In this post, I wish to address some controversy and criticism related to the teachings of the late Master Lu Jun Hong ( (盧台長) of Guan Yin Citta (also known as Xin Ling Fa Men 心灵法门) from a perspective of a Buddhist practitioner.
First, I wish to clarify that I am not a member of Guan Yin Citta nor affiliated with them. I am a Buddhist practitioner from another sect (Theravada) for more than 20 years. I have never been approached by any members to write about them as I have stated in my disclosure page that I never accept any review, nor I derive any benefit all these years from merchants or any party that I write about.
I first come across the teachings of Master Lu via YouTube recommendation sometime around October 2021 (one month before his passing). I have watched at least a hundred of his videos, read his books on metaphysics and listen to some of his radio talk show. Few months prior to that, I had started joining Facebook groups related to health issues. I was alarmed to read sharings and accounts of many from the group who have symptoms that even their doctors could not diagnose. Many of these people are from the West where medical advancement is at its best yet doctors could not diagnose what is wrong or treat them.
However, the moment I read their symptoms, it is quite obvious that their illness is not only physical. But it is karmic and possibly had supernatural causes. This is from my own experience of being affiliated with some illness a few times where doctors could not help me. And in the end, I recovered through spiritual practice and intervention.
Hence, when I came across Master Lu’s teachings, I started going through the cases, his diagnosis, his advice and teachings. I also research about the criticism and comments from other parties related to his teachings. This is because as an outsider, we need to understand from both side and not only go into something blindly. I have previously written a long post on my thoughts about his teachings.
In this article, I would add on to more. This is only my opinion and in the end, I ask you, the reader to have your own discretion.
Is Master Lu’s teachings instill fear of karmic creditors (spirits) and superstition?
There was a former member who said that when he practiced under Guan Yin Citta, he had a lot of fear and paranoia after being told he had spirit disturbance. He tried to chant the “Little Houses” and find that over a year he got more scared and scared. Till he left and went for the ‘clean’ teachings, he now felt better and the feelings of fear went off.
What I wish to say is, the cause of a lot of illness is actually due to karmic. Karmic can come from karmic creditors (spirits) or karmic hindrance. For example, a person used to be a butcher. He slaughtered countless animals in order to make a living. Not 100% of all the animals he slaughtered will come back as spirits to seek revenge. Most would have taken rebirth.
For those animals that came back to take revenge, it also depends on his life force energy and merits. If that man has strong life force and done a lot of good deeds from his past life, he may not be affected while his body is young and strong. However, as he get older, you would find strange and incurable illness start to come in. Or he may be well but when he dies, they would wait for him. Karmic creditors would always wait till the body’s life force energy is down or they would systematically work to break down the body’s health. For those who are deeply vengeful, they will harm someone who the person loved deeply, usually the child (whose life force energy is still weak and can get affected more easily). The child also had to suffer from the affliction as he/she is also born with the supportive karma to receive that type of retribution.
For those beings who are killed but have taken rebirth, it does not mean that the karmic debt is over and done with. Regardless of whether the beings are around or not, the kammic causes produces a force that would ripen one day. Like the Newton’s Third Law, of every action has an equal and opposite reaction. The actions we do will go out like a boomerang which would later return back to us.
Many Buddhist meditators and monks realize that. With cultivation, they are well aware of the presence of these beings. However it is true that many teachers do not emphasize on them because they know regardless of whether the killed beings become ghost or not, the karmic force would still need to ripen, with or without the spirits.
The Buddha taught the 5 precepts, the bare minimum for every Buddhist to follow. But in the true essence, the precepts is very deep. For example, the 4th precept is summarised as no false speech or lying. Some people think it is okay not to lie. So they thought so long as they do not lie, they do not break any precepts. But sometimes, telling the truth that hurt or break up relationships and friendships also constitute to breaking of precepts.
For example, you are good friend with A and B. When both of them are not happy about each other, they come and tell you about the other person. One day, A did something that makes you very angry and both of you have a fight. If you like taking revenge and go and tell B what A said about her, even though ”technically’ you are telling the truth, you are causing irreversible harm and kamma. If that break up involves Sangha, then one goes straight down to hell as it is under the 5 heavy kamma acts.
Or when they get angry, they will shout and yell at their loved ones- the hurt and harm from the verbal assault violates the first precept.
But they are generating tonnes of verbal kamma. When they get older, they suddenly could not talk or develop cancer which were some of the cases I have seen Master Lu handled.
Master Lu mentioned some people lose their temper suddenly because they got possessed by karmic creditors. I know it is true because I have experienced it myself. In the past, sometimes I do not know what got into me but I would suddenly feel anger rising very fast. I could not control myself and would start lashing out venomous words that are made to pierce the heart. I have made people cry with the words I said. But with practice, I realize that if we are really mindful, the outburst would not happen.
