Monday, December 17, 2012

The Practice of Dzogchen (Great Perfection)

There are too many Buddhists who claim to be a Buddhist merely in name, who took refuge in the Three Jewels (Buddha, Dharma and Sangha) and their Vajra Masters, and who did their daily prayers. Hwoever, do they do their inner reflection daily? And how many actually apply the teachings in their daily activities? Very few do, including the ordained ones. It is difficult for the ordained ones to be a true practitioner, let alone the layman Buddhists; it is even more difficult for the latter. When you live in a community, you will need to deal with your fellow colleagues in your work and others outside of your work. At home, you will need to deal with your family members including your parents, spouse and children. Are you able to apply your “compassion” in all situations when your self interest takes the priority? 

Let’s not talk about something too far-fetched. Just read the many books written by Grand Master – they are simply awesome! You would say, “Wow! That’s just super natural power out of this world!” In actual fact, only Grand Master has such extraordinary power in this world today, doing what others can’t. Grand Master gave the key teachings on the attainment of Buddhahood at an assembly in Indonesia on “The Kalachakra Vajra Chain Empowerment”. The teachings reveal the extreme difficulty of the path to enlightenment. 

How does one realize his true nature and attain the state of Buddhahood? Even when one cognizes his true nature, how should he continue to practice until he reaches the state of full enlightenment – Buddhahood? First, in order to realize your true nature, you will need to accomplish your Second Stage of Empowerment. When you manage to clear your inner channels including the Three Channels, Five Chakras and Seven Chakras, your vital energy will enter your inner central channel naturally. Next, the vital fluid from your crown level will descend downward and your inner heat will rise upward –converging at your heart centre, at the point of which, the Eight Petalled Lotus in your heart chakra will automatically “blossom”. Next, you will see the appearance of a luminous drop within your heart chakra. The luminous drop will illuminate within your central channel, and you have accomplished the Luminous Drop Attainment. The luminous drop is just your Buddha Nature. At this stage, you have truly attained the State of Realization. However, this is just the first step in the State of Realization. There is hardly anyone who could reach this state of attainment.

Indeed, very few can achieve this state of attainment. This is what Grand Master is trying to tell us – one needs to train vigorously in order to accomplish the Second Stage of Empowerment and the State of Realization. This kind of training is not a mere intellectual understanding of the teachings. It may sound easier but in reality, it is very tough! If one is unable to attain the State of Realization, how will he be able to attain the State of Buddhahood? It is simply impossible!

In the past, the 16th Karmapa said, “In my several decades of practice, I have not come across anyone who has accomplished the Second Stage of Empowerment!” You see - it is so difficult for one to even accomplish the Second Stage of Empowerment. It is very difficult for one to accomplish the practice of Inner Channels and Drop. So, the attainment of the Second Stage of Empowerment and the State of Realization are actually very difficult tasks. We can understand them intellectually but to truly attain the practice is almost an impossible task!

Besides, the attainment of the State of Realization takes time - ten months, three years… A layman Buddhist cannot afford the luxury of time, only the ordained ones can. It requires you to put aside your works, family and everything else in life in order to enter a long retreat deep in the mountain. If you still need a job and need to take care of your family, you will continue to face the challenges created by your work and your family. How can you ever attain the state of Buddhahood? Impossible! Unless you become an ordained practitioner, you can’t afford the time. Grand Master is telling the layman practitioners - “It is difficult!” 

Grand Master said when he found the reincarnations of the Big Lotus Bodhisattva, he would want them to be ordained immediately. Only the ordained ones can afford to enter a retreat that will last ten months, three years etc. Three months, 100 days, plus the three years are equivalent to the Three Years -Three Month - Three Days Retreat in Vajrayana Buddhism. They are the same. It is also telling you that, in order to accomplish your practice, you will need to enter a retreat for a vigorous training. 

Of course, ordination is good. However, if you do not wish to be ordained, you must at least let go of your family and all things in life, and enter a retreat deep in the mountain. You have only one job to do then – practice. If you cannot do so and choose to remain a layman Buddhist who has a spouse and children, you will continue to work hard for money and your house, and be bogged down by all sorts of anxieties in life. It is already a big challenge for you to maintain your daily practice, let alone the attainment of Buddhahood.

