Performing virtuous deeds, chanting and paying homage to Buddhas are important. In addition, to advance the level of practice, it is necessary to do the inner cultivation which involves a long period of training. This requires the guidance of a real transcendental Vajra Master who can lead an individual to the right path to achieve results. In order to be a student, one has to take refuge and receive initiation empowerment blessing from the Master.
In Vajrayana, a person who has received the refuge empowerment from a Vajra Master, also becomes a disciple to the Buddha. This establishes the path of cultivation toward perfect enlightenment.
Vajrayana practice places heavy importance on refuge and transmission empowerment from the Guru without which, it is quite impossible to achieve any result.
One should take refuge under an Enlightened Guru who is completely free from worldly troubles and has the ability to deliver others. The Guru should possess divine prowess and can show the best way to liberation.
For those who have not taken refuge can chant the Root Guru mantra, “Om Guru Lian Sheng Siddi Hum” until he feels an affinity or experienced an auspicious moment then seek refuge.
At 7:00 a.m. (your local time) of either first or fifteenth of every lunar month, face the direction of the rising sun. With palms joined, reverently recite the Fourfold Refuge Mantra three times: "Namo Guru bei, Namo Buddha ye, Namo Dharma ye, Namo Sangha ye" and prostrate three times.
Send a letter to the True Buddha Foundation request a refuge empowerment. State your name, address, age, and enclose a voluntary offering. Upon receiving the letter, the True Buddha Foundation will send a certificate, a picture of the Living Buddha Lian-Sheng, and a note stating the level of practice you should start with. The address of the True Buddha Foundation is:
True Buddha Foundation
17110 NE 40th Ct.
Redmond, WA 98052, USA
You may obtain refuge empowerment personally from Grand Master Lu, or from a True Buddha Master who confers the empowerment on behalf of Grand Master, by visiting a True Buddha temple, chapter or meditation center, or by attending a True Buddha ceremony.
(Note: one needs to obtain a lineage empowerment in order to achieve maximum results in his/her tantra practice.)