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|The Key of Immediate Enlightenment|
hroughout the ages, mankind has been visited by rare individuals whose sole purpose is the spiritual upliftment of humanity. Jesus Christ was one of these visitors, as were Shakyamuni Buddha and Mohammed. These three are well known to us, but there are many others whose names we do not know; some taught publicly, and were known by a few, and others remained anonymous. These individuals were called by different names, at different times, in different countries. They have been referred to as: Master, Avatar, Enlightened One, Savior, Messiah, Divine Mother, Messenger, Guru, Living Saint, and the like. They came to offer us what has been called: Enlightenment, Salvation, Realization, Liberation, or Awakening. The words used may be different, but in essence they all mean the same thing.
Visitors from the same Divine Source, with the same spiritual greatness, moral purity, and power to uplift humanity as the Holy Ones from the past are here with us today, yet few know of their presence. One of them is the Supreme Master Ching Hai.
Master Ching Hai is an unlikely candidate to be widely recognized as a Living Saint. She is a woman, and many Buddhists and others believe the myth that a woman cannot become a Buddha. She is of Asian descent, and many Western people expect that their Savior will look like them. However, those of us, from all over the world, and from many different religious backgrounds, who have gotten to know Her, and who follow Her teachings, know who and what She is. For you to come to know this, will take a measure of openness of mind and sincerity of heart. It will also take your time and attention, but nothing else.
People spend most of their time earning a living and taking care of material needs. We work in order to make our lives, and those of our loved ones, as comfortable as possible. When time permits, we give away our attention to such things as politics, sports, TV, or the latest scandal. Those of us who have experienced the Loving Power of direct inner contact with the Divine know there is more to life than this. We feel it is a pity that the Good News is not more widely known. The solution to all of the struggles of life is sitting quietly inside us, waiting. We know that Heaven is just a breath away. Forgive us when we err on the side of over enthusiasm and say things that may offend your rational mind. It is difficult for us to remain quiet, seeing what we have seen, and knowing what we know.
We who consider ourselves disciples of the Supreme Master Ching Hai and fellow practitioners of Her method (the Quan Yin Method,) offer this introductory book to you with the hope that it will help bring you closer to your own personal experience of Divine Fulfillment, whether it be through our Master or any other.
Master Ching Hai teaches the importance of the practice of meditation, inner contemplation and prayer. She explains that we must discover our own inner Divine Presence, if we are to be truly happy in this life. She tells us that enlightenment is not esoteric and out of reach, attainable only by those who retreat from society. Her job is to awaken the Divine Presence within us, while we lead normal lives. She states: It is like this. We all know the Truth. It's just that we forgot it. So, sometimes someone has to come and remind us of the purpose of our life, why we must find the Truth, why we must practice meditation, and why we must believe in God or Buddha, or whoever we think is the Highest Power in the Universe. She asks no one to follow Her. She simply offers Her own enlightenment as an example, so that others may gain their own Ultimate Liberation.
This booklet is an introduction to the teachings of the Supreme Master Ching Hai. Please note that the lectures, comments, and quotes by Master Ching Hai contained herein were spoken by Her; recorded, transcribed, sometimes translated from other languages, and then edited for publication. We recommend that you listen to or watch the original audio or video tapes. You will get a much richer experience of Her presence from these sources than from the written words. Of course, the most complete experience is to see Her in person.
For some, Master Ching Hai is their Mother, for some She is their Father, and for others She is their Beloved. At the least, She is the very best Friend you could ever have in this world. She is here to give to us, not to take. She takes no payment of any kind for Her teachings, help or initiation. The only thing She will take from you is your suffering, your sorrow and pain. But only if you want this!
"I do not belong to Buddhism or Catholicism. I belong to the Truth and I preach the Truth. You may call it Buddhism, Catholicism, Taoism, or whatever you like. I welcome all!"
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
|A Brief Biography of the Supreme Master Ching Hai|
Master Ching Hai was born to a well-off family in Aulac (Vietnam), the daughter of a highly reputed naturopath. She was brought up as a Catholic, and learned the basics of Buddhism from Her grandmother. As a young child, She showed a precocious interest in philosophical and religious teachings, as well as an uncommonly compassionate attitude towards all living beings.
At the age of eighteen, Master Ching Hai moved to England to study, and then later to France and then Germany, where She worked for the Red Cross and married a German scientist. After two years of happy marriage, with the consent of Her husband, She left Her marriage in pursuit of enlightenment, thus fulfilling an ideal which had been with Her since Her childhood. At this time, She was studying various meditation practices and spiritual disciplines under the guidance of the teachers and masters who were within Her reach. She came to realize the futility of one person trying to help the suffering of humanity, and recognized that the best way to help people was to attain total realization Herself. With this as Her singular goal, She traveled around many different countries, searching for the perfect method of enlightenment.
Through many years of tests, trials and tribulations, Master Ching Hai finally found the Quan Yin Method and the Divine Transmission in the Himalayas. After a period of diligent practice, during Her retreat in the Himalayas, She attained complete enlightenment.
In the years after Her enlightenment, Master Ching Hai lived the quiet, unassuming life of a Buddhist nun. Shy in nature, She kept the Treasure hidden until people sought Her instruction and initiation. It is through the insistent requests and efforts of Her earlier disciples in Formosa (Taiwan) and USA, that Master Ching Hai has come to lecture throughout the world, and has initiated many tens of thousands of sincere spiritual aspirants.
Today more and more Truth seekers from different countries and all religions have been streaming to Her for Her supreme wisdom. To those who sincerely wish to learn and practice the method of Immediate Enlightenment which She Herself has verified to be the supreme one - the Quan Yin Method, Master Ching Hai has been willing to give them initiation and further spiritual guidance.
A Master is one who has the key for you to become a Master... to help you realize that you are also a Master and that you and God are also One. That's all... that's the only role of the Master."
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
|A lecture by the Supreme Master Ching Hai June 26, 1992, the United Nations in New York City|
Welcome to the United Nations. And please pray together for a while in your own belief that we are grateful for what we have, what we are given, and we wish, we hope that those who have not enough will be given the way we are given; the world's refugees, the war victims, the soldiers, the government leaders and of course the United Nations' leaders will be able to accomplish what they want and live together in peace.
We believe what we ask will be given because it is says so in the Bible. Thank you!
Now, if we go a little bit beyond this level to the Second Level, what we call "Second", just for the sake of simplifying matters. The Second Level - then we will probably have a lot more abilities than the first one, and including the miracles. But the most striking achievement we can have at the Second Level is that, the eloquence, and the ability to debate. And no one seems to be able to conquer a person who has achieved the Second Level because he has tremendous power of eloquence, and his intellect is at the peak of his power.
Most of the people who have ordinary minds or very simple IQ's cannot match this person because his IQ has opened to a very high degree. But it is not only the physical brain that has been developed more, it is the mystical Power, it is the heavenly Power, the wisdom that is inherent inside us. Now it begins to open. In India, people call this level "Buddhi" means intellectual level. And when you achieve "Buddhi", you become a Buddha. That's where the word Buddha came from - "Buddhi" and Buddha. Now, so the Buddha is precisely just that. It's not finished. I am not going to introduce you to the Buddha only, there is more than that.
So, most of the people call an enlightened person a Buddha. If he doesn't know beyond the Second Level, he would probably feel very proud about it. Yes, thinking that he is a living Buddha and his disciples would be very proud calling him Buddha. But actually if he only achieves the Second Level in which he can see through the past, present and future of any person he chooses to see and in which he has an absolute eloquence of speech, then it's not yet the end of the Kingdom of God.
And any person should not be proud of this ability of reading into the past, present and future because this is the akashic record, as you know in the Western terminology. All of you who practice yoga or some kind of meditation will understand akashic record, which is a kind of library like the one we have next door in the UN, with all kinds of languages in it. You see Arabic, Russian, Chinese, English, French, German, everything in your library next door, all kinds of languages. Should you have the ability to read all these languages, you know what's going on in that country. So, similarly, the one who has access to the Second Level, he will understand, he can interpret a pattern of a person very clearly, the way you see your own biography.
