The “True Buddha Tantra”, derived from Tantrayana Buddhism, encompasses the teachings of
Taoism, Sutrayana and Tantrayana, and is a kind of yoga practice for Buddhist cultivation. It
was developed by Living Buddha Lian-sheng after he attained unexcelled and complete
enlightenment, and reached the highest and ultimate realm. Living Buddha Lian-sheng
expounds: “This is a study involving wisdom, not a study of superstition, it is realization
through one’s inner nature, and not superficial worship.'' In addition, the True Buddha Tantra
is a practice that cultivates one’s mind”, as long as disciples cultivate diligently, they will find
themselves on the path towards enlightenment.
Why must we cultivate the True Buddha Tantra?
The purpose of cultivation is to pursue eternal truth, seek wisdom and increase one’s blessings. There is much suffering in life, and every aspect of it is permeated by impermanence. Regardless of what one achieves or does not achieve, everything comes to naught ultimately. Once one recognizes this truth, one understands the need for cultivation.
The True Buddha Tantra is suitable for people in modern society
The True Buddha Tantra adheres to the Buddhist teachings of right faith and right thought, and conforms to the times. Its unique characteristics are as follows:
1. The True Buddha Tantra, as transmitted in TBS, is tailored for the masses, and it is widely available and practical. It is suitable for practice at home.
2. The True Buddha Tantra integrates the teachings of Taoism, Sutrayana and Tantrayana. Living Buddha Lian-sheng reveals without reservation the secret mantras and pith instructions of cultivating through Tantrayana methods, and also incorporates Taoist methods to help the mundane world, as well as includes Sutrayana precepts and principles. Hence, it is suited for people of all religious beliefs.
3. Due to his compassion and equanimity, the founder of TBS, Living Buddha Lian-sheng, advocates that no one should be discriminated against, regardless of the amount of money they donate, their social status or affluence. Thus, participants in all True Buddha ceremonies and activities may donate any amount they wish.
4. Regardless of whether one is an ordained individual or a lay person, it is entirely their decision and choice to adopt a vegetarian or non-vegetarian diet. However, one must perform the Bardo Deliverance and Offering Ritual before taking any meals.
5. The True Buddha Tantra offers the swiftest way to eradicate negative karma, and its teachings are most suited for practice by modern society.
The True Buddha Tantra is the essence of teachings based on Living Buddha Lian-sheng’s many years of cultivation as he made his journey from an ordinary person to buddhahood. By simplifying many of the traditional rituals that were redundant, Living Buddha Lian-sheng condensed the teachings into a series of simple, concise, and yet effective practice specifically tailored to meet the pace of a modern society. By cultivating daily, cultivators undergo a gradual and subtle transformation, and the spiritual responses arrive swiftly. This is one of the extraordinary qualities of the True Buddha Tantra.
Buddhahood can be Attained by Practicing the True Buddha Tantra diligently
Living Buddha Lian-sheng attained realization of buddhahood by practicing the True Buddha Tantra. Should one follow the same path, one will also realize and attain buddhahood. However, Living Buddha Lian-sheng never claims that the True Buddha Tantra is exclusively unique.
In fact, the truth that Living Buddha Lian-sheng realized is the very truth realized by Shakyamuni Buddha. The doctrine of TBS is all-encompassing, where teachings from Taoism, the Sutrayana tradition and Tantrayana tradition are integrated and respected. The doctrines of TBS are completely in line with the truth, combined with ancient teachings in order to serve the greater good.
Fundamental Principles of Cultivating the True Buddha Tantra
2.1 How should True Buddha Practitioners cultivate?
1. True Buddha Practitioners should cultivate single-mindedly on the right path, that is, cultivate diligently.
2. True Buddha Practitioners should cultivate in accordance with the sadhanas, and their cultivation should not be done carelessly or heedlessly. Otherwise, it is an offense of disrespect and negligence. All practices must strictly be in accordance with the sadhanas, except in the following cases where it is excusable to only cultivate the main practice:
If practitioners are travelling (such as on a plane, car, or ship), and offerings are not available at hand, “visualisation” practice may be done instead. This is an expedient method of cultivation.
Near the time of their death, practitioners may simply cultivate through “visualisation”.
Enlightened practitioners may simply cultivate through “visualisation”.
3. True Buddha Practitioners may cultivate at any time, in any place, due to the principle that all is pure as long as the mind is pure.
2.2 Why do disciples who have taken refuge need to cultivate diligently?
1. A Tantrayana practitioner must place great importance on actual practice.
2. It is only through actual practice that cultivators can receive the blessing power of lineage.
3. Remedy the people’s spiritual illness of arrogance/disrespect towards Dharma.
4. Through actual practice, cultivators can better understand the uniqueness of the True Buddha Tantra.
5. Actual practice eradicates one’s negative karma.
6. Attainment of everlasting peace, as well as practical benefits.
7. Attainment of self-mastery over life and death, as well as realizing the mind and seeing one’s Buddha-nature.
8. Gives access to real knowledge on the universal truth.
2.3. Mental Preparation for Cultivating the True Buddha Tantra
1. Have basic understanding of, as well as faith in the Root Lineage Guru, and a sincere and respectful mindset towards the Root Lineage Guru.
2. See the Root Lineage Guru as a complete aggregate of “Buddha, Dharma, Sangha, Yidam (personal deity), Dakini and Dharma Protector”.
3. Have the determination to liberate themselves from all defilements through cultivation.
Stages of Cultivating the True Buddha Tantra
The stages of cultivating True Buddha Tanta begin with the “outer practices”, followed by the “inner practices”, the “secret practices”, and finally, the “most secret practices”. Hence, it begins with the “Generation Stage” (the “outer practices”) and is followed by the “Completion Stage” (“inner practices”, “secret practices”, and “most secret practices”). The sequence of cultivation is as follows: