【True Buddha Foundation Dharma Activity Clarification Notice No. 00001】
Whether Group Cultivation of Smoke Offering Practice at a Cultivation Venue is Permissible
Concerning whether it is permissible to cultivate Four-armed Guanyin Smoke Offering Practice in group practice at a cultivation venue, we provide guidance as follows:
The following four points were emphasized in True Buddha Foundation (TBF) Notice dated January 10, 2016 【 Special Conditions for Performance of Smoke Offering Practice】:
The principal deity of the Smoke Offering Practice must be Four-armed Guanyin. No exceptions.
With the exception of eminent practitioners, the Smoke Offering Practice must never be cultivated in a cemetery.
A cultivation venue may not hold group cultivation of the Smoke Offering Practice.
A cultivation venue shall not hold a Smoke Offering Ceremony.
The above previously issued notice emphasizes that the Smoke Offering Practice is intended to be an individual practice. Because the karmic creditors and ancient ancestors invoked by the smoke offering are different for each individual, group cultivation of the practice may cause spiritual disturbances to other disciples taking part in the practice. For this reason, the Smoke Offering Practice should only be cultivated on an individual basis. The above notice was intended to warn disciples of the potential for spiritual disturbances and to prevent the occurrence of such disturbances.
On January 30, 2016, during a Dharma discourse at the Prabhutaratna Homa Ceremony at Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple, Living Buddha Lian-sheng introduced an expedient alternative. As long as one performs boundary protection to effectively guard oneself during the practice, invokes Four-armed Guanyin as the principal deity of the practice, and follows each step of the sadhana as prescribed, a smoke offering to karmic creditors may be cultivated individually in one's home or in group practice at a cultivation venue.
Justification: Grandmaster introduced this expedient alternative so that disciples who fear performing the practice alone or are unable to cultivate the practice at home can still have a convenient venue and opportunity to cultivate the practice. Since this expedient alternative, cultivation venues have been allowed to hold group Smoke Offering Practice.
Conditions: A Smoke Offering Practice may be held in group practice at a cultivation venue only if both the cultivation venue and the individual practitioner properly perform their own boundary protection that fences well for both the practitioner and the cultivation venue.
Per the above, points (a), (b), and (d) of TBF Notice dated January 10, 2016 are still requirements of the Smoke Offering practice as follows: ''a. The principal deity of the Smoke Offering Practice must be Four-armed Guanyin. No exceptions. b. With the exception of eminent practitioners, the Smoke Offering Practice must never be cultivated in a cemetery. d. A cultivation venue shall not hold a Smoke Offering Ceremony.''
True Buddha Foundation
November 22, 2019
Translated by True Buddha Translation Team
Translator: Lynn Ang
Editors: Henry Wolf and DJ Chang