FAQ

  1. What is Buddhism? Is it a religion?
  2. Do Buddhist believe in God?
  3. Do Buddhist then believe in heaven?
  4. Who is your leader or master?
  5. What’s a buddha?
  6. Who is Dorje Chang Buddha?
  7. Who is the Adharma Buddha?
  8. What is the relationship between Dorje Chang Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha?
  9. How was Master Wan Ko Yee recognized as the third incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha?
  10. What is the Tripitaka?
  11. What is tantra?
  12. What are the major categories or traditions within Buddhism?
  13. Who is Dorje Amang Nopu Pa Mu?
  14. Who is Dorje Losang?
  15. What sect does H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III belong to?
  16. Why do you do prostrations?
  17. How do Buddhist feel about Jesus Christ?
  18. What is a bodhisattva?
  19. Are all bodhisattvas Buddhists?
  20. Who is a rinpoche?
  21. What is a holy accomplished one?
  22. Are there Buddhist Saints?
  23. Do you have to be a monk or nun to become accomplished in Buddhism?
  24. Does one become a monastic simply by being tonsured?
  25. What is meant by the three sets of precepts?
  26. What is esoteric Buddhism?
  27. What is exoteric Buddhism?
  28. Which type of practice is best?
  29. What is the use of understanding truth?
  30. Why do we have to be liberated?
  31. What do you mean by “living beings?”
  32. What is karma?
  33. Why do humans suffer?
  34. How do we develop loving kindness, compassion, and equanimity?
  35. What other methods are there?
  36. What is Buddha-dharma?
  37. How does one take refuge?
  38. What is the Xuanfa Institute?
  39. Why are the recordings of discourses given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III only available at certain dharma centers and temples?
  40. What is the significance of the Xuanfa logo?
  41. Who can listen to dharma discourses by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and attend and participate in Xuanfa sponsored programs?
  42. How does one establish a dharma center and become a Master of Dharma-Listening Sessions or Acharya?
  43. Why do the long-term retreats extend for three-years, three-months, and three-days?
  44. How does one learn more?

 

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  1. What is Buddhism? Is it a religion? Buddhism is not really a religion. There is no dogma or creed, nor is there any worshipping of divinities as such, but as you see in our homes, dharma centers and temples, we do honor and show extreme respect and devotion to the Bodhisattvas and Buddhas who teach us the dharma or the way to liberation. Buddhism is really a system for developing true compassion and ultimate wisdom, obtaining supernatural powers, and the means to eliminate the suffering of sickness, old age, and death. What we are talking about when we refer to Buddhism are the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, an Indian prince who left his life of pleasure and riches to find the truth of the universe and solve the riddle of life and death. Buddhism was not founded by Shakyamuni Buddha. Instead, it was expounded by Him in this world so we follow Him as the leader of what became known as Buddhism. Buddhism had existed in this world before Prince Gautama became Shakyamuni Buddha over 2,500 years ago. The truth discovered by the Buddha already existed in this universe. It did not begin when He was born or end when He left. It is similar to the fact that this world had been here before mountains and rivers were formed. It is wrong to say that Buddhism was invented by the Buddha. That is not true. The truth does not need to be invented. It is a true existing principle and was discovered by the Buddha. It is very much like what has happened in science. The true principles of science exist in the universe and were discovered and developed by scientists like Newton and Einstein step by step. It is the same notion. There had been numerous ancient Buddhas who came to this world and planted the causes of the dharma before the Buddha was here. Maitreya Bodhisattva will be the next Buddha—the fifth one in our world system. There will be 995 more.

  1. Do Buddhist believe in God? Yes. In fact, Buddhist believe that there are many gods or devas in the various heavens. Buddhists, however, do not believe in any creator god of divine presence that created or directs the operations of the universe, but rather they believe in the Laws of Cause and Effect whereby everything that happens is the result of a corresponding cause that may have happened in this or previous lives and something–through practicing the teachings of the Buddha, they can control. The illusory world that we experience is the collective effect of previous collective actions. Although the effects of karma are fixed, we can, by our self cultivation, push the negative karma back by accumulating more positive karma. Only by becoming liberated from the cycle of birth and death can we escape karma completely. This is the goal of Buddhism.

