018: The Causes and Conditions of Taking Refuge

The original conditions leading to my taking refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the Drikung-Kaygu lineage can be traced back to September 2000. At that time, after a simple slip and fall, I continually had trouble walking. I was fortunate enough to receive Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s auspicious blessings of great mercy and compassion, which helped not only relieve my pains and shorten my time of suffering, but also restored my ablility to walk around freely and thus sowed the Dharma conditions for me to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in learning and cultivating the Buddha’s teachings.

I remembered that when I fell down, I only felt really embarrassed and quickly picked myself up and ran off in a hurry. It was not until the evening that I started to feel pain in my legs and decided to lie down to rest. Around 2-3 hours later, something I was unable to accept happened; I was unable to stand up to walk by myself and needed someone to support me with their hands. I originally thought that I would get better after a nights rest. However, the situation became even worse. I had no strength in my lower body and needed to be carried by someone. Both my husband and I were very nervous, making inquiries everywhere to see if any relatives knew a doctor that worked in a field related to this. Under the assistance and arrangement of Mr. Zhao, a sales manager in the insurance business, we went to SongShan Armed Forces General Hospital to see a Dr. Xie and after a few simple examinations I was hospitalized.

While hospitalized, I received various examinations everyday, such as electrocardiogram, electromyography and interdepartmental consultations, but we still could not find out the cause of the illness nor the correct remedy to take. Three days went by and there was still no result yet. Due to my lower body paralysis I could not sit up and the only thing I could do was to lie and wait. The fear and panic in my mind cannot to be described in words. It happened there was a typhoon that night and the anguish in my mind increased as the wind and rain became stronger and heavier outside. When the rain was over the sky cleared up, but when would my situation take a turn for the better? How would tomorrow be? Even the professional doctors could not find the cause of my illness, let alone a suitable remedy. Suddenly the phone in the ward rang, breaking my anguish. It was Mr. Zhao bringing good news. He said that Dr. Xie knew a Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhism master, who was good at things that could not be explained by medicine science and he asked us if we wanted to implore this Rinpoche for help. We asked for the address right away but did not ask for the phone number as Dr. Xie said “No need to make an appointment in advance. If one has the appropriate cause and condition, one can see Rinpoche.”

It was abnormally serene that morning because all the people in Taiwan had a typhoon holiday due to the heavy rain and wind the night before. Additionally because of this the hospital did not provide any outpatient service, with only a resident doctor patrolling in the morning. At this time I still remained in the same condition as my first day in hospital, without any improvement. I waited to two in the afternoon to finally take my leave. Thankfully Mr. Zhao warm-heartedly drove us to the Glorious Jewel Jewelry Company. However, the entrance was closed when we arrived. Apparently we did not have the cause and condition to see the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. I could not help but shed tears and thought it must be because my negative karma was too great. We waited for awhile outside to make sure there was absolutely no possibility to meet with the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that night. After we waited only then did my husband carry me on his back to return to the hospital and we decided to come again the next day. Another long difficult night followed. As I thought I might need others to look after my daily affairs in the future, I didn’t dare to hope anything else, but only wished I could walk freely again.

The next morning, many doctors patrolled my ward and as usual they struck my lower legs and joints in order to test my reflexes. Just then something expected happened! My nerves reacted and my legs felt pain. The doctors told me to exert myself to lift up my legs, but I still could not lift them. After discussion between the doctors from various departments, they told me they would again arrange an electromyography for me on that day, then they would review the result and ponder the next treatment. They also told me to rest more. After enduring the long wait for the completion of the electromyography, I asked again for a leave of absence from the hospital. Before leaving, I asked my husband to let me give standing on my feet another try. Probably he was afraid that I might fall down again and become more frustrated, so he told me not to be so impatient since I had tried many times and always failed these days. In the end, he could not withstand my begging and let me try again. It worked! I could stand on my feet! Though I could not walk around yet, my excited heart swept off the haze of all those days. My husband then carried me on his back to the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company again, to which I had been looking forward to for a long time.

Upon entering the door, we saw the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. A dharma sister, Ai-Fen, one of the staff at the Glorious Jewel Jewelry Company, asked us what’s the matter and we told her our purpose in coming and that our introducer was Dr. Xie. Led by the dharma sister we stepped forward before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mediated for awhile and then spoke out that I had attended a funeral in the beginning of the year and had once prayed in a temple but had not yet fulfilled my promise. However, it was not certain that it was me who went to the temple personally; maybe it was that my relatives had prayed for me. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then described the appearance of the temple. My husband and I immediately knew it was the Wang Yeh Temple nearby my old home in central Taiwan, where my grandfather, when he was alive, used to worship the deity and pray that we could have a baby soon. My grandpa would also require us to go to worship at the temple whenever we went back to our hometown. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told us mercifully and compassionately something about our ancestors and asked us to prove it by asking our elders about it after returning home. Besides this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked us to attend the Chod Pujas over a long period of time, for through this puja, the consciousnesses of our ancestors could be transferred. Moreover, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also told us to be a vegetarian. It was this way that my husband and I went to the desk to enroll for the Chod Puja. To my surprise, I noticed that I, who had been carried on my husband’s back to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, had just walked several steps at that moment. After filling out the forms my husband also just remembered my need for support and he also felt that it was marvelous to see me taking many steps naturally.

Afterwards, we visited my mother’s home to see our child and we told my mother about what happened that I could not walk and really had been carried by others before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but after seeing Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, I had walked out by myself. My mother did not believe me that much and thought I was exaggerating. Nevertheless, it was all absolutely true. Because I had been afraid that my mother would worry about me, I had not told her about my disability and had only asked her help in taking care of my child. Hence, it was difficult for her to imagine the magical power of the blessings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Of course  it was very marvelous and if I had not experienced it in person, I might have not believed it either. The time was late and I had to go back to the hospital; however, it was the most pleasant night in the hospital since I felt so excited as I thought of my coming discharge from the hospital and attending the puja the next day. Eventually I could walk on my own, for this all thanks should go to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s grace. I happily called Mr. Zhao to inform her of my discharge from the hospital the next day and also told her about the magical events that happened when I met with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. It was of course necessary for me to have some tests and interdepartmental consultations in order to sign for a discharge. The doctor finally diagnosed me with myasthenia gravis and allowed me to be discharged with a follow-up needed.

I attended pujas willingly. Upon the completion of puja, I prostrated before my Vajra Guru, the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mercifully and compassionately gave me the opportunity to step forward before his throne and blessed me again. In this life, I am blessed to be able to attend pujas on behalf of all sentient beings. I am grateful to all sentient beings for giving me the time and the chance to hear the Buddha-Dharma. I have an even more immense gratitude to my Guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, for taking the hardship to conduct pujas every week which allow the myriad sentient beings to have the opportunity to listen to these precious teachings, to build up faith in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and to firm up their resolve to learn and cultivate the Buddha-Dharma!

Chen, Yu-Zhen

Updated on February 11, 2009