious, cultivated, authenticated, and compassionate. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche genuinely used his own good fortune to send the deceased’s consciousness upward. She had asked the guru, “If you don’t use a ‘peh!’ sound, then how do you send the deceased’s consciousness upward with enough force to escape its body?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said, “I do it with the force provided by visualization.” She praised Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, for the guru’s compassion filled the void to the point that he need only visualize for the deceased’s consciousness to be transferred. She appealed earnestly to all her Dharma brothers, “Please; we must do everything we can to cherish our guru. As the Dharma brother from Germany said, if only there were more gurus like this one! But how could there be?” Such a guru could only emerge after a life of practice and suffering, as well as good fortune accumulated through many lifetimes. She again appealed to everyone to truly cherish their guru.

Next she shared a brief account with everyone about how the guru really was constantly and compassionately taking care of the disciples. Her cousin’s wife, who was also a Dharma brother at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, had told her this story. The disciple’s cousin had once met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but had been very afraid of the guru. He’d nevertheless had a great deal of faith in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and would bring a large number of people with him to participate in the Grand Puja every year. However, he simply had no courage to become a disciple. Due to some physical discomfort, he had ventured to central Taiwan to seek out a Dharma master who was said to have a shining aura of energy. His wife had had no choice but to accompany him there. The shining-aura Dharma master had taken one look at him and asked what the matter was, and the disciple’s cousin had replied that he wished to exchange auras with the Dharma master so that his body could find some relief from its ailment. By way of response, the Dharma master with the shining aura had glanced at his cousin’s wife and said that there was a much brighter light next to her, and that he would be better off seeking that light out instead.

The disciple had a brief story of her own to tell as well. After learning that the Great Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness would not be held this year, she had passed on the news to a Dharma sister who worshipped Queen Mother Xi Wangmu of the Jade Lake. As it turned out, that Dharma sister had telephoned her two days later to ask what His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche looked like. “He’s around forty or fifty years old, right? And isn’t he tall, with a stern Dharma visage and a very stately manner?” This Dharma sister had never seen Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche before, yet her description of the guru had been spot on. The disciple had informed the Dharma sister that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did indeed appear to be around forty or fifty years old, but that the guru was in fact in his sixties. She had asked the Dharma sister how she knew for sure that she had seen Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The Dharma sister had replied that the practitioner had approached her and said, “My disciple came to see you; did you do something to her? Did you cheat her out of her money?” The Dharma sister had immediately replied, “No, not at all! She came to inform me of something.”

The disciple said that although this story might sound like a joke, the event had caused her to feel very, very moved. When she had taken refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said he would protect the disciples at all times, not just when they might fall ill. She deeply believed that as long as they diligently listened and kept the precepts, the guru really would protect them, exactly as a compassionate mother or a stern father would.

In the past couple of days she had seen a news story about the Dong ethnic minority living in the village of Pingyang in Huaihua City of Tongdao County in Hunan Province, along the border between Hunan and Guangxi. That township had a population of over seven thousand people, of whom more than one hundred were reincarnated. This had been verified by officials, and the locals confirmed that it was true, too. A so-called “reincarnated” person is someone who has experienced reincarnation. One of these members of the Dong ethnic minority, a boy, had been the daughter of a Wang family in a former lifetime. This had been confirmed by the Wang family and verified by officials. The daughter had died from abuse, and when she was on her deathbed her mother had warned her not to come back as a girl no matter what. As a result, in that instant she had incarnated into a male scarab, but due to an unfortunate accident the scarab had been stepped on and squashed to death. After that he had been reborn as a human again. Meanwhile this reincarnated man’s description of that daughter’s situation had been extremely accurate, bringing to life many details of the Wang family that no one had known before and which have since been verified. Actually, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had once said that reincarnation really does involve a great deal of suffering—especially the sort of reincarnation that happens as the result of karma, as opposed to returning to this world to fulfill one’s vows. The guru had also once mentioned that there was a person who was on the verge of death. In the instant before passing away he had momentarily lapsed in controlling his thought and wanted to eat a peach; he had then been reborn as a worm on a peach. These little details have all been verified in real life.

Everything Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says is absolutely true, exactly as if it were spoken directly by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Sighing, the disciple lamented that perhaps her consciousness might leave today, and she would no longer be in this world. “Such is the impermanence of life. We are fortunate enough to encounter such a rare guru.” Her sincere request was that everyone would grasp this opportunity, and that the Glorious Jewel disciples must unite together. They must be unified and serious about their practice, for as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said that day, if he doesn’t get dragged down by the people around them, he would perform the Tummo, transforming himself into a rainbow light, and leave the world. For this reason, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is at the very least a Tenth Ground Bodhisattva. With shame, the disciple said that they really had encumbered Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; nevertheless, like a parent, the guru had not turned his back on them. Many people present were parents themselves, and at some point had entertained the thought of how much freedom they would have without children; this was the same principle.

If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche were not encumbered by the disciples, he really would have so much freedom and would no longer need to remain in Jambudvipa to liberate sentient beings. Once more she earnestly appealed to everyone to sincerely and honestly act according to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings. Otherwise, they would encumber the guru, gnawing away at his good fortune the way young people these days consume their parents’ energy and fortune by refusing to work. She hoped everyone would truly and profoundly repent. If they could all honestly do as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says, then the guru would be patient with them just as parents are with obedient children. She sincerely implored everyone to listen carefully to what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says. After all, come tomorrow, we all might not be here. Finally, she hoped that the Glorious Jewel disciples would act according to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings, quell their rebellious minds, and follow the guru forever.

Teachings

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended the Dharma throne to preside over the general puja and bestow precious Dharma teachings upon the attendees.

“In leading you all to chant the Great Six-Syllable Mantra a hundred million times like this, my purpose is certainly not to make you strike it rich or become healthy; nor am I trying to keep bad things from happening to you. Rather, as is written in the Amitabha Sutra, ‘to be reborn in the Pure Land one must be an aspiring virtuous man or woman who is not lacking in fortune, merits, causes, and conditions.’ You are all greatly lacking in these things. Many people think they can obtain them simply by chanting at home, but according to the sutras—and this is especially true in Tantra—the Buddha said that before we chant we must observe the purifying precepts and perform ablutions by completely changing our attire, inside and out. Furthermore, in accordance with the Dharma, we must make offerings of flowers, water, fruit, and incense before the mandala, and sit upright. All of this must also be done in a purified location. As long as you have taken life in your home, it is not pure. All of you have eaten meat in your homes, unless you are a monastic or have taken refuge ever since you were little.

“You might have heard of people obtaining merits from reciting and transcribing the sutras, but to do this you must meet certain prerequisites. Why does the place of cultivation need to be pure? This is even necessary for practicing Tantra. The Dharma can only be performed at a location in which no life has been taken, no improper profession has been engaged, and no relatively bad acts have been committed. In Taiwan nowadays, Buddhism has become all about appearances. In other words, people practice it superficially without paying any attention to their internal cultivation. The sutras make special mention that whatever rituals you might perform are for the benefit of all sentient beings, and not for anyone in particular. Many who transcribe and recite the sutras do so for certain people; some of them do a bit better by making dedications to their own karmic creditors. However, as is written in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, who can prevent us from slacking off? Apart from the guru, of utmost importance in supervising and keeping your mind from becoming slack are the benevolent ghosts and deities. Why would these ghosts and deities supervise you? There is bound to be some benefit in it for them. What does ‘supervise’ mean? It means calling you awake when you obviously would prefer to grab another five minutes of sleep.