  1. Do Buddhist then believe in heaven? Yes, but not in the same way as other religions. In Buddhism we do not hold “going to Heaven” as the highest ideal because the heavens are still part of the mundane world. It is true if you lead a good life and do not do evil things you can reincarnate in these very pleasurable higher levels of existence. However, they are not eternal either and also subject to impermanence, although they may exist for a very, very long time—like billions of years. You can go to these places if you have very good karma but when you have used up your good karma, you must go to the lower realms to pay back your evil karma. It is what is called the cycle of reincarnation or rebirth. The lower realms mean the various hells or life as a hungry ghost or craving spirit or even as an animal. Enlightenment is obtaining the wisdom to be able to escape this cycle all together. This is what we call “liberation” and this is the goal of our practice. But precisely because the Buddha realized in His enlightenment that the underlying principle of this wisdom is bodhichitta as expressed in loving kindness, compassion, and equanimity, we seek liberation for all living beings, not just ourselves.

  1. Who is your leader or master? Our master, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III who is also known as Master Wan Ko Yi, is the incarnation of the primordial buddha, Dorje Chang Buddha, and the highest, supreme leader of both exoteric and esoteric Buddhism in the world today. Our Master is now living in the United States but He came here from Sichuan Province in China.  Sichuan Province includes part of what was known as the Kham Region of eastern Tibet. Many of the modern Buddhist saints and great masters came from that mystic land of snow-capped mountains including the past heads of the Nyingma sect, H.H. Khyentse Rinpoche and H.H. Penor Rinpoche. The Bodhimanda (seat of enlightenment) of Guru Padmasambhava is also located there at Kathok Monastery. That monastery has over 100,000 recorded incidents of people achieving the rainbow body whereby one only leaves rainbows and one’s clothing and maybe one’s hair and nails when one leaves this world. Christian scholars have been interested in this phenomena as some think this may explain the transcendence of Jesus.

  1. What’s a buddha? Shakyamuni Buddha and Dorje Chang Buddha are not the only buddhas. There are innumerable buddhas. A buddha is someone who has awaken to his/her full potential as a living being. They are awake to who they really are and have complete and total wisdom, understanding the universal law that underpins the operations of the universe and as such have unlimited supernatural powers and the ability to transform into various forms to help living beings in their quest toward buddhahood. All of us have the potential to become buddhas and eventually will become buddhas. Although there were many buddhas before Shakyamuni Buddha, in this world, it was Shakyamuni Buddha who developed Buddhism to its current level.

  1. Who is Dorje Chang Buddha? Dorje Chang Buddha or Buddha Vajradhara is the ancient buddha in charge of all esoteric and exoteric Buddhism and is often portrayed as the blue sambhogakaya emanation of the Adharma Buddha, with arms crossed holding a dorje (vajra) in each hand and wearing the jewels and elaborate silk garments of a samboghakaya being. He is the master and the teacher of all buddhas, including Shakyamuni Buddha.

  1. Who is the Adharma Buddha? The Adharma or Adi Buddha is the primordial Buddha, sometimes identified as Samantabhadra Buddha or Kuntuzangpo in Tibet, and the embodiment of enlightenment (“bodhi”) or ultimate reality (“dharmakaya”). Although the Adharma Buddha has no form, this unchanging, all pervasive entity is often shown symbolically as a red sun on top of a yellow crescent moon or as a naked blue buddha. Since the Dharmakaya Buddha has no form, He cannot speak or save living beings.

  1. What is the relationship between Dorje Chang Buddha and Shakyamuni Buddha? Dorje Chang Buddha manifested as Dipankara Buddha in another realm and there taught the Buddha-dharma to Shakyamuni Buddha. As the second incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha in this world, this holy being also incarnated into the ancient republic of Licchavi (now Bihar State, India) in the 5th to 6th centuries BC, at the time of Shakyamuni Buddha, as Vimalakirti. This holy layman is known for the famous mahayana sutra bearing his name. Ven. Vimalakirti or Dorje Chang Buddha II demonstrated amazing supernormal powers and taught Shakyamuni Buddha’s disciples the bodhisattva path of the mahayana.

