Supreme Master Ching Hai
eNews Magazine No. 128
gain peace of mind unless we get in touch with the Source of
peacefulness inside us. Peace you have within you, and if you
look outside, you can never find it.
♪ Supreme Art
♪ Between Master and Disciples
News No. 128
The "Cooling" Wall Lamp is the latest addition to the collection of Longevity Lamps designed by Supreme Master Ching Hai. Its fan-shaped body accentuates its simple but elegant style. It is constructed of special Formosan juniper wood, without a lacquer coating, so that the lamp gives off a slight natural wood fragrance when lit. Hung high on the wall, with its natural scent, it exudes a tranquil and carefree ambiance.
Caption 1: The latest wall lamp¡XCooling, designed by Supreme Master
Rest in the Source of All Happiness and in the Healing Power of Wisdom
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Hawaii, USA, March 27, 1993 (Originally in English)
Most of us experience unhappy feelings in life and are unsatisfied--because we don't take time to rest. We think that sleeping is resting. That's fine; it is also resting. But it's not enough. Because we are unconscious, like in death. However if we meditate, we are consciously aware of our greatness, of our communion with the greatest source of the universe, and we are a part of it. We are connected with the whole universal power.
That's why we can be strong, patient and wise. And then we can do many wonders. People will look us and think, "Oh! He can work miracles." But it's not true. It is the universal power that is at work while we connect ourselves with it. It's just like a radio or television network. If we have an apparatus and tune in so that we are connected with the whole television network, we can see a program from thousands of miles away. It's not our TV set that has the program; the program comes from the main station.
Similarly, when we join the saintly order or the universal circle, we are one of them. So we are strong; we are united with the whole. And then we are no longer lonely. We no longer have to use our individual, limited power. Even our daily work will be taken care of and watched over, helped and blessed by this universal power. And if we don't use this power, it is a very great loss to our life. This is the greatest mistake we could ever commit; it's an unpardonable thing to do to ourselves. No other enemy, however cruel or vicious, could be more cruel to us than if we don't know our greatest power, the power that lies within us all the time waiting to be awakened and of service.
What makes a sage different than us? It is that he knows how to use this power. What has made Jesus and Buddha objects of worship for thousands of years? It is because they knew what they had, and they made use of this treasure, this greatest power within themselves. That is the power that makes even kings renounce their kingdoms and makes the Buddha walk away from his throne and never want to go back. That's what makes it so that Jesus can raise the dead and heal the blind. We all can do that, no problem. If I can do it, you can. You're bigger than me, so you can do bigger things. (Master and everyone laugh)
A room is valuable not only because it has beautiful walls and a secure roof, but because of its emptiness inside. That's why we can sit here, and we can put flowers or available objects inside; we can choose things for our pleasure. Similarly, we have to make our own room empty; we have to know the great emptiness inside. And then we can have our choice of ideas and wishes. Everything will come true if we sit and rest for a period in our busy daily life to discover the greatest treasure within, a treasure that makes even the richest person in this world look like a poor beggar. Because we will have the whole universe at our hands, and we desire nothing at all anymore. We still work and still earn money, but only to share it with the world or just to complete our duty as a worldly citizen while in this world. We do so without any desire for reward or attachment to success or failure. We just try to achieve our best in any enterprise.
There was a great Master, Paramhansa Yogananda, who said, "When we sleep, we are like God, like an angel. When we do nothing, we are so pure and so innocent." That is because in sleep we are in touch with our supreme power within. We are at that time one with the Supreme Master inside. But we do this unconsciously. Even so, after we wake up we feel better, and we can work all day long. If we rest for a few hours, even five hours, we feel much better. This is because we rest in the source of all happiness and the healing power of wisdom. Therefore we are innocent like a baby. Everyone sleeps innocently. When a person sleeps, he looks just like a child. Even if he has just murdered someone, or made some very tragic mistake like that in his life, when he sleeps, he just looks like a babe. Because he goes back again to his loving, wise source.
Can you imagine, if we do that consciously every day, how much more conscious we will be of the great Master power that is inside of us. We can accomplish more in life with less effort, and we of course will naturally be happier. When we sleep, we desire nothing and hate no one, because in sleep we are at the source of all wish fulfilling power. Similarly, if we consciously, while awake, get in touch with this power, then of course we are more conscious while doing things in this world. We have fewer and fewer desires and less and less hatred, should we even have any subtly residing hatred left in our hearts. This is only logical. There is nothing mystical about it, nothing difficult and nothing that we should argue about.
If we do something, of course we have to know the logic of it. We can't just blindly follow someone, some method or some theory, and then worship them as a guru or whatever. There¡¦s no need to worship anyone as a guru, since we are the Supreme Master. We have this Supreme Master inside, and we have to know it. That is the only thing to do.
If we only work and have no rest, of course then we become more restless. We become less efficient in our work because we get fed up with our boring, one-sided life. But if we work and rest at the same time, like most of our fellow practitioners do, then of course we'll be happier. Because two or three hours of meditation is equal to many months of rest. In that time of communion with God or the Supreme Master power, which is our original Self, we recharge all the energy that has been lost during the daytime, even more than when we sleep. When we sleep, we don't know anything. Of course when we sleep, we don't need to be meditating because we are already God-like or angel-like. The trouble is that when we awaken, everything starts again. Every hatred comes back toward us; every relationship starts to breed troubles or unhappiness. And then, because we are not sleeping at that time, we experience fully the consequences or the effects of all these happenings around us.
The only solution to deal with this is that we become consciously aware of that God presence or God power, which we are only unconsciously aware of while sleeping. Therefore, we meditate. Meditation is the answer. Meditation is sleeping while waking, sleeping without sleeping. And then we will find all the answers we need about life and death, about how to deal with our daily life, our family relationships and our financial business. We don't even fear the end of the world. We don't fear recession. We don't fear being without a job. Because at that time, we will know how to work according to the situation, without standing there and stamping our feet or waiting for something that is not in our share. We will be happy in all circumstances, and we will have resolution to deal with all the problems that face us every day. Many sicknesses and sorrows will just leave us. And all the worldly desires will also gradually say goodbye.
This is the only solution to every problem. The problem doesn't lie only in having unemployment or having a subway that is not yet built in Hawaii. The problem lies in our own discontentment; because we don't know what to do next when faced with new circumstances. And every day new circumstances come without our asking or without our welcome. So we have to know how to always be prepared and how to deal with them. We can know this with meditation. We can know every day, consciously or subconsciously, how to deal with every situation in life. And that's the key to happiness. That's why we will be happy and sure-footed. We will never feel disturbed or in want. In the Bible it says, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." That means we have no desires whatsoever once we know the Lord, or once we have the Lord as our shepherd. But we don't know the Lord. That's why we want.
We would like to offer you a technique to know the Lord. And that's it, a very simple and pure motive. We do that with our own finances, our own time, our own willingness and our love for you and for the world. We want to prevent the end of the world. We want to prevent wars and hatred between nations, between brothers and sisters. We want all of us, including myself, to live a heavenly life while we are here. That's the only reason that motivates us to come here.
Report from Formosa
Ching Hai Day Celebrations
[Hsihu] On Sunday, October 21, 2001, fellow practitioners and guests rejoiced during an early celebration of Ching Hai Day at the Hsihu Ashram.
That morning, fellow initiates proceeded as usual to the Bamboo Grove to meditate and recharge themselves with the Light and love bestowed on them by God. Later, after enjoying a delicious lunch, they watched a videotape introducing Master's charitable activities around the world, as well as Her many honorable awards. On October 25, 1993, Mayor Frank Fasi of Honolulu presented the World Peace Award and a certificate of Honorary Citizenship to Master, and declared October 25th "The Supreme Master Ching Hai Day." A bronze sculpture of Supreme Master Ching Hai was presented and later erected at the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden, Honolulu, in recognition of Her loving concern for humankind, and Her contributions and efforts toward fostering world peace. Mayor Fasi praised Master as follows: "If we had someone like Her in every country in the world, we would have eternal peace, eternal love, and we'd all have the good life." This was the origin of Ching Hai Day. The videotape also recorded grand charitable concerts featuring Master's music and poems. The lingering music of the concerts ended with a memorable video presentation.
In the afternoon, fellow practitioners gathered at the Forest Meditation Hall for meditation. Following the celebration, one of the Quan Yin messengers who hosted the event shared the message of peace with attendees, saying that after the September 11 disaster in the United States, he had made this maxim from Master his motto: "That mankind may understand each other through more peaceful ways." He added that Master has taught us to frequently recite the Holy Names in silence to transmit peaceful vibrations that are unlimited in scope. It is Master's hope that we all become happy yogis, and bless the world with our joyful atmosphere and the light of our meditation. In particular, since now is a time when economic recession and unrest plague the world, we should perform our spiritual practice more diligently, in hopes that people around the world will no longer suffer from war, starvation, and poverty, and instead live a peaceful and happy life.