There is much more to be gained from the Second Level of consciousness. But when one reaches the Second Level, this is already fantastic, already a living Buddha, because you have opened the Buddhi, the intellect. And we know many things, many things that we could not name. And every so-called miracle would happen to us, whether we want it or not, because our intellect just opened and just knows how to contact the higher source of healing, of arranging so that our life would become smoother and better. And our intellect or Buddhi has opened so that it can have access to all the information necessary from the past and from the present in order to arrange and to kind of rearrange or kind of make up for something we did wrong in the past. So that to correct the mistake and then to make our life better.
For example, if we did not know that we have offended our neighbor by some unintentional action, and now we know. Very easy! If we did not know and the neighbor is silently against us and trying to do something sometimes behind us in order to harm us because of misunderstandings or because we did something wrong to the neighbor. But now we know why it happened. So, it's easy. We can go to the neighbor or we can telephone, or we can have a party, invite the neighbor in and then we clear the misunderstanding.
Similar things when we get to the intellectual level, we automatically, I mean silently, understand all these and silently arrange all these or contact with some source of power which could help us to arrange these things, to better our way of life, to better our course of life. So, we minimize many accidents, many unwelcome situations and unfavorable conditions of our life. Yes! Yes! Therefore, when we get to the Second Level, this is fantastic already.
Therefore, what I have explained to you is very scientific and very logical and no need to think that a yogi or meditation person is some kind of mystical person or an ET - extra terrestrial. They are terrestrial beings, like any one of us, who have developed, because they know how.
In America, we say everything depends on know-how, so we can learn everything. Right? We can learn everything. So this is a kind of beyond this world science, in which we could learn also. And it sounds very strange, but the higher the things, the more simple. It's more simple than we go to high school or college with all these very complicated mathematical questions and problems.
Within the Second Level, there are many different levels, too. But I just make it brief because I cannot be detailed in all of the secrets of heaven. Anyhow you will know all these also when you travel along with a Master who has already traveled. So, it's no secret. But it is too long, if we have to stop in each level, which has a lot of levels, sublevels and we have to examine everything - it takes too long. So, sometimes a Master just takes you briefly from one level after another, very fast - Zack! Zack! Zack! Because if you have nothing to do with mastership, then you don't need to learn so much. It'll give you headache. Therefore, just takes you through and back home, because even then it takes a long time. Sometimes it takes a whole lifetime. But enlightenment we get immediately.
But that is only starting, just like enrolling. The first day you enroll in the university, you become immediately the university student. But that has nothing to do with a Ph.D. After six years, four years or twelve years then you graduate. But you immediately became university student, if that is a real university, and if you enroll, you truly earnestly want to become a university student. So, both sides have to cooperate.
Similarly, if we want to go beyond this world, for example, just say for fun, because we have nowhere else to go in New York; we have known everything about the Manhattan, Long Beach, "short" beach and every beach. [Laughter] Now suppose we want to take a trip to the ET's place, to see what's going on. All right? Why not? Since we pay a lot of money to go to Miami, Florida, just to have a bath in the sea, so why couldn't we sometimes go to different worlds beyond this world to see what our neighbor planets look like and how do the people fare themselves over there? I don't think it is anything strange about that. No? It's just a kind of a little bit further traveling and mental traveling, spiritual traveling instead of physical traveling. There are two kinds of travel. So, it's very logical and very easy to understand.
Now, we are at the Second Level. What else should I tell you? So that's how we continue in this world, but then we have the knowledge of the other worlds at the same time. Because we travel.
Just like you are an American citizen or you are any other citizen of the world, but then you travel from one country to another just to know what the neighbor country looks like. And I guess many of you in the United Nations are not native Americans. No? Yes. So, you know now the same thing. We can travel to the next planet or the next level of life in order to understand. Because the distance is so great that we cannot walk, we cannot take a rocket, we cannot take even a UFO.
Some worlds are longer than UFO could fly. UFO! Unidentified object. A flying object, yes! Now, there is a facility within us which is faster than any UFO can comply. That is our own soul. We call it spirit sometimes. And we can fly with this, without any fuel, without any police, or traffic jams or anything at all. And no need to worry that one day the Arabs don't sell oil to us, [Laughter] because it's self-sufficient. Never goes out of order, except when we want to damage it by violating the universal precepts, violating the harmony of heaven and Earth, which is very simple to avoid. We will tell you how if you are interested to know.
For example, I'll be brief, okay? I am not a preacher. Don't worry, I don't take you to the church. Just for example.
There are some laws in the universe that we should know, just like when we drive the car, we must know the laws of the traffic. Red light, you stop; green light, we go. Drive left, on the right, et cetera. Highway, how much speed. So, there are some very simple laws in the universe, in the physical universe. Beyond our world, beyond this physical universe, there are no laws, no laws at all. We are free, free citizens, but we have to get beyond that in order to be free. And as long as we still live in this world, in the physical body, we should as much as possible keep within the law, so we don't get into trouble. And then our vehicles don't get damaged so we can fly faster, higher, without problems.
So, these laws have been written in the Bible, of your Christian Bible and in the Buddhist Bible or in the Hindu Bible. The very simple ones like we don't harm the neighbors, we don't kill, thou shall not kill, not commit outside loving relationships and not stealing, et cetera; and not taking intoxicants, that includes the drugs today. Probably the Buddha knew, in the 20th century, we would invent cocaine and all that, so He said no drugs. The drugs include all kinds of gambling and anything that makes our minds attached to the physical pleasures and forget the spiritual journey.
If we want to fly fast, high and without danger, these are physical laws just like the laws of physics. When a rocket wants to fly, the scientist has to observe certain laws. That's all, okay? So, how much more must we be careful because we want to fly higher than that, higher than the rockets can fly, faster than the UFOs. But there are some more details that could be explained, should you be interested, and that will be at the time of initiation. Now we don't want to make you bored with all these precepts which you say, "I know already. I know already. I read them in the Bible. Ten precepts, right? Ten commandments."
Actually, many of us read the precepts but are not very deeply concerned with them, or not deeply understood. Or maybe we want to understand, the way we do, but not the way it's exactly meant. Therefore, it doesn't harm sometimes to remind us, or to listen to a little bit deeper meaning of that, again. For example, in the Bible, in the Old Testament, the first page, God says, I made all the animals to befriend you and to help you, and you shall rule over them. And then Hes says Hes made all the food for the animals, each one a different kind. But Hes didn't tell us to eat them. No! And Hes says, I made all the food, all the herbs in the field and the fruit on the trees which are delicious to the taste and pleasing to the eyes. These shall be your food. But not many people pay attention to that. And so many of the Bible followers are still eating flesh without understanding what God truly meant.
And if we come into a deeper scientific research and we will know that we are not for flesh eating. Our system, our intestines, our stomach, our teeth, everything is scientifically made for vegetarian diet only. No wonder, most people get sick, get old fast, get fatigued, and get sluggish when they were born so brilliant and intelligent. And they end up a little bit duller each day, and the older they get the worse they feel. It's because we damage our "vehicles", our "flying objects", our "UFOs". So, if we like to use this "vehicle" a little bit longer and safer, then we have to take care of it in a proper way.
Now, for example, we have a car. You all drive cars. Now, if you put the wrong petrol in it, how would it happen? What would happen? It would drive just probably a few feet and then stop. And you don't blame the car. It's just our mistake, we mistakenly put some fuel which doesn't belong there. Or if our petrol has some water in it, right, it probably can run for a while, but it has trouble. Or, if our oil has become too dirty and we didn't clean it, it will run for a while but then we will have trouble. And sometimes it explodes just because we didn't look after our car in a proper manner.
