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Book: A Complete and Detailed Exposition on the True

Buddha Tantric Dharma

Book: A Complete and Detailed Exposition on the True Buddha Tantric Dharma
Title: Introduction
Written by: Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu
Translated by: Janny Chow

Masters, fellow cultivators, good afternoon. This gathering today is extremely auspicious and important. In a way, it
marks the first formal use of Rainbow Villa, with many more regularly scheduled programs to come in the future. The
goal of this discourse is to give you a complete and detailed exposition on the practice of the True Buddha Tantric
Dharma. I will share with you, without holding anything back, the secrets as well as the skills which I have learned from
doing this practice. Through this sharing, I hope everyone will obtain a clear and thorough understanding of how to do
the practice and follow in my footsteps.
There is a need to give this complete and detailed exposition on the Dharma, because we have now 1.2 million students
in our school and this number is still growing. When a Dharma is passed from one person to the next and then from the
next to the third and so on, some of the elements will start changing, and the practice itself will become quite different
from what it was originally. It is my hope that all students can have a clear understanding of how to do the practice
correctly and, by practicing it accordingly, everyone can arrive at a high level of achievement and experience an
expansion of their awareness and perception and, eventually, attain Buddhahood. This is the most important reason for
giving this teaching.
Actually Tantric Dharma itself can be considered a Truth of the Universe. When one practices the authentic Tantric
Dharma, one will definitely attain the Supreme Wisdom. There are many key elements to the practice, and omission of
any of them will not do. In the past I have, of course, attempted to explain these quite thoroughly in my books, but some
of the details were not easy to explain in written form. It is possible that, with all of the students who practice according to
my books, some might derive a different interpretation from the written texts and thus miss the mark. Therefore, the main
goal of this discourse over the next several days is to provide you with a complete and detailed exposition on the
authentic Tantric Dharma.
In the past, when I sat down to do a practice, I first began by clapping my hands twice. In group practice, this step is
Clapping the hands twice has two functions. At the beginning of meditation, it serves as a "wake-up call." It signifies that
one is about to do the practice and requests all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the shrine and the spirit realm to pay
attention. At the end of the practice, when one is ready to get up to leave the shrine, the clapping of hands twice serves
as a signal of "dismissal." It means that one has completed the practice and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can
disengage and rest. This is the meaning behind clapping the hands twice at the beginning and end of each practice
There are some practitioners who, after clapping their hands, employ an additional mudra by crossing their hands and
snapping the thumb against the middle finger [Grand Master illustrates with a demonstration]. Actually this mudra serves
exactly the same purpose as the clapping of hands. In Tantra, many rites appear enigmatic. For example, people may
wonder why the clapping of hands is necessary for individual and not group practice. This is due to the fact that, when a
group of people gathers to do meditation, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas automatically become aware of their combined
intent, whereas a single individual entering the shrine to do the practice might escape their notice. So, to attract the
Buddha's and Bodhisattva's attention, one claps one's hands to signify a kind of beginning or wake-up call. The same
gesture also serves as notice of completion at the end of the meditation practice. It is a ritual with esoteric meaning.
At the beginning of the practice, one recites the Purification Mantras to purify one's speech, body, and mind:
"Om, syo-lee, syo-lee, ma-ha syo-lee, syo-syo-lee, so-ha," (purify one's speech)
"Om, syo-do-lee, syo-do-lee, syo-mo-lee, syo-mo-lee, so-ha," (purify one's body)
and "Om, fo ri la dam, ho ho hum." (purify one's mind)
One also recites the Local Earth Spirit Mantra, "Namo sam-man-do, moo-toh-nam, om, do-lo do-lo de-wei, so-ha" to
invite all earth spirits to come and guard and support one during the practice.

Question has been raised as to whether these mantras need to be accompanied by mudras and visualizations. Actually
in Tantric rituals, mantras are, indeed, often recited simultaneously with mudras and visualizations. This is referred to as
the Unification of the Three Secrets.
In our school, the recitation of the Purification Mantras, is done without any mudras or visualizations because, prior to the
chanting of the Purification Mantras, one already has purified the body, mind, and speech. By taking ablution and
consuming only a simple meal, one has already purified the body. By rinsing one's mouth and brushing one's teeth, one
has already purified the speech. By leaving worries, wrath, and turbulent thoughts at the door of the Tantric shrine, one
has already prepared and purified one's mind. Therefore, when one actually enters the Tantric shrine, the body and mind
are completely relaxed, and the mind does not harbor any thoughts.
At the end of each complete step (the recitation of the Purification Mantras is considered as one complete step), one may
ring the bell to signify its completion.
Next is the step of invocation. I will tell you some of the very important secrets I have learned. In general, one joins the
palms and recites "Om ah hum, so ha" three times, then invokes the Principle Deity in one's shrine, as well as all the
Buddhas and deities and their retinues. Or, by addressing them collectively as "All Buddhas in the Ten Directions and
Three Times and All Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas," one invokes all of them. One can invoke Buddha Shakyamuni,
Amitabha of Sukhavati, or whichever Principle Deity is enshrined at one's own shrine.