When one attains the State of Realization and cognizes his own Buddha Nature, how will he be able to attain the true state of Buddhahood? According to Grand master, one needs to practice for another ten months and expand the size of the luminous drop until it transforms into a Vajra Chain. After accomplishing the Vajra Chain Practice, he needs to practice for another three years and transform the Vajra Chain into a Vajra Screen. After the accomplishment of the Vajra Screen Practice, he will become one with the Buddha and accomplish the state of full enlightenment, thus attaining Buddhahood in a single lifetime.

One may be able to understand this explanation at an intellectual level. Taoism has a similar explanation where it borrows an analogy of a pregnancy that has reached the 10th month when a fetus is born and has grow in size. So, the attainment of Buddhahood takes a long time, through vigorous training. 

Let’s not think too far-fetched. Let’s not think about the highest level of attainment. Instead, we should be pragmatic and revisit the fundamentals– how should we break free from our daily anxieties? This is actually a more important point to consider. In fact, when our Six Aggregates (eye, ear, nose, tongue, body and mind) come into contact with the external world (form, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought), it will generate only three types of responses. First, the likes - you like what you see, like what you hear, like what you smell, like what you think etc. Second, the dislikes - you dislike what you see, dislike what you hear, dislike what you smell, dislike what you think etc. Third, the indifference - you feel neutral and indifferent about what you see, hear, smell etc. In summary, there are only three types of responses generated from our Six Aggregates when they come into contact with the external world.

Likes – why do you like something? Ask ourselves this question, “What makes you like something?” Look deep into your sense of liking for a certain object. You will realize that your liking is actually based on your “lust”. Lust engenders a sense of liking. No lust - no liking, right? Your lust for a beautify form will create a sense of liking in you when you see a beautify person. Your lust for good food will create a sense of liking in you when you see an inviting dish. Your lust for a pleasant sound will create a sense of liking in you when you hear a pleasant piece of music. Your lust for fame will make you feel happy when you receive a complement from others. 

Now, why do you dislike something? You dislike what you see, hear, smell etc. Why? It is caused by the sense of “hatred” in you. The sense of hatred in you will create a sense of dislike in you. So, when someone criticizes you, you will feel unhappy. 

The third type of response is a neutral one where you neither like nor dislike something. Why? It is caused by the sense of “ignorance” in you. When you understand nothing, know nothing and care about nothing – this is ignorance. 

All our mental activities, be it likes, dislikes or indifference, are engendered by our Three Poisons of lust, hatred and ignorance. We got mired in the mud of the Three Poison day-in, day-out. If we want to break free from this mire, we must make an effort to constantly observe and be aware of the mental activities within us and the three types of responses generated when our Six Aggregates come into contact with the external world. A practitioner not only needs to practice the Bodhicitta (an aspiration to achieve enlightenment for the benefits of self and others), he must also practice a free mind (无念). When we accomplish the state of a free mind, we will break free of the three types of response. 

A “free mind”, asmentioned by Grand Master, is just “Emptiness” in Vajrayana Buddhism. In another word, regardless of what happens in this world, you will not feel attached and will not create a sense of liking, disliking, no-liking or no-disliking.  Whatever happens around you, your mind will remain completely calm and unperturbed. It does not mean that you become a dumb fool not knowing anything. On the contrary, you are fully aware of the situation but your mind remains calm, lucid and clear; you are free of the thoughts of likes or dislikes.

You need to attain this state of practice – no matter what happens around you in your life, you should not feel a sense of like or dislike in any situation; just let them dissolve and vanished into emptiness. If you continue to practice this way, you will improve in your mental strengths and stability; you will then be able to enter a state of mental calmness more easily because you already break free of the three types of responses. Gradually, you will improve in your spiritual cultivation. 

This is how we should do our practice. Do it in our daily activities including walking, resting, sitting and lying down. Constantly do our self reflection, observe and be aware of our inner state of being – our mental activities. This is a more effective method to treat our anxieties. This is just the practice of Dzogchen! When we do our practice this way, we do not need to do the practice of Inner Channels And Luminous Drop, the Second Stage of Empowerment, ten months, three years etc. Such practices are based on “form”, which require a long retreat and the training of our inner channels, vital energy and luminous drop under close a supervision of a qualified master in order to avoid damaging mistakes and for a successful outcome. 

