Founded in the late 1980s, the founder of this sect is Lu Sheng-yen (盧勝彥), often referred to by his followers as a tulku, a Tibetan term for a reincarnated teacher or deity. He is called by his disciples as the Root Guru. Lu is a self-declared fully-enlightened buddha, known by his disciples as "Living Buddha Lian-sheng" (蓮生活佛). He is a writer who has written approximately 200 books to date (as of Jan 2008). As of 1995, the organization estimates that over 4 million people became Buddhists through Lu.
There is a structured curriculum to guide the student's practice, and at each level, a specific yoga is practiced. To advance to the next level, the student must achieve yogic response from the yoga being practiced in the current level and receive empowerment for the yoga of the next level.
As a beginner, there are specific yogas that are practiced to establish a strong foundation. The yoga practiced in the first stage is the Vajrasattva yoga, a great repentance yoga to purify bad karma. The next level is the Guru Yoga, followed by the Personal Deity yoga and then the inner body practices of energy yoga.
The majority of the followers of the True Buddha School are located in Asia, and many devotees are from Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Taiwan. Across North America, Australia, and Europe, the majority of the students are immigrants of Asian decent.
Like any non-profit organization, True Buddha School relies on donations. This is supplemented with the income from the publication of Lu's books and videos of his sermons. The money is used to publish its teaching materials and for charity work such as the South Asian Tsunami relief effort. True Buddha School disseminates Buddhist teachings through Lu's sermons, books and articles. These materials are supplemented with sermons and articles by other TBS Acharyas certified by Lu. Master Lu's books are published in Chinese, with a limited number translated into English. However, more translations are slowly being made to reach a wider audience. Many of the major True Buddha School spiritual liturgies and practices are available in English.