On the day of the celebrations, the Taipei News Group held a still photography course at the Hsihu Ashram to teach fellow practitioners about the basic structure of cameras and fundamental photography skills. All interested fellow practitioners from centers around the island were invited to attend.
In order that fellow practitioners could learn basic photography skills quickly and effectively, the lecturer, brother Wang, prepared handouts with substantial contents. He also displayed films of various exposure indexes, and photos of past activities for reference. In addition, he made use of several cameras brought by fellow practitioners as real examples for elaboration. After attentively listening to and observing brother Wang's comprehensive explanation, course attendees immediately put their learning into practice, using "the Ching Hai Day celebrations" as the theme of their photos. They hoped that onsite instruction and group interactions could yield the best learning results within a short period of time. Their ultimate aim was that more initiates would be able to take photographs of future relief efforts, and thus help build a more complete record of Master's loving activities.
Artistic Creations Exhibition
While the whole universe was celebrating Ching Hai Day, the SM Celestial Clothes group elaborately conceived and prepared a "Celestial Clothes in Retrospect" exhibition of Master's fashion designs from 1991 to 1999, including Celestial Clothes from the first to the seventh generation. The objective was to give people a clearer picture of the Celestial Clothes, and enable them to appreciate this aesthetic collection designed through Heavenly inspiration.
Meanwhile, the Celestial Jewelry group held an exclusive exhibition of Celestial Jewelry that shone with the radiance of love under the theme "Embracing the Light of Life." The group also prepared "maxims of love" on slips of paper for people to draw at random. In the Artistic Creations Exhibition area, displays of Master's paintings and Longevity Lamps were arranged so as to complement each other beautifully.
sp1-2-128: Ching Hai Day is celebrated in a simple yet solemn and
[San Jose, California, U.S.A.] On October 28, 2001, the happy feeling of Master's Love permeated the Center to embrace us during our festive reunion amidst Her blessings.
[Georgia, U.S.A.] We celebrated Ching Hai Day on Sunday, October 28, 2001, after our morning group meditation session. Many brought delicious, lovingly prepared vegetarian food to share. Several Initiates happily explained that they had used recipes from Master's "Supreme Kitchen" cookbook, much to the delight of all. Everyone seemed to beam with joy and gratitude as they joined together to watch Master's videos and celebrate in the harmony of Supreme Master Ching Hai's great love for us and the entire world.
We love You,
[Houston, Texas, U.S.A.]
Happy Ching Hai Day, our beloved Master.
We miss, need and love You,
Happy Ching Hai Day, Master!
Report from California, U.S.A.
Spreading Loving Vibrations to Comfort Longing Souls
[Los Angeles] After the 911 incidents in New York and at the Pentagon, initiates from the Los Angeles Center followed Master's advice and met for group meditation each day of the week at several locations. Fellow practitioners also wished to spread a more positive and loving vibration during this difficult time, so we prepared thousands of flyers and brochures bearing Master's photo, information about the Quan Yin Method, and bookmarks, which included information on our TV broadcasts, website and telephone numbers.
World Fest 2001
October is the time of year when people from all walks of life gather for many festivals celebrating the coming Fall. This October was no exception, and several festivals were scheduled in different locations within driving distance of Los Angeles Center disciples.
World Fest, which celebrates a vegan (pure vegetarian) lifestyle, was the first of these October festivals that we attended. This festival always takes place in the Hollywood area of Los Angeles and more than 10,000 people usually attend. The Hollywood crowd is not an easy group to impress. However, this year was different. Perhaps the recent disasters in the U. S. caused everyone to look within and reflect about his or her own mortality.
Some initiates created a collage of photos with exclusive images of our Relief Team handing out food at the 911 Disaster Relief Booth located near Ground Zero of the World Trade Center. Festival goers were highly impressed by this collage. Many people eagerly accepted the information we handed them about Supreme Master Ching Hai and the Quan Yin Method, and stayed around to request more information and/or be interviewed for the TV program "A Journey through Aesthetic Realms."
One young woman who has been a vegan for many years felt drawn to our booth and stared unblinkingly at Master's photo. Just recently, she received an inner message about Quan Yin Boddhisatva and felt it was no coincidence that the Method Master teaches shared the same name.
The All Asian Harvest Moon Festival
The following Sunday, we set our sights on the All Asian Harvest Moon Festival, held in an area near Los Angeles where many Chinese Americans live. The atmosphere and vibrations were comfortable as the Festival's booths formed a circle and each looked like a small castle with colorful banners flowing in the gentle autumn breeze.
Once again, a colorful collage of photos formed an artistic gallery where festival goers could walk around and look at the pictures of the 911 disaster up close. Thousands of people came to our booth and happily picked up free flyers, brochures, News Magazines and complimentary Sample Booklets.
The Korean Festival at Seoul International Park
For the 25th Annual Korean Festival, held from October 11 to 14, 2001 in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles, local disciples prepared a lovely banner decorated with sparkling crystals and silver glitter, along with several large photos of Master, which attracted much attention.
Koreatown is on the verge of breaking into the Quan Yin Method in a very big way! 600,000 Korean Americans live in this area and are very spiritually motivated. Many investigate every type of spiritual practice that comes along. Our spiritual booth was no exception. The Korean people are very shy, so we had to approach them in a very warm way to introduce them to our Master and the Quan Yin Method. Luckily, Master's beautiful face welcomed them graciously, and hundreds of people stopped by to speak at length with fellow Korean disciples and to watch Master's videos, as well.
Over the four-day Korean Festival, we passed out thousands of flyers, sample booklets and other literature.
By the end of these three festivals, Los Angeles initiates were exhausted physically but happy to know that we had done our best to help elevate the vibrations in our area by passing out thousands and thousands of Master's photos and materials to the public, reminding them of the importance of spiritual life. If more and more people are awakened spiritually, we truly believe it can neutralize the negativity in the physical world.
Report from Florida, U.S.A.
Sowing the Seeds of Truth at a Vegetarian Festival
[Sarasota] On Sunday, October 14, 2001, Florida initiates attended the 6th annual Vegetarian Festival, sponsored by Sarasota in Defense of Animals, a local non-profit organization dedicated to defending animal rights and welfare and supporting habitat protection. The purpose of this public festival was to promote a healthy and humane lifestyle.
The festival was held on a beautiful autumn day at the Phillippi Estate Mansion, a stately venue surrounded by expansive lawns and lush foliage. The event featured music, entertainment, educational materials and a variety of related activities. Hundreds of people sampled tasty vegetarian foods provided by Sarasota restaurants, as well as scrumptious fare from the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association.
When we arrived at the venue to set up our tables, we were pleasantly surprised to see that the organizers of the event had given us the best location in the house! Since we had the first tables in the food section, everyone who entered was greeted by a large poster of Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her video playing on TV.
We received many compliments on our vegetarian food from attendees, many of whom were strict vegetarians. We received numerous requests about how to make and obtain such delicious vegetarian foods.
Many attendees eagerly helped themselves to sample booklets and other literature at our table. People commented on Master's beauty, and asked how they could contact us to learn more about the Quan Yin Method. One woman in particular who has been a vegetarian for many years returned to our table after reading part of the sample booklet, gave us her name, and said she would contact us about learning the Quan Yin Method.
We are very grateful that we had the opportunity to be a part of this event, and that God arranged so that we had the most ideal location at the venue to sow the seeds of Truth. Fellow practitioners are now looking forward to organizing a video seminar on the Quan Yin Method in the local area.
Sp2-1-128: Florida initiates attend the 6th annual Vegetarian Festival, sponsored by the group Sarasota in Defense of Animals.
Report from Argentina
The People of Argentina Open Their Hearts to Master
[Buenos Aires] Overwhelmed with deep grief over the lamentable events that occurred in New York on September 11, but fully determined to convey the Truth so as to help elevate the spiritual, physical and mental level of our planet, fellow practitioners from Argentina recently held three video seminars in different cities in the country.
The first seminar took place in Cordoba city, which we had visited on previous occasions. This time we were again lodged at the house of a sincere sister practicing the Convenient Method, and we counted on the help of other sincere brothers and sisters from Cordoba to set up and conduct the seminar. The event was held at the Sun and Moon Vegetarian Restaurant and was widely announced in the media. Miss Andrea Evangelisti, a kind reporter for Cordoba National Radio, gave us a 20-minute interview that was broadcast in more than ten provinces.
