“Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation” an essay

“Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation” an essay

By Living Buddha Lian Sheng

No religion, school or enterprise in this world can rely solely on the contribution of its founder to perpetuate an eternal existence, as it requires the continuous support of future generations to carry forward.

Disciples who are able to practice the “path of accumulation[1],” who aspire to Bodhisattvahood and are blessed shall be liberated through the teachings of Buddha.

To gain wisdom, you need to establish your spiritual foundation through the path of accumulation.

To be virtuous, you need to begin with the path of accumulation.

To achieve Bodhi or awakening, the path of accumulation is the starting point.

To attain Bodhisattvahood, you need to acquire selflessness through the path of accumulation.

Nagarjuna categorized the teachings of Buddha dharma into four areas:

1.         How to behave.

2.         How to engage in charitable work.

3.         How to conduct oneself in society.

4.         Maxims or the Ultimate Truth.

The key points to Buddha dharma are:

Bodhicitta or the aspiration for enlightenment.


The Middle Way.

Henceforth, by creating Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation, I hope to improve human behavior, to conduct charitable work, contribute to the betterment of society, and encourage disciples to generate Bodhicitta. This is the basis of Mahayana Buddhism.

It is my hope that everyone will support Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation, so that it may flourish and have a long lasting positive influence in this world.

Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation provides an opportunity for all disciples to engage in charitable work and generate goodwill, impacts of which to be felt in all corners of the world.  This is what would give my life the greatest meaning.

I advise all sentient beings:

To do no evil,

To do only good,

To purify the mind,

For this is the doctrine of Buddha.

A part of “To do only good” includes supporting Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation as founded by your root guru.

Someone asked me, “What is the meaning of the three words ‘Sheng Yen Lu’?”

I replied, “True Buddha.” (Buddha-nature)

Someone asked me, “What is the significance of giving?”

I replied, “It is being spontaneous and natural without attachment to anything.” (Bodhicitta)

Someone asked me, “What is the significance of ‘Foundation’?”

I replied, “It is for the merit and blessing of sentient beings.” (Dedication of merits to sentient beings in attaining Buddhahood)

(Note: On the surface, Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation may seem like a worldly approach to saving sentient beings, helping the poor by relieving them of suffering and providing aid in times of disaster, but in the end its goals gravitate towards the Ultimate Truth.)

Zen master Guiseng of the King of Thousand Light Temple in Hangzhou, China, who was the dharma heir of Zen master Daoqian of Yong Ming Temple, once said, “Buddha dharma is about being free from all. The sun and moon of the past is the sun and moon of today. The rain and wind of the past is the rain and wind of today.  Ascending to a position in the past is no different from ascending to a position today.  Even upon the completion of citing and expounding dharma, all remains as it is. Take precious care.”

Here are my thoughts:

Buddha existed in the past and Buddha exists today.

Giving to charity in the past is giving to charity today.

Doing good in the past is doing good today.

Giving support in the past is giving support today.

So what do we support?  Let’s all support the Sheng-Yen Lu Foundation!

[1] saṃbhāra-mārga (Skt.). The ‘path of accumulation’, the first of the five paths to Buddhahood (see pañca-mārga) in which one gathers the requisite accumulation of merit and awareness (puṇya-jñāna-saṃbhāra). DAMIEN KEOWN. “saṃbhāra-mārga.” A Dictionary of Buddhism. 2004.Encyclopedia.com. 7 Feb. 2011 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.


Translated by Cheng Yew Chung

Edited by Jason Yu & Fo-Ching Lu

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