The prescription Master Lu taught is to chant ‘Little Houses’ and do daily recital (homework). ‘Little Houses’ is meant for karmic creditors if they are present. Daily recital is for that person own spiritual cultivation. He explained the karmic deeds that resulted in certain consequences. So the person practice and chant. He also said it is important to repent and change their ways if they want to get better. All are based on established Buddhist chants like Tai Bei Zhou and Heart Sutra. He did not invent any new chants.
As one start to chant continuously and sincerely, something in one’s heart will change. Initially the person start the chanting because of fear and desperation. But slowly the chants would be merged with the heart. The person would develop calmness, courage and mindfulness. A lot of times when facing any situation, wisdom will arise.
Once compassion and wisdom arise, the person would start to realize the true essence of the teachings of the Buddha. The person also generally repent for all their bad deeds they have done, beings they have hurt or killed and unkind words they have spoken. Initially they started because they wanna get rid of some ghosts or spirits, in the end, they develop spiritually because of the repetitive chanting and also listening to the teachings.
For those who do not wish to follow his approach, okay fine, can ignore about these beings. However must do transference of merits in daily practice- it is a universal Buddhist teaching. But when observing 5 precepts, ensure it is observed not superficially but in its true essence. Our true protection is our precepts. Also realize that if our mindfulness is strong and our precepts is pure, ghost and spirits cannot possess us and make us lose our temper or act inappropriately.
We need to ask ourselves honestly if we can do the following:
If we fall sick and our whole body is in pain, then we be mindful of our condition and use it as a point of practice. Pain observation is a very good practice.
When the cancer cells are spreading, we let the doctors treat our body but we let our mind be at ease- if survive, then it is good but if not, we accept our kamma.
When our husband or wife leaves us for another person and take half of our assets away, we just remain calm and let go.
When people slander or spread malicious rumors about us, we remain calm, forgive them and do not speak ill of them.
People who are spiritually advanced can really remain calm in the above life situations. That means, whatever ripening of bad kamma, they can accept and use it as a point to strengthen their practice.
But how many of us, when faced with tribulations, critical illness, addictions, our child having incurable and mysterious illness and setbacks are able to practice equanimity and remain unaffected and could continue on? Would the intellectual contemplation on emptiness and letting go work in challenging life situations? Often, they will start losing faith, thinking that the religion had failed them.
That is why some teachers use the approach of law of kamma. We cannot only say ‘oh it is your kamma’ when something bad happens. Most people cannot accept it because how do others know is kamma? Any proof? Can a specific action or incident be pointed out?
However if a teacher could state state which specific kamma, ie from X number of abortions done or seeing fish spirits in the child’s body because the grandfather was a fishmonger, etc, people can accept, take accountability and begin the journey of spiritual practice.
Eventually, a person enters the practice because of fear and desperation would end up developing inner strength and spirituality. The starting point may not be correct but with chanting, something will change in your heart.
On the criticism that Master Lu’s teachings make people more afraid of ghosts and spirits, what I wish to say is, we will be afraid of them if our anger and hatred are strong. If we have genuine compassion, we would feel sorry for them, for they (those after us or our loved ones ) are in that state also due to the actions we have done. I know this because I have visited and stayed in remote forest monasteries with no electricity. Total pitch dark and initially I was terrified out of my mind. I realized then if my precepts were pure, having compassion and little/no hatred, the fear would reduce.
We should genuinely repent, ask for forgiveness and make amends by doing spiritual practice and transferring merits to them. Means not only say but show sincerity in our thoughts (don’t think of them as pest or with anger) and actions. Then the fear will be no more. The fact that some people felt a lot of fear is because their compassion and loving kindness (metta) are not sufficient.
Monks that goes into forest, caves and cemeteries to meditate would have encountered various supernatural experiences. At first, most are afraid but they use it as a chance to overcome their fear and replace with compassion. These have been documented in stories that they tell after they become teachers.
Maybe some people are born special. They can go straight into practice without knowing about karmic creditors or spiritual causes. I am afraid for me, I am not that capable.
I started to go seriously into spiritual practice in order to save my parents 20 years ago. My dad had just died and did not go to a good place. I had dreams of him in very dark and depressing places.
My mom too, was riddled by illness after illness. The fact she was able to made through a number of tribulations was because she did spiritual practice of chanting Tai Bei Zhou and White Robed Guan Yin mantra without fail each morning. She did it because it gave her a lot of peace. But I sense she still had dangers.
From her young days she slaughtered a lot of chickens and ducks because in olden days people rear their own animals for food. Once, she saw a small baby snake in our garden near the place where we burned rubbish. She was worry and protective of us so she burned the baby snake to death.
She got tonsil cancer, at the neck and the incision that the surgeon to operate on her neck reminded me of the chickens and ducks she had reared and slaughtered. Then followed by 36 doses of radiotherapy that literally burned her throat and she suffered tremendously.