Many of the attendees expressed their full agreement with Master's message and 90 % learned the Convenient Method. Back in Buenos Aires, a second seminar was conducted at the Yukio Mishima Cultural Center, where monthly seminars are currently being held. On this occasion, a talk entitled "How to Cleanse Our Karma" was given and various extracts of Master's videos were shown. Some of the attendees arrived in Buenos Aries from distant towns, sincerely attracted by the message of the Truth. Others related that they had come across Master's web page while searching for information about Quan Yin Boddhisatva, and they felt it was a unique opportunity they could not pass up. After imparting the Convenient Method we blissfully welcomed our new brothers and sisters into the Quan Yin family.
At the request of a sincere spiritual seeker, Mrs. Paula Antonanzas, the third seminar was held in Santo Tome, a small locality four kilometers from the city of Santa Fe. Mrs. Antonanzas, after coming across an advertisement about Master's teachings in Oneself magazine, made a special trip to Buenos Aires to learn the Convenient Method. Radiant with joy, she then offered her house as a venue for a video-seminar in order to share Master's message of love with her friends. Her family sincerely opened their hearts and the doors of their house to Master, and kindly agreed to lodge us before the event. Fliers were distributed in Santo Tome and in Santa Fe, and the media were informed about the seminar. On the day of the event, the venue was fully packed with pure souls in search of the Truth. They watched the videos attentively and 99 % learned the Convenient Method, including Mrs. Antonanzas' mother, a vegetarian, her grandmother and her aunt.
A young man revealed that he had had an extraordinary experience when he was ten years old. On entering a church, he had seen light coming from Jesus' body on the cross, and had also heard a loud sound. Nobody could explain to him what had happened, and for fear of being regarded as mad he had refrained from telling anybody about it. His fear prevented him from having that incredible experience again. Later, he joined another spiritual group. However, when his father showed him one of Master's fliers, he felt whole-heartedly that this was the way for him and left everything he was doing to attend the seminar. He was so happy to be able to talk with us because he knew we could understand him. The event was such a great success that a man also offered another venue in Santa Fe for a future seminar. Our hostess, Paula, who is eagerly awaiting initiation, agreed to hold group meditation gatherings at her place once a week. She recently told us that her two little boys have spontaneously rejected eating meat.
Inspired by Her boundless Love and Grace, we left with our hearts overjoyed about this incomparable opportunity to do Master's work.
sp12-1-128: Seminar at the Sun and Moon Vegetarian restaurant in Cordoba,
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Surabaya, Indonesia, March 19, 1997 (Originally in English)
Spoken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai, Long Beach, California, U.S.A., December 28, 1996 (Originally in English)
Spoken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai, Los Angeles, California, USA, September 13, 1997 (Originally in English)
Spoken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai, Los Angeles, California, USA, September 13, 1997 (Originally in English)
Spoken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai, Singapore, March 9, 1993 (Originally in English)
Pearls of Wisdom
Universal Internet Service
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Johannesburg, South Africa, November 25, 1999 (Originally in English)
The best communication is inside. Because we will be reconnected again with the whole universe, whatever problem you have, the whole universe knows, and of course I know because I am also connected in the network. So, whenever you ask something, you have the answer right away. There is a connection with 24-hour telephone service. No charge! That's a wonder of being enlightened.
Almighty Protection in a Crazy World
Spoken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai, Group Meditation in Virginia, USA, October 29, 1994 (Originally in English)
Actually, the world is crazy. In every corner, there is something happening, and the only reliable source for us is the spiritual strength that we derive from our practice and from our faith, which has been proven to us to be efficient. Up till now, any of you who have practiced diligently since the day of initiation will have experienced this protective power, which comes from the Almighty. And it is also within ourselves, because God dwells within you; the Buddha nature is inside you. Every religious scripture mentions that. The religious scriptures contain the experiences of the ancient practicing enlightened persons. So even if they were a thousand years before, we can also verify now by our own inner spiritual attainment. Whatever it says in the Bible, we can understand clearly since we have practiced the Quan Yin Method.
Spoken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai, Group Meditation in Singapore, September 29, 1994 (Originally in English)
You don't need to worry about hard work. You should work and spend your energy, because in our body, there are about seven chakras that can draw in the energy from the universe. They are just like a battery, automatically charged by universal power. That's why we can run our machine all the time. And when we meditate, this power is even in more abundance. So the more we give, the more it comes in. It will never stop. So don't worry. Don't worry about karma and helping people, or taking on karma and all that. If people need help, you should help.
We must always keep positive energy because if you think positive, if you can see your body, you will see that each bit of positive thinking will change the pattern of your aura, change your outlook, and change your energy inside. It becomes more overflowing and healthy. But if you think negative, just think anything negative or bad or miserable, then your pattern changes immediately.
Master of Peace and Love
By Convenient Method practitioner Steven Ceronie,
To Err Is Not Only Human
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Florida, U.S.A. June 11, 2001 (Originally in English)
Recently, there have been so many reports in the newspaper about airplane crashes and people dying, that people think airplanes are very unreliable. So the scientists and an aviation company were cracking their heads trying to make a new airplane that had no need for manpower; it was just completely automatic and electronic, with computer voice communication and all that.
So the first one ever was finally made. And everyone was very excited; the passengers who came up to board it for the first time were like the guests of honor. And they all came aboard and then everything was done. The doors closed, and they took off. When they were in mid-air already they heard a voice, speaking from the loudspeaker: "Dear valued customers, gentlemen and ladies. Welcome to the first ever electronically controlled airplane. We are forever done with human-controlled aircraft, because this is electronically piloted. You will be safe and secure. So just fasten your seatbelts, sit back and enjoy your trip. Because this is all electronically controlled, nothing can ever go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong, go wrong..." And then of course everyone panicked and ran and tried to find a way to get out. But there came a calm voice over the back-up system. It was a very calm, cool and collected voice, saying: "Ladies and gentlemen, sit back. There is nowhere to go but here and now." Then the same voice said, "Please repeat after me, 'Our Father who are in Heaven'..."
If you practice the Quan Yin Method, nothing can really go wrong. It's a bad joke, but it's also a good one. I like it very much.
Jesus Is Watching You
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Florida, U.S.A. June 13, 2001 (Originally in English)
There was a thief who broke into a house and started collecting things. Suddenly, he heard a voice coming from a dark corner saying, "Jesus is watching you." So he looked and looked, but he didn't see anyone. He thought maybe his ears were deluding him. So he continued collecting items in the house. And then there came a voice again: "Jesus is watching you!" This time it was louder. So he realized that his ears were not wrong. He followed the voice to find its source, and he found a parrot sitting there. So he asked the parrot, "Was it you who said that?" And the parrot confessed, "Yes, I was just trying to warn you." So the thief said, "Ha! Who do you think you are?" And the parrot said, "I am Moses." So the thief laughed and said, "Ha! What kind of stupid people would name a parrot Moses?" The parrot was very shy, but he said, "Well, probably the same people who named the Rottweiler dog 'Jesus'!" (A Rottweiler is a first-rate guard dog. And this one's name was Jesus. And he was watching the thief from somewhere. He weighed about 150 pounds.)
Turtle Gets the Last Laugh
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Florida, USA, June 13, 2001 (Originally in English)
Once upon a time in the forest, there was a very bad drought. And all the animals were dying because of a big famine. So the lion king gathered all the animals together to find a solution, to save the lives of his subjects. And then some animals suggested that since the time was very bad and the situation was so grave, they would have to eat each other to survive. But they also didn't want to eat each other so much, so they made a competition. Every one of them had to tell a joke. The joke had to be very funny, and everyone had to laugh. If it happened to be not funny enough so that even one of the animals in the assembly didn't laugh, then that animal had to be eaten. They had to eat each other to survive, because there was no food.
So the elephant came out and told a joke. And it was very funny! Everyone was rolling on the floor, laughing until they had stomach pains. But just one animal didn't laugh: the turtle. Ah! So everyone felt sorry, because the joke was really funny. But rules are rules. The turtle didn't laugh, so they went ahead and ate the elephant. And then they continued with another animal, the giraffe. He also told a very funny joke. Everyone laughed except the turtle; the turtle didn't laugh. Okay, rules are rules. So they ate the giraffe. And so on, and so on. After a while, almost all the animals had been eaten. Only a few were left when it came to the turn of the monkey to tell a joke, and he was very scared. He was nervous; he was trembling. He looked at the turtle and dared not open his mouth. But suddenly the turtle started laughing. "Ha ha ha ha! Ah ha ha ha! Ah ha ha! That was funny! The joke the elephant told was so funny!"
