*Before Master gives her lecture, I'll just take a few moments of your time and share with you some of my personal experiences after having received initiation and practiced the Quan Yin Method. I was a spiritual practitioner for many years before I met Master Ching Hai, but none of the meditation techniques or the spiritual practices that I did gave me the spiritual satisfaction that I was looking for, even though I put a lot of time and a lot of effort into it.
A friend of mine gave me a tape of Master, and that's how I was introduced to her. And after having watched the videotape and having listened to her teachings, I realized immediately that this was the teacher that I had always been looking for. Even before initiation, Master takes care of you.
I had to wait several months before I was able to receive the initiation, as at that time, no initiation was being given. And so, Master, knowing the sincere longing in my heart, came to me in a dream and initiated me there. Before initiation, I worked many, many long hours, and I worried about everything, and I really wasn't very happy or peaceful in my heart, but after initiation, due to the ability of concentrating better, I did things much more quickly and more efficiently. In what used to take me two or three hours, now it took me maybe only one hour to do.
I really didn't worry that much about things anymore. It's not that I didn't do things well. It's just that whatever it was that I did, if it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to turn out, that was all right too. What happened there was my attachment to the results of whatever I did was becoming less. The other thing is that I felt a lot more love, more peace, and harmony in relationships and in whatever I did.
And it was the kind of love that accepted people for however they were, rather than for what it was that I wanted them to be; and these changes happened very quickly after the initiation. And because of that, it showed me very clearly how powerful and how effective this method of meditation was. When I am doing work, often I need guidance or help to get through a difficult situation, and if I pray inside to her, I find that I can feel her presence very strongly and her guiding me through any difficult situation. Even in a seemingly scary or frightful situation, she's there protecting you.
And the point is that sometimes you cannot anticipate the situation, and you don't have time to pray for help, and even in those situations, she protects you and takes care of you.
These are some of the qualities of a living saint or a fully realized being - and those are omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience. “Omnipresent” means that they can be in any place at any time, and in many places at the same time; “omnipotent” means they are all-powerful; and “omniscient” means they are all-hearing.
So, not all spiritual Masters have these qualities, not all spiritual Masters are true living Masters. But when you need help and guidance and you pray to Master, she can hear your prayers no matter where you are or regardless of the situation. And if you have had any personal experience of this, then you know you feel more relaxed and comfortable, and very happy and peaceful because you know you're protected and we're all taken care of.
Those who have practiced this method, or have practiced other methods and then practiced the Quan Yin Method, realize that Master Ching Hai is a true living Master, and she is the best, the greatest, and the highest being to ever have graced this Earth.
*And I'd like to turn this over at this moment to Master Ching Hai.
Thank you all for coming today. I am also very honored to be in this great country, the country of prosperity, of peace, of loving kindness and humanitarianism, because your country has what many countries do not have - the warmth and the human love between each other, as well as a very elevated spiritual standard. I was very touched to know that in your country there is no death sentence. That shows that in this land only love rules above all things.
And let's hope that other countries will learn from your example, to let God rule justice and not to take revenge. Also, I had the opportunity to speak to some of the people who live in this land - the immigrants, for example, and the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees who have been welcomed into your country with love and non-discrimination, and they're all very happy in this country, and I am sure this will add more merits and blessings into the great nation that you happen to reside in.
Only a very spiritual, elevated country can possess such qualities of loving kindness, of non-racial, non-discriminating quality; and if every nation is like this, at least our world would become a small paradise. But unfortunately, there are many other things that prevent people from understanding the basic truth: that is, love is the greatest law in the universe. And therefore, many people do not enjoy life the way they should.
The more we cling to life in a forceful way, the less we can enjoy the flavor of it. Therefore, the enlightened persons are happier, more contented, and even then, from this very stable state of mind, they can do many wonders, because they are quiet enough to understand where their wisdom lies, where their greatness is, in order to make use of it.
When we are very busy, or we are in a panic or in a hurry, most often we forgot what we wanted to do, or we do things in an incomplete way. Therefore, the tranquil mind of an enlightened person can see things more clearly, and that's the only logic of this science: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Who is that “I am”? That is the “One” that resides within us, that is the true Self.
Therefore, we are God. This realization doesn't come through hearing people saying that or through believing alone, but through self realization. And just as any other science there is, there must be a special technique. Everything we learn and we master in life, is all done through self experimenting.
Similarly, enlightenment can be achieved through some perseverance, self experiencing, and therefore, it will be lasting. That's the reason why we have heard a lot of saints and sages of all times saying that God is within us.
If God is within us, that means we and God are one. If we and God are one, we are God. But even then, we have heard so often, we have read so many Bibles and so many statements from such great men, like Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, etc., but we would not truly believe that we are that, and we could not find the God that is supposed to dwell within ourselves. It is because we lack self experience.
We have not known it by our own discovery, but only by hearing. In the old times, when science had not reached the height of today, we had many problems. Even the rain would trouble us, even the snow would bother us; anything, any small things, big things, obstruct our daily activities. Even the rain, for example. Now we have umbrellas, we have raincoats, we can walk in the rain; we can enjoy even the rain, and we can work in the rain. Better still, we have cars, we have buses - we have all things that protect us from the different weather changes in nature; therefore, we are very comfortable.
