The founder of True Buddha School, Master Sheng-Yen Lu was born on the eighteenth of the fifth Lunar month, 1945, in the county of Chiayi at Taiwan. He now resides in the Seattle area of the United States. His religious background includes Christianity, Taoism, Sutrayana and Tantric Buddhism. Master Lu keeps a disciplined schedule throughout the day and has been practicing yoga and meditation everyday for over thirty five years. He has already reached the stage in which any yoga he engages in manifests a response. His inner world encompasses the Buddhist Tripitaka as well as the knowledge of the Supreme Consciousness of the Universe. Having achieved Enlightenment, Master Lu is revered by his students as a Living Buddha, Lian-shen. To date, the number of students all over the world who have taken refuge in Master Lu has reached over five million. There are also more than three hundred local chapters of the True Buddha School, including 35 major temples. Master Sheng-Yen Lu is also a prolific writer with over two hundred twenty Chinese books already in print.
How to take refuge in Living Buddha Lian-Sheng
The importance of taking refuge empowerment:
Performing virtuous deeds, chanting and paying homage to Buddhas are important. In addition, to advance the level of practice, it is necessary to do the inner cultivation which involves a long period of training. This requires the guidance of a real transcendental Vajra Master who can lead an individual to the right path to achieve results. In order to be a student, one has to take refuge and receive initiation empowerment blessing from the Master.
In Vajrayana, a person who has received the refuge empowerment from a Vajra Master, also becomes a disciple to the Buddha. This establishes the path of cultivation toward perfect enlightenment.
Vajrayana practice places heavy importance on refuge and transmission empowerment from the Guru without which, it is quite impossible to achieve any result.
There are two ways of taking refuge in Living Buddha Lian-Sheng:
1. In writing
At 7:00 a.m. (your local time) of either first or fifteenth of every lunar month, face the direction of the rising sun. With palms joined, reverently recite the Fourfold Refuge Mantra three times: "Namo Guru bei, Namo Buddha ye, Namo Dharma ye, Namo Sangha ye" and prostrate three times.
Send a letter to the True Buddha Foundation request a refuge empowerment. State your name, address, age, and enclose a voluntary offering. Upon receiving the letter, the True Buddha Foundation will send a certificate, a picture of the Living Buddha Lian-Sheng, and a note stating the level of practice you should start with. The address of the True Buddha Foundation is:
True Buddha Foundation
17102 NE 40th Ct.
Redmond, WA 98052, USA
2. In person
You may obtain refuge empowerment personally from Grand Master Lu, or from a True Buddha Master who confers the empowerment on behalf of Grand Master, by visiting a True Buddha temple, chapter or meditation center, or by attending a True Buddha ceremony.