Grand Master Lu imparted the Uncommon Kalachakra Tantra at the Grand Ceremony in Seattle LSCT Temple

Reported by Sophie Lo

When Grand Master Lu first imparted The Uncommon Kalachakra Tantra in Hongkong, the Great Grand Master Thubten Dhaergye (the lineage root guru of Grand Master Lu) specifically asked that Grand Master Lu widely imparts Kalachakra Tantra across the five continents. Six years later, when Grand Master came out of his retreat, he conferred Kalachakra Empowerments in Houston and New York City. Many disciples living in the Seattle area, missing these empowerments earlier, entreated Grand Master to also confer an empowerment in Seattle. With great compassion, Grand Master agreed to conduct the ceremony in the Seattle LSCT Temple.
From the time Grand Master agreed to the day of the ceremony, there were only five working days to prepare. Time was tight, but the preparation went very smoothly. The ceremony, held on Saturday evening, October 21, 2006, was very special because it was personally presided over by Grand Master himself, the first ever since he entered into retreat six years ago. The mudra transformations, Dharma teaching, and the empowerment were all performed exclusively by Grand Master.

The news that Grand Master will solely conduct the ceremony quickly spread to True Buddha temples, chapters, and centers all over the world. Many fellow disciples made arrangements right away; airfares were going up quickly as fellow disciples in California were buying up flight tickets to Seattle. Knowing that the temple would not be able to accommodate all participants, the abbot of the Seattle LSCT Temple, Master Tek Hui, rented one thousands folding chairs and three large tents. The tents (70`x30`, 70`x20`, and 30`x20`) were placed around the temple: one in front of the monks dwelling, one beside the temple and another one behind it. There were also two large awnings right in front of the temple hall. Large projectors and speakers were setup, so were many outdoor heaters to keep everybody warm.

On the day of the ceremony, Grand Master arrived at the temple around 4 p.m. First he went to the Tantric Quarter then the temple to pay homage to the Buddhas and the Deities. When Grand Master passed by the tent where his books were sold, some disciples asked him to please sign the books. Quickly many people followed, they grabbed Grand Master`s books and started to line up for the signing which went from near the temple steps all the way to the library at the other end. Grand Master spent almost two hours signing the books.

The ceremony started at 7:30 p.m. The ceremony began with the tolling of the bell and the beating of the drum. Inside the temple hall, under the awnings, and in the tents, participants were incanting the Root Guru Heart Mantra. Two reverends holding a commencing bell and a dragon-head incense led the greeting team, which consisted of six lotus youths each holding a dharma offering, six flower girls scattering fresh flower petals, and twelve reverends each carrying a banner or canopy. They paraded to the Tantric Quarter to formally invite Grand Master Lu, the Living Buddha Lian Sheng, Master Lian Hsiang, and all the Vajra Masters to enter the ceremonial site at the temple hall. There were twenty three attending masters.

Grand Master first conferred Ordination Vows to the four newly ordained monks and nuns and two who were repeating the vows. Grand Master asked each of them why s/he wanted to renounce. Their answers were: ``to eradicate karma``, ``time is short``, ``to repay the fourfold generosities from above and to aid those who suffer in the three realms below``, ``to attain buddhahood above and to liberate all beings below``, ``understanding impermanence.`` Grand Master gave encouragement and wished each of them well.

Then Grand Master conferred the Bodhisattva Vows for Lay Practitioners to twenty-four disciples. Grand Master stated that the precepts of the Bodhisattva Vows are of the highest kind. Only by observing each precept can one help liberate other sentient beings. Grand Master used a mirror to reflect light into each vow-holder`s heart, asking them to keep the light shining in their hearts.
Afterwards, the abbot presented an offering of `hata` to signify the highest honor to the Root Guru. After the reading of the Prayer of Intent, Grand Master blessed the Prayer and the registration forms. Then he used the vajra scepter and vajra bell to set the Ceremonial Boundary. Grand Master offered the Dharma Words for the Uncommon Kalachakra Ceremony:
The Pure Dharma Vision, everlasting at this moment.

The Dharma Wheel ever-turns to spread the True Dharma.

Then we followed the rite of the ceremony: Singing the Incense Praise, Great Homage, Great Offering, Armor Protection, Reciting the High King Kuanyin Sutra, Amitabha Rebirth mantra, Forming Padmakumara Mudra, Visualization and Reciting Mantra, Generating the Bodhicitta, Forming the Kalachakra Mudra, Visualization and Reciting Mantra, Grand Master Performing the Purification, Healing, Blessings and Deliverance Mudra Transformations, Entering Samadhi, Reciting the Kalachakra Verse after Exiting Samadhi, Reciting the Mantras of the Eight Principal Deities and Incanting Buddha Amitabha`s Epithet, Merit Dedication and Grand Master Performing the Overall Merit Dedication: ``Auspicious in the daytime, auspicious in the nighttime, auspicious around the day, auspicious in every moment. We pray to the Guru to empower us, to the Yidam (Personal Deity) to embrace us, to the Protector to protect us. May all be well and whole``, Reciting the Hundred Syllable Mantra, Great Homage, Reciting Great Completion Mantra, and Clapping Twice and Snapping Fingers.

