019: A Bright Beacon in My Life

The origin of learning Buddha’s teachings

When I was a student, I often used to fall ill and catch colds. It was quite difficult for me to recover from a fever. I had even once caught a cold and must visit a doctor 12 times for it. Or even sometimes at midnight, I needed to be sent to the emergency room. Moreover, I suffered from a chronic ache in my shoulder, feeling almost like my muscle was torn. I also often had experienced a severe headache to the extent I could not even bear the vibration while riding on a motorcycle. During that time, I experienced much suffering in my life from both physical pain and mental depression. After graduating from university, I spent half a year convalescing. At one time, while chatting with my roommate, I asked her “What are you learning and studying the Buddha’s teachings?” She replied “To learn about death! Where we will go after we are gone is a very important issue.” I had once heard that living and dying is a big issue in a human being’s life and this was the second time I had heard such saying. Now, as I look back on that period and think, all thanks should go to my family and friends for their care and devotion, as well as to the Buddhas and Boddhisattvas for their imperceptible blessings, which saw me through that difficult time and let me, such a weak and humble being, see the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche afterwards.

I had once seen on TV a monk in red clothes lying at full length on the ground and praying to the Buddha. It was only later on, that I learned that this was a lama making a full prostration. Several days later I asked my roommate if they also prayed in this way, to which she said “Yes.” I was very happy to hear this. I suddenly had a feeling of “That’s it” in my heart. It was then that I followed her to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, thus starting on my path to learning Buddhism.

Being a vegetarian

October 2001 was the first time I had come to the venue and listened to the enlightenment given by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on the Buddha-Dharma and the doctrine of Cause and Effect. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was saying “The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not have the heart to eat another being’s meat. How dare we eat any meat? If one earns money from the meat of living creatures, one would be short-lived, suffer from illnesses, be separated from one’s family and whatever one wishes would not be fulfilled.” Hearing about this, I felt great sorrow and repentance. For I had caused another beings suffering, and just to satisfy my own hunger, had allowed my mother to cultivate negative Karma from killing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also predicted the appearance of an epidemic. Wishing that his disciples not be involved in the common Karma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche persuaded us to abstain from meat and stop building up malignant relationship with beings. I had not yet taken refuge at that time, but it was from that moment that I decided to obey Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings without exception, becoming a vegetarian and taking refuge in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saved my father

My father had been suffering from a cold since several days before Chinese New Year. He was old, and exhausted from long-term hard work. One day when riding his motorcycle to work, he accidentally fell into a wide ditch. Luckily, a kind passerby saved him and sent him to the hospital. However, my father’s eyes and mouth became crooked and he did not remember even the names of relatives. On New Year’s Eve, my father only ate a little and then hobbled upstairs. Watching him from behind, I was full of sorrow beyond words. My father used to invite me for the New Year’s Eve vigil, but this time he seemed to not know it was that night. Two elder sisters of mine were spending the night with their husbands’ family, so only my mom and I were left at home, looking at each other in a depressed mood. In the worship hall, in front of the picture of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, I made a prayer crying. Then I helped my father to wear a gawu of the Four Arm Avalokiteshvara blessed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and then started to recite the Mani mantra on behalf of my father. That night, my father said he saw a red dragon in his dream. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was performing a retreat and he was not in Taiwan. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche returned to Taiwan, I hurried to the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company to report my father’s state of health to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked me, “Have you taken refuge?” I said yes, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied “It is good that you have taken refuge, or otherwise how would I be able to save your father?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then told me, “There will be no problem with your father’s longevity.” I was so happy upon hearing this that I even forgot to make offering. It was not until leaving that I remembered, so I hastily went back. Seeing my return, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked mercifully and compassionately, “Why are you coming back again?” Suddenly I ran out of words, feeling full of warmth in my heart and deeply touched beyond words.

When father was sick, he once tried to feed the baby of my second elder sister a peanut. My sister found this act odd and so took him to the hospital for a brain scan, the result showing abnormal brain wave patterns. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had told us before, that my father had bumped his head during the car accident. As I continuously attended pujas, my father got better gradually, his eyes and mouth straightened and he could also recall our names. That year, my father was 75 years old.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told me to take my father to a puja, but my father was unwilling to attend. After a couple of weeks, both my father and mother had some festering wounds on several parts of their body, each wound was around the size of a ten-dollar coin, with pain and itching in them and could not be cured. I again requested Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help and also reported father’s unwillingness honestly. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave me a lecture instantly, “Your father is unwilling to attend the puja. Is it my fault that he is suffering from festering wounds now? Your father has no repentant heart at all. Go ask him to attend the puja.” Tears covered my face, and I thought there must have been something disrespectful in my words and that I had to be more cautious next time. Later on, I gradually started to understand that the scolding given by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was in fact a compassionate blessing. For a few weeks later, my parents’ festers healed by themselves without any medication.

