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MY TEACHER'S ADVICE
By Living Buddha Lian-sheng (Grand Master Sheng-yen Lu).
(page 12, True Buddha News, 117 issue November 1-14, 1996)
Translated by Yuan Zheng Tang.
Two decades ago, when I left my teacher Taoist monk Ching Zhen (Liao Ming the monk), his parting words were : "Now that you are going to serve society, you must remember to lead a simple and frugal life, adopt a down-to-earth style of work, and not to seek fame and wealth, and enjoyment of material pleasure. Above all, when using Dharma power to help people, monetary rewards should not be fixed. You must leave it to the donors. Remember this salient point ! Don't forget !"

Grateful for his care, encouragement and guidance, I stood still on the roadside and sincerely answered him : "I shall bear this in mind."

Twenty years over have since passed, I can still remember what my teacher taught me vividly. I have implemented the following three points:

1. Never ask people for money.
2. Donation should always be as you wish .
3. Never engage in business dealings.

Of course, I have seen many cases of Dharma masters, Zen masters and venerable monks selling "cement Buddhas", "stupas for the dead", and "rebirth lotus flowers." The price fixed was exorbitant and ridiculous.

On the other hand, honorable directorship at certain charitable organizations can be purchased at one million NT a seat. Many have responded to such appeals for donation.

I have seen them all. I am not impressed. I still do it my way - i.e. donations are always as the donors wish. All my disciples from the True Buddha School know my style. My reason for doing so is just following my teacher's advice !

Lately, Taiwan's religious fraternity started to get rid of triad interference. It reminds me of my teacher's advice. His speech was still glittering and can be considered "golden saying." We have an easy conscience doing our Dharma propagation.

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