Friday, November 23, 2018

Sri Lanka Tour: Last Night of Sharing by Acho Rinpoche

Tonight, I will give a summary on our Sri Lanka tour. We first planned to visit Sri Lanka some twenty years ago but it was delayed till five years ago (when it was initiated by Dharma Sister Mei as a family tour) and again did not materialize because her daughter did not want to join the tour. Finally, we have made it this time.

We visited Adam’s Peak, Buddha Tooth Temple and the various places enshrining the sacred relics of Sakyamuni Buddha. We had also witnessed the many appearances of rainbow, sun halo, colorful clouds etc. On our way to Adam’s Peak, unusual clouds appeared in the sky above Adam’s Peak. It actually requires one to have accumulated tremendous amount of merits and spiritual practice through eons of time in order to be able to join this tour.

Adam’s Peak is a sacred place. Only eleven members were selected to ascend the hill. Not everyone could ascend the hill such as Dharma Sister Bi – had she come ask me if she could go up the hill, I would have advised her not to do so. There must be some members who stay behind or you will be making a long bee line going up the hill but stretching very far away from the peak; it would have been made worse off by members who are physically unfit to trek. Also, if all of us made it to the peak, not everyone could squeeze into the tiny room enshrining the Buddha’s sacred foot print. As we are all different in terms of our physics, we must choose only a few would could do it, which was pre-destined. It does not matter if one could ascend to the peak or not. For instance, Dharma Sister Kan is unable to join us personally this time due to her eye problem (she had to stay behind in Singapore). However, her mind is with us throughout this tour and she has received tremendous power of blessing like the rest who joined the tour. Your mind matters. Whether you are following your guru closely with your mind and abiding in your guru wholeheartedly matters most. If you merely follow me physically but not abiding in me as your guru wholeheartedly and failed to observe your precepts, your outer actions of following me and ascending the Adam’s Peak are meaningless. It is utmost important that you observe the precepts closely, practise with vigor and internalize your Guru Devotion, which will gain you inconceivable amount of blessing. In fact, my foot print is no different from the foot print on the peak.

Just now when we entered a shopping center, I saw an image of Sakyamuni Buddha and some flowers placed before the image. I folded my palms to pay my respect to the Buddha. Immediately, I saw Sakyamuni Buddha appearing before me. So, I stopped by a shop and bought a cup of coffee and some biscuits as offering to the Buddha. I prayed to the Buddha that he would bless every shopper who came to this place, as long as he took a glance of the Buddha image, folded his palms to pay respect to the Buddha image or praised the quality of the Buddha – as long as he showed some form of faith in the Buddha, he will certainly receive the blessing from the Buddha.

When we entered the Kentucky Fried Chicken shop, I could feel the presence of the numerous souls of the chicken slaughtered and my whole body felt very itchy. So, I delivered their souls by doing a soul deliverance practice there and then. You see, as long as you have accomplished your practice, you will have the ability to do soul deliverance for the deceased. If you are a renown spiritual teacher sitting in a high throne surrounded by a large audience of tens of thousand of people, yet you lack the spiritual power to help the invisible sentient beings, they will simply ignore you; there will not be any rainbow appearing above your head either.  There was once that I participated in a Dharma assembly presided over by a renowned spiritual teacher, and a rainbow appeared in the sky during that period. Someone said that the rainbow appeared because of that teacher. However, a Bodhisattva in the spiritual realm told me that “Not so! The rainbow appeared because of you but not that teacher!” So, you should not assume that a Dharma teacher who is very good in teaching the Buddhadharma must be an enlightened person. It is utmost important for a practitioner to actualize the practice and abide in his guru. Dharma Brother Xin has done very well this time in terms of serving his guru – he followed me closely in serving me and yet constantly kept a comfortable distance to make me feel at ease too. He watched me very closely from a comfortable disctance in order to be able to respond to my needs immediately, without distraction. Some people are easily distracted by their surroundings and their minds will drift away; they will not be able to serve the guru well in that case and therefore, receive weaker blessing. Dharma Brother Xin has cultivated well – his mind is pure and he serves me with great devotion.  So, he has received the greatest power of blessing which increases his vigor in practice. When you are not devoted to your guru, you will feel tired of doing your practice. The power of blessing from your guru will increase your fondness in practice and you will naturally practise with vigor. Guru Devotion is very important to a practitioner. The spiritual accomplishment of a practitioner is achieved through his devotion to his guru.

Konde Rinpoche shared with us that Shri Singha served his guru for 25 years without doing any spiritual practice. Finally, his guru transmitted the Dzogchen lineage to him entirely and he became enlightened. Guru Devotion is a key practice in Guru Yoga. Guru Yoga is just Dzogchen. When you accomplished your Guru Yoga (Guru Devotion), your spiritual attainment will be no different from that of your guru. The recitation of the verse of supplication and the chanting of heart mantra of your guru are very important; you will be no different from your guru when you accomplished these practices. This hand mudra signifies Dzogchen, with the fourth and small fingers representing Adam’s Peak where Dzogchen lineage was first transmitted to our world; the thumbs and index fingers representing the vajra that signifies Vajrayana Buddhism; the middle fingers crossing each other representing the pervasiveness of Dzogchen being transmitted in the ten directions. When we join and turn our palms in a circular motion while singing the verse of supplication, it means praying for the pervasive transmission of Dzogchen in the entire universe, through which you will also receive the blessing of Dzogchen. This is an inconceivable method of practice which can bring about a very swift accomplishment, whereas other methods of practice will take a much longer time to accomplish. 

Om Mani Padme Hum.

Recorded by Lian Shao on 12-11-18