“It is written in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows that if you reverently chant Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s sacred name for one thousand days, nearby ghosts and deities will protect your home and prevent any unexpected calamities from befalling it. Do you think Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha was just saying this at random? I’ve gone to many places to help people. As soon as I enter someone’s house and begin chanting a mantra, I know what temples and shrines are in the vicinity. I know, because ghosts and deities approach me. Why? It is because I chant the mantras with a compassionate frame of mind. I might not have chanted Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s sacred name for one thousand days, but I have gone into retreats.

“If you have not accomplished the tasks written in the sutras, then what makes you think you can obtain what you ask for just by reciting the sutras on your own? Everyone thinks prostrating to the Buddha can cause the deceased to be reborn in the Pure Land. I wouldn’t presume to talk about other people’s experiences, so take me as an example. My father died suddenly from cardiac arrest. At the time I had not begun to practice Buddhism. Those of my disciples who have taken refuge for a long time know that from an early age I practiced Taoism in my father’s footsteps. We belonged to the Talisman School, which meant we drew symbols to treat illnesses. My father was very good at this; he could sit in one place and use his soul to do other things elsewhere from afar.

“Even so, my father had no way of predicting the time of his death. Thus, after I took refuge in Exoteric Buddhism, I made daily prostrations to the Buddha and recited the great prayer of repentance on my father’s behalf. I worshipped in this manner for about a year until my father appeared before me. Although he was in his fifties when he passed away, he looked like he was around twenty years old, and his face was sky blue in color. Afterward I read in the sutras that people born in the Heaven Realm have faces that are sky blue, just like the void, and that they appear to be about twenty years of age.

“I was obviously making prostrations to the Buddha, so why would this cause my father to go to the Heaven Realm? You might think this very strange. After all, shouldn’t the Buddha have taken him to the Pure Land? I kept making prostrations until one morning I heard a man’s voice in my ear, telling me very clearly that my father was with Patriarch Lu. At the time I was unable to comprehend it; I thought that because I had been making prostrations to the Buddha, the Buddha should have received him when he passed away. However, as is written in many repentance prayers, all such sentient beings are reborn in the Heaven Realm. This is true of the Precious Penitential Rites of Emperor Liang and all other repentance prayers; even Shakyamuni Buddha’s own mother was reborn in the Trayastrimsas Heaven. You would think Shakyamuni Buddha should have sent His mother to the Pure Land. Why didn’t He? Who can answer me?

“You are all superstitious, and think that chanting Amitabha Buddha’s name is a sure way to get to the Pure Land. However, not even Shakyamuni Buddha’s own mother went there. Shakyamuni Buddha still had not attained Buddhahood when she died, but even afterward Shakyamuni Buddha was still unable to send her there right away. Where did the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows come from? It comprises the Dharma spoken by Shakyamuni Buddha for His mother when he went to the Trayastrimsas Heaven. What does this mean? It means Shakyamuni Buddha had no way of sending His mother from the Heaven Realm to Amitabha’s Pure Land; otherwise, there would have been no need to speak the Dharma directly to her. That is, she herself had to cultivate. Thus, even Shakyamuni Buddha’s own mother had to practice.

“In Shakyamuni Buddha’s later days, while speaking the Amitabha Sutra, He mentioned something that no one paid any attention to. It is written in the Amitabha Sutra that in this evil time of the Five Turbidities, the Dharma spoken is ‘hard to believe.’ How can this be explained?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked an ordained disciple what explanation she had heard for this before she took refuge. The ordained disciple answered, “As I understand it, it means that it is difficult for people in this world to believe this Dharma.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked, “Why is it hard to believe? Don’t a lot of people believe in Amitabha Buddha?” The ordained disciple replied, “They think this Dharma method is too simple.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the other monastics to explain, because it was impossible for them not to have recited the Amitabha Sutra. One ordained disciple said that she understood it the same way as the monastic who had just spoken. Another said that she had not studied much about the Dharma methods of Pure Land Sect. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked her whether or not she had recited the Amitabha Sutra, because this sutra was recited in all Buddhist temples. The monastic answered that indeed she had.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued. “Why did Shakyamuni Buddha say this Dharma was hard to believe? You must all take note that prior to this, Shakyamuni Buddha had mentioned the evil time of the Five Turbidities. We humans are filled with the Five Turbidities, the most serious of which is the view turbidity. The life turbidity can be rectified via practice, but the view turbidity is very difficult to avoid. It involves making determinations based on your own life experiences instead of the pure views of Buddhism. If we look at Buddhism through the lens of our own personal views, then of course this Dharma will seem dubious to us. By this I do not mean it will be difficult to convince you to believe in them; rather, because you have not seen anyone actually implement the lesson of this Dharma into his or her cultivation, you all simply chant Amitabha Buddha’s name, automatically. You do not actually implement it into your lives, and as such you get stumped by the phrase, ‘not lacking in fortune, merits, causes, and conditions.’ Shakyamuni Buddha placed great importance on these words, but everyone tends to think he or she has plenty of good fortune and will certainly be able to go to the Pure Land after simply making a great vow or aspiration.

“My purpose in leading you all in this chanting of the Great Six-Syllable Mantra is to help you accumulate resources, and for the same reason a puja is held every Sunday. Without fortune, merits, and causal conditions, you cannot even walk through the door of your Buddhist practice. Not a single person here has made daily prostrations to the Buddha on behalf of his or her father the way I did. I was only able to send him to the Heaven Realm by completely reciting the great prayer of repentance, one word and one prostration at a time. Why did I have to do that? It is because my father did not practice while he was alive, and my own good fortune was insufficient. However, because I made prostrations to the Buddha and sincerely repented on behalf of my father, I was able to purify his accumulated karma through past lifetimes so that eventually he could go to the Heaven Realm to practice Buddhism. To go to the Pure Land without fortune, merits, and causal conditions is much easier said than done.

“The Dharma is ‘hard to believe’ because as humans, our vision is clouded by the view turbidity. The life turbidity refers to a shortening of longevity; at any time, an accident could cause you to pass from this world. Don’t think your life is bound to improve simply from your participation in the pujas. There isn’t enough time to use; in one twenty-four hour period, eight of those hours are taken up by sleep, another eight by work, three by daydreaming, and of what remains you might spend half an hour at most in actual cultivation. If you practice for half an hour a day, how many hours is that per year? How can that be sufficient? Do you think you have achieved cultivation? If you haven’t done enough, then how can you go to the Pure Land? And if you cannot go, then you of course must rely on the help of a Tantra guru who has given rise to the Bodhicitta. Such gurus are rare, and if you do not have any causes or conditions, then you will not be able to implore for the help of one even if that guru is present.

