948: The Temple’s Progress Report (2)

The General Director’s report:

Thanks to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, I have an extremely auspicious and wonderful piece of news to report to you all today: The business initiation permit for the temple’s construction has come through!

On January 11th, Rinpoche had specially instructed that from January 26th onward, we would be able to make group visits every Saturday to the construction site. As was reported previously, more than four hundred or so honorable believers and disciples have already signed up for these tours. Now it is official: Continuing from that date forward, every Saturday, we may visit the Glorious Jewel Temple’s construction site in the township of Zaoqiao in Miaoli County. Moreover, all of the tour bus’s expenses are being funded by our guru. We are extremely grateful to Rinpoche! Further details will be given by Dharma Brother Zhu Shuaijun. Thank you.

Dharma Brother Zhu Shuaijun’s Report:

My fellow Dharma brothers and honorable believers, I would like to share some good news with you:

1. The Miaoli County government has granted its formal approval (officially known as “business initiation plan authorization”) to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s construction of the Glorious Jewel Temple.

His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had chosen January 23rd to formally begin construction. First, a soil and water conservation project had to be completed, after which construction of the temple’s buildings could begin.

2. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has given the following instructions:

(1) Beginning on January 26th, 2019 (Saturday), a tour bus is departing from the Buddhist Center every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. for visits to the temple in Zaoqiao Township, Miaoli County. Disciples and believers who have given support to the temple are all welcome to take part. The visits will only be canceled in the event of heavy rain or other bad weather.

(2) The bus is expected to arrive by 11:00 a.m. the same day. After hearing Dharma Brother Zhou give accounts of the hard work, painstaking efforts, and principles His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has put into the temple construction project, issues to do with fundraising and expenses, future funding need, and how sentient beings have benefited from the project, visitors may eat at nearby restaurants and purchase farming products from the locals at shops in Longsheng Village before heading back to Taipei. The round-trip bus fare is being covered by Rinpoche.

3. The following is a report on the efforts His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has put into the temple construction project, as well as matters to do with fundraising and expenses:

(1) Due to Rinpoche’s aspiration in relieving the suffering of sentient beings and his disciples, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, thirty-seventh throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu Order, instructed him to construct his own Glorious Jewel Temple so as to maintain Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s auspicious Dharma lineage for the sake of his disciples and all sentient beings.

(2) Ideals and concepts for the temple’s construction

  • The temple will serve a simple function.
    With a development area of less than 2 hectares, and 0.7 hectares of that devoted to buildings, the temple’s construction and operation will have minimal impact on the environment. It primarily will provide monastics and others with space to conduct retreats and practice, and will support around thirty permanent residents. The goal is for the main temple to be able to hold 2,000 people, and for a blessing puja to be held there every month or two. No accommodation, beverages, or food will be provided, and ordinarily a maximum of 100 visitors will be allowed per day.
  • It will be in harmony with the land and environment.
    The Glorious Jewel Temple will preserve the surrounding forest so as to reduce its impact on the local organisms’ habitat. The temple, retreat huts, and other buildings and facilities will be built in a valley on level ground and use existing roads for access in and out, thereby minimizing the need to excavate and disturb the soil. By keeping the current ridgeline intact, the temple buildings will be hidden in the valley from view.
  • It will preserve the natural ecology.
    While on temple grounds, people must comply with certain regulations: No destroying bee hives, no harming animals including birds and insects, no deliberate breaking or chopping of trees and their branches, no spraying of pesticides and insecticides, no use of chemical fertilizers, no “life-release” activities, no carrying of any food containing meat, and no recreation activities. All large trees growing on the grounds and animals living in the pond will temporarily be moved and nurtured elsewhere, to be brought back at a later date.
  • Constraints will be placed on various types of pollution.
    There will be no large incense burner for believers to burn incense or paper money in, thereby reducing air pollution.

    There will be no large kitchens to serve food to believers participating in pujas, thereby reducing the amount of oil and smoke produced.

    There will be no vendors, shops, or accommodation allowed; all such commercial activity will be prohibited, so as to reduce the amount of noise pollution.