The practice of Dzogchen does not require the training of the inner channels, vital energy and luminous drop. Neither does it have a time constraint. We only need to apply the practice in our daily activities and transcend our ordinary state of mind - let them appear in our life but vanished into the state of emptiness. I personally find this method more effective and direct.

A teaching given by Acho Rinpoche on 6 Apr 2012


Friday, November 30, 2012

Meditation in Daily Activities

Meditation and wisdom are equally crucial in our practice. How should we apply them in our daily activities then?

Meditation is not confined to just sitting meditation. Although we do need to start with sitting meditation initially, when we reach an advanced stage of practice, we can do our meditation in our daily activities,  during walking, resting, sitting and lying down, with our our mind remaining in a state of calmness at all times. Our mind will not be perturbed by what others say about us, how others look at us or anything that happens around us - our mind will continue to remain in a state of calmness.

Venerable Jinkong related his personal experience on his studying under Master Zhangjia in Taiwan for a period of three years in the past. He said, Master Zhanjiang had never slackened in his practice – he would just stare at a distance three feet away and recite the mantra quietly in his heart. When his students came to him, he did not even look at them but continued staring at the space three feet away from him. He seldom gave teachings and he would not provide immediate answers to questions raised by his students. He would let his students wait in idle. Why? He was actually waiting for his students to calm their minds. For sentient beings are mentally active all the times and fail to listen to the party talking to them. Most of the times, we are preoccupied with our own thoughts about what we want to say next and therefore fail to listen to the other party talking to us.

Master Zhangjia was indeed a wise man. He would not say anything but just sat there in silence. He would just remain in his state of meditation for half an hour or even one to two hours. You would feel very uneasy then but when you have the least idea of what you ought to do, he would grasp this moment and start talking at the point when your mind is free of thoughts. He needed only to say one sentence and it got right into your Alaya Consciousness. That was his method of telling you the salient points! There were many who became awaken by his teachings through such method,through a simple but yet very effective teaching.

Master Zhangjia was one of the most important reincarnated masters of Tibetan Buddhism during his time. However, he remained rigorous in his training, shutting his six sensual organs and reciting mantra quietly in his heart at all times. Although he did not choose to go into a retreat, he had truly attained the state of meditation in his daily activities – this is the highest level of meditation. On the contrary, if you have gone into a retreat deep in a mountain for ten to twenty years and yet still succumb to the worldly temptations, your retreat is a waste of time! Maybe we don’t have the right conditions to go into a retreat deep in the mountain, but we could meditate where we are, right here. –As the saying goes - “An accompished practitioer does his retreat in a city.” We could remain in a state of calmness while doing our  daily works, talking and walking. Regardless of what activities we get ourselves involved in, our mind can remain in a state of calmness. Such is the highest level of meditation!

When you have attained a higher state of meditation, your innate wisdom will naturally reveal itself. Regardless of what you do, your innate wisdom will naturally manifest in you. Even teachings in a certain sutras (doctrines) that you have never come across in the past will somehow automatically appear in your mind. I don’t have the opportunity of a monastic training like the Khenpos (Buddhist scholars). However, when I was asked a certain question, the answers would automatically appear right within my mind. My verifications against the sutras would later turn out to be correct – that was what Sakyamuni Buddha said too! Wisdom manifests naturally from the state of meditation. So, we should learn to meditate in our daily activities.

Before attaining the state of full enlightenment, the sense of hatred in us can be easily triggered. So, we should learn to treat it with tolerance. However, when you have attained a state free of antagonistic views of good and bad, right and wrong etc., you don’t even need the teaching of tolerance anymore. You will naturally view everyone as a Buddha or Bodhisattva and every place a Pureland. At this stage, you will no longer need to deliberately do any meditation and you don’t need any other forms of training. For whatever you do and say will naturally comply with the teachings of the Buddha – you have attained the state of enlightenment! So, although we do not have the right conditions to go into a retreat deep in the mountain, we can apply the teachings in our daily life. Do meditations in our daily activities – this will be a more effective and speedy path to enlightenment. Do contemplate over this point and internalize the teaching.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

X-Tour: Bhutan - A Mind Training Tour in the Country of Happiness

Picture 1: Aura of Guru Padmasambhava, at Tiger Nest
Picture 2: Aura radiated from the body of Acho Rinpoche, at Changyangkha.
Picture 3: Aura enlarged and ascended upward, showering everyone present, at Changyangkha.