“Everyone distorts the Dharma, and this is the reason for the Buddhism’s impending doom. A moment ago that ordained disciple said that she had not studied the Pure Land Sect, but that attitude is not quite correct, because all the Dharmas taught by the Buddha were for the sake of sentient beings. To ‘delve thoroughly into a Dharma method’ does not mean to practice a particular Dharma method; it means to gain a clear understanding of exactly what that Dharma method is. At the front of many Buddhist temples there is a Liberation Door. The purpose of any Dharma method we learn is to become liberated; if you have not set foot in the Liberation Door, then you are an outsider of Buddhism. Don’t misunderstand the phrase ‘delve thoroughly into a Dharma method’ by specializing as a Zen practitioner and differentiating yourself from others who practice the Pure Land Sect, Avatamsaka Sect, and so on. When you first started practicing Buddhism, you might have had a relatively close affinity with a certain sutra. However, you must digest this sutra and view it as a Dharma method of liberation. If you think of yourself as being specialized in a certain type of Buddhist practice, then you are not exactly going about it the right way. But if this is true, then why did Shakyamuni Buddha say so much? It was because we suffer from 84,000 different types of afflictions. If Shakyamuni Buddha had not taught so much, then we would not be able to stop suffering.

“Today you have come to understand the effect of participating in the pujas: It helps you to accumulate resources for being reborn in the Pure Land, resources which you must not lack. These days only a handful of places hold pujas every Sunday, because organizing one costs a lot of money. Every time a puja is held, major donors must be found, and they sometimes get tired of it or go overseas. This is the reason not many places hold pujas every Sunday. Why should pujas be held? It is because in the Amitabha Sutra are written the words, ‘have no lack of fortune, merits, causes, and conditions.’ You are not able to rapidly accumulate your own fortune, merits, causes, and conditions; your guru is constantly doing this for you. However much he can help you accumulate is however much he will do.

“Yesterday a disciple passed away. She took refuge in me nine years ago. After finding out that her aorta was separating from her heart, she did not want to undergo surgery, but her family insisted on it. As it turned out, she died right after the operation. Logic might dictate that after having taken refuge for nine years she should not have suffered such a fate, but she had never praised her guru in front of her family members. When taking refuge, you are told to compliment the guru and praise his or her merits. Do you think this is because your guru wants to be well-known? Not at all; rather, when you are on your deathbed, you are sure to have a heap of family members next to you, offering their assistance. Especially if you are sick, if you did not continuously praise the guru, then your family will not know your intentions. When the time comes they will disturb you with their own way of doing things, and this will become a karmic hindrance for you. Why should you praise your guru’s merits? As is written in the sutras, you should praise your guru and his or her merits because you know of them and have witnessed them. In the sutras it is written that the Buddha’s merits should be praised, and back then this was possible because the Buddha’s disciples saw them with their own eyes. Likewise, you can see your guru’s merits with your own eyes. Nevertheless, the disciple who passed away yesterday had not uttered any such praise.

“Why didn’t she? In 2005 some disciples rebelled and wanted to seize control of the Buddhist Center. They went to her mother and said some bad things about the Center to her. Afterward this disciple felt she did not need to explain further, and decided to let her family think whatever they wanted. Luckily, I had suddenly come up with the idea of chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra, so she did not suffer. Originally the doctor had said that with her condition she would not live past the age of thirty-five, but here she was already in her forties and she was not in pain.” A disciple, who was a doctor, verified that this disciple had not been experiencing any pain. “In a person with an aortic dissection, the blood cannot flow outward. This causes the arteries to break and blood to flood the heart or abdominal cavity, and prevents important organs such as the liver and kidney as well as arteries in the lower extremities from getting the blood they need. The result is a large amount of suffering, including such extremely painful symptoms as chest pains, abdominal swelling, numbness of the feet, loss of consciousness, shock, and so on.”

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued. “At that time a disciple ran over and gave her a nectar pill to take, and she woke up. Then the doctor told her family that if she had the operation it could cause a lot of residual effects, but that if she did not she would certainly die. In the end her family decided to go ahead with the procedure. I cannot pass judgment on their decision, nor do I have an opinion on the matter. However, if this disciple had continuously praised her guru’s merits, then perhaps things would have turned out differently. Nevertheless, because she kept on participating in the pujas and because of this chanting of the Great Six-Syllable Mantra, no serious karmic retribution manifested. Even though she passed away after the operation, I did not even perform the Phowa for her; I simply chanted the Hundred-Syllable Mantra for her a few dozen times, and a sign that she had gone to the Pure Land appeared on her. Because of the thought I formed, she was taken there as soon as I finished chanting the Vajrasattva Mantra. Vajrasattva and I are good friends, so he took her.

“Don’t misunderstand and think that the strength of a guru’s powers comes from how big a Buddhist center he or she has. That is not the case at all. Rather, it comes from the aspiration and compassion the guru has cultivated, as well as whether or not the guru has truly carried out the task set forth by the Buddha—to liberate sentient beings from life and death so that they can escape the suffering sea of reincarnation. This is something a guru absolutely must do. As for whether or not a guru builds a great temple depends on the guru’s causal conditions. If the guru has such a causal condition, then that temple will be built, but not if the guru only has good fortune.

“I once took notice of a Dharma master who is now no longer with us; back when I was practicing Exoteric Buddhism, I met him once or twice. The last time I saw him he had forgotten we had met before. He took one look at me and said that I was practicing both Exoteric and Esoteric Buddhism. This meant he still had some power. After this Dharma master constructed a great Buddhist temple, however, I saw him reveal a very satisfied expression while on TV. I’m sure you would ask, “Could you know that just by looking at him?” If I couldn’t, then I would not be qualified to be a guru. I knew then that it was over for him, because his self-satisfaction would turn all of the merits he had accumulated throughout lifetimes of practice into good fortune. As a result, he passed away not long after the temple was built, and before his death he suffered greatly. Take heed, everyone! The better you are at cultivation, the more careful you must be. As soon as you think you understand everything you must be even more cautious, because your karma will manifest very soon.

“If we cannot adhere to the methods taught by the Buddha, then we might as well simplify a bit and just do our best to chant the Great Six-Syllable Mantra every day. We don’t even need to form any aspirations, because as soon as we do, we put ourselves at risk of becoming arrogant. Some Dharma masters begin to get haughty and arrogant after they gain some disciples. It does not normally refer to believers, but when it comes to monastics, it is their Achilles’ heel. The fatal weakness of lay practitioners is our constant string of afflictions. Because we are lay practitioners, we have families, situations that arise, work, relationships, children, and so on—all the things monastics do not have to deal with. These continuous afflictions lead to many hindrances to our Buddhist practice. In Tantric terms, however, afflictions are medicine, because each one of them can show us the root of suffering of all sentient beings in the Six Realms.

“Thus, each of our afflictions gives rise to a driving force that causes us to make a firm resolution to renounce this life. If you think there is anything in this world worth being yearned for, then you will suffer. Is it true that as a lay practitioner you should not want anything at all? No, it is not. It is clearly written in the Ratnakuta Sutra that even those who follow the Bodhisattva Path should not refuse any family members they might have in this lifetime. What does this mean? It means that they cannot leave this life until they have resolved their family members’ problems. What problems? The great problems of life and death. Some of you might think your family members would be better off if you became monastics. Unless your parents supported your decision, this would not be true, because if you have certain reasons for becoming a monastic, then you are not following the correct way of the Bodhisattva Path as is written in the Ratnakuta Sutra.

