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Passport to Liberation

Narrated by Khenpo Sherab Zangpo:
(Translated from Chinese)

This practitioner Tsewang Trinley was my Vajra sibling.  He was from Ganzi, Rongpatsa.  Once, we were together with the accomplished master Khenpo Tsewang Jigme receiving teachings on the “Six Bardo Teachings of Padmasambhava” and “Choying Dzod (Treasury of Dharmadhatu)”.  We got along very well and would often joke with each other.

When His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok came to Rongpatsa, Tsewang also approached His Holiness for teachings.  In his life, Tsewang recited a total of 100 million Guru Rinpoche mantras, he also recited more than 100,000 repetitions of the 35 Buddhas Confession Prayer, 1.1 million times of the 21 Tara Praises, undertook the Eight Precepts (editor: may have been the 2-days fasting ritual Nyungnay – not clear from the text) for 200 times, and made more than 1.4 million prostrations.  Through his prostrations, the board beneath was worn out by his blood and flesh.  It could be said that his life was solely devoted to Dharma practice.

Later, when Achuk Lama Rinpoche came to Rongpatsa, Tsewang supplicated Lama Rinpoche to ascertain his meditative realisations in Dzogchen.  After having examined him, Achuk Lama Rinpoche was delighted and said that he had completely realized Dzogchen.  Tsewang then told his disciples, “If I were to die now, I would not feel any fear, instead I would experience great joy; this is because I now possess complete confidence.”

Later, Tsewang had a messenger inform a disciple who was out travelling to quickly return to his hometown, he said, “This disciple wishes very much to travel to foreign countries, I have a passport to give him.”  Actually Tsewang had no ‘passport’ at all and everyone was mystified at his words.  Looking at his robust state of health, no-one imagined that he was going to pass on soon.

It took that disciple several months to return, and he finally came home on 26 February 1995.

Tsewang then told his disciple to write a biography detailing how he (Tsewang) had relied on his Guru and did Dharma practice.  He explained, “When practitioners read this in the future, there would definitely be some benefit.”  Having entrusted this task, he went on as usual to have his dinner, perform his customary recitations and nothing out of the ordinary occurred.  The next day, at noon, he suddenly felt some discomfort and at 6pm, he had his disciples help him remove his extra clothing and then sat in Vajra posture facing west.  When his disciples came again to check on him, he had already entered parinirvana.   His body remained in meditation for 21 days and his skin took on a fair radiance far beyond his usual complexion when he was alive.

On March 21, when the monastery arranged for his cremation, the sky was cloudless and a white vulture came from the sky and circumambulated clockwise.  Everyone present saw this.

People then began to understand what he meant by ‘going abroad’ and ‘passport’.  His notion of ‘passport’ was to record how he had practiced in his life.  I believe Tsewang wanted to tell us that someone who wished to attain liberation should practice with the same diligence as he did, so that when death came, we would be able to travel to liberation with this ‘passport’ just as he did.

I am telling everyone this story because I wish you to understand that all your efforts in doing Dharma practice in this life will definitely not be wasted.  Only someone who practices diligently need not fear death and he would be able to attain the joy of liberation.

After completing Ngondro and Guru Yoga, one’s mind-stream would definitely experience changes, at that time, one can rely on a qualified teacher to request the teachings and empowerments related to Dzogchen.

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The Venerable Hsu Yun

 

“One of the stories I like to tell in this regard is a tale of Venerable Master Hsüan Hua’s teacher. Master Hua was the abbot of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. He was the person who gave us the land where our monastery is situated, and he and Ajahn Sumedho were very good friends. Master Hua’s teacher, Venerable Master Hsü Yün, was the patriarch of all five lineages of Buddhism in China and was very highly respected. He was the head of the Ch’an lineage, the sutra lineage, the mantra lineage, the Vinaya lineage, and the esoteric lineage. It’s no secret that different sects tend to argue with each other. Yet he was so indisputably pure and skilled that everyone wanted him to be the head. When the Red Chinese took over, they were trying to wipe out religion altogether and so he became a very obvious target. The Chinese army attacked his monastery when he was about 110 years old. They beat him with wooden clubs until he was a bloody heap on the ground and left him for dead. Even though he had broken bones and damaged organs, he recovered. The news of his survival spread around the area.

A while later the Red Army came back and used iron bars to beat him until he was a complete mess. This frail old man was really smashed up and seriously injured, and yet he still didn’t die. His disciples were nursing him and trying to help heal his deep and serious wounds. All of them were amazed that he was still alive. Needless to say, he had incredible meditative powers, so his disciples were convinced that he was sustaining his life energy for them. They believed that the master realized the feeling of grief they would have when he died because they were all very devoted to him. And so they implored him: “Please, don’t stay alive just for our sakes. We’re very touched that you would endure the weeks and weeks of pain and misery because of not wanting to leave us grief stricken. But if it’s time for you to die, we would prefer that you just let yourself go peacefully instead of enduring all this agony.” And he said, “What I’m doing is not for you. It’s true I’m keeping myself alive, but it’s not for your sake, it’s for the soldiers. If I died as a result of their beatings, the karmic retribution for those who attacked me would be so great, I couldn’t bear to be responsible for that.” After that, the army left him alone. He survived and even taught retreats again. The books Ch’an and Zen Training, translated by Charles Luk, are from the Dharma talks that he gave at a retreat four years later. He died when he was 120. He had made a vow to be a monk for one hundred years.”

