Jun. 23, 2012 Dharma Discourse - Live Essence Burial (Sheng Ji) Practice
(This translation only includes content pertaining to Live Essence Burial Practice)

《The excerpt of Dharma Teaching Given by Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng at a Group Cultivation for Padmasambhava on Jun. 23, 2012, Sat., at Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple, Seattle, WA, USA》

There was a question today about Life Essence Burial (Sheng Ji) Practice. Didn’t I previously discuss this practice? Haven’t I mentioned it in a book? Someone said I didn’t. Nonetheless, many True Buddha School (TBS) masters and reverends perform this practice. Even regular group cultivations help people in the practice.

Let me tell you. Life Essence Burial Practice is a useful practice for the mundane world. As for the supermundane however, it’s not much use at all. Life Essence Burial Practice makes use of the spiritual forces and energy of the earth to change fate and fortune. It can also correct illness and revise misfortune. It is considered a method of altering destiny, but has little connection with supermundane. Rather, it belongs to geomancy (feng shui).

The way Life Essence Burial Practice works is when one is experiencing bad luck, one finds a vital energy nexus within the land to change one’s luck. If one is poor, after the practice, one will become rich. If one is not in any official position, after the practice, one will attain an official position. If one is unmarried, after the practice, one will marry a fine and helpful wife. If one has poor health, after the practice, one will be strong. All these changes in fate result from utilizing the vital spiritual energy of the earth, a method called Life Essence Burial Practice. Burial after death is called Death Burial, not Life Essence Burial.

When a person is still living, items representing the person’s spirit, such as hair, nails, and clothing, are buried. Some Life Essence Burial Ceremonies are grand. They require burial of items from head to foot such as a well-worn cap, hair, nails, well-worn underwear, jacket, and pants, as well as one’s belt, shoes, and socks. These items are placed inside a box and buried. This is a special kind of life essence burial. One changes one’s life in this way. Because one’s well-worn cap, clothes, shoes, socks and underwear have one’s smell and have absorbed one’s qi, when these items are gathered together and buried, they can benefit one’s whole body. Some people even prick their finger with a needle to get a drop of blood and include the blood in the burial, namely including all possible spiritual essence of one’s own body into the burial. This is the Life Essence Burial Practice.

It’s ok to not include one’s cap and shoes so long as other items from head to toe, such as hair, nails, and a piece of well-worn clothing, are included. Some people also include a drop of blood. In this way, the entire body is represented. One then places the items inside a small red or yellow bag and buries the bag.

However, of utmost importance is to bury the life essence where there is a dragon nexus. If one wants to see where a dragon is located, one can find one at Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple (LSCTT) in Seattle.

When I first came to Seattle LSCTT, I noticed that Microsoft was behind the temple as backing. Although it is called micro and soft, this backing dragon, in fact, is not soft at all. It is actually strong. It should be called “strong and hard” instead!

I find it curious that Microsoft is translated with the Chinese characters meaning “tiny and soft”. Why? Micro means tiny and soft implies weakness. Oh, my God! Microsoft should be translated as “very strong”. This backing dragon happens to be a really good dragon. It”s been drinking water from Lake Sammamish. Therefore, good feng shui must have backing. In other words, the site must be higher in the back and lower at front, meaning there is backing behind it. The front must be lower in elevation and must include reflection. Lake Sammamish is in front (of LSCTT) and there is light reflecting from the water in the lake. The location must also be embraced on both sides, that is, both left side and right side must be of higher elevation, surrounding the location and “embracing” it from both sides.

Because the dragon side of LSCTT is somewhat lower than the tiger side, we enshrined a dragon deity to counterbalance this. Because the tiger side is higher than the dragon side, there are more famous female TBS masters than male masters.

A perfect energy nexus is extremely powerful. So powerful that a small temple will not only develop large temples, it will also go on to spread Buddhadharma throughout the world. It then becomes a worldwide temple. (audience applause)

Although our mother temple is small, there is abundant spiritual energy here. In fact, because this temple is located on a Sheng Ji energy nexus, the temple itself is a life essence, therefore the Buddhadharma is able to be propagated worldwide from the temple.

Because LSCTT, the mother temple, is on the Sheng Ji nexus, TBS has developed from a few initial disciples to the present millions of disciples all over the world. The development began right on this spot.

From the first time we visited this location, we could tell this location has powerful spiritual energy in the earth. Mr. Zhang Huangming, a famous geomancy master from Taiwan (also known as Master Liandi), once visited LSCTT. He sat on the ground and exclaimed, “I am not going to leave. I am going to stay here and absorb the energy!” There is a reason for this. Everyone is really something.