“Being a lay practitioner and being a monastic both have their advantages, but everyone has shortcomings. We use our shortcomings as a direction of our practice. You should not pay too much attention to your advantages, nor do you need to work overly hard to change your shortcomings. All you need to know is that these shortcomings can cause you to continue to reincarnate, so you should take notice and remain vigilant so that they do not keep occurring. That’s the way it is; we wander back and forth across the great stage of life, and once the curtain falls, our time in this world is at an end. Still, while we are here we should do our best to fill the role that has been given us—whether as a husband or a wife—and not use Buddhism as a tool with which to shirk our responsibilities. Don’t tell yourselves that you need to set everything aside because you are practicing Buddhism; if this were the case, then there would be no afflictions.

“The definition of ‘setting everything aside’ is becoming resolved to be liberated from life and death in this lifetime without letting anything change this resolution. This is what “setting everything aside’ means; it does not mean using your Buddhist practice as an excuse to not do this or avoid getting involved with that. Such an attitude is not quite correct. We live in a commercial society, and are required to do many things. We must face life with honesty and practicality, and understand its suffering. Of course we should not create new afflictions, but even as they arise they are merely extensions into the present of afflictions from our past lives. We must learn through careful experience that our words and thoughts must all measure up to those of a disciple of the Buddha, and keep from becoming lax. A person with a lax mind cannot change his or her karma.

“Take the disciple who passed away yesterday, for example. Because she was afraid of making her mother and older sister unhappy, she never mentioned any of the Buddhist Center’s events to them. As a result, her sister said she did not know about them. Anyway, it seems that followers of other religions seem to get a sense of honor out of showing esteem and respect for their faith. Why, then, can’t Buddhist practitioners tell people about theirs? What about Buddhism makes you feel ashamed, like you should hide it from people? I am not afraid of letting people know about my faith, and that is not just because I am a Rinpoche. I make friends everywhere I go; everyone knows I practice Buddhism. If they don’t like it, they and I may keep a distance.

“Some people think that because they are still single, they might not be able to speak from experience compared to people who have gotten married. I was the same way before; if someone was different from me, then what was the point in making friends with him or her? Some people don’t worry about whether their fiancées practice Buddhism or not; they figure they can cross that bridge when they come to it, and that they will eventually be able to change their spouses. If you could change your husband, then you would have done so before you got married, not after. If he loves you, then he of course will change. If he does not change while he is most in love with you, then no one would believe that when his love for you slowly begins to change color he will listen to you. Everyone believes in his or her own power to charm someone; this is true of both men and women. Charm, however, does not last forever. Since you are practicing Buddhism, you should puff out your chest proudly and tell people around you that you are the Buddha’s disciple. Naturally, people out there will have many different views of Buddhism and watch you closely, but this is as it should be. After all, as a Buddhist practitioner, isn’t it your job to change the behavior which you used to think was okay? Given that you are practicing Buddhism, then as is written in the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, no matter how much everyone wrongs you and treats you unjustly, you still must treat them all as honored guests. Nothing can cause us to feel any hatred, resentment, or disappointment; your disappointments are all causes that were planted in the past.

“Today I will lead you all in a chanting of the Great Six-Syllable Mantra to help you plant a cause that will allow you to be reborn in the Pure Land. Whether or not your karmic retribution comes to fruition depends on whether or not you diligently cultivate the right assisting conditions between now and then. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has said many times in the past that you should not think that cultivation simply involves making prostrations to the Buddha and reciting sutras; these are merely assisting conditions that can help us to have opportunities to become liberated from life and death and even attain Buddhahood. Cultivation means immersing yourself in the Dharma; it means amending any behavior that has a chance of causing you to reincarnate. In the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows it is written, ‘every thought produced by an ordinary person generates karma and vice.’ We are in the habit of thinking thoughts that will help us to live a better life and accumulate a bit more of what we want, but all of this is karma that can cause us to reincarnate. Why are they evil? It is because when you want your life to get a bit better, you will naturally harm other people. Whether the harm you cause is great or small, it is still something you would do to others.

“Since establishing the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in 1997, not once have I ever changed the way in which I propagate the Dharma. I would not try to come up with new tricks just because I have a lot of disciples, and this has been true from the very beginning. Just because I have a lot of followers does not mean I concoct various pretexts to do this or that; I just keep on doing what I do. If I have sufficient causal conditions, I will have more disciples; if not, that’s fine, too. No matter what happens to you personally, it’s all because you do not listen. It’s like how a disciple said, while sharing her story before the puja began, that she felt dizzy: Of course she felt dizzy, because even though I told her not to work so hard every day, she does anyway. She works very hard, but she does not practice Buddhism so diligently. I’m sure she would argue and say, ‘Well, if don’t work hard, then how is it that I can afford to make offerings?’ If money were what I was after, then I would have had the ability to buy the entire East Zhongxiao Road long time ago.

“Yesterday a disciple brought NT$300,000, hoping to make an offering of it to me. The first thing I said was to ask him whether or not his wife knew about it; if she did not, I would not accept the offering. Someone else would probably have just gone ahead and taken it, thinking that in doing so the merits would be dedicated to the disciple’s wife so that she could start practicing Buddhism sooner. However, dedications are always slow to take effect, and as soon as he went home they would certainly have started quarreling. Why would I want to cause my disciples to fight over an offering to their guru? Even if it had been from his own secret stash of money, he still had an obligation to respect his wife. Furthermore, if he was keeping a secret stash from his wife, then she would surely do the same at some point. This is cause and effect.

“There was a disciple who used to have quite a hardship; he was always very respectful to his guru. In the end, he mysteriously changed his work place and was suddenly able to stand on his own two feet, financially. A guru knows many things. Even if you deliberately distance yourselves from me a little bit and try to keep me from finding out about something, all I have to do is look at what happens to you, and I will know what you have or have not accomplished in this lifetime, as well as whether or not you have done as you were told. As I often say, I can only save you once; I cannot save you a second time. . I save you the first time because I see that you should be able to live a bit longer; that way you will have the opportunity to work hard in this lifetime and accumulate good fortune, merits, and resources so that you can at least be reborn in the Pure Land after this lifetime.

“No matter what Dharma methods you cultivate in this lifetime, of utmost importance is that you make dedications to the Pure Land. This is because we live in the Age of Degenerate Dharma; thus we would not have the good fortune to be able to attain enlightenment just by meditating. Our lack of this sort of fortune was what led Shakyamuni Buddha, in His later years, to introduce us to Amitabha Buddha. Did Shakyamuni Buddha speak of Amitabha Buddha to His mother? He did not, because His mother did not possess such a causal condition. Why is Amitabha Buddha so widely worshipped in China? It is because the first of the Three Sources of Felicity of the Pure Land Sect is to show filial piety to one’s parents and respect one’s teachers and elders. This is very close to the Chinese Confucianism, so we absorbed it very quickly. The Pure Land Sect is not as popular in other countries; that it thrives so much in China, one could say it is our country’s causal condition. Now it is not about division of different nationalities; it only has to do with causal conditions. Thus, making a vow to be reborn in the Pure Land is not something to be ashamed of, nor does it go against your promise to your Dharma masters in the past to practice within a certain sect.

