Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s retreat room was located in the holy mountain of Lapchi at an altitude of 4,500 meters above sea level. Even in June and July, its summer temperatures are extremely low, well under 0 degree centigrade, with frequent snow and hail falls. The air is thin and there are no bridges, roads, electricity or water supply. The area was sparsely populated and flying in with a helicopter was the only feasible transportation method. Bone chilling winds blew into Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s retreat room through the crevices of its wooden wall. The room temperature remained under the freezing point all the time even it was summertime. The mist hovering above the floor would freeze as well. During the retreat, the door was locked and it was prohibited for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to get out of the retreat room, to talk, to murmur to himself, to see others, to wash his face, to take showers, to shave, to cut his hair, or even to trim his finger and toe nails. Only a great practitioner with few or no desires would manage to conduct a retreat in such a hostile and difficult environment. It could never have been achieved by an ordinary practitioner.
Just like his other retreats, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche practiced with great selfless compassionate aspiration and the determination to even face death in the retreat room. Being as bony as Jetsun Milarepa, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still cultivated diligently for 3 consecutive months. Everyday Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began his practice at 4 am and rested at 10 pm. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once recalled birds singing every morning during his retreat, as if they were trying to wake Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche up. Nevertheless, their singing was no longer heard once the retreat was completed. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche achieved perfection of the retreat, even the attending lama of His Holiness Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang praised Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his accomplishment. This served as another proof of what Most Venerable Drubwang Norbu Rinpoche had said, “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a rare practitioner with great capacities.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche clarified that Rinpoche would not have been able to perfectly complete this retreat of Hevajra practice if Rinpoche had not attained the accomplishment of Tummo. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ’s severe scoliosis almost recovered after the completion of the retreat.
During the retreat, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once woke up abruptly with a heart rate of 150 bpm and failed to breathe. At such a life-threatening moment, instead of worrying about his own well being, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche prayed to the Dharma Protectors and the Yidam, “If my body can no longer be helpful or beneficial to the sentient beings, please take me. If I can still help and benefit the sentient beings, let me stay then.” Dharma Protector Achi bestowed a nectar pill to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thereby was able to continue the retreat and came out safe and sound. It could be seen that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s incredible aspiration to benefit the sentient beings is blessed by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.
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