Saturday, July 29, 2017

Special Guests from Bhutan

Ugyen Yangdon and Tshwang Zangmo from Bhutan, with Acho Rinpoche
The guests and Singapore students.
Acho Rinpoche was giving the precious Guru Rinpoche Sacred Pills to the students.
The precious Guru Rinpoche Sacred Pills blessed by H.H Namkai Nyingpo Rinpoche in his recent 3-year retreat.
Tonight, we have two special guests from Bhutan joining us for our Guru Rinpoche Practice – Ugyen Yangdon and Tshwang Zangmo (who are sisters). After the prayer, Acho Rinpoche told us about the strong karmic bond between him and Ugyen. In 2012, we visited Bhutan. Ugyen joined us for a dinner as she was an acquaintance of Konde Rinpoche. At the first meeting, Ugyen felt a sense of familiarity with Acho Rinpoche without knowing why. In 2016, we visited Sikkhim, to pay homage to H.H Dodrupchen. Ugyen entered Sikkim from Bhutan and joined us in the meeting with H.H Dodrupchen. After that, she continued to keep in touch with Acho Rinpoche closely through WeChat.
Acho Rinpoche recalled that when we were visiting Tiger Nest in Bhutan, Dharma Sister Ping told him that she dreamt of a past abbot of the Tiger Nest abdicating his throne to Acho Rinpoche. Acho Rinpoche told us that he had indeed reincarnated in Bhutan many times. So, his karmic bond with Bhutan is very strong and Ugyen was actually one of this students cum attendant in one of his past lives in Bhutan. He told us that he went back to Bhutan many times in his dream, blessing the sentient beings there. He also commended Ugyen for being a diligent practitioner. Ugyen took refuge in a few great Buddhist masters including H.H Chatral Rinpoche of Nepal, H.H Dodrupchen of Sikkhim and H.H Namkai Nyingpo of Bhutan. It was Ugyen who first introduced H.H Dodrupchen to Acho Rinpoche in the past. Buddhists in Singapore and Malaysia were more familiar with H.H Dudjum Rinpoche and H.H Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche in the past because their books were circulated in this region; Dudjum Rinpoche even had a seat in Singapore. The names of Chatral Rinpoche and Dodrupchen were unheard of then. In 2007, we visited Nepal. There was a Nawang Rinpoche joining us for the tour and he tried to introduce Acho Rinpoche to Chatral Rinpoche during the trip in vain because Chatral Rinpoche was already very advanced in age and not feeling well then. Later, Princess Roshana Lama from Nepal also mentioned Dodrupchen Rinpoche and Chatral Rinpoche to Acho Rinpoche, and provided greater details about the two great masters.
Next, Acho Rinpoche shared with us an article in the 209th book written by Grand Master. Grand Master mentioned that he is a “teacher of Rinpoches” because a few of his students have been recognized as the reincarnated masters of Tibetan Buddhism and were given the title of “Rinpoche”. He also mentioned that H.H Penor Rinpoche ever said that “Taiwan is the terminator of Rinpoches.” Reason being that the many Rinpoches living in India and Tibet are usually contended with the poor living conditions in these countries as they enjoyed the spiritual practice very much. However, they could quite easily lose their way in Taiwan, succumbing to the worldly temptations such as monetary wealth and sex. They are likened to a bird flying into a net and a fish hooked by a bait. There was an occasion when Grand Master toured the realm of hell and saw the Yama King busy working on the expansion of hell. The Yama King told him that recently there was a big group of Rinpoches falling into hell and he needed to expand the hell in order to accommodate them! Acho Rinpoche mentioned two great adepts in India including H.H Dodrupchen Rinpoche and the late H.H Chatral Rinpoche, with the latter banning his students from going to the countries in the east, especially Taiwan, for the propagation of the Buddhahdarma because he knew that they would fail the tests in those places. Acho Rinpoche also mentioned the third teacher of Ugyen, H.H Namkai Nyingpo Rinpoche, whom he got to know through Facebook because Ugyen often posted his news in this social media. Namkai Rinpoche is a very diligient practitioner who spent most of his time in retreat. This time, Ugyen brought some precious Guru Rinpoche Sacred Pills blessed by Namkai Rinpoche during his recent 3-year retreat. Such pills are very precious because they could cleanse the negative karma in the person who ate them.
