Saturday, September 21, 2013

An Extra-ordinary Mind Training Tour: A 9-Day Tour of Ping Yao, Mtn. Wutai and Cliff Hanging Temple in Shanxi Province, China

(Dragon Rock at Qingliang Temple)
 (Mother-Buddha Cave)
(Buddha Eye & Wisdom Sword)
This 9-day tour to Ping Yao, Mtn. Wutai and Cliff Hanging Temple came as a surprise to us as it was not within our original plan. First, we just came back from the Ancient City of Qilu in Shandong, China in May this year. Next, Dharma Sister Chan suddenly took a one-year no pay leave from her work and was planning to make her 4th pilgrimage tour to Mtn. Wutai in early August, and she invited me along. So, we set off again for China. It was expected to be a very small group but it turned out to be a 40-strong group. On 31th August, we took a flight to China from Singapore, meeting the rest of the group from Shandong Province in Taiyuan who travelled by train separately.

We visited an ancient city – Ping Yao on our first day, staying overnight at Yong Sheng Yuan Inn within the ancient city. On the following day, we took a good look at the ancient city and made our final stop at the office and bedroom of the county official. The upper floor of the bedroom was actually a shrine worshiping fox spirit. Actually, the ancient city of Ping Yao was the only place in China where the official seal of the county official was guarded by a fox spirit. It was indeed an eye-opener. A physical seal was being guarded by a spiritual being – how strange it was! Anyway, we paid our respect to the fox spirit nevertheless and returned to our inn, ready to set off for Mtn. Wutai. Surprisingly, a fox spirit suddenly spoke through Dharma Sister Zhen and requested my blessing; it left soon after receiving my blessing. And we finally set off for Mtn. Wutai.  

On the 3rd morning, Dharma Sister Qing woke up from her dream and “saw” a fox tail resting comfortably over her body. The fox spirit actually followed us to Mtn. Wutai and requested to follow us back to Singapore to continue practicing with us. I told Dharma Sister Qing that she should learn to sing “The White Fox” made famous by Chen Rui because I believe she would be able to express the passion of a thousand-year old fox spirit very well, ha ha!

A sun halo appeared at the moment our coach entered the area of Mtn.Wutai.  Bodhisattva Manjushri and His large entourage of Bodhisattvas and Dharma Protectors came forward to welcome us. There is a spiritual bond between the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Vajra Protectors with the X-Tour!

On the first night at Mtn. Wutai, a young couple took refuge in me. When they knelt before me, two loud thunders were heard in the sky. Dharma Brother Shao casually made a remark, “Who on earth would play with fireworks at this hour?”  Immediately, a heavy downpour ensued. I told the group that the thunders were set off by the dragons and the rain was a welcoming gesture of mountain-cleansing prior to receiving important guests. On the following day, Dharma Brother Shao had a vision of The Fifth Prince of Dragon in his meditation. The latter told him that the two thunders last night were his creation. Actually, all the immortals, Buddhas, gods and Dharma Protectors on Mtn. Wutai were already waiting for our arrival! Namo Amitabha Buddha!

We visited the Naluoyan Grutto in Eastern Peak and had a vision of many Dzogchen masters practicing in that spiritual space including the late H.H Jigme Puntsok.

We also visited the Western Peak where there were several sacred sites associated with Guru Padmasambhava. We met the abbot of Xilai Temple, Venerable Miao Qing, and his student, Venerable  Miao Yi. We felt a strong karmic connection with one another, and Venerable Miao Yi learnt from me the mudra and mantra of Guru Padmasambhava. Finally, I gave an empowerment to the group using the Eight Merits Water originated from a local spring.

When we next arrived at Qingliang Temple (Cooling Temple), I realized that the place was indeed very cooling.  The entire dragon family appeared to welcome us. We climbed up the mystical Dragon Rock and did a practice above the rock. We could feel the inconceivable blessing power of the rock. The Dragon Rock is where the dragons will take a rest after performing their duties of giving rain to earth; the rock can re-energize their bodies. We took many photographs of this rock, with rainbow lights seen appearing around my body and the rock beneath my feet. One of the pictures showed our book “Bhutan Tour” turning into a piece of white light when I was handing it over to a lama from Wuming Buddhist School of Seda. It was surrounded by rainbow light too. Actually, the “Bhutan Tour” already became a hit in the spiritual world.

Our original plan was to visit the Cliff Hanging Temple as our last stop. I was there 13 years ago and I was planning for a re-visit. Unfortunately, there was a land slide affecting that area and we had to cancel our plan. Instead, we went to Avalokitesvara Cave. There were a few Chinese Buddhists doing a full length prostration in the main hall then, so we decided to skip that place and continued our way to the cave. We came across another Fifth Dragon Prince Temple half-way up the hill. We entered the temple to pay our respect to Bodhisattva Fifth Prince. On our way out, we noticed a small rainbow arc reflecting on the steps outside the temple. Initially, we thought it was just a reflection from a window. However, it suddenly turned into a shape of a Buddha Eye, with a Wisdom Sword of Bodhisattva Manjushri appearing right in the center. I knelt before the rainbow eye and Wisdom Sword to pay my homage. Soon after, several Tibetan lamas and local Chinese Buddhists followed suite – they also knelt before the rainbow to pay their homage. After that, several Chinese Buddhists also knelt before me to pay their respect and I offered them our X-tour books in return.

During the entire mind training tour of Mtn. Wutai, our group became the focal point of the place, attracting the attention of the people wherever we went. There were many local Buddhists who followed us in chanting the mantras and circumambulating the stupas.

Dharma Brother Hong from Australia had a vision of Long Eye Browed Arahat coming forward to welcome our arrival. He also had a vision of the late Chairman Mao. Many members of our group had different levels of spiritual response, especially the Shandong members who just took refuge in me recently who have since developed a strong faith in the teaching of Samsara (cyclic existence). The numerous manifestations of the spiritual world were simply awe-inspiring and inconceivable……
Acho Rinpoche
16 Sep 2013