Overall, my mom is a kind, generous and helpful person. She also did not kill, slaughter out of malice nor she enjoyed doing the deed. It was merely to her, a necessity to survive, a believe that was conditioned by her family. Still, kamma is kamma. Unfortunately, ignorance is not an excuse to escape as the law of kamma does not discriminate against the good or bad. However, the intention is also important. If it is not done out of malice, then the weight of the kamma is slightly less heavy.
That explains why bad things happen to good people. Because good people need to face the retribution of what they did in the past. But the good they do now would plant the causes for good kamma in future.
So because of my parents, at first I went to Buddhist societies and made a lot of donation and did volunteer work. Some things that went on made left to go and search for answers on my own. My search took me to Thailand. I met good practicing monks and nuns. From there, imagine my surprise when I was told my dad was still a hungry ghost, 7 years after my consistent donations done in his name. And I was told this by a practicing nun who knew nothing about my family.
Hungry ghost? But I made so much of donations. I wrote his name as I donated to temple building projects. If he did not get the merits, then where the heck the merits went to? She said the problem is I did not know how to correctly dedicate and transfer merits to him. Not only write name. But must calm one’s mind and do a merit dedication to my dad’s full name and request if the merits could not be received, may devas help to inform him (for deva’s help to inform other beings of merits is stated in the Sabbapatidanagatha Chant, a Buddhist Pali chant so it is not superstition).
If he did not receive the merits, where the merits went to? Was it all in vain? No, I was told. It would go back to sender. So no wonder. My career did go up during the time I was making donations.
Therefore, for those of you who always make donations in the name of your departed family members but noticed you still get dreams about them in dark and depressing places, but then your career and wealth goes up, then you need to check if you dedicating your merits correctly. Don’t make the same mistake I did.
Eventually, I learned to practice and change myself as my mom still had tribulation. Yes, she did her own practice but never perform transference of merits to her karmic creditors. She did not believe in karmic creditors and that time I did not know as well. With spiritual practice, it provides some sort of protection. Hence thankfully she passed through a number of dangerous times but continue to face danger because some of the karmic creditors still remained.
If our practice is strong, yes, we do not need to know who are the karmic creditors, ie from which specific deeds. With sufficient practice, we can sense their presence. We seek forgiveness and transfer merits to them. We change ourselves to be good and kind, do not think ill of other people and have a gentle and loving heart. Soon, the karmic debtors would forgive us and be willing to wait and accept our merits. Some may even practice with us till their merits is enough to take rebirth. For such scenarios, no need Little Houses but still need intensive practice and self transformation in order to work.
My mother did had an abortion done. From young, I could felt the presence of my unborn brother. My mother was not feel guilty or the need to repent because to her it was done out of necessity to save her life. Physically it will endanger her life to go through a third pregnancy- even the doctors told her that. But I feel for my unborn brother who did not get a chance to become human. His presence which I have suspected was also confirmed by a Buddhist nun who is accomplished in meditation.
So I mentally made a kind of promise. He could not take rebirth due to insufficient merits. I took over and started spiritual practice to help him. Made a deal of what to do and fulfilled my promise. In the end, what I did was still not sufficient to help him take rebirth. But he sensed my love as a sister, was willing to forgive and is now spending time to practice 5 precepts at a temple till merits are enough to take rebirth. So, not all spirits are evil and bad. Some have Dhamma seed in them. And when he take rebirth, he will likely be born as a human where he could meet with Dhamma.
It is a longer route and you probably need to ‘do time’ in temple to sincerely practice to help them. How many of us would be willing to do that?
So when I read the ‘prescription’ by Master Lu- sincere chanting of Little House (consists of combination of established Buddhist chants chanted in certain number and marked on a yellow paper of specific format) and do life liberation, it enables the person to help the karmic creditors, be it animals that one had killed or unborn children that one has aborted to have sufficient merits to take rebirth.
Bear in mind, they really cannot leave us if the merits are not sufficient. Some people try to get mediums to cast them away– they will be back and often more angrier. We have done them wrong and we should take responsibility for our actions.
In my opinion, Master Lu’s method is helpful for those who is still very attached to the secular world. You don’t have to give up the life you are living. Just dedicate time to chant each day. In the end, not only you can help other beings, undo negative ties with them and other family members….. you also help yourself. If you practice sincerely, the chanting will calm your heart and offer protection. I have seen that he emphasized again and again do not do bad deeds for we have to face the karmic consequences. If you do your practice and follow his practical advice, then in the end when you leave the world, you would be more or less guarantee of going to a good place.
Hence, why not follow his advice and ‘prescriptions’? Having a guideline of numbers of repetitions is very useful because we need to hit a certain threshold in order to deliver other beings. Even though Master Lu is gone, there are already clear outline written on how to do the recitations. You can always give it a try, give yourself a time and see if things improve. Make the request to Guan Yin Boddhisatva for help and guidance.
If you wish to find out more information about Guan Yin Citta, below are more information:
I have also included some cases studies on illness from Master Lu’s diagnosis in my Health Blog. Most of these people had sought conventional treatment but failed to be cure.