Ugyen told us that she dreamed of Acho Rinpoche many times. Every time when she saw the image of Guru Rinpoche or recited the heart mantra of Guru Rinpoche, the face of Acho Rinpoche will somehow appear in her mind instead. She viewed Acho Rinpoche as Guru Rinpoche. She prayed for the longevity of Acho Rinpoche and his incessant enlightened activities to help the sentient beings. She was envious of the Singaporean students because we are so near Acho Rinpoche. However, Acho Rinpoche told us that, “Physical distance is actually immaterial. You only need to hold me in your heart. On the contrary, you could be just standing next to me and yet treat me like a shit, then I’m just a shit to you. When you view me as Guru Rinpoche, I am just Guru Rinpoche!” Acho Rinpoche told us about his meeting with Penlop Rinpoche from Bhutan who sought medical treatment in Singapore recently, whereby there was a hidden meaning in this meeting between the two of them. Ugyen has been sharing with her friends in Bhutan about Acho Rinpoche and his many inconceivable experiences. So, there is already a group of Bhutanese who know Acho Rinpoche. She also thanked Konde Rinpoche for introducing her to Acho Rinpoche. Lastly, Acho Rinpoche advised us that we should have learnt by now the true teaching of the Buddha, through the personal experience of Ugyen. However, we must apply the teaching in our daily lives, in order to attain enlightenment.
Acho Rinpoche also shared another article in the 259th book written by Grand Master, entitled “A Great Spiritual Master in Modern Times”.  There was a woman who was possessed by an animal spirit and an aborted baby spirit, who came to seek help from Grand Master. When Grand Master tried to bless her, she reacted violently against him. Finally, the enlightened beings advised Grand Master to just leave her alone and let her calm down on her own. This woman had lost her sleep for more than one and a half year by now, and she needed to rest fully in order to recover from her mental illness. What Grand Master was trying to tell the readers is that “One’s mind must be calm and composed at all times, in order to avoid being possessed by the spirits.” So, sufficient sleep and a calm mind are key to resolving such problem. Acho Rinpoche stressed that there are things that cannot be resolved even by a Buddha, as the effect of karma cannot be simply negated by supernatural power. One must eradicate his own negative karma through his personal practice, which is the ultimate solution to resolving the problem caused by his negative karma.  
Finally, Acho Rinpoche concluded the session by saying, “Ugyen has great faith in me, and I have great confidence in her too. I wish that she will continue to practise with vigor and help others in Bhutan when she is ready. I also hope that our X-Tour books on Sikkhim Tour and Bhutan Tour will be translated into English soon, to benefit the English readers in Bhutan and Sikkim. Recently, there was a Tibetan lama who posted in the Facebook saying that he liked one of our English books entitled 'Dancing in the Sky'. It is clear that our books can indeed help those who truly wish to practise the Buddhadharma. I hope that more of our books, especially the important ones, will be translated into English soon, to benefit the westerners who are keen to practise the Buddhadharma too. "