    After being treated, graywater will be recycled for use in irrigation or discharged, so as to reduce water pollution.

    After dispersing at the ends of pujas, attendees will not be allowed to eat meals or spend the night, in order to prevent pollution.

  • Green, energy-efficient transportation will be employed.
    No parking lots will be provided on temple grounds. To get to the temple, believers and disciples participating in pujas or engaging in everyday worship may either connect to public transport at the Miaoli high-speed railway station or walk.

    All fossil-fuel-burning vehicles will be prohibited on temple grounds. Electric cars will be available to transport the elderly and frail, pregnant women, and anyone with limited mobility.

    Green energy is being purchased from Taipower to conform to the goal of saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.

  • Local traffic will be unhindered.
    In order to keep the current roads system unobstructed and reduce any burden on local residents and their environment, on puja days, volunteers and security guards will be mobilized to direct traffic on major sections of nearby roads.
  • The temple will contribute to the local economy.
    After pujas at the temple let out, the attendees will not be allowed to remain on the grounds to eat or stay the night.

    No commercial goods may be sold on temple grounds, and no refreshments will be provided, nor will there be any accommodation or parking available. Those who are in need of restaurants may take advantage of local dining and accommodation venues, and may also pay villagers to make use of their private open spaces for temporary parking.

  • (3) For the construction of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Glorious Jewel Temple, no funds have been raised from advertising or promotions, nor has the guru done anything to cater to public taste. One time, a wealthy person promised to give a donation provided that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche agreed to go out to eat with him and tell his fortune, but Rinpoche refused. Our guru has quietly conducted all the temple’s fundraising in the most difficult, stringent of manners, always upholding Buddhist principles.

    (4) Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cherishes all donations given by the public, not taking a single cent from the Foundation’s funds for his personal use. Moreover, the Foundation only employs volunteers, and keeps administrative costs as low as possible. In addition, all purchases from external sources must be scrutinized very carefully by the volunteers to prevent any needless waste. The principles behind Rinpoche’s construction of the temple must be also communicated to those companies so that they understand that the money they are being paid was the hard-earned money of people aspiring to support the temple; they should therefore be asked to do their level best to offer fair prices. All procurement and construction projects must be put out for formal tender and subject to strict review, and will then be submitted to the board of directors for final decision. The public can rest assured that everything will be strictly above board.

    4. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche treats all sentient beings equally and compassionately:

    (1) When the timber used to craft the Four Great Heavenly Kings statues was shipped to the factory, Rinpoche specially took the time bright and early one morning to perform a Smoke Offering at Daxi, helping those sentient beings that were frightened or harmed during the cutting and carving process.

    (2) On the construction site, there was a small pond containing fish, crayfish, turtles, and other organisms; all had to be temporarily relocated while construction was under way, to be moved back afterward. Rinpoche gave specific instructions to Dharma Brother Lai to write down all of the sentient beings in the pond on the list of names to be liberated in the Chod; only after the puja had been performed were they to be moved. In this pond there was a golden carp that was extremely auspicious and special, and Dharma Brother Zhou will explain the reasons why when he gives an introduction later during the tour. In addition, 8,800 tilapia will be temporarily cared for at a local ecological farm. Very concerned that its owner might try to sell them at market, the guru specifically forbade this practice.

    (3) Previously, Dharma Brother Lin had shared a story that late one night, while Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was on his way home after traveling back to Taiwan from abroad, the guru saw a sick person who had fallen on the side of the road. Rinpoche is seventy-two-years old, and this was the middle of a winter’s night, but still, despite being travel-weary and exhausted, he looked after this person until the police arrived. Rinpoche never mentions occurrences such as this; it was reported by a disciple who had seen it happen with his own eyes. The guru treats all sentient beings this way, and is even more caring when it comes to his disciples. We must believe that everything Rinpoche does is for the benefit of sentient beings including his disciples. Therefore, I urge you all to give your utmost support and offerings and raise funds for the temple. Thank you, all honorable believers and Dharma brothers.

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    Updated on April 7, 2019