Gongjue Tuji Rinpoche, who founded and leads the Xuanfa Dharmazentrum (Dharma Center) in Cologne, Germany received a powerful lesson from attending the June 2018 Dharma Assembly celebrating the birthday of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Below is his account of what happened.
When I heard that a very special dharma assembly was going to take place and everyone was encouraged to attend, I was very excited. Actually, I had already planned my trip for this year and booked the appropriate airline tickets. I originally wanted to visit the Holy Vajrasana Temple for a few days later in the year and read the preliminary translations of the Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation and Imparting the Absolute Truth through the Heart Sutra. My personal situation usually only allows me to travel to the USA once a year. Which made it a bit difficult for me in this case as it is always a cost issue.
Also, the date fell pretty close in the time we were supposed to move into our new home. All in all, it seemed as if it would not be possible for me to participate in this dharma assembly. But since it was said that everyone should do everything possible to attend, I knew that it had to be something special that I shouldn’t miss. Perhaps we would all be given a very special Dharma? I didn’t want to miss it under any circumstances. I was very sad at the time when the Holy Monk Yin Hai passed away and I was not able to attend one of the dharma assemblies to pay my last respects. This is a brief account of what I experienced when I travelled to the dharma assembly for celebrating the birthday of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III at Heavenly Lake, California.
So this time I had to do everything I could to make sure I didn’t miss this important event. Since 2009 I have been travelling regularly to the USA to learn and receive the true Buddha Dharma. So far everything has always worked out happily and I have never experienced anything negative on these trips. So this time it surely should work, too, although the signs were not good.
So I decided to discuss it with my wife. She is not a Buddhist, but she supports me a lot in being able to practice Buddhism. She wasn’t thrilled when I told her about it. The move was almost upon us and there was still so much to do. Also, we had a lot of expenses at that time with the purchase of the house, so our parents had to support us financially. In the end she agreed to let me go. But she only did it because she didn’t want to be blamed for me missing this important event.
So I booked another flight to California at short notice and was very happy that I was allowed to leave. Unfortunately, it turned out that the flight I had booked before for my trip to the Holy Vajrasana Temple could not be cancelled and I was left with the cost. I still got an affordable accommodation, but due to my limited budget, it was not in an all too nice neighborhood. Arriving there, the first doubts arose whether the decision to fly and leave my wife and daughter behind in the chaos of our move was right.
The next day was the day. The dharma assembly was about to begin. His Holliness, the Buddha came and rose up to the dharma rostrum. Now I should be compensated for everything. Deep down I hoped to get a great Dharma, something which was priceless. And so it was! It was just something completely different than I had expected. His Holliness, the Buddha began to give us a Dharma discourse about self-cultivation. At that moment I began to understand how stupid I really was. It became clear to me that even when searching for the Dharma, you can’t go beyond the principles of self-cultivation, which are to not let others suffer by putting your own interests first. I began to understand how terrible my wife was feeling at that moment when I left her alone at home with all the work and spent a lot of money that we could have used differently right now. I felt very bad and wanted to go home quickly.
When the Buddha finally announced that each participant should receive a special vajra pill, I was at least a little calmer. In the new house I will finally have my own Buddha room with a large altar and I will place this pill there as a “trophy”. So I thought.
From then on I focused on my journey home. All I had to do was check in and get to my plane in time and then everything would be fine again. At the motel I tried to check in online for my flight. But unfortunately the flight was already overbooked and I was not assigned a seat. If I didn’t get this plane anymore and was forced to take the next one, I wouldn’t make it to our move in time. I knew that my wife would not forgive me for this and would get divorced from me. And as if that wasn’t enough, I had also lost my robe. This has never happened to me before and it was not a good sign.
I was devastated and in a state of despair I beseeched my Yidam to help me in this situation. During the practice of my Yidam Dharma I was told not to worry as I would return home in time for the move. But due to my misconduct I have to bear the karmic consequences immediately. In addition, my Yidam explained to me that it is not about how great and big my altar is in my new Buddha room. The highest offering I should make to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is correct cultivation. That’s the most important thing! I wouldn’t need to collect “trophies.”
I was deeply grateful and burst into tears. I found out afterwards, that I could book a Priority Seat by a further surcharge. In total, this was the most expensive flight I ever had. This was just karmic consequence. So I actually got home in time and from that point on focused even more on correct cultivation.
I had to promise my wife that I wouldn’t renovate and build the Buddha Room until I had finished everything else in the house. Meanwhile, the new Buddha Room is standing, and every time I enter it, I think back about the event and reflect on whether I have cultivated correctly so as not to enter the room without a real offering.
Namo H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III
Gongjue Tuji Rinpoche
Köln (Cologne), GERMANY
WEBSITE (German): https://xuanfa-dharmazentrum.de