I found it difficult to pen my thoughts for this preface because this Bhutan tour was full of spiritual responses, the magnitude of which was simply overwhelming.
37 of us, the Vajrayana practitioners, embarked yet on another extraordinary tour on 5 Oct 2012, heading towards the happiest country in the world – Bhutan. This was a holy trip that straddled the present and past lives.

We chose to transit in Bangkok, Thailand and stayed there for one night. Of course, there is already a direct flight from Singapore to Bhutan being introduced recently. When we touched down in Bangkok, we went for our dinner at a restaurant famous for its transvestites (lady boys) performance. However, we nearly missed out dinner. Reason being, immediately upon our arrival, the numerous deceased transvestites stranded in the nether world came forward to seek help for their soul deliverance. It took nearly an hour for the matter to be settled, after giving them blessing and persuasions to leave.
On the following morning, we were already onboard a Bhutan national airline flight, Druk Air, touching down in the valley of Bhutan. The view of the Himalayan range was simply astonishing! The airplane was so close to the hills that both its wings seemed to be crashing into the valley!  No wonder only Druk Air pilots are capable of flying the airplanes into Bhutan. The runway was so short! And there was only one airplane in the entire airport  – ours.
We set off for Thimphu, the capital city of Bhutan, immediately after touching down. We really enjoyed the scenic landscape throughout the journey decorated by green mountain ranges, turquoise rivers and golden padi fields. We stopped at a certain location that was very picturesque and I heard the group exclaiming almost simultaneously, “Is this Shangrila?” 
We visited the builder of Buddha Dordenma. He was the vice Chief Monk of Bhutan, H.E Trizin Tsering Rinpoche. He shared with us the reason for building the world’s biggest bronze Buddha statue. Actually, the building of this Buddha statue was already prophesized in the 8th century, that it would bring great benefits to the sentient beings in the universe. When Trizin Rinpoche discussed the plan with the Chief Monk of Bhutan, Je Khenpo Truku Jigme Choeda, the latter entrusted this sacred duty to the former. Soon after, there were several Singaporean Buddhists who came forward to offer their help, in both efforts and kind. The statue was built within a short span of just two years. Trizin Rinpoche told us that the consecration ceremony was scheduled in three years time, and he invited us to the ceremony. We requested him to do a prayer for the group on the spot. We also mentioned our affinity with the statue. On the last night before our departure from Bhutan, Joanne, the organizer of our Bhutan tour, had a dream. In her dream, she saw our group attending the 20th anniversary celebration of the Buddha statue!
On the second day of our arrival in Thimphu, we visited the most renowned temple – Changyangkha Monastery. We saw many parents bringing their new-borns to the monastery for blessing by the abbot. We met the abbot, Tshjeh Rim Richen Rinpoche, and did a Avalokitesvara prayer with him. He told us that the Thousand Armed Avalokitesvara statue enshrined in the monastery was brought into Bhutan from China in the 12th century. This statue actually spoke to the 16th Karmapa when he visited the monastery. When I offered a khatta to Richen Rinpoche at the courtyard of the monastery, Dharma Brother Piu took a picture of us. Surprisingly, three of the pictures turned out to be extraordinary. The first picture showed a rainbow aura radiated from my body. The second picture showed that the rainbow light ascended to the space above, showering everyone present. The third showed a big blue light ball appearing above my head.
On the same night, we had dinner with the uncle of the lady boss who arranged our tour, Om. Her uncle was H.E Tsering Penjor Rinpoche. Penjor Rinpoche was the 8th lineage holder of Powa in Drukpa Kagyud. He often travelled to Taiwan to teach. Dharma Brother Shao had a vision of his lineage masters surrounding him, which was a testimony of his high level of spiritual attainment. I showed him the three pictures taken with Richen Rinpoche. He said only a practitioner who has attained a true state of liberation would be able to demonstrate such extraordinary feat. No wonder, when we did a Guru Padmasambhava prayer with him at night, he offered the centre seat to me. He also gave everyone in our group two big precious mani pills each.
After one long day of bumpy roads, most of us ended up feeling nausea and giddy. Finally, we arrived in Gantey. On the following morning, we visited Gantey Gompa of Nyingma lineage. It was built on the west side of the black mountain in Gantey. This monatery was built in commemoration of a great Terton (hidden treasure discoverer). When we entered a place that enshrined a stupa within the monastery, Dharma Sister Zhen suddenly broke down and cried, requesting my blessing. She seemed to be singing in Bhutanese language. After which, it was the turn of Dharma Sister Karen to cry. She said both her arms felt numb, trembling and cold, completely out of her control. When I finally said, “It’s ok now!” her strange sensations disappeared instantaneously. Dharma Sister Qiong and Wong were also crying and asking for blessing. At this juncture, H.E Konde Rinpoche suddenly requested me to bless him with the vajra held in my hand; everyone present was clearly surprised by his action. Finally, everyone knelt down and requested my blessing. So, I transformed myself into Vajradhara and blessed everyone present. When the blessing was over, Dharma Sister Irene collapsed on the floor, complaining about many spiritual beings entering her body requesting blessing too…….