In the ancient times, if we were to hold a meeting today, many of you who stay a very, very long distance away could not be here; not because of the distance only, but because of rain, because of weather and all that. So in the ancient times, people hid themselves in caves, in mountains, under the trees, to protect themselves from natural disadvantages; and many people still do today, in some of the undeveloped countries. So that must not be.
Enlightenment is like that. Just like we add more comfort into our life and be happy in whatever conditions. Suppose we don't have a raincoat, we don't have an umbrella, we don't have a car. If it rains today, we are stopped from all of our activities, from all the things that we love to do and want to accomplish. Is that not so? Yes. Similarly, life is fantastic if we have enlightenment. There is nothing in this life which could be named “suffering,” or “terror,” or “trouble.”
Only because we lack protection that it seems to be so. Because, take for example the rain - if it doesn't rain, we don't have water, and all the trees, the flowers, cannot grow, and all the crops that we need for survival will never be there. Therefore, rain is not terrible in itself. But it is if we don't have an umbrella, and we walk miles in the cold: we will shiver, we will catch a cold, we will be ill, and we may lose our life even, through such a very harmless and useful natural phenomenon. Even a very natural, beautiful phenomenon becomes harmful to us if we lack equipment to protect ourselves.
Therefore, many people want to change the world, to change the way we live our life, but the sages of enlightened spirit say, “No! Change yourself.” Because if we change ourselves, we change the world around us. Even if the world still stays the way it is, we are not affected. And if each person changes in this way, there is no need for any war, and there will be no disaster.
If everyone has an umbrella, a raincoat, what is the need to change the season, to stop the rains, or to make the magical power to control the raining time, like many people would like to learn, and many people possess this magical power -can stop the rain, can make it lengthen, can push it to another direction, and it takes a long time to learn this magical skill- but why bother? Why bother? We just wear the raincoat. It's cheap, it's simple, and everyone can use it.
Once the Buddha wanted to cross the river on a boat and the boatman did not want to take him because he had no money - at that time, he was, of course, a renunciate, a monk still, who possessed no property - so the Buddha had no choice but to walk over the river. These days, quite a few yogis in India, Tibet, and elsewhere still can do that. Many people ask me about magical power because people are curious about things that they cannot explain, and also about things that they scientifically think is impossible.
So I told them that, “Yes, these things still exist.” But nevertheless, it's not to be used at random, and also not to be done for show. Even Jesus, he possessed a lot of magical power, but he didn't always do it; he was very reluctant. Therefore, he raised only one dead person to life, he cured maybe only two or three blind persons, and did not run around all the time and raise all the dead back to life. That would bring the natural law into a chaotic nature -
that is the thing an enlightened saint would not do. Each one has to learn to yearn within his heart to know himself, to know God, and then the Kingdom of God will come and the Master will come to help that person.
If we use magical power, or any other supernatural ways to convince people, we unknowingly lead people astray, because we limit God's power within these magical skills, which could be learned by some expert. And also, by doing that, we interfere with the flow of nature, and of course, we bring some disaster upon ourselves.
Because what we seek are the eternal things, like wisdom, love, and the greatness of the universal power, not the small corner of these low level of games. But when we possess great wisdom, we also possess numerous miraculous powers, but at that time, we have so much, too much, that we might not even know how much we have and things just come out from us automatically, without us intentionally doing anything.
That's why the saints do things without doing, without even thinking, without even wanting to do it. It's just like a very, very rich person, he has no idea how much he has. He can never count, he can never see enough of all of his treasure. Therefore, the enlightened person is always happy- at least most of the time happy - and even when he encounters unhappiness, which is brought to him by his very close contact with someone he loved, maybe then he is affected.
Because of the love for that person, he may share the suffering or unhappiness of that person, but even then he is very, very calm inside and he knows that the unhappiness is only of an ephemeral nature. He is not, kind of, dragged and sunk into this unhappiness like most of the people are.
Therefore, if we even want just to be happy in this life, we should get enlightenment. Of course, I should tell you, the great people of Canada, that you have to seek God for God's sake alone, not because of happiness in this life. But I do think that these things come together. If you are enlightened, you are happy, and the more happy, the more you believe in enlightenment, and the more you will appreciate God Nature anyhow.
What is the use of expecting an everlasting happiness in Heaven while we grovel here in darkness and in misery every minute of our life? An enlightened person enjoys both worlds - enjoys Heaven at the same time as enjoying the world. Why? Because he knows that whatever is manifested in this world is also the will of Heaven, and it's also a copy of the real manifestation in the higher Kingdom of God.
And because he is very relaxed, has no fear, no anxiety, so whatever he enjoys, he enjoys to the utmost. Many people think that after enlightenment, maybe you don't know how to love your wife anymore, or how to love your husband or children any more - it is the opposite. Only when you are very happy and know your true worth can you truly love another person, because you see her reflection, your reflection, within her. You will respect that person and love all the good qualities that God endows in that person because you have realized what God has given you yourself, and then you know God gives all beings the same amount of quality.
