233: One’s Coming Back from Wandering

It is believed that to bring parents for a feast is a way of showing filial piety; however, not until now did I realize that it’s a paradox. This realization made me wonder why I haven’t heard of the truth of Buddha Dharma before. I was thunderstruck by the time Rinpoche’s teaching of “Impermanence” really happened in my life.

When I was 38 years old, I asked my friend if he knows any decent practitioner who can really help me since I felt like everything goes wrong on me no matter what I did. “No problem, I will get you connected,” he replied.

Therefore, I was introduced to the venerable H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. I was eager for success and afraid of failure. I complained all the time and found every excuse to argue. Rinpoche, however, did not mind at all but enlightened me patiently, saying “Everything follows the law of cause and effect. You may force to gain something yet you shall end up loosing something else.” I would never give a darn on words like this if they were spoken by others; however, I was overwhelmed by his simple words. I came to realize that no matter how much I argue or how many enemies I ever made, I still eventually end up nothing. I couldn’t help but confessing my halfhearted prostrations, and asked H. E. Rinpoche to accept my three prostrations. Rinpoche smiled and acknowledged my request. Then I decided to take refuge in H. E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

One day, I asked Rinpoche the correct way of showing filial piety to parents for I was worried about my old and aging mother. “To show filial piety to parents, don’t treat them to sea foods or live fish. It doesn’t help to accumulate their merits but assist their killings instead,” enlightened Rinpoche. It is widely believed that bringing parents for a wonderful feast is a way of showing filial piety to parents; however, not until now that I realize this belief is wrong. Why haven’t I heard of the truth of Buddha Dharma before? Rinpoche continued, “It is time for you to be a vegetarian. Imagine that many animals can survive each time as one more person starts to be a vegetarian! This is the best way of saving animal!” No killing is truly the simplest and efficient way of saving lives.

Also, I learned to remind myself of controlling myself from losing temper. Once I had a minor car accident and started a quarrel. For a few minutes later, I hold my temper and left because I suddenly sensed that I am learning and cultivating Buddha’s teachings. I felt so ashamed for I did not follow Rinpoche’s teaching of the “10 Meritorious”-act of Greedlessness, Hatelessness and Undeceiving. When I arrived at Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, a Dharma brother has been waiting for long to inform me that Rinpoche was too exhausted to see me. I was stunned for a moment and went home with no complaint. At home I realized that Rinpoche has given his mercy and compassion to his disciples equally as well to new comer like me.

The key for me to make up my mind to learn and cultivate Buddha’s teaching, however, was when my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. I was deeply touched by how Rinpoche helped my mother. One day my mother had a bad flu and couldn’t recover for a long time. She simply took the medicine form pharmacy and refused to see the doctor. I decided to take her to the hospital for complete health examination. Doctor Hsieh from Internal Medicine of Songshan Armed Forces General Hospital, who is also a Dharma brother, arranged hospitalization for my mother immediately. I comforted my mother by saying that she’d be okay after the doctor drained pleural effusion and promised to accompany her for shopping the next day. Yet our worries increased after series of examinations being taken. Brother Hsieh told me in private that my mother was diagnosed as last phase of lung cancer. All of a sudden I felt like being in hell. I was astounded by the fact that Rinpoche’s teaching of “Impermanence” really happened in my life.

I rushed to Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center right away and asked for advice from Rinpoche. Rinpoche told me that my mother should have three months to live, and reminded me of doing full prostrations for my mother. Rinpoche had assigned me to do 500 full prostrations since few months ago. I kept finding excuse of not completing. Now I truly understand why we should follow Rinpoche’s teachings, without disobey or asking why. We can pay the price somehow by practicing teachings of Buddha and obey the teachings. From then on, I quitted my job and travel busily between the hospital and home. As I saw my mother weakening day by day, I pleaded Rinpoche again to give blessing to my mother. Rinpoche agreed and advised repeatedly, “I am able to reduce her pain if she has faith to the Buddhist doctrine.” Just like what Rinpoche said, although condition of my mother did not improve, she never wept over pain. She still had good appetite and sound sleep. She was quite different from the patient in the same room. It is a miracle from blessings of Rinpoche and all Great Buddha so there was no throw up of blood and long weeping from pain for a lung cancer patient in late phase like my mother.

Sadly before she passed away, my mother had 4 tubes inserted into her mouth, and this hurt her so much. Being her son, I was in deep sorrow of failing to relieve her pain. I pleaded Rinpoche again to offer blessings. Rinpoche acknowledged with loving-kindness and compassion and showed no hesitation. I truly owe Rinpoche too much to repay him for the rest of my life.

My mother was unconscious most of the time. No one could understand what she tried to say or what she wrote. The minute Rinpoche entered the room, however, she struggled to sit up, her hands waved in the air as if she returned conscious out of seeing an old friend. I was astonished again by the power of Buddha Dharma.

Rinpoche sat by the bed and comforted her, “Slow down, don’t panic. I will tell them what you want to say for you.” Then she calm down and looked up on Rinpoche and nodded. Rinpoche then started to convey her dying wishes to us and lowered his head to respond to her at the same time. All the messages Rinpoche conveyed for my mother were only known to myself and my families. My three sisters and I listened gratefully and amazingly. My mother shed her tears full of gratitude and satisfaction. The tears falling from here eyes seemed to tell me that happy ending will resulted from Buddhist Dharma. And I regretted for not completing the prostrations as told every day so that my mother past away earlier.

On the way escorting Rinpoche to the elevator, Rinpoche advised repeatedly like a kind father, “She probably has a few more days to live. No electroshock and do not remove nor freeze her body within 8 hours after she died.”

The night my mother passed away, I immediately drove to Bodhimandala and pleaded Rinpoche to conduct “Phowa” for her, hoping she could be transferred to the land of Buddha and never have to suffer again. When I was downstairs, a Dharma brother kindly helped and told me that Rinpoche had granted my mother “Phowa” and had already started. Rinpoche also indicated me to go home and prepare funeral affairs while he was giving “Phowa” at the Bodhimandala.

Even a thousand words can’t express my gratitude to Rinpoche. The venerable Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang Rinpoche, the Great spiritual Kagyu masters and Victorious Ones have sacrificed themselves but ask for no return from the sentient beings. There is no other way to repay their kindness but to follow their footsteps and serve as the attendant of Buddha life after life.

Updated on April 3, 2008