048: Compassionate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche Changed the Life of Lin Jia-yi

On November 10, 2004, my brother, Yuan-Zhen Lin, was taking part in an event to promote the establishment of women’s association to help the KMT’s election efforts. During the event, he accidentally inhaled a large amount of dry ice, which resulted in cerebral anoxia. Arriving at the scene, I was in a state of complete shock since my first thought had been that my brother had fainted due to heat exhaustion. After receiving emergency aid, his face was contorted in pain; his whole body spasmed continuously because of the serious damage to his cerebral sebum. Only after the ambulance had arrived did he start to breath again. Arriving the hospital, I saw anxiousness clearly etched on the face of my father and mother, who had arrived earlier, as well as my brother’s colleagues and boss. My mind went blank—I couldn’t even cry. While calling my husband, who was on a business trip in China, I kept hitting my head against the wall, hoping that the physical pain would distract me from the pain in my heart, yet the pain in my heart would not leave. How I wished everything that had happened was only a dream, that we only had to wake up and everything would be all right! The attending doctor on duty in the emergency ward that day, however, did not want to get our hopes up. Shaking his head, he told us that even if my brother was saved, he would be a vegetable for the rest of his life.

I could not accept the doctor’s words. Right away, I decided I would find a doctor that was truly skilled enough to cure my brother. However, even a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine, someone whom we had known for more than ten years, after taking Yuan-Zhen’s pulse simply shook his head and said something I could not get into my head: My brother’s brain had shut down; not even acupuncture treatment could cure him. He said he did not want my brother to suffer anymore. Although he did not say it directly, he hoped we could accept what had happened to my brother and let him leave this world. But my family was not ready to let him go, we naively thought that my brother would miraculously wake up in a few days. I gave the task of waiting for any updates about my brother to a colleague of his, and focused my efforts on appealing for help from the gods. Everyday I worshipped at different famous temples; I practiced divination and lit Guangming Lamps (Brightness Lamp); I spent my money everywhere, everything that as within my capability to do, I did. However, the more I worshipped, the more panicked my mind became. I did not know how to move on with my life. Distressed, I told the press or any well wishers to pray for my brother in a way they thought could help him most; doing so could bring me some peace of mind. It was because of such cause and condition that a dharma brother of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center informed me that only the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could help my brother. Because I was willing to try anything to help my brother, I went to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Since then, the fate of our family has changed.

The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche personally went to the hospital and entered the intensive care unit to bless Yuan-Zhen. After the blessing, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told us, “Your brother is very hungry now. He is craving sweets.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also asked me if my brother used to drink a big bottle of Coke everyday. I answered that he did. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately told me that because the hospital treated my brother as a vegetable patient, they did not feed him a lot; therefore, we should request that he be served an amount that he would normally eat in a day, so that my brother would not continue to suffer from hunger. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also mentioned that my brother would be discharged from the hospital in twenty days. At that time, I foolishly asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, “What can I do for my brother?” Of course, the things we could do for my brother were very few—I couldn’t even recite a sutra in full concentration. I was certainly full of myself in thinking I could be of any help!

Yet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately decided to instruct me, “Go help those who need it,” he said, “And continuously accumulate virtues on behalf of Yuan Zhen.” Around that time, I happened to see a news report about a policeman who was accidentally killed in the line of duty. His age was similar to that of my brother, and he left behind his two children and a wife and his parents, all who depended on his income. Following Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s instructions, I took a train to Zhang-Hua and gave his widow some money as an expression of my sympathy. The results of this deed came soon enough. Our family was looking to transfer my brother to another hospital, and during the process of looking for the necessary resources, Xiu Chuan Memorial Hospital in Zhang-Hua, an unknown hospital to us, surprisingly expressed their willingness to help with our situation. Hearing the news, I broke down in tears. I’d never expected to receive a result like this within such a short period of time simply by following Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s instruction. Later due to my parents’ jobs and to make it easier to look after my brother, we transferred Yuan-Zhen to the closer Tri-Service General Hospital. However, this experience taught me the importance of accumulating merits and virtue.

Besides instructing us to personally help those in need, compassionate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also instructed us to attend weekly Chod pujas on behalf of Yuan-Zhen. My mother, my aunt and I signed up for the puja immediately. When the puja began, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked all those attending to think about those who we wanted to help. I remembered Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s instructed that we should attend the puja on behalf of Yuan-Zhen. Therefore, I contemplated myself as Yuan-Zhen. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to recite the mantras, unexpectedly I began to feel an unusual coldness creeping through my entire body. Following, I began to feel faint and could barely catch my breath. It was very uncomfortable to say the least. At that moment the only thought I had was “The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, please help me!” When I was about to pass out, the sound of reciting stopped and everything returned to normal. At that instant, I felt the suffering that my brother had experienced during his accident. I also looked back at my helplessness and fear during that period and subsequently decided to seek refuge under the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. I hoped to follow and practice the Buddha Dharma under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and to liberate myself from the sufferings of life and death. Luckily I did not have to wait too long after obtaining Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s grant. On December 5th, 2004, I successfully took refuge and became a disciple of the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center.

