431: The Compassionate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche Transferred My Husband’s Consciousness to the Pureland

Ming-Hua Chen, from the seventh group, had suffered from liver dysfunction for over twenty years, as well as occasional bouts of gout. Almost three yeas ago, he was diagnosed with diabetes mellitus which was treated with western medicine. However, the medicine had the unintended side effect of injuring his liver. Before taking refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Ming-hua Chen had learned chi gong with a master from Malaysia. The long-term practice, however, turned his palms and complexion darker and darker. Late when Ming-hua took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said to him: “Stop practicing chi gong and learn Buddhism conscientiously, otherwise your liver will never recover.” After that, he stopped practicing chi gong and his palms and complexion gradually returned to normal. During this period, Ming-hua Chen also did regular check-ups on his physical condition.

Last July, Ming-hua went to Chung Shan Hospital for a sonarography which showed some potential problems. The doctor suggested that he go to a larger hospital for further tests. After passing through a computer tomography, it was found that he had a primary malignant liver tumor about 1.5cm size. The doctor immediately suggested Ming-hua undergo embolization. However, we didn’t take his advice, but instead turned ourselves over to the mercy of the Bodhisattvas. Afterwards, we continued to monitor his condition and treat his illness with Chinese medicine. I hoped Ming-hua Chen would also refrain from flying. He insisted that he keep working, being worried about the large expense our family occurred monthly, but made the concession to no longer work the overnight shift or work on long flights. Addressing this worry, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has previously said that a Bodhisattva will not let a Buddhist starve to death. Furthermore, how much money can you earn is a result of your actions in the previous life. Starting in November, the tumor began to grow bigger, while two smaller ones appeared near it. Near the end of December Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told Ming-hua Chen not to fly anymore, but it was not until Chinese New Year in February that he finally applied for retirement. After retiring, Ming-hua spent most of his time reciting mantras and doing full prostrations at home. In March, he took a retreat practice in India, guided by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

In May, an examination showed that tumor had grown very quickly in a short period of time. The doctor suggested that he undergo surgery as soon as possible, when his age and his physical condition were still allowed it. According to the doctor, this was Ming-hua’s last chance as the tumor now occupied two-thirds of his liver and was growing in the direction of his intrahepatic and in order to deal with the tumor, a large portion of his liver would have to be cut out. The surgery was not risk free. When removing the tumor, there was a chance that some of tumor cells would fall into Ming-hua’s veins and the cancer cells would therefore spread to the rest of his body. Despite the risks, however, the doctor was confident that the surgery would pose no problems. I informed Dharma Brother Wei of the decision that Ming-hua had to make. He told me that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had asked us not to give Ming-hua any advice, but let him make the decision on his own.

Ming-hua then went to Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company, prostrated in front of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma photo and began to cry. After returning home, he asked for advice from our daughters and I. We all told him that the decision was his and we would respect whatever he decided. We knew it was a hard decision for him. Finally, Ming-hua decided to go with the surgery. Once his decision had been made, I prayed in front of the Dharma photo of the Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with my daughters for the blessings of all Bodhisattvas, Dharma protector Achi, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, hoping they would make this time easy for Ming-hua. The morning of the surgery, everything were ready, and Ming-hua was waiting to go into surgery. Suddenly the doctor came to tell us that the surgery was postponed, because of last minute liver transfer operation early that morning. We decided that this turn of events was the workings of a Bodhisattva and so Ming-hua Chen decided not to undergo the surgery and leave the hospital. The doctor continued trying to convince him to undergo the surgery and told him if he didn’t undergo the surgery soon, he would only have a few months to live. But Ming-hua Chen only declined the doctor’s suggestion and thanked him for his kindness.

Thereafter, Ming-hua Chen went to prostrate in front of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company on Yi-shen Road and begged Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to allow him to do full prostrations during the regular puja. Rinpoche asked Ming-hua Chen whether he knew where his fault lay? The tumor is a reflection of karmic retribution. In the past you defamed your guru, which is why you are suffering from this illness today. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked him to go home and think about the mistakes he had made. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also asked him to make it clear to his mother and family the reason why didn’t undergo surgery. After clearly reflecting on where his faults lay and clearly explaining to his family members his reasons for not undergoing surgery he could come back and see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again.

