045: Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche Rescued Me from a Major Car Accident

I am grateful to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for always coming to the rescue, and for having bestowed upon me the opportunity to stand on this stage today and express my thanks to the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, and the guru. In the past, despite having been a disciple and a recipient of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help and kindness for many years, I still had not made a firm resolution to practice Buddhism. On the contrary, I was convinced that the guru’s great good fortune and protection would keep me quite safe, and I gave no thought whatsoever to repenting to sentient beings.

Every year when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is about to conduct a retreat, I get very worried, wondering what I will do without the guru’s protection. I did this year especially, because he was going to be in retreat for an extra-long time. I remember that on the day of my motorcycle accident, I was in class thinking to myself that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would soon be coming out of his retreat, and wondering if I would make it safely until then. I had never wanted to repent to sentient beings, nor had I ever felt the least bit of guilt over my selfish thoughts. Recalling this makes me feel very ashamed.

The accident happened just after 8:00 on the evening of June 28th, 2007. I was riding along when a taxi suddenly rushed over from the opposite lane without signaling. Our vehicles were only about ten steps from each other, so as soon as I saw the taxi start to veer toward me, I realized that there was no time to get out of the way and that we were going to crash. I quickly visualized Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. No sooner did I do this than the guru appeared in the air a short distance in front of me, and then I was sailing over the taxi’s windshield, slamming into it with the left side of my body before being launched back into the air. I don’t know how many times I tumbled through the air, but no matter how I flew, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to appear in front of me. I remember that during my second roll, I thought about telling Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche how frightened I was, and wondered how it could be that I still hadn’t landed. As if in response to that thought, I heard a very gentle voice tell me that I should believe in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. I answered silently that of course I believed in the guru—and then I lost consciousness.

Sometime later, I heard a person calling to me over and over, “Miss, can you hear anything?” I kept hearing someone say, “She can breathe on her own, but her life is hanging by a thread and she is barely conscious,” and someone else saying, “Quick, get the CPR machine.” Actually, such emergency treatment risked breaking my ribs and causing a great deal more pain, but I thought to myself that it didn’t matter even if I died; after all, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would help me. Later, after I opened my eyes, a nurse wheeled me down to get an X-ray, and the X-ray technician said again and again that it had been a very long time since she had seen a patient with such serious fractures. I kept crying out in pain, and she was worried I would go into shock.

By the time I was sent back to the emergency room, several Dharma brothers and my sister-in-law had already hurried over to the hospital. They arrived one after another, each carrying a photo of H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and bottles of nectar water, as well as some herbal ointment from the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic. The Dharma brothers kept holding up the guru’s Dharma photo so that I could always see it, and used a cotton swab to help me drink the nectar water. I had injuries on the left side of my face and my left hand, upon which the Dharma brothers swathed the ointment. After they applied this for a day or two, the wounds on my face were not visible anymore.

My older brother kept reminding me to visualize Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The following afternoon, before I went into the operating room, Dharma Brother Fang, who had also gone out of his way to hurry over to the hospital, told me to remember to visualize Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and that the guru would protect me. After I went in for surgery, I kept hearing the medical personnel say they had not seen a patient with such severe fractures in both legs in a very long time. Before being anesthetized for the procedure, I noticed that I seemed to be cradled in a golden white ball of light, as bright as the sun. When I next woke up, I had been moved to the intensive care unit.

Only afterward did I learn that from the beginning of my operation to when I woke up in the intensive care unit, a total of eight hours had passed. During surgery I dreamed of an old man who came to my side and continuously urged me to follow him. I told him that I didn’t want to, and that I preferred to wait for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to arrive; I only wanted to go with the guru! The old man’s appearance then transformed into that of my family members, coworkers, superiors, and classmates, but every time he told me to go with him, I answered that I did not want to, and insisted that I would wait and go with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instead. Then the old man said that if I went with him, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would find me later, but I still refused. Throughout this process he never was able to take on the appearance of the guru or enter the ball of light in which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was protecting me. Later, in the intensive care unit, my brother shook me awake. Only as I began to regain consciousness did that old man finally leave in a huff, even complaining that I had wasted a great deal of his time.