I am a poor disciple with much negative karma, and cannot be said to have the ability to make a decent offering. I feel an immense gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for compassionately benefiting all sentient beings, regardless of their wealth or social status. It is fully due to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings that my 80-year-old father, who had once told me what he was afraid of the most was to suffer from dementia in his old age, is now in good health, speaks clearly and can lead a normal life.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saved my mother

After my father recovered, we lived a peaceful and happy life just like before. However in December of 2003, my mother was diagnosed with intestinal cancer, a 10-cm tumor had been found in her intestine. So again, my family was enveloped in gloom.

I begged in tears for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked me “Is the tumor at the end of the intestine? Is the doctor in a hurry for an operation?” I answered honestly that I had no idea, for it was my two elder sisters who were taking care of our parents. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then asked us to see him one more time after we made our decision to receive the operation or not. At a loss for a while, I looked at Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche but asked no more questions. There must have been some reason for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for speaking thus and therefore I was calmer while leaving.

After I went home, I asked my elder sister about our mother’s condition. It was exactly the same as what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said: the tumor was at the end of the intestine and the doctor was in a hurry to get her into surgery. I persuaded mother not to receive the operation for many Dharma brothers in our venue who had once had cancer were blessed and helped by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and they did not get worse, some even recovering without undergoing any surgery. Nevertheless, my mother did not accept this and insisted on having surgery. I told my second elder sister that there would be a puja in Douliu on Saturday and she could meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche there. All my elder sisters, their husbands and children attended the puja in Douliu. Upon the completion of the puja, my elder sister asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to give some enlightenment on our mother’s situation and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “Your father wished for your mother to receive the operation. This kind of decision was not one that could be made by your younger sister.” As it turns out, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not want my father to plant the seed of rebirth in hell for slander against the Buddha. The compassion and wisdom of a siddha is something that can not be easily understood by us ordinary people.

Two days later, mother had the excision surgery. There was not enough time for me to go to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again before the surgery. After the operation, my mother had tear in the rectal vaginal fistula, causing feces and gas to pass through the vagina, but not through the anus as a normal person. She also had fecal incontinence and needed to be diapered. I reported my mother’s state to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied, “That’s the way it is. Just listen to the doctor.” I told my elder sister what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said. She then took my mom to the hospital. The doctor advised that my mother undergo an operation to perform a temporary stomas, but that she would also need to endure a three-month clear liquid diet, which would bring great suffering upon her and it was uncertain if the fistula would heal up. My elder sister told me to ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche what to do, as well as request for help. I told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche the doctor’s advice. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that’s the way it is. I also told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche my elder sister was requesting for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help. Looking at me, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said again, “How can I help? Attend the Chod puja first.” “Is it my mother who needs to attend?” I asked with a doubt. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked “Can she come?” With tears dropping from my eyes I replied, “I tried to persuad my mother to come to Taipei to attend the puja with me, but she always said it’s too distant.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said “That’s right. Your mother has no faith at all.” I nodded and felt very sad. After leaving the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company, I immediatly called home. My second elder sister said she would think of how to bring my mother to the puja the next day. The next morning, my eldest sister’s husband drove my mother and my elder sisters from Yunlin to Taipei. In the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company, my mother and the other family members prostrated before the picture of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with a repentant heart. Right at the time my mother passed gas through the anus several times and told my elder sister surprisingly. Upon the completion of the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with great compassion blessed my mother before he left the venue. After my mother came home, her fistula problem gradually improved, she looked better, and no longer needed to be diapered anymore.

Half a year after the surgery, my mother went to the hospital for a follow up consultation. My elder sister was worried that my mother might need another surgery for the fistula problem, so she went to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche beforehand. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her the examination was only to make us feel relieved. After the examination, the doctor said my mother’s fistula had narrowed and needed no more treatment. The results of the blood and ultrasound tests were also normal. My mother had a normal diet during the whole period. If she had taken the doctor’s advice to receive the surgery for temporary stomas and had adopted a clear liquid diet, it would not have only required a lot of money more to be spent on the expense of medical and home nursing, but also much more effort and time on behalf of relatives to look after her. Besides, this would have been much more toilsome for my mother who suffers from paralysis of one side of her body due to a surgery performed 16 years ago.

My whole family has an immense gratitude for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s kindness and grace, and also for letting us witness personally the great compassion of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the auspiciousness of the Buddha-Dharma. My mom, my two elder sisters, their husbands and 4 children, a total of 10 people in my family have taken refuge in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. It is our great merit that we can devote ourselves to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. We deeply thank Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his tireless teaching.

My mother’s wish

Out of filial piety, my two elder sisters’ husbands drive my mother, sisters, and the children to Taipei to attend the puja every week. It was because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings that the my mother could be released from the suffering of cancer and that she would have the energy to attend pujas and accumulate merits for these two years. However, someone in our family did not take refuge or become a vegetarian. One day, my mother ate some soup cooked with meat by him, and no sooner did her health begin to deteriorate rapidly, her abdomen suddenly swelled and she had difficulty swallowing. She became very weak, and her fistula problem occurred once again. My mother said, this time she would not receive any treatment, since the previous operation made her suffer a lot. Instead, my mother hoped she could get reborn in the Pure Land. My two elder sisters and I accompanied her to beseech Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the Phowa Dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately promised this, as well as giving her a blessing on the crown of her head.

