Apr. 19, 2020, Natural Disaster Eradication Tara Homa Ceremony at Rainbow Temple
【TBS Seattle News】
On Apr. 19, 2020, HH Root Guru Living Buddha Lian-sheng was respectfully invited to preside over a Natural Disaster Eradication Tara Homa Ceremony at True Buddha School Rainbow Temple, Seattle, USA.
On Apr. 28, 2019, at the invitation of Dayi Temple in southern Taiwan, Grandmaster presided over a Natural Disaster Eradication Tara National Protection and Blessing Ceremony at Kaohsiung Exhibition Center. During the ceremony, Grandmaster debuted transmission and bestowed empowerment of Natural Disaster Eradication Tara Uncommon Practice. Grandmaster also prayed to Natural Disaster Eradication Tara for favorable weather conditions, peace, prosperity, and overall protection of practitioners and Taiwan.
Natural Disaster Eradication Tara is green. Her right hand displays the Fearless Mudra while her left hand holds an utpala. Above the utpala is a vajra cross symbolizing subjugation of all evil, animosity, and hindrances. Whatever area the pure light of the vajra shines on, natural disasters caused by earth, water, fire and wind are entirely eradicated, and all fields and lands within become pure and bright.
Her right leg extends outward symbolizing her compassionate desire to stay in the three realms to save sentient beings. Her left leg is bent inwards, symbolizing that she abides in the wisdom of emptiness. She is depicted sitting on a lotus platform with moonlight radiating from behind her back, wearing celestial garments, and adorned with precious jewels. Amitabha is her crown ornament. Natural Disaster Eradication Tara is one of the 21 Taras in Vajrayana Buddhism.
In the Interaction is Power series, following are disciples’ questions and Grandmaster’s answers:
Q: What is the key cultivation formula for Dream Yoga?
A: The most important point in Dream Yoga is awareness that one is dreaming. “One must be clearly cognizant of whether one is creating evil karma in one’s dream. As long as one performs virtuous deeds in one’s dream, one has nothing to worry about. However, if one is having an evil dream, one must stop the dream from developing, suppress the formation of evil karma, and transform the dream into a good and virtuous dream. This is precisely the technique of the Practice of Dream Yoga. Grandmaster cautioned practitioners to abide by precepts all throughout the day, and warned practitioners that if they cannot control their dreams at night, they may create evil karma. “Dreams are also a realm. If one does not control oneself during the day, this lack of control will extend into one’s dreams. If one is able to control oneself and extend that control into one’s dreams, one will be able to control oneself in one’s dreams and not violate the precepts during sleep.”
Dream Yoga is related to Pure Light Yoga and Sleep Protection Light Yoga, but they are not the same. However, their key cultivation formulas are one and the same.
Regarding the proper time to practice the Dream Yoga, one does practice it before sleep. In terms of whether to practice it when one is lying down or seated, either is fine.
Q: In Vajra Chanting, how many om-ah-hum breathing exercises must one complete?
A: One may perform Vajra Chanting in multiples of seven, that is, seven times, 49 times, and even more. Every breath must enter the dantian.
Q: As a layperson, how do we strike a balance between worldly wealth and spiritual cultivation?
A: This is the practice of the Middle Way. One should neither abandon wealth nor neglect spiritual cultivation. In Vajrayana, there are practices motivated by greed such as wealth god practices, which belong to expedient means whereas practical cultivation belongs to wisdom means. Wisdom and expedient means must go hand in hand; engaging in business should go hand in hand with actual practice.
Q: In the Twelvefold Causes and Conditions and Five Aggregates, what is “volitional activity”? When there is “no-self”, what is there to reincarnate?
A: “Volitional activity” (conditioned arising) in the Twelvefold Causes and Conditions and “volitional activity” in the Five Aggregates (Form, Feeling, Thinking, Volition and Consciousness) can be explained as one’s conduct as a whole. What reincarnates is the surface of one’s mind. If one is able to cultivate and correct oneself to be truly no-self, the surface layer of volitional activity will disappear. The only thing left will be True Mind, which is namely the Buddha-nature. Therefore, when there is no-self, there is also no birth and no death and one is no longer bound by reincarnation.
Grandmaster pointed out that when one fully understands the Twelvefold Causes and Conditions and Five Aggregates, one can transform into no-self. Buddhism teaches cultivation of no-self. What is used to cultivate no-self? One cultivates no-self from the Five Aggregates of Form, Feeling, Thinking, Volition and Consciousness. One can transform one’s Five Aggregates into no-self.
Q: Sakyamuni Buddha’s prophesied the coming of Buddha Maitreya, who will liberate sentient beings. Will great virtue or great evil change this prophecy?
A: The Dharma King said that nothing can change this because a buddha is firm, immovable, and beyond change. Ordinary beings are unstable and hence, subject to change. Therefore, the teaching of “learning to enhance one’s destiny” was intended for sentient beings in the six realms, not for beings in the Four Holy Realms. Grandmaster discoursed that meditation and wisdom are the wings by which one attains Buddhahood. A buddha has knowledge of infinite kalpas. A buddha has meditation and wisdom and is therefore beyond change.
Grandmaster continued with a discourse on Lamdre. Grandmaster mentioned that “Leakage as a result of illness and evil spirits” refers to the outflow of light drops when one is ill. Grandmaster instructed several means of preventing leakage of light drops. One may use supplements to correct the leakage. One may also wrap an animal skin, such as a tiger or lion skin, around one’s waist down to sacral chakra, and keeping a very close distance, circumambulate a few times around five or seven piles of fire. This will also prevent leakage of light drops when one is ill.
Whether national defense, medicine, sciences, or industry, the COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly changed the way society functions. Indeed, aren’t we currently experiencing a new beginning? In terms of growth and progress, we were near a score of 99%. However, because of the pandemic, it seems we’re back to square one. Isn’t this an entirely new beginning? Grandmaster pointed out that humanity should not consider themselves superior, because just a small virus is able to cause a worldwide panic and everyone hidden at home, rendering everyone powerless. Therefore, if one does not cultivate Buddhadharma, one’s life is wasted.
Translated by the True Buddha Translation Teams
Translator: Lynn Ang
Editors: Henry Wolf and DJ Chang