Similarly, our body is like a vehicle which we can use to fly from here to eternity, to the very high level of scientific wisdom. But sometimes we damage it and we don't use it for the proper purpose. For example, our car is to drive many miles to bring us to the office, to our friends and to different beautiful scenery. But then we don't look after, we put wrong petrol, or we don't take care of the oil, we don't take care of the water tank, everything. And then it doesn't run very fast. It doesn't run very long. And then we just run around in our lawn, in the circle of our backyard. That's all right also. But it's just we waste our purpose of buying a car. It's just a waste of money and time and our energy. That's all. No one is to be blamed. No police will charge you anything for that. It's just that you waste your car, waste your money when you could go very far and see many things, and enjoy the different scenery.
Similarly, our physical bodies. We can live in this world but then we can take care that within this physical body, we have other instruments, that we can fly beyond that. Just like an astronaut, he sits in the rocket. The rocket is his instrument. He should take good care that he should not violate the physics laws so that his rocket will fly safely and fast. But the astronaut inside is important. That rocket brings him to his destination. But the rocket is not the main object - the astronaut, the destination. And should he use that just to run around Long Island then it's also a waste of time. A waste of the money of the nation.
So, therefore our body is very precious because within this sits the Master. That's why in the Bible, it says, know you not that you are the temple of God and Almighty God dwells within you, the Holy Spirit, the same thing. If we house the Holy Spirit or the Almighty God, can you imagine how terrible is that, how terribly significant! But many people read this fast but do not understand, do not realize the greatness of this sentence, and do not try to find out. So, this is why my disciples, they like to follow my teachings because they can find out who sits inside and what lies beyond this world, apart from our everyday struggle, money-earning and striking and all these physical problems.
We have more beauty, more freedom, more knowledge within. And should we know the proper way to contact this, this is all ours because we have them inside. It's just because we don't know where the key is and we have locked this "house" for a long time and now we've forgotten that we have this treasure. That's all.
So, the so-called Master is the one who can help us to open the door and show us what originally already belongs to us. But we have to take time and walk into it and check every item that we have.
So, anyhow, we were in the Second World. Are you interested to go further? [Audience: Yes! Yes!] You want to know everything without working? [Master laughs] All right. But at least someone could tell you what another country looks like when he has been there even though you haven't. Right? At least you are interested, maybe you want to go. Okay. So, now after the Second World. I haven't finished all the Second, but you know we cannot sit here all day long. So after the Second, you may have more power. If you are determined and work for it, you will go to the Third. The so-called Third World. It's a higher step.
The one who goes to the Third World has to be absolutely clean of every debt of this world, at least. If we owe something to the king of this physical world, we cannot go up. Just like if you are a criminal of some nation, you are not clear of the record, you cannot pass beyond the borders to go to another nation. So, the debt of this world includes many things that we've done in the past and in the present and maybe in the future days of our physical life. Now all these have to be cleared, just like we clear the customs, before we can go into the world beyond. But when we are in the Second World, we start to work, with any leftover karma of the past and this present life, because without past karma, we cannot exist in this present life.
And you would ask me then, "You talk about this Second World, Third World and Fourth World. How can you prove it?" Well I can! I can prove it. If you walk along with me, the same path, you will see the same things. But if you don't walk, then I can't prove it to you. That's of course. That's of course. Therefore, I dare talk about these things because there is proof. We have proof with hundreds of thousands of disciples around the world. So, we can say things that we know. But this you have to walk with me, you have to walk. Otherwise you cannot say, "You walk for me and tell me and show me everything." I cannot.
|Question and Answer Session After the Lecture|
Q: You mentioned the Master can borrow people's karma. In that case the karma is erased, for these people? What is the consequence for these people?
Q: What is the goal of Your practice?
Q: And is there karma in all realms?
So after we pass the Second Level to go upward, we have to leave our computer there, we don't need it up there anymore. So, just like when a diver reaches the shore, he discards all his oxygen mask and all his equipment to dive, and he looks the way he was. Yeah? Okay!
Q: Is it predetermined that we will reach a certain level each lifetime when we are born?
Q: Well, I just want to ask You: the angels, what level are they?
Q: The guardian angels.
M: The guardian angels, they could be up to the Second Level. Angels are less than human beings - less prestige. They are to serve us.
Q: And they never go beyond that?
M: No! Except when they can become human beings. They are all very envious of human beings, because Gods dwell within them. We have all the facilities to become one with God, the angel doesn't. It's complicated. I'll talk to you another day.
They are things made for our use also you see - the different kinds of angels. For example, if it is made by God, then it's made to serve us. And they should not - don't have to go beyond that. But they could. Sometimes, something is made without a proper arrangement to improve.
For example, in your house some things you made for your own comfort. Even though it's very fantastic. For example you sit here and you can turn the lights off and on all over your house and garden, and turn on and off the TV, because you invented it for yourself, but this is only to serve you. Because even though it's better than you in some aspects, like it can sit here and control everything and you cannot do that by human effort. But that doesn't mean it's better than you. It's made for the sole purpose of serving you. Even though it's better than you, but it's not. Okay! All right. It can never be human being, the computer.
Q: Master Ching Hai, I want to know - that because we are in the body now, could it be that we could have a fallen from being liberated from this body before? Have we always been in this state or have we been in a better state before, or just in this state? What is the good attitude or a good disposition to quickly move ahead?
There are many other methods, if you choose to experience, you can choose. There are many in the market: some go to the astral world, some go to the Third or the Fourth, but not many can go to the Fifth. So, our method, our practice is to take you to the Fifth before we set you free. Let you go alone. And beyond that we can approach a different aspect of God, beyond the Fifth plane, but it's not always pleasant.
We always imagine that the higher the better; it's not always true. For example, sometimes we go into a beautiful palace and we were invited into the living room of the master. We sat there and we were served with cool drinks and beautiful eating and everything. And then we thought we should go a little bit deeper into the house, have a look. And we would venture into the garbage place and you know many other things in the house. It's not always important. And also into a power house, we went into the electricity house which is just behind the house, beyond the house, and we got shocked so then we die there. So it's not always necessary or recommended to go into deeper, but we could do that for the sake of adventure.
Q: I have two questions. One is, what world do past life memories come from, if you were to have the memory of the past life? And secondly, how do past lives relate to the present karma and to one's present understanding. Are they part of the "excess baggage"?
And how do these past life experiences relate to the present karma? We can say that these are the experiences we have learned in order to cope with this present lifetime. What you assimilated in the past, you will bring into practice at this present lifetime. And similarly, too many unpleasant experiences in the past would make you frightened, when you see some symbol that is very much similar to the past life. For example, if last life, you drop off from the staircase by accident and then hurt yourself badly and in the dark, and no one helps you. And now when you walk down the staircase, you would feel a little frightened, especially when it is deep and dark underneath; you would feel a kind of struggle whether you go or not. Or if last life you have already studied and researched deep into some scientific field. This life you will find yourself still very interested in. So you still have kind of a pull to any kind of scientific research, even though you are not a kind of scientist now. Any kind of thing like that.
That's why Mozart, he was a genius when he was four years old. He went straight to the piano and he became famous up till now, still. He was a genius because he had practiced in many other lifetimes until mastership, but then he died after that. Before he reached the peak of his career, he died and he wasn't satisfied just to leave his career because he loved music. So he came back and all his learned experience from his past musical talent came back to him, because he had so strong desire to continue when he died.
And some of these people learn many things from the Astral world or the Second world before they are reborn in this world again. Therefore they are fantastically gifted with science, or with music, or with literature, or with any kind of inventions, which other people don't know. You see, kind of very extraordinary inventions that other people cannot understand it and cannot even dream of inventing. Because they have seen them, they have learned them.
Therefore, two kinds of learning in this world or in the world beyond. Those who are gifted and excellent, like geniuses, they are the experts from the worlds beyond, like in the Astral world, the Second world; sometimes from the Third world, if he chooses to come back. They are excellent. These are geniuses.