The abbot presented a pure gold Kalachakra mantra wheel to Grand Master and prayed for the bestowal of Dharma teaching on behalf of all participants. Grand Master first asked Master Lian Hsiang to give a teaching. She said that she was just being informed that there were about one thousand and five hundred people attending the ceremony. This was the first time ever Grand Master personally and solely conducted a ceremony and conferred an empowerment ever since Grand Master went into retreat six years ago. Master Lian Hsiang praised everyone who came from all over the world with such a short notice, showing the great spirit of a Tantric practitioner to `Honor the Guru, Treasure the Dharma, and Cultivate Diligently`. She wished everyone could obtain the greatest blessings of the Kalachakra and attain Buddhahood within seven lifetimes. (The complete transcription of Grand Master and Master Lian Hsiang`s teachings will be published in the True Buddha News.)

To begin his teaching, Grand Master first paid homage to his lineage gurus: The Venerable Liao Ning, Master Sakya Zheng Kong, the Sixteenth Dharma King Karmapa and Master Thubten Dhaergye. Grand Master praised how well Seattle LSCT Temple organized a grand ceremony in a few days. Seattle LSCT [Ling Shen Ching Tze or Liezang in Chinese] Temple is the head temple of True Buddha School. Although it is one of the smallest temples, the Bodhisattvas [Deities] enshrined here are the greatest. The Bodhisattvas at the other [Leizang] temples are branch off from this temple. So the power of the Bodhisattvas here [in Seattle] is the greatest. The abbot Master Tek Hui, with his loose management style and Master Lian Ning, who manages tightly, work well in complement of each other.

Grand Master presented the Kalachakra Tantric Dharma Practice Book bestowed by Great Grand Master Thubten Dhaergye as a proof of the lineage. Grand Master stated that True Buddha Tantric Dharma (Tantra) holds lineages from the Ningma, Kagyu, Gelug and Sakya orders of Tantric Buddhism. Kalachakra is venerated by all four orders. Grand Master`s lineage for Kalachakra came from Ganzu Erwah and Master Sakya Zheng Kong.

Prior to Grand Master conducting the Kalachakra ceremony in Hong Kong in 2000, Golden Mother told Grand Master in English: ``This is your last talk, you can say anything``. Soon after the ceremony, Grand Master went into retreat. At some point during his retreat, Grand Master experienced aging, sickness and death. It was as if Grand Master had been reborn. Therefore Grand Master asked the Golden Mother if he could `talk` again. Golden Mother replied: ``You go ahead.`` Everyone applauded with enthusiasm.
Grand Master said people in this world crave wealth, sex, name, food and sleep. Tantric Buddhist practices transform these desires into spiritual cultivation whereas in Mahayana Buddhism these would be prohibited. But once complete purity is attained, both ways arrive at the same goal. Grand Master wrote a book [book #191] depicting the twenty-eight heavens which he visited in his meditations. Once a disciple recognizes his true nature after receiving a Kalachakra empowerment, he will meet his destined spiritual guides who transmit Buddhadharma and guide him to attain Buddhahood within seven lifetimes.

Later, Grand Master conferred the empowerments for Kalachakra and Golden Mother`s Seven Great Dharma. Grand Master stated that the empowerment of Kalachakra Heruka can help eradicate suffering due to illness and the empowerment of Golden Mother can fulfill all wishes, the two together generating enormous power.

Following Grand Master`s teaching, the Empowerment Pagoda of the Kalachakra Mandala was rolled out to the center of the temple hall. One of the five-colored rope was connected from the mandala to Grand Master`s Dharma Throne. All participants queued to pass through the Empowerment Mandala while they were incanting the Kalachakra Heart Mantra. For the whole time it took to confer one thousand and five hundred disciples, Grand Master never stopped to incant the mantra and perform the mudra transformation to empower and bless each disciple. The ceremony came to a perfect ending. Everything went very well. Everyone was filled with great Dharma joy. Amidst the heart-felt incantation of the Root Guru Mantra, Grand Master Sheng-yen Lu, the Living Buddha Lian Sheng, accompanied by Master Lian Hsiang and the assembly of masters left the ceremonial site for the Tantric Quarter. All was in auspicious completion.

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