Wednesday, November 17, 2010
First, I would like to express my appreciation to those who joined the mind-training tour to Ipoh (13-14 Nov 2010). Without you, I think the exceptional phenomenon (a special rainbow appeared above the clouds, unlike the usual rainbows seen after rain) would not have occurred. Next, I would like to thank Dharma Sister YM for helping to arrange the two-day trip, making it possible for everyone to participate in the event.
As a matter of fact, every mind-training tour was truly beyond my control. I have repeated this many times that regardless of the length of each trip or its location, it was arranged by the holy beings in advance where they would decide on the details; I am merely a seed on the chessboard being moved around.
The merits accumulated from every mind-training tour are simply inconceivable! I could only say this: in the Diamond Sutra, it is said that “When you were given all the jewels in the world and you offered them all to the Buddha, you would accumulate immeasurable merits.” However, the merits accumulated from a mind-training tour will far exceed the merits you gained from offering all your jewels to the Buddha. It is simply inconceivable! To me, it cannot be measured in monetary terms, and it far exceeds the value of time, possessions etc in this world. You will know it one day, even if you disagree now, that the merits generated from participating in a mind-training tour cannot be measured against your money, time or even your life! It is said in some of the sutras that when you just lift your head up to take a glance at an image of Avalokitesvara, you will have already planted a seed of immeasurable merits in you.
The Indian friends who came forward to receive my blessing during the inauguration ceremony including the rest had their problems. Guru Rinpoche gave everyone blessing and removed their problems, including alleviating their illnesses. That was the power of Guru Rinpoche! I was just an instrument through which He gave the blessing. Everyone who received the blessing had a seed of enlightenment planted in him, and had his karmic obscuration eradicated to some extent. I tried my best to help them eradicate their karmic obscuration, and grant them fortune, and hopefully they will understand the true meaning of practice in future.
I overheard Droma telling Alice over the phone that there were about 200 participants on the day. News travelled fast in the neighbourhood on free vegetarian meals being offered. In the end, lots of people came. Initially, I expected only a few coming forward to seek blessing but the queue gradually grew longer and longer. Konde Rinpoche said to me, “It must be tough for you.” Actually, it was Guru Rinpoche who gave the blessing, not me. It was simply inconceivable!
Even our visit to the Guan Di Temple was arranged beyond my control. Before the trip, one of my colleagues sent me an email informing me about a famous and historical Guan Di Temple in Ipoh. When the old temple was demolished, the statue of Guan Gong was lost until a medium came forward to convey the message that Guan Gong wanted to make a comeback. Finally, they found the statue in one of the committee members’ house. They converted a private house into a new temple and brought back all the statues of Guan Gong, including the historical one that is blackened by smoke over the years. Because it has been very responsive to those coming forward to seek help, it has attracted lots of believers coming forward to seek help, including the locals and foreigners from Singapore, after the temple opened for barely half a year. Its interesting story was also reported in the local newspapers. When I read the news in Singapore, I knew that I must come to the temple and give it blessing, in order to help Guan Gong help more people.
When we arrived at the Guan Di Temple, Guan Gong appeared before me to seek blessing. The abbot of the temple chatted with us for quite awhile, telling us many stories related to the temple. Initially, he thought we were just an ordinary group of devotees no different from the rest who came to just pay respect and seek help. A special rainbow appeared in the sky after the blessing was given to the temple. The rainbow kept changing in shapes and colours, and finally appeared like a Buddha Eye. The abbot was clearly moved by the unusual phenomenon.
There was a terrifying thunder storm at night, with continuous lightning strikes that were very deafening which lasted quite awhile. Actually, that was the manifestation of the Dharma protectors. It was just inconceivable! They welcomed our arrival and thanked us for helping the sentient beings there.
