His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Puja Teachings – July 5, 2015

Before the puja began, six disciples shared their accounts of how the mother of an ordained disciple had been helped and cared for by His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and of the various auspicious signs that had appeared after she’d passed away and become liberated by way of the guru’s Phowa.

The first ordained disciple began by thanking His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for having bestowed upon her the opportunity to tell everyone about the guru’s compassion, merits, and ability to benefit sentient beings.

She said that the mother of the ordained disciple in question had passed away a little after 7:00 on the evening of June 29th, 2015. Because the disciples who had taken refuge relatively recently and some of the honorable believers had never met the deceased’s daughter (an ordained disciple who had passed away in 2012), she gave a brief explanation of what had happened. The daughter had originally lived in a Buddhist temple in the northern part of Taiwan, where her second eldest sister was serving as abbess. At the time their mother was already ninety years old, so it had been difficult for her to move about. Worried that her mother might have a hard time adjusting to a new environment, which in turn could affect the people she lived with, the daughter had hesitated repeatedly rather than immediately move herself and her mother to the Center’s dormitory for ordained disciples.

A year later, during an audience with His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the daughter had reported that she wished to leave the Buddhist temple in which she was living and move to Taipei. His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had compassionately replied, “You are now one of my disciples. If you have no place to live, clothes to wear, or food to eat, I will take care of you.” Right then and there she had implored the guru to allow her and her elderly mother to share a room together in the Buddhist Center’s dormitory. His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had kindly granted her permission, so her mother had also moved in and begun to be compassionately looked after and blessed by the guru. On November 2nd, 2008, her mother had formally taken refuge in His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

That ordained disciple had passed away on March 24th, 2012, and while on her deathbed had been liberated by the auspicious Phowa performed by His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. To read about the various auspicious signs that had appeared afterward, as well as an account of the process through which the guru had helped her, everyone was welcome to refer to the March 25th, 2012 Journal entry. Now the disciple expressed gratitude to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for always giving his disciples the best opportunities and environment in which to practice, for lessening their hindrances, and for providing them with physical and mental stability so that they could learn Buddhism from him.

A second ordained disciple then shared an account of how His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had taken her into his fold, and also expressed her gratitude toward the guru. In the three years since that ordained disciple had passed away, she had watched as the elderly mother’s quality of life had drastically changed while under the guru’s care. Back when her daughter had still been alive, she had only been able to move around within their dormitory room. After her daughter had passed away, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had hired an expensive Taiwanese nurse to care for her twelve hours a day. Not only was the elderly mother then able to go downstairs for walks in both morning and evening, but she was also able to leave her room to do things at any time, all thanks to the nurse’s meticulous caregiving. In addition, the Japanese food fed to the elderly mother had all been of the finest quality. None of these things could be afforded even by a typical middleclass household.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche silently cares for his disciples and their families, paying expenses and putting forth efforts that are far greater than most people could imagine. The speaking disciple had once asked herself whether she could ever give do much for people who were not blood-related to her. She believed that like her, no one present could do it. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s dedication to others, without sparing a single thought for himself, had moved her immensely. All of the disciples, including herself, practiced Buddhism with the support and protection of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but everyone was constantly acting ungrateful and doing things that harmed the guru. Seeking only protection for themselves, they had forgotten the guru’s great benevolence. Nevertheless, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had continued to devote all of his efforts to the wellbeing of the disciples, all the while silently bestowing blessings and doing everything in his power to help them. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had never turned his back on a single one of the disciples, and for this she was grateful!

The ordained disciple’s mother, as a result of her old age, had forgotten the guru as well as her wish to go to the Pure Land, and her mind had been continuously afflicted with concern over her family members. Nevertheless, knowing of her situation, His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had still instructed the speaking disciple to take her to a hospital for a check-up. After the ordained disciple’s mother passed away, her family members had come to express their gratitude to the guru. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had told them not to worry, and that he would help her because her daughter had been a disciple of his. The ordained disciple, before passing away, had once implored the Phowa for her elderly mother, but the latter had not had faith in the guru; as a result, at her time of death the mother had not had sufficient good fortune or causal conditions to be able to find the guru right away. The following day, after learning of this, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had immediately performed the Phowa for her.

Although the ordained disciple’s mother had been at peace when she passed away, and many auspicious signs had appeared, these had been nothing more than manifestations of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings and protection. Furthermore, the ordained disciple’s mother had neither been mindful of the guru nor possessed enough good fortune and causal conditions to be able to find him when she died. Still, in his compassion, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had performed the Phowa for her—an act which, under these circumstances, would consume a great amount of the guru’s good fortune and physical strength. If the disciples continued in their tendency to neglect keeping His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche firmly in their minds and diligently practicing Buddhism, then they would only be a bigger burden on the guru. As such, she urged everyone to stop thinking only about protecting themselves, and not to forget their magnificently benevolent guru.

The third ordained disciple thanked His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for having granted her this opportunity to share her reflections on the guru’s compassion and merits and how he had benefited sentient beings. That ordained disciple’s mother had begun to grow close to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in 2007, when her daughter had taken refuge in the guru. At the time she was already ninety-three years old. So that the ordained disciple could practice Buddhism with peace of mind, the guru had arranged for both mother and daughter to live together in the same dormitory room. Everything had been taken care of by His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, including their room, board, clothing, transportation and other living expenses, as well as all of their medical bills. When the ordained disciple passed away in 2012, not only had the guru shouldered the enormous funeral costs, but he had also taken on the responsibility of continuing to care for the disciple’s mother.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had hired a high-end Taiwanese nurse to provide in-home care for the elderly woman, and had instructed the other monastics to treat her as they would their own mother. The guru had also given special instructions to spare no expense when it came to groceries for the ordained disciple’s mother, so after that she had eaten nothing but Japanese food products of the highest quality and was given the best traditional Chinese medicine from the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic. Under such good care, the elderly woman, whose hair had turned completely white, had begun to grow black hair again. Even she had said that her life had never been better. Her final years had been devoid of sickness; it was safe to say that she had died a completely natural death. All of this was the result of the guru’s great good fortune, protection, blessings, and conscientious care.

By mid-June of this year, the ordained disciple’s 100-year-old mother had begun to exhibit symptoms of lethargy, and she could no longer speak or interact with others. Thinking that her time was nigh, her family members had come to the Buddhist Center to report her condition to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and to thank the guru for having taken such good care of her. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had specially instructed them to take the elderly woman to the hospital for another check-up, because it would save them a great deal of unnecessary trouble if she passed away at home, which required a certified diagnosis from a doctor. The guru’s exemplary wisdom always provides the disciples with causal conditions so that they can leave the suffering sea of reincarnation in the most well-rounded, ideal, natural, and painless manner possible.

After 7:00 in the evening of June 29th, the speaking disciple had returned to the dormitory after finishing her evening prayers at the Buddhist Center. As soon as she had walked through the door, she’d seen the ordained disciple’s mother resting her head against the nurse’s forearm, who apparently had just finished feeding her dinner. The nurse had looked up immediately and exclaimed, “Master, master! Have a look; I think something’s wrong with the old lady!” Placing her hand beneath the elderly woman’s nose, the disciple could feel that her breathing had stopped, as had her heart, as a quick check of her pulse had soon confirmed. She had then known that the ordained disciple’s mother had indeed passed away from this world. Straightaway, she had called a Dharma brother. Within ten minutes of hanging up the phone, the elderly woman’s body had already gone cold, but the top of her head was still quite warm. Her body was soft, her complexion beautifully fair; in addition, all of her wrinkles had smoothed out, many of her age spots had disappeared, and she was wearing a peaceful smile on her face. Her posture had habitually been bent, but now her knees could be completely straightened. At the time the disciple had not been able to find the guru to perform the Dharma for her, yet some obvious and auspicious signs had already appeared on her body. She, the nurse, and a monastic who had just returned to the dormitory had felt very happy for the elderly woman, and had all given great praise to the guru’s great awe-inspiring power and remarkable blessings.

Back when she was practicing Exoteric Buddhism, everyone had acknowledged that more than any other of the eight great paths of Exoteric cultivation, the Pure Land Sect was the one which, to the greatest degree, involved methods that were easy to do yet difficult to obtain a result from. In other words, its methods might seem simple to practice, but achieving the objective was exceedingly difficult. She had met and known many monastics over the course of several decades, all of whom had specialized in various forms of cultivation, kept the precepts, practiced diligently, and accumulated much good fortune, many merits, and resources. Still, not one of them had ever manifested auspicious signs on his or her body after passing away. Even many Dharma masters had all pointed out that in this Age of Degenerate Dharma, only one or two people in ten million would be able to go to the Pure Land. Now, she saw that this ordained disciple’s mother—an elderly woman who had not taken refuge in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche until she was ninety-three years of age, had never understood anything the guru had said, had not done anything at all, and could not even practice by herself—had now already begun to exhibit auspicious signs of having been reborn in the Pure Land. These had all appeared as a result of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s egalitarian compassion of Emptiness, bodhicitta, and blessings, even though the guru had not even performed the Dharma for her yet. Her situation had been similar to that of the old gentleman who had died a few weeks ago; he, too, had not taken refuge, practiced Buddhism, cultivated good fortune, or accumulated merits. Nevertheless, on the back of the faith he’d had in His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, along with help from the guru’s aspiration and blessings, he had been able to attain a state of perfect focus and pass away peacefully to be reborn in the Pure Land of Utmost Bliss.

