664: With Sincere Gratitude And Appreciation To An Extraordinary Guru
I have been a disciple of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for eight months. I have always been interested in Eastern culture and Buddhism even though I was raised in a very strict Roman Catholic family. I experienced a lot of confusion about Catholicism while growing up. This was obvious when I asked my brothers and sisters to cremate my body after I died and throw the ashes in the ocean near my home. When I began university about thirty five years ago I stopped going to church. I didn’t think I would ever practice any form of spirituality again in my life.
Now I believe that the reason I came to Taiwan was so I could meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and become a Buddhist. Five years ago I moved into a new apartment. Many strange things started happening in the apartment. The most disturbing thing was the feeling of a presence above me in my bathroom and a terrible odour I had smelled in my sister’s room just before she died of cancer. Sometimes I could smell this and other times I couldn’t. At that time I felt very scared and confused. Since meeting Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, I now know these disturbances are caused by my karmic debtors. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is the only one who can help them.
I am grateful to the disciple at the center for making it possible for me to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. When I met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the first time, I said, “I feel stuck in a past life”. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told me he had written a book and I should read it five times and come back and see him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also told me that Buddhism was about changing our own mind. Before I met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche I told the disciple who introduced me that I didn’t think I wanted to become a Buddhist and that I was just curious. I had often said I could never become a vegetarian. Many of my ideas changed after I met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
The thing that continually impresses me about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is his fairness and his ability to treat everyone equally .I have never met a person who always does what they say they will. During my childhood I have encountered many people who abused positions of power. As a result, I could never really trust anyone completely. Although I believed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was a true Master as soon as I met him, it took me time to fully surrender because of this deep rooted fear. One day I cried uncontrollably for many hours in the temple. In the past I could never cry in front of people because I felt too vulnerable .On the same day, I told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about my difficult childhood and how it still caused me a lot of trouble. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said it was over and gone. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also said ”let bygones, be bygones.” I believed him. It was like my life began again in that moment.
Every day, as a Buddhist is a better day for me. I know I am finally on the right path. I used to think I was a good person. Now I am beginning to see how strong my ego is and how I love to hide it. I see now that I have many flaws that I must change. I have been disrespectful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche by not being prepared and wasting his time. The most serious mistake I have made recently was to take the Dharma text from the temple after using it. This was a shocking mistake. This showed me I am not awake and mindful of the Three Jewels. This demonstrates a deep lack of respect. I am truly sorry for this mistake. How can I say I am a Buddhist if I am not aware of the Dharma? I must change these flaws in my character quickly.
I am still constantly impressed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s incredible life and modesty. I am so happy Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche allowed me to take refuge. I hope I never forget this precious opportunity I have been given. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is an extraordinary person, Guru and leader who I get to see and hear every week. I hope I can express my gratitude and appreciation more clearly by becoming a much better student. I am sorry my words fail to express the greatness of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Thank you, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
Written by Patricia MacDonald, Group 4, on May 18th, 2014
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Updated on April 6, 2016