“You should all be mindful of the fact that in the Amitabha Sutra it is written that the Buddhas of the Ten Directions bring forth the appearance of a vast and long tongue in praise of Amitabha Buddha’s merits. This means you will be taken to the Pure Land no matter which of these Buddhas in the ten directions you worship. Listen closely: This part is not mentioned in any of the other sutras. These days, people out there worship the Great-Comfort-King Tathagata, and so on, but none of them mention that the Buddhas of the Ten Directions bring forth the appearance of a vast and long tongue in praise of Amitabha Buddha’s merits as is written in the Amitabha Sutra. The vow to be reborn in the Pure Land written at the end of the Dharma text says that all of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will rid us of our karmic hindrances so that we can be reborn in the Pure Land. This is not written in any other prayers; only in this one. This is the result of Shakyamuni Buddha’s compassionate foresight that we sentient beings born in the Age of Degenerate Dharma cannot achieve attainment in this lifetime. Thus, we were left with this Dharma method that is so difficult to believe. However, you look down on it.

“In the Ratnakuta Sutra, Bodhisattva Maitreya asked Shakyamuni Buddha what sort of Bodhisattva’s aspiration would be guaranteed to send him to the Pure Land. Some people out there who practice the Dharma method of Maitreya Buddha say that we should not go to the Pure Land, and some who belong to the Pure Land Sect say we should not go to where Bodhisattva Maitreya is. These views are not quite accurate, because it is clearly written in the Ratnakuta Sutra that Bodhisattva Maitreya asked Shakyamuni Buddha for advice. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not discriminate between sects; as long as you can go to the Pure Land at the end of this lifetime, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will help you to achieve attainment. Why can you go to Amitabha Buddha’s Pure Land, but not to other Buddha lands? Given that we follow Shakyamuni Buddha, shouldn’t we be able to go to Shakyamuni Buddha’s Pure Land? The problem is that Shakyamuni Buddha’s land is on Earth, and the Earth is stuck in the evil time of the Five Turbidities. Thus, Shakyamuni Buddha is the Buddha. You have not read any mention in the sutras that we should follow Shakyamuni Buddha to His pure land; all that is written is that you should diligently learn and practice everything the Buddha taught, right? Why did Shakyamuni Buddha attain Buddhahood in this evil time of the Five Turbidities? This had to do with causes sewn in Shakyamuni Buddha’s past lives. Criticizing practitioners and engaging in harsh speech had once caused Shakyamuni Buddha to go to hell, so even when attaining Buddhahood, He had to do it in this place that is so full of babbling nonsense.

“Amitabha Buddha said something that is very important: We can take our karma with us when we pass away. Many people think this karma only includes evil karma, but it actually refers to virtuous karma. This is why it is written in the sutra that ‘one must be a virtuous man or woman.’ If you cannot break away from all evil in this lifetime and engage in virtuous acts, then even if you form an aspiration and have good fortune, you still will not be able to go to the Pure Land. Why do you need a guru? You think it is enough just to practice by yourselves, but all of your thoughts generate karma and vice; without a guru to constantly remind you of this, how would you know it? You would be like the disciple who recently passed away: She never praised her guru’s merits, and now she is suffering.

“I told you all of this when you took refuge, but none of you listened. I am not telling you to stand at the intersection every day and yell about your faith, but if a causal condition arises, you can at least mention it. I don’t want to increase the number of believers attending the Buddhist Center; rather, I want to raise people’s acceptance of cause and effect in Taiwan. This is all part of your job that you must do. I don’t want you to quarrel with people; just mention the Dharma to them. If they don’t listen, it doesn’t matter. Since you have seen those things with your own eyes, what you say will not be a lie, so say it. Even if they think you are making it up, at the very least they will have listened to your story. This is better than not saying anything at all to them.

“Any karma you take with you to Amitabha’s Pure Land must be virtuous, but if you are going to be reborn in another Buddha land, you cannot even take that. You have to be very pure and must have completely attained the Dharma nature; only then can your Dharmakaya go to the Buddha’s Pure Land. It is written in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows that Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha liberates sentient beings from hell. That means that chanting any Buddha’s name is bound to protect you from falling into hell, because Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha will receive you. I have seen this happen with my own eyes on multiple occasions. Why can you take your karma with you to Amitabha’s Pure Land? It is because you will not immediately attain Buddhahood after you go there; you still have to be born in a lotus flower there. Your life will be classified as the lower, medium, and upper root; these are just the time difference you will see the Buddha’s Dharmakaya. The differences between them lie in the fact that you will be living in a lotus flower, so you will have to practice all over again. The Buddha will lead you in your practice, however, which is much better than an ordinary guru leading you. You will also eat much better; everything will be the best. You will be made as comfortable as possible so that you can practice Buddhism with great diligence.

“Thus, in this Saha World you might think your life is full of suffering, but this sort of suffering is created from the karma of sentient beings. As long as we understand very clearly that we are living in the evil time of the Five Turbidities, then as is written in the sutras we need only to form an aspiration in this world to practice diligently for a single day, and the benefits we reap will be a billion times better than anything that comes of practicing in the Pure Land of the Great-Comfort-King Tathagata. This was said by the Buddha in the Ratnakuta Sutra; it wasn’t me who said it. A while back I just happened to stumble on this section while I was respectfully reading the sutra. I don’t know why the Buddha said this, either. Perhaps it was because these days so many people worship the Great-Comfort-King Tathagata; thus whatever the Buddha said I can use it in my teachings.

“Only if you get this through your heads today can you keep from going astray in your Buddhist practice in the future. If you don’t understand it, you really will go astray. Some people would say intelligent people do not practice the Pure Land Sect; instead they practice meditation. That, too, is not quite correct. Some people think only literate people can practice meditation, but if that were true, then how did the Sixth Patriarch Huineng practice it? He was not literate; he even had to ask someone to help him write down that poem. So how did he practice? Thus, the hindrances of knowledge mentioned in the sutras are very serious. If you think you are knowledgeable and different from others, you will think your cultivation is different from theirs, too. The purpose of any powers of meditation is to help us to become liberated from life and death. Only those with upper root capacity can attain enlightenment.

“In the sutras there is mention of superior, medium and inferior disciples, and I spoke of these when I was telling you about Master Gampopa’s teaching methods. While practicing Tantra, one must cultivate in some sequential order. I went about Tantra differently; I cultivated it with sudden insight. That is, I achieved attainment in it even after skipping certain stages. Some stages I had never practiced before, so I skipped them and went directly to the next stage. Why did I have this ability? It had to do with the causes I had sewn in my past lives, which gave me the good fortune to encounter my guru. It also had to do with the firm resolution I’d made in this lifetime. As a result, I was able to save some time, but I still needed to practice. I was not able to achieve attainment without cultivation.

“Therefore, if you are determined to be liberated from life and death, all of the Dharmas spoken by the Buddha will naturally become very clear to you. Otherwise, they will not; you could study the sutras until your hair was white and your teeth were falling out, but you still would not understand anything the Buddha said. You would think the Buddha’s words were just a bunch of academic knowledge and theory, and you would spend the rest of your life rolling around, lost in Buddhist terminology. The Buddha’s compassion is not something that we humans can comprehend; nor can monastics understand any of the cultivation methods the Buddha established for them to practice. The Buddha knew that in the Age of Degenerate Dharma there would be many hindrances to practicing Buddhism for both monastics and lay practitioners, which is the reason He formulated so many Dharma methods. All of these Dharma methods help us to cultivate good fortune and wisdom; only once we possess these two things can we comprehend the Buddha’s words. Without good fortune we could listen all day long, but we still would not understand.

