November 2, 2019, True Buddha Communication and Sharing Seminar(2)
In November 2019, the True Buddha Communication and Sharing Seminar ended on an auspicious note in Malaysia. The incumbent and out-going chairperson, Master Lianhua Chengzu, gave the closing speech.
Master Lianhua Chengzu reminisced his stewardship of the Federation of True Buddha School Malaysia for the past 15 years. Building from scratch to what it is today, the federation has fulfilled the three wishes of Grandmaster: establishing a nursing home, the True Buddha cemetery, and a death-care (palliative care) team.
The team of specialists [in each field] is also established, setting the stage for more things to come. On the 15th anniversary, as he just passed the baton to Master Liantai, a sense of nostalgia arose. Liberation [from rebirth] has always been the reason to embark on the path of cultivation. When he went to Jambi, Indonesia, he was conscious of the fact that the old days of the Buddha-land were gone, and he could not help but remember what Grandmaster had mentioned before: about not wishing to see True Buddha disciples swept away like sand particles in the desert winds.
Currently, seven True Buddha Foundation (TBF) masters are committed in heart and spirit. The Public Relations Head has always had the welfare of the Sangha in mind and has started nurturing the Sangha [with continuous education]. Streamlining of processes has also begun, so the nurturement is set to succeed. Master Lianyue’s publicity work is propagating Grandmaster’s treasures worldwide – the Dharma is unsurpassed Dharma, the dharma for liberation. Master Lianseng, as the disciplinary master, is relentless in his duties in sanctioning people who err, but he is actually very compassionate. What he does is necessary for the sect.
According to Master Lianhua Chengzu, Master Lianhe possesses an all-rounded education, which we must emulate in the sect’s setting up. We should start with ourselves, because only then can we garner the support of everyone. The reason for holding Research & Study classes for all ranks of dharma propagation personnel and Chapters’ persons-in-charge is to propagate and spin the wheel of Dharma, so as to ensure that the lineage is passed down. Therefore, it is necessary to have leaders who have the “Right Knowledge, Right View” and who are able to take up the gauntlet with the motivation of wishing attainment on everyone. Master Lianseng’s responsibilities are great in putting systems and policies in place. The TBF needs to seek and use talents.
Since the Debut Grand Ksitigarbha Luotian Ceremony organised by Vijaya Temple recently, Master Lianseng has donated part of the monies to the TBF. He has also given the rights of the “Luotian Gold” which was bestowed by Grandmaster, to TBF as well. Education and Discipline are two areas that are intimately connected; when the education reaches a mature stage in the future, disciplinary acts will naturally become fewer. Then there can only be nothing but accolades [on people].
Master Lianseng is in charge of replying letters in Seattle. These are letters from disciples worldwide who have written in to ask for fulfilment of wishes and blessings. Every morning at 10am, Master Lianseng would have a briefing session with the team; there are also reports and summative discussions. Everyday, the team will reflect on what is done right or wrong and it will strive to improve further. In the future, our sect will be very systematic and professional – starting from TBF to the rest of the world. Our Research & Study classes will also have SOPs, and the motivation to push us further is: we will do better each time.
Master Lianhua Chengzu also took note of the attendance captured by Master Lianseng’s attendance-taking system for dharma propagation personnel and chapters’ persons-in-charge – Reverends comprise 44%, Chapters' persons-in-charge took up 15%, Dharma instructors comprise 33%, and Dharma Assistants made up 21%. Master Lianhua Chengzu appealed to the “coming home of our relations” and emphasized that such encouragement must be shown through our care to them. Many reverends – for example, Reverend Cuiwei – from renunciation till old age, could be staying in places such as nursing homes and eventually a niche upon death. If we do not have something to go to [in the span of our life], how can we assure that True Buddha School Dharma will continue to fly? We must also align to Lei Tsang Temple’s and TBF’s rules. Grandmaster has entrusted TBF to run the sect’s operations and administration; in terms of the organization, we are bound by the Constitution. If anyone commits any transgression of the rules, penance will be meted out no matter who the person is.
TBF is committed only to Grandmaster and the sect. It does not have a gain-and-loss mentality. During these five years, time and effort have been spent on the improvement of TBF. To date, it culminated in this Communication & Sharing Seminar held in Malaysia. In his speech, Lianhua Chengzu hopes that the spirit of Malaysia boleh (colloquial Malaysian term for “Malaysia can do anything”) can be applied in our undertakings,and led everyone into joining him for the cheer, “Malaysia Boleh.” In the early days, True Buddha School was known as the Beggars’ Sect. Then we set up old folks’ nursing home (such as the Pinghe Old Folks’ Nursing Home in Malaysia) and the Ben Ran Educational Center. We are no longer beggars. Today, what our sect needs is cohesiveness in spirit; what we need first are talents and specialists. The master again appealed to everyone, “Come back and build our home.”
Currently, the sect has lawyers helping out as volunteers with the publicity work. We also need seeding teachers, just like a university needs all kinds of experts and specialists in order to excel in different pedagogical areas. The world now is based on the mobile phone on hand. With it, we can have Grandmaster by our side all the time. In the early days of offline learning, we do not have the luxury of information at our fingertips. We had to do legwork and search high and low for information. Today, whenever we want information, we can find it easily. Hence, it is even more pertinent today that we have specialists and experts to come back and help us. Many True Buddha disciples have outstanding careers; some even have airline companies. It is very heartening to see them come forward and lend a helping hand. In the past, when one went about to propagate the dharma, many village roads were not easy to ride bicycles on. Today, we can even have sponsored plane rides.
A warm home, a perfect career, and a cultivation path that promises attainment — everyone must therefore be brave enough to declare, “I am a True Buddha disciple. I am Living Buddha Lian-sheng’s disciple.” Master Lianhua Chengzu continued, “We must take pride in being able to be with Grandmaster this lifetime. Shimu has also been very supportive of us. Then we must ignite the flame [of passion] and spread the fire to the True Buddha School Vajrayana Association of Taiwan. Let’s pass this passion to Master Lian’ou. We will head to Taiwan and Indonesia this December and spread to Indonesia as well. Indonesia bisa(colloquial Indonesian term for ‘Indonesia can do anything’)!”
Master Lianhua Chengzu hopes his speech is rousing enough to spur enthusiasm. He also adds that Master Lianseng intends to build a center for administration in Seattle. As a closing remark, he hopes to encourage all dharma propagation personnel to come forward, to cultivate diligently and to attain realization. He also thanked all the various Heads, who are unstinting in meeting and working day and night, sometimes into the wee hours of the night. The TBF and everyone are committed as one, and this will enable the sect’s lineage to continue for generations to come.
The six-day Research & Study Classes cumCommunication & Sharing Seminar ended on a high note as Master Lianhua Chengzu’s words reverberated through everyone’s mind and prompted a group photo taking session. As emphasized by the chairperson, we hope specialists and experts could come forward and volunteer themselves. Together, we can contribute towards a brilliant future of propagating the True Buddha Dharma.