The Gentle and Merciful Heart of the Divine Mother
By sister initiate Hsiung Yi-chu, Tainan, Formosa
When I was initiated by Master in 1989, I was still a high school student. Since then, I have always been blessed with bliss. On Sundays and holidays, whenever I could find the time, I used to enjoy a short stay at the Hsihu Ashram, and then took the night bus home
I can still remember that day at Ilan Ashram, where our initiation session lasted late into the night. The ashram was a long way up the hill, so everyone hastily crowded into the small van that was taking them downhill. Filled with inner bliss, I was not in a mood to join the rush. In the end, only my older sister and I were left walking downhill. On the way, a white sedan car suddenly stopped by us. The window was rolled down, and there we saw Master looking at us with a smiling face. "Don't you have any transportation? These cookies and candies are for you!" She said. The next moment, we had a big heap of cookies and candies in our hands. Overwhelmed by emotion and joy, we could only smile at Master. Someone in the car told Master that one of the working team's vans would come and pick us up soon, then She said goodbye and left in the car. Soon after, one of the working team's vans came and took us downhill.
On another occasion, my sister and I had just arrived at the Hsihu Ashram and were walking by the toilets in the Ashram's small park. Suddenly, Master appeared and looked at us gently. Not wishing to hinder Her, we greeted Her briefly and proceeded to the Bamboo Grove. There, my older sister told me that she had felt car sick on the journey to the Ashram and was very uncomfortable after she arrived. That was why Master especially came to see us and bless my sister, after which she felt much better. I was amazed at Master's omniscience and immaculate consideration!
Jumping Really Hard
At another time, Master spoke to us in the small park at the Ashram. There were many fellow practitioners standing in front of me, so I jumped and jumped, hoping to catch a glimpse of Master. Unfortunately, however, I failed, because the fellow practitioners in front were too tall. Just when I was at my wit's end, Master suddenly said, "Can't you see me? Those in the front, squat down!" After everyone had squatted down, I could see Master smiling at me, and was overjoyed.
Another time, as we were seeing Master off at the main gate, my sisters and I were saying goodbye to Her at Her car window. Suddenly, Master pointed at a wheel of the car and said, "Watch out for the wheels! Don't let them crush your feet!" We nodded as Master departed. Shortly after, when one of my sisters was closing the main gate, the wheel of the gate suddenly moved and almost crushed her foot. Thanks to Master's reminder a short while earlier, the wheel barely missed her toe. Only then did we realize how much Master loved us. Even before leaving, She didn't forget to take care of Her disciples, even in regard to trivial matters.
In 1990, the Ashram underwent a renovation, and more flowers and grass were planted. As fellow practitioners were planting new grass in the small park, grass patches were cut neatly into square pieces, and placed on the soil about 60 cm from their adjacent squares in all directions. Seeing some sister initiates placing the patches on the ground at these carefully measured distances, we followed their example and did the same. Later, Master taught us a lesson: "You have to use your wisdom and love when you work. Don't just do it casually, causing trouble and wasting time. Just like the way you planted the grass, each patch was separated so far apart like by a river. When do you think the new grass will grow? And the soil beneath the grass is so dry. How can the grass absorb water? How can you plant grass in this way?"
Later, because we needed to plant some Korean grass around the basketball court, we had a chance to learn the proper grass-planting technique from Master. She taught us that, instead of planting it in small squares, we should gently divide the grass into patches with undulating edges. Before placing them, She said, we should first wet the soil beneath until it is muddy, then fit the grass patches alongside each other as in a jigsaw puzzle, leaving little space between to encourage smooth growth. Leaving too much or too little space would not be good for the grass' development, and so we should follow the "middle way." After that, we sprinkled some soil on top, and sprayed it with water to keep it wet. Then we remembered to water it every day. It didn't take us very long to find that the grass had flourished and turned a lovely green, totally different from the scattered dry grass patches in the small park. In the end, we had to dig up all the grass there and plant it again.
From such an insignificant task as planting grass, I observed Master's subtle love for plants and Her working spirit. Having to immerse our feet in the sticky mud, this grass-planting method was more troublesome, but the wet soil was precisely what the grass needed to grow close together under mutual encouragement. From this incident, I learned to work with wisdom and immaculate love, and to observe the environment with my heart.
One day, we were walking towards the Bamboo Grove with Master in the lead, and I was just behind Her. Suddenly Master stopped and told us all to stop as well, because an army of ants was crossing in front of us. Worried that we might step on them, Master led us by another route. The greatness of Master lies in Her constant observation of such seemingly insignificant details, and in Her infinite grace, love, and concern for all the beings around Her.
That year, whenever I had time to enjoy a short stay at the Hsihu Ashram, I always helped out with the Ashram's work. One day, when the Glass House was under construction, several sister initiates and I helped to carry some bricks and rocks. We were "book people" who usually held things no heavier than a pen, so moving a few bricks was tough enough for us! Nevertheless, we didn't give up, and exerted our utmost effort in doing the job. After a while, Master appeared with a big basket of cookies, candies, chocolates, and drinks, and told us to take a break and enjoy the refreshments. Laughingly, Master said, "You royal ladies are exhausted just by moving a few pieces of brick!" Ashamed, we could only look at each other and laugh. We knew very well within that Master had come to bless and comfort us because She was concerned about us fragile scholars. Naturally, we worked even harder afterwards.
"What Exactly Is the Time Now?"
One day in 1991, I made a mistake about the venue for meditation and went to the White Flowers Grove. Just when I had realized my mistake and was about to leave, I heard the announcement that Master was coming to give a discourse at the White Flowers Grove. Therefore, I climbed to the hilltop, chose a spot, and sat down to meditate. Unexpectedly, as more and more fellow initiates arrived, I noticed that the video equipment, microphone, and Master's chair had all been set up right in front of me. I thought, "Wow! I have never sat so close to Master before. This is really great!" Everyone then started to meditate, and I also closed my eyes to meditate. But then, a thought flashed through my mind: "Gosh! It is already twelve o'clock, and I am supposed to be on guard duty at the main hall at one o'clock. If Master is still talking, how can I stand up right before Her and find my way through the tightly packed fellow initiates to go downhill? I am now at the top of the hill! The fellow initiates are sitting so close to each other; I really hate to disturb them. But what can I do? Oh, Master! It would be best if You could finish Your discourse at twelve forty-five and give me fifteen minutes to get to the main hall downhill! But please do not end Your talk too early either, because I would like to sit close to You longer, since such a chance is very rare."
I had no idea when Master arrived; She seemed to have meditated with us for a while, and then told us to wake up. Then, She began Her discourse. Master was really very beautiful! Her face and whole body were radiant and seemed transparent. After speaking for some time, Master said, "Let us end the discourse here! What exactly is the time now?" All the fellow initiates looked at their watches and replied simultaneously, "Twelve forty-five!" Master continued to say, "Twelve forty-five? All right, you are dismissed!" Oh, my God! What a shock! In my heart, I was both touched and ashamed. I was touched by Master's response to the request of every sentient being; and Her consideration for Her disciples. I was ashamed because I shouldn't have disturbed Master from within with my concern about the guard duty problem. Since then, I have truly come to understand that Master is one with us; She always receives our thoughts. Therefore, we ought to think of good and noble things, and keep our actions, speech and thoughts pure at all times.
The Most Delicious Cakes on Earth
One day in 1992, at the Laiyi Ashram, Master was distributing blessed food to each fellow initiate. We went up to Her one by one, and She would grab a handful of candies and put them into our hands. When it was my turn, I was already standing right in front of Master, but She seemed to be searching the basket and finally found five pieces of cake, each of a different flavor, and gave them to me. She smiled at me for a long while, but tears had welled up in my eyes. It was incredible that Master would know that I loved cakes instead of candies. (My teeth were ruined during childhood because I had a sweet tooth.) With Master's infinite love for all of Creation being one with Her, She knows everything without the need for worldly language. Looking at these five most delicious pieces of cake in the world, which had been specially chosen by Master for me, tears of joy and emotion rolled down my cheeks as I savored Her great divine love.
My most unforgettable experience was a great obstacle and ordeal that left me totally helpless and agonized. After weeping and pouring forth my grief in front of Master's photo, I meditated and then fell asleep. Suddenly, Master appeared to me in my dream, gazed at me lovingly, then came very close and embraced my shoulder with Her arm, Her cheek close to mine. In this way, we walked forward together. I felt supremely blessed and blissful. It is impossible to describe this warm and intimate feeling! Master's dress was pristine white in color, and made of a very elegant fabric printed with very beautiful simple, colored patterns. I thought, "This dress is really beautiful!" Then, I suddenly awoke from my dream, which appeared so vividly real that it simply didn't seem like a dream! Then I noticed with amazement that Master had been wearing the same dress as the one in the photo next to my pillow. It was also made of a pure white and elegant fabric. The only difference was that in the photo, Master was holding the jacket in Her hand, while in the dream, She was wearing it! Her hair style was also the same, a royal lady's style with Her hair pinned upwards. Obviously, Master's manifestation form had come to comfort me, having observed that I was in great pain.