The new Nyingma Dzogchen centre is located quite far from Ipoh. The committee members told me that they could not imagine the speed at which the centre was built. Someone donated a piece of land at first, but the rest of the funds were still inadequate; they were short of everything. Later, Dharma Sister YM suggested to KH to invite me to grace the inauguration ceremony, and I casually accepted the suggestion. When they heard that I would be visiting the centre upon its completion, they worked fast and furious, and strangely, funds started flowing in including the helpers.
Due to my heavy work commitment in Oct – Nov, I could not squeeze out my time to go visit the centre. So, I told them that I could not fulfil my promise. When they heard that I could not make the trip, they felt despaired. Suddenly, the funds stopped flowing in too. They thought maybe the time was not ripe yet for the centre to be built. Later, I told them that I could now make the trip, they immediately felt the resumption of the power of blessing. They felt confident when they saw the image of Guru Rinpoche enshrined in the temple which seemed to be smiling all the time. I told them that the power of blessing from Guru Rinpoche was hardly found in most places, but the presence of Guru Rinpoche at their centre was clearly felt. They said they knew it and they had taken pictures of mythical orbs surrounding the whole centre, which were similar to those orbs pictures we took in India. How inconceivable! These orbs were actually the manifestation of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who came forward to protect them, for the people here cherish this centre. All the deity statues in the centre looked joyful - they are happy!
When the committee members heard that I would be coming to the centre, they felt encouraged and the funds automatically continued to flow in once again. Everything was completed within a very tight schedule. They said that they just could not imagine it - it must be the help from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas or it could not possibly have happened that way. They were full of joy! I told them, “You should practise well, for this is an exceptional centre planned by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Make good use of it for your practice.”
Conflicts and confrontations among members of a centre are inevitable because of the negative propensities in everyone. As long as everyone starts practicing mind-training, all problems can be resolved over time. Do not succumb to these conflicts and confrontations. Practice well and you will be able to succeed in your cultivation. I commended their great efforts and I felt touched by their faith in the practice. I hope to see everyone practice mind-training. No one could succeed in cultivation immediately. So, do it gradually, and one day you will succeed in the training. When that happens, you will change your current perceptions and develop a positive mind set that will make you a joyful person. Finally, you will feel joyful regadless of whether tehre is rainbow in the sky or not, whether there is an inauguration ceremony or not - it does not matter! You will feel joyful everyday, you will love to practice, and no matter what happens, it just does not matter!
Konde Rinpoche said that he could give dharma discourses in Tibetan but not Chinese. He said that I had given many teachings including the Seven Verses of Mind Training, Preliminary Teachings of Dzogchen, and many other sutras. He would like to see me teach at the Kuala Kangsar centre, teaching the students about mind-training. I do wish that when the time is right, after my retirement, I could spend more time there. I don’t wish to build temples because I feel that a true temple is in my heart. I think, one day, when I wish to build a temple, I am confident that money and land will not be an issue. Actually, someone offered a piece of land to Konde Rinpoche in India for temple building; I don’t think there will be any issue.
Danzen Daji Rinpoche told me, “You should go full time into the propagation of the Dharma. As long as you are willing to do so, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will render their support.” To me, temple building is a non-issue. There will be people willing to donate money and land for temple building – no problem. The only concern is "What is the correct way of practice?" "How can one succeed in his cultivation, eradicating his negative propensities, lust, hatred and ignorance?" With or without a temple is immaterial. One could succeed in his cultivation with or without a temple. How you train and eradicate your negative propensities and purify your mind, speech and action, eradicate your lust, hatred and ignorance are far more important. I am not particularly interested in temple building. When the time is right, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will certainly help and the Dharma protectors will help to push things forward; it could happen very quickly - no problem! Om Mani Padme Hom.
By Acho Rinpoche on 20 Nov 2010
More Pictures: http://picasaweb.google.com/BuddhaEyeAlbum/Ipoh2010Malaysia#
Address of Centre: Lot.1669, Plot N, Kawasan Perusahaan, Jalan Perak Textile, 33000 Kuala Kangsar, Perak. Darul Ridzuan, Malaysia.