But we choose sometimes to go into the opposite direction and therefore we suffer, and then we blame God. We say “how come God has such almighty power and cannot turn this paradise into Heaven!” The power doesn't lie in God's hand; it lies in your hand. I know all this through experience, not through books and not through any Bible. And I know this also through the experiences in the lives of my disciples, and that is also the reason why we see each other today.
It is due to the kindness of my disciples: they want to share with you what they have discovered so they have gone through a lot of troubles and expenses, and time consuming, to organize this day's congregation. We do not do this with a very burning ambition to convince you into our path, but we do it with a very happy attitude of just a happy person.
Therefore, we do not care to wear very special renunciating dress to impress you; we do not try to make a very holy appearance of ourselves to convert you; we do not try to give anything to you - gifts or any other kind of magical power - to let you come into our circle, but we do it as a duty of a brother to another brother, and we just do it for the sake of doing it, actually. We're happy whether you are convinced or not convinced.
We will be contented whether you come, or you go, because nothing is that deadly serious to us anymore. We do it or not do it, it is the same thing to us. I could be sitting pretty on the top of the mountain in Formosa (Taiwan) and enjoying my samadhi power, or I could be sitting here knowing more of the people of the Earth planet. It is the same to me.
Therefore, if you feel that you're ready for this happiness, which is the true happiness because it comes from the root, because you know the whole thing from Heaven to Earth and hell - you know everything - and then you choose what you would like to enjoy.
Therefore, your happiness will be true and lasting. Otherwise, most of the so-called “enjoyment” in this world, we are not free to choose. Sometimes we are dragged along to a party and we try to enjoy it; sometimes we are forced to get married because of some political or business reasons, and try to make the best out of it; sometimes we drag along with a big family and try to feed them, working from morning to night, and try to think that we are great because we are taking care of the family.
But it's not always a choice, therefore, we do not feel happy in many things we do because somehow we feel that we are not the one who controls all this. We are not the host; we're just like a guest. We are blown with the wind, and we go along with whatever the situation is. We lose many interests and joys in life through not knowing why we are doing all this and that.
But after enlightenment, it's different: whatever we enjoy, we truly enjoy. We understand the value of life, as well as the value above this life. There are two lives on any planet: one is of the material existence, the other is of everlasting nature. If we know only one and we lack the other, just like most of the people in the world, they enjoy only the material existence of so-called life but they do not know the real picture of this projection; they know only the shadows, so they enjoy the material life and fear to lose it.
But the truly enlightened person knows both - the everlasting and also the copy of it - and he can enjoy both at the same time, or he can choose to enjoy one and not the other, or he can choose to enjoy both. But I think while we are already here, we might just as well enjoy, and there is nothing in this world that we should not enjoy, really, except those that are harmful to the lives of other beings. Therefore, we just suggest a vegetarian diet so the fish can always swim in the sea as much as he pleases and the cow can graze on the pasture until nature calls him back to where he belongs; and we can enjoy them, and they can enjoy us.
Some of the enlightened persons, I don't know how, to which degree, but they choose to live on the other side of life, the spiritual side of life, and therefore give the impression to the people that all the enlightened persons have to be like that, have to go into the Himalayas, have to go into the cave, have to forsake all the beautiful things about this life in order to be a Buddha.
But that must not be so because we will be too aloof from this world, and many people find it difficult to associate with us. And if they find it too difficult to associate with us, how can they help themselves? How can they know what we know?
Of course, maybe it is more pleasant for a saint or an enlightened person to stay away from the hustle, bustle of the world and to be carefree in his or her own way. But on the other hand, there are many other brothers and sisters who need our assistance. Everything in this world is of some use, and if an enlightened sage becomes a useless being, then it is a waste of nature's product.
Therefore, we should just stay in the world, but remain above it. We can have our house, our cars, but we no longer are slaves to these possessions. If we have them, we enjoy them. If we don't have them, we just don't. It's a very simple life.
Therefore, the things in this world, we will enjoy if they are there, and if they are not there, it makes no difference to us. That is the way of the enlightened spirit. Not that we have to run away from the material existence, but we remain above it. And I think that is more practical for most of the people on this planet, because we are in the material surrounding, we are in the material existence.
Wait until we leave this physical world, we can enjoy completely the spiritual atmosphere of the real life. So why be in a hurry? If everyone gets enlightenment and runs into the Himalayas to stay there forever, then soon we will have no more enlightened persons left, and the others would never know of enlightenment, right?
Because everyone is gone: no connection, no message, no example, no one who walks beside us, who shares with us all the ups and downs of this world, who encourages us to walk in life as an angel, as God. In the old days, it's very difficult to know where the Master is, who is the enlightened person. People had to climb mountains, cross the sea with a lot of hardship and trouble in order to find an enlightened person.
Therefore, our world was not developed in the ancient times. People lived in poverty, in lack of a lot of comforts. So I think that it's not very ideal. I think the enlightened person must live in this world, must do whatever he has to do, must take care of whomever God places in his hands, and be happy, be enlightened.
Because even if you run away into the forest, we can't run away from the universe. We are still in there, where did we run away to? Right? So what's the nonsense? Many people think that an enlightened person must have a very special appearance, maybe a very long beard - I happen not to have one. But today, with technical advancement, I think I can grow a beard even, right? Like some chemical stuff?