Master has told us that, at anytime, She is forever with us. Whether we are in joy or pain, She will always walk with us shoulder to shoulder, and never forsake us; She will take care of us forever, keeping watch on us by our side until we become Enlightened Masters ourselves. This is really true. Walking on the spiritual path under Master's guidance, I have cultivated myself a great deal within. I truly feel that, having found such a great Master, in addition to being extremely grateful, we disciples can only practice even more diligently to attain great wisdom, enlightenment, and liberation, which is the only way to repay Master's boundless grace.
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God's Exceptional Ways of Education
Compiled and written by the Taipei News Group, Formosa
There are many turning points in life. Very often, whenever we encounter an ordeal, we suddenly become enlightened after a period of distress or gradual acceptance. Whether it is a "gain" or "loss" only our hearts can tell. This is the sincere feeling of brother initiate Hsieh, after the misty fog in his heart was blown away by Nari, the type of typhoon that rarely occurs in Formosa, but which recently "paid a visit" to brother Hsieh's sweet home.
Brother Hsieh lives in a residential family home, a concrete structure built according to the land contours halfway up Yangming Mountain. Despite several warnings issued on TV about the strong typhoon approaching Formosa, with its heavy rainfall, and the possible mudslides that could affect the island's mountainous areas, brother Hsieh and his family went about their normal daily routine without taking any precautions, because no mishaps had ever occurred at their home in the past.
On the evening of September 16, 2001, brother Hsieh washed his hair and, as usual, dried it in the kitchen, which was situated on a slope behind his home. He then went to his bedroom to meditate. His father habitually went out to inspect the courtyard, the drainage sewers in the backyard, and the kitchen on the slope. While meditating, brother Hsieh vaguely heard his father enter the sitting room. Then, a thunderous sound came from the rear of the house. The kitchen on the back slope had collapsed under the sudden onslaught of a torrential flow of muddy water, and had fallen on the last row of concrete houses on the slope. Rocks of all sizes, washed down by the muddy water, smashed through the windows into the rooms and then rushed through the doors into the living room and out into the courtyard at lower levels. Brother Hsieh's house had suddenly become an outlet for a mudslide!
Although the water level in the house was still low, the mudslide was gathering strength and kept moving down toward the house. So, brother Hsieh's father realized that there was no way to contain another attack of mountain torrents. He instructed the whole family to bring along their valuables, and they quickly went downhill to take refuge at their neighbor's home. Brother Hsieh took along his meditation cushion, and as he left, looked back and saw Master's CDs, audiotapes, and videotapes on the wooden floor of his Japanese-style room. Since he had to leave immediately with his family, there was no time to move them to a higher place. He was very sad, because if the water level rose 10 cm in the living room, his precious collection would be destroyed! At that critical moment, he had no option but to leave the house reluctantly. His father was very wise to leave the main gate of the courtyard open, so that the water and debris could flow down the slope.
As brother Hsieh and his family walked downhill, they found that part of the road foundation had been washed away by the mountain torrents that were rushing down, bringing with them many rocks. It was pitch dark, and they could only rely on the dim light of their flashlights to escape downhill, fumbling in the dark and risking the danger of being hit by rocks. However, brother Hsieh was not afraid; he firmly believed that Master would take care of his whole family, and their homestead up the hill as well.
In this hazardous situation, they finally found their way to the home of a familiar neighbor, who received them like VIPs. The cordial help from the neighbor warmed their hearts in this time of disaster. Brother Hsieh and his wife promptly borrowed a room in which to meditate, to thank Master for protecting their family from the threat of the mountain torrents and mudslide. They also prayed that Master would turn away any further danger. During his more than eight-year practice of the Quan Yin Method, brother Hsieh has always been affirmative about Master's power: "We only have to do well what we have to do, then Master definitely will make the best arrangement. We simply leave everything to Master!"
After meditating for about two hours, brother Hsieh went into the living room of his neighbor's house to take a look outside and noticed that the wind and rain seemed to have gathered strength. His mother then told him that his father had gone back alone to the house uphill two hours earlier, and had not returned! Outside, police cars repeatedly blared the warning message: "Huge landslides in this area have caused very severe mudslides. Please evacuate quickly!" Brother Hsieh believed that, though his father was not a fellow initiate, Master would take care of him all the same. He firmly assured his mother that his father was going to be all right, and just as he was about to go out looking for him, his father returned. He had gone back to remove the rocks from the sewers in front of the house, so that the water and debris could drain away more smoothly.
It was amazing that a seventy-year-old man could have had the strength to wade back and forth in a sewer filled with raging water, moving rocks in heavy wind and rain on a dark night lit only by a dim flashlight, for more than two hours. On the way up the hill and back, he had to walk on a road that had already become a rapid, muddy river, and risked being hit by large rocks at any time. The fact that his father had come back safe and sound gave brother Hsieh even greater faith in the protective power of the Enlightened Master!
The next day, the rain had somewhat subsided, and brother Hsieh's family returned home. They found that their courtyard had been covered by a layer of yellow mud, but the furniture in the living room was still there; the mudslide had not carried it away. Brother Hsieh rushed into his bedroom, and to his great relief, all of Master's CDs, audiotapes and videotapes lay untouched on the wooden floor. There was no trace of water in his room; even the quilts were dry. The mud torrents had stayed away from his bedroom, leaving everything inside untouched! Brother Hsieh was very grateful to Master for taking care of his family and protecting their homestead. Even his non-initiate parents were amazed at Master's almighty power. The typhoon might have caused material damage to their home, but this was only a superficial "loss." If this experience could lead their whole family to practice spiritually on the same path in the future, it would be an invaluable "gain!"
Knowing that brother Hsieh's family had been hit by typhoon Nari, many fellow initiates from the local area brought shovels, spades, sandbags and food, and came to help clear the mud and rocks that had heaped up knee-high in the rooms at the back of their house. Several sister initiates took turns preparing hot food to serve the Hsieh family and the fellow practitioners who were helping them. Thus, though their kitchen was gone, they could still enjoy hot meals. Brother Hsieh knew very well that his family had benefited from the grace of Master. If he had not joined the Quan Yin family, where could he have found so many fellow brothers and sisters to help him so earnestly in his time of need? His parents also felt the brotherly love shown among the fellow initiates, and thus developed a better understanding of the Quan Yin Method!
Brother Hsieh's deep reflections were that usually, when he did volunteer-work for local centers, he was always passive. Rarely did he humbly take the initiative to find work to do. But during the typhoon Nari disaster, the active and eager help rendered by local fellow initiates made him realize that "contributing wholeheartedly, with total effort and love" is what a true spiritual practitioner should do!
Master often says, "One person practices the Quan Yin Method, and his relatives and ancestors will also be taken care of." When brother Hsieh's kitchen collapsed, if his father had left the area just a moment later, the consequences would have been unthinkably grave. Master also protected this seventy-year-old father when he was clearing the rocks from the sewer, climbing up and down the hill on the night of the typhoon, and walking back and forth on the hazardous mountain road. Brother Hsieh said, "My whole family believes that this is a miracle manifested by Master!"
The Real Noah's Ark
By sister initiate Meimi, Sanhsia, Taipei County, Formosa
When typhoon Nari struck northern Formosa on September 17, 2001, it brought torrential downpours that lasted fifty hours, completely inundating the land. The scene easily brought to mind the Biblical story of Noah's Ark. But where is Noah's Ark in this real world?
The media reported that rising rivers had overflowed their embankments, and many areas in metropolitan Taipei had become flooded. People from the ground floor levels of buildings sought refuge on higher floors, some moving to the second floor, and some even moving to the third floor, while others were forced to abandon their homes completely with the help of rescue teams. Taipei had become like an ants' nest, as people fled or moved their automobiles to higher elevations.
Fortunately, I live in a suburb that is higher than the surrounding area. But after two full days of heavy rain, the hill that we once considered a supporting backdrop behind our apartment complex had turned into an enormous threat to people's lives and property. Panic spread when the borough administrator issued warnings of possible mudslides over the loudspeaker at about one or two a.m. People ventured out into the night to wander about in the heavy rain. We once again experienced the unease and fear that we had felt when we were forced to leave our homes on the night of the September 21,1999 earthquake. This time, the gusty winds, relentless rain, and loosened soil and rocks brought tremors to the hearts of all in the community. No one knew when the ruthless downpours might trigger a mudslide.
