Gratitude Series #17 – Cheating death

I am accident prone would be an understatement… I think I am death prone would be more appropriate. So how many car accidents have I had? Too many till I lost track of it all but there were three major ones that would have, should have costed me my life and if it wasn’t for Tsem Rinpoche, I most probably would not be writing this for you to read it right now.

The very first one was my car accident just outside our newly renovated 1st Kechara centre in Sunwaymas in 2004. It happened when I was about to go out to do run an errand with a friend of Rinpoche’s from Switzerland. I had just bought my 1st car, a Kelisa about 4 months earlier, and as I was reversing out of the car park, I smashed the back of my car in to a truck load of gas tanks. I could have swore when I checked my mirrors, there was not a single vehicle in sight! The impact was so hard that a gas tank flew out and landed itself next to the front of the car. It was not on the car (thank goodness) but on the road beside my car. The trunk of my car was smashed right in to passenger seat. Luckily no one was seating at the passenger side! I froze and could not or did not dare to move. I was in shock as this was my first ever major car accident in my first ever car!

During that time I was also in a retreat that Rinpoche had prescribed for me to do. The night before the accident, Tsem Rinpoche and a few close students came over to my house to have a look at my altar set up. Rinpoche sat on my retreat cushion and asked for me to prepare him a serkym (black tea offering) which I did and Rinpoche then did a short serkym offering to Lord Setrap. Rinpoche said it is so I have a successful retreat. Then the very next day was the accident!

I was lucky it was just outside of Kechara House and there were a few KH members who came out to help. I wouldn’t have known what to do if it was some other random place or highway. I grabbed my little golden Tara tsa tsa that Rinpoche gave me for my car and was escorted inside KH and minutes later Dato Ruby came as requested by Rinpoche to pick me up and bring me to Rinpoche’s house.

When I was at Rinpoche’s ladrang, I was served with some fruits, and I remembered this clearly because I was wondering how could I or anyone eat after going through what I just went through? I was still traumatised. Not long after, I was called in to see Rinpoche in His room. Rinpoche told me that I should “rejoice” for what happened and said when someone is doing a retreat and if anything bad were to happened, it would mean that some heavy negative karma was purified and that the retreat is working and hence I should feel happy! At that moment all the trauma and feeling sorry for myself, the “why is this happening to me” feelings slowly started to take a back seat. Rinpoche also told me that that was the reason why He came over to my house and did a special serkym offering for me the night before this accident. This was the first time Rinpoche saved my life!

Second major accident that could have costed my life was actually about 2 years back when I was heading back from my duty in Kechara Paradise outlet in Sunway Pyramid. It was raining lightly and as I took the turn off going up to Damansara Heights, Jalan Bangsar, my little wee Kelisa car skidded and I landed in to the big drain. Luckily during that moment, there was no cars at the back or beside me that could have hit me or been hit by me and it could have been worst!

I was then warned by Rinpoche to be extra careful on the road for Rinpoche had a weird stabbing feeling at the chest area each time He sees me. Rinpoche described it as something sharp piercing through my chest. Also during those few months, my car’s battery would constantly be at fault. I would have forgotten to turn my car lights off and drained my batteries. This would happened so frequent that it wasn’t even funny. It was like protector trying to stop me from driving. Rinpoche confirmed it to me later.

The 3rd major accident that could have taken my life happened a few months later when I was driving up to Kechara Forest Retreat (KFR). The day before the Ladrang team were told to go up to KFR to help with some cleaning, Rinpoche had informed us that we should all car poll going up, The next day, I woke up late so everyone had left and was on their way, so I had no choice but to drive up myself up.

Just after Janda Baik, my car lost control, I noticed my car was basically moving more and more towards left on its own, and stepping on the breaks made it lost control even more. Next thing I knew, I turned 360 twice and I slammed in to a huge ditch. Luckily there was a ditch because right after that was a hill that dropped down. It all happened so fast, all I knew was that this time I was going to hit very hard, there was nothing I can do, so I just closed my eyes and thought of Rinpoche, my Guru (and Protector as one). I thought well if I am going to die right now, I might as well die with the right thoughts in mind!

I opened my eyes and realised I was still alive and only then noticed that my side window was completely smashed… and my head lying on it but it was cushioned by my laptop bag! This was a laptop bag that Rinpoche had just gifted me 2 nights ago with a new laptop, Rinpoche actually told Pastor Loh to give me 2 laptop bags, why I was wondering then? Now I know! Somehow I did not take my laptop that day and I left one of the bags in the back seat! So how on earth did this bag so coincidentally flew from the back seat, and so accurately landed in between my face and the smashed window, protecting my head from being smashed? I basically climbed out with a few minor scratches on my right arm. That was it!

What would have happened if I had no Dharma, no Rinpoche? How did Rinpoche know to give me two laptop bags?! How did Rinpoche prepared me? All I know was this is the 3rd time my Lama has saved my life from a tragic car accident. They say just from one’s faith in the Guru, one will be protected and gain tremendous blessings as He is kinder even more than the Buddhas of the past/present/future. I can swear this is TRUE based not just on my “faith” but for the many times I’ve cheated death.

When I think back, I am amazed at how many times Rinpoche has saved my life… the gifts like many gifts are real blessings, like the laptop bag, if not for it,  I will not live to tell this tale today. Thank you Rinpoche for literally saving my life!


My Kelisa that has gone through hell and back with me.

My Kelisa that has gone through hell and back with me. This was the ditch I landed in on my 3rd accident.

I wasn't suppose to be alive. If it wasn't for the laptop gift Tsem Rinpoche gifted me with the two bags, I may not be still alive!

I wasn’t suppose to be alive. If it wasn’t for the laptop gift Tsem Rinpoche gifted me with the two bags, I may not be still alive! I cheated death with a few scratches and bruise on my arms.


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