Or, maybe an enlightened person has to just stay in the Himalayas. There are some. Maybe some enlightened person who stays in the Himalayas. But it need not be like that, need not be all of them like that.
Therefore, what we need is the direct teaching. Of course, there are two kinds of teachings. One is the theoretical doctrine which comes from the Masters while the Masters were still alive. That is, to teach his disciples about how to behave in the society. That is just for the mind, and just to suit the customs, and the law of that nation at that particular period of time, and also to correct some of the bad habits of the disciples and to guide them in many aspects in life, like in political, business, marriage, and things like that. But these are all worldly; all within the level of material existence.
There is another teaching which is the real one, the original and the lasting one. This teaching is non-verbal, and that can be done through what we call “thought transference” - when the disciples turn inward and listen to the teaching from Heaven. At the time of initiation, we will tell you how to do that.
And not because we tell you that you can do that but because you are ready for it, and the Master power will switch on the button of your age-old wisdom which lies dormant within yourselves, life after life, until now. Just like we switch on the light, all the darkness will disappear instantly - that is the immediate enlightenment process, and that is very possible for everyone who is sincere, and who wants to know how great he is, and how he connects with the whole universe, how God dwells within himself, which he didn't know all this time.
And then everything else in life will take care of itself. Truly! I asked all of my disciples: none of them said that they are not happier than before, that they are not more contented than before, that they are not more intelligent than before, that they are not more capable, more powerful than before - even just a few weeks afterwards, or even a few days afterwards.
It depends on the person, depends on how receptive that person is. Just even after initiation, just a few minutes - even within the initiation - you know you've changed forever, and you accelerate. You are no longer within human standard, but you enter the circle of sainthood without changing any appearances, without running away to anywhere, without doing anything dramatic in your life.
Just to be where we are and enjoy both worlds, enjoy the real, as well as the ephemeral nature of the projection of the real life. That's what we have discovered, that's what we continue to discover, and that's what we'd like to share with you.
*The first question is, why do we need enlightenment? Is that because we desire continued existence or is it merely our lack of understanding of life and death and its elaborate illusion? Thank you, I bid you peace.
Why do we need enlightenment? Anyone knows? You talk about it. Why do we need enlightenment?
*So we can know ourselves as God.
Yes. A man who doesn't know himself lacks everything. We want to know so many things, but we don't know who we are and why we are here and what we do. And I think “the way of a gentleman” is at least to know ourselves. Then we can say we can know every other thing. If not, it's funny, no? It's funny that you don't know where your house is and you know all the houses in the country.
*Why is it necessary to cease another meditation practice to learn the Quan Yin Method?
No, it's not necessary. If you are already contented within your practice, if you are happy with it and if it makes your life more fruitful, more loving, and more expanded in wisdom, you think your path is correct, and you have found the Light of Heaven, and you have heard the direct teaching from Heaven within yourself, then you don't need to seek this method. Only when you don't have it, you are welcome to come.
*What do you think should be done about hatred and violence in everyday life, for example, prejudice, or racial discrimination, or how to get the message to those who don't want to listen?
I think all these phenomena are the result of a non-enlightened mind. If we are enlightened, everything is solved without having to speak with each other, without having to preach at all. So actually, all these things - just like anger, hatred, greed, and all that - came from the lack of enlightenment in that person, because he is so dissatisfied with what he has in life, so discontented within the framework of his life, so it becomes natural that he is agitated, he is aggressive, he is angry, he is greedy for more - because he thinks these things will satisfy him more and make him happier. Actually, the deep root of all this is the yearning for a happier state of life: that is the deep yearning for enlightenment. Therefore, if we want to cure all these illnesses, we have to introduce enlightenment into people's lives, and make them happy.
*For the first time in my life, I feel like I am getting closer to happiness. Am I making the right decisions? I am still full of fear.
I don't know. If it's the first time that you feel you're getting close to happiness, then I think you are in the right direction. Continue in that direction.
*How can I overcome the pain? I have been abused by my own father. Please, Master, give us a word of peace to all women like myself who suffer day after day.
I think you'd better forget it and start a new one. Sometimes things happen in our life, and if we don't like it, we just cut it. Turn to another page, and finished. If you don't like to read a page because it's full of something that doesn't satisfy you, and unhappiness, turn to another page. Begin a new one, or throw the whole book away; buy a new one.
*Do you initiate people who are also initiated with another Master or other Masters?
Sure. If they want to seek a higher upliftment, yes.
*I want to know why I cannot find peace even with meditation, and love God. Thank you for your answer.
Maybe you should try our meditation method. There are so many kinds of so-called meditations, and of course not all of them offer the true connection with eternal happiness. So you try ours.
*Can I practice transcendental meditation and your meditation at the same time?
If you absolutely must. But many of the transcendental followers came to practice with us, and after while they dropped their transcendental meditation and they just follow this. It would be better for you to concentrate on one at a time. If you do not feel absolutely convinced with our way of practice, then you stay with the transcendental meditation, there's no hurry, and think about it; and if you are convinced in this path, then just follow one. It would be better for you. But I do not forbid anything, it's just a guidance for you.
*Our galaxies are never-ending. Do we go on from one galaxy to another throughout our spiritual self?