Ming-hua Chen returned home and reflected for several days before returning to the Jewelry Company to repent before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinpoche asked him whether he had made things clear to his family and Ming-hua Chen said that he had. Afterwards, Rinpoche blessed Ming-hua by placing a Buddhist statute above his head and also agreed to let him do the full prostration during the regular puja.

Therafter, Ming-hua Chen went every day to the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company to do prostration in front of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma photo. One day, I asked him when did he plan to ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the Phowa practice. He told me that the moment was not ripe. I told him that life is impermanent, things change every day and that the Phowa practice must be personally requested; if he suddenly fell into a coma, it would be too late. As time passed, the tumor grew larger and larger, his skin and eyes turned yellow, he started suffering from ascites, his feet began to swell (he could can wear shoes, though), and his appetite began to fade. However, only occasionally did he ever feel uncomfortable. He only felt serious pain once during his illness, but it was still endurable. After that, we never heard him complain about pain again.

One day our daughters went before Rinpoche’s to beg his permission that they be allowed to do full prostrations in place of their father at the regular puja. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked them why did they wanted to do this and the girls answered that they wanted to accumulate virtues for their father so that he would be eligible for the Phowa from Rinpoche after his death. Rinpoche told the girls, ”Since you know that I can conduct Phowa for your father, why are you crying? Your father can still come to here to do prostrations, he was even allowed to participate in the retreat in India. You must know that your father had defamed his guru in the past. Strictly speaking, people who have defamed their guru should not be allowed to retreat practice. However, it is very lonely after a person’s death, in order to let him get used to the feeling of loneliness, I gave him the chance to recite mantras in solitude. Rinpoche then asked the girls to tell their father that besides eating and sleeping, he should do nothing but chanting mani mantra. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told them the thing that most concerns their father was me, his wife. Rinpoche said that they should take care of me no matter what happens, and also asked them to inform me what he told them. All three of us should change our attitude, if we continued to wallow in sorrow, Rinpoche would not permit my daughters to do full prostrations during the regular puja and not until we had changed our minds and attitudes could we beg for it again.

Two days after our daughters meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Ming-Hua Chen went to Rinpoche to ask for the most auspicious Phowa. Rinpoche asked him, “How much more time have you been living?” He answered, “Several months.” Rinpoche then said, “The purpose of giving you this extra time is not so you can enjoy your family life. You should see yourself as already dead; eat when you can eat, get some rest if you’re tired, and spend the rest of the time chanting mantra continuously—stop caring about other things.” Rinpoche also said, “That I agree to conduct Phowa for you doesn’t mean you can obtain the Phowa at the moment of your death, it all depends on the merits you’ve accumulated in past lives.” Rinpoche then offered Ming-Hua’s offerings at the monastery of Phagmodrupa to make Buddhist statues. What good deeds had Ming-hua Chen done to be given such a wonderful chance to accumulate merit. Gratitude to the most venerable vajra — Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche!

During the regular puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche kept talking about death and how impermanent life is, hoping that Ming-hua could to slough off his attachment to the world. As his physical condition went from bad to worse, Ming-hua became incapable of going out to prostrate to Rinpoche at the jewelry company on Yi-shen Road. So our daughters did prostrations and made offerings in his place. Our Dharma brothers also volunteered to come to our home to help him make it out to the jewelry company after they realized our situation. Many thanks for the help of Dharma brothers Ron-Jun Wang and Ru-Jing Chou! This was the last time that Ming-Hua Chen prostrated before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Rinpoche asked him, “Are you ready? After the puja this Sunday,” Rinpoche continued, “Don’t feel afraid, but just keep contemplating my appearance. You don’t have to worry about your wife, it’s for her own good that I scolded her. And neither do you have to feel afraid for your children, I’ll keep my eye on them for you. Do you understand?” At that moment, Ming-Hua Chen opened up his eyes and nodded his head. After he went home, he fell into a coma.

