069: Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche Who Knows Everything

In 2007, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the auspicious Chod aboard a small train in Arashiyama, Kyoto, Japan.

I first came in close contact with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in December of 2007, while on a small train in Arashiyama District in the outskirts of Kyoto. Despite the bumpy, winding ride, the guru performed the auspicious Chod aboard the sightseeing train, liberating Japanese sentient beings with affinities. Through it I gained a sense of his great compassionate aspiration and all-embracing power. There were many things I could not comprehend at the time, and I also wondered what sort of religion my mom had taken refuge in more than ten years previously. However, during this trip to Japan and while interacting with the Buddhist Center’s young Dharma brothers, I slowly learned of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s accomplishments and gained an appreciation of how deeply moved the Dharma brothers he had helped were. That left a profound impression, which later took seed in my heart.

While aboard the train, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately performed the auspicious Chod to liberate the sentient beings of Japan, and the Dharma brothers sat down in an orderly fashion. I thought to myself, These Dharma brothers are! With great discipline, everyone remained seated and was extremely quiet. This made me appreciate how completely different this religious group was to my preconception of what religious groups were like. Just as I was thinking this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began reciting the sutra, and the whole journey, everyone recited along with him very attentively. It was quite auspicious. Having encountered such people and events gave me a sense of how truly amazing the guru is.

Upon returning home, I immediately registered to participate in the pujas. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked me why I wished to do so, and I actually said it was because I wanted to be happy! As you might imagine, this of course was the wrong answer. The guru instructed me to stand in the back and think about it, but after mulling it over for some time, I still could not think of a good reason. Just then, my mom showed up next to me, and for some unknown reason I broke into tears. When I answered Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s question for the second time, I said that I wanted to learn Buddhism so that I could help myself and others. The guru told me that I’d said the wrong thing again! By then I was feeling so nervous and agitated that my mouth clammed shut. Nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche very compassionately allowed me to participate in the pujas, thus giving me an opportunity to learn Buddhism. After attending two pujas and listening to the guru expound the Dharma, I discovered that it really wasn’t about seeking happiness or peace of mind; learning Buddhism is about cultivating compassion, leaving suffering to obtain happiness, and becoming liberated from life and death. So, after asking my dad and mom for their consent, I registered to take refuge, and became a member of the Buddhist Center.

Wang Yonglin (first from the left) serving as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s bodyguard in India during the pilgrimage to Dehradun.

The second time I came in close proximity with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was after I had taken refuge, in November of 2008, while on a pilgrimage to Dehradun in India. At the last minute, I had been notified that I could serve as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s bodyguard. I had never felt so nervous my whole life, because the person I would be protecting was my guru as well as the guru of all the Glorious Jewel disciples; as such, I was determined to do a good job. However, it was also because of this that I was given an opportunity to gain an appreciation of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s unfathomably profound wisdom.

One afternoon, while staying at the Kagyu College in Dehradun, we happened to have a bit of free time, and were extremely lucky to get a chance to learn some martial arts moves from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche himself. It was while he was giving us pointers on shadowboxing that I realized just how profoundly skilled the guru is at martial arts. He has a strong, stable footing, powerful fists, and is quicker and more agile even than a so-called “strong young man” in his twenties such as myself.

Wang Yonglin is the lead singer and bass player of a rock-and-roll band.

Also, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s security guards at the time—Instructor Zhang, Brother Axiu, and Dharma Brother Chu all knew martial arts and could perform for the guru. However, I merely knew how to swim and sing, so I reported this to him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had me sing for him, so I sang a verse from “Somewhere over the Rainbow.” To my surprise, the guru is an adept in music as well, and on the spot he pointed out that my problems were that I was singing from my throat rather than using my diaphragm, and that I had not delivered the mood of the lyrics in my tone. Furthermore, I needed stronger syncopation in my singing. Most importantly, he even demonstrated for me what he meant. At the time I truly felt that I was the luckiest person on Earth, to be able to hear Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s supple yet strong, singing voice. And he sounded really good! Thank you, Rinpoche! These one-on-one lessons from the guru were extremely useful to me!

Wang Yonglin sharing an account of how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had taught the Dharma brothers shadowboxing and given him pointers on singing.

When I look back on the days after I’d taken refuge, I genuinely feel both deeply moved and ashamed. I feel moved because while I was growing up, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never stopped helping my family—even to the point that he showed kindness to every single family member suffering from birth, old age, sickness, and death. I feel ashamed because I was both slow-witted and disobedient, yet the guru never gave up on me. He continuously taught me to walk the right path of cultivation. For this reason, all I can do is to bow my head and practice Buddhism, diligently work toward becoming liberated from life and death. Thank you Your Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche!

Respectfully written by Disciple Wang Yonglin on December 12, 2008.
Updated on March 31, 2017.

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Updated on May 23, 2009