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WHO IS SHENG-YEN LU
By Living Buddha Lian-sheng (Grand Master Sheng-yen Lu).
Translated by Janny Chow.
Who am I? Who am I really? In the past, I have repeatedly examined and questioned myself: Who is "Sheng-yen Lu"? Is Sheng-yen Lu a merchant? A businessman? "During his high school years, he took some business classes and studied bookkeeping. When he was a youngster, he sold popsicles and plum candies ... he is a merchant." Is Sheng-yen Lu a worker? A technician? "When he was in high school, he took classes in metal casting, and worked as a technician for the Taiwan Mechanical and the Taiwan Electrical Companies, doing work such as moving and hauling cables and machinery. He is a worker and technician." Is Sheng-yen Lu an engineer? "Yes. He is an engineer, a surveying engineer. During his college years, he studied Survey Engineering, which included geodetic survey, topographic survey, aerial survey, and mapping. He actually practiced for ten years as a survey engineer." Is Sheng-yen Lu a career serviceman? "Yes. He graduated from the Chung Cheng Institute of Technology, Department of Survey. After four years and four months in this military school and, after graduating from it, he continued to serve in the army for ten more years, rising from second lieutenant to major. He retired as a major." Is Sheng-yen Lu a poet? "Yes. He writes traditional and modern verses and poetry. He has published a collection of poems titled A Wisp of Smoke. He is a poet." Is Sheng-yen Lu a writer? "Yes. He has worked as a journalist and an editor. He has written novels, essays, and poems. A prolific writer, he has published more than seventy books." Is Sheng-yen Lu a divinator? "Certainly. He has studied various disciplines in divination, such as astrology, numerology, face reading, aura reading, and palmistry. He is most famous for his spiritual reading." Is Sheng-yen Lu a geomancy expert?
"Yes. His knowledge in geomancy encompasses the theories of more than six different traditional schools, and his skill in analyzing residences and burial sites is second to none." What else is Sheng-yen Lu? He is a Christian (has been a Sunday Bible School teacher), a Taoist Master, a Buddhist Master (shaven and left home), and also the Living Buddha Lian-shen (a Tantric guru). Is Sheng-yen Lu a monk? "Yes. He is now a monk, after formally taking the vows and shaving his head." Is Sheng-yen Lu the lineage holder of the True Buddha School? "Yes, because he has founded the True Buddha School to propagate the True Buddha Dharma." Apart from the above, Sheng-yen Lu is also a psychic! He is someone who is everything. But, who, really, is Sheng-yen Lu?
Now, I must sit quietly in the Lotus position. I have to give this question deep contemplation. Everything in the past died yesterday. Everything in the present is born today. I have walked a very long path and searched a great deal. I have a whole basketfuls of experiences and my fantasies have been as intricate as the patterns of stars in the sky. Now, I have gathered up all of them and wrapped them in a piece of cloth. I am going to toss this bundle into the ocean, to let it float with the waves and sink to the deepest ocean bottom, never to resurface. I will transform into "One. " I will transform into "Zero. "

When I was reading Buddhist sutras, I came across Revata, one of the disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni. His experience gave me a revelation. Here is an excerpt from the extra: "Revata was staying overnight in a deserted pavilion. While in meditation, he observed two ghosts fighting over a corpse and was asked to be the judge. Revata knew that he would not escape unscathed in this intervention, so he told the truth. He judged that the corpse should be eaten by the small ghost since the corpse was being carried by the small ghost. The big ghost became mad and pulled the limbs off Revata and ate them. Feeling sorry for Revata, the small ghost immediately used the limbs from the corpse to repair Revata's body. The big ghost proceeded to pull the head off Revata and ate it. The small ghost then repaired it with the head from the corpse. The big ghost continued to pull off parts of Revata's body and eat them. The small ghost continued to repair Revata's body with body parts from the corpse. When the big ghost finished eating, he wiped his mouth and left. When the small ghost finished repairing, he also left.
"At this point, Revata quite naturally became neurotic and wondered whose body it was that he had now? Could it still be his original body? But he had witnessed his own body being pulled apart. Could it be somebody else's body? But it now followed his command. He asked whomever he came across, 'Is this really my body?' No one could answer him. At this time, there was a monk who thought that he [Revata] was ready for liberation and led him to see the Buddha. They went to the teaching hall and Revata asked the Buddha whose body it really was. The Buddha said, 'This body is actually the remains of another person; it is really not yours.' When Revata heard the Buddha's teaching, he immediately achieved Realization. "The Buddha asked Revata, 'What have you realized?' Revata answered, 'I see that in this world, the bodies of all men are really the remains of their parents, rather than their own possessions.' At this point, the Buddha knew that Revata had, indeed, awakened to Realization, so he gave him the name 'the Empirical Body.' With this name, the Buddha meant to illustrate that in this world the gross bodies of men were the product of the illusory integration of the Four Great Elements. The Four Great Elements are earth, water, fire, and wind. Skin, muscles, connective tissues, and bones form the earth element. Blood, saliva, mucus, lymph, urine, and feces form the water element. Heat in the body forms the fire element. Respiration and movements of the limbs form the wind element. That is why bodies are said to be the illusory integration of the Four Great Elements. The seemingly solid bodies are really an illusion. That was why the Buddha gave Revata the name 'the Empirical Body'." These three paragraphs of sutra can be summarized as follows: 1) If the body is completely consumed and replaced by a substitute, then who am I really? 2) One's body is formed from the remains of one's parents-an illusory integration of the Four Great Elements of earth, water, fire, and wind. 3) Where, then, is the "True Self"?
Amid my contemplation, sitting inside a circle of bright light, I have arisen. I realized: "I am the Buddha." "The Emptiness of Ego is Buddhahood." "The Emptiness of Ego is equivalent to Sunyata, the Void." Of everything in this world that I see with my physical eyes, there is not one thing that is mine. Every single phenomenon in this world undergoes transformation, is impermanent, and is inherently empty! In the state where the Ego is forgotten, Sheng-yen Lu does not exist anymore, not in the present, not in the past, and not in the future. The so-called Sheng-yen Lu is not really Sheng-yen Lu; such is really a name.
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