My first refuge taking ceremony took place at Hongfa Temple in Shenzhen on the 8th day of the 4th month of the Lunar Calendar in 2000 A.D. My dharma master was Great Monk Ben Huan. A few months later, following the recommendation of a fellow sister, I took refuge with H.E. Dulmo Choje Rinpoche who recently arrived from Qinghai. H. E. Dulmo Choje Rinpoche was praised as an accomplished cultivator. In May of 2002 at a friend’s house I met Baer Qing Rinpoche and took refuge once again with him. At that time I believed the more masters I had, the more Buddha dharma I could learn as well as to receive more empowerment. However, Master soon left. His only instruction was to recite the Four Limitless States of Mind and the Hundred Syllable Mantra.
In June of 2002, upon learning that Lhabum Rinpoche planned on staying in Shenzhen for an extended period of time, I took refuge with Lhabum Rinpoche. I reasoned that if I had a master whom I could visit frequently; my good fortune would surely increase. Indeed, I did attend many dharma assemblies, captive animal release rituals and the Eight Precept Retreat conducted by Lhabum Rinpoche. In addition, I did morning and evening chants at home. Sometimes I even practiced the Eight Precept Retreat on my own at home. Although I was busy every day, I only felt joy and never relented. At that time, I single mindedly wished only for good fortune and good luck. My only wish was that my master could transform my ill fortune into prosperity. To achieve this, I took additional refuges with Mozha Dharma King of Kathog Monastery and Wengzha Rinpoche from Tibet the following year.
Three years later, a friend asked me, “Why is it that you have been so devout, yet your life is still full of difficulties? “ I was saddened by this remark. Why is it that my study of Buddhism did not derive any actual benefit? Where did I go wrong? I really couldn’t figure out and felt mentally exhausted and depleted. No longer did I want to visit any master, rinpoche or master. I thought I could just study on my own. But, how? I often asked myself what the correct path was. How could I practice to obtain real result? In reality, I simply couldn’t find the answer.
In March of 2009, my migraine resurfaced. While I was resting at home, fellow sister Zhou called me and invited me to her house to listen to the Dharma. I turned down her invitation stating I just wanted to rest peacefully at home because of the migraine. She said, “Come, this is the authentic Buddha dharma that is difficult to encounter in thousands of eons. You must come. Come and you will understand. I will be waiting for you.” So many people have invited me to meet masters and rinpoches. They were all supposedly to be great cultivators and rare to come upon. But, in the end, there was nothing special about all of them. My minds seethed with conflicting emotions. Finally, I told myself that if what I was about to see or hear was auspicious, it would reduce or completely eliminate my migraine. However, if what I was about to encounter made me feel uncomfortable or induce my migraine intolerable, I would just leave. After making my final decision, I hurriedly left for sister Zhou’s house. When I arrived, they had just started watching “Buddha-Bestowed nectar”. It was truly miraculous and unbelievable! It was a manifestation of authentic dharma power that I have never seen before. I completely forgot about my headache that whole day. The next day, I couldn’t wait to return to sister Zhou‘s house to listen to the Dharma. Its title was “Unparalleled Auspicious Buddha Dharma”. Tears streamed down my face as I listened. The Dharma was describing Buddhist disciples just like me. I was finally awakened by the Dharma realizing the mistakes of my past years. How could I regard myself studying Buddhism and cultivating myself? I spent all my past years studying blindly and futilely. Selfishly, I had only hoped for my own personal good fortune. I took refuge with every rinpoche and dharma king whom I have met. I did not understand the purpose of studying Buddhism and cultivation. I did not really cultivate myself or put my study into practice. That was why I had never achieved any substantial result.
Through listening to the Dharma, I developed correct views and understanding. I understood the reasons for studying Buddhism and self-cultivation. I developed a mindset to leave the world of impermanence, and to achieve liberation and realization. In addition, I vowed to obtain enlightenment and help others to do the same and to bravely carry on the mission of the Tathagata. From that day forward, I have devoted myself wholeheartedly into Dharma listening. On August 1, 2009, I took and passed the test to become a Master of Dharma-Listening Sessions. I am determined to introduce authentic Buddha dharma to everyone and anyone whom I have karma affinity with.
I have once been unemployed for many years and struggled economically. After listening to the Dharma for a period of time, one day, a friend of mine recommended me to an interview at a company. I was hired as section director. Even more amazingly I was promoted to the position of manager the next day! During the three months period from October of 2009 to December of 2009, both my personal as well as my group performances were ranked number one.
My American visa was approved in early June of 2010. Everything became very smooth. I believe all these events are attributed to the merits accumulated from listening to the Dharma and practicing according to the Dharma. It has increased my good karma and transformed the karmic consequences. In the past two years in America, I have persistently listened to the dharma. In addition, I organized dharma-listening sessions for those whom I have karma affinity with. I have obtained profound benefit from the Dharma expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. To me, it is a strong karmic condition to be able to be born in the same life time as the Buddha is present with us. Moreover, I can listen to the Dharma expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III with my own ears which is indeed difficult to encounter in hundreds and thousands of eons. It is an absolutely auspicious and rare opportunity.
I often wonder if we cannot achieve enlightenment when a Buddha is here, still cannot break free from the chains of cause and effect and still trapped in the cycle of birth and death for hundreds of thousands of years reaping the karmic results of our past doing until we have the opportunity to be reborn as human beings, will we still have the opportunity to meet up with H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III again? Will we still have the opportunity to listen to the Buddha’s Dharma? Where can we seek the path which will lead to liberation? The more I contemplate on it, the more frightened I become. I was horrified by the thought: If I cannot obtain enlightenment this life time, which other life time will it be?
Often I beseech the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to empower me to plant the seeds of positive karmic affinity with living beings, to have the ability and wisdom to be of assistance to those whom I have karmic affinity with to study Buddha dharma, to listen and understand the Dharma expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, and to put the teachings of the Dharma into action. Resolutely and diligently we should study Buddhism and really cultivate ourselves so that we can achieve enlightenment before long! Amitabha!
Author: Yilin Chen
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