We cut through a vast padi field, making our way to the famous Divine Mad Man temple. We met many Thailand Buddhists on the way. When we reached the temple, I held the unusual religious implements of the Divine Mad Man, Lama Drukpa Khenley, in my hand. At that juncture, H.E Konde Rinpoche knelt before me again, requesting my blessing. I gave my blessing to everyone present, using the religious implements of the Divine Mad Man, including an arrow and a bow, and two other pieces of wooden male organs. After we left the temple, we went to the house of one of our tour guides, Sonam SP. It was the house of his wife. He requested me to do a Green Tara prayer. Green Tara descended from space, blessing everyone and delivered the soul of the past seven generations of his wife’s ancestors. When we left the house, on our way down the staircase, there was another group of spiritual beings coming forward to seek my blessing…….
Joanne kept asking our Bhutanese tour guides about the “Look Like Me” statue of Guru Padmasambhava, from the second day onwards after our arrival in Bhutan. However, the tour guides told her that there was no such temple. Few years ago, Jampel Lama, a Bhutanese monk came to Singapore and gave her a picture of that statue. He said that statue was believed to be a look-alike of Guru Padmasambhava, hence the name.  When we arrived at the hotel in Paro, we went to a temple that was believed to be the oldest in Bhutan, which was not in our original itineraries. It was built in the 7th century for the purpose of subduing a big demon in the Himalaya range. It was one of the 108 temples built then. This one sits on the left knee of the demon. There is another one sitting on its heart – the Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet. There is a replica of this temple built by the 3rd Queen of Bhutan, sitting just next to the original one. When we entered the temple, we immediately saw the statue of H.H Dilgo Kyentse being enshrined in the left wing of the temple. His relics were enshrined in a stupa in the right wing. And his throne was being preserved too within the temple, from which he gave the teachings of The Great Perfection (Dzongchen). A big statue of Guru Padsambhava was being enshrined right in the centre of this temple. It was just the “Look Like Me” statue of Guru Padmasambhava! There was another “Look Like Me” statue of Guru Padmasambhava  in Tibet. Both of them were made from the same piece of material. When Ma Yum La (my wife) paid her respect to Guru Padmasambhava by touching his big foot with her forehead, she felt the movements of Guru Padmasambhava……
The last stop of our mind-training tour was the most sacred place of Bhutan – the Tiger Nest! Two years ago, Dharma Sister Bing had a dream. In her dream, she and I came to a temple that was built on a cliff. When we entered the temple, she saw the abbot of the temple giving up his throne and requesting me to sit on it. When we arrived at Tiger Nest, she suddenly realized that that was the temple in her dream! There was a wonderful and inconceivable connection between the Tiger Nest and Acho Rinpoche indeed. The rest of the group ascended the Tiger Nest before I did. When I made my way to the last step to the Tiger Nest, they started chanting my heart mantra. At this juncture, Nelso had a vision of a huge ceremonial crown of Guru Padmasambhva descending from space, resting nicely on my head. Dharma Brother Shao had a vision of Guru Padmasambhva welcoming us and offering a khatta to me and the rest of the group. He also offered a five-buddha crown to everyone in the group. At Tiger Nest, members of the group took many pictures of auras using both the cameras and video cameras. When we offered one thousand butter lamps at the sacred cave where Yeshe Tsogyal transformed herself into a tiger, there were many pictures of beautiful auras taken at this location.
At our night prayer on the last night in Paro, there were seven (auspicious number) Bhutanese joining us including the lady boss of the travel agency, tour guides and drivers. They received empowerments from me too. When H.E Konde Rinpoche made his closing speech, he told the group that although he had met many rinpoches in the past who also presided over prayers and transmitted the teachings to the numerous sentient beings, he had never come across an experience that was so shocking and the power of blessing so great! He realized that our tours are not ordinary tours but a mind-training tour that could truly benefit the numerous sentient beings in the Six Realms of Existence (samsara). He wished to join us for our mind-training tours every time in future……
Of course, Konde Rinpoche had many auspicious dreams during the tour. Besides, there were other members of the group who either found her son, brother or husband (who waited a long time in the nether world for the opportunity to be delivered) respectively of their past lives in Bhutan. There was also a member who dreamt of being chased after by a thousand ghosts and was so frightened that he decided to follow me closely even when I went to the toilets, haha…… There were simply too many extraordinary encounters to be mentioned in this preface. I would like to ask the readers to wait patiently for our new X-Tour book to be published. I will guarantee you that you will be seeing lots of wonderful and extraordinary pictures of aura etc, and a glimpse of the secrets of the cyclic existence……

