Saturday, July 18, 2015



Tonight we celebrated the birthday of Bodhisattva Veda. Veda will be the last Buddha appearing in our present bhadrakalpa. He vows to protect the Buddha Dharma and will only attain Buddhahood after the rest of the Buddhas in this kalpa have done so. He will be known as Rudita Buddha by then.
Acho Rinpoche stressed the need of being diligent in our practice. He cited the example of Grand Master who continues to practise with vigour till now, without missing a single day of prayer. He even does his prayer on the plane too when he is travelling abroad. Acho Rinpoche said he did not think that he has any supernatural power but things usually worked out well because of the blessing of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who helped him because of his diligence in practice. He does not think that doing a sadhana session per day is adequate to help one attain enlightenment. An ordained monk should do at least four sadhana sessions a day (morning, noon, evening, night). When a practitioner is diligent in his practice, he will not forget about the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, when he is overwhelmed by the many activities in life. If a practitioner does not practise with vigour, he will eventually lose himself to the many temptations in life, including his work, financial gains, family and enjoyment etc.
Acho Rinpoche has been practicing for more than 30 years by now and he continues to do at least four to five rounds of sadhana session every day (morning, before lunch, after lunch, evening, night). Grand Master also stressed the importance of practicing the individual paramitas of the Six Paramitas (Six Perfections) with vigour, in order to be able to attain enlightenment.
In addition, there is a precept that must be observed by a Vajrayanist – one must not mingle around with ordinary people who indulge in their secular activities. Ordinary people are only concerned about secular enjoyment and their conducts will continue to make one stranded in the samsara (cyclic existence) perpetually. A practitioner will be influenced by his ordinary friends who are non-practitioners and become slack in his practice that will only lead him to the downfall. Practice is likened to a boat moving upstream that it will certainly be washed downstream if it does not maintain its pace moving upstream.
It is very important for a practitioner to participate in a group prayer too. Practising alone will make it hard for a practitioner to keep up his momentum of practising with vigour. Over time, he will just become slack in his practice and will finally give it all up. Group prayers will help the participants motivate one another and keep up the momentum of practising with vigour. The power of blessing bestowed by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on a group prayer is very powerful and can help cleanse the negative karma of all the participants effectively, while engendering a sense of vigour in them.
Acho Rinpoche has not become slack in his practice after his retirement, as he continues to do a few rounds of sadhana sessions every day. He even continues doing his sadhana in his dream and could help other sentient beings during his sleep. Samsara is indeed a very scary phenomenon. When a person truly feels the pain of samsara, he will naturally practise with vigour in order to break free of samsara sooner. When a practitioner finally attains enlightenment, he may do anything that appears to be unrelated to a spiritual practice in order to help other sentient beings; but that will be a different story altogether.  
In gist, diligence is a very important quality of a practitioner. One will remember the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha when doing his sadhana, when his mind will not be distracted by the external environment which is both illusionary and transient in nature.    
Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 18-7-2015

The 10th Karmapa

The 10th Karmapa Chöying Dorje (1604–1674) 

Tonight Acho Rinpoche mentioned the titles of two of the Buddhas rarely heard of in the Age of Degeneration of the Dharma. These two Buddhas are only known to one or two out of a million. However, the merits generated from reciting their titles will be tremendous beyond our imagination.
The first is “Sun Moon Lamp Buddha”. One who recites his title will be deserving of offering by all sentient beings and their prostrations. When one recites the title of this Buddha, his body is no different from a precious stupa. The pure land of this Buddha is called “Pearl of the Northen World”.
The second is “Precious Body Buddha”. One who recites his title will be deserving of offering by all sentient beings in the Three Realms (Desire Realm, Form Realm and Formless Realm). The pure land of this Buddha is called “Helping All in Difficulties”.
Actually, we do recite the title of this Buddha after our group prayers every time. 
Acho Rinpoche mentioned about our impending tour to Yunan (China) in Aug 15. We will be visiting two very special places related to the Karma Kagyud: Cloud Pointing Temple and Vajrayogini Cave. The 10th Karmapa was the religious advisor to the King of Eastern Tibet during his time. When war broke out in Tibet, the 10th Karmapa fled Tibet and came to Northen Yunan. He did his retreat in the Vajrayogini Cave for several years.
Later, he travelled alone to Tibet in order to enthrone the reincarnation of his late root guru. He changed into an ordinary attire in order to enter Tibet quietly, unrecognized by anyone. However, his students prepared a horse for him and some jewels to pay for his travelling expenses. Unfortunately, the horse attracted the attention of the robbers and he was robbed of all his personal belongings including his horse. Even his clothing were robed and he was given a beggar’s cloth in return. The robbers did not know of his status and he did not bother about telling anyone who he was. Overnight, he transformed from a precious Buddhist Master revered by many into a nameless beggar. However, he was not bothered by such a change and continued his journey to Tibet. That was indeed an exceptional behavior demonstrated by an enlightened master!   
Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 16-Jul-15

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Key Teachings

(Acho Rinpoche visited Tsurphu Monastery in Tibet in Aug 2014)

Tonight Acho Rinpoche gave the following teachings after our group prayer.