“This is the thirteenth week we have chanted the Great Six-Syllable Mantra together. You must be wondering why it takes thirteen weeks to chant it a hundred million times; shouldn’t ten weeks be sufficient? I don’t know, either; I just casually said it that day. But I believe there must be some benefit in this for you. Honestly, though, if we had not been chanting together these past twelve weeks, then you definitely would not be able to comprehend any of today’s teachings. You would have no idea what I’m talking about. Now that you’ve chanted for twelve weeks straight, you know. By ‘knowing’ I don’t mean you have come to a profound realization, but at the very least you must realize now that in the past you worked hard, for if you hadn’t, then your guru would not have organized this opportunity for you to chant the mantra a hundred million times. Because you put in a bit of work in the past, you might consider this chanting as something that can help you get extra credit—an addition to your resources, so that I won’t have to talk so much. At least now when I speak to you, you can begin to realize the truth in what I am saying. Before we chanted the Great Six-Syllable Mantra it did not matter how much I taught you; your stubbornness was as unyielding as a diamond to a drill bit. Now, however, you at least can realize that you have not fulfilled certain conducts.

“As long as we spend this lifetime respecting the Three Jewels, we will have merits. As for when we will be able to use them, we should not worry about that; the most crucial time is the moment of our death. If that disciple who passed away yesterday had not participated in every puja over the past nine years, then how could things have ended so well for her? Normally it would be impossible for an aortic dissection to be painless; it causes a great deal of suffering. Her relative lack of suffering was due to her having come here every week for nine years; her heart had never been very healthy in the first place. You might not know whom I’m talking about; she was very tall, and had the sort of physique that would never lead you to guess that she might die young. However, there was something wrong with her heart. Despite her condition, however, she came here every Sunday to participate in the puja, and this allowed her not to suffer. Her condition was present, but she did not have to feel any pain. Her lifespan came to an end, and she passed away after surgery; this was because of the karma she had created from killing. In other words, she used her body to pay for the evil acts she had committed in past lives; only then was she able to go to the Pure Land.

“It is impossible not to repay your debt from past evil acts, unless you cultivate to the same level as the Venerable Milarepa and are able to use merits to pay it off in this lifetime. Until you have enough merits, however, you really must rely on your guru. Because that disciple participated in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center’s general pujas for the past nine years, as well as this chanting of the Great Six-Syllable Mantra for a hundred million times, it was quite easy for me to perform the Dharma for her. You all keep saying you are grateful, so show your gratitude in this manner; let me spend a little less effort.

“Don’t think performing the Phowa is easy that I can liberate someone after uttering a few ‘peh!’ sounds. You can try it, too. You might shout ‘peh!’ for a whole hour, but nothing will happen to the deceased. In scientific terms, if you can manipulate molecules, atoms, and quarks, you should be able to change matter. If you cannot do this, then you can ‘peh!’ all you want but it still will have no effect. Why do sounds produce results? As you all know very well, before anything splits or combines there is either light or sound, just like how breaking an object will produce a sound. Therefore, it’s not that a guru’s voice is resonant enough; rather, if he or she does not have certain abilities, then the guru cannot possibly alter any physical substance.

“A few days ago I messed with a disciple who is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine. I caused him to feel my pulse disappear suddenly, and then I made it come back just as quickly.” The doctor-disciple said, “I took Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s pulse that day, and with most people it would be impossible for their pulse to exhibit any strong variations in amplitude in a short time. After less than ten seconds, however, the guru’s pulse suddenly dropped to zero. It felt as if the artery had sunk right down into his muscle. A moment later, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s pulse abruptly returned, and was so strong it felt like it was bursting. This phenomenon was very unfathomable to me, because we cannot use our conscious thoughts to control our pulse. Nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did this with ease. At first, before he had begun to regulate his breathing, the guru’s pulse felt a little bit weak on one side. After regulating his breathing, though, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s pulse regained its strength, and grew to the same amplitude on both sides. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche applied this energy with ease. It really was extremely incredible.”

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued. “At the time I was sitting, and did not move a single muscle. If I’d been running, then of course my pulse would have gotten quicker. Why did I have this traditional Chinese doctor-disciple take my pulse? It was because he still harbored some doubt. After that day, it was completely clear to him that I really am not an ordinary person. I am not telling you this story today in order to brag about my abilities; it is Shakyamuni Buddha’s abilities that are powerful, and those methods have been passed down. If you cannot even control your own body, then how can you liberate sentient beings? Whose consciousness can you transfer? I am a sixty-seven year old man, but I can control my pulse and therefore am able to help people. If I could not even control my own pulse, how could I use my chi to help others? It would be impossible.

“Many people say Tantra does not exist, but they are mistaken. Why do we need to do these things? The reason is that if our bodies do not have enough energy, then there really are many things that we cannot do. If you cannot regulate your own chi and pulse, then there naturally are many things you will not be able to do, including meditation. Why are so many people unable to achieve a meditative state of calmness no matter how long they sit? It is because they are unable to control their chi-channels and force them to listen. Of course, you must master many stages of practice before you can make your chi do as you command. Why do we do this? This, too, is so that we can be reborn in the Pure Land. Once you understand this part clearly, you will naturally find it easier. If you don’t understand, it’s okay, too; just be respectful to the Three Jewels and have sufficient faith in your guru, and you will be able to achieve attainment just the same.

“Today I’ve said a lot, but the main thing I want to communicate to you is that chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra a hundred million times is not for our own benefit, but for that of all sentient beings in the Dharma Realm. Our hope is that by chanting this mantra we can help all sentient beings—both those who have had an affinity with us in our past lives and those who have not. We cannot be so selfish as to think we are doing this just so that we can be reborn in the Pure Land. If we want to be reborn in the state of upper-level-upper-birth, then we must give rise to the Bodhicitta. This means that nothing we do is for ourselves or for purely for a wife, etc. You will have many wives over the course of many lifetimes; in which lifetimes have you not gotten married? Even if you were reborn in the Animal Realm, you still got married. Thus, if you are only practicing to benefit your spouse, you will not be able to resolve the great problem of life and death.

“If we can broaden our minds as is mentioned in the the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, then we can learn to be selfless. Many people think this broadening means running around, finding liberation for the deceased by listening to a sutra in one place or supplicating in another. Actually, this is not true. You must broaden your mind because when you are helping the deceased you are not just helping a single person; so many things happened in his or her past lives, and only the Buddha can see them all. This so-called ‘broadening’ means you are not only trying to benefit this particular deceased; rather, you hope that this puja can benefit all sentient beings, whether they are related to the deceased or not. This benefit might not take effect right away; it might happen in the future. Regardless, you absolutely must not allow your mind to become so narrow that you only ever implore for minor things. Your illness is the result of your own actions. That you are still alive today means the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have already shown you a great deal of compassion. What was the point in sparing your life? It was so that you can make a firm resolution to become liberated from life and death in this lifetime.

