November 24, 2019, Rainbow Temple, Machig Labdron Homa Ceremony
Lamdre Exposition by Dharma King Lian-sheng
Summary of Dharma Talk
On November 24, 2019, the Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng presided over the Homa Ceremony of Machig Labdron at Rainbow Temple. The Dharma King has previously debuted the transmission of the Practices of Machig Labdron, Chod and Black Wrathful Dakini (Troma Nakmo) in the Spring Homa Ceremony in Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple this year.
Machig Labdron is usually featured as the main lineage deity in the Refuge Tree of Tibet’s Joyul sect. Machig Labdron’s posture is similar to that of Nairatmya Buddha Mother. Its body is white; the right hand holds and shakes a damaru, while the left hand holds a vajra bell. One leg is lifted while the other leg stands atop a lotus. She resides in Ao-Ming Heaven where the Dakinis are. Her mantra is “Om, bie-za, ma-ji-la, xia-xia, hum, hum, pei.”
The seed syllable is the black “Hum” and the mudra is the Dakini Mudra.
In the discourse by the Dharma King, he emphasized that the Machig Labdron Chod Practice is one of its kind [in the world] and the affinity to hear about it is very rare.
He also talked about the importance of being awakened. He said, “We must comprehend our mind and see the original nature. There are two methods to achieve attainment: either via the immediate dharma or the step-by-step dharma.”
The Dharma King explained that the immediate dharma is to-the-point, as it refers to the mind directly, so that one sees the original nature and attains Buddhahood. It pertains to immediate attainment, in an instant. In contrast, the step-by step dharma involves spiritual cultivation via the development stages, until one is able to comprehend and verify the Buddha nature, and one slowly cultivates spiritually to attainment.
The Chod Practice of Machig Labdron is fundamentally based on giving. That is the first objective of the practice. One offers one’s body so that it is not one’s anymore. The practice of Machig Labdron involves visualizing that one is dead, and one transforms one’s body into dew droplets that are offered to the 10 Dharma realms consisting of the four holy realms and the six realms of transmigration. One’s desires and afflictions are then eradicated and returned to emptiness.
The Dharma King explained, “When you are always thinking you are dead, you won’t have the greed for benefits, status, and even lust. You would sever all of these. You live in the samsaric world in such a way that even ‘the winds of the eight directions cannot move you’ [in reference to a Chinese idiom which means that one is unmoved even in the most alluring of circumstances].”
The Dharma King continued, “The eight conditions* of this samaric world cannot move your mind. This is what we call the Severance Dharma. Once you have learnt the Severance Dharma, you will understand that whatever happens is always for the best. Hence, one will become very magnanimous.” Severance is a very important cultivation method of the Joyul sect.
[*The eight conditions refer to the four favorable situations of prosperity, honor, praise, and pleasure, and the four setbacks of decline, disgrace, ridicule and suffering.]
The world is nothing more than a movie and it is unreal. The Dharma king explained, “You think your body is real? A person with a strong sense of self will say that he or she is very real, and that he or she will fight for something [in life]. However, your own body isn’t yours. It is a composition of many unreal components. There is no real material thing. Hence the body is not real too.”
The Dharma King continued with his discourse on the Lamdre.
The Lamdre mentioned, “The cutting off of two aspects where channels are concerned -- the channel of rebirth and the channel of Nirvana”. The Dharma King explained, when one reaches the highest state of cultivation, rebirth is no different from Nirvana. “Rebirth is just rebirth. When I merge with the movie, Nirvana is simply when I return to my original nature.”
“If the channels in the body are knotted, pain ensues, and hence you need Qi, Inner Fire, and Lightdrops to push through the channels. Only these three items can be used to unblock channels,” said the Dharma King. He added, if one is unwell because channels are blocked, one can use the mind to bring the Qi to those painful spots in the body and there will be no more pain.
After the dharma discourse, the Dharma king bestowed the empowerment of the Machig Labdron on everyone. All ended well.