Tuesday, 1 December 2009

One precious experience

Apart from the centres I usually go to, on and off, I do attend some teachings or events organised elsewhere, especially when visiting Great Masters, Rinpoches and Venerables are in town.

I have always wanted to do a mini retreat (I am not ready for those that require continuous few days stay-overnight). So I was keen to try the one-day Mani chanting program, which was about the most familiar six-syllable mantra ‘OM MANI PADME HUM’, mantra of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva (Guanyin), which embodies perfect compassion and the core essence of the 84,000 Teachings of all the Buddhas.

The teacher for this program was Tsultrim Gyamtso Rinpoche, a reincarnated Tulku, whom I met for the very first time. Rinpoche hails from Yachen Monastery in Sichuan China, which houses 11,000 monks. His practice and realisation has been recognised and highly praised. He has wholeheartedly transmitted the Buddha's teachings to disciples with karmic connections all over the world.

Tsultrim Rinpoche is the thinnest Rinpoche I ever met, and even though he is only in his 30s, he cuts a delicate figure. However his demeanour appeared serious but patient, and learned far beyond his years. Besides Mani chanting, he led the 200 of us into the practice step by step, in doing the preliminaries, full prostrations, visualisation, meditation, as well as teachings. He led us in circumambulating the Buddha statue and the entire hall while chanting. Most precious were his teachings and he gave precious oral transmissions of  Avalokiteshvara, Green Tara and Ksitigarbha according to his lineage. He also bestowed the oral transmission of Phowa, which is about how to transfer our consciousness at the time of death. I recorded all that down. He said it is beneficial to  play the recording of Phowa to anyone who is dying.

What touched me was seeing many people wanting to offer khata to Rinpoche and giving him red packets (money),  but he rejected them all. It was then announced that Rinpoche has stressed that he is here purely on teaching the Buddha Dharma, and even though he appreciates our offerings (供养), there is no need to do so. I cannot help but be thankful that I have met many precious genuine teachers.

BTW, Tsultrim Rinpoche has remarkably strong and melodious vocals. I feel he should release an album, really. Below is my recording of his chanting Om mani padme hum.

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