~ Ajahn Amaro

Amitabha Inspiration Stories

Here are some links and cut-and-pastes of Amitabha practitioners going to pureland with good signs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wZ9uCGZJJw

http://www.vietphilly.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=232&Itemid=301

http://www.cttbusa.org/lotus_luo/lotus_luo2.asp

Pure Land is my Home
The Story of my Father’s Rebirth
by Guo Xuan Lee
Translated by Huali Yuan

Pure Sound From Silicon Valley
Issue 152, Dec. 2008

My parents lived in Australia and they did not believe in Buddhadharma.  When I first started to study Buddhadharma, I also exhorted my family to study, my mother and younger sister followed with me, and they became vegetarians and started to recite the Buddha’s name, however, my father still insisted that we were being superstitious, and he even obstructed my cultivation.

One day, my parents and younger sister had a car accident when they were driving. The accident was quite serious, the whole car was almost wrecked, and my father went into coma and bled a lot, however, my mother and younger sister remained safe and sound. After this experience, mother and sister gained more faith in the Buddhadharma, while my father was sick in bed and could not walk, but he had a strong belief that his body would recover as wholesome as before, and he could walk freely, therefore, he asked many good doctors to treat him, but all efforts went in vain, his physical health did not get any better. Because of this, he lose his temper all the times, which made my mother afflicted a lot, therefore I went back to Australia to visit them.

After I got home, I explained to my father the truth of “birth, old age, sickness, death, and other Buddhadharma. I told him,” you have already gone though the suffering of birth and old age, now you are undergoing the suffering of sickness, and the last one could be the suffering of death.” I explained Buddhadharma to him everyday, so he started to gain a bit of faith, he told me that one day when he was lying in bed, he saw his room caught on a heavy fire, but strange indeed was that there were some fish amid the fire, he hurried to call my mother in, however when my mother came, she saw nothing.

My father asked me what did that mean, I told him my personal view ” Our physical body is like the house we are living in, now the house is on fire, it means that our body is being broken down; as for the fish, when did you see a fish with closed eyes? Fish always keep their eyes open, which means that you should wake up soon, don’t get attached and confused any more. You really had a lot of blessings, since Buddhas and Bodhisattvas showed you these in order to make you wake up soon! You body condition is getting down soon, do not get attached to it any longer.” From this on, my father changed to a vegetarian diet and started to recite the Buddha’s name.

Half a year before my father’s rebirth, my elder sister visited him once. She a filial daughter with a kind heart, but being a Catholic, she believes animals are created to be eaten by human, as long as human are kind. So when she found that our father was sick, weak, and on a veggie diet, she was worried that our father did not get enough nutrition. Therefore, she explained her concern to father, and asked him whether she could cook meat for him. He took her advice at once, and was happy that he could eat meat again. So one thing led to another, and he could not stop, later on he even desired to eat pig’s feet every day.  My mother called me and asked me to talk to my father, over the phone, I just said a few words to him, “Dad, if you eat other beings’ feet now, in the future, other beings will eat your feet.” One week later, my mom called me again and told me that my father had returned to a vegetarian diet.

Two months before my father’s rebirth, he could fall asleep every night. It seemed that he kept talking to someone, getting angry and yelling. Therefore, I went back again to Australia to visit him. I asked him why he could not sleep. He said that some beings came to bother him every night, and none of them had feet. I realized at once that they were his enemies and debtees. I told him, “It is because you ate others’ feet in the past, now they all came back to you.  “Then I asked him,” How did you treat them?”

He said,” I am not afraid of them, I never did a single evil thing or harm a single person in my life, therefore I do not need be afraid of them, if they come, I will fight with them!” I advised him not behave like that, because those ghost beings are in great suffering, without blessings, they have no opportunities of encountering Buddhadharma, that is why we should be compassionate with them.

I said, “If they come again tonight, you apologize to them, and tell them because you did not understand principles, you harmed them, now you are seeking forgiveness from them.  Also you can tell them to recite the Buddha’s name, so that they can seek rebirth, and end birth and death. You yourself also have to recite the Buddha’s name on behalf of them, recite Amitabha Buddha.” The next morning, I asked father whether they came or not and how was it. He said they did come, and he addressed them as I taught, then he recited the Buddha’s name on their behalf, and they did not disturb him any long, they stood there listening to the Buddha’s name, after that, they left.