  1. How was Master Wan Ko Yee recognized as the third incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha? Many accomplished Buddhist leaders reviewed an earlier manuscript of the book that became known as H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and looked at the evidence of what Master Wan Ko Yee had done in regards to craftsmanship—creating beauty and joy in the arts and the area of technology; They looked at what He had done in regards to healing—both humans and non-humans as well as fixing broken, inanimate objects; they looked at what He had done in regards to sound, both music and debate as well as all forms of communication; they looked at His understanding of cause and effect or Buddhist logic; and finally they looked at His level of inner realization as expressed through His demonstration of supernormal powers and the supernatural events that occurred in His presence. The later includes manifestations of beautiful rainbow “Buddha Lights” around the sun and moon or on the clouds after or while His Holiness expounded the dharma and having the Buddhas bestow nectar from the sky into a bowl in front of His disciples. These same Buddhist leaders also investigated Master Wan Ko Yee’s understanding of the principles of exoteric and esoteric Buddhism as expressed in the Tripitaka and the tantras. Some determined on the spot that this had to be the work of a Buddha. No ordinary being could accomplish what was shown in that book. Other, more highly realized ones, actually went further and used their own supernormal powers to determine just who this magnificent holy one was by entering into a deep samadhi state and traveling to the dharma realms to investigate.

  1. What is the Tripitaka? The Buddhist canon or scriptures that represent the teachings of the Buddha. Literally, the Tripitaka  means the three baskets. The first basket, the Vinaya-pitaka, contains accounts of the origins of the Buddhist order of monks and nuns as well as the rules of discipline regulating the lives of monks and nuns and is primarily concerned with the teaching of morality. The second, the Sutra-pitaka, is composed of the discourses of Shakyamuni Buddha and his eminent disciples and primarily teaches samadhi or concentration. The third, consists of commentaries or shastras including the Abhidharma-pitaka, a compendium of the extracted and systematized philosophy implicit in the teachings and primarily teaches wisdom or prajna.

  1. What is tantra? Secret teachings of the Buddha that when followed correctly provide a more rapid means to achieve enlightenment. The term is used to describe both the practices themselves and the scriptures or texts used in vajrayana practices.

  1. What are the major categories or traditions within Buddhism?  There are many ways to answer that question, but the most common way of looking at Buddhism is through the two or three vehicles: the hinayana and the mahayana with a third vehicle, the vajrayana being a subset of the Mahayana. Hinayana literally means the lesser or lower path, so called because it holds as its goal the lesser goal of becoming an arhat and not a buddha. It is based on the literal words spoken openly while the Buddha lived in India. This approach emphasizes the early teachings of the Buddha, which emphasized the careful examination of the mind and its confusion. This was the first wave of Dharma exported from India that became the dominant form in most of South-east Asia. Only the Theravada School survived which is often known in the West as vipashyana or Insight Meditation. The goal of the mahayana path or vehicle is to become a bodhisattva and ultimately to achieve the supreme enlightenment of a buddha. It is the tradition of Buddhism practiced in northern Asia, China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Tibet and the Himalayan regions. The Mahayana practitioners’ motivation for following the Dharma path is principally their intense wish for all sentient beings to be liberated from suffering and its causes. The ultimate goal of the mahayana is the attainment of the supreme enlightenment of Buddhahood. The open path consisting of the practice of the six paramitas (perfect virtues) or paramitayana and vajrayana, the secret mantra or adamantine vehicle (tantra), are the two great vehicles of the mahayana.

  1. Who is Dorje Amang Nopu Pa Mu? A female dharma king, Dorje Amang Nopu Pa Mu, is an incarnation of Vajravarahi (Dorje Phagmo), the personification of wisdom, or one who overcomes ignorance. She is a mysterious and reclusive being who normally chooses a life of solitude. Dorje Pa Mu has written extensively on all aspects of Buddhist training, including commentaries on the precepts and various disciplines, logic, meditation, visualization, the prajna of ultimate reality, the middle way, and how to enter the dharma. Dorje Pa Mu was a vajra sister of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. They were both disciples of Great Dharma King Zun Sheng, a manifestation of Mahavairocana Buddha.

  1. Who is Dorje Losang? An advanced disciple of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III who at an advanced age had his beard and vajra hair grow after being empowered by Dorje Pa Mu. He left this world on October 27, 2004, leaving 141 sharira. He was also able to manifest sharira while he was alive. All of these feats were indications of his high level of realization.