Invocation by Mind
In Tantric practice, invocation is accompanied by mudra, mantra, and visualization. We join our palms while we recite the
Invocation Mantra. While the palms are joined, one visualizes the heart charka open up to transform into a lotus. On the
lotus is a moon disc bearing the seed syllable of the Personal Deity on which one is meditating. If the deity is Amitabha,
then the seed syllable is "hri". The seed syllable emits three beams of light in the color that corresponds to the particular
deity. In the case of Amitabha, the color is red. These three beams of red light then travel through the middle channel of
the body and leave the crown to shine into the Empty Space above. This projection of the red light three times into the
spiritual realm is an invocation by mind or visualization. While one is invoking the deities by speech, i.e. by chanting three
times "Om ah hum, so ha," one is at the same time using the mind to open up the heart lotus. On the lotus is the moon
disc bearing the seed syllable which three times emits a colored light. This is invocation by mind.
Invocation by Speech
Invocation by speech is the chanting of the mantra and the names of the various deities, such as Amitabha of Sukhavati,
the Golden Mother of the Primordial Pond, ect.. Every time, before I partake of a meal, I also do an invocation. Actually
my invocation is very simple. Sometimes I don't even recite any mantra because it can be quite tedious chanting "Om ah
hum, so ha" every single time. Since the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are right around me, I join my palms and say three
times, "Please enjoy the meal." It is just this simple and the deities hear of it immediately. As long as one sends out a
message of the mind, the deities will respond very quickly, as they are actually very close to us. It is a very ordinary
We recite "Om ah hum, so ha." Why do we recite this particular mantra? This is because it is the greatest mantra for
invocation. "Om" represents the Universe, "Ah" represents the Buddha, and "Hum" represents fruition or
accomplishment." Together they mean "to attain the accomplishment of all Buddhas in the Universe." "So ha" is "amen,"
or "may it be so!" It is one's desire and goal to arrive at the same level of accomplishment as that of the Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas in the Universe. This is why one invokes them to descend to one's shrine. This was originally a mantra
used to invoke the Five Dhyani Buddhas. I have chosen it because, when one recites this mantra, any deities below the
Five Dhyani Buddhas also hear of it and come. This makes it the greatest mantra for invoking all the divine beings in the
Invocation by mind or visualization is an extremely powerful method. It is an integral part of Tantric cultivation. When one
very clearly visualizes the heart chakra opening to form the lotus, moon disc, seed syllable, and the radiating of the light
beams three times, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will definitely descend.
Invocation by Mudra
In the past, I have only taught how to do invocation by joining one's palms and reciting the Invocation Mantra. Today, in
addition to visualization, I also will teach an invocation mudra. Isn't "joining the palms" a mudra then? "Joining of the
palms" actually means "thus is my wish." Now one can transform the joining of the palms into the external handclasp and
add a "hook" to turn it into the Vajra Hook Mudra. Sometimes, after one chants the mantra, the Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas fail to come - perhaps due to one's lack of focus during the Purification and Invocation Mantras. If, after one
does the visualization, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas still do not come, perhaps one's visualization was not lucid
enough, and the heart lotus was lopsided, allowing the light beams to exit through the skin pores instead of through the
middle channel. An incomplete visualization of the radiating light will not work. So, as a last resort, one can use the Hook

Vajra Hook Mudra

The Vajra Hook Mudra is an invocation mudra. This is the Vajra Hook Mudra: the combination of the external handclasp
and the bending of the right index finger to form a hook. [Grand Master Lu demonstrates.] This mudra is accompanied by
visualization. While holding this mudra, one recites three times "Namo Vajra Hook Bodhisattva Mahasattva" and
visualizes this hook rising very high up to reach to the Empty Space above and hook onto the clouds upon which the
Personal Deity is sitting. Then, using the hook, one pulls the Personal Deity down from above. Do not make the mistake
of hooking onto the collar of the Bodhisattva; one should only use this to hook onto the clouds, or throne, of the
There are many subtleties in the practice of Tantra and these subtleties are what I am explaining in detail today.
Although it begins as visualization, a kind of ritual, it will manifest into a reality. When one recites "Namo Vajra Hook
Bodhisattva Mahasattva" three times and raises the hook up into the Empty Space to hook onto the cloud throne of the
Buddha or Bodhisattva and pull it down, the deity will descend from above. This is the secret.
Many people have written to ask me this question, "Grand Master, how do I know whether the Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas I invoke each time have, indeed, descended or not?" One is finished if one does not know whether or not
the divine beings come each time one does the practice! Where I one's mind at the time of invocation? When one
invokes the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and other deities, of course they will come. If they don't come, it is because one has
not put the mind totally into it. Invocations accompanied by mantra, mudra, and visualization are extremely subtle and
effective. Today I am disclosing all the secrets and skills I have learned because I hope that every single one of my 1.2
million students can become a Buddha. I am disclosing all this so that there will not be cases where students do not have
any spiritual experiences after several years of practice and, therefore, lose interest and the desire to do cultivation. I
don't want people to waste those thirty, forty, or sixty minutes in the shrine by napping or hiding inside as if the shrine
were a bomb shelter.