She had never expected that being reborn in the Pure Land of Utmost Bliss could be so easy for someone. Had the elderly woman not encountered such a magnificently meritorious guru as His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, how could she have attained a result that was so vastly different from what most people experienced? In the blink of an eye, the guru had completely freed the disciples of their worries and some unnecessary thoughts. She felt as if she herself were on the path to being reborn in the Pure Land of Utmost Bliss and was already close enough to see its glory. “That’s right!” she exclaimed. “The guru once said that living people need to be liberated, too, not only from our karmic creditors, but from these ignorant, unbelieving, and twisted concepts as well.”

Because the guru had previously given instructions to make preparations a certified diagnosis from a doctor, the court doctor’s examination had gone very smoothly. The unnecessary legal or medical-administration trouble had thus been avoided. All related matters had been simple, and done smoothly and perfectly. The entire process had been supervised and arranged by the guru, to the great relief of her family. Everyone had rejoiced that years ago, the ordained disciple and her mother had both taken refuge in the compassionate guru. After witnessing the process through which the elderly woman had manifested auspicious signs after her death—signs of having been blessed—the nurse, too, had repeatedly expressed her gratitude for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate and auspicious arrangements. Without such clever arrangements, the nurse herself would not have known how to face the death of the elderly woman, and would certainly have felt afraid and flustered. She reiterated over and over that she had never seen such auspicious signs appear on anyone who had passed away. All of the people she had looked after in the past had died after having suffered the torments of the hospital emergency room, the ICU, and being subjected to intubation; their experience had been vastly different from that of the ordained disciple’s mother. She had been able to die at home without having to go through such medical agonies, and had gone serenely, quietly, naturally, and with dignity. Hers truly had been an exceedingly good death. There was no greater fortune than this, and she therefore praised the guru for his magnificent compassionate and profound wisdom.

After the ordained disciple’s family thanked the nurse, the nurse had said to them, “You don’t need to thank me; I was just doing my job. The person you should thank is her guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; he was the one who took care of her the most. Thus, the old woman was able to pass away so serenely as a direct result of the guru’s great compassion, awesome power, wisdom, and protective blessings. The guru perfectly demonstrated the validity of the Dharma for all, living and dead.” She was grateful to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; eternally thankful, and endlessly full of praise!

The fourth disciple stood to thank His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for having allowed her the opportunity and causal condition to help with looking after that ordained disciple’s mother. Before passing away, the mother of that ordained disciple had not had to endure much physical suffering. She had been very aware, and had no problems such as swallowing phlegm or being unable to get her food down. More importantly, she had not suffered ascites, and her body had never stunk of organ failure. She’d been in very good spirits, and the only thing that had bothered her was a slight bit of asthma. A monastic had once died at the temple in which she used to live. Her stomach had been full at the time of her passing, so her body had continuously secreted fluids, including urine and feces, and the smell had been intolerable. The nurse who looked after that monastic’s mother had said that on the day of her death, the ordained disciple’s mother had eaten a lot, but that after passing away, her body had not secreted anything at all. Her anus was closed shut and completely dry, and she had neither urinated nor defecated. Her body had been very clean, in fact, and on her deathbed, she had seemed completely without fear and helplessness, appearing serene and at ease. Two Dharma brothers who had passed away recently had both manifested various auspicious signs; all of these had resulted from the auspicious merits and blessings produced by the Phowa. Without such blessings, those Dharma brothers could not have been reborn in the Pure Land.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had treated that ordained disciple’s mom with just as much conscientious care as he would have given to his own mother. During this time, everything she used and ate had been of the highest quality. The guru had even hired a private nurse to look after her, and all these had cost quite a large sum of money each month. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had known for at least three or four weeks that the ordained disciple’s mother would pass away very soon, so the guru had given instructions for the elderly woman to be taken to see a doctor and to start procuring a medical certificate for her. This was because the guru had actually known for quite some time that she would end up dying a natural death in the dormitory. The purpose of procuring a medical certificate in advance was, on the one hand, to protect the nurse from any potential suspicion of wrongdoing by the family; on the other hand, it was to keep the ordained disciple’s mother’s body from being dreadfully violated by an invasive autopsy. Another reason was that getting a death certificate issued after the fact for someone who had passed away at home was often rather complicated. At any time and any place, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is constantly helping sentient beings without asking for anything in return. The guru treats all people, young and old, like he would his own parents and children, caring for them equally and selflessly. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will forever give the best of himself to sentient beings. Were he not such a master practitioner, who is no different from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, none of the aforementioned would have been possible.

The disciple wondered how she had been so fortunate as to have encountered such a rare, genuinely cultivated, and truly realized Master Rinpoche in this lifetime. She used to think that being reborn in the Pure Land required reciting the Buddha’s name until one had attained the state of “constant mindfulness of Amitabha” and “one mind undisturbed,” but that was no easy feat. After seeing the various auspicious signs that had manifested after several Dharma brothers and believers had passed away one after another, she had come to understand that if we wish to be reborn in the Pure Land, then we absolutely must have complete faith in, and respect for, our guru. However, she had not acted according to the guru’s teachings; as always, she had been carried along by her evil habits, acted self-righteously and arrogantly, not kept the Five Precepts or carried out the Ten Meritorious Acts, and had constantly consumed the guru’s energy. His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche truly is a master practitioner who employs every method possible to tame the obstinate minds of sentient beings into submission. The guru’s ardent hope is simply that the disciples will be able to be freed from reincarnation in this lifetime so that they will not have to be reborn into suffering ever again. Had she not encountered the guru, she would continue to reincarnate in the Six Realms until the end of time; nor would she be able to practice Buddhism. She was grateful to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for taking so much trouble to unceasingly benefit all sentient beings.

The fifth monastic got up and shared her perspective. She said, regarding that ordained disciple’s mother who had passed away a few days previously, that the elderly woman had been completely bedridden soon after her daughter had died, and had depended on others to help her with all of her everyday activities, including eating, drinking, and using the toilet. Furthermore, she had received care of the utmost attentiveness. Everyday a nurse had come to accompany and look after her, and her diet had consisted only of the finest Koshihikari rice, organic fruits and vegetables, and Japanese food products. In addition, regular appointments had been made for her to see a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine. However, apart from treating the occasional minor ailment, the doctor had only had to prescribe medicine designed to help maintain her health. Therefore, although she was one hundred years old, not once had she needed to go to a Western hospital or be tormented by any invasive medical treatment. All of this had only been possible because both the daughter and the mother had been His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples.

The speaking disciple recalled that back when she had been taking care of her own mother, she would often fret over the suffering caused by her mother’s infirmity and over whether or not her mother would be subjected to the torments of modern medical treatment practices. She would also frequently worry about what sort of illness might afflict her mother next. She had watched as her mom’s years had advanced, bringing with them the agony of frequent gout flare-ups as well as two minor strokes which had left her unable to walk. In addition, for some unknown reason, a large sarcoma had grown on her mother’s chin, and they had not known where to go to seek treatment for it. She’d been reluctant to subject her mother to the Western medical system, but at the same time had also had no idea of where to find a good traditional Chinese doctor. On the practical side of things, money was a real issue, too. All of these factors had combined to trap the disciple within a worried, fearful, and sorrowful frame of mind. As a result, she had felt all of her mother’s suffering deeply, as if it were her own. After all, she could do nothing but watch helplessly as her mother suffered, knowing that she was powerless to save her. Despite having been a monastic for such a long time, she had never become attuned to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. She had felt utterly alone, yearning in vain for help or even a response from heaven and earth.

Compared to that ordained disciple who had died, one might say that their situation was like apples to oranges. Her opportunity to exist carefree in the Pure Land of Utmost Bliss had only come about because she, before dying, had brought her mother with her to take refuge in His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; thus, her mother had obtained good fortune. The guru had taken care of all of the elderly woman’s necessities, and the daughter had not had to worry about anything. The elderly woman had lived peacefully under the protection of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings, and she’d never had to experience any major suffering from illness, fret about not having enough clothing to wear or food to eat, or go in and out of hospital. With the nurse’s company and care, and access to the best traditional Chinese medicine facilitating her recovery, she had lived out the remaining years of her life in peace and happiness. Who among those in attendance had ever heard of any elderly person who only visited a Western hospital twice? For the elderly woman, both visits had been for check-ups and to submit medical records so that the disciples could make her funeral arrangements more smoothly after she died, a death which His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had predicted far in advance.