Daybreak finally came, and perhaps the god of rain had become a little tired. As the rain was less strong, we wasted no time in inspecting the hill behind us. Four landslides had occurred near our apartment complex. Several makeshift garages had collapsed and basements were flooded, but fortunately, the situation was not very serious. The building adjacent to ours, however, had been under imminent danger during the night. In the early morning light, we saw the horrifying scene of a wild waterfall rushing down the slope from an elevation of five or six stories. We were only a wall apart, but the slope behind our apartment complex remained wooded, while the area behind this adjacent building looked as though it had been skinned and ripped apart. We thanked God that the supporting backdrop of trees on the slope behind us had stood firmly.
After a night of frightening experiences, when weather forecasters reported that the typhoon was moving southward, my brothers and sisters and I in Taipei urged our mother and second brother, who live in our hometown in Changhua, central Formosa, to move their possessions to the second floor of their home. Even our brother, an obstinate man who has lived by the sea since childhood and did not think the current storm was a big deal based on his countless experiences, became cautious after repeated warnings from seven brothers and sisters as well as nieces and nephews in Taipei, plus the tragic scenes he saw of Taipei on TV.
Our hometown lies on a lower elevation than that of the neighboring villages, near the area where the Chuoshui River flows into the sea. If the embankments in the area collapsed and the sea level rose, even the second floor would not be safe enough. We repeatedly urged our mother to prepare enough food, asked our brother to prepare a rubber boat, and warned him to stay away from the local fields and duck sheds. We, being away from our hometown, could only keep up with news of the typhoon via daily TV or radio reports. When the typhoon slowly advanced toward Taichung and Changhua, we thought perhaps our hometown would not be spared. When I saw the neighboring village submerged under water on TV, I could do nothing but pray for Master's help.
As the typhoon continued to move further south, to Yunlin and Chiayi, it meant that the worst had passed in Changhua. I called, and my mother said happily on the phone, "It's okay. It's okay. The water was stopped by the road leading to our village! Everyone in the village is so happy!" We all heaved a deep sigh of relief, and felt that it was incredible, just like a miracle! Suddenly I was enlightened. Although it is an unchanging universal law that water flows from higher to lower elevations, Master has said that anyone devoted to spiritual practice after initiation can benefit his or her ancestors: "We provide for the people and God will provide for us. That is the way of working in the universe." She also tells us, "To help others is to help ourselves." My little brother is a happy Quan Yin practitioner, who has followed Master for over ten years. He practices diligently and serves the public wholeheartedly. I myself am on the translation team. Our participation in this kind of voluntary work is not worthy of mention, but it shows that Master always repays us fully when we need Her help most badly! Thank You, Master! You are the real Noah's Ark.
The Mudslide That Turned Aside
Reported by sister initiate Liu Yu-hui, Keelung, Formosa
After taking an unusual route and hovering over the Pacific Ocean for several days, typhoon Nari, heavily loaded with rain and timing its arrival with the monthly rise of the tides, unleashed its fury on Formosa on September 17, 2001. Seeming as though it were collaborating with the sea god Neptune, the storm played out a tragic flood drama accompanied by a symphony of wind and rain.
Power and water supplies were cut off for many days. News came that the water level had risen to unprecedented levels in Hsichih, Tingnei, Chitu and other areas of northern Formosa. Even areas where anti-flood precautions were usually unnecessary, such as downtown Keelung and the eastern districts of Taipei, were flooded. In addition to the heavy flooding in the north, central Formosa was affected as well. Mudslides occurred, houses collapsed, vehicles were submerged under water, people were washed away, and great loss of property was incurred. The situation was truly distressful.
After the typhoon moved on, among the many painful complaints by residents, I heard a story about a sister initiate who lives in a low-lying area. She was doing her midnight meditation when she suddenly awoke and opened her door to find that the rising water was only a few inches from her home. She quickly awakened her family and evacuated them to a higher place, and within minutes, water had submerged their home, which had never been flooded in the thirty odd years they had lived there. When I visited her, the house was a complete mess, being filled with mud, and the furniture was soaked. The sister initiate cleaned the house in a depressed mood. But on the other hand, she felt deep gratitude that her whole family was safe. She told me with a resolute smile that she would attend group meditation that evening.
Wearing my rain boots, I continued my journey on motorbike to the most serious disaster area--Tingnei. In the lowlands of this area, all one story houses were submerged by water when typhoon Xangsane struck Formosa last year. This year, typhoon Nari pushed the water level above the second story of many houses.
I had to travel on a muddy mountain road to get to brother Lu's home. The road was flanked by huge heaps of waist-high mud, and water was still rushing down between them. The two-way road had become a small stream. All the basements of the apartment complexes and buildings in the area were submerged. (This was on the third day after the disaster.) As people were busy cleaning their homes, excavators and soldiers joined in the restoration work. Trucks came back and forth to carry away the mud.
Driving upward, I arrived at brother Lu's home. To its right front was a multistory apartment complex--Lucky Plaza--that had been severely damaged by landslides caused indirectly by over-development.
There used to be two beautiful, lofty mountain crests facing brother Lu's home. Several months ago, the landlord erected a sheet metal fence in front of them, and the neighboring grocery store built a makeshift sheet metal house about the size of a 20-foot container nearby. Brother Lu thought that the neighbor had perhaps wanted to use it as a garage or warehouse, but then, the house was left unused for months.
When typhoon Nari brought torrential downpours during the night, a rapid flow of muddy water carrying rocks and other debris rushed toward brother Lu's home at tremendous speed. Then, suddenly a miracle occurred! The fence and makeshift house sent the mudslide on a 90-degree swerve, and the water, mud, sand, and everything else slid safely past his home. It was truly amazing!
"Master had already arranged all this!" said brother Lu with full gratitude.
I took some pictures of a few rocks at the door, the twisted and damaged asphalt-paved road, and the makeshift house, in front of which were rocks of different sizes. I also recorded the traces of the 90-degree-swerve made by the mudslide as evidence of the miracle.
Inside Brother Lu's home was a miraculous scene showing that nothing had happened! Master, in a full green dress, was smiling in a large picture in the sitting room. She seemed to be Mother Nature, saying, "Nature changes, just as our lives are ephemeral. Only those who practice the Quan Yin Method are under the best protection." Thinking of the scenes on my way here, and imagining how horrifying it must have been on the night of the disaster, I felt a great sense of shock in my heart!
In this house, which Master visited three times, I felt "safety" under Her care.
fr4-128-1: The 90-degree swerve of the mudslide near brother Lu's
Heading Off Disasters
Narrated by brother Wang, Mainland China, Recorded by a Quan Yin messenger
Brother Wang and his then eight-year-old daughter were initiated in August 1996. In the years since, he has felt that it is the highest blessing to follow Master on the spiritual path. He finds himself peaceful, elated, and blissful all the time, and his wisdom has also increased unconsciously. Even when he encounters unexpected incidents, he still remains calm in his heart.
Brother Wang recently recalled an incident that occurred shortly after his initiation. One morning, he was preparing to go to work while his daughter was leaving for school. Strangely, the little girl returned soon after she left and said, "Dad, take care. Don't let anything happen!" Brother Wang was quite puzzled and thought, "What could happen?" For safety's sake, he took a routine check around his apartment and when he got to the kitchen, he heard a squeaky sound coming from the gas pipe leading to the stove. He checked it carefully and found that the pipe had a break. Gas was leaking out continuously. "What an accident there could have been!" he thought. If he had not found the leak in time, an explosion might have been triggered if more and more gas had accumulated in the kitchen and a fire had been lit or an electric appliance turned on. It could have endangered not only his family but also many neighbors, and the result would have been unimaginable! After this incident, brother Wang asked his daughter, "Why did you say what you did?" And she answered, "I had dreamed many times of a fire breaking out in our apartment, but I dared not mention it because they were inner experiences. However, I could not keep it to myself anymore that day, so I reminded you."
Later, another unexpected incident occurred in brother Wang's apartment. His daughter was at home alone one day, when she heard a noise in the corridor and thought it was a neighbor. She opened the door to take a look, and saw a stranger coming out of a neighbor's apartment. The stranger saw her and broke into their apartment at once. Holding a knife in his hand, the robber asked her, "Where is the money?" and she answered, "I don't know." The robber then ordered her to face the wall and began searching the apartment. The little girl remained calm, without fighting back, and even thought, "Take whatever you want!"
The robber searched the apartment thoroughly but found no cash and nothing valuable other than two gold necklaces. Before he left, the little sister said, "Goodbye, uncle!" When the robber had gone, she ran to brother Wang's working unit and reported the incident to him in a humorous way: "Dad, a stranger paid us a visit just now and turned everything in our apartment upside down!" Brother Wang rushed home and carefully checked the apartment, only to find that both of Master's books and his most cherished treasure placed under them had been left untouched. He felt greatly relieved.