1.       See Karmapa Through One’s Mind-eye

Some of the audience who attended a teaching by H.H Karmapa recently fought over their seats in order to be able to “see” Karmapa more clearly without having their views being blocked. Karmapa fell silent for quite a while after hearing such incident. Later, he broke his silence and said that he did a lot of preparations in order to bring the precious teachings to the students and he hoped that the audience would see him through their mind-eyes but not their naked eyes.  

2.       What is a Buddhist?

Gampopa ever explained the meaning of being a Buddhist and the reason for practising the teachings of the Buddha. He said, “Being a Buddhist means being prepared to face death at any moment. Not only that, one must face death without any regrets.” When we ponder upon death frequently, we will not be carried away by other trivial issues in life related to money, career, family etc., for the rest will be just meaningless when we die.

A Kadampa master said, “When we hear a teaching, apply it immediately.”

In the past, there was a westerner who was confronted by a serious illness and felt depressed. However, a Buthanese friend of his advised him to not take his illness seriously. Actually, the Buthanese people spend 5 minutes each day in the morning to ponder upon death. So, they cherish the present and do not worry about what will happen tomorrow. This is the secret of Buthanese’s Happiness Index. However, the westerners lack such oriental philosophy in their cultures.  

3.       Three Key Teachings

H.H Karmapa said, “Do not pick on the fault of others.” Acho Rinpoche said, a practitioner should just admire the strengths of others but not pick on their weaknesses, if he wants to break free of the cyclic existence of birth and death. In this world, the practice of the following three key teachings is far more superior then the recitation of mantras. They are:

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s my fault.”

“Please forgive me.”

A practitioner who practises these three key teachings frequently will reach the shore of enlightenment swiftly. So, we should learn to listen to the views of others and try to understand the views of others; we should not always insist on our own views.

Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 11-7-2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Teachings by H.H Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche

Acho Rinpoche said that human life is pre-determined by one’s karma. However, there are special practices that can truly help one prolong his life e.g. livestock liberations, Amitayu Prayer, or doing a special Taoist practice on the day of Cosmic Union of Heaven and Earth (on the 16th day of every 5th lunar month) and drinking the nectar of rain water collected on the same day which is blessed by the Buddha. Prolonging the longevity of one’s life is the most difficult task. As the Chinese saying goes, “When the Yama King wants to claim your life at midnight, how would you be able to live till dawn!”
Acho Rinpoche also shared the following teachings from H.H Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche:
Only a Buddha can tell how many times you have repeated your cyclic existence of births and deaths. And only a Buddha can tell the beginning of cyclic existence (samsara). It was mentioned in one of the sutras that if you could pile up all carcases of your past lives when you were born as an insect, they will reach the height taller than that of Mt Sumeru. If you could collect all the tears that you shed in your past lives out of sorrow, they will form an ocean larger than any oceans in the world.
All that you had done in your numerous past lives would only bring you sufferings but not any step closer to the state of liberation. Why? For everything that you have done so far, is either a harmful action or otherwise meaningless action.
All sentient beings continue to be preoccupied by the various activities at all times. Mankind is always busy competing with one another, shopping, trading, creating or destroying. Birds are always busy building nests, laying eggs and feeding their baby birds. Bees are always busy collecting nectars from flowers and making honey out of them. The rest of the animals are always busy eating, hunting, staying vigilant of their enemies and feeding their young ones. The more you do, the greater your responsibility becomes, and the harder it gets. At the end, the fruits of your labour will not even last longer than the drawing you did on the surface of water. When you finally recognise the falsity of all those meaningless activities, you will realise that –the practice of the Buddha Dharma is the only activity that is worth doing.
Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 3-7-2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Union of Heaven and Earth

A cosmic union between the Heaven and Earth occurs on the 16th day of the 5th lunar month every year. The cosmic union will somehow multiply the effect of a spiritual practice by numerous folds, helping a practitioner attain a swift spiritual advancement within a very short span of time. This is indeed a golden opportunity not to be missed!
Singapore has gone through a period of very dry weather lately. Any rain was unexpected during this period. However, a pleasant surprise came in the afternoon today – a sudden rainfall happened. Some of our fellow practitioners took this opportunity to collect some rain water, known as “water without root” (rain water collected mid-air before it touches the ground). Acho Rinpoche explained that such water, already charged by the cosmic union during this rare moment, can become even more powerful after being blessed by the Buddha. Such water can eradicate our negative karma, illnesses and increase our longevity. It was indeed a very rare occurrence.  
Tonight, Acho Rinpoche transmitted a very special practice taught by the Supreme Elder of Taoism personally, who manifested at the juncture of the cosmic union. This practice includes a special set of mudras and a mantra, signifying the initial formation of the universe and the birth of all living beings. This practice can help a practitioner gain the most powerful blessing of Taoism.
Sherap Galtsen Lama from the Mindrolling Monastery in Nepal also joined us in the practice with full concentration. To a Tibetan monk, this must be his first experience in learning a Taoism practice!
We are grateful to the founder of Taoism – the Supreme Elder of Taoism, who transmitted such a superior practice for the sake of helping the sentient beings and leading all onto the path of enlightenment.
Homage to Sun Moon Lamp Buddha!   
Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 1-7-2015