By the order of and under the guidance of our Root Guru, Grand Master Lu, Living Buddha Lian Sheng, True Buddha Foundation (TBF) administers all Dharma affairs, big and small, of True Buddha School (TBS). Questions or concerns raised to the TBF regarding Dharma activities will be addressed accordingly.
Recently TBF Representative Office received questions from various chapters regarding collaboration with a guest master as well as the distribution of proceeds from ceremonies or auctions. TBS Masters have the responsibilities to propagate Buddhadharma on behalf of the Root Guru. They preside over ceremonies, conduct Dharma activities, and promote spiritual cultivation. The following are the questions and answers provided by True Buddha Foundation.
Q: When a TBS temple or chapter invites a TBS master to preside over a ceremony, how should it distribute the proceeds from the ceremony?
A: TBF recommends the following: after subtracting the costs of the ceremony, a portion of the remainder is offered to the presiding master, a portion is for the host temple/chapter, and a voluntary heartfelt offering is offered to the Root Guru. Although the custom has been to divide it into three, it is not a rule.
Q: Who is responsible for distributing the proceeds: the presiding master or the host temple/chapter?
A: The host temple/chapter, of course.
Q: How do we ensure that the Root Guru receives our offering as part of the ceremony or empowerment proceeds?
A: A money order or bank check to the order of `Sheng-Yen Lu` may be sent to the True Buddha Foundation Representative Office in Redmond, WA. Upon receipt, TBF will transfer it to the Root Guru and will send an acknowledgement to the sender.
Q: If a master offers to be an intermediary and bring an offering to the Root Guru on our behalf, how do we know for sure that it has been done accordingly?
A: You may ask the master to show a receipt signed by Grand Master, Master Lian Hsiang (Mdm. Lu) or the True Buddha Foundation.
Q: Can proceeds from an auction held at the ceremony be allotted to the presiding master?
Q: If the presiding master donates an auction item, can s/he receive a payment to cover the cost of the item?
A: No. Donating an auction item is performing charity. Once it has been given away, it belongs to the `charity`.
Q: If the presiding master donates an auction item, can s/he obtain a portion of the auction proceeds to support the building of his/her own temple or spiritual center?
A: If it has been agreed by both the host temple/chapter and the donating master, then it is acceptable. The key is that auction proceeds should belong to the `public` and should not be `privately` owned. The temple or spiritual center that receives this kind of funding should acknowledge its receipt and report it to the True Buddha Foundation.
Q: If an auction item is donated by the Root Guru, is it customary to send an offering to him as a token of gratitude?
A: No. All auction items donated by Grand Master are solely for the purpose of helping the host temple/chapter or supporting various charitable activities. It is not necessary to make an offering to Grand Master for this.
Hope this clarifies any potential issues. Should there be further questions or comments, please send them to the True Buddha Foundation Representative Office.
17012 N.E. 40th Court, Redmond, WA 98052
True Buddha Foundation Representative Office
Nov 5, 2006