The most important thing in Life Essence Burial Practice is the incoming dragon, the dragon is moving under the ground, stops right here, and forms an embryo. It is the incoming dragon and the embryo that turn the spot into a treasure spot for life essence burial. If one buries one’s life essence articles into a spot with no incoming dragon, then one will become sick even if one has been healthy; one will lose money even if one has been rich; one will lose one’s luck to be an official even if one is about to become one. Therefore, Life Essence Burial Practice is very important. One needs to know how to identify the incoming dragon. If one wants to find a life essence burial spot, one needs to find an authentic master who genuinely knows geomancy to identify the presence of an incoming dragon.

Ever since I taught geomancy to a few TBS masters, (of course, there were some absent), they all became “feng shui masters” and began giving advice about feng shui. Some masters never listen to anything about Vajrayana but just give geomancy advice. Their feng shui “business” has gotten bigger and bigger, covering both residences and tombs, both life essence burial and death burial.

Geomancy practitioners can wrongly evaluate the feng shui of a residence if their understanding of feng shui is shallow and unsophisticated, for example, their knowledge only extending to what is a green dragon and what is a white tiger, or what is the dragon side and what is the tiger side.

Therefore, the most important thing is the incoming dragon and an energy nexus. When these conditions are met, one may perform the Life Essence Burial Practice. Otherwise, do not, under any circumstances, risk performing a life essence burial in the location. If one performs a life essence burial where there is no incoming dragon and no energy nexus, the whole thing is a “big lie” just as reported by TV stations in Taiwan. It’s a big lie!

Very few people have learned feng shui from Grandmaster, but everyone seems to be a feng shui master. They even give advice on death burial, which can be extremely dangerous, because the deceased lying inside the tomb may come out to catch you if they are not happy! When infliction happens, the face of the master turns dark and no matter what, the dark face can’t be eradicated by any means. Why? Because the burial ground selected has no qi in the earth.

The money one earns from the burial of the deceased may not cover one’s expenses for medication. From that point on, one’s face darkens and one’s entire body is inflicted. It is because the deceased can no longer rest peacefully. The disturbed soul then comes after whoever performed the geomancy.

As a result, one can very easily lose one’s life. Because you made mistakes burying the deceased, the deceased will come looking for you. Of course, spirits who are not disturbed will lie buried in the ground forever. But the disturbed spirits will definitely come looking for you, and when they find you, you will soon be dead.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking feng shui is just fun and games. Earning money by giving careless geomancy advice can be devastating! The location must have an incoming dragon, and it must be a nexus where vital energy gathers and remains. Then and only then is the location suitable for life essence burial.

Because the location has both an incoming dragon and a vital energy nexus, it is acceptable to collect and bury everyone’s life essence there, regardless of one’s zodiac. At least when one’s lucky year comes around, one will prosper and flourish. Remember this principle.

Many people have asked me how to perform life essence burial. It’s very simple! Chant the mantra of the Earth God while digging a burial hole in an energy nexus with an incoming dragon.

One must recite the mantra of the Earth God and invoke the earth deities of the four directions. Those performing the ritual with greater enthusiasm will inscribe the mantra on a sign. What is the mantra of the Earth God? “Namo sam-man-do, moo-toh-nam, om, doo-loo-doo-loo-dei-wei, so-ha.” Correct. Write the mantra on wooden signs and insert a sign in the east, south, west and north respectively. Recite the mantra while digging the hole. The earth deities will come to guard and protect the burial site.

An auspicious date and hour, that is, a good date and time, must be selected for burial of the life essence. After the life essence is buried, the presiding master must chant the Earth God mantra to bless all the life essence articles. The master must then invoke the Four Holy Beasts; the Azure Dragon, the Vermilion Bird, the White Tiger and the Black Tortoise. They are four earth related holy deities, the deities of the four directions, the dragon on the left, the tiger on the right, the bird at the front and the tortoise in the back. All four should be invoked.

To invoke all deities, hold a compass and recite, “Shou-ju-luo-geng-ba-gua-shen, you-qing-zhong-shen-ming.” [ holding the compass deity of eight trigrams, I invoke all deities.]

Next, place rice and salt in a bowl. While casting the rice and salt in order to east, west, south, and north, recite correspondingly, “yi-sa-dong-fang-jia-yi-mu [first, cast jia yi wood to the east],
er-sa-xi-fang-geng-xin-jin [second, cast geng xin metal to the west],
zai-sa-nan-fang-bing-ding-huo [third, cast bing ding fire to the south],
si-sa-bei-fang-ren-kui-shui [fourth, cast ren kui water to the north].”
and last, cast “zhong-yang-wu-ji-tu [wu ji earth to the center].” The function of casting rice and salt is to eradicate inflictions of the four directions and the centre.