It's not necessary to do that physically; it will exhaust you. Once we reach the height of enlightenment, we can see everything within one second. There is no need to go around shopping like that.
*Thank you! You've told me exactly what I needed to hear. If I continue to eat meat, will I still have enlightenment after initiation? And how long will it take?
Meat is the cause of all wars and sufferings in this world, as well as to your personal Self. To refrain from meat is to contribute peace on this planet, because we terminate the cause of killing. Therefore, we will not reap the result of being killed or being wounded. And also to refrain from meat-eating is the non-direct action towards “Thou shall not kill,” the precept. Also to nourish our compassion towards all beings and treat them all as equal creations of God.
Therefore, it is best that we refrain from animal products. And even if you are enlightened after initiation with a meat-eating diet, you will suffer a lot from many heavy bad karmic burdens, because they have to be cleansed out. And sometimes, if you reach a certain height in spiritual attainment, you will experience some side effects of non-physical purity when clashed with the absolute purity of Heaven. It's not always easy to withstand the intensity of power within yourself, while having a little impure physical and mental state of being.
*Why has my ego risen? Why has his ego become bigger?
How do I know? It's your business. Perhaps nobody ever scolds you, perhaps your position rises in the society, perhaps you're too successful in your business, perhaps your wife or your husband spoils you too much.
*I wish to be enlightened. Why should I bother about staying in the society?
I see. But why not? Why not? It's your choice, of course, but why choose? Why bother to choose? Because we were born in this society, we owe a lot to society - to survive, to grow up, to enjoy all the comforts that we have now - therefore, it's also okay to stay in the society to repay some of this kindness. Just to be present, just to be one of the whole, and non-discriminating; whether “I am enlightened,” or “he is not enlightened,” “I am an enlightened person, I don't mix with unenlightened persons,” and these kind of things.
When the person turns inward all the time, he doesn't mind who's around him; he doesn't even know that he is in the society or out of society. He'll just be himself and does what must be done at that moment - always in the present.
That is the true enlightened person.
*For the spiritual aspirant who has more than one spiritual teacher, how can he or she know which teacher is the most appropriate in the present moment?
Yes. You have to ask yourself, or you pray to God, whomever you believe, to guide you; and to whomever you feel most attracted to, and most trusted, that's the person for you. All right?
*Is it possible to become awakened without a spiritual guide?
Yes, yes. Possible. Very much possible. But without guidance, you probably cannot go very far.
To be awakened and to be completely awakened are two different things. So when a Master has already traveled from the material existence to the highest awakening state, they can guide you. It's best - faster and safer.
*You were introduced as the most perfect being that has ever graced the Earth.
*How do you respond to that?
Yes, I am, but no, I am not. Because I don't know that I am that perfect, but yet my disciples all prove that I am. So take what you believe, okay? By the way, you are also the most perfect beings, except that you don't know it yet. So there is no big deal about being perfect, because if you believe in the Bible, it says that “Know you not that you are the temple of God, and the Holy Spirit dwells within you?” “Be you perfect,” as well, “just as your Father in Heaven is perfect,” and “God made man in His own image.” If I am made after God, I am perfect. Sorry if you don't know that! Okay?
*How, through this enlightenment or initiation, can we bring all people and living beings to supreme enlightenment and destroy all negative things and sufferings?
We cannot bring all beings into the state of supreme enlightenment because we are enlightened, but to us, to ourselves, the enlightened person, all the beings, all the sufferings, disappear. That's the most important. When you are enlightened, when you are in the state of samadhi, there are no beings, no sufferings - nothing exists.
When you come out of the enlightenment, if you wish to come out of the samadhi state, if you wish, you contact with those who are not enlightened, and who see things as suffering, so you try to help them. Whomever likes to know your state of non-suffering, they can come.
If they do not, it's fine. They have to learn their lessons. You can't force all the children in your family to become professors of the university just because you are one, but you can guide them step by step until they become grown up and educated enough to be like you. All right?
*How to get rid of the fear of death?
I “die” every day. There is no need to fear when we know death is just a stepping from one room to the next. It's quicker than that. I could just sit here and die, but you don't know it - very fast, a step from one plane of existence to the next. That is the process of so-called “death,” and it can be done in a second - not even a second.
So, there is nothing to fear about it. If you fear death, come to me. I will teach you how to die every day, and you'll get used to it! Just like when you first drove a car, you didn't know how to drive, right? So you were very afraid. If you drive it every day, you will get used to it.
*Immediate enlightenment is perhaps possible, but it took you a lot of time, and it didn't seem as easy. Please tell us a little bit about your own path of enlightenment and the difficulties you experienced.
“Immediate enlightenment” means, when you come for initiation you will get immediate enlightenment; but you have to nourish it. Just like you have a child, but you have to give him food every day to make him grow. Enlightenment is similar, like that - and the child you raise could be very difficult or could be very obedient, according to your background, your karma (retribution), your family status, etc. So, enlightenment comes immediately at the time of initiation, but to nourish it is your right, is your duty.
And it didn't take me very long. I had six months of apprenticeship, but maybe it takes you six years or maybe sixty years, but that doesn't mean forever. And, after initiation, you are promised liberation regardless of your level of attainment. Liberation and Mastership are different, of course.
Buddhahood and the disciples are different, but all are liberated. Just like we say, if we live in Canada, but there is someone who is rich, who is noble, who has a high position in the society, and someone who lives a little bit more ordinary life, but still, all of these people are Canadian citizens and enjoy the same rights, the same peaceful atmosphere, and the same prestige of this great country.
*How do you know so many things?
What things do I know? Do I know anything? All the things you ask are just very common. I only give you a handful of sand compared to what I know, which is like the sand within the ocean and on the beaches of the whole world put together.
Do not praise me, because you have all this. You have more. Just get to know yourselves; and whatever I tell you today, or in all the books, all the tapes, will be very insignificant to you because you will know that you are great, you own the whole universe. That's what you should know. You should praise yourself. You should not praise me. We are the same.
*Must one work or deal with the sexual energy in order to get or gain enlightenment?
No. Just relax. All the energies and struggles you spend to fight with the sexual urge are better spent in meditation. Why should you torture your body so much? It's a very natural phenomenon, and it will lessen its intensity with time.
If you're married, even passion, everything, will become very much lessened. And, the more you meditate, the more heavenly enjoyment you will find - and sex, I tell you, it's just a substitute for heavenly bliss, and because most of us lack the real pleasure, therefore we cling to the lower substitute. But once we know the real thing, the other thing loses its charm.
Just like when we grow up, all the toys, plastic model cars, have no more great meaning to us because we have Benz, we have Cadillac, we have Rolls Royce, or even if we have a real car, any car. We know it goes faster, and we know it's more useful. So don't worry about the sexual problem. Just get enlightenment.
After enlightenment, don't fear that you'll lose everything. You just enjoy things more intensively, but you know when and how, and you do not abuse your enjoying power like you did before enlightenment. You might have sex now and again, if you wish, and enjoy it, but the enlightenment is your main aim of life, and it will never leave you after initiation, anyhow.
It keeps pushing you. You can't just not go forward. You can't just be ignorant again. And even if you have a little “exercise” now and again with your wife, so what? God doesn't care that much. You fear too much about everything. Even a little sexual impulse scares you. Nothing is so fearsome.
*According to you, what is positivism, or what is being positive?
I understand. It's just probably a kind of attitude of some people, they try to hypnotize themselves into thinking that everything is great, everything is possible in life; but thinking alone helps only very little. If we know the root of all the problems by shining the torch of enlightenment on all corners of life, we tackle problems better, not in a positive way; not in a positive way, but in a right way, be it positive or negative.
If we are only positive, we neglect another part of life which is very important. It's just like you only choose men and you don't care about women. Can we do that? No, we can't. So, an enlightened person knows how to handle positive and negative, not to reject anything but to make all things into full use for life and the life after, okay? I don't preach extreme things.
*What are the limits of tolerance?
You answer. I guess the person who asks must have been pushed beyond his patience in some matter. So, I guess there is no limit to it. If you are in a situation like that, maybe try to turn the page. When you can't bear anymore, turn to another page. Try to make something else out of your life, instead of just sitting there bearing all things. Get enlightenment first, then see what you have to do next.
*What do you think of the future for our youth? Do you feel or have a lot of faith in our future generation?
Yes, our future will be very good. Very good. More people are enlightened these days than during the time of Jesus or Buddha, or any other period of our Earth planet, so I think our future will be very bright. It's already getting brighter. The political situation of the world is already very hopeful. Many of the great archenemy nations are shaking hands with each other and want to talk about peace and economic resurrection. So we should feel positive.
Is it important to love yourself more than others and all living beings, as long as you wish compassion for other beings?
That is a little bit difficult. If we wish somebody else richness, will he get rich? If somebody is hungry, comes to your door, and you sit there in your meditation, perhaps, because you are a great being, and you wish him some food, will that be done? So, wishing and doing is something else. If we are enlightened, actually we don't need to help anyone if we don't wish to because we see things in a different way.
We are happy within ourselves and sometimes it's very difficult to see other people suffering, because we don't know it. But if we can, if we are willing, we can descend from our height and see other brothers and sisters are still mired in ignorance and in suffering, and do whatever we can to help them. That is the real compassion and love. Not just to wish.
*Is sex between individuals who mutually consent all right?
Of course you both have to consent before it happens. Why do you talk too much about sex? Is there anything important about that? You know the animals, they don't talk about it and they can do it just as great. So what's the big deal? Let me think of what you truly want to ask me. You mean the precept of sexual misconduct?
Misconduct in sexual relationships means trying to refrain from taking other people's beloved person by doing deliberate actions or speech or other things to minimize other people's happiness. It's just like taking other people's possessions, so we try to refrain from that. But otherwise, it's okay for you to have a boyfriend or girlfriend.
I think that's what you mean? Anyhow, do not talk about sex, please. You have to understand that sex without love is nothing. So you have to say it's a kind of loving relationship or intercourse between the two lovers. That would be more sensible to human beings. I don't know how you live your life, but sex is not all that important. If you love someone, maybe you try to show your love in different ways - by action, by speech, or mentally. Yeah?