The speaking disciple said that long before her own mother had died, a Dharma brother had mentioned His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to her. However, because she had not believed that such an extraordinary guru could exist in this world, and because she had been deeply afraid of following the wrong sort of Dharma master, she had missed this opportunity and causal condition. As a result, her mother had had to experience all the suffering that had been her due.

After her mother passed away, she had worried about whether or not her mother would be reborn in the Pure Land of Utmost Bliss. If not, then even if the recitation assistance performed for her had produced auspicious signs, and despite what her body might have looked like shortly before death, it still meant that she would have to suffer endlessly from reincarnation in the future. This time the disciple had seen for herself how peacefully and naturally that ordained disciple’s mother had passed away; no one had had to worry about her, because she’d had a powerful guru there to help her. That ordained disciple’s mother had looked better in death than she had while still living; her skin had been finer, and completely devoid of wrinkles and age spots. While helping to change her clothing, the disciple had discovered that the elderly woman’s entire body was so supple and soft that all four of her limps could be laid out straight. While the mother had still been alive, she’d only been able to lie down in a half-curled posture. After death, all signs of edema had disappeared as well, and the top of her head had been warm to the touch. The great auspiciousness and rarity of all these phenomena had filled the nurse looking after her with joy.

Even though that ordained disciple’s mother had not, at the moment of her death, been able to locate the guru, many auspicious signs had already appeared anyway. These could not have resulted from her own cultivation, for she’d stopped chanting the Buddha’s name long before her time had come and had not kept the guru in her heart. On the contrary, these auspicious signs must have been produced by the guru’s everyday protective blessings and the Chod he had performed the day before her death. The day after, a Dharma brother had telephoned to say that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had performed the Phowa for that ordained disciple’s mother. This was sure to have consumed an enormous amount of the guru’s energy.

As the Confucian saying goes, “If one awakes to hear the truth in the morning, then one can die that same evening without any regrets.” Seeing so many people pass away so naturally and effortlessly before His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma throne had caused the disciple to no longer feel lost or afraid in the face of death. In her Buddhist practice, too, she no longer felt irresolute or helpless. If she were to die that very evening, she could do so without any regrets at all. She thanked the guru for embracing her so compassionately, and hoped and prayed that His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have good health and maintain eternal presence in the world so that he could continue to benefit countless sentient beings.

The sixth disciple stood to share her reflections and to express gratitude to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The guru really was very, very compassionate, and had constantly demonstrated the great auspiciousness of kindness and the Dharma. That ordained disciple’s mother had passed away a little after 7:00 on the evening of June 29th, and the next day His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had performed the Phowa to transfer her consciousness. When her family members and the monastics who had lived with her had arrived at the funeral home to pay their respects, they had seen for themselves the peaceful expression on the elderly woman’s face: It had been as if she were smiling in her sleep. The most remarkable thing had been that because it was summer, the temperature in the freezer room had been turned down to a very low temperature—the elderly woman’s forehead was like an ice cube—yet the area around her crown chakra had been remarkably warm. Her skin had appeared bright and smooth, and the wrinkles were no longer to be seen; her four limbs were soft, which was amazing because before her death, she had not been able to completely straighten her back or legs. Everyone had exclaimed over and over that the elderly woman had never lain so softly or serenely in her life.

The deceased ordained disciple had taken refuge in January of 2007. So that the ordained disciple could practice Buddhism with peace of mind, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had taken care of them both by paying for their room, board, clothing, travel expenses, and medical fees, and later had even hired the mother a private nurse. In 2012, when the ordained disciple was about to pass away, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche—knowing that her greatest worry had been over her mother’s wellbeing, and wanting to put her mind at ease—had told her that he would take care of her mother for her when she was gone. Beginning in March of that year, upon the death of the ordained disciple, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not only born all of her medical costs, but had also paid entirely for her funeral. To accommodate all of the ordained disciple’s Dharma brothers, as well as all of the monastics she had previously known while practicing Exoteric Buddhism, the guru had specially rented an extra-large venue in which to hold the funeral. Afterward, the Exoteric monastics had all commented that the service had been extremely grand and dignified. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had even gone out of his way to hire a private nurse to look after the deceased ordained disciple’s mother, and over the next few years had quietly paid more than NT$5 million in caregiving expenses without a word of complaint—a fact which the guru had never mentioned in front of anyone.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had cared for the ordained disciple’s mom as if she were his own mother. Even though the guru had not been by her bedside in person, he had done so much more for her: Constantly showing concern for her every need, and arranging for her to visit the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic for prescriptions of traditional Chinese medicine and to have her vitals measured. Despite how busy Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was, the guru had even noticed when she was suffering back pains, so had given special instructions to the nurse to take the ordained disciple’s mother to see a doctor. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had even bought a very expensive air-cushioned bed with therapeutic properties for the elderly woman to sleep on. All of this care had been given just as conscientiously and lovingly as if the guru were caring for his own mother.

Yesterday, the elderly woman’s other children had come to thank Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for having given their mother such thorough care over the years. They had wanted to make an offering to the guru of the inheritance she had left, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had told them instead to donate it in her name to special account #302 at the Social and Family Affairs Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare. The speaking disciple also informed everyone that for many years, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has made continuous donations totally more than NT$60 million to people in need by way of the Ministry of Health and Welfare. To express its gratitude for this charitable gesture, the Ministry had set up a special account—account #302—so that immediate assistance could more expediently be given to people in every corner of society. After the gas explosion that occurred in Kaohsiung last year, NT$3 million had been paid from this account to help those who were in urgent need of assistance. More recently, another NT$3 million had been donated from this account to add to disaster relief funds for victims of the Formosa Fun Coast dust explosion. Furthermore, NT$200,000 had been drawn from the same account to fund future educational expenses for children of the police who had lost their lives during the Kaohsiung gas explosion incident. The Ministry of Health and Welfare had also been asked to convey the message that those families of the police were welcome to ask for help whenever they might need it. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been constantly and quietly giving assistance to a multitude of people.

She was grateful to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for having demonstrated the awesome auspiciousness of Buddhism. An expert on death, the guru had allowed us the causal condition and opportunity to view the wondrousness of the Dharma with our own eyes. The people liberated by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never felt any fear, and their faces were always relaxed in an expression of sublime serenity. These various auspicious signs showing that the consciousness of the deceased had been transferred to the Pure Land were unheard of elsewhere in the world, let alone eye-witnessed. To liberate the deceased was no easy feat, and the Glorious Jewel disciples were fortunate indeed to have had such rare and precious opportunities to see those auspicious signs that had manifested as a result of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s having liberated the deceased. She thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, not only for teaching us all to cherish the precious Dharma, but also for helping us to eliminate the many hindrances to our Buddhist practice!

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended the Dharma throne and compassionately bestowed precious Dharma teachings upon all the attendees.

“Today I will continue to tell you about the Ratnakuta Sutra. Last time I mentioned that the Buddha had talked about ten sadhanas of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas: ‘They practice and abide by Mahayana teachings. What are these ten sadhanas?  The first is “attainment through believing.”’ I only touched on this subject last time, so today I will expound it further. ‘Belief’ here does not simply mean the use of one’s life experiences to cultivate faith in Buddhism, because the path taught by the Buddha was the supramundane, not the mundane. Given that it is not the Dharma of the mundane, it of course has nothing to do with any of our conflicts of interest. Relatively speaking, however, it is also contradictory to our conflicts of interest. This is because people are used to living in the midst of them, and no one wants to be left at a disadvantage.

“Nevertheless, there is frequent mention in Buddhism that we must endure disadvantage, and that without it we cannot achieve attainment. Therefore, the word ‘belief’ refers to the fact that the Buddha said that all Dharma methods are designed to help us attain Buddhahood in our future lives. Given that the goal is to attain Buddhahood, we absolutely must not approach our practice with the frame of mind of merely wanting to make prostrations to implore the Buddha for blessings and protection. Some of you might have come just to implore for those things, but this means you will not achieve attainment. The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center teaches Mayahana and Vajrayana Buddhism. If you do not believe in these teachings, then your Buddhist practice will be riddled with a whole heap of problems.

“Many people think they can achieve attainment just by chanting. How could it possibly be that simple? If your faith is weak, then you will fail. We do not have the good fortune, causes, or conditions to see the Buddha or obtain His teachings in person, so of course we must receive instruction from a guru. When you took refuge you were told in no uncertain terms that what your guru would do for you depends on your behavior. If you do something wrong, then you will not obtain the guru’s blessings. Why did you have to be told this? If you do not even believe what your guru says, then I am not convinced that you will have faith in Buddhism. Many people think speaking the Dharma simply means expounding the sutras. They feel that if anything I say does not refer directly to a quote from the Buddha, then it is not Buddhism. Why, though, would your guru joke around with you?