Q: Specifically, what does Your initiation involve and once one is initiated, what would the day-to-day practice involve?
Egg because it also involves of half-killing, even though it's infertile. And also it has kind of quality to have a tendency to attract negative power. That's why many people of the black and white magicians field, or many voodoo people - so-called voodoo - they use eggs to draw some of the entities from possessed persons. If you know it or not? [Someone answers: Yes.] You know? Oh, that's fantastic! At least, I have immediate proof, if not immediate enlightenment, for you. [Laughter]
The time of initiation, you experience the Light and the Sound of God. The Music of the spirit, it draws you up to the higher level of consciousness. You will understand the taste of samadhi - the deep peace and joy. And after that, you continue to practice at home, if you are serious. If you are not, I cannot push you, I cannot bother you any more. If you continue and you want me to help you all the way, then I continue. If you do not - you see that's the way. And two and a half hours a day meditation. Wake up early in the morning, before you sleep - meditate two hours; and maybe half an hour in the lunch time. When I am not here to speak, you have one-hour lunch. You can hide away somewhere and meditate. That's already one hour. And in the evening, you make one more hour or half an hour. In the morning, get up earlier one hour.
Regulate more of your life, less TV, less gossip, less telephone, less newspapers, then you have a lot of time. Yes, truly we have a lot of time but sometimes we waste away our time. Just like our car running in the backyard instead of going to Long Island, yeah. Are you satisfied with that? No conditions for you, nothing else except you commit yourself to this lifelong practice. And everyday you experience different changes for the better, and different miracles for your life, not that you wish for it. It will happen anyhow. And then you truly experience what's heaven like on Earth, if you are really serious about it. That's how many hundreds of thousands of our disciples still hang on, still hang on to me after many years, because they have better and better experiences, because they are serious about it and they do practice.
Q: Please explain the nature of consciousness.
And also when you open this consciousness, or the so-called wisdom, you will understand truly who you are and why you are here and what else is beyond this world, and who else, beyond or apart from our worldly citizens. There are many things. So the level of consciousness is a kind of different degrees of understanding, just like a graduation in college. The more you learn, the more you know, until graduation.
It's difficult to explain something that is abstract, but I have tried. It's a kind of awareness. It's difficult to explain awareness. When you go to different, higher levels of consciousness, your awareness is different. You know things differently, you feel different. You feel just absolutely in peace, tranquillity, blissful. You have no worries, and everything in your daily life becomes clear to you. You know how to handle things and how to take care of problems better. Even it benefits already in the physical level. And inside you, how you feel - that only you know. It's difficult to explain these things. Just like you are married to the girl you love - how you feel, that only you know. No one else can feel it for you.
Q: Honorable Master, thank You for the insight You have given us. I wonder if You would like to address Yourself to something that is in my conscience. Why are so many Masters on Earth today giving us a chance to learn so quickly, whereas that in the past it has been so difficult? Can You address Yourself to that?
In the olden times, we want to print a book, we have to cut the whole tree down first and chop them with very unsophisticated axes, which are "kaput" in no time and no use in another time; and have to polish it with stones and all kinds of things, and to carve one word after another. And when you want to transfer a whole set of Bibles, it takes a whole convoy, big trucks, if you have a truck at that time. So that's why we know of many Masters.
Yes, so it's lucky, this is very good for you that have - you can shop, you can choose what you want. So no one will be able to cheat you and say, "I am the best. Yeah, you can have comparison and use your wisdom, intelligence to judge: "Oh, this one is better," or "I like that one better," "Face looks terrible," "Oh, that one - ugly." [Laughter]
Q: Since You have talked about shopping, would You consider initiating someone who has been initiated by another Master?
Just like you go to dive into the sea, you have to be equipped with oxygen mask and all that. There are things for different purposes. That's why you see all the Saints with the halo on them. That's Light. When you practice this method, you radiate the same Light like they draw on the pictures of Jesus, and people can see it. If the people are psychic, they can see your Light. That's why they draw Jesus with the halo, and they draw Buddha with the Light around Them. You can see practitioners, of high degree, with this Light if you are opened. [Master points to Her forehead] Many people can see that. Have any of you seen, who are here? You? What did you see?
Q: Well, I can see auras, auras...
M: Yeah, but auras are different from Light. Auras are different colors, sometimes black, sometimes coffee, coffee colored, and sometimes are yellow or red. Depends on his temperament at that time. But when you see a person with a strong spiritual aura, you know it's different. Right?
Q: I don't really have a question. I just - I used to do raja yoga for a while. And I thought I saw also auras. I mean at that time, I didn't have much knowledge, understanding.
Q: No, I don't meditate now.
Q: I saw in Your leaflet that there are five precepts. Once you are initiated, you have to live according to these five precepts?
Q: I don't understand "sexual misconduct".
M: It means if you have a husband already, please don't consider the second. [Laughter] Very simple. Keep your life more simple, no complications and quarreling over emotions. Yes. It causes hurtful feelings for other people. We don't harm other people, even emotionally. That's what it is. We try to avoid conflicts, try to avoid suffering emotionally, physically, mentally for everyone, especially our loved ones, that's all.
If you already have one, don't tell him. It hurts more when you tell. Just solve it slowly and quietly, and don't confess to him. Because sometimes people think if they have an affair, and then they go home and confess to his wife or her husband, that's very wise and very honest. It's nonsense. It's no good. You already made mistake, why you bring garbage home and to let other people enjoy it? If he doesn't know about it, he doesn't feel that bad. The fact of knowing hurts. So we try to solve that problem and not to have it again, and that's it. Better not to talk to the partner about this, because it will hurt them, hurt the partners.
Q: I have noticed that many spiritual Masters have a great sense of humor. What is the relationship of humor to spiritual practice?
M: Oh, I guess they are just feeling happy, and relaxed, and lighthearted about everything. And they could laugh at themselves and laugh at others; laugh about ridiculous things in this life when many people cling so tensely and take so seriously.
After we practice somehow, we just get "loose", we don't feel so serious any more. If we die tomorrow, we die; if we live, we live. If we lose everything, we lose everything; if we have everything, we have everything. We have enough wisdom and ability after enlightenment to take care of ourselves in every situation. So we are not scared of anything. We lose our fear, we lose our anxiety. That's why we're relaxed. We feel detached to this world. Whatever we gain or lose doesn't mean much any more. If we gain a lot of things, it's only for the benefit of people, then we offer; and for the benefit of loved ones. Otherwise we don't consider ourselves or our life that important to go through all of the struggles and sufferings to preserve it. If we preserve it, it's all right. It doesn't mean we sit in bed all day on the nail-bed and then meditate. But we do work.
For example, I still work. I do my painting, and my handicraft works to earn my living. So I don't want to take donations from anyone. And even my earning is so much I can help people. I can help the refugees, the disaster victims and all that. Why shouldn't we work? But we have so much talent and abilities, and life is so easy for us after enlightenment that we feel there is just no need to worry. We just naturally relax. That's how the sense of humor is born. I guess that is what it is.
Do you find me humorous? [Audience: Yes] [Laughter and applause] Then maybe, I must be a Master of some kind hah? [Laughter] Let's hope so, for your sake, so that you didn't listen to an unenlightened person for two hours - waste your time.
Q: The questions that we, as seeking souls, always ask and we get theories and stories, and I'd just like to hear what you have to say about them. The first is: Who are we? Who am I? And How did I get to be in the predicament that I have to get back Home? How did I leave Home and why is it important to go back Home? And You talked about going back to the Fifth realm, and it is not necessarily being important to go further than that. But if there is a further than that, then what is the purpose of it? What relationship does it have to me if I don't necessarily have to go back there?