Acho Rinpoche
14 Oct 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Singapore Bedok Reservoir - Soul Deliverance

The Singapore Bedok Reservoir became the talk of town since Jun 2011 till Feb 2012, after a series of suicides occurring in the reservoir where 8 lives were claimed. The whole nation was shaken. A group of grass root leaders invited representatives from the 8 largest religious groups to perform a soul deliverance ritual on site, but on the very same day, another body floated on the surface of the water. There was a feeling of fear in the air. On 11 Mar 2012, Acho Rinpoche came to the reservoir with a few of his students; quietly, he performed a soul deliverance ritual for the deceased. The ritual subsequently unveiled, yet again, the inconceivable power of the Dharma, and the state of existence of the Six Realms yet to be understood by many. ~~ By The Editor

Acho Rinpoche:

Last night I mentioned about the many strange things that happened at the Bedok Reservoir recently, and the person-in-charge requested me to help bless the place. Today, a few people followed me to the reservoir and I will let them do their sharings. First, I would like to invite Dharma Sister Bing to do her sharing because she felt very sick after our prayer last night. Could you tell us about how you feel last night and how do you feel today?

Dharma Sister Bing:

Last night after prayer, I suddenly felt that my head had become weightless and that I could not feel its existence. It was a very strange feeling. I could still touch my body and my head, but I just could not feel my head. I could not go home because of that funny feeling – it was like a balloon that is so easily blown away the moment it is being touched. I did my blood test recently and there was no sign of low blood pressure, and my health has been in pink all the while, neither did I skip my meals. I used to go home early after the prayers but I just could not make it home last night. So, I decided to stay on longer and ate something. I thought I would feel better after eating but nothing had changed. Finally, I thought I must go home and so I told Acho Rinpoche about my situation. He gave me a special blessing, after which I regained some strength and could finally took a taxi home. 

I continued to “float” when I reached home. When I lied down in my bed, suddenly I felt extremely dizzy and the world swirled around me – it was a very terrible experience! I told my head, “I will ignore you now! I am so exhausted and I must go to sleep! I need to follow Acho Rinpoche to Bedok Reservoir tomorrow.” I fell asleep and woke up the following morning. I felt slightly better in the morning but the floating sensation still persisted – it only disappeared after 1pm today.

We arrived at the Bedok Reservoir around 3pm. When I closed my eyes and recited the Heart Sutra, I had a vision of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. He appeared in the space before us, and I “saw” a very huge bright light, flashing like camera flashes. It was a very pure and bright light of white color, continuously flashing and blessing the sentient beings. The light remained visible during our recitation of the High King Sutra. After the soul deliverance rite, I felt completely normal and comfortable again.

I am not sure if this has to do with what I did about 1 to 2 years ago? After participating in a Smoke Offering Ceremony here, I took some of the holy water and poured them into the Bedok Rerservoir, with the intent to share it with the sentient beings there – after all, it is a public place. I recited the heart mantra of Acho Rinpoche while pouring the holy water into the reservoir. I am not sure if these 2 events were related. 