Later on, my mother went home to convalesce, but her abdomen was even more distended, as if with multiple fetuses. My father wished that we could send mother to be hospitalized. Luckily Dr. Xie of SongShan Armed Force General Hospital helped us to arrange for the related affairs. And again, I went to ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for help. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “How do you want me to help you?” I said, “I have no idea what’d be good for my mother. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, please help to arrange everything for her.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then said, “Someone in your family had no faith. How can I help?” Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked me to let Dr. Xie arrange for a gynecologist for an examination. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche especially asked me again if I remembered that? Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave blessings to mother through reciting mantras. I told my father, “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said someone in our family had no faith, how can he help?” Two days later, my father decided to come to Taipei to pray to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Right on that same day, my mother while in the hospital passed a huge amount of gas, and her abdomen was much less bloated. It was as a matter of fact that my father had believed that medical treatment could prolong my mother’s life. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with his vast wisdom already knew it, and also made us realize this. Fortunately in the end, my father came to accept and decided to beseech Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for helping my mother to get reborn in the Pure Land.

After the gynecological examination, my elder bother realized that why my mother’s fistula healed and she could pass gas and feces normally two years ago was absolutely due to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s conduction of the Dharma and blessings. He then decided to go to pray to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. During mother’s hospitalization, it was my elder brother who looked after her day and night. There was one time I went to the hospital to keep my mother company and let my elder brother take a rest. My mother said dearly, “The one who looks after the patient also takes a lot of hardship.” I looked at her and said, “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once said that we can not repay the kindness and grace of our mother even by offering a whole ocean of jewels. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s kindness and glace is much more than that of our parents, because he helps us to discontinue the cycle of reincarnation.” My mother nodded in agreement. When my elder bother saw Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he had tears all over his face and implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to release our mother from suffering. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told him, “Buddhism is not a superstitious religion but the most scientific.” My elder bother initially had thought that only medical treatment could save my mother. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued, “Your mother’s disease was caused by her killing some chickens before. Because of your filial piety, your mother’s merits arose. I promise you I will let your mother have no suffering and pass away peacefully. The Buddhas and Boddhisattvas will come to take her. I do not make a promise easily. Once I promise, I will do it!” When my mother in the hospital heard what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said, she repented the killing that had caused other beings to suffer bitterly. Seeing my elder brother coming back, she pulled his hand and shouted emotionally, “My son! My son! ” I am grateful and without regret that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has let all the members of my family receive the Buddha-Dharma.

My mother wanted to go home. The two husbands of my elder sisters drove to the hospital and picked mother up at midnight and I remained in Taipei to deal with some business. Three days later, I came back home and informed my mother that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would leave to Europe on April 19th, for there were a lot of sentient beings requesting help. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would conduct the Dharma related to cancer there and I would go, too. My mother heard this and nodded. The very next day, my mother passed away. Before her last breath, my elder brother spoke to her saying “Think of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche!” and then held the certificate of her conversion to Buddhism in front of her. There were pictures of His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, Lord Jigten Sumgon, and the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on the certificate. Mother looked at the pictures one by one, and then closed her eyes. We then put a nectar pill into my mother’s mouth and started to recite the Mani Mantra, orally transmitted by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, for her. My mother’s mouth altered gradually from open to close, smiling and her face looked very peaceful. After reciting mantras for around 13 hours, we were informed by a phone call from a Dharma brother that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche while in New Zealand had completed the Phowa Dharma for my mother. The crown of the head of my mother, under the completion of Phowa Dharma, was warm and the limbs were flexible, the entire body was soft all over, even her arm and foot that had withered from her paralysis over the years were much softer than before. No ecchymosis was found on the body after death, and her face was brilliant. All of the above auspicious signs remained for over 24 hours until the body was placed in the coffin. After cremation, there were many saris, colorful bones in many different sizes, that appeared and the skull bone had a coin-sized round hole in it. All my family members were very happy instead of feeling sad for my mother’s death. For this all thanks should go to the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Two days after my mother’s cremation, I followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to Europe. Through this travel, I have come to feel deeply that in every corner of the world, there are so many sentient beings hoping to receive the help of the Buddha Dharma. I sincerely hope that the precious Buddha Dharma will flourish all over the world and that all sentient beings have the causes and conditions to hear, learn and study true Buddhism. In addition, like my mother, they can be released from the suffering of the cycle of reincarnation. My mother had once told me “The path you are going on is correct. You must keep wholeheartedly practicing the Buddha way.” We won’t be wrong as long as we follow in the steps of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, all things will have the best arrangement. I have an immense gratitude for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s great compassion and capacity for fulfilling my wishes made over the years, as well as for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sparing no effort to benefit us. Even if we offer to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with all the treasures in the world, along with our bodies, speech and hearts life after lie we still could not repay his kindness and grace toward us. I sincerely wish Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche perfect health and long life in the world!

By Ren Chun, Guan

Updated on February 7, 2009