And the second, "Why are you here?" Maybe because you like to be here. Or else who can force us to be here since we are the children of God. The so-called children of God are like God Hirmself. No? A prince is similar to the king, in some aspects, or more or less like the king, or the future king. So only when he likes to be somewhere, then he'll be there. Anyhow, we have free-will to choose to be in heaven or to be somewhere else to experience for ourselves. That's - probably you have chosen to be here in the beginning, many ages ago, to learn something more adventurous, something more frightening. Some people love scary experiences.
For example, the prince, he can be in the palace but he could be wandering in the jungle because he loved to be exploring things in the nature. It could be that way. It could be that we were so bored, bored in heaven, because everything was made ready and served to our palace doors, so we want to do something for ourselves. Just like the royal household, sometimes they want to cook for themselves and they don't want the servants to be near. And they smear themselves with ketchup and oil, all over the place, but they love it. Doesn't look very princely, but they love it.
So for example, I have people who drive for me. Everywhere I go, people would love to be my driver. But sometimes, I like to drive for myself. I drive on my small tricycle, nonsmoking tricycle, electric plug-in - ten kilometers an hour. I like to go around like that. Because everywhere I go, people notice me a lot, so sometimes I want to go somewhere that the people don't know me. I'm very shy except when I have to talk in the lecture, because it has become kind of duty now since people dug me out and made me famous up till now. I cannot run away so often but sometimes I do run away, for two-three months. Just like a pampered wife who runs away from husband. And so it's my choice.
So perhaps you have chosen to be here for a while. And perhaps it's time now that you want to go because you have learned enough of this world, and you feel that there is nothing more that you want to learn, and you are tired of traveling. You want to rest. Go Home, have a rest first. And then see whether you want to go again or not, on an adventurous journey. That's all I can say up to now.
And why do you have to go Home? And why the Fifth and not the Sixth? That's up to you. After the Fifth, you can go anywhere you want. There are many more levels upward. But it's just more comfortable, more neutral to stay there. It's too powerful, further upward, maybe like that. You can go for a while, but maybe you wouldn't like to rest.
For example, your house is beautiful, but there are some parts of the house are for rest-rooms and you wouldn't want to rest there forever, even though it's beyond your house. It looks like up the hill and the higher, more beautiful, but it's not the place to rest. Or in the electric-power department in your house, the generator - noisy, loud, heat, hot and dangerous. So you wouldn't want to be there even though it is very helpful for your house. That's all.
There are many aspects of God that we could not imagine. We always imagine the higher we go, the more loving. But there are different kinds of love. There is violent love, strong love, mild love, neutral love. So it depends on how we can bear. God will give us different degrees of love. Right. Different levels, offer some different degrees of love from God. But sometimes it's too strong, we feel we are torn into ribbons.
Q: I see so much destruction going on around me - environmental destruction. Cruelty to animals. I just wonder how You perceive this and what You can recommend to people who are trying to release themselves from this world in the spiritual fashion, to help them cope with their surroundings and cope with all the devastation that is going on around them? And do You think that going beyond this world is enough for us to recognize what we are leaving behind, or do You feel we in this plane have a duty to try to alleviate the suffering? And will it do any good?
I have told you already, our finances are distributed to different organizations, sometimes, or different countries, when they are in disasters. And I would not like to boast much about it, but since you ask - and for example, we helped the Philippines last year for relief of their Mt. Pinatubo. And we helped the flood victims in Au Lac, and the flood victims in China et cetera. And we are trying to help the Au Lac refugees now to help with the UN's burden, provided the UN wants us to help. But we are trying. We help them with financial support, and also we could relocate them if the UN lets it happen - with the blessing of the UN.
Yes, so we do all these things that you have requested and also because, since we are here, we might just as well clean our environment as much as possible. Therefore, we help with the suffering and we help with the moral standard of the world. Both spiritually and physically. Yes. Because some people don't want to take spirituality from me. They only want to take physical help. So we help them spirituality physically. And that's what we do; that's why I have to earn money. That's why I don't want to live on people's donations.
All my monks and my disciples have to work, just like you do. And then, apart from that, we help spiritually also; and help with the suffering of the world, help to relieve the suffering of the world. We have to do this. Doesn't mean we sit in samadhi all day long and enjoy ourselves. That's a very selfish Buddha (enlightened being). We don't want to have him here. [Laughter]
Q: You spoke about a level where one is aware that they have powers that come from that awareness. Now what if you are aware of the powers, you don't know that you have them, but you are aware of them? You may even feel like you do. How do you access it or not access it? If you don't access it, how do you not become impatient with the process that's going on around? Like you see the process taking a slow, mundane way when you know you can just pray or do something else to bring about a better or quicker resolution. What does that mean and how does one access it with the blessing that it will come out okay? Do You understand what I mean?
For example, a child cannot run. Not because you are in a hurry or you want to run that you make the child stumble and fall. So we have to be patient. Even though we have the power to run, we walk with the child, yes. That's why sometimes I am also frustrated and impatient but I have to teach myself to be patient. That's why I have to go and bow my head from one president after another for the refugees, even though we want to add all the financial support. We would give all we have, everything, millions of dollars, or billions even. We have to go through the bureaucratic system. Give Caesar what belongs to Caesar.
I am not going to wield my head or to point a finger at the UN even make them run. No, no. We cause disasters in this world if we use psychic, magical power. It has to go the way it goes. But we can elevate people's consciousness by spiritual healing, by spiritual wisdom, understanding. Impart to them the knowledge that they are willing to do it, and cooperate. That's the best way, not to use magical power. I never intentionally use magical power in any aspect of life. But miracles just happen around the spiritual practitioners. That's very natural, but not intentionally. Not trying to push things. Yes, that's no good. The child cannot run. All right? You satisfied with my answer?
If any of my answers don't suit you, please let me know, because I can explain further. But I trust you are very intelligent - being the most chosen and intelligent people of all nations. Therefore I don't elaborate very much.
It's good that we have United Nations, I have to say, by the way. Yes, yes. We eliminate many of the world's conflicts and wars, even though we cannot completely minimize. But I read your books of United Nations. Everyone is United Nations. And I have followed some of the United Nations work. And I must praise its effort and efficiency in rescuing hostages where other people cannot rescue. All the power of the world can not rescue and one United Nations' commissioner did it. Yes, and many other things concerning disaster relief, refugee problems.
You have about twelve million refugees, I heard - responsibility. No? It's a lot of work, and the wars and everything. So it's good that we have United Nations, yeah! It's very good.
Q: Thank You, Master Ching Hai, for sharing Your wisdom with us. I have a question. It's about the escalating world population and its accompanying problem of further environmental abuse and the further greater demand for food. Would You like to comment something on this escalating world population? Is this a world karma? Or is this going to create certain kind of karma in the future?
So, it's not that we should fear about overpopulation. We should be more organized to give people of the world more benefit of employment opportunities and housing and security. Then everywhere is the same. We would never be overpopulated.
And about your question concerning food, you should know better, because in America, we have so much information concerning how to preserve the world. Vegetarian diet is one of the best, to preserve the world's resources, to feed the whole population of the Earth because we waste a lot of vegetarian food, energy, electricity, medicine, to raise animals. Whereby it could feed other people directly. And many countries of the Third world nations, they sell their protein-enriched vegetarian food for cheaper prices. But that is not a help to the other world nations' populations. If we spread all the food evenly, and vegetarian diet will help this, not only for ourselves, not only for the animals, but for the whole world.
One of the research something, magazines, they already said that if everyone in the world eat vegetarian, the world will not be hungry anymore. And also we have to organize. I know some person, he can make rice bran into nutritious food and milk even. And we have talked last time about that. He said he spent about three hundred thousand dollars and he can feed six hundred thousand people in Ceylon - the poor, the under-nourished, the mothers, and all that. It was fantastic. Because the way we do it in many parts of the world, it's that we waste the natural resources, not that we don't have enough. God wouldn't put us here to starve. Actually, we starve ourselves.
