Rinpoche pays special attention to the purity of the source of Dharma teachings. He only receives teachings from the Gurus with great virtue and high realization. Rinpoche has received transmissions of all the teachings that he gives, including not only the Vajrayana practices but also the prayers. In this way, he ensures that the teachings come from the origin of Shakyamuni Buddha, are passed through many generations of Gurus to himself, and then to the disciples. The disciples then can receive the pure transmission of the practices, the uninterrupted flow of Dharma and the complete blessing. This is what Chinese Buddhism and Sutrayana often lack.
Rinpoche’s teachings merge the Three Yanas of the Dharma teachings seamlessly in a skillful way. He believes that Hinayana is the foundation and also the complement of Mahayana. One should not neglect the Hinayana teaching’s emphasis on cultivation of cause and effect, positive karma, and precepts. Vajrayana is a branch of Mahayana and it is the supreme method for achieving attainment quickly. Rinpoche’s Vajrayana teachings merge the Tibetan Gelug practice with the secret treasure of Nagavara Raja Lineage, taking the Gelug teaching as its foundation and main structure and Manjushri Vajrayana teaching as its essence.
Rinpoche emphasizes the importance of laying a good foundation. We should remove negative karma and accumulate positive karma. We should have deep understanding of the functioning of cause and effect and karma, and act accordingly. Only when we accumulate sufficient merit asset and can improve our worldly lives, can we then have fewer obstacles in our cultivation and make far-reaching progress.
To cultivate Dharma is to wake up our mind that has been in deep sleep, numb and unaware, driven by karma to cycle in Samsara. Cultivation does not mean merely to come to the Dharma classes or do some practices to make our body and mind temporarily relaxed and comfortable, or to only perform the process but without taking the Dharma into our mind. That is not learning or cultivating Dharma. We need to train our mind to be nimble and sharp, capable of knowing clearly what is right and wrong. When we get to the point that we realize we are pushed by the karma waves in Samsara, helpless and out of control, we become keenly alert and fearful. Then we know that Dharma is the only way to change our own karma and control the fate of our current and future lives. At that point we seek the help and protection from the Guru and the Three Jewels, and only then can our cultivation actually start.
Knowing the theory is the first step. To actually realize it and act accordingly is not so easy. Cause and effect and cultivating to accumulate virtues and assets are the key points that are most critical, but cultivators often overlook these, thinking these are for beginners. Instead, they are only interested in learning new terminologies and practices. In this way it is hard to make progress in cultivation, and it is very easy to regress.
Therefore, to truly cultivate is to connect the Dharma that we have learned to our true situation. Otherwise we are just learning terminology and knowledge, which is the Study of Dharma. Rinpoche emphasizes that we should use Dharma to examine ourselves and change ourselves, not to beautify ourselves. We should practice the Dharma that Buddha has taught, and proceed on the path that Buddha has taught – this is the Religion of Buddhism.
Rinpoche has extraordinary ability in presenting the sophisticated and profound Dharma logic in a clear and concise way. Concise does not mean simple or not deep. Rinpoche’s skill lies in his ability to extract the essence and key points for attaining success from his own experience of cultivation and realization, and then to pass the teaching selflessly.
Rinpoche fully understands what the Dharma students in the current time need. He teaches not by following doctrines in texts, but through patient guidance, allowing the students to become familiar with the teaching and practice. Rinpoche is able to utilize Sutrayana and Vajrayana teachings flexibly. He revises and compiles a variety of practices that are suitable for the temperament of people today, removing their obstacles to learning. Step by step, Rinpoche tirelessly helps the disciples to adjust their mind stream, correct their attitude and improve their capability.
Unlike most other Gurus, Rinpoche not only teaches Dharma but also leads disciples in practice. He connects the practices taught in every class together and makes sure the disciples know how to apply them. Rinpoche supervises and protects the disciples in their study and also gives them timely guidance. Effectively, quickly and accurately, Rinpoche leads the disciples towards the correct path that Buddha has taught.
Applying antidotes to the disciples’ habitual patterns and obstacles, and preserving the pure Dharma, are the characteristics of Rinpoche’s loving kindness, compassion, wisdom and bravery. Rinpoche is a sage and Bodhisattva who can lead and protect us in cultivation to truly benefit our current and our future lives; he is a rare jewel in our current times.