The true love must have a spiritual aspect also. So if you just have the so-called “sex,” we degrade ourselves and our beloved into animal standard. So please do not look at it that way. If you love someone, it's all right to love him and her in the way you like, in the way that both of you feel appropriate. But try to refrain from taking someone else's happiness and beloved. That's all that I mean. Try to refrain.
*Do you feel that it's possible or believe that we can meet those who have already died before us and to know them again?
Yes, yes. You mean the ancestors. Yes, we can. We can see the past Masters and saints. We can see our ancestors also, or friends. Many of our disciples see them after initiation. Because I have promised that five generations will be liberated also, with the initiation of one person, so many of them would see their ancestors come back to them and thank them that through the initiation, through their spiritual practice, they have been liberated. Yes, we can do that. But that is not high level, it's nothing big deal.
*How can we earn our living without depriving others chances of earning their own living? For example, if I don't have a job, somebody else will have it, and be happy. If I don't cut a tree to make a living, that tree will feed numerous different beings.
Okay, no problem. You have a job because God gives you that job. Even if you are out of that job, nobody can take that job if it is not meant for them, so do not feel guilty. Whatever you get, you get it. It's just if we try to compete with other people, and try to put that person down, and try to do many tricks in order to trick him out of the position and then we replace him, that is a different thing. But if we get it naturally in the competitive society…
If the other person wanted that position, he should be as fast as you, or as capable as you. And about cutting trees - you can cut that tree and plant ten more, so don't worry about that.
Just plant more trees. We respect nature, but we do not become slaves to nature. The trees are there to serve us in different ways: it may give us shade when the shade is necessary; it may give us strength to the house, if a pole in the room is needed; it may give warmth to your house, if you need wood for fuel. So don't worry about cutting trees if it's allowed and if they are abundant in your country. You have to look into the situation, not always become nature worshippers, because human values are the topmost.
If you cut all the trees, and do not plant new ones, of course it is no good, but if you cut one tree, plant 10 or 20, what is the harm? We cannot be fanatic. We have to be flexible in different situations.
*Can you use your enlightenment to pacify the troubled areas of the world? Such as wars and hunger?
Yes, I can, if you help me, if you also become enlightened the way I am, then it's possible; otherwise, it's not. Because, just like a professor; he's grown up and he has knowledge, but if his children or his relatives or his brothers or sisters don't want to be educated, then how can they avoid poverty or other hardships that come with the person with little knowledge?
*Can you predict the future of the Aulacese (Vietnamese) people?
I don't predict anything. I am not a fortune teller. The future depends on the present. Any country is the same, any person - same. If in the present time, people get enlightened and change to the virtuous way of governing a nation, then of course, the future of Âu Lạc (Vietnam) will be bright. That's very simple to predict - any of you can predict.
*Do you agree with this statement, “nothing exists outside of oneself”.
Yes, I agree, I agree. But to know that is not enough; we have to experience it through enlightenment.
*In my dream, I see myself flying. Why?
It's very common. We did that when we were children also. Sometimes because of the past experiences of different lives in different planets, so we experience something. Like in other planets, we don't walk, but we fly. Maybe you just came from a higher spiritual planet and that memory is still within you, so you experience it now and again. If you want to know why, better get enlightenment. I “advertise” all the time, but you don't know it.
*Is it we who decide to become angels or devils?
Yes. Sure, sure, but also circumstances. If we are not strong enough to withstand the temptation of life, then of course we fall into the other side of nature, which is negative. When we are strong enough, we stay in the middle, and we can have both positive and negative at our disposal. That is the way of the enlightened person.
*What you have said sounds right and good, but what can you do that is useful for us?
What do you want me to do for you? You have a rich country, you have not got a high unemployment rate, your government is fantastic, you country is beautiful. What can I to do for you, except give you enlightenment? I only help whenever necessary.
For example, we helped the Philippines when they had the volcano (eruption)… we helped with millions of dollars; we helped the Aulacese (Vietnamese) when they had floods; we help the Chinese and other countries when they have disasters, etc., when they ask for help. That's because they need it.
*How can one live in happiness if the others keep bothering you?
That's why you have to get enlightenment, and then even when others bother, you do not feel so much anymore. Just like you have a raincoat, and even if it rains, you don't get wet. Not to change others, but to protect ourselves.
*Even though I practice meditation always, I don't feel the progress.
You have to change. Change to another kind, if you don't feel progress in one; or maybe you are not sincere enough; or take care of where you fail. Not always blaming it on the meditation or the teacher of your meditation. If your meditation is not good, then change, change. There are so many to choose.
*Is it necessary to seek consciousness, or should we just remain open and the consciousness will come on its own?
Very difficult. There is a switch inside you; it will be switched on at the so-called initiation, even though I don't do anything physical to you. And, sometimes during deep prayer or deep meditation, you may be able to accidentally switch it on, but that won't last. Therefore, it's better to have an experienced friend who teaches you.
*Please explain why God created the flesh-eating animals, like tigers, lions, and the vegetable-eating animals? In this case, how could there be peace between these two species? I mean the chain of the food.
God creates the tigers and lions so that we can criticize them, and then to refrain from doing the way they do. Because we are not beasts, all right? It's a good example for not doing it.
*Do you not think that enlightenment is possible through each and everyone's religious practice?
