The founder and spiritual leader of the True Buddha School, a Buddhist organization that emphasizes the practice of Vajrayana Buddhism。

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Living Buddha Lian-sheng, whose secular name is Sheng-Yen Lu, was born in Chiayi, Taiwan in 1945. He graduated from the Department of Geodesy and Land Surveying of Chung Cheng Institute of Technology, and propagates True Buddha Vajrayana Dharma through his writings, paintings, dharma discourses and other means. Disciples who have taken refuge worldwide number more than five million, including many well-known Tibetan living buddhas. 

Living Buddha Lian-sheng was originally a Christian, subsequently learning Taoism, then Exoteric Buddhism, finally learning Vajrayana Buddhism. After moving to Seattle, USA in 1982, he began to formally turn the great dharma wheel of Vajrayana Buddhism to deliver sentient beings, distilling and integrating the keys of difficult and obscure ancient Tantric dharma into unexcelled dharma practices which are easy to learn and understand and suitable for modern times. 

Living Buddha Lian-sheng has said: “I practice according to True Buddha Vajrayana Dharma, from the Four Preliminary Practices, to Root Guru Yoga, the Personal Deity Practice, Treasure Vase Qi, Inner Fire, Opening the Central Channel, Opening of the Five Chakras, Five Heruka Practices, Highest Yoga Tantra, and Dzogchen. By practicing these one by one in sequence, I attained unsurpassed and complete enlightenment, and arrived at the accomplishment of Lotus Light Self-Mastery Buddha.”  

Living Buddha Lian-sheng was a devout Christian and Sunday School teacher in high school. Later, his divine eye was opened by the Golden Mother of the Primordial Pond, and subsequently he was taught by Mr. Three-Peaks-Nine-States* (San Shan Jiu Hou Xian Sheng) as well as Taoist Master Qing Zhen of the Qing Cheng Taoist School (Reverend Liao-Ming 了鳴和尚), and learned Taoist practices, internal alchemy and talisman practices, Early Heaven School of Geomancy, Esoteric/Tantric Buddhism, the five major classes of knowledge in Buddhism (pañcavidyā) and so on. 

Living Buddha Lian-sheng first took refuge in Master Yin Shun (印順導師), Reverend Le Guo (樂果法師), and Reverend Dao An (道安法師). He received his Bodhisattva Vows at Bi Shan Yan Temple at Nantou, and his preceptors were Reverend Xian Dun (賢頓法師), Reverend Hui San (慧三法師), and Reverend Jue Guang (覺光法師). His liturgy teachers for sutra recitation were Reverend Shan Ci (善賜法師) and Reverend Shang Lin (上林法師). 

In terms of Vajrayana Buddhism, he received the lineage transmission of the Kagyu School from His Holiness the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa and the Twelfth Tai Situ Rinpoche; the lineage transmission of the Gelug School from Vajra Acharya Thubten Dargye (吐登達爾吉上師); the lineage transmission of the Sakya School from Vajra Acharya Sakya Zheng Kong (薩迦證空上師 — His Eminence Dezhung Rinpoche); the lineage transmission of the Nyingma School from Reverend Liao Ming (了鳴和尚) and directly from lineage guru Padmasambhava (during meditation). He also received empowerment from Master Pu Fang (普方上師) of Zong Chi Temple (總持寺派). (Note: The Twelfth Tai Situ Rinpoche only gave refuge empowerment and not empowerment for all Vajrayana practices) 

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Living Buddha Lian-sheng studied under many teachers, and the number of teachers he had affinity with was even greater. As he received divine sight very early on, he became renowned worldwide for his divination ability.  


Later he moved many times, even as far away as Seattle, USA, where he immersed himself in the practice of Tantric teachings. During samadhi, Shakyamuni Buddha personally blessed him by placing his hand upon his crown, and conferred upon him the prophecy of buddhahood. Maitreya Bodhisattva bestowed upon him the Red Crown, Amitabha Buddha exhorted Living Buddha Lian-sheng to teach and deliver sentient beings widely, while Padmasambhava personally transmitted Tantric teachings to him. He was recognized as a “Great Enlightened Dharani Brilliance Vajra Acarya,” bestowed a Holy Red Crown and the epithet of the Holy Red Crown Vajra Master Venerable Lian-sheng. (Note: Buddhas and bodhisattvas transmit dharma and confer prophecies only upon true cultivators with accomplishment.) He also personally saw Vajrasattva who exhorted him that he was the Secret Master of the Realm of Vajra-mantra. 


Living Buddha Lian-sheng has long known that he is an emanation of White Mahapadmakumara from the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds in Sukhavati, the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss, one who has come again due to past vows and Amitabha’s entrustment.  


Living Buddha Lian-sheng is a true tantric cultivator who has cultivated the Four Classes of Tantra (Action Tantra, Conduct or Performance Tantra, Yoga Tantra, and Highest Yoga Tantra) to become one with the supreme consciousness, merging into the Ocean of Vairocana (all-encompassing ocean of dharma nature). He has genuinely accomplished the Eight Outer Practices and the Eight Inner Practices. Thus, many Tibetan tulkus and eminent Sutrayana masters have also taken refuge in Living Buddha Lian-sheng. The number of disciples around the world who have taken refuge continues to increase each day. 


As Living Buddha Lian-sheng has already validated enlightenment, he has authored more than 285 books pertaining to spiritual cultivation (as of October 2021), and they have been translated into Indonesian, English, French, Vietnamese, Spanish, Japanese, Portuguese, Hindi, and so on. The full series of his books are in the collection of the Library of Congress in the United States. The Japanese publishing industry also praised him as “an immortal of contemporary China.” Living Buddha Lian-sheng is unparalleled in disseminating dharma through written text in the modern age. Living Buddha Lian-sheng also uses painting as a means to teach dharma, and to date, his artworks have been compiled into 11 painting catalogues, published and distributed. Living Buddha Lian-sheng gives dharma teachings every day, and from 1990 until the present time, countless dharma lectures have been compiled into books, audio tapes, video tapes, and DVDs to be distributed.