Reported by Sun-Moon KFS on 15-Jul-2017

Friday, July 28, 2017

The Practice of Great Perfection (Dzogchen)

 Konde Rinpoche gave his teachings to the group.
 Madam Lin with Konde Rinpoche and Acho Rinpoche.
 Ugyen and Tshwang from Bhutan
Our guests and Singapore students.
          Tonight, we did a Green Tara Prayer. H.E Konde Rinpoche of Nyingma Dzogchen lineage, Urgyen Yangdon and Tshwang Zangmo from Bhutan, and Madam Lin of Golden Travel Services joined us for our group prayer too. After the prayer, Konde Rinpoche gave us a discourse on the teachings. He told us that it takes a great deal of merits for one to be able to earn an opportunity to practise with Acho Rinpoche, so he hoped that we would cherish the presence of a precious master in Acho Rinpoche. He also told us that a human body is precious as it provides the key condition for one to practise the Buddhadharma. Compare with other schools of Buddhism, it takes a greater merit for one to earn an opportunity to practise the Vajrayana Buddhism as it provides the opportunity for a practitioner to attain Buddhahood in a single lifetime, including the attainment of a rainbow body.
          Konde Rinpoche shared with us that there was a Bigar Rinpoche from his village, a layman buddhist who did not seem to do much of his practice but spent most of his time on playing and riding his horse; he had many wives and kids too. In Mar 2017, he told his villagers that he would be passing away in three days. On the following day, he did a Guru Rinpoche Puja and transmitted the key teachings on securing a rebirth in Guru Rinpoche’s Pureland; there were about thirty thousand participants attending his teaching within a short notice. On the second day, he returned to the monastery in his hometown and did some prayers. On the third day, he gave instructions on what should be done after his passing. After that, he put on a monk robe, entered the state of samadhi and passed away. He told others not to touch his body in the next one week after he died. His body shrunk to a very small size and his skin turned fairer within a week after his passing (this is a sign of spiritual attainment of Dzogchen practice). Konde Rinpoche said that there were many accomplished Dzogchen masters who appeared to be very ordinary in their outer appearance, who practised differently from others. For instance, Master Tilopa, a patriarch of the Kagyud lineage, was a fisherman who appeared to be doing his fishing activities daily. However, students who had the greatest faith in him would just follow his advice without the slightest doubt and attained enlightenment. Konde Rinpoche said, there is Buddha Nature within all sentient beings, so everyone can become a Buddha through practising the Buddha’s teachings. Sentient beings are just perplexed by their mental afflictions which hinder us from realizing our full potential as a Buddha. Nevertheless, the wisdom of a Buddha is the same as that of the sentient beings. We can eradicate our negative karma through practising the Vajrasattva Practice and reciting the Hundred-syllable Mantra, which is a very powerful practice for eradicating negative karma. When our negative karma is purified, our pristine wisdom will be naturally revealed.  
          Konde Rinpoche mentioned about his root guru, Lama Ajun Toden Lodoe Gyatso, who also foretold his own passing one week in advance. He instructed others not to touch his body after his passing and must await the arrival of Padma Gelsang Rinpoche to open the door of his room. However, only three days after his passing, his body shrank very quickly to a very small size. The lamas were very worried that his body might completely disappear and decided to cremate his remains immediately. After the cremation, they found many multi-colored sacred relics in his remains. Konde Rinpoche said that Bigar Rinpoche also left behind a small number of multi-colored sacred relics after his cremation. Acho Rinpoche opined that one’s spiritual attainment has nothing to do with whether one is married or single because a single may not attain enlightenment either. In fact, enlightenment is only possible when one transcends an ordinary mindset. If one has a wife but transcends an ordinary mindset and behavior, he could attain the state of enlightenment too. Anyway, there is indeed a difference in terms of the level of spiritual attainment achieved by the different individuals. Lama Ajun Toden had obviously attained a higher level of spiritual attainment than Bigar Rinpoche who was a layman practitioner, as the former left behind much more sacred relics than the latter. An enlightened master might behave in a way not understood by the ordinary people. However, there are also practitioners who are not truly enlightened masters who claimed themselves to be one. How could one differentiate between a truly enlightened master and an impersonator? One will need to choose with his wisdom then.
          Acho Rinpoche shared with us a recent news circulated in the Internet - a renowned Tibetan Buddhist Master who has tens of thousands of followers, who has been teaching in the west for many years, is being accused by his closed westerner students for wrong doings. The students accused him for misconducts, being an alcoholic, living a luxurious lifestyle, hurting his students physically and emotionally, sexually assaulting his female students etc. Those accusing him said that he is obviously easily agitated and would simply hurl any objects within reach at his students and hurting them physically, with some of them being sent to hospitals for treatment. This Tibetan master claimed that he was using skillful means to help his students eradicate their sense of ego. In fact, way back in 1993, some of his westerner students had already informed H.H Dalai Lama about the strange behavior of this Tibetan master, and Dalai Lama advised them to publicly expose the insensible behaviors of their master. Acho Rinpoche opined that since none of the students who were hurt by this master seemed to have attained enlightenment, and the students are indeed hurt physically and emotionally, one would rather assume that this master has indeed gone astray and the students should not blindly assume that this is a “crazy adept”. True enlightenment is not like that! Some of his closed students also observed that he often gives public teachings but he hardly did his sadhanas (prayer). Acho Rinpoche opined that a practitioner must do his daily sadhanas or he will not be able to attain enlightenment. In the past, Guru Rinpoche had warned his students that “One’s view must be high, but his observation of precepts must be as fine as flour.” Hence, if a practitioner holds a high view but does not truly practise the teachings and observe the precepts, he will fall very swiftly and bring others along the downfall.
          Next, Dharma Sister Ugyen bade farewell to all as she would be ending her trip to Singapore by tomorrow and return to Bhutan. She was very grateful to Acho Rinpoche and other fellow students who showed her great hospitality during her trip here. Actually, she had never thought that she would one day set her foot in this wonderful land. She prayed to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for the longevity of Acho Rinpoche and blessing for the rest of the fellow students, and she resolved to continue her practice with vigor.
Finally, Acho Rinpoche hoped to see that Madam Lin would let go of her busy schedules and start her spiritual practice soon. He commented that Madam Lin has accomplished all the goals in life in terms of material success. However, the worldly merits will not be able to bring her back to her real home (the pure land of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara); only the merits accumulated from a spiritual practice can do so. There is no need for a practitioner to finish studying the Three Tipitakas and Twelve Canons, or the Five Major Commentaries in this life. There are many people who became very arrogant after acquiring too much knowledge from the Buddhist texts and wasted their time debating with others about their views of the teachings, and neglected their daily practice. So, we should keep our life and practice simple. We will certainly receive the blessing of the Buddhas through our daily practice of the sadhana, and such blessing power will naturally eradicate the adversities in our life. When we have finally accomplished our spiritual practice, we will be ready to help others. Acho Rinpoche advised Madam Lin that she only needed to take the first step, and the rest will be taken care by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Reported by Sun-Moon KFS on 22-7-2017