Once the inflictions are removed, wait for the right timing to fill in the hole. After the hole is filled in, one must burn joss paper to send the deities off. Some people even would prepare oblations.

The presiding master then sends off the deity of the four directions in the east, west, south, and north, the Azure Dragon, the Vermilion Bird, the White Tiger, the Black Tortoise, and the earth deities of four directions. This is sending off the deities. If one performs the practice in this way, one is performing Sheng Ji properly.

While burying the life essence articles, the master must recite, “Liang-chen-ji-ri, da-ji-da-fa [On this auspicious day, may everyone prosper and be lucky],” while the others present shout “Fa-la [prosper]! ” in unison. This is the basic Sheng Ji practice and was what my master taught me.

In the old days, we recited, “Shou-ju-luo-geng-ba-gua-shen, yi-sa-dong-fang-jia-yi-mu, er-sa-xi-fang-geng-xin-jin... dong-fang-jia-yi-mu, xi-fang-geng-xin-jin, nan-fang-bing-ding-huo, bei-fang-ren-kui-shui, zhong-yang-wu-ji-tu” in Taiwanese. Nowadays, we recite in Mandarin and Taiwanese mixed together. Otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to recite it because it’s been such a long time since we recited it. This was what my master taught me in the old days. Basically, the rules of etiquette must be followed. Deities must be invoked and sent off. Joss paper must be burned. After the burial, auspicious words must be shouted. One also shouts out what one is praying for. Of utmost importance is that the burial location has an incoming dragon and there is an energy nexus there.

This practice has its origin and must be performed correctly. Whether one needs to perform life essence burial depends on one’s luck. If one shows little luck, the master may offer help to perform Sheng Ji.

“Will one prosper by performing the life essence burial?” One should additionally perform good deeds! By performing good deeds one is able to prosper! One must at least cultivate Vajrayana and chant mantras! If one does nothing but only wish to prosper, one will not become fortunate and prosper. Everything happens for a reason.

We originated from our parents. Things also have their roots. Here is a joke. One night, a three and a half year old boy was lying in bed between his mother and father. The boy said, “Mom, hold me.” His mom said teasingly, “If I hold you, then how about your Dad?” The son immediately told his dad, “Go find your mother.”

Our life has a source, doesn’t it? Our parents give us life, and that is our lineage. The Buddhadharma we study comes from a lineage. My masters taught me, then I taught you. You are Grandmaster’s lineage. My masters have their own lineage as well. No one is without lineage.

There is no such thing as being born knowing Buddhadharma without any learning process. One does not just appear from inside a rock. Lineage is very important. Someone remarked, “Grandmaster hasn’t taught Life Essence Burial Practice.” Yet, many people all over the world had started to perform the practice anyway. Lay Buddhists, masters, and senior reverends are going all out to perform the practice, because money is rolling in from performing the practice. Since everyone requests life essence burial, I must discourse some of the background of the practice which has its roots and origin.

Some disciples are getting smarter. They asked masters, “Did you learn geomancy from Grandmaster?” “No.” they reply. “Then, how do you know geomancy?” They reply, ”I learned it from my ancestors!” Therefore, everyone is now practicing life essence burial as they learned from their ancestors. I guess everyone’s ancestors were feng shui experts, but not mine.

I think I have covered most of the Life Essence Burial Practice. From now on, Rainbow Temple can perform the ceremony because the temple has the feng shui! There is feng shui where my mother was buried. In the future, after the columbarium is built, there will be an energy channel coming down to the side of Twin Lotus Ponds at Rainbow Temple. My mother was buried there, so were My grandparents and younger brother, totaling four spots. In the future, after the columbarium is built, they will be moved to the columbarium.

The good news is that the building permit for the columbarium has been approved. (audience applauds). The building design, however, must conform to the city building code. The next step, obtaining the construction permit, will be more difficult because this area is zoned for public use. Certain facilities are required on the premises.

In the US, construction in an area zoned for public use is strictly regulated. There are regulations governing road width, handicap accessibility ramps, public restrooms, and handicap accessible restrooms. Since people will come to worship their ancestors at this columbarium, these requirements must be met. Therefore, one does not just build a columbarium without taking other factors into consideration. It would be illegal to build without following the building code. The US is highly regulated and there are many laws governing all aspects of construction. Tear down what should be torn down. Build what is permitted to be built. Complying with all these regulations can be quite costly.

Translated by TBTTs
Translator: Phyllis Feng
Editors: Henry Wolf and DJ Chang
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