The next day, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told me to go home. Later Dharma brother Wei told me that Rinpoche had asked me take Ming-hua Chen to hospital where are room and funeral arrangements had already been prepared.

After falling into a coma, we didn’t insert a catheter or gastric tube, but only attached an intravenous drip for water and dextrose supply. On the morning of his death on October 3, as his breath got weaker and weaker, my daughters and I kept reciting mantras and contemplating Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s appearance and blessing. And I thought that since the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja was on October 4 and Rinpoche was in a retreat in preparation for this great puja, I hoped Rinpoche could first get some needed rest before helping Ming-Hua.

At 9:58 the next morning, Ming-hua’s heart which had been beating slower and slower, finally came to a stop. I informed Dharma brothers of the jewellery company, but still continued to recite mantras and contemplate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s appearance. At around 11 o’clock, when contemplating Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he suddenly became as big as the Amitabha Buddha on the mandala, there was no difference between Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the Buddha, to bestow blessings over his head.

As Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blessed Ming-Hua Chen, Ming-Hua lips slowly turned pink, his mouth closed up, and the blood stasis that covered his body also slowly faded. We knew that these were the auspicious signs that Ming-hua he had received the auspicious blessing of Phowa, but we still chanted mantras until one o’clock in the afternoon. At this time, some Dharma brothers came into the ward. We all touched his forehead which was cold, however his Crown Chakra felt warm and slightly concave, while there was some reddish liquid at the corner of his mouth. While waiting for the funeral, because of the blessing and merits of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, I could, in peace, go to work. There was no sorrow in my mind, I just hoped Ming-hua would find the Pure Land. When we asked the date of Ming-hua’s funeral, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told us that the 22nd or 23rd of the lunar calendar would be nice, but the 22nd of the lunar calendar was the Double Ten Day and the funeral home wasn’t open, so we chose the 23rd as the date of the funeral. Yet, the 23rd happened to be Sunday and there was only a small hall available from 10-12am. However, since this was the time of the regular Sunday puja, we hoped we could move up the time of the funeral. Our hopes were realized and everything went smoothly. In order not to let the friends and the Dharma brothers who were going to attend the funeral get wet in the rain, we prayed to the vajra guru and the Protector Achi to not let it rain on the day of the funeral. Our friends were surprised because there truly was very little rain during the two-hour funeral. To my friends I said it was all due blessing and merits of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. After Ming-hua’s body was cremated, his skull emerged in one piece and there was a small round hole on the top of his head. The staff of the crematorium told me they had heard that this hole is where the spirit of the dead leaves the body. I told them that this hole is the sign that the auspicious Phowa that Rinpoche conducted was a success. We took care not to delay too, so we could get back in time for the Sunday puja.

The funeral company also gave us one third saving in the funeral expense because I was a disciple of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center—another gift from the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. On the path of learning the Buddist doctrine we’re lead, step by step, by the most venerable Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. When we make a mistake, Rinpoche instructs us; when we’re in misery, Rinpoche saves us; and when we’re suffering from illness, Rinpoche cures us. Only moving in accordance with the most venerable Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can the greatest blessing be received; only by putting into practice the doctrine of Buddhism can we be responsible for what we’ve been given by our guru, the Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas. I offer my gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas! I am also thankful for the two hundred Dharma brothers who attended the funeral of Ming-Hua Chen. After the funeral, some friends called me and I told them the miracles I had seen at the funeral. Tibetan Buddhism being taught under the vajra guru is especially distinguished, it leaves people with only memories of their loved ones, but no sorrow; helps people with serious sickness die in dignified manner without any pain and all their facilities intact. Isn’t this what we all what at the end? All of it is due to the merits given by the most venerable Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to suffering sentient beings everywhere. Gratitude to the most venerable Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche!

Yun-hua Hu, a disciple
October, 2009

Updated on January 26, 2010