A week before my father’s rebirth, one day, it looked like he was dying, therefore, my mother and younger sister started to recite the Buddha’s name, after a whole day, my father is still alive. Suddenly, my younger sister smelt fragrant incense, which lasts for about 5 minutes.  At that time, she understood that she need offer incense.  Therefore, she asked mother to bring an incensory for her to lit incense, wishing the Buddha could come to welcome father and his enemies and debtees into pure land. After making the incense offering, they continued reciting the Buddha’s name. At that time, my younger sister heard other voices around them, a lot of melodic voices resound in the air, reciting the Buddha’s name. My younger sister said that upon hearing these wonderful sounds, she felt very pure and clear in heart. One week later, my father passed away, his mind was quite clear when he was dying, but he already put down everything, his wife, children, and houses, his only wish was to follow the Buddha and he was ready. He passed away very peacefully. His face looked ruddy and pleasant, and even had a smile on it. His body was also very soft. Some people who came to assist reciting the Buddha’s name even smelt fragrant incense.

Forty-nine days after my father’s rebirth, one day when my son Mingguang was in sleep, he felt someone nudging his elbows in his dream, when he opened eyes, he saw his grandfather. Mingguang said that his grandfather did not look like before, since his grandfather had the appearance of a Bhikus, with hair already being shaved, a very fresh and smooth face without any wrinkle, wearing a bright orange sash, smiling happily. Mingguang asked him, “Grandpa, how come you are here?”

His grandpa answered, smiling, “I came to tell you, I have already followed with Amitabha and been reborn in the Pure Land.  Mingguang, you should vigorously recite Buddha’s name, and follow with Amitabha Buddha.”

(Source:  http://www.drbachinese.org/branch/GSM/newsletter/2008_12_152.PDF)

The Story of Dr Chiang
Published in Vajra Bodhi Sea, Bodhi Field section, November 2008 Edition p33-37

A talk by Alice Chiang on September 14, 2008
Dharma Master Yo asked me to share with you what Dr. Chiang and our family have gone through these past 5 months.  Life is so very unpredictable! Just a few months ago, Dr. Chiang was at the peak of his medical practice. We were in the process of moving into a brand new house. It was his dream home. It’s got everything he ever wanted built in it. The new house was surrounded by woods and lots of trees, which he loved.  He was very excited about it. At the end of February and the beginning of March, we began to pack our valuables and important documents into boxes and move from our old house to the new one. His back then began to hurt.  We thought he probably just pulled some muscles while lifting boxes and did not take too much notice of it. Well, the back pain got worse for the next two weeks and began to pinch the nerve, causing numbness of the left leg. He decided to get an MRI of the spine to make sure everything was okay.

I will never forget March 20th, Thursday, at 3 p.m. [Our son] Andy was still on his spring break. We all accompanied Dr. Chiang to have the MRI. As he came out of the test, he was wearing a smile on his face. Andy and I were relieved. But he then went on and told us that the radiologist had shown him the film, and he had seen a large tumor inside one of the vertebrae. Subsequently, a CT Scan confirmed that Dr. Chiang had stage IV lung cancer, which had already spread to the spine. It was so shocking and devastating for me! I didn’t know what to do. The first thing that came to my mind was: what’s going to happen to all his patients? Who would be willing to cover for Dr. Chiang? And what’s going to happen to his medical practice that he cares so very much about?  Coincidently, March 20th was also the day that we had just signed the contract to list our old house for sale.

Even though Dr. Chiang was ailing, he went back to the office over the next two days, performed 15 endoscopies and colonoscopies, and saw 25 patients. He was still laughing and joking with the patients as if nothing had happened. But starting Sunday, three days after he was diagnosed, his condition continued deteriorating. He was in so much pain and couldn’t get out of bed any more. After that, he was never able to go back to his office ever again.  Taking care of Dr. Chiang and bringing him to various tests/scans and treatment/therapy was already a full time job for me. But being his medical practice manager, I had to handle the transition of the patient care as well as the business and operation of the office, including finding a good physician to cover for Dr. Chiang as well as coordinating with pharmacies and other health care professionals. In addition, I had to deal with selling the old house and eventually moving. To me, it was almost mission impossible!  It was a tremendous and overwhelming burden for me.  Being a Buddhist, it is very clear to me that this was karmic retribution appearing right in front of us. We were in this together. These karmic situations came chasing us like a huge hurricane and totally caught us off guard! I know this was the karma from Dr. Chiang’s previous life, because in this life he was such a good, kindhearted man who had saved so many people’s lives.  So, I began to repent to the Buddha on Dr. Chiang’s behalf and recite the Great Compassion Mantra vigorously, incorporating the recitation into my daily activities all day long. I know I was being blessed by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Venerable Master Hua because in addition to the Dharma Masters’ caring and support, all of a sudden I felt an enormous and irresistible power and strength in me at all times helping me overcome so many karmic obstacles.

Recently, Dr. Chiang did back surgery to remove the tumor in the vertebrae, four sessions of chemotherapy, and over 30 sessions of radiation treatment, yet the cancer cells continued to grow and to spread!  I made many attempts to share the Buddhadharma with him using my own experience as an example. I also urged him to accept some alternative medicine and food therapy for body and mind healing, but I could never totally convince him. Being not only a physician but also biochemist and immunologist himself, Dr. Chiang was very skeptical of my advice.