“Do you think I am physically very healthy? Actually, I am not. I have scoliosis, and my cervical vertebrae are out of alignment. Most people with this illness tend to suffer complete organ failure, because the spine is right next to the nervous system.” The disciple who was a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine said that this was indeed the case, and that in his experience a person of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s age with this condition would not be able to move around freely and would be bedridden; in addition, it normally should impact on the guru’s lungs, heart, and digestive system.

A disciple who was a doctor of Western medicine said, “In fact, having scoliosis from the tenth vertebra down should make a person unable to breathe without the aid of a respirator, and having it below the waist should result in incontinence. Furthermore, the pain would normally be unbearable, like being stabbed by needles or burned by fire. In addition, the nerves would pulse as if with electricity, alternating between numbness and extreme stimulation. For example, when you suddenly stand after sitting cross-legged for a long time, your feet might tingle, but that sensation in a person with scoliosis would be much more severe.”

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “The reason I am telling you this is not to make you think I’m better at practicing Buddhism, but to help you understand that if you have sufficient faith in the Three Jewels and give rise to an attitude of repentance, then you will be able to cultivate compassion and make a bodhicitta vow. When that happens, no matter what illnesses might afflict your physical body, they will not be able to cause your mind to feel pain. As such, even if the nerves in your body produce signals that should normally make you feel pain, they will not affect you, because of your state of mind. I occasionally feel pain, too, but only for a moment and it is never constant. Sometimes it hurts a little when I get overtired, but this has absolutely no effect on my normal everyday life. Why not? It is not that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas give me any preferential treatment; it is because of the vow I made to help bring Their aspirations closer and closer to fruition. We must help Shakyamuni Buddha and the other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to fulfill Their vows. In other words, we must help sentient beings to become liberated from life and death.

“Because I helped the disciple who died to produce that auspicious sign, her sister cried when she came by yesterday to seek an audience. At least she had begun to feel respect for Buddhism, so now she’ll definitely practice in a future lifetime. Therefore, whenever you implore for good health for yourself, you are giving rise to greed. It is not that we should completely ignore our physical ailments and not seek treatment for them; rather, even if we do seek treatment, the point is just to give our rūpakāya—our physical bodies—a bit more time to accumulate enough resources to be reborn in the Pure Land. Without this rūpakāya, it would be impossible to practice Buddhism. Having a physical body brings its own problems, however; we have to spend all day trying to satisfy a heap of physical requirements. Thus, as for how to differentiate and where to draw the line, you should listen to the methods laid out by your guru. The guru really is very important; at the right time, he will give you a hint or a lesson.

“Life appears to be full of suffering, but it actually is very blissful, too. After all, isn’t it a happy thing that we are able to use our rūpakāya in this lifetime to repay the debts we owe from our past lives? For this reason, when you get sick you should rejoice; don’t furrow your brow and frown. Who would be able to tell, just by looking at my face, that I have scoliosis? All you might see is me tilting my head to the side a bit, because my spine is very taut. Other than that, you would not see me frown because of it; the only time I frown is when I see a sentient being fall into the Three Evil Realms because he or she did not listen. Nothing else makes me frown. It is as the old monk Guang Qin said: ‘It doesn’t matter.’ Why doesn’t it? It is because everything that happens to us is of our own making. In terms of Emptiness, all causes, effects, and causal conditions are Empty in nature; conditions arise and cease, and when they arise it is also the time they start to cease. Whenever you think you are happy, it is because a karmic effect that makes you happy has matured. Once it is fully matured, it will go away. Nothing is worth feeling happy over. On the contrary, you should be happy when you are suffering, because you know you are repaying your debts.

“Thus, we should stop blaming people for all our woes, for not taking care of us, and so on. No one owes us; only by realizing that it is we who owe sentient beings can we become disciples of the Buddha. If we think people owe us, then we are not Buddhist practitioners. Even if someone comes over and harms you, it has surely happened because you harmed that person in a past life. The same is true of someone who might slander you. What is the point in complaining about it? Thus, this is the way life is. Some people must have loved to talk in a past life; many lifetimes ago, perhaps there were televisions on the Earth way back then, and they scolded someone on TV. As a result, someone has returned the favor in this lifetime. This is cause and effect. So don’t worry about it; this is how life is.

“Today I will lead you all in a recitation of the Dedication Prayer of Mani Fast Realization and Great Joy. Next week I will perform the Guru Yoga, and the following week I will perform the Amitabha Offering Puja. The reason for this is that after performing this dedication it is necessary to make offerings to the guru and to Amitabha Buddha.” All of the attendees expressed their gratitude in unison.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led the attendees in a recitation of the Dedication Prayer of Mani Fast Realization and Great Joy. After its perfect completion, the guru continued to bestow teachings.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the monastics, “Before we have attained enlightenment and seen clearly our nature, of what use to our practice is meditation?” An ordained disciple answered, “We can use it to look at our own thoughts.” Another monastic answered, “Samadhi can lead to wisdom.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked, “Why is that?” The disciple replied, “Please teach us, Rinpoche.”

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “I wouldn’t presume to teach; all that I tell you comes from a combination of the Dharmas spoken by the Buddha and a bit of my own practicing experience. Of all the religions in the world, only Buddhism has true meditation. What passes for meditation in other faiths is actually done to obtain certain things; only in Buddhism is this not the case. Just now that monastic said that Samadhi can lead to wisdom. Wisdom is something we possess; every sentient being possesses wisdom that is identical to that of the Buddha. Why are we unable to unlock our wisdom? It is because all sentient beings use a certain tool to live: Consciousness. We use this to chant the Buddha’s name, too, as well as to make prostrations to the Buddha and meditate.

“According to the Yogācāra school of Buddhism, humans have eight types of consciousness: Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind, Mana Consciousness, and Alaya Consciousness. Whenever our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind receive any internal or external signals, our Mana Consciousness is moved, and our Alaya Consciousness stores all of these functions. How does it do this? For example, if you do things very quickly or are playing very happily, once you stop playing you might forget what you were doing just then. You might go and play joyfully under spinning light at the playground, for example, but if someone asks you later what you played, you would not be able to answer. If you sit down and calm yourself after doing something, though, you will remember after thinking about it for a little while.

“Thus, the first task we do while meditating is exactly this: To store everything we do in our Buddhist practice—from chanting the Buddha’s name to making prostrations to the Buddha—in our Alaya Consciousness. If you have no seeds in your Alaya Consciousness, you will not be able to practice Buddhism in a future lifetime. Thus, you need to start by sewing these seeds. We must understand that meditation causes us to move and be still with ease. What is movement? What is stillness? Movement does not mean doing some calisthenics before sitting down in meditation, and stillness does not simply mean sitting still, because while sitting in meditation your thoughts could still be moving. To ‘move and be still with ease’ means knowing how to store the virtuous seeds that we have sewn. Once we have enough of these seeds, we supplement them with some assisting conditions so that they can sprout, flower, and bear fruit.

