November 3, 2019, Rainbow Temple, PadmasambhavaHoma Ceremony
Lamdre Exposition by Dharma King Lian-sheng
Summary of Dharma Talk
On November 3, 2019, at Seattle Rainbow Temple, our Root Guru Living Buddha Lian-sheng presided over the Padmasambhava homa ceremony. Padmasambhava was the first lineage guru to introduce and propagate Vajrayana into Tibet. He was well respected by the white, red, yellow and Sakya sects. His background was extremely extraordinary. According to the “Supreme Doctrine of the Perfection Congregation,” Shakyamuni once prophesied, “Eight years upon my Nirvana, I will come back to Samsara again by the name of Lotus in the country of Oddiyana. I will be the sect leader of secret mantras.” Indeed, after eight years upon Shakyamuni’s Nirvana, under many miraculous signs, Padmasambhava was born out of a lotus on Lake Dhanakosha in the northwest part of Oddiyana. He was to become Tibet’s first lineage guru in Vajrayana.
In 8 A.D., Tibetan KingTrisong Detsen heard from Master Santarakṣitaabout Padmasambhava. He invited Padmasambhava to Tibet to co-build the Samye Temple (Ren Yun Temple). The three of them were impactful [on Buddhism in Tibet] and were considered to be the founding pioneers of the fledgling phase of Tibetan Buddhism. Historical books show that the three were known as the “King & Teacher Trio”. The Dharma King, Living Buddha Lian-sheng, is the reincarnation of the Trisong Detsen, hence the Dharma King is close to Padmasambhava. The relationships are those of brother-to-brother and teacher-to student.
Padmasambhava once said, “I have placed my pith instructions of Tantric Dharma in all kinds of places such as the goat's skin, in the Void, in the ocean, in the grotto caves, in the rocks, and in the trees.” When Padmasambhava was expounding the dharma, he already knew that there would come an era in the future when the Dharma would meet its end. Hence, he penned down his Tantric Dharma and placed it in all different locations such as grotto caves, lakes, cliffs and trees. When he passed the terma to the Dharma King, he put it in the Dharma King’s mind.
Someone once asked the Dharma King, “At what point in time and at which location did Padmasambhava place Tantric and Doctrinal Dharma into my mind?” The Dharma King reminisced the whole process as he walked down memory lane. In those days, the Tibetan KingTrisong Detsen had many senior court officers who were believers of the Bon sect. Buddhists were few and far between. These two groups were at opposite sides of a yawning divide. The Tibetan King could not stand the ruckus that the Bon supporters were making in the palatial courts. He then planned to send Padmasambhava back to India and Yeshe Tsogyal to a far-flung place at the border known as Luo-za. At that time, Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal were cultivating practices at Mayalong(located at the north of the Samye Temple). They knew that these officials wanted them gone, and so they descended from the mountain in Mayalong to meet the king at a place known as E’ke. When they met, Padmasambhava blessed the Tibetan King and placed into the King’s mind, a terma which contains the essence and pith instructions [of Tantric Dharma]. While the blessing was taking place, 13 Yong Ling Earth Mothers emerged from the ground. The Yong Ling Earth Mothers transformed into a white sedan; both Padmasambhava and Yeshe Tsogyal entered the white sedan which rose to the sky, to where the dakinis were.
In this life, the Dharma King was once summoned by Padmasambhava to a Nepalese grotto cave in which Padmasambhava used to do his cultivation practice. He bestowed upon the Dharma King two empowerments. First, Padmasambhava swallowed the Dharma King up, and had the Dharma King exit from Padmasambhava’s secret chakra. In the second empowerment, the Dharma King’s skin pores were all expanded and Padmasambhava’s rainbow brilliance entered the Dharma King’s skin pores. The Dharma King said, “Today, I am able to expound the Lamdre and the Lamrim because I have in my mind, the terma from Padmasambhava, to whom I am very grateful.”
The Dharma King also spoke about “Chin Chin Chye Chye,” a Taiwanese colloquial term for an attitude that is akin to "anything is fine by me" and "let it be." Life is about “Chin Chin Chye Chye” – this is the way one would behave if one is awakened. So, why is “Chin Chin Chye Chye” associated with awakening? “Chin Chin Chye Chye” is actually the “never mind” attitude of an awakened person.
In the Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, the concept of non-gain is its most important doctrinal dharma, a highest realm [of cultivation practice]. Money, desire and fame belong to the samsaric world and cannot be retained ultimately – when one leaves this material world, these become nothing. Hence, there is no gain. If one can comprehend this concept of non-gain, one is very near to awakening. Non-gain will transform into “never mind”, and “never mind” will become “Chin Chin Chye Chye.”
The Dharma King continued with the exposition on the Lamdre. In the text, “the experience of nectar dew in meditation” is mentioned. We are here today to learn about Buddhism so as to liberate ourselves from the cycle of rebirth. One of our aims is not toget reborn in the six realms of existence. Tantric Dharma is unshakable and non-spoilable; hence it is called Vajra Dharma. As a Buddhist, one must not lie or utter improper speech. We must adhere to the minimum of the Five Precepts, one of which is to abstain from improper speech. The Dharma King’s exposition is all true and contains not an ounce of misleading speech.
In his exposition, the Dharma King also emphasized the importance of taking care of one’s body, as it is essential to meditation.
The Buddha had once expounded that Suffering, Emptiness, and Impermanence are part and parcel of life. One must respect the Root Guru, value the Dharma, and cultivate diligently, for otherwise, one cannot hope to achieve attainment, let alone rebirth in a better place. This is Padmasambhava’s warning to everyone, hence the Dharma King emphasized that our most important life task should be to ensure that we areable to cultivate spiritually to reach attainment.
The Dharma King said, “I have imparted the methods of spiritual cultivation to you --if you do not treasure them, just like anything else that changes with time, it [the affinity] can change too. In the flux of impermanence, one can gain in one instance and lose in another instance, thereby experiencing pain. Remember, everything is suffering, impermanent, and empty.”
After the dharma exposition, the Dharma King bestowed the empowerment of Padmasambhava upon everyone. The ceremony ended in auspiciousness.