In mid-July, Dr. Chiang was admitted to the hospital due to side effects from chemotherapy. He couldn’t keep any food down and was constantly throwing up. His condition started gradually going downhill. A week later, his arms and legs were all swollen, and he lost his voice. The oncologist told us that it was about the time to put his hands in his pockets, as there was nothing he could do medically to help Dr. Chiang. When we were told Dr. Chiang only had weeks to live, he was surprisingly very calm. This was when I told him that only Buddhas and Bodhisattvas could save him now. I asked him to begin vigorously reciting Amitabha’s name, and explained to him that the land of Ultimate Bliss is covered by gold and surrounded by so many treasures and that there will be no suffering, only enjoyment of every bliss. If he recited Amitabha’s name wholeheartedly, he would attain rebirth in the land of Ultimate Bliss. He agreed and began to do so. I told him that if he recited the Buddha’s name one time, he would liberate one cancer cell; if he recited 10,000 times, he’d liberate 10,000 cancer cells. He laughed. I went on and told him to recite with as much diligence as if his patients were very sick, and he needed to save their lives.  He listened and acknowledged my words. He also took Dharma Master Yo’s advice and agreed to take refuge with the Triple Jewel and receive the Five Precepts.

On July 27th, Dharma Master Yo and Dharma Master Jai along with disciple Kao came to visit Dr. Chiang in the hospital. Dr. Chiang took refuge with Venerable Master Hua and received the five precepts from Dharma Master Yo and Dharma Master Jai. Inconceivably, the very next day, the swelling of his arms and legs diminished! He looked so much healthier with pink cheeks. Not only did he begin to talk out loud but also he was able to start eating and keep the food down without vomiting! The oncologist was so stunned and amazed and couldn’t figure out why. This gave Dr. Chiang so much confi dence and encouragement. All of sudden, he was able to totally let go of his worries and be totally at ease. After that, he began reciting Buddha’s name even more vigorously.

As we were thinking Dr. Chiang was stable enough to come home, he started to develop difficulty in breathing. His heart was pounding very fast. Coughing and fever complicated the condition. I knew the end was coming. Andy and I followed the Dharma Master’s suggestion to recite along with him. A few times when I asked him whether he saw Amitabha coming, he nodded his head and said, “Yes!” Right before and after Dr. Chiang’s passing, we did encounter a few incidences of interference from creditors of Dr. Chiang’s previous lives. Andy will briefly describe what happened during and after Dr. Chiang’s passing later.  Although Dr. Chiang was seeking help of the Buddha at the very last minutes, he did have good roots, blessings, virtues, and causal connections as described in The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra, and he was reciting Buddha’s name so vigorously and wholeheartedly without confusion. Therefore, I believe he will attain rebirth in Amitabha’s land of Ultimate Bliss.

In his Dharma Talks, Venerable Master Hua often spoke of how sincerity brings a response that intertwines with the Way. It is truly an inconceivable phenomenon. I myself have felt and witnessed Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ compassion, wisdom, and boundless light shining on me during this most diffi cult time of my life. I would like to share a phrase with you which best describes what I went through during the past five months.  The phrase is from Incense Praise:  “If our hearts are sincere and earnest, all Buddhas will manifest.”

A talk by Andy Chiang on September 14, 2008
My dad passed away on Saturday, August 16th, in the afternoon.  Heading into that Thursday, August 14th, we knew that my dad was probably nearing the end of his life, so Mom and I made sure that we were in my dad’s hospital room at all times. Around 3 p.m. on Friday, my mom and I had an appointment at the funeral home to discuss the arrangement. But pretty much right as we got back to the hospital from the funeral home around 6 p.m, my mom received a call from our home’s security company. They called to tell us that the alarm system had gone off at home and to see if we were okay.  Naturally, my mom told them that we hadn’t been in the house since 2 p.m; Therefore, it was really strange that the alarm went off around 6 p.m. ; This was the first time our alarm had ever gone off, so my mom was afraid someone had broken into our house. We decided to rush back home to make sure things were okay. We waited for two police cars to show up. When we opened the garage door, we noticed that the rear door to the house was open. The police went in the house and checked every room and found no trace of anyone breaking in.  When we were confident that our home was fine, my mom and I rushed back to the hospital to be with my dad.

That night we were reciting the Amitabha Buddha’s name all night long. When dad was listening to us reciting the Buddha’s name, he would move his lips trying so hard to recite with us and often breaking into huge smiles. These smiles were different than his usual smiles–as if he were experiencing something he’d never experienced before. And indeed, when my mom asked him, “Did you see the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas?” he nodded to say yes.  The next day, on the morning of the day that my dad passed away, he could not really move anything but his eyes. As we recited the Amitabha Buddha’s name to him, I saw tears coming down from his eyes. That’s how I knew he could hear me. So I was reciting even louder and more vigorously, because I knew the end was near.