So we have to rethink, reorganize, and that needs the blessing of many countries' governments. They have to bless us with their absolute honesty, cleanliness and dignity, and the will to serve people instead of serving themselves. If we have this blessing from all the countries' governments, we have no problem really. No problem.
We have to have good leadership, good economic organization and ruling talents and honest governments. But that can come about more rapidly when many people or most of the people or all the people become spiritual. Then they know the discipline. Then they know the precepts. Then they know how to be honest and clean. And they know how to use their wisdom then. Then they can think of many things to do and reorganize our lives.
Q: That seems to be very difficult because as I see, much of the, as I understand, much of the environmental abuse today has to do with a growing population's demand for more living space, for homes, for living the way we, in the 20th century, know and want to live.
Say the jungles in Brazil - the environmental abuse there. The destruction of the forest there, the rain forest. The land, it's being defoliated and that results in floods. And these are not unrelated to the problem of overpopulation.
So all we have to do is to try to spread the spiritual message; what we know, and keep to the spiritual discipline. That's what people don't have. It's okay to plug yourself in the electric machine and have some lights and some buzzing music and get samadhi. But if you don't have moral discipline, then you only use the power for bad things sometimes - can't control it.
That's why we in this group, we keep, teach people the precepts first. Precepts are important. We have to know where we go and maneuver our Power. Power without love, without compassion, without proper understanding of the moral value, then it's no use. It becomes black magic - abuse. Yeah. That's where black magic comes from.
So it's easy to get enlightenment, it's hard to keep it. In our path, if you are not truly disciplined and morally equipped, the Master will take away some of your Power so that you cannot abuse it and do bad things to the society. That's the difference. Master has control. The Master Power, the Master Power, okay?
Yes, I am very happy with all of your intelligent questions. Very intelligent.
People do these things because they are not wise enough, like abusing the land that you have said, or doing something just because their lack of wisdom. Yes, so the root is wisdom, spiritual practice. Get enlightened.
The world is full of troubles.
Master Ching Hai initiates sincere people longing to know the Truth, into the Quan Yin Method. The Chinese characters "Quan Yin" mean contemplation of the Sound Vibration. The Method includes meditation on both the inner Light and the inner Sound. These inner experiences have been repeatedly described in the spiritual literature of all the world's religions since ancient times.
For example, the Christian Bible states, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1) This Word is the inner Sound. It has also been called the Logos, Shabd, Tao, Soundstream, Naam, or the Celestial Music. Master Ching Hai says, It vibrates within all life and sustains the whole universe. This inner melody can heal all wounds, fulfill all desires, and quench all worldly thirst. It is all powerful and all Love. It is because we are made of this Sound, that contact with it brings peace and contentment to our hearts. After listening to this Sound, our whole being changes, our entire outlook on life is greatly altered for the better.
The inner Light, the Light of God, is the same Light referred to in the word "enlightenment". Its intensity can range from a subtle glow to the brilliance of many millions of suns. It is through the inner Light and Sound that we come to know God.
The initiation into the Quan Yin Method is not an esoteric ritual or a ceremony for entering a new religion. During the initiation, specific instruction in meditation on the inner Light and inner Sound is given, and Master Ching Hai provides the "Spiritual Transmission". This first taste of Divine Presence is given in silence. Master Ching Hai need not be physically present in order to open this "door" for you. The Transmission is an essential part of the Method. The technique themselves will bring little benefit without the Grace of the Master.
Because you may hear the inner Sound and see the inner Light immediately upon initiation, this event is sometimes referred to as "sudden" or "immediate enlightenment."
Master Ching Hai accepts people from all backgrounds and religious affiliations for initiation. You do not have to change your present religion or system of beliefs. You will not be asked to join any organization, or participate in any way that does not suit your current life-style.
However, you will be asked to become a vegetarian. A lifetime commitment to the vegetarian diet is a necessary prerequisite for receiving initiation.
The initiation is offered free of charge.
Daily practice of the Quan Yin Method of meditation, and the keeping of the Five Precepts are your only requirements after initiation. The Precepts are guidelines that help you to neither harm yourself nor any other living being. These practices will deepen and strengthen your initial enlightenment experience, and allow you to eventually attain the highest levels of Awakening or Buddhahood for yourself. Without daily practice, you will almost certainly forget your enlightenment and return to a normal level of consciousness.
Master Ching Hai's goal is to teach us to be self sufficient. Therefore, She teaches a method that can be practiced by everyone, by themselves, without props or paraphernalia of any kind. She is not looking for followers, worshippers, or disciples, or to establishing an organization with a dues paying membership. She will not accept money, prostrations, or gifts from you, so you do not need to offer these to Her.
She will accept your sincerity in daily life and meditational practice to progress yourself towards sainthood.
"Initiation is not really initiation... you just come here and let me help you help yourself. I have not come here to make you disciples... I have come to help you become Masters."
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
"Everyone already knows how to meditate, but you meditate on the wrong things. Some people meditate on pretty girls, some on money, some on business. Every time you pay full attention, whole-heartedly, to one thing, that is meditation. I pay attention only to the inner Power, to the Compassion, the Love and Merciful qualities of God."
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
"Initiation means the beginning of a new life into a new order. It means that the Master has accepted you to become one of the beings in the circle of Saints. Then you are no longer an ordinary being, you are elevated. In the old times they called it "Baptism" or "Taking Refuge in the Master."
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
1. Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings *;
2. Refrain from speaking what is not true;
3. Refrain from taking what is not offered;
4. Refrain from sexual misconduct;
5. Refrain from the use of intoxicants;
* The keeping of this precept requires a vegan or lacto-vegetarian diet.
|A lifetime commitment to a vegan or lactovegetarian diet is a prerequisite for initiation into the Quan Yin Method. Foods from plant sources and dairy products are permitted on this diet, but all other foods from animal sources including eggs should not be eaten. There are many reasons for this, but the most important comes from the First Precept, which tells us to refrain from taking the life of sentient beings, or Thou shalt not kill.
Not killing or otherwise harming other living creatures is of obvious benefit for them. Less obvious is the fact that refraining from harming others is equally advantageous for ourselves. Why? Because of the Law of Karma: As ye sow, so shall ye reap. When you kill, or cause others to kill for you, in order to satisfy your desire for meat, you incur a karmic debt, and this debt must eventually be repaid.
So in a very real sense, the keeping of a vegetarian diet is a gift which we give to ourselves. We feel better, the quality of our lives improves as the heaviness of our karmic indebtedness diminishes, and we are offered entrance into new subtle and heavenly realms of inner experience. It is well worth the small price you have to pay!
The spiritual arguments against eating meat are convincing for some people, but there are other compelling reasons for being a vegetarian. All of them are rooted in common sense. They have to do with issues of personal health and nutrition, ecology and the environment, ethics and animal suffering, and world hunger.
M: Eating plants is also killing living things and will create some karmic hindrance, but the effect is very minimal. If one practices the Quan Yin Method for two and a half hours every day, one can get rid of this karmic effect. As we have to eat in order to survive, we choose food which has the least consciousness and suffers the least. Plants consist of 90% water, thus their level of consciousness is so low that it hardly feels any suffering. Furthermore, when we eat many vegetables we don't cut their roots, but rather we help their asexual reproduction by cutting branches and leaves. The end result can actually be beneficial to the plant. Therefore, horticulturists say that pruning vegetation helps them grow large and beautiful.
This is even more evident with fruit. When fruit ripens, it will attract people to eat it by its fragrant smell, beautiful color and delicious taste. It is in this way that fruit trees can achieve their purpose of propagating their seed over a wide area. If we do not pick and eat them, the fruit will become overripe and will fall to the ground to rot. Its seed will be shaded from sunlight by the tree above them and will die. So, eating vegetables and fruit is a natural tendency, which brings to them no suffering at all.
Q: Most people have the idea that vegetarians are shorter and thinner, and flesh eaters are taller and bigger. Is this true?