One has to treat one's practice seriously, with real attention. To practice inside the Tantric shrine is to be in complete
Oneness with the Universal Consciousness. By achieving Union with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, one breathes in
and out through the same nostril as the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The Buddha's exhalations and inhalations are one's
own exhalations and inhalations; ones own exhalations and inhalations are the Buddha's exhalations and inhalations this is what is meant by breathing in and out through the same nostril. Inside the Tantric shrine, the Buddha and the
cultivator are in union. It will not do if, after half a day, the Buddha is still the Buddha, and the cultivator is still the
cultivator, and the cultivator has no idea if the Buddhas have descended or not. One is finished if one has no idea at all
of their presence.
That is why this teaching of invocation is very important. One has to know that it is not enough just to employ a hook to
pull the Buddha down; one has to make the Buddha enter oneself. Even that is not enough; one has to transmute and
become the Buddha. This is what Tantra and "spiritual response" is all about. When one practices the Guru Yoga or
Personal Deity Yoga, one has to transmute and become indivisible with the Guru or the Personal Deity.
Visualization of Movement
There is another subtle point: one has to observe clearly whether the deity has descended or not. For instance, if Kuan
Yin Bodhisattva is one's personal Deity, when he makes his appearance above the clouds in the Empty Space, one has
to pay attention to see if the white celestial garment he wears and his eyes are moving, if his cloud throne is sailing down
to one, and if his feet are moving or not. Making these observations is critically important. One uses the Vajra Hook to
pull the deity down, then one uses the mind to visualize and observe him. One visualizes the celestial garment moving
and water being poured out of the pure vase to give one
Empowerment. One visualizes the feet of the deity gliding and moving. One observes the eyes of the deity gazing at one.
One visualizes the deity's crown and robes waving in the wind. This is an alive and moving Bodhisattva. Because the
Bodhisattva is moving, he can descend. This will become the reality.
Signs of the Descent of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas
Prior to today's teaching, we used to just recite "Om ah hum, so ha" three times and ring the bell, not knowing that there
are additional secrets associated with this mantra: the visualization, mantra, mudra, and an invocation for all deities. In
times of urgency, when one wants to call upon a Buddha or Bodhisattva, one might use all these secret Tantric methods.
First do the mantra, then the Hook Mudra, and then the visualization of an alive and moving Buddha. Still one may not
have any idea if the Bodhisattva has indeed descended. So, what spiritual level must one reach before one can ascertain
the presence of divine beings? It is like this: at the moment of invocation, when the Bodhisattva's white light shines on
one or when the Bodhisattva pours water on one's head, one will immediately feel the presence of electricity. There are
certain sensations and perceptions that one can feel. After reciting the mantra and performing the Vajra Hook Mudra,
one does a thorough visualization of a Buddha who moves and pours the mantra water to empower one. If one is then
able to open up the heart and let go of the hold of the ego through wholehearted and sincere practice, the Bodhisattva
will drip the Great Compassion Dharani Water down upon ones head bringing an electrifying sensation.
When I invoke the divine beings and offer them my meals, I join my palms and recite, "Please enjoy the meal, Amitabha
Buddha, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, and Mahasthamaprata Bodhisattva." This might seem very casual, but I know whether

they come or not. I dont just casually call upon them and start eating whether or not they have descended. Sometimes
they don't come. Why? Because sometimes the food looks so delicious that I start eating right away and forget about
making offering to them until I have put the food into my mouth. When I remember, I clap my hands and invoke them to
come. Well, they won't come then. Sometimes I feel quite embarrassed, and if Mrs. Lu happens to walk by with a fresh
plate of food that is untouched, I will borrow it to make an invocation and offering, and then they will come.
So, one should be able to tell whether the divine beings come or not. If today I were unable to tell if they come or not,
and I sit here and tell you that I know, that would be fibbing. Any moment during the process of meditation, I can tell if the
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are bestowing blessing or empowerment. I am sitting in front of the Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas now. If I say I know and the Buddhas behind me contradict me, then I would be lying. Every day during
meditation, while one is sitting in front of the shrine, a true cultivator should be able to tell if the Buddhas are giving one
empowerment or blessing, if they are patting one's head and emitting light on one, or cleansing one's body and mind with
Great Compassion Dharani Water. It is a very real, strong and firm sensation. It is definitely not a vague feeling. If one is
uncertain, then it is because ones mind is not completely in it!
As I said, it is a very real and definite sensation. Either one feels it or one does not. It is a kind of contact, a kind of touch
that can be clearly felt - definitely not something vague. Now I find spiritual cultivation to be very wonderful. Why? My
body feels very light and I feel very peaceful. This lightness differs from the lightness of weight loss that one experiences
when one has had an upset stomach and has not been eating properly. This peacefulness is not a result of taking a nap
inside the shrine. It is entirely different in nature.
So the step of invocation is very important. Its secret lies in the moving of the deity: his "chi" moving, his limbs moving,
his toes moving, his celestial garment moving, and his eyes moving. The he will descend.