My dad passed away that Saturday afternoon at 2:22 p.m. But just a few minutes before and after dad’s passing, something very strange was happening.  The intercom speaker kept coming on (at least three times), and the front desk nurse kept asking us, “How can I help you?” even though no one had pressed the emergency button. In fact, I had gotten so annoyed by it that I left my dad’s room to go tell the front desk that we were trying to recite the Amitabha Buddha’s name, and the intercom speaker kept distracting us.  At 2:30 p.m., my mom asked the nurse to come in and unplug the IV machine. When dad passed away, his face froze in the suffering state he was in when he took his last breath. Our heartfelt thanks to so many of you who came to the hospital to help us recite Amitabha Buddha’s name. After several hours of recitation, my dad’s face began to change, even though he had died hours earlier. The suffering state of his mouth changed into a decidedly noticeable smile. It was unmistakable! I was in absolute shock and awe at what I had seen.  A little after 10 p.m. towards the end of the recitation of the Amitabha prayer, all of a sudden, the unplugged IV machine started beeping again as if it were on, for a few times in a row! (But it had been turned off for almost eight hours by that point!).

The next day, when I finally had a chance to think about all the incredible things that happened in the last two days, and I had a chance to talk to my mom about it, I was then able to make sense of everything.  The rear door opening by itself, the hospital intercom speaker going off by itself, and the IV beeping after it had been turned off…This was all the work of enemy spirits that were trying to distract my family and I from focusing our attention on my dad as he was about to die. I understood then that these spirits were from my dad’s past lives and were trying to keep us away from my dad.  I realized that the smile from my dad’s face even after he passed away was his way of communicating to us that he had found Amitabha, through the light that our prayers had created for him and that he would find his way to the Pure Land. My dad’s eyes
had closed, but he opened mine. Thank you very much.

Remembrance of My Father’s Rebirth
By Kai Wen Lo
Translation By Laura Lin

Pure Sound From Silicon Valley
Issue 116, Dec 2005, p8-10

June of this year, my father experienced sudden pain around his waist, and he couldn’t eat. Within one month, he lost around ten kilograms. He was admitted to Taipei’s General Veteran’s Hospital many times. Finally, in September, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. According to his doctor, this type of cancer worsens very quickly.  Usually, a patient with this illness only lives for another six months. Although my entire family didn’t lose hope, we were finally defeated by the disease.  My father peacefully passed away at the end of October. From when he first got ill to when he passed away, many inconceivable events as described in the Sutras occurred. Therefore, I put these events together to share with everyone.

1. The Six Principles formed the foundation of my father’s faith: 
My father was an introvert, he considered carefully before he acted, and he was a very responsible person. Ever since we were children, my father taught my brother, my sister, and me never take advantage of others and never flatter others to further our own benefits. Also, he taught us not to add to another person’s burden.  Because my father sincerely respected the Venerable Master Hua’s merit and virtue, he took refuge with the Venerable Master in 1994.  From then on, my father recited the Earth Store Sutra, the Heart Sutra and the Buddha’s name daily.

2. I constantly reminded my father to maintain his faith:
During my father’s stay in the hospital, the suffering that he went through was beyond description.  When he realized that his illness was incurable, he was determined to be reborn in the Pure Land. I put a recording of the Buddha’s name next to my father’s bedside, and it played continuously. I frequently described the scene of the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss to my father. I also told him that the relationships in the Saha world are temporary, only his Dharma companions in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss are permanent. One day when my father woke up, he felt a lot of pain. However, he saw a circle of yellow light about one foot in diameter on the ceiling. All of the sudden, he experienced comfort all over his body.  Since then, his faith was even firmer.

3. Manifestation of negative karma could not be ignored:

Eight days before my father passed away, he dreamed that many people were chasing him to kill him.  When he woke up, he was very disturbed.  When my friend told me over the phone that the Three Thousand Buddhas Repentance was taking place at Taipei’s Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distribution Society, my family rushed over and set up a “Plaque to Repay Those We Owe”on behalf of my father. The next day, my father dreamed that there was an individual who blocked those who were trying to kill him. On the third day, in his dreams, my father saw that his intended killers had smiles on their faces and appeared to be joyful, and they stopped seeking retribution from him. My father’s experience was similar to the teachings in the Earth Store Sutra where it describes what a person experiences before he passes away. Everyone should be mindful of this.

4. Letting go of everything and passing away amid recitation of the Buddha’s name:
On October 25, my father’s illness worsened very quickly. Following my mother’s reminder, my father even used his very hoarse voice to call out Amitabha Buddha’s name two hours before his passing. It was incredibly touching! I told my father not to worry about the family, to let go of everything, and to concentrate on reciting the Buddha’s name in his mind. At that time, my entire family started to recite the Buddha’s name.  When I saw my father’s last breath, it was as if a knife cut my heart while it broke into thousands of pieces, and I felt as if there were explosions all around me.  However, I remembered the words of Great Master Yin Kuang , so I continued to recite the Buddha’s name with tears in my eyes. Under the compassionate assistance of Dharma Masters Heng Yun , Heng Tsai and others, the Dharma brothers of Dharma Realms Buddhist Books Distribution Society were contacted right away. They were very organized and took turns to recite the Buddha’s name on my father’s behalf.  Due to their efforts, my father reached the Western Pure Land smoothly, and my family is deeply grateful.