“A lot of people think that the activities I carry out now are mundane affairs, and therefore feel justified in not listening to what I say. I cannot help the fact that I live in the mundane world; I still have not finished repaying my karmic debt. However, although I might live amidst the mundane, the Dharma I practice is of the supramundane. Many of my disciples make the mistake of only reciting what I instruct them to recite, and thinking that they do not need to listen to anything else I say. The ‘attainment through believing,’ however, requires having faith that everything propagated by your guru on behalf of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and all the Lineage Gurus—especially that which is spoken from atop the Dharma throne—really is the Dharma. Some people assume I am joking and see me as a very humorous person, and do not believe that what I speak is the Dharma. It actually is, though, and if you do not listen, you will have not achieved ‘attainment through believing.’

“The second one is ‘attainment through practicing,’ which means that from now on, everything you do in body, speech, and mind (that is, your behavior, thoughts, and actions) is for the sake of sentient beings to help them achieve attainment in the future; it does not mean seeking something for yourself. Many people say that imploring the Bodhisattvas will cause Them to become attuned to you, but why don’t They then? It is because you are not imploring Them to help sentient beings achieve attainment. All of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas used this very method to attain enlightenment. You might say you believe in the Buddha, but if none of your actions has anything to do with Him, then how can you hope to obtain what you seek? You absolutely cannot.

“It is very sad to be a guru in the Age of Degenerate Dharma. You are all practicing dualism. Whenever anything I say conflicts with your personal interest, you want to think some more; whenever my teachings conflict with your desires, you disregard me as your guru.

“Yesterday a disciple came to seek an audience, during which he said that he had felt discomfort in his lungs during the most recent Chod Puja. When I asked him why, he told me that he used to smoke cigarettes. I replied that he must have consumed cold foods and iced beverages, and he confessed that he had. On New Year’s Day I urged everyone not to eat or drink cold foods and beverages. This disciple was of the opinion, though, that what an individual drinks is his own personal business, and that I should keep my nose out of it. However, I had said those words while sitting atop the Dharma throne. Can this sort of disciple hope to achieve anything in the future? I believe it will be very difficult.

“This is why it is written in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows that every thought produced by an ordinary person generates karma and vice. You think that because the weather is so hot, having just one iced drink couldn’t hurt, right? If you continue not to listen to what I say, then I can’t do anything to help you. Why did the Buddha declare at the outset that we must believe and practice? If you believe without changing your behavior, then it is still useless. Whenever I ask whether or not you believe in the Buddha, every single one of you says that you do, yet your behavior does not reflect that. As soon as you feel a conflict of interest, you completely forget what a guru is, and you push all of the promises you made when you took refuge to the back of your mind. If you do not follow through with what you pledged, then you will never be able to achieve attainment.

“ ‘Attainment through practicing’ does not involve achieving attainment just because your behavior has changed. In regards to ‘attainment through believing’, what you should change is not your lifestyle, but rather every action taken within your inner world—and not for self-serving reasons. For example, I hardly make any money from my Japanese foods company; it even sometimes operates at a loss. However, right now a lot of Japanese manufacturers are actively trying to do business with me. This is because I have integrity, and they are having a hard time finding such trustworthy merchants to work with these days. I earned this reputation at a cost; it means not being afraid of losing money. Nowadays most people only do business if they are guaranteed a return on their investment. They would sacrifice their integrity in order to make a quick buck.

“ ‘Attainment through practicing’ involves understanding that while you are practicing Mahayana Buddhism, whether you have amended your behavior or not. This does not mean you have to change right away, but you must change nevertheless, one step at a time. If you do, you will avoid a lot of unfortunate incidents. I am constantly teaching you to be on guard against becoming lax. If you are even the tiniest bit self-indulgent, you will stray slightly from your path, and that can open up a whole Pandora’s Box full of troubles. You might think that what you have committed is but a minor transgression, but large dams do not break abruptly; the flood always begins with water seeping through a very small crack. However, you refuse to believe that little cracks are worth your concern.

“The third sadhana is ‘attainment through the essence of everything.’ The original essence of all the myriad matters and affairs in this world can help us, and other sentient beings, to achieve attainment. All things—including those that you think will benefit you, and even anything you believe will harm you—can help you along your path to cultivation. Why should you act like this? How can people with discriminating minds attain enlightenment? If you only want the good and not the bad, and are only willing to listen to words that you deem are of use to you, even forgetting them, then how can you be accomplished? The Bodhisattvas’ compassion is egalitarian. By this I mean that it is bestowed upon us all equally, no matter how well we might treat someone or how poorly that person might treat us.

“The reason I decided to help that ordained disciple’s mother was that
a few simple words would allow the disciple to let go of her worries and pass away. Had I not made that promise to her, she would not have been able to let go and die. That ordained disciple died from cancer, and any cancer patients burdened with attachments are bound to suffer greatly. Many disciples watched her pass away without suffering; she went very serenely. This was because I had helped her resolve her innate hindrances. When a guru helps sentient beings resolve their hindrances, it is not the same thing as helping one care for one’s mother in old age, so you shouldn’t dump your mothers on me all at once to take care of for you. Even if I could afford it, I wouldn’t have enough room to put them up, nor would I be able to find enough good nurses to care for their needs. I did all of this because that disciple had become ordained. Although she had casually received offerings in the past, she at least kept the precepts; that was why she had the good fortune and merits to spend her last few years as my disciple. This was all a result of her causes and conditions, so don’t think that you can all dump your mothers on me to care for.

After taking refuge in me, that ordained disciple completely devoted herself to her practice without a word of complaint, even after she got cancer. Other ordained disciples who lived with her can attest to this. She hid the agony of her illness very well, and her ability to do so was the result of cultivating belief—an absolute faith and trust in her guru. As such, she of course ended up just fine. That ordained disciple was able to carry out the practice of ‘attainment through believing and practicing’, whereas you do not believe in your guru. She also practiced ‘attainment through the essence of everything’ knowing that her illness was a sort of attainment, too. If you do not repay all of your karmic debt within this lifetime, then how can you possibly avoid reincarnation? You must repay it all! However, no one wants to face debt; everyone hopes to cultivate good fortune within a few short years, and then immediately enjoy a better job, higher income, well-behaved children, and a husband who does what he is told. But since when is such a perfect world possible?

“I often give the analogy that it takes a decade or two of constant study before one can graduate from university; how, then, can you expect your life to undergo a massive transformation after practicing Buddhism for just a few years? Even if are a little bit attuned, as they say, and feel that you are somewhat suited to Buddhist practice, you still will not have resolved the karma you have accumulated over the course of your past lives. As such, there are sure to be hindrances to your cultivation. This ‘attainment through the essence of everything’ means that everything that happens to you—both good and bad—will help you to achieve attainment in the future. As you all know, last year I was wrongly accused by someone. Nevertheless, I neither performed a Dharma for myself nor even mentioned it; I just endured and let come what may. This was because he helped me practice the act of forbearance.

“Attainment does not necessarily involve good things happening to you, nor does it necessarily come when bad things happen to you. Rather, it is the cumulative result of continuous manifestations of both. The moment you start believing that you can attain enlightenment in a sudden inspiration of understanding and knowledge is the very moment that completely negates all of your past Buddhist cultivation. Even the Venerable Milarepa, who spent a lifetime in such masterful practice and was so completely mindful of his guru’s words, still had to face his karma from killing and its resulting karmic retribution: To live in poverty, lonely and unknown to his peers. He did end up becoming very well-known to later generations because he possessed good fortune. He would not leave his retreat in the mountains, not even when kings came calling. The Venerable Milarepa believed in his guru’s words, so when his guru told him that he must spend his lifetime cultivating in a secluded mountain cave, he did so without complaint, and never left the cave even after his guru had passed away. You, on the other hand, would stop doing as you were told as soon as your guru was out of sight, let alone after he died.

“As soon as you return home, you all start thinking all sorts of muddled thoughts and conclude that I’ve gotten angry at you again or that I just don’t get you. If that were true, then how could I deserve to sit atop the Dharma throne? I am fully aware of your every thought; what don’t I know? Achieving ‘attainment through the essence of everything’ means that everything has its Buddha-nature. It is not just sentient beings that possess a Buddha-nature; in Zen Buddhism it is said that even a stone possesses a Buddha-nature. This is where that saying comes from. The reason it is said thus in Zen Buddhism is that everything—even a pebble—can help you to achieve attainment. If you were to suddenly break open a pebble, you might find a dragon living within; if you were to take a rock home with you, it could have a ghost attached to it. If you view these stones not with greed but from a genuinely appreciative point of view, then this, too, is a form of attainment.

“‘Attainment through the essence of everything,’ from a Vajrayana practitioner’s point of view, is that everything seen with the eyes is a yidam, and everything heard with the ears is the sound of a yidam’s mantra. Even a ghost’s scream feels to the practitioner like the sound of a mantra. Why have I never gotten angry when a child cries at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center? I do not get upset unless the parents neglect the baby by not changing its clothes when it feels hot or not giving it milk when it’s hungry. Some disciples are even too lazy to bring milk powder with them when they bring their babies to the Buddhist Center. Not once have I ever scolded anyone when a child cries, because crying is in his or her nature, and the sound of it is a mantra, too. So many parents these days get impatient with their children, because they don’t want to hear sounds they dislike. As such, whenever their children cry, they spank or scold them. I am not saying that you should spoil your kids; rather, you should take the time to find out what it was that made your child cry. Not doing so is tantamount to not engaging in cultivation.

