508: Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche Saved Me after I’d Scored a Three on the Glasgow Coma Scale

I am grateful for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings, which enabled me to survive the stroke I had on October 4th of last year (2011) and gave me more time on Earth to practice Buddhism.

I’d had chronically high blood pressure, and in early October, my systolic blood pressure got up to 180. Not doing as I was told to take antihypertensive medications, while asleep, I suffered a stroke, which triggered vomiting. I sat next to the toilet, throwing up continuously, unable to move.

My extreme physical discomfort gave me a sense of how horrifying it is to be so close to death. I therefore kept wanting apologize to the guru and my karmic creditors: Because I had not listened to the guru, it was too late to do some things, and for this I am truly sorry. At the time, because I felt very weak after having vomited so much, I had to lean on my wife to get to the sofa outside the bathroom, and there I lay down for a rest. After falling asleep, I lost consciousness.

I at the time was like a cartridge in the chamber of a gun; my consciousness was in the bullet’s position, and behind me, filling the propellant case, I could see a transparent liquid, which abruptly turned black and opaque as though it were on the verge of detonating. Just as it was about to go off, I suddenly heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche say, “Huang Tengyi, come down”—and then I came down. I am so grateful to H.E. Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for always teaching us the importance of listening to him; in this experience of life and death, it gave me a profound realization that every word spoken by the guru can preserve our wisdom life for practicing Buddhism!

Because everything happened so fast, I did not have time to think; all I could do was to continuously thank the guru afterward for saving me. I also wrote down this experience in the hope that it could provide everyone with something to refer to in times of need. Later, I went to the Buddhist Center in my wheelchair to thank Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for blessing me and allowing me to stay alive. In my greed, I implored the guru to bless both my eyes, which could not see clearly. Rinpoche said, “Huang Tengyi, you are really greedy! Did you know that?” Immediately after hearing this, repentance welled up in my heart, and tears began streaming down my face. I reported to the guru that I knew I had been wrong, and that I truly should not have asked. To my surprise, no sooner did I wipe my tears dry than my sight was restored in both eyes—genuinely restored in both of them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is absolutely amazing!

I am so grateful for the guru’s blessings and teachings. Here I would like to repent: Ten years ago, I had high blood pressure and suffered a stroke which left half of my body paralyzed and put me in urgent care at the hospital. After I was discharged, during my first audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he told me that a dog was behind me, following me. At the time I did not believe him, but later I recalled having eaten dog meat back when I was in military service. I also once hit a dog in my company’s vehicle while on a business trip to Nantou to administer disaster relief. When I was little, my family lived near Xinzhuang. I was playing out in the vacant land in front of a factory, plucking the middle legs off of crickets with my bare hands and then throwing them straight into a pond. Also, in 1999, because a doctor had diagnosed our unborn baby with Mediterranean anemia, my wife and I induced labor when the fetus was only five months old. Moreover, I have created a lot of karma from killing in this lifetime from all the sentient beings I have eaten.

On top of all of this, several years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately informed my family members that my maternal grandfather had accumulated a great deal of karma from killing, and that for this reason I—one of two brothers in my family—would have problems, so I should be careful. Only after returning home that day and asking my elders about it did I learn that my maternal grandfather’s business had thrived when he was a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine in Jakarta, Indonesia, and that because of the abortion herbs he prescribed, he had terminated many lives. These lifetimes of evil had given my family a history of hereditary diabetes and hypertension, although among my siblings and me, our situations varied. This, too, verified what Rinpoche had frequently said from the Dharma throne: Despite having the same family background, siblings each have their own individual karmic retribution stemming from lifetimes of karma. I am so grateful for Rinpoche’s blessings and teachings, which have given me opportunities to repay my debt in this lifetime.

Two or three years before I took refuge, because I was under too much pressure, I was constantly in and out of the hospital emergency room. Despite the physical and mental wellbeing I obtained due to having Rinpoche’s blessings to lean on after I took refuge, I did not listen or practice diligently in accordance with his teachings, nor did I make timely offerings in accordance with the Dharma. Sometimes I spent my offering money on photographic equipment, thinking that constituted an offering, too; I thought it was okay, since I volunteered as a photographer for the Center. Thus, lifetimes of accumulated evil karma finally caused a blood vessel in my brain to burst. As my wife describes it, soon after I was wheeled out of the operating room and into the intensive care unit to recover from this cerebral hemorrhage, she saw my eyes—wide-open, but without even a glint of consciousness in my gaze, looking as if I’d had my wits scared out of me. This makes me recall how, more than ten years previously, my mom fell into a coma and was hospitalized; later, in the early stages of being in a vegetative state, this was what she looked like. I am grateful to the guru for allowing me more time to chant the Buddha’s name, listen to the Dharma CD, “Repentance,” and to praise the guru’s merits. I sincerely hope that everyone will form the habit of listening, because listening to what the guru says is the right thing to do. I thank Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his blessings, and the Dharma brothers for their the support, encouragement, and care during this difficult time.

Respectfully written by Disciple Huang Tengyi on February 12, 2012.
Updated on August 6, 2012.

▲ A photograph of the six tubes intubation Huang Tengyi underwent while in a coma.

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