5. Amitabha Buddha appeared and radiated thousands of rays of golden light:
When my family started to recite the Buddha’s name, my younger brother smelled the scent of fragrant flowers in the hospital room, and my younger sister saw Amitabha Buddha manifesting an incredibly large body from afar while emitting golden light. Even more surprisingly, she saw our father walking slowly towards Amitabha. At that time, my sister thought there was something wrong with her, so she left the room to get a drink of water and to take deep breaths. When she went back to the room and closed her eyes to resume her recitation, the scene she saw earlier returned. Our father was closer to Amitabha, and he appeared to be getting smaller. My sister left the room again to get a drink of water and to take deep breaths.  When she returned to the room, she saw my father’s hair fell off, and he was wearing a black robe as he got on a lotus to leave. What is also worth mentioning is my sister’s description of Amitabha. She said the Buddha’s head is the color of loyal blue and he had many flesh mounds on the crown of his head. She also said that our father appeared to be very small next to Amitahba. Two days after my father’s passing, my sister continued to smell wondrous fragrance. My brother and sister are not true Buddhist disciples. They know very little about Amitabha and the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. Without the kindness and compassion of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, my brother and sister would not have experienced such auspicious states.

Source:
http://www.drbachinese.org/branch/GSM/newsletter/2005_12_116-C.PDF

 

Blessings of Avalokiteshvara

Yesterday was the Lhabab Duchen (click this for a brief explanation of this auspicious day, the picture displayed on this website is also quite moving to me)

There were some auspicious signs in Vietnam during a major puja.

The Picture of the sun turn into the shape of Avalokitisvara! Someone has captured it in mobile phone when His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa , His Eminence & Drukpa Sangha were performing Mahakala, Tara & Medicine Buddha Pratices yesterday on the Auspicious day of the Descending day of the Lord Buddha in Vietnam.

The devotees were shocked when they saw the sun turn in to the shape of Avalokitisvara yestereday in Vietnam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Upon asking His Holiness about the Buddha appearing in the sky, His Holiness taught us that every time we evoke Buddhas, Gurus and Boddhisattva they are compelled to come to due their Boddhichitta Vow. But due to our lack devotion we are not able to receive much blessings nor see them. Since in Vietnam The devotion to Buddha Dharma is quite strong and also in large numbers we are able see it.  Sadly Holiness said that in 10 years or so, such miracles will entirely disappear from the world as devotion will almost disappear from our Hearts ~ Gyalwa Dokhampa

The below image in the sky appeared at Tu Quang Pagoda, Ho Chi Minh City. On Nov 17/2011

(As usual, if you can’t believe these photos, please don’t slander. )

Facing death

This is a true story about a Singaporean disciple of Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche facing death.  I cut and paste it here to share. It is a very good teaching for all of us… in many ways.

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I’m sending this story on behalf of Cheau Ho, the wife of Tay Tuang Mee (TM). TM had just passed away on 23 March 2006. His wife would like to thank everybody who had been around to support them. She would also like to convey her special thanks to Emily for her ability to relate Rinpoche’s instructions to her in such a calm and clear voice and for reporting so accurately about TM’s condition to Rinpoche.

With the help of my Dharma friends Frank Lee and Ng Ching Ee, I have written this story based on Cheau Ho’s account of what had happened. It is our wish that the story would serve as an inspiration to all readers and motivates everyone to practice hard.

Cheau Ho would like to request that all merits be dedicated to TM, for him to meet Rinpoche again as soon as he has taken rebirth and continue to receive teachings from him.

Please feel free to circulate it to whoever whom you think may benefit from it.

Best wishes, Jing Rui

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I never imagined that this would happen. Just two months ago I was still thinking to myself, “Though it’s been taught that life is full of suffering, things are actually going quite well for me.” Little did I expect that just two months down the road, everything in my life changed drastically – my husband, my spiritual friend, the loving father of my two young kids, left us all in a sudden.

On 24 Feb 2006, TM was diagnosed to have jaundice. On 27 Feb 2006, he was admitted to the hospital for cirrhosis (hardening of liver).

We immediately sent email to our root guru, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, to request for his advice. We were not sure if Rinpoche would read the email, as he was undergoing retreat at that time.

Just within a week, the doctor informed us that TM’s kidney was failing too. We were told that TM may need to go through dialysis. This made me really anxious and afraid, as I was aware that dialysis was a very painful process and I really did not want TM to go through such torment.

I frantically sent several emails to Rinpoche again, requesting him to help TM. However, we still did not receive any reply. Feeling very desperate, I suggested to TM that we could approach other teachers/Rinpoches to help him. However, TM rejected the suggestion. He said firmly, “All the blessings and teachings given by Rinpoche (root guru) would be enough for me. If all these still don’t help, then nothing else could work.”