  1. What sect does H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III belong to? The Buddha Sect or School. His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III practices the true Buddha-dharma of all the legitimate sects of Buddhism whether they represent the hinayana, mahayana, or vajrayana systems.

  1. Why do you do prostrations? To show our respect to the Buddhas and bodhisattvas and to the buddha that we will become. It is actually a very complex form of secret tantric practice. It is not worshipping the Buddha or a teacher as is commonly and mistakenly thought, even though we sometimes use the word “worship” to describe our supreme devotion and respect.

  1. How do Buddhist feel about Jesus Christ? That he was a great bodhisattva who came to this world to help living beings.

  1. What is a bodhisattva? A holy being or saint who has become enlightened and who enlightens others, but is not yet a Buddha.

  1. Are all bodhisattvas Buddhists? Obviously, not if Jesus was one. For example, the Native Americans have their various holy beings of supernatural origins who came and continue to come to help them and give them special ceremonies and ways to live in this world. The Hopis have their Kachinas who live at the top of the San Francisco Peaks in Arizona, The Iroquois had Hiawatha and Haudenosaunee (The Great Peacemaker) who gave them the concept for the Iroquois confederacy in upstate New York that heavily influenced our Founding Fathers when they drafted the US Constitution. The Lakota had White Buffalo Calf Woman. There are more. Most cultures have such beings in their collective history. Bodhisattvas come in the shape and form that can be most effective in saving living beings and they do not always come in the form of human beings. Shakyamuni Buddha had many lives as a Bodhisattva where He incarnated as various animals where he helped living beings.

  1. Who is a rinpoche? Literally, rinpoche is a Tibetan word that means “treasure among human beings.” The status of a rinpoche cannot be recognized casually. Normally, a rinpoche is someone who has practiced very well in a previous life or lives, practices well in this life, and has been recognized or found by someone with a high state of realization whom we call a holy accomplished one. This would be someone who has reached nirvana. Zhaxi Zhuoma was recognized by a great dhama king and given the title of rinpoche.

  1. What is a holy accomplished one? A saint or holy being.

  1. Are there Buddhist Saints? Yes. Saints in Buddhism, like other religions, are holy beings, who have lived a very pure life and who have exhibited miracles. A Buddhist saint is one who has obtained enlightenment or reached nirvana and possesses the compassion and wisdom of a Buddha and who is free of the suffering and sorrows of mundane existence. Our practice teaches people how to actually become saints in this lifetime. The key is to realize the truth of how the universe functions and the true nature of reality and this is done through learning and practicing Buddha-dharma and the various forms of meditation. What you will find from your meditation is that the underlying principle is something you also know about—it is love and compassion. We call that bodhicitta which literally means the “mind of bodhi or enlightenment,” that is the underlying principle of truth—the ultimate truth of the universe. Well known Buddhist saints include the great Indian mahasiddha (one who has great supernormal powers) Padmasambhava and  the Tibetan Milarepa who was a notorious murderer who became enlightened in one lifetime by practicing the Buddha-dharma under the guidance of a skillful master.

  1. Do you have to be a monk or nun to become accomplished in Buddhism? No, Since the days of Shakyamuni Buddha there have been several types of Buddhist practitioners: lay men and women, novice monks and nuns, and fully ordained monks and nuns, just like there are in Christianity. The ordained ones who practice well can be promoted to the title of abbot or abbess or eminent monastics while the ones who have high academic achievement will become geshes. This is like having a PhD and can take upwards of twenty years of study in a Buddhist University or monastery.  However, one does not have to be an ordained monastic to become accomplished or enlightened. A high title is not necessarily a sign of high accomplishment.

  1. Does one become a monastic simply by being tonsured? No, shaving your head is not enough. In our tradition, you must receive the three sets of precepts, including the monk precepts. There also must be three masters and seven witnesses present when those precepts are received.

  1.  What is meant by the three sets of precepts? From the exoteric traditions of the hinayana there are the pratimoksa vows that come from the Vinaya (a part of the Tripitaka), and the Bodhisattva Vows from the mahayana. From the esoteric tradition there are the Fourteen Root Esoteric Precepts that one receives when when one is given a tantric initiation as well as samaya precepts that one is given as part of specific tantric practices.