M: Vegetarians are not necessarily thinner and shorter. If their diet is balanced, they can also grow tall and strong. As you can see, all big animals like elephants, cattle, giraffes, hippopotamuses, horses et cetera, eat only vegetables and fruit. They are stronger than carnivores, very gentle and beneficial to mankind. But flesh eating animals are both very violent and of no use. If human beings eat many animals, they will also become affected with animal instincts and qualities. Flesh eating people are not necessarily tall and strong, but their life span is very short on the average. Eskimos are almost totally flesh eating, but are they very tall and strong? Do they have a long life? This I think you can understand very clearly.
Q: Can vegetarians eat eggs?
M: No. When we eat eggs we are also killing beings. Some say that commercially available eggs are unfertilized, so eating them is not killing living things. This is only seemingly correct. An egg remains unfertilized only because the appropriate circumstances for its fertilization have been withheld, so the egg cannot complete its natural purpose of developing into a chicken. Even though this development has not occurred, it still contains the innate life force needed for this. We know that eggs have innate life force; otherwise, why is it that ova are the only type of cells which can be fertilized? Some point out that eggs contain the essential nutrients, protein and phosphorus, essential for human bodies. But protein is available from bean curd, and phosphorus from many kinds of vegetables such as potatoes.
We know that from ancient times till now, there have been many great monks who did not eat meat or eggs, and still had a long life span. For instance the Ying Guang Master ate only a bowl of vegetables and some rice each meal, and yet he lived up to the age of eighty. Furthermore, egg yolks contain a lot of cholesterol, which is a major cause of cardiovascular disorders, the number one killer in Formosa and America. No wonder we see that most patients are egg eaters!
Q: Man raises animals and poultry, such as pigs, cattle, chickens, ducks, et cetera. Why can't we eat them?
M: So? Parents raise their children. Do parents have the right to eat their children? All living things have the right to live, and no one should deprive them of this. If we have a look at the laws in Hong Kong, even killing oneself is against the law. So, how much more unlawful would killing other living beings be?
Q: Animals are born for people to eat. If we don't eat them, they will fill the world. Right?
M: This is an absurd idea. Before you kill an animal, do you ask it if it wants to be killed and eaten by you or not? All living beings desire to live and are afraid to die. We don't want to be eaten by a tiger, so why should animals be eaten by humans? Human beings have only existed in the world for several tens of thousands of years, but before mankind appeared, many species of animals had already existed. Did they overcrowd the Earth? Living things maintain a natural ecological balance. When there is too little food and space is limited, this will cause a drastic reduction in population. This maintains the population at an appropriate level.
Q: Why should I be vegetarian?
M: I am vegetarian because the God inside me wants it. Understand? Eating meat is against the universal principle of not wanting to be killed. We ourselves don't want to be killed, and we ourselves don't want to be stolen from. Now, if we do that to other people, then we are acting against ourselves, and that makes us suffer. Everything that you do against others makes you suffer. You cannot bite yourself and you shouldn't stab yourself. In the same way you should not kill, because that is against the principle of life. Understand? It would make us suffer, so we don't do it. It doesn't mean we limit ourselves in any way. It means we expand our life to all kinds of life. Our life will not be limited within this body, but extended to the life of animals and all kinds of beings. That makes us grander, greater, happier and limitless. Okay?
Q: Would You speak on vegetarian eating and how this can contribute to world peace?
M: Yes. You see, most of the wars that happen in this world are due to economic reasons. Let's face it. The economic difficulties of a country become more urgent when there is hunger, lack of food, or a lack of equal distribution of food among different countries. If you took the time to read magazines and research the facts about the vegetarian diet, then you would know this very well. Raising cattle and animals for meat has caused our economy to go bankrupt in all aspects. It has created hunger throughout the world - at least in the Third World countries.
It's not I who is saying this, it is an American citizen who did this type of research and wrote a book about it. You can go to any bookshop and read about vegetarian research and food processing research. You can read, "Diet For a New America" by John Robbins. He is a very famous ice-cream millionaire. He gave it all up in order to be a vegetarian, and to write a vegetarian book against his family tradition and business. He lost a lot of money, prestige and business, but he did it for the sake of Truth. That book is very good. There are many other books and magazines which can give you a lot of information and facts about the vegetarian diet and how it can contribute to world peace.
You see, we bankrupted our food supply by feeding cattle. You know how much protein, medicine, water supply, manpower, cars, trucks, road construction and how many hundreds of thousands of acres of land have been wasted before a cow is good enough for one meal. Understand? All these things could be distributed equally to underdeveloped countries, then we could solve the hunger problem. So now, if a country is in need of food it probably invades the other country just to save its own people. In the long run, this has created a bad cause and retribution. Understand?
As you sow, so shall you reap. If we kill someone for food, we will be killed for food later, in some other form the next time, the next generation. It's a pity. We are so intelligent, so civilized and yet most of us do not know the cause of why our neighboring countries are suffering. It is because of our palates, our tastes, and our stomachs.
In order to feed and nourish one body we kill so many beings, and starve so many fellow human beings. We aren't even talking about the animals yet. Understand? Then this guilt, consciously or unconsciously, will weigh down upon our conscience. It makes us suffer from cancer, tuberculosis and other kinds of incurable diseases, including AIDS. Ask yourself, why does your country, America, suffer the most? It has the highest rate of cancer in the world, because the Americans eat a lot of beef. They eat more meat than any of the other countries. Ask yourself why the Chinese or communist countries don't have that high a rate of cancer. They don't have as much meat. Understand? That is what the research says, not I. Okay? Don't blame me.
Q: What are some spiritual benefits that we get from being vegetarians?
M: I'm glad you asked the question in this manner, because it means you only concentrate on, or care about, spiritual benefits. Most people would care about health, diet and figure when they ask about the vegetarian diet. The spiritual aspects of a vegetarian diet are that it is very clean and nonviolent.
Thou shalt not kill. When God said this to us, Hes did not say do not kill human beings, Hes said do not kill any beings. Didn't Hes say that Hes made all animals to befriend us, to help us? Did Hes not put the animals in our care? Hes said, take care of them, rule over them. When you rule over your subjects, do you kill your subjects and eat them? Then you would become a king with no one else around? So now you understand when God said that. We must do it. There is no need to question Hirm. Hes spoke very clearly, but who understands God except God?
So now you have to become God in order to understand God. I invite you to be God-like again, to be yourself, to be no one else. To meditate on God doesn't mean you worship God, it means that you become God. You realize that you and God are one. I and my Father are one, didn't Jesus say so? If He said He and His father are one, we and His father can also be one, because we are also children of God. And Jesus also said that what He does we can even do better. So we may be even better than God, who knows!
Why worship God when we don't know anything about God? Why use blind faith? We must first know what we are worshipping, just like we must know who the girl is we're going to marry before we marry her. Nowadays, it's customary that we don't marry before we date. So why should we worship God with blind faith? We have the right to demand that God appears to us, and to make Hirmself known to us. We have the right to choose which God we would like to follow.
So now you see that it is very clear in the Bible that we should be vegetarians. For all health reasons, we should be vegetarians. For all scientific reasons, we should be vegetarians. For all economic reasons, we should be vegetarians. For all compassionate reasons, we should be vegetarians. As well, to save the world, we should be vegetarians.
It is stated in some research that if people in the West, in America, eat vegetarian only once a week, we would be able to save sixteen million starving people every year. So be a hero, be vegetarian. For all of these reasons, even if you don't follow me, or don't practice the same method, please be a vegetarian for your own sake, for the sake of the world.
Q: If everyone eats plants, will it create a food shortage?
M: No. Using a given piece of land to grow crops provides fourteen times as much food as using the same piece of land to grow fodder to feed animals. Plants from each acre of land provide 800,000 calories of energy; however, if these plants are used to raise animals which are then eaten as food, the animals' meat can only provide 200,000 calories of energy. That means that during the process 600,000 calories of energy are lost. So the vegetarian diet is evidently more efficient and economical than the meat diet.