“The fourth method of attainment is ‘rejoicing in bodhicitta.’ We do not develop bodhicitta and walk the Bodhi Path for reasons of self-improvement; nor do we engender bodhicitta to help vast numbers of sentient beings in order to attain Buddhahood as soon as possible. For example, when the weather is hot, if you were to suddenly go to a very cool location, you would feel very happy. Similarly, if you change your environment, then your mind will not be clogged with greed, hatred, and ignorance. You will therefore naturally experience fewer afflictions, or even see them disappear altogether. Furthermore, you might even become completely fearless. As soon as you develop bodhicitta—and as long as it is not contrived or done with a specific purpose in mind—then you will have cultivated the practice of ‘rejoicing in bodhicitta.’ Yesterday a disciple came here to repent. When I pointed out that his repentance was contrived, he pretended that he didn’t understand what I meant. Luckily, a disciple who is a teacher of Chinese was making full prostrations next to us, and that disciple explained that ‘contrived’ means fake or artificial.

“The disciple who came to repent yesterday did so without joy. He thought that he could say a few words and pull the wool over my eyes. It is written in the sutras that there is a difference between the effectiveness of contrived compassion and that of compassion that comes from Emptiness. If you pretend to be very compassionate, appearing kind on the surface, then you will be like those people out there who often sigh and say, ‘Bodhisattva, you’ve come again!’ I don’t know why so many Buddhist practitioners constantly feel the need to sigh.’ Why does this sort of thing happen? It is because these people are pretending to be compassionate and have bodhicitta, when actually they have no joy. Joyfulness, by its very definition, comes as naturally as breathing, eating, and sleeping, and no one looks beautiful while sleeping unless he or she is pretending to sleep.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said humorously, “Who doesn’t sleep with all four limbs completely sprawled out? Why is the divorce rate so high? Perhaps it’s because many women sleep in just such a posture, and as they are stretching their arms out, they accidentally slap their husbands in the face and knock them unconscious. If their husbands can’t take the hit, they end up calling it quits.

“‘Rejoicing in bodhicitta’ involves clearly recognizing that the reason you should develop compassion and bodhicitta is to help sentient beings. This sort of joy is not the same as ordinary happiness; it is not a kind of feeling, emotion, or mood. Rather, you can only imbue your bodhicitta with joy if you stop the forces of hatred, greed, and ignorance from within your consciousness. For example, after performing the Phowa for that ordained disciple’s mother, I felt unwell, because she was not qualified to go to the Pure Land. I had already promised, however, so there was no other choice. If I were a practitioner who had not cultivated the practice of ‘rejoicing in bodhicitta,’ I might have decided not to perform the Phowa for her, as it would have made me unwell. On the contrary, I felt that everything would be fine, so I went ahead and performed the Dharma for her.

“Your view of bodhicitta certainly should not be that this process is necessary to achieve attainment, nor should it be that this tool is essential to Buddhist practice; only if you do not even have this sort of concept in mind will you rejoice in bodhicitta. Otherwise, it will be contrived. Once it has become contrived, you will have a very hard time going back. Ever since I first started practicing Buddhism, I never once thought that one day I would ascend the Dharma throne to speak the Dharma. This is because I have never been attached to any potential outcome of my own cultivation; I have simply felt joy from immersing myself in Buddhism. This sort of joy is not about feeling good when practicing Buddhism or being praised by others; it is a feeling that comes from knowing that nothing in this lifetime can substitute or replace the Dharma. One’s children, spouse, career, money, and position are all afflictions, so ‘rejoicing in bodhicitta’ is very important.

“The fifth sadhana is ‘rejoicing in all Dharmas.’ These ‘Dharmas’ are not the same as the Dharma we perform; to some extent they echo the ‘attainment through the essence of everything’ that I mentioned before. If you have a discriminating mind toward anything in the mundane world, then you naturally will not manifest such joy. There is frequent mention of the word ‘Dharma’ in the sutras, but here it refers to phenomena. A practitioner should not have a discriminating mind toward anything, and this includes both internal and external phenomena. This state is not easy to enter, but you should all bear this concept in mind as you begin to practice, and act on it more and more as you go. There will be joy only if everything you do is for the benefit of sentient beings. If you do something for self-serving reasons, and not to help others, then your action is sure to lead to afflictions whether you make money from it or not.

“Cultivation has nothing to do with how much you chant every day or how long you sit in meditation; the important thing is to adjust your attitude. If you do not, then you won’t be able to go to the Pure Land even if you chant the Buddhas’ names twenty-four hours a day, because you will not have met the necessary conditions. ‘Rejoicing in all Dharmas’ means that no external phenomenon and nothing you do in body, speech, or mind conflicts with your Buddhist practice. It means having a clear understanding that everything is subject to the law of cause and condition, that all phenomena arise and cease, and that no Dharma is eternal. Dharmas include all phenomena in the void and the Dharma Realm. A person who rejoices in all Dharmas abides neither in Nirvana nor in reincarnation; instead, such a person lives and dies completely at ease. This is very important for practitioners of the Bodhisattva Path. Whether in life or in death, everything they do is for the benefit of sentient beings. If their causes and conditions have matured, then they will come back to this world; if they haven’t, then they won’t. They also die according to their causal conditions, so they have no fear of death, because they know that death, too, is a Dharma—a phenomenon—and they are constantly experiencing a reduction in life’s suffering, even to the point that it no longer occurs.

“The state of ‘rejoicing in all Dharmas’ is very profound; I could keep talking about it for a year without exhausting the subject. We must all be joyful, no matter what happens—good things, bad things; phenomena that come into being, phenomena that disappear. Don’t despair when something bad happens, and don’t feel sorry for yourselves when something good you had disappears. If you think like that, then you will not be a practitioner of Mahayana Buddhism, for you will not believe that these phenomena all arise and cease according to their causal conditions, or that everything stems from causes and conditions. For you everything will be an attachment of which you cannot let go, and you will not become joyfully attuned to anything—including chanting the Buddhas’ names, practicing the Dharma, and so on.

“‘Rejoicing in all Dharmas’ involves immersing yourself in diligent training and adjusting your attitude; only if you do so will you avoid forming serious attachments to any Dharma or any phenomenon. Some people chant Amitabha Buddha’s name over and over, but after failing to see Amitabha Buddha approach, they form an attachment. I once helped a monastic who was a late-stage cancer patient who did not dare to sleep lest she miss out on seeing Amitabha Buddha approach. This is an example of not rejoicing in all Dharmas, and of being attached to one’s determination to do something. That determination is related to one’s causes and conditions. Without the proper causal conditions, it does not matter how remarkable a person might be. How do you obtain the proper causal conditions? You do so through diligent practice. Only by abandoning your so-called fame, reputation, and praise can you gain a clear understanding of the origins of the causes and conditions of things. Why am I able to see so much? I did not receive a great deal of education; I am constantly busy, day in and day out. The reason I can see through these things is that I rejoice in all Dharmas and realize that everything is the result of causes and conditions. Having that awareness has naturally allowed me to have a more penetrating view of all phenomena.

“The sixth method is ‘contemplating all actions based on the Right Dharma.’ We should take a look at all of our behavior to see whether or not it is related to the Right Dharma, which includes all methods that can lead to being liberated from life and death and excludes any action that violates the Dharma methods for escaping reincarnation as taught by Shakyamuni Buddha. Many people think practicing the Right Dharma means eating vegetarian, worshipping the Buddha, and making pilgrimages, but that is not true; those are nothing more than assisting conditions. If the goal of your actions is not to become liberated from life and death, but rather to prevent bad things from coming your way or to accumulate good fortune a bit more quickly, then you still are not practicing the Right Dharma. ‘Contemplating all actions based on the Right Dharma’ involves taking a moment to examine each of your thoughts as soon as you have them. This takes a very short time; it happens more quickly than you would believe. However, as long as you habitually examine your thoughts, then you will never say anything that you do not mean.

“People never say anything that they do not actually mean. If such were possible, then we would be worse than computers; we would be nothing more than sound recording devices. A person would not have said something out loud if he or she had not already thought it first. Just now I mentioned that disciple who thought the Glorious Jewel had harmed him, but whom does the Glorious Jewel represent? The reason I chose ‘Glorious Jewel’ to serve as this company’s name was that anyone who has ever chanted said those words will have the opportunity to practicing Buddhism and achieve attainment in a future lifetime. If he had said that I was the one who had harmed him, then that would not have mattered; however, he insisted on saying that the Glorious Jewel did him harm. Thus, whenever a person becomes greedy, hatred soon follows.

“‘Contemplating all actions based on the Right Dharma’ specially includes the word ‘contemplating’ because as you begin to practice the Bodhisattva Path, your guru will gradually teach you meditation, and the first and most important thing to learn is to cultivate samatha and vipasyana. If you can learn these, then your cultivation will go very smoothly and you will make constant progress. As such, it will be very easy for you to gain control over your body, speech, and mind. Until you have been transmitted the aforementioned practices, however, only one method works: To listen to and follow everything your guru says. This is tantamount to practicing samatha and vipasyana. If you feel that what your guru says has nothing to do with you, then you will be like that disciple I mentioned a little while ago who likes drinking cold beverages. He did not take his guru’s advice seriously; because he could not see any adverse effects with his own eyes, he figured he might as well keep on drinking them. After all, his coworkers were all drinking those beverages, so what difference would it make? However, he was practicing Buddhism and they were not. This is an example of not following the practice of ‘contemplating all actions based on the Right Dharma.’ A guru would never harm sentient beings; the methods taught by a guru are meant to help sentient beings achieve liberation from life and death. Incidentally, I definitely would not do anything you like the most, and by the same token, I will certainly talk about the subjects you most dislike.

“The seventh sadhana is ‘practicing the Dharma with prudence.’ This means that you should be cautious in everything you do. As I have told you in the past, practicing Buddhism is like walking on thin ice. Many people think it is very annoying that so many things aren’t allowed, but that is simply the way of it; if you want to do those things regardless, then you could go to hell after death or suffer in your later years from an illness that lands you naked in an intensive care unit. A lot of you do not believe that this could happen to you; you assume the doctors would cure you, but they cannot cure you of your fate. Anyone taken to the ICU really does get stripped naked; this is true even for a believer who is a doctor. It’s not such a big deal if the patient is a man, but what about a female patient? If a woman who has been chaste and well-behaved her whole life ends up violated like that in her final years, then that is a sign that she did not keep the precepts and was not cautious.

“‘Practicing the Dharma with prudence’ means that throughout our daily lives, as long as we still carry a single breath within us and have not yet left the world of reincarnation, we must be careful in all the myriad things that we do by living in accordance with the methods taught to us by our guru and the Buddha. Of course you would feel like there are many activities you no longer take part in, or that you no longer associate with a lot of friends, or that you have lost your freedom. However, we never had any freedom in the first place. How could we? Our freedom has been trussed up by the karma we have created over the course of our past lives. If we truly had freedom, then we would be as carefree as the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, coming and going as we please and without the slightest afflictions.

“From the moment of our reincarnation, we humans are tied up. You still feel that you need freedom and want to seek it out, but the ‘freedom’ of which people in this world speak today is just an excuse to do what they want and indulge themselves. Why do we have this sort of perception? It is because the seeds of all the evil karma we have accumulated through lifetime after lifetime still exist. If we stop being careful even for a moment, then our transgression will be like a few drops of water and cause those seeds to sprout. Once they do, they become very difficult to suppress.

“The reason you should practice the Dharma with prudence is that even if you think you are practicing well and helping sentient beings, you could harm yourself or others if you use the incorrect methods. There are many examples of this sort of thing. A practitioner was once doomed to spend five hundred lifetimes as a fox simply from having misspoken a single word. You therefore should be very prudent and refrain from acting carelessly. Don’t assume you can wait and fix things in the next lifetime, because there is no telling when that is going to be. Do not focus on what might happen in the next life; focus on this one. Whether or not you will have money when you are older is not important; if you have good fortune, then you naturally will have people to take care of you. Take that ordained disciple, for example; because she was a monastic and helped her mother to obtain good fortune, she naturally was granted an honest person who would take care of her mother for her. This is because I always keep my promises.

“Right now you are able-bodied and able to move around completely normally, but you still have not cultivated good fortune. Despite your accident insurance and the labor and health insurance you will get after you retire, you will lose everything if you suffer from a major illness. Even if you have children, they could help you spend all of your money until it is gone. Thus, whether or not you have any money left when you are in your golden years really isn’t important; what you should ask yourselves is this: Have you begun to save money for the future? Have you planted the seeds of good fortune? Have you sincerely given to charity and made offerings? If not, then no amount of insurance will do you any good, because your money will slip right through your fingers. Even if you have saved up money in the bank, someone will help you use it all up; a single fraudulent phone call can swindle it all away from you. Just recently it was in the news that even educated people can get cheated; some even lose as much as NT$10 or 20 million. If they had not done anything wrong in this lifetime, then would they have any reason to be afraid of prosecutors coming to freeze their assets? They must have done something, and they know it. Thus, if you get ripped off, there is definitely a reason for it.

“The word ‘prudence’ means that you should be careful not to fall back into the suffering sea of reincarnation as a result of your actions. Likewise, you should not do, say, or think anything that can increase your chances of falling into the Three Evil Realms. Whether you go there or not is decided by your own actions; you are not victims of other people. Your fate is the result of everything you do in body, speech, and mind. For this reason the Buddha reminded us that we should be cautious.

“The eighth method of cultivation is ‘renouncing all arrogances, great or small.’ This is especially significant for Buddhist practitioners. If you consider yourself very well-cultivated from having followed a lot of great Rinpoches and met throne holders, then these thoughts all count as minor arrogances. Nowadays many people brag about having met certain great Rinpoches, throne holders, and so on, but so what? Does having met them mean you can escape life and death? How many times have I seen His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang? While I was in retreat, the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang remained by my side for three months. If I myself had not engaged in practice, however, then it would all have been for naught. These days it is fashionable to visit famous temples all over the place. After having met all those great Dharma masters, Rinpoches, and throne holders, such people believe themselves to be extremely well-cultivated.

“Years ago a good friend of mine introduced me to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. This friend had met the throne holders of the Four Major Orders of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as all the grand Dharma masters in Taiwan. Furthermore, they all had a great deal of respect for him, because he was able to gather a following of many believers. In the end he suffered a stroke, and passed away after lying naked on a bed for a few months. This was the result of his arrogance. As soon as you become haughty and arrogant, all of the good fortune and wisdom you have accumulated in this lifetime turns into good fortune of the Human and Heaven Realms , which can only be used in the next lifetime. I once berated a disciple, for example, because he thought he was quite adept at chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra. He had then begun to grow arrogant. No matter how nice your voice might sound while you are chanting, if you have not benefited any sentient beings, then what good is it? Some pop stars sing love songs until there isn’t a dry eye in the audience, but is that at all helpful when it comes to the ultimate issue of life and death? Some people sound great when they chant mantras, too, but can that help them to become liberated from reincarnation?

“As soon as you become arrogant, any compassion you had disappears. Demons are haughty and arrogant, so as soon as you act that way you have begun your journey to the Māra Realm. Demons have good fortune, abilities, and the capacity for virtue, but the difference between them and Buddhas is that Buddhas do not reincarnate, whereas demons do. In addition, the methods demons teach people lead us to reincarnate. Some people claim their Order is relatively powerful, and criticize other Orders, but we must not allow ourselves to walk down that road. We absolutely must not talk about anything that our guru has not spoken of.

“Possessing major arrogances means thinking that you are okay in this lifetime. I have seen a few so-called master practitioners like this. As soon as a practitioner has this sort of feeling, a lifetime of cultivation immediately vanishes, and all those accumulated merits turn into good fortune. Practitioners are more susceptible to arrogance than to anything else. As soon as they think they have built a great temple and taken in a large number of disciples, of whom many might be famous, they begin to feel quite arrogant about how accomplished they have become. There is a story in Zen Buddhism of a Zen master who used to have heavenly beings bring him food to eat every day. One day he heard that a friend would come looking for him, and he thought to himself, ‘Tomorrow, when my friend comes, I’ll tell him all about the heavenly beings that have been coming to give me food.’ The following day, the heavenly beings did not come. Afterward the Zen master asked the heavenly beings why they had not delivered food on the day that his friend came visiting. The heavenly beings replied that it was because he had grown arrogant and prideful; he had believed that he had cultivated to the point that even heavenly beings would come to be near him.

“The reason we must renounce arrogance is that until we have attained Buddhahood and become liberated from life and death, we remain ordinary people; there is nothing great about us. Yesterday a believer came imploring to take refuge. When I asked him why, he said that he wanted to help Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha. As soon as I heard this my scalp went numb, for even I wouldn’t dare claim that I wanted to help Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha. That believer is arrogant; he believes that because he has read the sutras, heard a few Dharmas, and been taught that he should engender aspirations, so he did. How, though, can he be qualified to help Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha if he hasn’t even resolved the matter of his own life and death yet?

“When we practice Buddhism, we are not doing so to help a certain Buddha or Bodhisattva. We learn a certain yidam’s aspiration so that we can practice in accordance with it and transform into an emanation of the Bodhisattva, that’s all. We are not actually helping the Bodhisattva. How could we? Sentient beings without causal conditions cannot be helped. For example, as I have said before while performing the Chod, for those sentient beings that were not liberated in their past lives by the Buddha, I hope that by giving alms and making offerings I can liberate them and other sentient beings—but this does not mean I am helping the Buddha. Some sentient beings had no affinity with Buddhas in the past, or have a connection with a certain Buddha in this lifetime, so they have made a certain vow. However, they are not helping that Buddha, for that would be arrogance. To become a Bodhisattva and attain Buddhahood, one must rid oneself of arrogance.