Later, the robber was caught committing another crime. At his police inquiry, he readily admitted robbing brother Wang's apartment. When the police asked him why he had not hurt the little girl, he answered, "I only wanted money. Besides, she called me 'uncle'!"
Brother Wang said that he and his family will never forget how time and again Master has warded off disaster for them! Her meticulous care and concern are difficult to describe in human language.
Use History As a Good Teacher
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. March 14, 1996 (Originally in English)
Realize Your Treasure of Intelligent Wisdom
We can change many things with our spiritual power. Everyone knows that, even some lamas, who don't have to practice very highly, but can still change the weather. We don't have to do that. We just practice and everything changes according to what we want. Maybe that's the best. Since we began practicing the Quan Yin Method here in California, I think California now has the most disciples, and because I come here more often, the weather since then has become very good. It may be a coincidence, but it's a nice coincidence. (Applause) So actually, I think it's good. I think everywhere we change. If we practice the Quan Yin Method, things will change, I am sure.
There was a story about a master who went to different countries to give lectures. One of the disciples who had the heavenly eye open traced the master's tour on a map. Then he knew where the master was going, and afterwards he checked with the local initiates about where the master had been. So wherever he went, it was raining, raining, raining. It was a very dry country-like India, which sometimes also doesn't have enough water. But when the master moved anywhere there, the rain came, just exactly like that. It was just like he used the rain to mop his road. It was beautiful.
So the disciple "saw" that, and then he checked it out with the local fellow practitioners. And it was exactly like what he saw. Really, the Quan Yin Method is fantastic. We cannot describe all the benefits we will derive from this Supreme Method. Sometimes I wish the whole world would know this, but we have to be patient. If you think I am not a patient person, I think you'd better think again. Because, if I were not patient, I could not bear this. I could not bear that with such a beautiful method and so Supreme and so Almighty a power, people would just ignore it and live in misery. Every day they beg for a little merit from God or whatever, and they don't even know that they have everything inside.
Sometimes I have to be patient with disciples like you, too. Because it's such a beautiful thing and you don't even bother so much. "Two and a half hours, what? I don't have time!" You don't make enough use of your treasure. So if you think I'm not patient, you'd better think again. If I were not patient, I couldn't bear this, really. Real patience is like that. It's not that if I don't scold anyone, that means I have patience. I do have patience. Because sometimes if a person is not initiated and comes to my house for any reason, and if he is behaving the way you sometimes do, I do not scold him. I do not tell him off; I do not make him do anything. I just slowly and nicely tell him all the things to do. For example, if he keeps standing around, I say, "Oh! Please sit down." Later, if he stands up again, I say, "Please, sit down."
But because I care for you, you are my responsibility. So I just have to hurry up and speed up your recovery. It's just like you care about your children and how they behave. Even a little failure you cannot bear. But with the neighbors, you don't care if they are at the bottom of the class. You don't worry about the neighbor's behavior or his education. But with your children, you care. You scold them, you encourage them, you love them sometimes and then you're strict with them sometimes. You watch every move of your children, but not of the neighbor's. Similarly, whatever you see from me, whether I behave well or am in a bad mood or whatever, this is you. It's just a reflection.
Peaks of Civilization and Cycles of War
I'll tell you a story about very nice things that happened before, a few thousand years ago. Just to let you know that in the old times people also had very high civilizations, not just now. And then sometimes, according to the research or according to history, our previous ancient civilizations were destroyed somehow by war--perhaps by Star Wars or planetary wars between each other, or by civil war between brotherhoods. Because every civilization will develop up to a peak, a very high peak. And then if the people in that society do not take care to preserve their inner power to control themselves, and to make wiser use of their scientific knowledge, then there will be trouble. One will compete with another to seize the newest discovery and become a master of the other race, or the other side of the continent or the other planet. And that's why war will begin. And then, when the war is finished, everything's finished.
But that's the trouble with humankind; we never learn. As you see around us right now, many countries still haven't learned this lesson. Every time we go to war, our country becomes bankrupt. It will be in poverty for a long, long time. Everyone knows that; all the leaders of every country know that. But they just go to war for any reason rather than have peace. Sometimes they just want to intimidate other people. But what if the plan goes wrong? Then both sides will misunderstand each other. Small things lead to bigger things, and then there will be an explosion. Then war will start all over again, and then our civilization might be gone, just like the ones that have been discovered recently from the Atlantic dig or ancient Atlantis, or the ancient alien people.
And now we think, "Oh! How come they were so civilized before?" They must have been, at some time. Maybe they were even more civilized than we are. Even in the Bible, there is some recording of the wife of Lot. When she turned around to look, she turned into a pillar of salt. It looks like the effect of an atom bomb or something like that, like a highly chemical weapon, that can "chemicalize" people. It just burns them into ashes and then looks like salt from over there.
So there have been a lot of wars before, too. And of course there have been a lot of discoveries and inventions, maybe far superior to what we have nowadays. So there is no reason for us to really be proud of what we have right now, or to rely so definitely on these kinds of transient means, like scientific apparatus. But we always do that. Every time we discover something, we think we are great. And then we destroy everything, and we start from A-B-C again.
I'll read you a story that maybe will illustrate this. This story happened in China. The Chinese people were the first inventors of many kinds of modern-day equipment. Of course, at that time perhaps it was a little bit cruder or in a very elementary form. But then later they developed more and more. Or maybe the European or American people learned from their ideas and then made them even more civilized and refined.
For example, the Chinese people invented firecrackers. And they have been used for New Year's, just to make fun and have fun, and to scare the ghosts away, or to celebrate a very noisy and boisterous occasion, or when they get married or something like that. But mind you, the Chinese use firecrackers for anything. (Audience laughs) If someone dies, they burn firecrackers. If someone marries, they burn firecrackers. When they feel lousy, they burn firecrackers. When they feel happy, they also burn firecrackers. When they celebrate a birthday, they burn firecrackers. And when they celebrate Ching Hai Day, they also burn firecrackers. (Applause) You have heard them many times, during my birthday or Ching Hai Day. They burn our ears, too, with all kinds of noises; they love it. I've gotten used to it by now, with all the drums and gongs and the firecrackers and things like that.
These firecrackers were invented by the Chinese many thousands of years ago. And they used them for fun. Then there came the Europeans. And they used them to kill. That's how the gun was invented. The first guns were used with the Chinese. Before, the Chinese didn't have guns. The first time the Europeans discovered the firecrackers' explosive powder from the Chinese, they bought it. Then they refined it. They made it become guns, or cannons. And they sold it back to the Chinese. At that time, the first king who possessed the cannons or those explosive substances, became the greatest conqueror of China at that time. So it's like that. Inventions sometimes are harmless for children, and then other people use them in a more murderous way.
Ice cream was also invented by the Chinese and many other things. That's why before, when the European people first visited China, they were also very astounded and very surprised. It was such a beautiful fairy tale-like kingdom that existed. And, as with every other thing, beauty sometimes attracts the beast and makes a lot of trouble. So I don't really know what to tell you. If you have a lot of things, like you have beauty, talents, money and all that, then maybe you attract the envy of other people. And sometimes it is the source of your misery or misfortune. So should I tell you to live in poverty or just to have a simple life and not care about money or things like that? Then life is also not very comfortable for you, especially in America. You can't walk on foot like in the Himalayas. You will be starving because the supermarket is at least three hours away--by car. Everything here is counted by hours!
A Robot: A Gift to the King
There was a king in China. His name was Chou Mu Wang. Chou Mu Wang was a king about two thousand five hundred years ago, during the Warring Period. One time, he went hunting. Most kings are bored. They have nothing to do, so they go and kill animals. It's terrible; if they cannot kill humans, then they kill animals. I think they are always training themselves in the art of war. That is a mistake from the beginning. And that's why China has always been, off and on almost all the time during history, always at war with one another or with another neighboring country, or within themselves. Or they go and make war with animals.
So this king was no exception. He went hunting somewhere in the mountains, where there was a mountain called Yen Shan. And then he came back and went back to his palace. On the way home, there was an offering made for the king. The offering was not in the form of a material gift but in the form of a person. Someone gave him a very well-skilled artisan. His name was Yen Shih. And then Mu Wang, the king, asked the artisan to come to him and asked him, "What kind of talent do you have?" Yen Shih, the man who was supposed to be the gift for the king, answered him, saying, "Your Majesty, tell me to do anything, and I will try. Whatever your Majesty wants me to do, I will try it. But I have already invented a machine. It is a robot. I would like to give it to your Majesty to inspect, if you please."