Invocation at Times of Urgency
During times of true emergency, according to one Tantric rule, one can pat the right thigh once, and then the left thigh
once. [Grand Master demonstrates.] Why pat the thighs? Because the legs represent movement. By patting one's legs,
one can call upon the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to come into action. This is another secret. There is a saying that five
hundred male sky dancers (Dakas) and five hundred female sky dancers (Dakinis) are hidden respectively in one's right
and left thighs. These sky dancers are in tune with a Tantric practitioner's thighs. By patting the thighs during times of
difficulties, a Tantric practitioner is calling upon the sky dancers to move into action to help. During urgent times, when
there is no time to do formal invocation, one can pat the right and left thighs. This is a secret I have learned and it is
reserved for times of true emergencies. Generally, when we do invocations, we use mantra, mudra, and visualization.
We visualize the deity's garment moving, hand implements moving, eyes moving, and feet moving. That should work.
Does everyone now understand the secrets in doing invocations?
Why have I not explained these invocation secrets in such detail before in my books? Because many students are
unable to learn and do so much right away. If I had taught everything at the beginning, it would take students almost half
an hour just to do the invocation alone! The fact is, I hope that, after everyone became familiar with the steps in doing the
practice, I would explain the additional important points and ideas, one at a time, so that everyone would have a clear
understanding of them. If I had not begun with a streamlined version, many people would have found the practice too
long to attempt. Even though they might be attracted to it, they would be reluctant to spend time doing it and would have
given up. That was why I had simplified the first two steps of the chanting of Purification Mantras and the Invocation
Mantra. I was waiting for people to progress to the point where they were ready to go into deeper levels of practice
before presenting them with more detailed instructions. After one understands this, one can slowly incorporate all the
details into one's practice and gradually enter into the deeper levels. If one has been doing cultivation for some time, by
learning these secrets now, ones level of practice will be deepened. Does everyone now understand how to do the
invocation? This is a very important step.
The Vajrasattva Invocation Mantra
I mentioned earlier that the "Om ah hum, so ha" mantra is used for the invocation of the Five Dhyani Buddhas, as well as
all divine beings inhabiting the realms below. There is another invocation mantra. I don't know if you are familiar with it. It
is a mantra of Vajrasattva that is also used for invocation, "Om, maha, samaya, soha. Om, maha, samaya, hum, ah."
Why is the Vajrasattva Mantra also used for invocation? One knows that the Primordial Buddha - Adi Buddha - is also
called the Principal Vajradhara and resides at the Sixteenth Stage. Exoteric schools generally only mention gradations
up to the Tenth Stage. Adi Buddha is from the Sixteenth Stage. The Five Dhyani Buddhas are also known as the Five
Vajradharas. Vajrasattva, being formed from the combination of the Five Vajradharas, is called the Sixth Vajradhara. This
is why the mantra of Vajrasattva can be used for invocation and is just as great as the invocation mantra of the Five
Dhyani Buddhas. These mantras can be traced to their source. Therefore, one first has to learn that Adi Buddha is the
Primordial Buddha, or Samantabhadra Buddha. In Vajrayana, he is called the Principal Vajradhara. The Five Dhyani
Buddhas are the Five Vajradharas and Vajrasattva is the Sixth Vajradhara.
The suffix "sattva" comes from Bodhisattva, Kuan Yin, Cundi, and Padmasambhava are Bodhisattvas. The lineage of
Vajrayana is traced to Vajrasattva because it was from Vajrasattva that Nagarjuna Bodhisattva had received the
Vajrayana teachings after unlocking the Iron Tower and meeting with Vajrasattva. Nagarjuna Bodhisattva was the first
human guru while Vajrasattva is the lineage holder of Vajrayana. This is why it is excellent to use the Vajrasattva Mantra
as an invocation mantra.

The Great Homage

After invocation, we then proceed to the third step. What is the third step? Ordinarily, one does the Great Homage as the
third step, followed by the Mandala Offering, and the Fourfold Refuge, in this order. However, there are some people
who will recite the Fourfold Refuge Mantra or do the Mandala Offering right after the invocation. The sequence of these
three rituals is however flexible. Tantric practice, the whole liturgy can be divided into three parts: the Prologue, the Main
Body, and the Epilogue. The Great Homage, Mandala Offering, and Fourfold Refuge are part of the Prologue and I
remember that, in the past, I used to teach them in the order of Great Homage, Fourfold Refuge, and Mandala Offering.
Sometimes people start out with the Mandala Offering, feeling that, since the divine beings have descended following
one's invocation of them, one might as well make offerings to them right away. As long as one has a reason for doing
these rituals in a certain sequence, it will be all right. Just make sure that one does not miss any of the steps. Though
actually, even if a step is missed, there are remedies for it. The Hundred Syllable Mantra is, for example, such a remedy.
The Hundred Syllable Mantra
The Hundred Syllable Mantra of Vajrasattva is a very great mantra because it has three significant meanings. First, it
serves as a repentance mantra. Why is this a repentance mantra? Because this mantra teaches one to see into the
nonessentiality of all things in the phenomenal world. Inherent in the Hundred Syllable is the meaning of Emptiness, as
vast as the Void. Therefore, when one recites the Hundred Syllable Mantra and repents, one can transmute the
transgressions committed through the body, mind, and speech into Emptiness.
