599: A Precious, Incomparable Vajra Guru and His Incomparably Precious Book, Happiness and Suffering

“Praise be unto His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the Drikung Kagyu Lineage Gurus, Dharma Protector Achi, and Khenpo. Greetings, Dharma brothers and honored believers!

“I am Wu Zhenhui of Group Two. I took refuge on September 23rd of last year (2012), and am grateful to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for liberating my husband. I also would like to repent deeply for the various evil acts I have committed.

“Early on the morning of May 5th, I discovered my husband lying on the bed unconscious. When we got to the hospital, they gave him a CT scan, and found that the left hemisphere of his brain had severely hemorrhaged, causing damage to his brain stem. In addition, the right hemisphere of his brain had hydrocephalus, and he was only a 3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale. Even if they were to operate, they said, he would never wake up again. Soon thereafter, my husband was transferred to an intensive care ward, where he passed away early in the morning on May 11th. I am full of gratitude and praise for His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s unfathomable blessings and protection, which allowed my husband to pass away peacefully without having to suffer in the slightest.

“Soon after my husband’s ordeal, the compassionate Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who empathizes deeply with all suffering patients and the deceased, sent a message by way of a Dharma brother. In it the guru berated me, saying that despite my having taken refuge for eight months, I still did not have a deep belief in cause, effect, or impermanence. He said that my failure to bring my family members onto the Buddhist path sooner had made my husband have to suffer greatly. I repented before the mandala in our home. Prior to taking refuge in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche I had practiced Buddhism for nearly twenty years, yet had never encountered a meritorious guru worthy of following. I lived in a cycle of seeking good fortune, blessings, and trying to avoid mishaps. My life was constantly bobbing up and down. From the outside I appeared to be a disciple of the Buddha, but internally I was a selfish, despicable person whose every thought was about how I myself could benefit. In 1992 I had taken refuge in Exoteric Buddhism, and ten years ago I took refuge in Tibetan Buddhism. However, the Rinpoche there was often overseas, only returning to Taiwan once every year or two. His visits were always very short, so he always just held empowerment pujas for those with the proper causal conditions or pujas for eliminating hindrances. Only the major donors had more opportunities to get help from the Rinpoche. At the time I thought my regular recitation of the sutras and prayers, prostrations to the Buddha and participation in the pujas made me a Buddhist practitioner. Whenever I or a family member encountered any difficulties, I thought I could remove those obstacles simply by imploring for the Dharma to be performed. I feel very ashamed and repentant for having had those habits and that mindset, but I am also grateful for the good fortune, merits, causes, and conditions I accumulated back then which caused me to be lucky enough to later encounter such a respectable guru as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

At the 2011 Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately spent forty minutes making his way around the venue, continuously sprinkling purification blessings upon all 25,000 attendees.

“In 2011, my husband was diagnosed with an extremely severe atopic dermatitis. As usual, I implored my guru at the time to perform a Dharma for him, but his condition did not improve. During the Chinese New Year Holidays in 2012, his condition already made him unable to sleep at night, and sat on the edge of the bed scratching once every hour or two until his skin bled and the blisters ulcerated. He was in utter agony, both physically and psychologically. I am so grateful that His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche holds the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness each year to liberate countless sentient beings. In 2011, because my husband was not eating vegetarian, I registered our names but he was unable to participate, so I went by myself. I was very surprised the first time I saw this rigorous, compassionate Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who, endowed with great, awe-inspiring power, was performing the Dharma to help suffering sentient beings. I thought to myself that this Rinpoche was completely different from any I had ever seen. His sincerity and strictness caused immense admiration and respect to well up from deep within me.