Dharma Brother Shao:

After I got the notice from Dharma Sister Sim on our planned visit to the Bedok Reservoir 3 days ago, I volunteered to fold 7 paper lotuses to be used in the soul deliverance rite. After working on it for the second day, I left some of the finished products in my living room and went to sleep. I had a dream where I saw an old woman sleeping right next to me – giving me a shock! I woke up from my dream but slept soon after, as I did not bother about it. However, I had a second dream next. In my dream, I found myself in the living room, and I saw a few children intruding into my house with their mother. I tried to stop them but they just refused to leave. I understood the meaning of the dream – the spiritual beings were quick in knowing our intent and they came even before the paper lotuses were done. 

I went along with Acho Rinpoche and few others to the Bedok Reservoir today. It was a very powerful soul deliverance rite. When Acho Rinpoche was performing the rite, I just stood there and made my own observation. I meditated and “entered” the water – the water was dark and murky. There was an invisible force of suction that perpetually entrapped the sentient beings within the water – it was where their negative karmas entangled together. I saw an invisible layer of mist above the surface of the water slowly ascending upward – they were the spiritual beings. In the space above my right hand side, Bodisattva Avalokitesvara appeared, emitting the brightest white light on the surface of the water, bringing them away.

Acho Rinpoche:

So, you can now correlate the events: About 2 years ago, Dharma Sister Bing poured the holy water into the reservoir and recited my heart mantra at the same time, thus sowing the seed of affinity and causing the maturity of the condition for a soul deliverance rite to be performed today. Her feelings of “no head, dizziness etc’ were the exact feelings of the sentient beings stranded in the water. It was telling you about their terrible feelings of floating, rocking and great discomfort. They lived constantly in pain. Imagine if a person is to live in such pain every moment, what will it be like? It will be very terrible! We, the practitioners, should be compassionate and help to free them from the sufferings. Your constant feelings of floating, headlessness and dizziness are a mere reflection of their sufferings. It was very fortunate that you acted out of compassion and bodhicitta to help them, and that created the condition for the soul deliverance rite today.

The representatives from the 8 main religious groups were invited to help in vain. One of my colleagues subsequently requested my help because he is in-charged now. In the past, he used to seek my help instantaneously whenever he encountered some problems. One of his staff personally saw a foreign worker walking into the water and his body floated on the surface of the water on the following day. (The foreign worker continued to walk into the water despite being stopped by the staff. The worker even told the staff to go ahead and report it to the police.) His staff felt very bad, for the worker just died like that. Several of his staff also saw other inauspicious events happening around the place. So, my colleague requested me to go some time ago but I was too busy with my work that I could only go today. And I asked Dharma Sister Bing to come along.

Well, you have heard the stories about what happened today. Today is the birthday of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara. So, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara was the one who would bring them away. We just recited the Heart Sutra to let them hear the teachings, and let them know the emptiness of this world – there is nothing worth being attached to, they should quickly take a rebirth and leave this human world as well as the spiritual world. They know full well the state of sufferings in that space, and only the power of the Buddha and Bodhisattva could help free them. It was exactly as told by Dharma Sister Bing, Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara showered upon them the bright light and brought them away. Finally, when the paper lotuses were burnt, we saw a big piece of ash rising into space when there was no wind blowing at the time – it was meant to tell us that these sentient beings were delivered by Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara.

In the evening, when we went for dinner, we saw a double rainbows appearing in the sky. Rainbow appearing after a soul deliverance rite is an auspicious sign that tells us “These sentient beings were already delivered by the Buddha and Bodhisattva to the Western Blissful Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha.” Take a look at the sufferings of these sentient beings trapped in the water. Our Dharma Sister Bing only suffered for a very short period of time and she could not take it. Could one imagine the level of pain when one has to face such situation everyday? So, I am telling everyone now – DO NOT COMMIT SUICIDE! Once a person commits suicide, he will perpetually live in that state of suffering at the point of death. He can only be freed by a Buddha or Bodhisattva. I would like to thank Dharma Sister Bing for her act of compassion and bodhicitta, creating a good spiritual connection between the sentient beings and the Dharma. 

A discourse given by Acho Rinpoche on 11 Mar 2012