Second, the chanting of the mantra results in blessings from the Five Dhyani Buddhas. Vajrasattva is the Sixth
Vajradhara, a manifestation of the sum total of the Five Dhyani Buddhas or Vajradharas. That is why chanting the
Vajrasattvas mantra is equivalent to receiving blessings from the Five Dhyani Buddhas.
Third, as I have just explained, this mantra can serve to transmute all errors into Emptiness. Therefore, any mistakes,
transgressions, and obscurations which occur during the practice, such as insincerity, vague visualization, idle thoughts,
unkind thoughts, or the unintentional skipping of a certain step (e.g. forgetting to do the Mandala Offering) can be
remedies by chanting the Hundred Syllable Mantra at the end of the practice.
Therefore, the Hundred Syllable Mantra serves three purposes: 1) repentance; 2) bestowal of blessings from the Five
Dhyani Buddhas; 3) the remedy of all oversights and errors.
The Mudras for Great Homage
Next I will discuss with you the third step, which is the Great Homage. In Tibetan Tantric Buddhism, one customarily
prostrates completely on the floor and this is considered a form of sincere devotion. After joining the palms together, one
touches the crown, then sometimes the back of the head, and then the throat and heart before prostrating on the floor.
Tibetans usually just join their palms together and rarely employ other mudras in doing prostrations. So, where do our
prostration mudras, such as the Shrine Mudra, Lotus Mudra, and Vajra Handclasp Mudra, come from? These mudras
belong to the Tien-tai Esoteric Sect and the Eastern Esoteric School [the Shingon Sect of Japan]. Tibetans do have their
own mudras, but these are less widely used. The Japanese Esoteric Schools, compared to the Tibetan Esoteric Schools,
sue more mudras in their practice. Our True Buddha School mudras that are used to pay homage to the Buddhas,
Bodhisattvas, and Vajra Protectors come from the Eastern Esoteric School.
Since we start our practice sitting down, it would be very interruptive to get up at this point to do a physical prostration.
This is why we remain seated from beginning to end, until a complete set of the True Buddha practice is finished.
The Visualized Great Homage is my creation. Other people would get up at this point to do a physical prostration, but I
feel that remaining seated provides greater continuity. Also, when we are doing group practice, a limited space can
accommodate more people if actual physical prostration is not carried out. Based on these factors, I created the
Visualized Great Homage.
Why do some Tibetans touch the back of their heads with their hands while performing prostrations? It has to do with Chi
Kung. The human brain is covered by the skull except at the back and at the temples. Touching the temples does not
directly exercise the brain. At the back of the neck near the base of the brain is the cerebellum which regulates the
circulation of chi in ones body. You might not be aware of this, nor have I taught you to do this in the past.
Descending of Divine Beings to Teach Chi Kung
Lately, when I practice Chi Kung to do inner healing for my internal organs, I have been shown to touch this spot. [Grand
Master touches the back of this neck] At first I could not figure out why. I thought that touching here at the brow-point was
being very reverential to the divine beings; how strange it was to touch the back! Why were they teaching me to do this?
Now, each day after I finish my writing assignment, I set aside a time to do Chi Kung. At the beginning of my exercise, I
invoke as follows: "Namo the Primordial Great Western Golden Mother, Namo Amitabha of Sukhavati, Namo Ksitigarbha
Bodhisattva, the ruler of the Nether World." Of course, this invocation is done in Taiwanese, and not in Mandarin. It is like
this in Taiwanese, don't laugh at me! I invoke them to descend to my Chi Kung practice. I just chant their names very

quietly, like this, and in an instant, their frequencies and my frequency make a connection and they come very quickly. I
very sincerely sing out the invocations, which are words from my heart, and they come very rapidly.
What happened was, as soon as they divine beings arrived and I joined my two palms together, my hands would be
maneuvered to press against the back of my head. When I asked for an explanation, one divine beings told me that this
particular area of the body correlates with regulation of the internal organs. With stimulation to certain spots at this area,
certain organs will become rejuvenated and will return to their normal functions. Very soon, one becomes "thirtysomething" again and newly invigorated! So it turns out that stimulation at this area can have many advantages. No
wonder the Tibetans hit themselves here! I had not thought of this before and that is why I have not taught you to touch
here at the back of the head. I was afraid that you might hit it too hard and break your neck! [audience laughter] This is
what I have learned. The divine beings, Golden Mother of the Primordial Pond, Amitabha, and Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva,
taught me that this is a secret to longevity.
After touching here at the back, one goes on to touch the crown and visualize the white beam of light here. Remember at
this point, the Personal Deity has been invoked and is now sitting in the Empty Space above, facing one. As one touches
here, the white light from the forehead of the Personal Deity will shine on one's forehead. Next, one touches the throat
and visualizes red light entering one's throat. Then one touches the heart and visualizes a blue light entering the heart.
This is followed by the release of the mudra. It is the same with paying homage to the Bodhisattvas and Vajra Protectors
- one follows the same sequence of white light, red light, blue light, and release of mudra. Then the Half Bow is
performed. All these are done with visualization. When the three lights are shining on one, one also has to visualize
oneself prostrating on the floor, then getting up before releasing the mudra. This visualization step is very important.