“When I first set foot in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, I saw how solemn and magnificent it was, and met His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche—a practitioner who had achieved great attainment through diligent cultivation and strict observance of the precepts, tirelessly helping believers who had come seeking an audience with the guru. This master practitioner allowed believers to approach, and with direct, penetrating, precious Dharma, he eradicated their hindrances such as their conceit and defensiveness. My husband had worked as a researcher in a government agency for more than twenty years, so were it not for how badly he was suffering, it really would have been very difficult to get him to visit any Buddhist center. I remember at the time, when speaking about my husband’s skin condition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked, ‘How do you transform your body’s negative energy into positive energy?’ The guru then told my husband to go home and reflect upon this question. During the Lantern Festival last year (2012), my husband began to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s advice. He started eating vegetarian and participating in the monthly auspicious Chod Pujas. For more than a year, he only went a few times to the Chinese Medicine Clinic, and his skin completely cleared up. My husband had studied the sciences, so always placed great emphasis on proof. He was full of praise for the evidence of how the Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had saved him. After attending the Chod Pujas for more than a year, my husband was developing more and more faith in the guru. After returning home from the most recent Chod Puja, held on May 1st, my husband very happily told me that he had gotten to sit in the front row of the believers’ section.

“The first time my husband and I went together to seek an audience with His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, I asked the guru what direction I should take in my Buddhist practice. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche admonished me in a very loud voice: ‘Why are you practicing Buddhism? Whom are you learning from?’ Speechless, I was unable to reply. After that, I asked myself every day, Why am I practicing Buddhism? My husband and I went four weeks in a row, imploring for the opportunity to participate in the pujas and succeeded. When I finally made a firm resolution to take refuge, I felt like I was standing on a border separating life’s chaos from lucid clarity. My husband supported my taking refuge in such a rare practitioner as His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. I also urged my husband to do the same, but he was too busy with work and felt that participating in the pujas was sufficient. At the time I did not encourage him vigorously enough, and as a result, he missed the opportunity to follow His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, a Mahasattva who is no different from the Buddha. For this I repent deeply.

“My husband’s misfortune happened quite suddenly, but I did not panic. The first thing I did was to get a copy of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s auspicious book Happiness and Suffering and my prayer beads, and silently implore for the guru’s compassionate blessings and assistance. While faced with this major life trial, and during the days I stayed with my husband in the intensive care unit, right up until the end, I relied on my faith in His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and my need to repent. I whispered into my husband’s ear, constantly reminding him to visualize Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s magnificent Dharma appearance during the Chod Pujas and to follow the guru very closely. I also reminded my husband to repent to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and tell the guru he would practice in his footsteps very diligently. Meanwhile, I opened our copy of Happiness and Suffering to the page containing the Dharma photo of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and kept it next to my husband’s head.

“The precious Dharma teachings written in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s work, Happiness and Suffering, allowed me to courageously face the torment I was going through during every minute and every second of each day. I would start by imploring for the guru’s compassionate teachings, and then open the book. On page eighty-four I read, ‘…When suffering arises, we can pray to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for their protection and blessings! We also have the guru to rely on! As long as we wait patiently for our karmic retribution to finish maturing, all of these associated phenomena will eventually disappear. If we are able to practice generosity and patience, then we will already have taken steps toward cultivation and practice. Giving is not easy. Practicing patience is even more difficult.’ A few days later, I opened the book up to page 163, where it was written, ‘This is impermanence; whether good or bad, virtuous or evil, everything will increase, decrease, appear, and disappear, over and over. In our daily lives, therefore, we must constantly carry out good deeds, bring happiness to others, and understand causality. When pain and suffering arise, the power of good will emerge, and we will have wisdom and abilities to shoulder and face these burdens without being stricken by anxiety or confusion.’

Dr. Chen Zhonghua (Wu Zhenhui’s husband) was the former deputy director of the Institute of Earth Sciences at Taiwan’s Academia Sinica. He was an authority in volcanology and earth sciences.

“On May 10th, the hospital had issued a notice of terminal illness, and a little after 11:00 that evening, my husband’s blood pressure plummeted to about forty or fifty. However, his heartrate had increased to 120. Several times the doctors stared doubtfully at the device showing his vital signs, and then told me that aside from his brain problems, my husband was actually in very good physical shape. They reminded me to prepare myself mentally for the possibility that he would fall into a vegetative state. At the time I implored His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to compassionately save my husband, but I did not dare have any thoughts in mind. No matter what the outcome, I wanted to bravely bear and accept my karmic retribution. A little after midnight, the Dharma brother who was my group leader telephoned to remind me to accumulate good fortune for my husband. In truth, my husband had lived frugally his entire life, very seldom giving charities or making offerings; if he did not have any good fortune now, then he wouldn’t be able to pass away even if he wished it. After calming down and resolving to make a big offering on his behalf, I returned to the intensive care unit to discover that his blood pressure and heart rate had begun to gradually go down. This continued until finally, he passed away in peace. As the guru often says, giving alms and making offerings really is for our own benefit; I believe these words to be absolutely true. Had my husband fallen into a vegetative state, it actually would have marked the beginning of suffering for him and our family. I am grateful to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for meticulously blessing and protecting us.

