010: Seeing Again

I’ve had poor eyesight since childhood. In kindergarten, I had 20/500 vision, and had to wear glasses to correct this extreme near-sightedness. Hoping that my vision could improve, my parents searched for various treatments, but none of them worked. Back then, I did not understand that this was actually a result of my karma. My myopia continued to worsen, until it was more than 20/1000.

Sometime around 1996 or so, the retina in my right eye detached, and my already weak eyesight suddenly grew even worse. I became completely dependent on my left eye—and then, in late February of 2006, the same thing happened to it. Even though I had surgery to reattach my retinas, my eyesight had gone down to less than ten percent of normal. I sank into a state of panic and fear; I had no idea what to do, and could no longer fulfill my duties at my job. Furthermore, I had to take eight months’ leave without pay before I could be transferred to a different department. During this time, Dharma Brother Jingyi told me about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassion and aspiration to help sentient beings, and asked me if I’d like to visit the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center to seek an audience with the guru. However, I did not have the causal condition or good fortune to do so, so I never went. It wasn’t until November of the same year, when my mother was hospitalized, that the Dharma brother again suggested that I implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help.

When Hao Yuxiu was little, she had to wear big, thick glasses.

As I kneeled before the guru, he compassionately asked me what he could do for me. Before I’d even opened my mouth, the tears were streaming down my face, and the realization swept through me that only Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could help my mother. I told him her name and condition, and he told me the reason she had gotten sick. He also said that I should participate in the pujas in the long term so that I could accumulate good fortune on my mother’s behalf. From then on, I began taking part in the weekly Chod Pujas, but only began participating in the general Sunday pujas the following year.

While I was still just a believer, I once asked the guru a question regarding my eyesight. He explained that my current problems were the manifestations of karmic retribution for evil acts I had committed in my past lives. Only then did I realize how terrible cause and effect could be, and that I must deeply believe in them and repent for the wrongdoings I had committed in my past lives as well as in this one. I also had to joyfully accept all my karmic retribution.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blesses sentient beings without asking for anything in return, freeing them from their afflictions and suffering.

I took refuge on January 15th, 2006. Afterward, the condition of my retinas and eyesight remained the same. I am grateful for the protection provided by the guru’s vast good fortune, because despite the fact that my retinas had both been reattached, there was always the possibility that of their becoming detached again. Actually, I once met a person who used to work in a high-tech company, and had had a very good job, but who had to quit after experiencing several retina detachments. Not only was he unable to continue working, but he spent a great deal of time and money on trying to correct his vision, to no avail. He ended up having to apply for a disability concession card. I, on the other hand, was able to maintain a regular job and a normal lifestyle. Most importantly, I was able to keep practicing Buddhism under the guidance of a meritorious guru. All of this was thanks to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate blessings and care, as well as the good fortune he bestows upon his disciples.

Before taking refuge, I would return to the hospital regularly for eye examinations. The doctor found cataracts and told me I could have them surgically removed, but that the procedure would be risky due to my previous retinal detachments. I had no intention to undergo such an operation. By June of 2008, my vision had grown foggier and more blurred, so I went to have my eyes checked at Dr. Fang’s clinic. Dharma Brother Fang told me that my cataracts had grown extremely thick, and that the only course of action was to have artificial liquid crystal lenses surgically implanted.

Hao Yuxiu’s eye diagnosis.

With Dharma Brother Fang’s assistance, I submitted a special application to the National Health Insurance Administration and set a date for the operation on my right eye, and was told that it would be July 25th. While waiting for the day of my surgery to come, I was neither worried, nervous, nor scared. However, when I actually went into the operating room, I became so anxious that my pulse skyrocketed to more than 100 b.p.m. and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Even though I told myself not to worry, I was unable to relax. Just then, I visualized Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowing blessings upon my head, and in my mind he suddenly seemed like a compassionate fatherly figure, standing there by the operating table and giving me strength. I don’t know how much time passed after this thought had occurred, but I suddenly became conscious of the fact that my breathing and heart rate had returned to normal, and I no longer felt anxious. The operation went smoothly and was a complete success.

The day after surgery, Doctor Fang gave me a check-up at the clinic. As he removed the gauze from my eyes, I was shocked by what I saw. My right eye, which previously had only been able to make out vague lights and blurry images, could now see quite clearly and brightly. The difference between my vision then and what it had been the day before was immense; it was unimaginable.

A month later, Doctor Fang again helped me to apply for a health insurance case and arrange a date for surgery, and on September 22nd I had the operation on my left eye. The following day, after the gauze was removed, I was even more astonished, because not only was the vision in my left eye bright and clear, but it was even stronger than that of my right eye. It truly was unfathomable.

Ten days prior to my surgery, my supervisor at work had called a departmental meeting to announce that some workplace adjustments would be made, and one of the tasks I was assigned was the handling of integrated circuit component samples. I had felt very annoyed at the time; for a person with normal eyesight, that job would not be very difficult at all, but for someone with extremely poor vision such as myself, who could not read what was on a computer monitor or inspect objects without leaning in very close, my worry was that I would not be able to do it competently. However, after recalling Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings—particularly, that everything we face in this lifetime results from our actions in our past lives, and that we must accept it—after thinking about this, I had stopped feeling so vexed.

I repent, and am ashamed, for never having made any major offerings. I never thought that my vision would improve; how could I deserve that? At 20/2000 vision, I could see to a distance of less than ten percent of normal; furthermore, both my retinas had been detached, leaving retinal scarring and fibrosis. With the risks and difficulties involved in surgery being much higher for me than most, I had nevertheless been cared for by such a superb doctor using the best surgical technique possible, right before the changes at my workplace were implemented. All of this had occurred because of the wonderful protection provided to us disciples by His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s good fortune. I shared my experience with my family members, friends, and Dharma brothers, and they all felt deeply moved and clicked their tongues in wonder. They praised the guru for his magnificent compassion and ability.

Hao Yuxiu is grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for granting her a life in which she can see the light again.

I would like to thank Dharma Brother Jingyi and all the others for their help and concern, and most importantly, I want to thank our Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. If I hadn’t taken refuge in him, I could never have listened to or practiced the Right Dharma, and then my vision could very well have worsened. And then I would have continued to live in a state of dread, fear, and anxiousness. I also wish to repent for never having truly act in accordance with the guru’s teachings. Nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still granted me, his disciple, a chance to learn Buddhism; for this reason, I must practice even more diligently.

I am here today, sharing an account of my experiences, in order to remind myself—and ask everyone else—to cherish the treasure around us. In the Age of Dharma Decline, it is exceedingly difficult to encounter such a master practitioner who is willing to put even his own life on the line for the sake of sentient beings, and, while asking for nothing in return, whose only wish is to help them escape their suffering.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often teaches that the Dharma is in our everyday lives. We should always pay close attention to how we act, what we say, and what thoughts we have; we should stay vigilant, and amend our behavior, in the hope that we might be liberated from life and death in this lifetime, thus leaving reincarnation behind. This will give our guru more time and energy with which to benefit even more sentient beings in need of help.

Again, let me express my gratitude to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for allowing me to share these reflections with all of you honorable believers and Dharma brothers. Thank you!

Respectfully written by Disciple Hao Yuxiu on December 11, 2008.
Updated on December 9, 2016.

Updated on December 9, 2016