Thursday, July 13, 2017

The Recognition of a Reincarnated Master - Tulku Yangsi Gya Lama of Nepal

 Acho Rinpoche and Lopen Rinpoche
 Acho Rinpoche, Lopen Rinpoche, Nuptul Rinpoche and Princess Roshana and friends
 Singapore Students with Acho Rinpoche, Princess Roshana and friends
Wang Jie (China), Lily and Princess Roshana (Nepal) and Acho Rinpoche (left to right)

Tonight, Princess Roshana and her friends, Lily and Wang Jie, joined us for a Guru Rinpoche Prayer when they paid a visit to Acho Rinpoche at his home. After the prayer, Princess Roshana shared with us the great news about her 8-year old son being recognized as a reincnnarnated master (tulku) by H.H Dodrupchen; her son is actually a reincarnation of her late grandfather, Gya Lama of Nepal. Her son has just been ordinated as a monk and started practicing full-time at a monastery situated deep in a mountainous area in Nepal. His enthronement ceremony will be held towards the end of this year at the Bodnath Stupa. Princess Roshana invited Acho Rinpoche to attend the enthronement ceremony, to celebrate this wonderful occasion.

Acho Rinpoche told us that the karmic connection between him and Princess Roshana and her friends is very strong, otherwise there would not be this meeting tonight. Several years ago, when Acho Rinpoche first met Princess Roshana at one of the Tibetan Buddhism centers in Singapore, he already knew that there was a very strong karmic bond between them. Last year, Princess Roshana brought her son and daughter to Singapore for a leisure tour, and she brought them along to meet Acho Rinpoche at his home too. When Acho Rinpoche met her son, he felt greatly moved, for he knew that her son was his fellow dharma brother in many past lives. That night, Acho Rinpoche told Princess Roshana that her son was the reincarnation of her late grandfather, Gya Lama. Gya Lama was the spiritual advisor to the King of Nepal then, and an accomplished Buddhist Master of the Tibetan Buddhism. He married the sister of the King of Nepal and contributed tremendously in the development of the country including the propagation of the Buddhadharma. H.H Dodrupchen ordinated her son and instructed Lopen Rinpoche from Bhutan, his heart son, to preside over the enthronement ceremony of the little Tulku – Yangsi Gya Lama. As Lopen Rinpoche happened to be in Singapore recently, Princess Roushana came to Singapore to discuss with him the plan for the enthronement ceremony.

Acho Rinpoche advised us that the Buddhadharma is the most precious thing in life, and the rest are not important in comparison. He wished that we would cherish the precious Buddhahdarma and practise with vigor. Tulku Yangsi Gya Lama is young in age but mature in his thinking and behavior; he has developed a strong sense of impermanence, renunciation and bodhicitta (the aspiration to help all sentient beings attain enlightenment) by now. He even told his Chinese friends at an assembly held in Nepal recently that he is destined to help the Chinese in this present life. Acho Rinpoche told us that H.H Dodrupchen, the root guru of Princess Roshana, instructed her to marry her Taiwanese husband in the past. So, the little Tulku was born and educated in Taiwan, who has learnt the Chinese language well, thus paving the way for him to be able to  communicate with and help the Chinese in future. China had experienced great pains for half a century, with the infamous Cultural Revolution destroying many good value systems of the Chinese culture including its religious beliefs, thus creating a current generation of Chinese who are very much lacking in terms of good ethical values. The Buddhadharma can bring out the innate beauty buried deep in our human nature, thus helping to create a harmonious society exuberating with a deep sense of loving kindness, compassion and wisdom. A China with a beautiful people is a key condition to her becoming a new super power in the current era. Therefore, Acho Rinpoche is praying to the enlightened beings for the most powerful blessing to be conferred to the Chinese students, hoping that some of them wouldu attain enlightenment sooner and help the rest of the Chinese walk the path to enlightenment.

Acho Rinpoche told us that the evil force is stronger than the positive force in this degeneration age. Even the reincarnated Buddhist Masters may go astray when misled by the evil force. Therefore, a good education for the little Tulkus is very crucial. H.H Dodrupchen has appointed a great teacher for Tulku Yangsi Gya Lama, in order to develop his potential fully and let him take charge of the propagation of the precious Buddhadharma in Nepal once again, for the benefits of the sentient beings. The Bodnath Stupa was destroyed slightly by a major earthquake in 2015 and has only been repaired fully recently. When the enthronement ceremony is held at this location, it can inaugurate this stupa once again. Tulku Yangsi Gya Lama can help change the fate of Nepal as a country, and bring great benefits to the sentient beings especially the Nepalese and Chinese. This world is blessed with the presence of this little Tulku!

Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu! 

Reported by Sun Moon KFS on 1-7-2017