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True Buddha Dharma-character Treasury - Machig Labdron

On Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019, 2:00pm, at Taiwan Lei Tsang Temple, True Buddha School Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu will preside over a Machig Labdron Grand Jihai Year Spring Blessing Homa Ceremony, and bestow ordination precepts, lay bodhisattva vows, marriage blessing, and the empowerment of Machig Labdron Uncommon Personal Deity, Chod, and Troma Nakmo (the Black Wrathful Dakini) Practices.
(Live Webcast Link: or

【Machig Labdron Mudra:】

Interlace the fingers of both hands inwards. Place the middle fingers upright touching and point the index fingers apart. Touch the thumbs lightly against the middle fingers. Hold the mudra in front of your chest.

【Machig Labdron Seed Syllable:】

【Machig Labdron Mantra:】

「Om。 ban-za。 ma-ji-la, xia-xia。hum。 hum。 pei。」

【Machig Labdron Dharmalaksama Brief Introduction】

Machig Labdron has one head, two arms, and two legs. Her body is completely white, slim, and curvaceous. She wears a five-skull crown with Akshyobha Buddha as the crown ornament representing her origin. She is smiling and has the looks of an exquisitely beautiful 16 years old girl. There is a third eye between her brows. Machig Labdron is naked and draped in a celestial garment. She is adorned with human bones and a jade necklace. She stands on her left leg in a dancing posture on a lotus platform with her right leg bent. Her right hand is up high and plays a darmaru while her left hand holds a vajra bell.

Machig Labdron, also known as Ladronma, is the founder of the Joyul Sect, a branch of Vajrayana. The Joyul Sect is also called the Shichepa (zhi byed-pa) School. She is the 2nd-generation disciple and Buddha Mother of the great Indian adept Bodhidharma, called in Tibetan Padampa Sangye. Machig Labdron is one of the few female practitioners in Tibet to have attained Buddhahood.

Joyul means cutting off, that is, cutting off afflictions. Afflictions are the root cause of confusion, karma, and the cycle of birth and death. One relies on bodhicitta to end selfish thoughts, cuts through grasping at the saha world by the view of emptiness, and annihilates the four demons through the common practices. The Joyul Sect taught the elimination of self-grasping through the realization of the empty nature and attainment of liberation by eliminating the root of suffering and afflictions.

Machig Labdron is also the founder of the Chod Practice of Tibetan Vajrayana. Chod teaches that everyone should make offerings. One must see through one's body, and give all of one's bodily possessions and even the body itself as a sacrifice for all sentient beings. One sacrifices oneself for the benefit of the 10 dharma realms and as an offering to the three evil realms. This idea of sacrifice is the doctrine of no-self. Chod is ''selflessness''.

This practice is:
Generation of bodhicitta.
Total renunciation and offering of the self.
Annihilation of egotistic greed, anger, and ignorance.

As a result of this practice, one easily reaches complete accumulation, realizes no-self, and attains accomplishment of the empty nature.
The key cultivation formulas of this practice are the Great Perfection.
The greatest sacrifice leads to the greatest reward.

【Precious Dharma Discourse of Dharma King Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu

There are many legends surrounding Patriarch Bodhidharma. He is the first patriarch of the Joyul Sect in Tibet, and it is said that Bodhidharma transmitted the dharma to Machig Labdron. After Bodhidharma was buried, he exited his wooden coffin and returned to India by travelling underground. While passing through Tibet on his journey back to India, he encountered Milarepa and Machig Labdron. While in Tibet, Bodhidharma was known by the Tibetan name Padampa Sengye. Bodhidharma was also the founder of another school called the Shichepa Sect.

The principle of the Shichepa Sect was the same principle as the Zen Sect. Therefore, Tibetan Vajrayana does have the teaching of Zen. The Zen teaching is in the Great Perfection because Padampa Sengye went to Tibet where the Nyingma, Gelugpa, Kagyu, and Sakya Schools learned his teaching of Zen. Padampa Sengye transmitted Chod to his consort, Machig Labdron. I will tell you about the Chod teaching in the future.

Machig Labdron, white in color, was a female practitioner. She plays a damaru in her right hand while holding a vajra bell in her left hand. She stands on one leg with the other leg bent. The Shichepa Sect became known by the name Shichepa Sect after it was transmitted to Machig Labdron. Machig Labdron, a female, is therefore the patriarch of this sect.

Machig Labdron is also known as Labdronma. She is the Buddha Mother of Bodhidharma (Padampa Sengye) and the second generation disciple of Bodhidharma. Machig Labdron is one of the very few female practitioners in Tibet to attain accomplishment in Chod. She and her disciples lived permanently in remote mountain wildernesses, and focused primarily on practicing Chod. The Shichepa Sect relied on realization of the empty prajna nature to eliminate attachment, annihilate the root of suffering and afflictions, and attain liberation.

''Joyul'' in the Joyul Sect means cutting off. ''Cutting off'' means severing afflictions. All one's afflictions arise from karma, and one's karma is the root of transmigration through cycles of birth and death. One uses bodhichitta to cut off self-cherishing thoughts, the view of emptiness to sever endless incarnation, and the common practices to annihilate the four maras. In the Joyul Sect, Machig Labdron is the primary refuge. Her posture is identical to that of Nairatmya Buddha Mother.

Why does Machig Labdron renounce her body? She renounces her body as an offering to all sentient beings. Nairatmya Buddha Mother also renounces her body. Although offering one's body for the sake of others is part of Vajrayana doctrine, generally speaking, this practice is rare in Tibetan Vajrayana.

Machig Labdron's bones, her bone ornaments, have the power of blessing. In its usage of skulls, Vajrayana is different from others. Many people have asked me, ''Why does Vajrayana use human skulls? Why are human bones used as mala beads? Why are Vajra deities adorned with human bones?'' I explain by saying this usage of bones is about the Chod Practice. Why is there Chod Practice? It's because of no-self. One who considers one's body precious is, by having one's body in mind, having self in mind! In the Chod Practice, however, the body does not exist.

Many Westerners don't really understand why one would renounce one's body, why Tibetans use skulls, why mala beads are made of human bones, why dharma implements are made of bones, and why even certain blown dharma implements are made of bones. It's because Tibetans practicing Tibetan Vajrayana know about renunciation of the body. Renunciation and relinquishment of the body is the practice of no-self.

The body renunciation practice originated in Tibetan Vajrayana. How is renunciation and relinquishment performed? One transforms one's eyes into the sun and moon in the cosmos. One transforms one's skin into the earth of the cosmos. One transforms one's flesh and bones into the soil and mountains of the cosmos, and one's blood is transformed into flowing rivers, lakes, and oceans. One's breath transforms into the wind and the hairs on one's body transform into trees. Practitioners visualize in this way. Everything about one's body, including one's own self, is renounced and given away to all sentient beings. This is the essential meaning of the Chod Practice taught by Machig Labdron, patriarch of the Joyul Sect.

Machig Labdron learned the Chod teaching, which is Zen, from Kyoton Sonam Lama. She became the female patriarch of the Joyul Sect and founder of the Chod Practice.

Although the Joyul Sect no longer exists, the Zen teaching of the Joyul Sect is still present in the minds of Tibetans and so is its dharma. The Joyul Sect has the Chod Practice in which one offers and gives away one's body. Machig Labdron is very famous. She is the patriarch of the Joyul Sect. In Tibet, the Joyul Sect has vanished but Zen thought still exists.

!!Please be aware that before anyone can practice the above uncommon practices, it is advised and recommended that they take refuge and the respective empowerment; alternatively one must face inherent resulting cause and effect!!

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