031: Feel Gratitude to the Kindness of Vajra Guru, Buddha and Bodhisattvas

The Causes and Conditions of Learning Buddhism

I had been a Christian since I was very young, in the Bible, God says that he loves everyone and created the world we live in. I had always wondered about why God did not create a good world, but a bad one, a world where the weak are the prey of the strong. I did not care for this world created by God and my heart started to feel tired of this life. I visited lots of churches and temples, hoping that I could find a true deity. I heard that people said that Avalokiteshvara encourages people to be a vegetarian so as not to hurt any being. I thought that if Avalokiteshvara cares this much for animals, he definitely would not hurt people and if I was going to change my religion and beliefs, then I would want to believe in Avalokiteshvara.

One day, I got a chance to read Amitabha’s Sukhavativyuha Sutra and at that moment found my wonderland, the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, this resulted in me chanting the name of Amitabha at home. Once, I heard a master say on TV that if people have the Five Poisons (greed, anger, disbelief, lazy and doubt) they could not recite the name of Buddha with one mind. Later, I had the opportunity to hear The Chapter of the Universal Door, which tells us that Avalokiteshvara helps people suffer no pain and leave the evil realms, allowing people to get the chance to attain rebirth in the Buddhas’s land. Therefore, I thought I should first chant the name of Avalokiteshvara to quell my Five Poisons and after they were gone, go back to chanting Amitabha. I was eager to take refuge but none of my Buddhist friends had asked to study with me. I lived in Tainan County and I had gotten several chances to learn the Buddha’s teachings in Kaoshsiung or Tainan County, but I considered it just too far away. My workplace even had a small Buddhist temple just downstairs, but I never stepped one foot inside. I had ever vowed three times before the Buddha’s statue to take refuge, but I did not want to do it alone. I hoped that someone could take refuge with me. In the end I thought that if I just didn’t have the causes and conditions to take refuge, I could just study and learn on my own.

During the time I was pregnant, I saw an advertisement for a Tibetan Buddhist Puja, because I was familiar with the area in which it was being held, I decided to go join. During the puja, I had a chance to take refuge, but I withdrew because I did not believe something that we were told. The Master said that we can get help by meditating on the master’s picture. I thought that the master was all the way in Tibet, how he could he help me from such a long distance? The master also had us chant some unfamiliar mantras in a language I didn’t understand and not the Amitabha or Avalokiteshvara ones I was familiar with. Doubt crept into my heart and therefore I gave up the chance to take refuge. For seven years I put this off and it was only until my two year old daughter was in a car accident that I met my Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and took refuge in the Three Jewels of Buddhism.

That year, my second daughter was thirteen years old and living with my ex-husband in Taichung. One day she was riding a bicycle on the street and a car hit her at a fast speed. By the time her father heard about it, she had already been sent to a hospital and undergone two brain operations. I could not accept the fact and was terrified. I rushed to the hospital and when I saw my daughter lying there in a coma a feeling of total helplessness rushed over me, all I could do was recited the name of Avalokitesvara for her. Fortunately, In the ICU I met Dharma Brother Ko, a disciple learning the Buddha’s teachings at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist center. She told me her Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has a kind heart and was able to help people in a serious condition and persuaded me into implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help me. I agreed to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche very quickly, but I did not make good on my promise later because my friends warned me that there are many frauds in this world and this might be one. So instead of imploring Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, my eldest daughter and I went to implore Matsu for her blessings.

A few days later, my daughter’s condition had worsened and the doctor said those one or two days were critical. Dharma Brother Ko had not given up on me and told me more about how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped people. Finally I made up my mind to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help my daughter. At first glance, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked me “Why come to see me so late?” I thought it was about the words I did not keep last time. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then again asked me 3 times “When are you supposed to come?” My brain was totally blank at that time. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pointed out my daughter’s brain injuries very clearly; even some that had not been diagnosed by the doctors. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave me three nectar pills and instructed me to let her eat the first one immediately when I returned hospital, the second one when her condition was better, and the third one if she passed away. It would prevent her from falling onto the Three Evil Realms.

Dharma Brother Ko heartly took me to the puja, gave me lots of help, and, after the puja, took me to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said to me that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would take the time to bless my daughter. I had looked forwards to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s coming. On that day when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche came, the weather was very bad and accompanied by a typhoon. I was told by Dharma Brother said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was going to take plane to Taichung. I was wondering how come Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would take the risk to be here by airplane since we are not relatives nor close old friends. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche really showed up in front of me eventually. I delightedly and nervously greeted Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with great respect. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blessed my daughter by reciting mantra, I closed my eyes and saw the thousand armed Avalokiteshvara standing in front of me, quite different from the Avalokiteshvara dressed in white that I was familiar with. Nevertheless, this made me feel really peaceful and warm and although I can not explain what I saw; this was definitely not an illusion. After the blessing, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told me my daughter would get better eight days later and eight days later, my daughter was transferred to a normal ward, just like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had told me before. Besides this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked me if my second daughter had a younger sister. I was completely surprised that Rinpoche could know this, because the fact is YES. However, even my ex-husband did not know I had another daughter after my new marriage.

Though Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had given me great help, I still did not have enough faith in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. It was not until when I read the introductory phrase of the VCD Lohma Jolma Puja of the Year 2002 conducted by His Holiness Chestang Rinpoche, my faith was raised. The VCD was opened mischievously by my little daughter and the phrase said “Any patient could be liberated from the suffering of illness and pain if he sees Lohma Jolma himself, obtains his blessing or hears his name, and furthermore has enough belief and respect.” Later, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told me that my daughter would regain consciousness a month later. The result happened just like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said. After that, with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s kind protection, my daughter’s health got better and better.

My daughter now receives special education in senior high school and her school work often ranks number one in her class. She remembers almost every thing from her childhood and her brain recovers very well. She also can express her thoughts clearly, not too much different from a normal person. When the accident happened, I never expected that she could have such a good condition as now. I feel much gratitude to the kindness and grace of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Buddha, and Bodhisattvas.

I respected the realized masters, but could not find one before. I feel gratitude to the mercy and compassion of Guru, Buddha, and Bodhisattvas that fulfill my wish not only to seek refuge under a virtuous Guru but also to save my daughter’s life by the Guru. Though I live in Tainan, I could go up to Taipei to learn the Buddha’s teachings without any obstacles from my family. It has been an immense merit to be able to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche so Taipei is not far for me. It is rare to have the opportunity to be able to hear the Dharma and yet I have. It is rare to have the opportunity to meet a guru and yet I have. I am going to learn and cultivate the Buddha’s teachings without any laziness to humbly repay the grace of my guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Disciple of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center: Zhang Shu-Fen

Updated on February 19, 2009