028: I Believe Most People Have Had Dreams

I believe most people have had their dreams. As the saying goes, “Humans have their dreams, therefore they are great.” When my husband was still alive, we used to weave our dreams together. Since he and I were working for the same company, we set up mutual goals so that we could realize our dreams for the future, had expectations of our children’s future and planned our post-retirement life. Everything seemed to be in our hands. Nevertheless, as we paved our way steadily towards our goals, a sudden accident took place, shattering all those dreams and hopes, breaking everyone’s heart and disturbing every plan we had made. Such rapid changes that were hard to catch up happened just in the important phase of my life. It was as if life had played a great practical joke on me. At the end of May, 2002, my husband fell unconscious at work. He was later diagnosed as having a subarachnoid hemorrhage and needed to be transferred to another hospital. In order to get this troublesome disease treated, we changed as many as three hospitals. During the five days when my husband was still conscious, he requested to meet with those he wished to see, ate whatever he wanted and bid us to look after the people and things he still cared for.

At that time, we were still quite optimistic about the surgery being carried out by the Taipei Veterans General Hospital, which we believed was authoritative in treating brain disease. However, as everything is unpredictable, my husband hemorrhaged again on the sixth day after the surgical operation and fell into a coma. The hospital adopted measures such as tube insertion to try to keep him breathing. The doctor also told me, “No one regains consciousness after re-hemorrhaging within his brain.” I helplessly watched my husband suffer from the tube insertion. His eyes widened and mouth stretched open. Seeing him shaking and struggling, none of us could do anything but shed tears. It was at that traumatic moment when a friend of my colleague told me about a great practitioner and took me to the Glorious Jewel Jewelry Company to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. We had had a long wait that day before we were told, “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is in the hospital helping patients and may not make it back to the Jewelry Company.” When we were about to leave with a feeling of loss, a Dharma brother reminded me, “As long as you pray to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas with sincerity, you will definitely have the opportunity to meet with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.” How true! We subsequently received a phone call from a Dharma brother on our way back to the hospital. “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche happens to be in the Veterans General Hospital right now and is going to bless your husband at his ward.” I felt immense joy and was all hopeful again, and dashed back to the hospital immediately. I luckily ran into Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who was about to leave the hospital. What a blessing from the Bodhisattvas indeed. After receiving Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing, my husband struggled no longer. At that moment Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche slowly said, “Your husband was a naughty boy when he was little. He once visited a temple and showed contempt for the deities. That was when he got the brain tumor.” By coincidence, my husband’s childhood companions were visiting him at the hospital and further confirmed that their gang had had fun inside a temple when they were young. They remembered taking and eating the food placed on the offering table, but forgot the specifics as to who had actually done what.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bid me to attend the Chod pujas and the regular practice pujas, and granted me a rare and precious nectar pill. I truly appreciated Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help from the bottom of my heart, yet still was quite surprised at the fact that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was willing to present a total stranger with such a valuable gift.

I was fully aware of my husband’s worsening medical condition and knew nothing could be done to reverse the situation. Nevertheless, thinking of our kindergarten age child and our other 3-month-old unborn baby, I felt great fear and didn’t want to lose him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew my worries well and explained to me compassionately, “Your husband has attended the puja and paid off his debts. It has been a painful life for him. Letting him go will do no harm to him.” Although I had merely known Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for five days, his instruction helped me make up my mind to bring my husband back to his home in Miaoli.

On June 10, when the nurse removed the tube which had sustained his life, my husband’s thirty seven years of life came to an end. We adopted traditional Hakka funeral practices. However, we thought of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and prayed that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be able help my husband go to the Pure Land of Western Paradise. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was on a plane to China at that time, we received a phone call from a Dharma brother four hours later: “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has conducted the practice of transfering your husband’s consciousness. Go touch his crown of the head soon and see if it is warm.” I was filling out a written record at the police station at that time, so I asked a family member to verify this sign of the completion of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s practice. Although those reciting the sutras had tried to stop the move, my family eventually managed to touch the crown of the head and notified me that it was indeed warm. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche additionally said, “Your husband wanted you to know that his bank cards are located in the wallet that you gave him.” I didn’t expect that my husband had still been concerned with such a thing, but was overall comforted that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had transferred his consciousness to the Pure Land.

After all this was over, I came to know that the practice that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had conducted to transfer my husband’s consciousness was known as Phowa which is an extremely rare and precious tantric practice. It has been a Tibetan tradition to request the practice by making great offerings to the practitioner and only those with great merits as well as causes and conditions could receive it. The reason why the practitioner normally needs to be beside the deceased to conduct the practice is because the practitioner is gonna to summon the consciousness of the deceased and then to transfer it by consuming his own virtues. Although at that moment Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was in China where is thousand meters far away from Miaoli where my husband’s body was located, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was still able to conduct the practice successfully with many auspicious signs and knew clearly what had been in my husband’s mind. It is evident that the power of the Phowa Dharma is marvelous. I had become an eye witness of the power of the Buddha Dharma and couldn’t help but gasp in admiration.

Now, as I look back, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never requested any means of payment nor reward for conducting the practice that transferred my husband’s consciousness. He merely hoped that we would learn and study Buddhism well to repay the favor. He kept saying, “It’s the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who are always looking after us.” Ordinary people as we are, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was willing to sacrifice his own virtues and energy to help us. This kind of person who asks for nothing and yet helps people with such selfless mercy and compassion, is indeed a Bodhisattva!

For the past few years, I have been bathed in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s guidance and teachings and came to appreciate the teachings of “Everything has its Cause and Effect” and “All abides by the Law of the Causes and Conditions.” It is because of this that whenever I encounter problems, I am finally able to then put away my mnd of attachment little by little. What’s more important is that there is virtually no such word as “self” in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s dictionary. As long as sentient beings pray, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always fulfills their wishes. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche treats all disciples with equal mercy and compassion and makes no differentiations. I am fortunate to have accumulated enough merits in past lives so as to be able to learn and study Buddhism under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s guidance. As a disciple of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s, may I always follow his instructions and accompany him on the path leading to attain Buddhahood.

By disciple Chen Jing Ting

Updated on February 7, 2009