Q: Is fish all right to eat for a vegetarian?
M: It's all right if you want to eat fish. But if you want to eat vegetarian, fish is not a vegetable.
Q: Some people say that it is important to be a good-hearted man, but it is not necessary to be a vegetarian. Does this make sense?
M: If one is truly a good-hearted person, then why does he still eat another being's flesh? Seeing them suffer so, he should not be able to bear to eat them! Flesh eating is unmerciful, so how can this be done by a good-hearted man?
Master Lien Ch'ih once said, Kill its body, and eat its meat. In this world there is no one more cruel, malevolent, atrocious and evil than this man. How can he ever claim that he himself has a good heart?
Mencius also said, If you see it alive, you can't bear to see it die, and if you hear it groaning you cannot bear to eat its meat; so the real gentlemen keep far from the kitchen.
Human intelligence is higher than that of animals, and we can use weapons to make them unable to resist us, so they die with hatred. The kind of man who does this, bullying small and weak creatures, has no right to be called a gentleman. When animals are killed, they are terribly stricken with agony, fear and resentment. This causes the production of toxins that stay in their meat to harm those who eat it. Since the frequency of the vibration of animals is lower than that of mankind, they will influence our vibration, and affect the development of our wisdom.
Q: Is it all right just to be a so-called "convenient vegetarian"? (Convenient vegetarians do not strictly avoid meat. They would eat vegetables out of a mixed vegetable and meat dish.)
M: No. For example, if food is put into a poisonous liquid and then removed, do you think it will become poisonous or not? In the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Mahakasyapa asked Buddha, When we beg and are given vegetables mixed with meat, can we eat this food? How can we clean the food? Buddha replied, One should clean it with water and separate the vegetables from the meat, then one can eat it.
From the above dialogue we can understand that one cannot even eat vegetables which are mixed with meat unless one first cleans them with water, not to mention eating meat alone! Therefore, it is very easy to see that Buddha and His disciples all kept a vegetarian diet. However, some people slandered Buddha by saying that He was a "convenient vegetarian", and that if alms-givers gave meat, He ate meat. This is truly nonsense. Those who say so have read too little of the Scriptures, or don't understand the Scriptures they have read.
In India, over ninety percent of the people are vegetarians. When people see mendicants in yellow robes they all know they should offer them vegetarian food, not to mention that most of the people have no meat to give anyway!
Q: A long time ago, I heard another Master say, "Buddha ate a pig's foot and then got diarrhea and died." Is this true?
M: Absolutely not. It was because of eating a kind of mushroom that Buddha died. If we translate directly from the language of the Brahmans, this kind of mushroom is called the "pig's foot", but it is not a real pig's foot. It's just like when we call a kind of fruit "longan" (in Chinese this literally means the "dragon's eye"). There are many things that by name are not vegetables but actually are vegetarian foods, such things as the "dragon's eye". This mushroom in Brahmanic language is called "pig's foot" or "pig's joy". Both have a connection with pigs. This kind of mushroom was not easy to find in ancient India and was a rare delicacy, so people offered it to Buddha in worship. This mushroom cannot be found above the ground. It grows under the ground. If people want to find it they must search with the help of an old pig which likes very much to eat this kind of mushroom. Pigs detect it by their smell, and when they discover one, they use their feet to dig in the mud to find and eat it. That was why this kind of mushroom is called the "pig's joy" or "pig's foot". Actually these two names refer to the same mushroom. Because it was translated carelessly and because people did not truly understand the derivation, the following generations have been caused to misunderstand and mistake Buddha for a flesh devouring man. This is really a regrettable thing.
Q: Some meat-lovers say that they buy meat from the butcher, so it's not killed by themselves, therefore, it is all right to eat it. Do You think this is right?
M: This is a disastrous mistake. You must know that butchers kill living beings because people want to eat. In the Lankavatara Sutra, Buddha said, If there was no one eating meat, then no killing would happen. So eating meat and killing living beings are of the same sin. Because of the killing of too many living beings, we have natural disasters and man-made calamities. Wars are also caused by too much killing.
Q: Some people say that while plants can't produce poisonous things like urea or urokinase, fruit and vegetable growers use lots of pesticides on the plants, which are bad for our health. Is that so?
M: If farmers use pesticides and other highly toxic chemicals like DDT on crops, it can lead to cancer, infertility and diseases of the liver. Toxins like DDT can diffuse into fat, and are usually stored in animal fat. When you eat meat, it means that you take in all these highly concentrated pesticides and other poisons stored in animals' fat, which have accumulated during the growth of the animal. These accumulations can be as much as thirteen times that in fruit, vegetables or grains. We can clean the pesticide sprayed on fruit surfaces, but we cannot remove the pesticides deposited in animal fat. The accumulating process occurs because these pesticides are cumulative. So consumers at the top of the food chain are the most harmed.
Experiments at the University of Iowa showed that of the pesticides found in human bodies almost all came from eating flesh. They discovered that the pesticide level in the bodies of vegetarian people is less than half of that in meat-eaters. Actually, there are other toxins in flesh besides pesticides. In the process of raising animals, much of their food consists of chemicals to make them develop faster or to change their meat color, taste or texture, and to preserve the flesh, et cetera.
For example, preservatives produced from nitrates are highly toxic. On July 18, 1971, the New York Times reported, "The great hidden dangers to health for meat-eaters are the invisible pollutants in meat such as bacteria in salmon, remnants of pesticides, preservatives, hormones, antibiotics and other chemical additives." Besides the above, animals are injected with vaccines, which may remain in their flesh. In this respect, the protein in fruit, nuts, beans, corn and milk are all more pure than the protein of meat, which has 56% water insoluble impurities. Research shows that those man-made additives can lead to cancers, other diseases or deformed fetuses. So it is even proper for pregnant women to eat a pure vegetarian diet to ensure the physical and spiritual health of the fetuses. from beans you can get protein; and from fruit and vegetables you get vitamins and minerals.
Initiation is not really initiation... you just come here and let me help you help yourself. I have not come here to make you disciples... I have come to help you become Masters.
~ Supreme Master Ching Hai ~
A fully divine person is a fully-human being. A fully-human being is fully divine. Right now we are only half a human being. We do things with hesitation, we do things with ego. We don't believe that it is God who arranges all this for our enjoyment, for our experience. We separate sin and virtue. We make a big deal out of everything, and accordingly judge ourselves and other people. We suffer from our own limitations about what God should do. Understand? Actually God is inside us and we limit Hirm. We like to enjoy ourselves and play, but we don't know how. We just say to others, 'Ah! You shouldn't do that,' and to ourselves, "I shouldn't do that. I must not do this. So why should I be vegetarian?' Yeah, I know. I am vegetarian because the God inside me wants it.
Find your own Everlasting Treasure and you will be able to draw from its Inexhaustible Source. This is Infinite Blessings! I have no words to advertise it with. I can only praise it and hope that you believe my praise, and that my energy will somehow affect your heart and lift you to that kind of joyous feeling, and then you will believe. After initiation, you will truly know the meaning of my words. I have no way to convey to you this Great Blessing, which God has bestowed on me, and gave me the right to distribute, free of charge and conditions.
We take some karma from the people around us, by looking at them, by thinking about them, when sharing a book or a meal, et cetera. This is how we bless people and reduce their karma. This is why we practice, to spread the Light and dispel the darkness. Blessed are those who give us some of their karma. We are happy to help them.
In the human language we talk nonsense all the time. We always have to blah, blah, blah about everything. We have to compare, we have to value, we have to identify, we have to give a name to everything. But, the Absolute, if it is the true Absolute, you couldn't even speak about it. You cannot talk about it. You cannot even think about it. You cannot imagine it. There is nothing. Understand?
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