“Therefore, after each prayer you do, you should meditate briefly. Even one second of meditation is useful; first calm down, and then you can store it in your Alaya Consciousness. Why is it written in the sutras that there is no set time for enlightenment to occur and that it can only happen if a person has sufficient causal conditions? It is because one day after your Alaya Consciousness is full of seeds, and when an assisting condition suddenly appears, sprinkling water on the seeds will cause them to flower. If there are no seeds in your Alaya Consciousness, nothing can flower no matter how much water or fertilizer you pour on it. Thus, the first thing you should understand about meditation is that it can only carry us to a state of wisdom if our Alaya Consciousness can flower and bear fruit, thereby unlocking our innate wisdom. Only if we have seeds in our Alaya Consciousness can we cultivate learned wisdom—that is, the so-called wisdom of meditation. With this, one day we will be able to combine it with our innate wisdom to attain enlightenment.

“This is why the Drikung Kagyu Order’s method of meditation is called the Mahamudra. It was transmitted from India. A Dharma master once said that the Mahamudra is very similar to Meditation of Silent Illumination, but that is not very accurate. The Mahamudra is divided into four different stages, each one of which is subdivided into three stages. Those who master it to its fullest can attain enlightenment and Buddhahood in this lifetime. Without the Mahamudra, practicing any Dharma will amount to nothing more than mouthing the words. Your consciousness will move, but you will produce no merits. The Drikung Kagyu Order’s Four Uncommon Preliminary Practices are also called the Fivefold Mahamudra, because they include the teaching method of the Mahamudra. The reason I haven’t taught it to you yet is that you do not have enough faith in your guru. The Mahamudra is not at all complicated; it is very simple. However, precisely because it is so simply, very few people believe in it. What is the difference between the Mahamudra and the Zen method transmitted by Bodhidharma in China? Both are forms of meditation; it’s just that they start in different places and teach different ways of meditation.

“I have practiced Zen, too. In Zen practice, it is very easy for you to get to the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception with a single wrong thought. As long as you think you are meditating, you will enter that state. Only after learning the Mahamudra did I begin to understand that there is only a very fine line between Samadhi and the sphere of neither-perception-nor-non-perception. This line can pass you by very easily, and once it does, it is very difficult for you to get back to Zen meditation. People who are said to be really good at meditating tend to fall in one of two categories: Either they are completely isolated from other people, or they are very arrogant. Take note, everyone. Why do we practice the Mahamudra? It is because without meditation, we cannot unlock our wisdom, and in turn cannot benefit sentient beings. This is because sentient beings are too tempting, and we will get taken away by believers. If we have not achieved Samadhi and unlocked our wisdom, we can very easily be lured away by believers. Over the past dozen years many believers have tried to tempt me away from my path, but they have failed. This is thanks to the Mahamudra.

“Because my cultivation style was a bit different from that of other people, I came in contact with Exoteric Buddhism before going into Tantra. In addition, because I am a lay practitioner and have experienced a great deal of the suffering of life, I feel that the Dharma is very auspicious. Before talking on and on about it, we should see if whether or not what we learn can change us and our views of life and the future. We should stop ourselves from saying so confidently that we have made a vow to liberate sentient beings; actually, we are helping sentient beings while we practice, which is why the Buddha said that if we successfully cultivate merits and good fortune, even the worms in our stomachs can be liberated. This is an example of liberating sentient beings, because our bodies contain many sentient beings that can be liberated. If you can’t even figure out your own body, then how can you liberate someone else?

“I’ve told you the story of my retreat. I went into retreat for more than three months, and my skin did not get itchy or anything. Someone tried to emulate me, and dove straight into retreat. As it turned out, his skin started itching after just seven days. Later, after watching a program on the science channel, I learned that the bacteria living on a person’s skin can grow exponentially over a period of seven days. You want to liberate sentient beings, but who can you liberate if you can’t even help the ones in your own body? In Tantrism, the reason it is forbidden to shower during a retreat is to test your level of compassion. If you cannot even liberate the bacteria living in your own body, then who are you going to liberate? Going for more than three months without a shower is not something humans could do; our skin gets inflammation. However, when I came out of retreat, my skin actually smelled quite fragrant. In your own Buddhist practice have you practiced the things that the Buddha said to do? If not, then you are practicing the wrong way, and it means you must have made some mistakes. If you practice according to the Buddha’s teachings, you are on the right path. Even if you aren’t very good at Buddhist terminology, at least you have not taken a wrong turn.

“I practice Buddhism differently from most people; I draw from a lot of sources of information to tell whether or not my actions are in compliance with what is written in the sutras. The Buddha said that we can liberate even the worms in our stomachs; if you cannot even control the bacteria on your skin, then how can you practice? When I first started learning Tantrism, I thought the reason we weren’t allowed to shower while in retreat was to teach us to discard our vanity and desire for cleanliness and not have a discriminating mind. After finishing a retreat of more than three months, I realized that the person who had run in and copied me was also a Bodhisattva; his entire body itched after being in retreat for a week, and later I saw that science program. Only then did I realize the truth in the Buddha’s words, as well as why bathing is forbidden in Tantric retreats. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang had not taught me this, nor was it written in the sutras. I am therefore telling you a Tantric secret today, and that is why you are not allowed to wash your head or bathe while in retreat.

“The Eight Precepts Retreat only lasts for one day. In a Tantric retreat, you don’t even have soap to use, and you have to eat plain noodles boiled in unflavored water. I don’t eat spicy food, so I had to eat plain noodles like that for three months straight. Thus, practice does not come from theory; it is something that you actually must do in action. If your body can bear this sort of practice, then you will accumulate good fortune; if your body can achieve the state mentioned by the Buddha, then of course you can unlock your wisdom. No one told me this before, so I am very grateful to this person. I hadn’t understood why I could spend more than three months in retreat in the exact same place and come out unscathed, whereas that person could not. Later, after seeing a medical report, I learned that it was not that he had bad skin; it was because bacteria multiply on the skin if you do not wash.

“Skin flake is caused by bacteria; our bodies are full of bacteria. The reason the Buddha said ‘this putrid mortal flesh’ was not because we stink, but because our bodies are covered with bacteria. Every inch of our skin is crawling with them; they live with us. Thus, if you are constantly going on about liberating sentient beings, yet you cannot even change the state of your own body or skin, then what makes you think you can help others? The Dharma must actually be implemented; theory alone is not enough. You have to learn to transform and change all the karma from your past lives before you can help others. For example, when learning the Phowa you must first achieve attainment in it before you can perform it for someone else. You must not think that simply reciting the sutras over and over is enough.

“If you can’t even create a hole in the top of your own head, then how do you expect to do that for someone else? You can’t just stick in a blade of grass and consider it done; you have to actually create a hole. Only once you’ve hollowed out your own hole can you then do it for another person. This is because you won’t know how to until you’ve created a hole in your own head. There is a basis for all of this; it’s just that it was not written very clearly in the sutras. When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang transmits the Dharma to me, it can seem a bit vague, too. This does not depend on how you practice; it has to do with the fact that every sentient being has a different root capacity. One sentient being might be able to achieve attainment this way, and another one might do it another way; everyone is different. What is written in the Dharma texts is set in stone, but sentient beings manifest different merits, due to their complex relationship with their individual karma. That’s all I’ll say for today; I don’t want to say too much, because if I reveal too many secrets you’ll stop coming.”

Upon the perfect completion of the puja, the disciples expressed their gratitude in unison to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for compassionately leading the attendees in recitation and bestowing teachings. They stood and gave reverent homage as His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche descended the Dharma throne.

« Previous – Puja TeachingsNext »

Updated on September 1, 2019