Not long after that, I received a phone call from Ang, who passed me the message that Rinpoche asked me to call him up. I called Rinpoche and we spoke through the help of Emily. (Rinpoche was not able to speak directly to me as he was still in retreat.) I was advised to offer $1000 to the giving of life (animal release) in the name of TM.

I still vividly remember that on the morning before the animal release, the doctor warned me that TM’s kidney was in pretty bad shape.

To our surprise, on the same day after the animal release, we were informed that TM’s kidney unexpectedly responded to the medication and turned around. Furthermore, the liver condition had stabilized!

Meanwhile, Rinpoche also requested OT Rinpoche (Orgyen Topgyal Rinpoche) to conduct a Amitayus Drubchen for TM.

By the third week of March 2006, TM’s lungs were infected (pneumonia) and he had to rely on the ventilator to breathe. I felt extremely helpless as I watched TM’s situation deteriorate day by day. I was at my wits’ end. As I walked along the same corridor to see the doctor everyday, my heart was thumping madly, my head was swirling and my body felt so light that it as if I was floating. Everyday, it was as though I was walking on the road to hell. I felt like I was going crazy.

Rinpoche was my only source of hope then, and I desperately clung on to this source of hope. It was only until now then I realized that Rinpoche had been dropping me many hints that TM was not going to make it.

Rinpoche told me several times that the MO (divination) was not good. However, I was not ready to listen to this. Everyday, I kept begging Rinpoche to do more pujas for TM. I was literally trying to “squeeze out” some hope or good news from Rinpoche.

Seeing my denial, Rinpoche tried to wake me up, “I should really tell you the truth. The MO is really no good. You have found the best doctor and we have done a lot of pujas for him. You have done the best for him in Singapore, and I have done the best for him in India.”

Still, I was not able to hear Rinpoche’s message. Unable to accept the pending loss of TM, I persistently requested Rinpoche to conduct pujas for TM. Finally, Rinpoche said, “Let’s wait for the MO to turn better before we do anymore puja.”

Now as I recall these messages, I still feel deeply moved by Rinpoche’s kindness. He was so skilful at helping me slowly understand and accept the fact that TM would never come home with me anymore.

At this point, TM was also beginning to lose spirit. Rinpoche encouraged him by saying, “If you can be a bit better, you can come and see me in Taiwan with a bit of hardship.” This really motivated TM to become strong again.

Amid all the fear and anxiety I faced everyday, there were occasionally some encouraging signs. On 19 March 2006, TM told us that he dreamt of dakas coming and bringing him around Orchard Road (where the hospital was located). They even offered him food which was in the form of air. We continued to support TM by reminding him to practice and chanting alongside with him.

By 21 March 2006, TM was gradually running into confusion. Just before he slipped into coma, TM suddenly asked me, “Where is my Vajrasattva?” I told him that it’s ok, I’ll chant Vajrasattva together with him.

When I contacted Rinpoche, he assured me that the “MO did not give up”. He instructed me to start chanting Om Mani Padme Hung for TM and to remind him of his Guru and his teaching.

By then, TM already became unconscious. He tried to pull off his mask and behaved very erratically. It was only when we got him a MP3 player which played the Om Mani Padme Hung chant repeatedly, then he began to calm down. We chanted by his bedside and constantly reminded him of Rinpoche and the teachings he received.

Even in his state of unconsciousness, we noticed that TM kept moving his legs to the Sadhana position. I posted TM the question, “Are you doing Sadhana?” To my surprise, TM nodded his head, even though he was already in coma.

On 22 March 2006, I was informed that TM’s kidney had failed to function and that he had to be fed by tube only.

On 23 March 2006 morning, the doctor requested to see me immediately early in the morning. I had a feeling that the doctor wanted to pull off the plug on the life support system. As such, I called Rinpoche to ask for his advice. Rinpoche told me not to pull off the plug.

I plucked up the courage to visit the doctor, who asked whether or not I wanted to resuscitate TM should his lungs collapse. I checked with the doctor whether or not I would be killing TM. The doctor informed me that TM was now fully reliant on the ventilator and there was no way for him to live on, so should his lungs collapse I would not be killing him. Realizing that there was no other way to sustain TM’s life and hoping to shorten his pain, I told the doctor not to revive TM.

After that, I immediately called Rinpoche to double check if I made the right decision. It surprised me when Rinpoche told me that I should resuscitate TM at least two times and make sure that the doctor does not pull off the plug! Rinpoche also told me very specifically that I must continue to chant Om Mani Padme Hung for TM and keep reading a message to him from Rinpoche.

“Tuang Mee, death is happening to you. But do not worry, this is just another dream. You will see lots of vision and hear all kinds of sound. Just think of your root guru and Avalokiteshvara. Let go of all your attachment to your family and home. Chant Om Mani Padme Hung.”

Following this phone call, I quickly informed the doctor that I’ve changed my mind and I wanted the hospital to resuscitate TM should his lungs collapse.