Throughout this process, when the Personal Deity radiates light on one and one takes this light in, the phenomenon of
immersion?occurs. What is "immersion"? It is actually the shining and entering of light into ones body. If, however, one
is like a steel plate which does not absorb much light and reflects most of the light away, then there is no immersion. By
visualization of the light, one is purifying the body, speech, and mind. When the white light shines on one, one should
feel as if a lamp is shining on one, and one becomes saturated with the white light. It is the same with the red and blue
lights: ones whole body is completely immersed in that particular light. This is the visualization that accompanies the
Great Homage.
Invocation of the Three Main Deities
Someone asked me, "Grand Master, why do you invoke the Golden Mother of the Primordial Pond, Amitabha, and
Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva everytime you do an invocation? Can we also follow your example and invoke them?" I cant
make a rule to govern whom one should invoke, I only know why I always invoke these three deities. I learned, at the
beginning of my practice, that these three divine beings are the Principal Rulers in the spiritual realms.
The Golden Mother of the Primordial Pond is a Ruler of the Immortals, and her Primordial Pond at Mount Kunlun is an
assembly place for the immortal beings. As a ruler of the immortal beings, the Golden Mother of the Primordial Pond has
existed form the beginning.
I consider Amitabha Buddha the King of Buddhas. Why? Because, whether one practices exoteric or esoteric Buddhism,
Amitabha is the Buddha who extends the widest salvation. In China and Southeast Asia, every Buddhist monks chant
Amitabha's name; the Taoists also chant his name. The Taoists chant the name of the Immeasurable Life Buddha, which
is another epithet for Amitabha. Amitabha is also known as the Immeasurable Light Buddha and the Transcendent Sun
Moon Lamp Buddha. That is why Amitabha Buddha provides the greatest salvation. The other four Dhyani Buddhas give
salvation, too, but Amitabhas vows are the most encompassing. That is why he is the King of Buddhas.
Although Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva is referred to as the Ruler of the Nether World, he does not only save beings lost there.
He also aids beings in all six realms, including devas, humans, asuras, hell inhabitants, hungry ghosts, and animals. In
fact, it is because he has expanded his salvation to the realms of hells, hungry ghosts, and animals that he is reverently
referred to as the King of the Nether World.
Because of my own vows and my initiation into spiritual cultivation by the Golden Mother of the Primordial Pond, I feel
indebted to the kindness of the Ruler of the Immortals. How can I forget the graces she has bestowed on me? I cannot
sever my ties to her just because I have become a Buddhist. As a human being, one has to remember the kindness and
favors bestowed upon one. "One cannot ignore the traces on the surface after a boat cuts through the water, nore should
one throw away the walking stick after crossing the bridge." That is why, in my invocation, the Golden Mother of the
Primordial Pond is always the first deity I call upon. Whether or not one wants to call upon the Golden Mother of the
Primordial Pond first is a personal choice. And I always invoke Amitabha next and then the Ksitigarba Bodhisattva. In
fact, there is a very subtle connection between my invocation of the Ksitigarbha Bodisattva and his coming to teach me
this mudra (touching the back of my head during the practice of the Chi Kung).
Guidance of the Thousand-armed Thousand-eyed Kuan Yin Bodhisattva
Recently I have been diligently practicing the Chi Kung every day. Many different divine beings, including the Thousandarmed Thousand-eyed Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, have come to teach me steps that are made up of variety of very unusual
postures. Each of these postures corresponds to the adjustment of an internal organ. For example, this posture regulates
ones spleen, this posture regulates one's kidneys, this one regulates the heart while this one regulates the liver. In the

future, I shall create a set of Fist Exercises called the Internal Organs Fist Exercises [audience laughter] which will
consist of a set of movements to help strengthen the chi. When the strengthened chi circulates throughout the body, it
will open up blockages, stimulate the organs' functions, and prevent degeneration.
These are what the Internal Organs Fist Exercises can do. This kind of Chi Kung exercise should always have been in
existence; perhaps it was lost in the past. When a cultivator reaches a certain level of spiritual maturity, he or she will
have access to this kind of knowledge. Although I had not encountered this practice before, the Thousand-armed
Thousand-eyed Kuan Yin Bodhisattva, Cundi Bodhisattva, Yamantaka, and Trailokya-vijaya-raja came, each teaching
me a different posture. Well, the postures they taught me were quite remarkable! How should I describe them? Like the
"rhinoceros admires the moon? It is like this! [audience laughter] The whole body reclines at an angle, while the head
turns under and backward like this. There is also a posture called the Immortal Pointing the Road and another called the
White Snake Spitting. There are many kinds of postures!