  1. What is esoteric Buddhism? In our form of esoteric Buddhism, known as vajrayana Buddhism, we practice the methods to become enlightened beings and eventually Buddhas in this lifetime. Esoteric or vajrayana Buddhism is used to describe the mystical or secret school of Buddhism, but it also includes the teachings of all the other schools. It is the prevalent tradition in Tibet and Mongolia, but also exists in China and Japan (Shingon). Just as we are all evolving toward buddhahood, Buddhism has also evolved with the vajrayana or the esoteric teachings having the most advanced or quickest methods. These may or may not be the most appropriate methods for you. It depends on your past karma and personal characteristics.

  1. What is exoteric Buddhism? The exoteric or open teachings of the hinayana and mahayana traditions include various sects that you may have heard of like the Theravada sects from south-east Asia or the Pure Land and Zen sects from China, Japan, and Korea. The Buddha taught 84,000 methods to lead you to buddhahood to meet the needs of living beings who have different levels of intelligence and different qualities that need to be corrected. The teachings of all true followers of the Buddha, no matter their sect, are essentially the same, but the methods can vary considerably.

  1. Which type of practice is best? That depends on your karma. One size does not fit all in Buddhism. Different medicines are required to treat different diseases, and even at different stages in treating any given disease.

  1. What is the use of understanding truth? It is used to liberate us living beings from the cycle of birth and death.

  1. Why do we have to be liberated? Human beings do not have liberation since humans have all kinds of sufferings and sorrows such as birth, aging, illnesses, death, greed, anger, ignorance, affections, parting with what we love, meeting with what we hate, unattained aims, worries, and obstacles, etc. That is why no one is happy. Some people might look happy but it is only temporary. What is waiting in the future for them is entering the crematorium and being cremated or the graveyard and being buried. In Tibet they could look forward to “sky-burial” where the corpses were cut up and fed to giant buzzards. What happens if you do not become enlightened? Unless we become enlightened, the future that we are looking forward to is the time we take our last breath and suffer extremely from the unbearable pain of leaving this physical body and the breakdown of the four great elements that make up our bodies—earth, water, fire, and wind. Everyone will age and become very unattractive. You will lose your hair, be wrinkled and decrepit, and not be able to run and play and enjoy life. You may even meet an accidental death and leave tomorrow. These are all sufferings.

  1. What do you mean by “living beings?” Living beings includes all forms of life—humans, animals, insects, ghosts, devas or heavenly beings, even the residents of hell, including the demons that torture them. And we must be able to apply loving kindness and compassion to all of them equally, our friends as well as our enemies—that’s equanimity. It is easy to do this to our friends and relatives as well as soft cuddly furry mammals, but we have to have the same compassion and love for snakes, and scorpions, and spiders and cockroaches, etc., as well as beings from this and other dimensions who are often not kind to us—who maybe even want to kill us.

  1. What is karma? Karma is, very simply, you do good, you receive good; you do evil, you will receive evil results. In other words, it is as Jesus said, “As a man sows, so shall he reap.” It does not matter whether you believe in karma or not, it is simply a rule of the universe—like gravity. It is the universal rule of cause and effect. Karma has four characteristics: It is fixed; the results (both good and bad) are often greater than the cause; it never errs; and once created it will not disappear of its own accord. However, after you learn and understand the principles that the Buddha taught; repent and practice what you learned, giving up committing offenses and doing good things, your negative karma cannot mature. It does not disappear, but it is pushed back. It is like building the retaining wall to give you time to become accomplished so that you can escape samsara and the laws of cause and effect.

  1. Why do humans suffer? It is because of the very simple, but profound truth of impermanence. All things change, including you. You are not the same person you were ten or even five years ago and you will be a different being five years from now. There is nothing in this world that is permanent that we can hold on to and that is the source of our dissatisfaction and suffering. We seek the truth, the same truth that the Buddha sought and found, through our various practices, including meditation. In Buddhism you must seek and find this truth for yourself though your own efforts, although you, of course, receive guidance and support from your Master, your companions on the journey, and from higher sources.

  1. How do we develop loving kindness, compassion, and equanimity? An ancient method taught by the Buddha was to realize that all beings have at some time been our mothers. Since we have lived an immeasurable number of lives, this is true. Once we can see all beings as our mothers, we think of the kindness and compassion mothers have, and by wanting to repay that kindness we develop loving-kindness and compassion for all beings.

  1. What other methods are there?  Another and related way is to let go of one’s self and let the truth reveal itself. We want to capture the real truth. It is our attachment to a concept of “Me” that binds us and keeps us from being liberated. You surely have some idea of what is meant by “me-ness” where we tend to think we are more important than any other being. That is part of the truth of understanding the concept of no-self. It’s deeper than that. That is part of what our meditation practices do—helps us to understand who we really are and that all other beings are suffering just like we are. After we have captured this truth, there will be no birth, no destruction but everlasting joy and happiness. Of course, it is the most important thing that we want to pursue in Buddhism. We can capture it by using various methods of meditation practice and by following the correct Buddha-dharma

  1. What is Buddha-dharma? Buddha-dharma is not a method. It requires taking refuge, the transmission of mantras and secret rituals, and listening to and benefiting from dharma lectures. You can say that the Buddha-dharma is the doctrines or teachings of the Buddha as well as the actual realization and powers derived from the practice of these teachings. It will produce certain energy, which can be called a “magnetic field” in modern scientific terms. It requires a special secret ritual for this type of dharma field or the force of dharma to occur. To obtain the secret ritual one needs to take refuge in a lineage of a temple that follows these rituals, follow the transmitted dharma, and take on the private teachings of the dharma. Then, one is able to easily enter the profound dharma and understand the true significance of Buddha-dharma. These are the secret teachings. Recently, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III gave a series of profound discourses that have been published as Learning From Buddha. His Holiness the Buddha explained that the true Buddha-Dharma can be summarized as the essential teachings and practices that enable you to become a Buddha: The preliminary, the main, and the ending or concluding dharma.

  1. How does one take refuge? To become a disciple of the Buddha and attain achievements and liberation you must take refuge in and follow the Three Jewels (the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha). If one does not follow and abide by the Three Jewels, one cannot be transmitted certain dharma. In some traditions of the vajrayana vehicle, you take refuge in the Four Jewels with the guru or master being the fourth jewel and representing the other three.

  1. What is the Xuanfa Institute? The Xuanfa Institute is a nonprofit, international organization founded by Zhaxi Zhuoma Rinpoche to propagate the true dharma that liberates living beings through the use of the three vehicles established by Shakyamuni Buddha—the fundamental theravada, the exoteric mahayana, and the esoteric vajrayana. It currently includes the Holy Vajrasana Temple and Retreat Center being developed at Sanger, California, and the affiliated dharma centers located around the world where you can listen to the preliminary translations of discourses given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. It also includes the Buddhist distant learning program at the Xuanfa Five Vidyas University.

  1. Why are the recordings of discourses given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III only available at certain dharma centers and temples? There are preliminary English translations and have not been approved by the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and as such contain errors and omissions that are sometimes read by Zhaxi Zhuoma at certain locations. However, the original Chinese recordings of discourses are also confined to approved centers and temples. Because they are sacred transmissions, it is not appropriate that they be distributed to the general public. Dharma centers are led by Masters of Dharma Listening Sessions who are required to pass an exam to receive this title. No individual is allowed to have these discourses for his or her own private use, but can only receive them to share with other living beings.

  1. What is the significance of the Xuanfa logo? Here are seven “jewels” on a sun-mirror, sailing on a moon boat in dharma-clouds. The seven “jewels” are Good Fortune, Miracles or Holy Manifestations (magical power), the Five Vidyas, Wisdom, Compassion, Becoming a Saint or Holy Being, and the Quick Path to Enlightenment. This magical mirror of the Buddha-dharma can enable you to attain all these “jewels.” You can be blessed with good fortune and happiness and avoid all disasters. You will naturally acquire the supernormal powers and extraordinary skills with which you can help others. You will perfect your wisdom and compassion to become a holy or enlightened person and ultimately achieve buddhahood (perfection). The Buddha-dharma is truly the wonderful existence of another dimension that is available for everyone. Every living being has the potential to become a Buddha! The image of the Jewel Mirror came to Ven. Zhaxi Zhuoma in a dream. It was such an unusual and vivid dream that she told her vajra master, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, about it only to have His Holiness laugh and say, “But of course, that’s the magical Buddha-dharma that I have been trying to teach you. Use that image as a means of expounding the Dharma!” The sun and the moon together are used as symbols for the highest Buddha-dharma. They are symbols for the Dharmakaya or the Adharma Buddha as noted in question #7.