“The ninth one is ‘striving for good comprehension of the Buddha’s secret teachings based on the Ten Meritorious Acts.’ This line is quite profound; why ‘good comprehension’? It is because all methods that can help sentient beings to escape the suffering of life and death must be based on the Ten Meritorious Acts; only with this realization can we comprehend the mysteries contained within the Buddha’s teachings. They are called ‘secret’ because for us ordinary people, the great issues of life, death, becoming a Bodhisattva, and attaining Buddhahood are secret; we have certainly never learned or been taught about them in our human experience. The definition of a secret is something that does not exist in our life experiences or consciousness. It is similar to how much of a professor’s knowledge is like a secret from the point of view of an elementary school student.

“‘Striving for good comprehension of the Buddha’s secret teachings based on the Ten Meritorious Acts’ involves asking ourselves whether or not we have successfully carried out the Ten Meritorious Acts, kept the precepts, and made a firm resolution to become liberated from life and death. Only once we have done all this can we disengage our minds from their wandering thoughts and realize the secrets taught by the Buddha. Otherwise, such realization is impossible. If something happens to your son, and you immediately assume that someone has done him wrong, then you do not understand. Some people insist on participating in as many pujas as possibly, no matter how hard it might be to attend, yet they still do not comprehend the secrets spoken by the Buddha. How can we understand them? By way of our guru’s teachings, of course, and through various expedient means.

“The tenth sadhana is ‘not seeking the paths of Sravaka or Pratyekabuddha.’ If you want to become a Bodhisattva and attain Buddhahood, then while acting for the benefit of sentient beings, you will not think about the paths of Sravaka or Pratyekabuddha. Some people, in their later stages of cultivation, might start to feel annoyed. Sentient beings really are difficult to help, so such people might feel that it is okay just to become liberated themselves. This is an example of practicing Sravaka and Pratyekabuddha. To walk those paths, you do not necessarily have to attain fruition as an arhat or practice Hinayana or Theravada Buddhism. As long as you think sentient beings are too hard to liberate, and that you therefore might as well just cultivate yourself, stop reincarnating, and worry about the rest later, then you are practicing along the paths of Sravaka and Pratyekabuddha, plain and simple. Zen practitioners are especially at risk of falling into this trap. Many of them think that they can attain enlightenment through meditation, but once enlightened, what will they do? It is useless! If they become enlightened but cannot benefit sentient beings, then they are not practicing Mahayana Buddhism.

“Enlightenment is divided into many levels and focal points. ‘Not seeking the paths of Sravaka or Pratyekabuddha’ means that all of one’s cultivation and Buddhist activities are only done in order to benefit sentient beings—and not for the sake of one’s own liberation. If this is how you conceptualize your own cultivation—that you are doing it to become liberated—then you have retrogressed in your practice of the Bodhisattva Path and in bodhicitta, especially if you are a monastic or a Zen practitioner. Even though sentient beings are difficult to help, you still must refrain from thinking that you should go ahead and take care of your own matters first. You should of course attend to the matters of your life and death, but that does not mean ignoring others so as to help yourself first.

“Actually, the dedications we make every day are bodhicitta, and we are constantly cultivating this. As such, the power of our bodhicitta is naturally bound to appear one day. You absolutely must not think things that will lead you down the paths of Sravaka and Pratyekabuddha. Referring back to that friend of mine who died from a stroke, he had more good fortune and causal conditions than I did, had met master practitioners of the highest levels, and had heard all of the Dharmas. In his final years, however, he suddenly suffered a stroke. This was because he’d suddenly had the notion that he had learned and cultivated so much, and helped so many sentient beings in this lifetime, that he should return in the next life to enjoy himself for a while. As soon as this thought appeared, all his karma immediately manifested.

“Eliminating karmic hindrances does not mean wiping out all karmic retribution; rather, it refers to eradicating all karma—whether good or evil—that gets in the way of our Buddhist practice. If you do not make a firm resolution to renounce the world of reincarnation, and instead keep on dwelling on other things, then karmic hindrances will block your way. As long as you are resolved to renounce reincarnation, however, the retribution of your karma will temporarily stop affecting you. Why is this? It is because once you become determined to renounce reincarnation, your karmic creditors will be benefited as well; then of course they will be glad to see you succeed. However, if you have the notion that you’d like to enjoy life awhile and cultivate later, then that karma will return in force.

“Furthermore, whenever common people repent, it is contrived; theirs is not true repentance. They only do it out of fear of being punished or that something bad will happen to them otherwise. As a result, they are forever making mistake after mistake. Why is that? It is because they refuse to believe that they have any faults. People make repeated mistakes because they do not think they are ever in error. You only believe others make mistakes; you feel that people have wronged you or neglected to teach, tell, or remind you of things. You think they don’t have enough time to complete your tasks. Thus, you think that every wrongdoing that occurs is someone else’s fault, not yours. As such, you will continue to make the same mistakes over and over. This is not sustainable; you’ve all received an education and made mistakes in society before, so why do you keep on committing wrongdoings? A final explanation is that you are hoping to get other people’s attention, but this is the least intelligent tactic of all. These days people always shirk their responsibility, thinking it has nothing to do with them, and that anything bad that happens is someone else’s fault. Monastics especially should be careful not to seek the paths of Sravaka or Pratyekabuddha. As soon as you give rise to the thought that you should concentrate on your own cultivation first, and worry about helping others later, then you will fall into this trap.

“In the Ratnakuta Sutra it is written, ‘Then the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva of Pure-Immaculate-Precious-Great-Light asked the Buddha, “O World Honored One, what is ‘attainment through believing’ of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas?” The Buddha said, “Good man, Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas do not practice with flattery; hence, they are able to benefit sentient beings gently and equally.”’

“These words are very important for monastics and gurus. The Bodhisattva-Mahasattva of Pure-Immaculate-Precious-Great-Light asked the Buddha what the ‘attainment through believing’ meant for Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. The Buddha’s answer started with, ‘Good man.’ You all should listen carefully: When the Buddha called the Mahasattva a ‘good man,’ He meant that he had mastered the Ten Meritorious Acts. ‘“Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas do not practice with flattery; hence, they are able to benefit sentient beings gently and equally.”’ Many people think it is wrong for Dharma masters and other Buddhist practitioners to scold people or speak critically to them, and they should talk nicely and softly. However, that is not actually true. Gurus use various expedient means to help sentient beings according to their individual causal conditions. Beating or scolding someone could be for his or her own good, although practicing with flattery is not. This is very important, especially for people who receive offerings. If you do not treat someone as well because his or her status isn’t very high, If you treat one person well because of his or her high status, yet you treat another person of lower status more poorly, then you are not practicing the Bodhisattva Path.

“The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center has never given special honor to any of its major donors; nor has it ever given anyone the title of ‘Great Dharma Brother.’ It is hoped that this sort of thing will never occur here. A Bodhisattva who has achieved ‘attainment through believing’ certainly does not practice through flattery; everyone is treated the same, with complete equality. Everyone is a sentient being. If some people need help from the Dharma and are respectful and sufficiently sincere, then a practitioner will definitely help them; that assistance should neither be enhanced nor tempered as a result of who those people are or are not. Poor people should not be ignored, and rich people should not be given special consideration. By the same token, bestowing a few extra teachings upon educated people or looking down uneducated people would be wrong, too.

“Just as the Buddha said, what a young child speaks could be the pure Dharma. We should not look down on children. Because they do not scheme, what comes out of their mouths could be purer than anything you would say, since they do not have ulterior motives. Adults, on the other hand, often do; they can utter a whole heap of nonsense, hoping to flatter others for their own personal gain. Thus, these lines are extremely important for monastics and gurus.

“If you do not cultivate the ten aforementioned sadhanas, then you will end up practicing with flattery. You will think that if you treat a certain powerful person a bit better, then he or she will help your temple or Buddhist center; as a result, you will give that person special consideration. The year before last, while I was preparing to hold the Grand Puja, two local officials used their connections to telephone me and say that they wished to participate. I of course welcomed them to do so, but because I would be ascending the Dharma throne during the puja and not descending again until I had finished performing the Dharma, I warned them in advance that if their purpose in attending was merely to make incense offerings, then they might as well skip it. This is because they would not be the ones making such offerings; instead, those attendees who drew lots from the ballot boxes would. If those two officials wished to remain at the puja from start to finish, then they of course would be welcome. Furthermore, I would not be able to descend the Dharma throne to greet them, nor could I let them make the offerings before the start of the puja. Even if they were to come and just make incense offerings, no additional Buddhas or Bodhisattvas would come; on the contrary, fewer of Them might appear during the puja. After I informed them of this, they decided not to come.