Everytime the Thousand-armed Thousand-eyed Kuan Yin comes, he asks me to extend my arms like this. Then he
demonstrates with his thousand arms how to raise my arms, this way, to the highest. Then he shows me how to "lower"
them, how to "raise" them, how to "sustain" them, and how to "release" them. This is a very mysterious exercise. These
kinds of body movements, like a language, can be translated into the exercise of the chi. Isn't body language a popular
term nowa-days? So the Bodhisattva first teaches me the body movements, then he further teaches me what these
movements are accomplishing. In fact, it is all an exercise for strengthening the chi, opening up the channels and
meridians, and sustaining the light drops. It has to do completely with the Yoga of Energy.
Great Homage Visualization
The Great Homage also requires certain skills. When Tibetans perform the Great Homage, they touch the back of their
heads. This is followed by the visualization of the white, red, and blue lights. The actual prostration comes next. This is
also a way of strengthening the body. Are there any other visualizations besides the white, red and blue lights? Of
course, there are. In general, the exoteric schools practice the Great Homage while facing the shrine, and without doing
any visualization. In Tantric or esoteric schools, visualization is required. I once wrote a verse about the Great Homage
which described how, in this ritual, one is paying universal homage to all beings. Besides very clearly visualizing the
Golden Mother of the Primordial Pond, Amitabha, and Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva appearing in the front, one also has to
visualize all Buddhas in the Ten Directions and Three Times and all Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas in the Universe
appearing in the background.
How is this visualization done? Many people have asked this question. How can one visualize all the Buddhas and
Bodhisattvas appearing in front of one? How can one ever finish visualizing? Of course, one can never finish visualizing
all the divine beings in the Universe. Many people can't even successfully visualize one single Buddha. Perhaps after
half a day of visualization, the ears are still missing. Sometimes after visualizing the head, the body is gone. Sometimes
after visualizing the clothes, the head disappears. Some people just have a very difficult time in doing the visualization.
The Detailed Visualization
Actually there is a method to do detailed visualization: one first visualizes the brows, then the eyes, nose, mouth, ears,
shape of head, the body, the limbs, and the celestial garments. Then, as soon as the visualization is done, let it
disappear. The image does not need to be fixed in the mind and not allowed to disappear. This isn't the answer at all.
When I visualize Amitabha, he immediately appears. Standing on a lotus, he wears a very wonderful celestial garment,
his ears are very long, and on top of his head is the crown protrusion. One of his hands holds the Wish Bestowing
Mudra, and the other holds a lotus. As soon as one finishes clearly visualizing all this, one may immediately release the
image and let it disappear. After practicing for a long time one will find that, as soon as one focuses one's attention, the
Buddha immediately and vividly appears in front. This takes a long time to perfect. In the beginning, even I was not able
to produce such a vivid image of the Buddha.
For example, this morning at the True Buddha Tantric Quarter, I was making an outdoor offering at the external shrine some people actually witnessed this - I noticed that several people were turning their heads to look at me. I had
visualized myself transforming into Amitabha, a very tall and golden Amitabha who reached all the way up to the clouds. I
also visualized the sweet nectar I was holding transforming into millions of drops of sweet nectar that filled up all spaces.
I was using the detailed method of visualization. Even as I am talking to you now, I can achieve a very vivid visualization.
Remember, however, one is not required to continue visualizing the image for an extended period of time. It is not
necessary to continually visualize Amitabha in the same spot forever!
An All - Encompassing Great Homage
How does one visualize all the Buddhas in the past, present, future, and in the Ten Directions? One uses the image of
star lights. For example, one visualizes the Principal Deity at the front, and behind is a boundless expanse of twinkling
stars. This is a way to pay universal homage to all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas in all dimensions. In
performing the Great Homage, one immediately visualizes the stars and the Principal Deity in front of the stars, and then
proceeds to visualize oneself bowing to the Buddhas. This visualization will produce great merits. During this third step of
the Great Homage, by using this visualization, one is paying an all-encompassing homage to all Buddhas in the

In general, the exoteric schools do not have this kind of visualization when they do prostration, nor do they visualize the
blessing of lights. This is a technique found only in the esoteric schools. Merits generated by this kind of allencompassing Tantric homage is very great. In the exoteric schools, one prostrates to just one Buddha or several
Buddhas at a time, while in the esoteric schools, one prostrates to trillions of Buddhas at one time. One allencompassing great homage in Tantrayana is equivalent to several years of prostrations in Sutrayana. That is why
Tantric cultivation can enable one to achieve Buddhahood in this life, whereas the exoteric schools teach that one can
only attain Buddhahood in the future, three great kalpas away. It is possible to attain Buddhahood in this life through
Tantra because inherent in Tantra is the supreme wisdom, supreme methods, supreme liturgy which brings about
transcendental accomplishments. Simply put, the Great Homage in Tantrayana is a method of paying an allencompassing homage with one single prostration.
The Tantric rite of homa (fire offering) also accomplishes great merits. In the Sutric schools, one lights one or three
incense at a time whereas, in the Tantric fire offerings, one burns tens of thousands of incenses at one time. The offering
of incense in one Tantric fire puja is equivalent to several years worth of incense offering in the Sutric schools. Fire
offering is not found in Sutric schools, only in Tantra. The Tantric fire offering is one of the greatest offerings one can
make to generate merits and spiritual accomplishment.
A Sincere Prostration - Repentance
Inherent in one Tantric Great Homage prostration is tens of thousands of prostrations. One must not underestimate this
ritual of the Great Homage, as it completely teaches one how to subjugate both one's ego and pride. By prostrating in
front of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, one repents and submits one's body, mind, and speech completely to the
Buddhas and the Personal Deity. One prostration is all prostrations. In one prostration, one pays homage to all Buddhas.
This is a unique ritual in Tantra and its merits are truly great, so one should not slight it.
During group practices, many people do the Great Homage like this, very quickly. [Grand Master demonstrates to
audience laughter] There is hardly any energy involved in it; also it does not look very dignified. One has to know that
dignity has to come from within, from the heart. One uses visualization to create this sense of grandeur and dignity.
Some people might superficially feel that, after participating in a couple group practices, they are able to learn all the
steps, including how to form the mudras. It seems so easy and simple. Little do they know there is a great art involved in
That is why a detailed exposition of the practice is necessary. With this knowledge, one learns to appreciate the
profundity of the Tantric Dharma and, therefore, to go beyond a superficial involvement with it. During group practices,
some people finish very quickly; the whole session may take only twenty minutes. If one asks them if they have acquired
any expansion of awareness or perceptions during the practice, they reply, "No, but who cares as long as I have done all
the steps? Grand Master asked me to do two hundred sessions of the practice, and I am able to do several sessions in
one day. [audience laughter] Pretty soon, they will be all done. But, how come I still have so many problems? How come
my impediments are still so great?" [audience laughter] Of course, their obscurations would still be great! They have not
really immersed themselves into the practice, and they have not ennobled their hearts and minds during the process.
The Great Homage is a very dignified event wherein one engenders a noble state of mind to pay homage to all the
Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the universe. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are very majestic and noble. The Supreme
Consciousness of the Universe is extremely great and lofty. When one repents and humbles oneself by paying homage
to the Universal Consciousness, one is striving towards spiritual maturity. This is not a casual step to be done
Therefore, I hope all of you will have a tacit understanding of this third step, the Great Homage. That is also why each of
the Four Preliminary Practices - the Fourfold Refuge, the Great Homage, the Mandala Offering, and the Vajrasattva
Practice - is a separate practice on its own. Just give this some thought: why is it necessary to set aside a separate time
to practice the Great Homage? The merits generated are infinitely great! Every day, before one begins meditation
practice, one should do the Great Homage. Physically it strengthens one's body, while spiritually it induces a reverent
devotion. At the same time, the lights of the trillions of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will shine on one, and one will be
completely moved by this kind of blessing. Compared to ordinary prostrations, a Great Homage accompanied by this
kind of visualization gives very different results.
While doing the Great Homage, one can transcend the ego if one is able to completely let go of the body and mind to
receive and hold the lights from the trillions of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. By accepting the light shining on one and the
grace of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, one willingly releases all the negative energy and transgressions one has
committed. Only a Great Homage performed in this fashion is this excellent and can generate such vast power.
Today I have talked about the first three steps in the True Buddha Dharma Practice. Tomorrow we will pick up from here
and continue, so that the whole liturgy will be covered in the next several days. What do you think?

Each time before doing the practice, one must first "purify the body." What does this mean? It is a kind of preliminary
preparation for the actual practice itself, and many people know that it refers to "taking ablution and avoiding eating
excessive and unnecessary food." "Taking ablution" means washing the body, and "avoiding eating excessive and

unnecessary food" means eating a pure and simple meal. One's stomach should not be too full or too empty. If one does
meditation right after a meal, the stomach will be so distended that it can cause the same kind of distraction as does a
growling, empty stomach. So meditation should be done at a time when one is neither too full nor too hungry.
One should at least rinse the mouth, brush the teeth, and wash the hands. It is best, of course, to take a shower or bath.
By cleansing the body and consuming only a simple meal, one is preparing oneself physically, emotionally, and mentally
for the practice.
When one enters into the Tantric shrine, one's mind should be solemn, respectful, and restful. In other words, both the
mind and body should be relatively relaxed. It is very important to be relaxed, but one should not be so relaxed that one
is ready to take a nap at the shrine! On the other hand, if one comes directly from jogging or running and one's heart is
still racing, when one sits down at the Tantric shrine to do meditation, it will be very hard for the mind to become quieted.
Furthermore, if one has just had a heated argument with a family member, so that one's blood is still boiling and one's
face is contorted in anger, it will be very difficult, under such circumstances, to achieve a quiet mind even if one goes to
the Tantric shrine to attempt the practice. There are also situations where, after hearing some bad news, one's mind is
full of anxieties and worries. If one chooses to do a practice at such a time, it will be very difficult to achieve a "spiritual
response" or spiritual union with the Deity on which one is meditating.
Therefore, when one enters into the Tantric shrine, one's body should be clean and one's mind should be as calm as the
mirror-like surface of a lake without ripples. Such preliminary preparation predisposes one to achieve spiritual response
during the practice. If one's mind is agitated, angry, or full of complicated thoughts, achieving a spiritual response will be
very difficult. When one is both physically and mentally relaxed and not bothered by any business, one can then enter
the Tantric shrine to do the practice.