“I deeply feel unable to repay His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the incomparably benevolent act of liberating my husband, as well as for the guru’s far-reaching compassion and great wisdom. I ordered one hundred and twenty copies of Happiness and Suffering and handed them out at my husband’s funeral as complimentary gifts, hoping and praying that even more people would have the causal condition to obtain help from the guru’s precious Dharma teachings. Our relatives flew in from America, Japan, and Hsinchu, and on the same day that my husband passed away (a Saturday), we all went together to the Buddhist Center to seek an audience with His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. After chanting mantras for a while, the guru said, “He felt regret for not having practiced Buddhism sooner. You had urged him to, but he kept putting it off.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went on to state that my husband had felt concerned about our son. I am so grateful, for only such a meritorious practitioner acting in accordance with the Dharma could alleviate the suffering of both the deceased and those of us still living.

“I wish to repent for the myriad evil acts I have committed over countless kalpas, as well as in this lifetime. I grew up in the south, and often helped my mother kill chickens, ducks, frogs, fish, loaches, catfish, snails, and so on, as well as household pests such as mice, spiders, ants, and cockroaches. I also killed and harmed minnows, tadpoles, leeches, and all sorts of bugs. When I was little, I ate snake flesh, drank snake soup, and killed many lives, and for this I repent. I regret having had an abortion due to being prideful and not wanting to bear a child out of wedlock. I repent for being willful, selfish, and self-righteous, for frequently quarrelling with my husband and accusing him of not understanding me, and for creating evil karma through sexual misconduct. When I was a child, I stole stationary and other materials from my uncle’s book store. After growing up and getting a job, I stole my company’s time for my own purposes; I lied about taxi fares, acted divisively toward my colleagues, and was often dissatisfied with them as well as with my friends and family. I harbored negative thoughts about them countless times, breaking the precepts against divisive speech and against harsh speech, and for this I repent. Despite being a vegetarian at the time, seven years ago, upon learning that I had breast cancer, I turned my back on cause and effect, not realizing I might die at any time, and instead followed other’s advice that I should nourish my body by eating meat. In this way I created even more evil karma, and for this, too, I repent. I often try to please everyone, casually agreeing to do things for people but not following through. Thus, I have broken the precept against false speech. There are so many karmic debts that I cannot repay them all. I repent!

Wu Zhenhui making prostrations with her daughter. Both have taken refuge.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to repent before His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Ever since taking refuge, I have not done a good job of taking care of my family members, both in body and mind. I’ve neither praised the guru for his merits and compassion nor fulfilled my duties as a disciple of the Buddha. By not getting my family members to practice Buddhism soon enough, I caused them to lose the opportunity to learn the Dharma from His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; moreover, I drained the guru’s energy by imploring him to liberate my husband.

“Now I would like to thank His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his incomparable compassion in having bestowed upon me the opportunity to take refuge in Buddhism, thus allowing me to gain a new understanding of causality as well as why I should be practicing. The guru made me begin to understand what it means to be liberated from life and death, and got me to return to square one and learn the basics of Buddhism all over again. I used to be a timid, cowardly person; my husband had been my greatest challenge in life, and I learned how to face, endure, and accept the heavy evil karma I myself have created. I have gained a profound understanding that having encountered such a rare and precious Vajra guru who is no different from the Buddha, I must rely on him completely and throw my entire being into my Buddhist practice. I vow to continue cultivating in the footsteps of His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche through lifetime after lifetime. I also would like to thank all of the Dharma brothers who have ever helped us.

“May His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enjoy good health, keep turning the Dharma wheel, and see success in all his Buddhist activities so that countless sentient beings will benefit and the Drikung Kagyu’s pure Dharma lineage will be spread far and wide to flourish forever!

Wu Zhenhui, Group 2

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Updated on September 16, 2016