“In my shoes, you might have smiled and said softly, ‘Oh, Amitabha! You are quite aspired!’ or ‘Oh, Amitabha! You have taken time out of your busy schedule to attend for the sake of sentient beings!’ Then you would have ushered them politely onto the dais. I would never do this sort of thing, so things are a bit more difficult for those of you who are disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, because I would never flatter anyone in order to fulfill any ulterior motives. If you call without having made prior arrangements, and I tell you I don’t have time for you, then that’s that—even if you are a high-ranking political figure. Politicians might be very busy, but my hands are also full—with the affairs of sentient beings. Many people, upon hearing that a high-ranking political figure had entered the room, would tell the person to whom they had been talking to step out for a while and come back later, but I would never do that. If a person has not implored the Dharma and does not respect Buddhism, then he or she will not be granted an audience with me. That is how things are at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, so I have to work harder than most.

“In the sutra it is written, ‘“Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas do not practice with flattery; hence, they are able to benefit sentient beings gently and equally.”’ Isn’t this a contradiction though? First it says They do not practice with flattery, and then it says They perform gentle acts. Wherein lies the reasoning of this? It is that once your mind is no longer attached, it softens and becomes gentler. This gentleness does not mean constantly calling someone a Bodhisattva or speaking in a slow manner. Rather, it means that if you do not act with flattery, only then will you treat sentient beings with gentleness and without discrimination. If you flatter people to hide your ulterior motives, then those people become your targets, and you will tell all others to wait.

“Non-practitioners might think the Buddha’s words were full of contradictions. A moment ago it was stated that we should not flatter people. Does that mean we should be very stern in order to avoid gratifying them? Actually it does not. Once you no longer flatter others, all of your behavior softens and is done to help sentient beings, not yourself. If everything you do is for the sake of sentient beings, then can you harm sentient beings? Your actions are only gentle if you do not hurt sentient beings. Behavior which harms sentient beings is not gentle, so the wisdom behind the Buddha’s words is different from our own. If you try to explain this from a literal point of view, then it will seem contradictory. Earlier, it was clearly stated that one must not flatter, which means that you should be straightforward with people. How can it then go on to say that you should act gently? Minds full of attachments are certainly not gentle. If you flatter a certain political figure or rich person, and have ulterior motives, then your mind is definitely not gentle, because you are attached to that person’s money and potential support. You therefore should make sure you understand what these lines mean.

“The sutra text goes on to say, ‘Bodhisattvas believe that all Buddhas possess right, true, and supreme bodhicitta.’ When the Buddha says the word ‘right,’ the implication is that this is something that can benefit sentient beings and liberate them from life and death, and that the Bodhisattvas do not do it for any self-benefit at all. ‘Right’ means ‘not false;’ it means there is nothing contrived or fake about it. Take the wish-granting jewel held by Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, for example: As long as you want to become liberated from life and death, you will be attuned with this treasure. If you implore Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara to make you gain a fortune even though you have never made an offering or given to charity due to always hesitating and wondering whether you’ll have enough money when you are elderly, then how can you be attuned? You definitely will not be.

“The word ‘right’ means your mind does not harbor ulterior motives, your intentions are not fake, and your actions are taken with the utmost sincerity. You should believe that all Buddhas have right, true, and supreme bodhicitta, which is the supramundane path—and involves different conditions from ours. Bodhicitta is divided into ultimate bodhicitta and worldly bodhicitta. The latter is developed via cognition, the Dharma and teachings you have heard, and the idea that you possess bodhicitta; this is contrived. ‘Worldly’ here does not mean ‘of this world;’ it means it was contrived, made up, and trained. Ultimate bodhicitta is Emptiness. The reason bodhicitta manifested within the Buddha was that whenever sentient beings implore the Dharma or wish to learn Buddhism, bodhicitta appears. However, whenever sentient beings do not want the Dharma and cease to learn it, bodhicitta is extinguished.

“There are some places on Earth where Buddhism used to flourish, and in which are even located the world’s largest Buddhist statues. However, Buddhism is no longer practiced there, and all of those statues have been destroyed. Having ultimate bodhicitta, the Buddha would not get angry about this, because it is a causal condition of sentient beings. When sentient beings no longer need the Dharma, even Buddhist statues cannot remain; they mysteriously get blown up. If sentient beings do not implore the Dharma, ultimate bodhicitta ceases to have any effect. The worldly bodhicitta we are very desperately cultivating is devoid of Emptiness. ‘Supreme bodhicitta’ is ultimate bodhicitta, which all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas possess. It is neither contrived nor the result of conscious thought. If any sentient being implores for it, then it will naturally occur; if not, then it will be extinguished.

“The saying, ‘whenever one implores for help, one’s wishes will be granted,’ means that if we implore using worldly bodhicitta, then we will become attuned with the ultimate bodhicitta. Once this has happened, then one day our worldly bodhicitta will transform into ultimate bodhicitta. Today’s teachings have been very profound; you might have listened but not understood. Without saying all of the above, however, I would be unable to explain what ‘right’ and ‘true’ mean. You need to understand that they refer to realization, and that true realization only comes from realizing Emptiness. It does not mean gaining a realization of how auspicious the Dharma is; that is just a very minor sort of realization. To attain true realization, one must reach the state of the Buddhas—Nirvana Without Residue. Only then can one truly realize and attain Buddhahood, and benefit sentient beings. Thus, we ordinary people are not qualified to possess true realization; ours is still contrived.

“That it is contrived is not bad; this is just a process that we need to go through. In our Buddhist practice, we make our way in this direction, but until we possess genuine, true realization, our supreme bodhicitta will not emerge. ‘Supreme’ means that no expedient means are higher than this bodhicitta. The highest state in Buddhist cultivation is ultimate bodhicitta; nothing is higher. To attain it means one has attained Buddhahood, and there is no method of cultivation that is higher than this. These words were spoken by the Buddha.

“Again, as is written in the sutra, ‘Bodhisattvas believe that all Buddhas possess right, true, and supreme bodhicitta.’ This line is very important. All of the Bodhisattvas believe that the Buddhas possess right, true, and supreme bodhicitta. This means that we practice Buddhism because we believe that about the Buddhas. If we did not believe that the Buddhas attained Buddhahood that way, then how could we learn Buddhism? We would become heretics, inventing our own religion! To attain Buddhahood and become Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, the most important thing to have is faith that the Buddhas possess right, true, and supreme bodhicitta. This is the condition and essence of Buddhahood, and we are working toward this objective. We should not say that we have seen or heard certain phenomena; all of that is nonsense. Only once we have reached this goal will we have the right to be called Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas; otherwise, we are not qualified, and cannot claim to be ‘right’ and ‘true.’

“Right now you are like children who have just started to learn to crawl; you have not even learned to walk yet. However, listen closely: As long as you begin to learn to crawl, then one day you are sure to walk very well—and you will be able to go where you wish. There is nothing secret or abstruse about Buddhism; such concepts come from your consciousness, because you do not want to change or amend your attitude. You still insist on doing things your own way, are full of doubts, and think that you are unable to achieve what the Buddha said. The Buddha did not demand that we succeed immediately, but He did ask that we start by believing; and if we do, then one day the path will appear for us. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas certainly achieved attainment in this manner, too, and so can all sentient beings. Therefore, we must act, without question and without doubt. If you have any doubt, worry that you will not succeed, or feel that you cannot understand my words, then that shows that you do not believe in the Buddha’s words. Actually, you weren’t able to understand in the first place; if you already understood everything, then you would be able to ascend this Dharma throne.

“As you all know, I did not come up with the things I say; they are based on the Buddha’s words, which in turn were based upon experiences He gained through practice. These included the cultivation experiences accumulated by myriad Buddhas over the course of many lifetimes. We therefore should believe, because there is not just one Buddha. According to what is written in the sutras, there are hundreds of millions, countless Buddhas in the ten directions. If all of Them are practicing along the same path, and have amended Their ways, then what is stopping us from believing? If we do not believe in anything but ourselves, then we will forever be nothing more than ordinary people. People who make mistakes over and over are the same ones who believe that they have done nothing wrong. If you are scolded for making mistakes all the time, it is because you do not think you are at fault; you think others are to blame, and that they do not understand you.

“Who can understand you? Have you told others exactly what time you are going to bed or to the bathroom? No one understands you; only you can know where you are at fault. If you keep making mistakes all the time, it means you do not think you have done anything wrong. Why was I able to change? It was because I believed that I had done wrong; only then was I therefore able to amend my ways. If you do not believe that you are to blame for your mistakes, then no amount of scolding will do you any good; you will keep on acting how you want and feeling that you are not at fault, that you are misunderstood, and that no one knows how hard your job is. Since when is your job hard? The Ratnakuta Sutra is this thick, yet I’ve only explained a few lines today. Whatever shall I do? All I can do is act in accordance with each rising condition.”

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led the disciples in a performance of the Dharma Protector Achi prayer and dedication ritual. Upon the perfect completion of the puja, the disciples expressed their gratitude for the guru’s compassionate teaching. Rising to their feet, they paid reverent homage as His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche descended the Dharma throne.

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Updated on February 8, 2016