My relatives and I then took turns to chant Om Mani Padme Hung with TM. I would also read Rinpoche’s message to TM at regular intervals. Having to reading the message was an extremely agonizing and heartbreaking experience for me, as I really could not accept that death was happening to TM. However, upon hindsight, I realized how fortunate TM was – to have his guru tell him that he was dying and reminding him to let go of his attachment. It also helped me gradually to come to terms with the fact that TM was leaving us and I had to let go of him for his own benefit.

It was only after TM’s death then I learnt that on the morning of 23 March 2006, Rinpoche instructed some students, asking them to visualize him as Avalokiteshvara and chant Om Mani Padme Hung to dedicate to TM. He also stated that TM would pass away either on 23 March or 24 March 2006.

In the afternoon, one of Rinpoche’s students came to visit us. He brought along two lamas who blessed TM and chanted for him. They also brought some precious nectar pills that were blessed by HH Dalai Lama. However, I thought that TM just did not have the merits to consume the nectar pills as he was no longer able to take in any solid food. At that point in time, the nurse brought in a bowl of water to feed TM through the tube. My Dharma brother suddenly thought of a brilliant idea – he crushed the nectar pills and mixed them into the water – and we requested the nurse to feed TM with the “nectar pill solution”.

Just about an hour after TM took the nectar pills, his lungs collapsed for the first time. As instructed by Rinpoche, we got the doctors to resuscitate him. After they managed to revive him, the doctor told me that it was quite a miracle for TM to survive given his current state.

Because of this first collapse, TM was transferred from the common ward into the critical care unit, where he has a room by himself. This allowed us to chant Om Mani Padme Hung loudly inside the room, without having to worry about disturbing other patients. This gave us the conditions to chant for him and even to place an electric prayer wheel above his head. If we did not revive him, TM would have died in the common ward, where we would not have the opportunity to do all these for him.

About two hours later, TM collapsed for the second time. We requested the doctor to resuscitate him again.

At 7pm, TM collapsed for the third time. Not wishing to give up, I requested the doctor to revive him again. However, the doctor told me that nothing else can be done, as they had already set the medicine and the life support machine to the maximum. With support from friends and relatives, I continually chanted for TM and read him Rinpoche’s message.

Finally, at 10.45pm, TM took his final breath. I called Rinpoche but he did not pick up the phone. At that instant, I was very sad and thought that Rinpoche had given up on TM.

However, a few minutes later Rinpoche returned call. I told him that TM had left. Rinpoche said that he knew and he was actually in the midst of doing a puja for TM. As Rinpoche was talking to me, I could hear the sound of bells and chants in the background. Rinpoche also told me that he had to do a Phowa for TM immediately.

About ten minutes later, Rinpoche called me again. He told me that he had done the Phowa for TM and that he was confident that TM will take a good rebirth. Rinpoche then instructed us to chant Namo Amitabha for TM.

We continued to chant for TM for about an hour, before we had to move TM’s body to the funeral parlour. This arrangement was only possible because we followed Rinpoche’s instructions to revive TM, which led him to be transferred to the critical care unit. If we had allowed him to die without reviving him, we would have been asked to move his body immediately.

After we moved to the funeral parlour, we continued to chant into the night. By then, my relatives and I were all physically and emotionally drained. To our surprise, a group of Rinpoche’s students appeared at about 3am to take over the chanting. It was such a great relief to me. It must be due to Rinpoche’s blessing that all the right conditions and support came in at the right time.

After we completed eight hours of chanting, we even saw a rainbow appear on the West side of the sky.

Going through this whole process with TM was a very painful and tormenting experience for me. I am especially thankful to Rinpoche for his strong compassion and kindness to us. He was a shoulder to me during this whole period. He was so skilful at encouraging and motivating me. Rinpoche said that he was more worried for me than for TM and advised me to take care of myself. He told me that TM’s life force was still there. This really gave me the strength to go on, as I thought that only by taking care of myself, then would I be able to take care of TM if he recovered. It was only until later when I was more ready to listen, then Rinpoche explained to me the full picture – that TM’s life force was still there, but his merits to live were already exhausted.

I remember that every time I talked to Rinpoche over the phone, he was always in a puja. I realized that sometimes when Rinpoche used the hand phone during pujas, he was actually answering to urgent calls like mine. I felt very touched, as Rinpoche was not concerned about how other people attending the puja perceived him, he only cared about what people needed from him – in this case, he attended to our need for his guidance and disregarded how other people might view him should they see him constantly using the hand phone during puja. I also felt ashamed of my own expectations that Rinpoche should be very strict during pujas and that I always wondered why Rinpoche would be answering phone calls. I realized how selfless Rinpoche is at helping people!

“The very path you are given is the hindrance.
We love our theology. We love our ideas.
Buddhism is a path of *undoing*.
Removing the dirt is enlightenment.
We do not gain anything.
We *lose everything*.”

– Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche

(Source : http://tw.myblog.yahoo.com/serenalotus-blog/article?mid=385)