In the intensive care unit my blood pressure kept falling. As soon as the nurses heard the machine beep out a warning, they would rush over to the bedside and talk to me, trying to get me to keep from falling asleep. They were worried that if I did, I would not wake up. One time the machine beeped so much that three of the nurses had to discuss whether or not to inform my family members to prepare themselves to see me for the last time. However, thanks to the protection of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas, and the Bodhisattvas, this disciple was able to escape the jaws of death safe and sound.

After I was transferred back to a regular ward, I kept passing out because my blood pressure remained low—as low as forty. My brother called the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic to ask for help, and after listening to his description of what was happening, the doctor immediately wrote out a prescription. After the medicine was prepared, a Dharma brother made a special trip to bring it to the hospital; when I was given it, it was still warm. This was after 10:00 at night, and after taking the medicine at 11:00, I again fell into a deep sleep. At 4:00 the next morning, a nurse came to take my blood pressure and found that it had returned to normal—where it remained, from then on.

Right after I returned to the regular ward, the nurses were all very quick to give me morphine shots. After a day or two of this, worried that I might get addicted, a Dharma brother told me, “Only take morphine if you absolutely cannot stand the pain.” I did my best to grin and bear it. Sometimes the pain was severe, so I would look at Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma photo and silently tell the guru how much it hurt. Amazingly, soon after, the pain would gradually dissipate. Even the nurses were surprised at how little morphine I needed.

Because I had committed too many evil acts over the course of my past lives, on July 5th, I had to undergo a second operation. I kept worrying about not being able to participate in the August pilgrimage to Ladakh, so every day I prayed before Dharma Protector Achi and the Dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to allow me to go. While the doctor was doing his rounds one time, I asked him when I could be discharged from the hospital. He said, “Your condition is still too dire. You’ll have to stay here for at least six months, so you should psychologically prepare yourself for a long period of being bedridden. I asked, “When will I recover?” The doctor said that generally speaking, it should take me a year, but that there was also a possibility that it would take as long as two or three years. “Everyone recovers at a different pace,” he said, “but it will take you at least twelve months.”

Thanks to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s constant blessings and protection, every time the doctor made his rounds through the ward, he said I was recovering very well. On July 13th, I was released from hospital and allowed to go home to rest.

Her left femoral shaft suffered a crush fracture that had to be set using pins inserted through the bone marrow.

Toward the end of July, I discovered that a depression going a third of the way into the side of my right knee was keeping me from being able to bend it, and as such, the muscles had begun to atrophy. When I went to see the doctor about it, he confirmed that my kneecap had caved in, so on August 3rd I had to be admitted to the hospital once again. That day I had an MRI exam, and the orthopedist, radiologist, and physiatrist all said my muscles had stuck to my bones, so my rehabilitation would be extremely painful—so bad that I might have to have an operation to fix it. A day later, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche returned to Taiwan, so the following Wednesday afternoon I went to the Buddhist Center to receive the guru’s guidance. That evening, I discovered that the depression in my knee had gotten a bit better. On Thursday morning, the doctor doing his rounds had a look and said that it had probably just been a blood clot, and that all I had to do was to apply some ointment to relieve it. I felt grateful for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings.

About six months after the operation, her fractures had healed nicely.

After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche returned to Taiwan from his retreat, I repented before him. The guru gave me the following extremely compassionate guidance: “In death, I will help my disciples. In life, I will help them as well.” I was very ashamed, and regretted that despite having received Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help for so many years, I had never sincerely felt the slightest bit of guilt over the mistakes I had made and the harm I had done to sentient beings throughout my past lives, let alone repented for them. I was such an evil person, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was so respectable; not only had he never given up on me, looked down on me, or asked me to leave, but he had even helped me and bestowed such compassionate teachings upon me. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche even asked, “Have you completed your grand prostrations?” I answered that I had. The guru then asked, “Have you finished chanting the Hundred-Syllable Mantra?” I said, “Yes.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked, “Have you completed the mandala offerings?” I replied, “Not yet.” The guru then said, “If you have no compassion and intention to repent, then it does not matter how much you recite the sutras or complete your practices.”