Repentance

After receiving the blessing from the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Yuan Zhen’s condition began to stabilize. However, since we still hoped to try different kinds of treatment on Yuan Zhen, several family members and friends suggested we transfer him to Tri-Service General Hospital. As a result we decided to transfer Yuan Zhen to the Tri-Service General Hospital and try hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Since the beds in the intensive care unit were temporarily all filled up, we had no choice but to transfer my brother to a room in the general ward. Since he was no longer in the intensive care unit, my parents had to learn how to take care of Yuan Zhen. After a period of busy craziness, my parents began to get the hang of it and Yuan Zhen’s condition slowly began to stabilize. Not until things had settled down a bit did I remember how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had previously said that my brother would leave National Taiwan University Hospital twenty days after he was blessed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Yuan-Zhen was transferred to another hospital on November 30th, exactly 20 days later after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s visit—not a day sooner or later.

The next year I resumed my job and, as I was getting ready to go abroad to procure some items for my company, a dharma brother reminded me several times that I should take my brother, who now was able to sit in a wheelchair, to see the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and give thanks for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate blessing during the process of my brother’s recovery. However, since I had not tried to take Yuan-Zhen out of the hospital, I— very selfishly—only considered my own fear of that task. I assumed that since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had promised to go to the hospital to bless Yuan-Zhen when he had time, I did not need to take him myself to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. By disregarding my dharma brother’s words, I was ignoring the fact that many, many sentiment beings are in need of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help. Yet despite how hard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has to work, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassion remains steady. In contrast, as a disciple, my only thoughts were of myself. I truly was not qualified to be a disciple of the Buddhas.

My trip abroad was only for two-weeks. During that short time however, my brother contracted pleural effusion due to a case of serious pneumonia. Even though an entire course of antibiotics had been tried, my brother still had a high fever of forty degrees centigrade. By the time I returned, my brother had already lost ten kilos. His doctor intended to open a hole near his lungs to drain the fluid from inside his lungs. Otherwise, if atrophy of his lungs continued, he soon would not be able to breathe. Watching his tortured face, I broke down. I knew it was my selfishness and my greed that had made the opportunity for him to receive Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing disappear. I knew that it was my lack of faith in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that stopped me from taking my brother out of the hospital to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Why should my mistake and miserable thoughts bring him so much suffering? In sorrow, and with a heart of repentance, I whispered in his ear that I was wrong. “Your suffering was my fault; now there is no one else who can help you,” I said. “All I can do is, once again, beg the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bless you, look after you and let you suffer no more.” During the half an hour of Yuan-Zhen’s operation, I repeatedly repented and hoped that the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could help Yuan-Zhen to overcome all difficulties. I truly realized that our life can not work out without a guru. Without a guru’s guidance and teaching, we will not be able to realize how deep-rooted our evil thoughts are, nor will we truly understand or deeply believe in causes and effects. Without a guru to depend on, life is as terrifying as being on boat at night, lost in a great wide ocean.

The moment I had a thought of true repentance, the result of Yuan-Zhen’s operation went incredibly well. Not only did his fever vanish, but time that he had to carry the drainage tube was reduced from one week to three days. The lob of his lungs had started to open and all the original treatments which had been so ineffective before now started to work rapidly. Again and again, I offered my gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, as I knew that it was Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate blessing that helped Yuan-Zhen overcome that difficult period.

Letting Go

As Yuan-Zhen’s condition gradually stabilized, my parents’ attendance at pujas continued without interruption. They began to slowly learn and accept the law of cause and effect. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once compassionately told us that what happened to Yuan-Zhen was the karma of our entire family and it would need some time to have a so-called “result.” Since we have already prayed to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for their help and liberation, we had to believe that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would arrange things in the best interest of Yuan-Zhen—a way without side effects. Isn’t it relaxing and simple to let the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas arrange everything? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s great wisdom has taught us how to let go.

The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had granted my younger brother and mother’s request to seek refuge under and become disciples of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage’s Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center.

With utmost gratitude I prostrate to the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

Disciple, Lin Jia-yi.

Updated on November 25, 2009