If it's already possible, then it's fine. If it's not, then come to us. All right? To some it's possible, to some it's not. It depends on the religious order to which you belong, whether that order bred any enlightened teachers for you or not. If both the teacher and the followers are equally ignorant, of course, then you cannot get enlightenment.
*There are different kinds of samadhi. Some are permanent and some are not. Are you in samadhi now? How could we reach a permanent state of samadhi?
Samadhi, there are many kinds, of course. There are some kinds that are very short-lived, that you get at the beginning of your practice, after initiation, and there are some kinds of long-lasting Samadhi which sometimes last for hours or days, after some time of practice. And, there are other kinds of samadhi which are very ordinary, just like you have it for 24 hours while you are working in this world. That is the samadhi state of a Master. Then a Master looks like a very ordinary sentient being, but the wisdom is very obvious, and the blessing and the power is very transparent.
*Can the universe be enlightened?
If you are enlightened, then the whole universe appears enlightened to you.
*If we go on to a spiritual world, do we then go to other worlds or universities to learn?
Yes, in a higher, in higher worlds, yes. If we have not reached the Mastership, we continue to learn in the higher spiritual world; but only when we are initiated by a Master while we are living. Then that Master continues to take us to the height of our wisdom, after we leave this world, should we have not attained it.
*How long will it last on the Earth, Christ energies?
Christ energies are always there, but if we don't make use of it, we don't know of its existence. So it's always lasting, but yet it's not there if we don't know it.
*After we die, what happens?
You'll know soon enough.
*There seems to be many Supreme God-conscious Masters on the Earth planet at the present moment. Do all know each other? Are you all in the same level of consciousness?
Not necessarily, not necessarily.
*Do you see each other on the inner planes?
*How can I become a Master of myself? I am blocked. I read things and I'm not able to repeat them.
You first be a disciple,
and the way, the path, of our practice is to train you to be a Master. But it takes some time.
So first come in, then you will be one.
*What kind of happiness do we really need?
If you are hungry and you have some food, at that time that is your happiness. It's the same with every other thing. But if we want a true lasting happiness, then we must have the happiness from the root, from the real world, not the copy of the happiness which exists in this world.
*Do you think religion is a source of division between people?
The division between people which is supposed to be caused by religions is not from religion. It is from the misunderstanding of the people who label themselves as one kind of religious follower or another and compete with each other about the supremacy of their own faith. So if we get enlightenment, we will understand thoroughly all the religious teachings and we will know that originally these are the teachings of the Masters which point to the same Truth. And if we know that Truth, all the religions come into one fold.
*What is the real meaning of enlightenment? Does it mean understanding something you do not know already?
Yes, that's right.
*If we don't have a job, don't have money, please tell me where is happiness? How can we have a happy life? How to enjoy the human life?
In Canada, you have unemployment benefit, no? Or not? Yes? Yes. Then be patient. Take help from the government and search for another job. But if you don't have enlightenment, even if you have the best job in the country, you will have also a lot of headache.
*If one cannot meditate two-and-a-half hours because of working, what will happen?
Try your best to do it. If you don't have enough time, then you meditate in your sleep. It's okay. We have many ways to overcome the worldly obstacles. I will teach you.
*What is the importance, significance of encountering negative, suffering people? Should we shun them and their negative energies or resist their negative energies?
Not accept them, and resist their negative energies?
Yes. Just ignore it. Ignore it and protect yourself by your own means of meditation practice.
*There is a white light appearing on the right side. Can you explain that? It appears like a flash.
What right side? My right side? Your right side or my right side? Here? People see a lot of Light around me. You see only half? Make it complete. You see, you have been blessed with the vision of the true... the halo that is around some so-called enlightened persons, and mostly you should see it as a whole circle. But you see only half? How come? Is something wrong with your other eye?
*One person is in the grip of an incurable disease, she is in a depressed state. What can one do to get her out of this situation? What about euthanasia?
Of course you try to do what you can to comfort the person when he's sick; but to an enlightened person, these phenomena will be just accepted. It's just like you have a beautiful car but it happened to have an accident or it's out of order because it's too old, then you repair it. If you can't repair it, if it's too expensive to repair, then you buy a new one.
God gives us thousands, billions, trillions and trillions of trillions of trillions of bodies all the time, life after life. What we need is to know where the source of life comes from, not to worry about the body because we will have plenty. Just like your clothes. We have plenty of clothes. These clothes get damaged, so we buy a new one, or we wear a new one, it doesn't matter so much. What happens to the physical body, it does matter when we do not know our spiritual body. Then we die all the time. We're sick all the time.
*For the Christians, God's love is fundamental for the union with Hirm. This ingredient, is it enough to save us?
It's only the imagination of the mind that we have faith in God, that we love God, that we are united with God. The real union truly does take place - that is when you merge into Hiers glory: you see the Light from Heaven; you hear the Word of God, which is like “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
If we hear that “Word” through initiation, through meditation practice, then we can say we love God, we know God, and we are in union with God. Otherwise it's all imagination, all novelty, romance of the mind. We can imagine we have money, but we don't necessarily have it. That's the difference.
*Thank you, Master Ching Hai!
Thank you and best wishes to your country!