I am grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for bestowing upon his disciples the opportunity to participate in this pilgrimage to Ladakh. On the morning of August 14th, I told the doctor I wished to be discharged from the hospital. Knowing my hurry to leave had to do with my desire to go on the pilgrimage, the doctor was extremely angry. However, I told him that no matter how mad he was, I still wished to be released so that I could participate. The doctor hung his head and stormed out of the ward, and the nurses, very afraid, followed. About half an hour later, a nurse informed me that I would have to have another X-ray taken. The following evening, the doctor stalked into the ward and asked me directly if my purpose in wishing to be discharged was to go on a pilgrimage. I replied that it was indeed. The doctor told me that my X-rays showed that although my bones had all set, they had not yet shown any signs of healing. He urged me to reconsider. I was determined, however, so the next morning I was discharged.

I thank Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for allowing such a disciple as myself, who needed help from everyone in everything I did and could not even get around on my own, to participate in the pilgrimage to Ladakh. I am also extremely grateful to Sino Travel, for any other travel agency would have refused to help no matter how much money I paid. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the Dharma brothers working at the travel agency to make the best arrangements possible for me, and gave many detailed instructions to that end; the guru came up with many ways to help that even my own family had not thought of. Throughout the entire trip, all the travel agency employees and all my Dharma brothers took care of all my needs. By contrast, I had never cared about them before, nor had I ever put forth any effort on their behalf; I had not even taken the initiative to do anything for the Buddhist Center. Nevertheless, all of these Dharma brothers had helped me through my recovery from this accident with their care and support. For this I feel extremely grateful and ashamed, and right now I would like to apologize to each and every one of you, and to say thank you.

While we were in Ladakh, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche showed great concern for his disciples. One evening he even asked the tour guide from the travel agency to bring us some cookies that the guru had blessed. My entire family and I felt both grateful and ashamed.

After getting back to Taiwan, I returned to the hospital for a check-up. The doctor wanted me to have another X-ray to confirm that my bones had not shifted out of place, and later told me very cheerfully that my bones had begun to grow. Apparently, growth was occurring around the location of every fracture. The doctor had not predicted such a result, and was surprised to see that even the bones he’d been planning on replacing with an artificial joint were growing, too. He said that things truly were different for someone with the help of Buddhism. From then on, I could simply return for a monthly checkup rather than a fortnightly one.

When I went back for a checkup in September, the doctor was very pleased with my X-ray results. He explained briefly that my bones were still growing. When he examined me again on October 26th, the doctor said that my bones were growing very well indeed, and that I could replace my wheelchair with crutches. He told me that going forward, I should practice walking more, and that he didn’t need to see me again for two months.

Right after my surgery, the doctor had told me that I would be bedridden for at least six months, and that it would take between one and three years before I could walk again. However, thanks to the care and protection of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas, and the Bodhisattvas, the next day I would get to go to the hospital to practice walking with my crutches. The doctor said that in another couple of months, my bones would be completely healed, and wondered aloud how I had recovered so quickly. Every time I went for a checkup, he praised Buddhism for being able to provide such outstanding assistance.

Ever since being discharged from the hospital, I have not taken a single painkiller or any Western medicine at all; I’ve only taken traditional Chinese medicine. At first this was liquid herbal medicine, but two weeks later the doctor at the Chinese Medicine Clinic said that I could start taking powdered medicine instead. He told me that both types had been distinctly effective in treating me. Every week when I go to see him, he always asks me very carefully how I feel so that he can carefully diagnose the changes taking place in my body.

I am grateful to Sino Travel for not refusing to help me, given my travel inconveniences; on the contrary, they provided even more care and assistance so that I could go with everyone on the pilgrimage to Ladakh.

When I had my accident, both my femurs suffered crush fractures that were so serious that even the doctors were unable to predict how much I might recover. However, there was not a single scratch on my bracelet or on the pendant I wore around my beck. Though I know that everything breaks eventually, I am very happy and grateful that my favorite things did not get damaged.

I am grateful to H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for always coming to the rescue; no matter how big my mistakes were, how lowly my root capacity, or how difficult I was to teach, the guru has never abandoned me. He uses all sorts of methods to guide and help us disciples. From the depths of my heart I am grateful for all Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has done for us and for the assistance he has bestowed upon us. Thank you, Rinpoche. I also would like to repent to the guru for my not having practiced with diligence or acted according to his teachings.

Respectfully written by Zhu Shezhen

« previous – Return Traces of Liberating Beings Next »

Updated on November 6, 2016