  1. Who can listen to dharma discourses by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and attend and participate in Xuanfa sponsored programs? “The holy bright dharma lessons discoursed by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III are the supreme dharma treasures that guide living beings to do good conduct and cut off evil deeds in order to attain accomplishment. The dharma lessons teach Buddhists to cultivate according to the Sutra, Vinaya, and Abhidharma [the Tripitaka] of Buddhism and to selflessly benefit others. People all have the qualification to respectfully listen to the dharma lessons. Any dharma-listening center should provide help and assistance to meet anyone’s desire of listening to dharma lessons discoursed by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, and should not use any excuse (such as not taking refuge, no offering, not possessing the suitable affinity, and so on) to keep people from listening to the dharma lessons.  Regardless of whom the leader of this dharma-listening center is and regardless of what reason was provided, anyone who creates obstacles to learning Buddhism and listening to the dharma lessons has certainly lost the virtue of adhering to the great compassion that a cultivator must possess.  Upon discovering such selfish conduct, anyone can choose to go to another dharma-listening center to listen to the dharma lessons and should not continue to follow such selfish people who do not care about living beings.” (From the Fourth Public Announcement from the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.)

  1. How does one establish a dharma center and become a Master of Dharma-Listening Sessions or Acharya? Contact  Zhaxi Zhuoma Rinpoche for assistance in establishing a dharma center. The rinpoche gives periodic classes online on how to do this at the Xuanfa Five Vidyas University. When you have at least ten people who are interested in listening to the dharma discourses, you are eligible to apply to take the exam to become a Master of Dharma-Listening Sessions. To become an Acharya, you must have at least ten students who have their own dharma centers and are themselves Masters of Dharma-Listening Sessions. Contact Zhaxi Zhuoma (zhaxiz@gmail.com) or the International Buddhism Sangha Association (ibsaoffice@gmail.com) for more information on taking the exam.

  1. Why do the long-term retreats extend for three-years, three-months, and three-days?  According to the Kalachakra Tantra, our breathing is naturally linked to the universe and to time. Jamgon Kongtrul, the great nineteenth century Tibetan master noted for his long-term retreats, states: “Externally there are twenty-one thousand, six hundred minutes in one year [of 360 days], while internally this is the number of breaths taken daily. …One thirty-second of each breath is wisdom energy…. Its nature is the indestructible enlightened mind.”[1] However, in our normal daily lives, this spiritual potential is a minor influence. We devote most—maybe all–of our energy and breaths to non-spiritual pursuits or karmic energy. Time spent in meditation retreat greatly diminishes the force of karmic energy. Ideally, all the work, the drives, the emotions, and the habits or lifestyles that dominate our lives in the world are left outside the retreat and supplanted by wisdom energy—the experience of the mind’s natural spacious stillness, bliss, and clarity.  Less and less of each breath taken sustains karmic energy; instead it enhances wisdom energy. If we assumed a lifespan of 100 years, 1/32 of each breath accumulated over that time would be the equivalent to the breaths taken over three years and three fortnights. Given the fact that we use a solar basis for determining time and not the complex lunar based system of the Tibetans, the three years, three months, three days formula has evolved as being the time necessary, at a minimum, to complete the transformation of karmic energy to wisdom energy or to achieve complete enlightenment or as Kongtrul puts it:“All the wisdom energy which circulates during one hundred years equals three years and three fortnights. When all karmic energy is transformed into wisdom energy, enlightenment is attained.”

  1. How does one learn more? Attend a temple or dharma center near you and listen to the holy discourses of  H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Read H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation, What Is Cultivation?, Learning From Buddha, and other books by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III as well as the Dharma That Every Buddhist Must Follow by Dorje Pamu. You can also read the sutras spoken by Shakyamuni Buddha as contained in the Tripitaka and the classic commentaries of other holy beings. Since none of these were written in the original language of the holy being, there may be problems with the translations so that you should consider these works only as references. You can also go to the Xuanfa Five Vidyas University website,

 


[1] The Encyclopedia of Buddhism, Volume 2, pages 639-40.