So the king, Mu Wang, said to him, "Of course, of course. Tomorrow, bring it here to me, and I will have a look." And then of course the next day Yen Shih brought the machine to the king. And the king was very surprised and asked the artisan, "Who is following you behind there?" And Yen Shih said, "That is the machine person I have invented." See that? It was so good that the king was fooled into thinking that it was another person following him. Even today, robots don't look like that. (Audience laughs) Not like that yet! Not when we see the "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" or something like that. It looks like our "Hoover" vacuum machine in the dining room, but it doesn't look like a person that can fool us. But this person, two thousand five hundred years ago, more or less, had already invented such a "person." Of course, on other planets there are inventions like this, and it's very common--I've heard this, but there's no guarantee.
And so this "person" was so much like a human being that the king was shocked. He kept looking at the robot, and he saw that this person walked, ran, and bowed his head to the king. Like when we go to see the king or a high personage, we bow to pay respect to them. The robot did exactly like everyone else does, exactly like a human being.
Then when the artisan, the inventor, or we can call him now a scientist, when he just touched something at the chin of the robot, the robot began to sing! It had a very beautiful, precise voice. And then when the inventor raised the robot's hand, he began to dance, in very sophisticated and complicated movements, like a great skillful dancer. Not only that, he could do ten thousand and one, all kinds of entertainment activities, exactly like a very skillful, talented, trained person. Whatever you wanted him to do, the robot could do, and with such skill and precision that the king was very shocked and started to believe that he was a real person.
And then one of his very beloved concubines watched with him, and all the other beautiful maidens in the palace also surrounded the robot. And they all watched in amazement. Then after the robot finished his entertainment program, he even winked. (Audience laughs) He winked, making a kind of flirtatious sign with the beloved concubine of the king. So then the problems began! The robot was so real that the king was very angry. It's like a boy who winks at a beautiful woman with a motive. So the king became racked with anger, and he was very jealous. He wanted to kill both of them--Yen Shih, the man who invented it, as well as the robot. He believed that both of them were real.
The Invention Is "Too Real" for the King
Yen Shih, the inventor, was terrified. He immediately kneeled down and said, "Please, please, no! It's a mistake; he's not real, he's not real; let me prove it first!" And so he took out some of the screws, and immediately the robot dropped dead and could not move anymore. Then Yen Shih slowly took out the arms and legs, stomach and ears and everything. He showed the king that inside it was all machining, not a real person. And then the king also saw inside, that they had obviously painted the wood or metal, into a heart and liver. Everything that was done was just machinery. But it was so exactly like a person that even underneath the skin of the robot there were arteries and veins like the circulation system of a human body.
So the inventor took everything out. And then he also took out the teeth, the ears, the eyes and everything for the king to examine. And then the king was kind of convinced. He told the inventor to take out the heart of the robot and see what happened. And then the robot just shut up; he could not speak anymore. He told the inventor to take out the liver of the robot. Then the robot could not wink or see anymore. He took out his kidneys, and the robot could not walk anymore. And the king sighed in relief that after all, it was truly just a robot. His anger subsided, his jealousy disappeared, and he forgave both of them.
But then he shook his head in amazement and wonder, thinking, "How can you try to replace God? How can you do the work of the Creator? Are you in competition with Hirm?" Maybe. But of course the inventor could not explain or say anything. Perhaps he was a great scientist. So after that, the king told his subordinates to bring a truck, and then they brought the robot and the inventor back to where they belonged.
Despite All the Inventions, Is There Really Anything "New"?
Also before, the Chinese invented a machine that could go to the clouds. They called it a "cloud elevator." Because they would use it to go up to the clouds. It must have been the most primitive form of airplane. It was already fantastic at that time, which was another, different time. It was a different person, different place. And also, another person invented the flying bird machine, which was an airplane too, perhaps. Both inventors were thinking that their invention was already top-class. But no one can even imagine that a person could invent such a "real" robot that looked just like a human being. So at that time, the robot was even better than those inventions of before, the flying machine and the cloud elevator. Maybe they had the UFO before, and the airplane. It looks like it, and also even the robot.
But after these two persons who invented the flying machine bird and the cloud elevator heard of this "person"robot, they began to shut up. They dared not boast about their inventions anymore. So it must have been in the same Warring Period.
I heard that at that time, during this Warring Period of Chinese history, many other funny and strange stories happened, like many strange personages appeared. It seems that they appeared from another planet, like what we call extraterrestrial aliens. Because they had a lot of weapons similar to what we hear nowadays that the aliens used, like the laser weapon--that froze people and made people paralyzed on the spot, or destroyed everything. And at that time, during the Warring Period of China, they called these people magicians. What they did was just like magic. They could create all kinds of illusionary objects in the air that destroyed the enemy with no other remedy for it. It looks like at that time we already had Star Wars of some kind, so Star Wars might not have been fiction at all. It might have been truth, or maybe at least contained some parts of truth in it. Otherwise, how could people of three thousand years ago in a remote area like China--at that time China, America and Europe didn't really have contact--so how could they speak about the same thing?
During that time, they didn't use ordinary weapons. The way they describe them, they were just like guns or laser weapons, and extremely sophisticated and powerful killing methods. At that time, the Chinese described them as great magicians who came from high above, from Heaven, like in the book of "Feng Shen Pang" (Honor List of Deification). It must have been true somehow. This is described in Chinese history; it is not fiction. So three thousand years ago, we already had what we have today, and it might have even been much better.
Lately I read some newspapers that said they have already discovered evidence of the atom bomb three thousand years ago. Archaeologists have dug up a site that had been buried under the earth, which was destroyed by an atom bomb. The evidence of radioactive elements still left behind has been tested, and they said it must have been an A-bomb. Maybe the story in the Bible about Lot's wife coincides with this A-bomb of three thousand years ago. So our planet at one time or another must have been destroyed by us or by a war with other planets, due to some political reason or different system of government. So perhaps there's nothing new under the Sun, and perhaps we should not be at all proud of any physical invention we happen to possess at the moment or we happen to know of. Our ancestors already knew about it, and were much better, much more sophisticated than we are now. But what did they do? What did they use them for? Just to kill or destroy themselves, perhaps by mistake, perhaps by the uncontrollable events of war. So you see, it's for nothing good. The invention of a killing method or apparatus is never of any use for mankind. Still, we don't learn; we are still warring with each other at this time.
All the heads of state in the world should read about "The Warring Period of China," or the "Feng Shen Pang" (Honor List of Deification), or "The Three Kingdoms." Maybe they would learn something. But maybe they'll think, "Oh! The Chinese again! They have a great imagination." They probably will not believe that there is some truth in it. When I read "The Warring Period of China," there were many fantastic things that are just like what we have nowadays. For example, in "The Warring Period of China", it describes something about those highly qualified or wise persons involved in the Warring Period at that time who used magic to destroy each other. They had a method of receiving news. For example, a person just meditated there or sat in his house or in his mansion or in his cave. And suddenly he heard a strange wind passing by him. And then he let the beginning of the wind pass, and then he caught the wind and listened to the news. What could that be? You can read the story, and you'll know. You'll know if you read it. If you haven't, you'd better read it. It's a fantastic book. It is one of the six Chinese kinds of treasure literatures. And I read them when I was very young. And even at a young age, at six, seven, it was already fascinating to me. I read it day and night until my father chased me out of the fairy business. (Audience laughs) But then I hid somewhere and continued, or waited until he was gone. Because it was so fascinating. I did not know it was a famous Chinese book of literature. I just loved it. And I read almost all of the Chinese classics, I think all of them. Whatever Chinese classic was very famous, I read them all, when I was very young. By the age of seven, I had finished all the Chinese kingdoms, conquered them all. (Master and all laugh) (Applause)
So you see, history repeats itself again and again. We always say that, but we don't know. And we don't try to control history. Many leaders of nations nowadays still try to make history in the same drastic way and try to write history again with blood.
May All Become Awakened
I hope one day we all will be awakened to the Truth. Even if we don't practice the Quan Yin Method or anything, we should live in peace with each other. Everyone says peace; every government is just screaming at the top of their voice, "We are for freedom, democracy, for the people and prosperity, liberty and brotherhood, equality, everything, everything!" But look at what they do to their country and their people: It's a laughingstock. I don't know how they can say that and then sleep at night, while they tell white lies or black lies and they don't even feel anything about it. Or perhaps they're so fanatic in their minds that they can't even see their own mistakes. Perhaps they were born with such a quality that it is natural to them, just like it's natural for the fish to swim in the sea or for the bird to fly in the sky. Some people are born killers perhaps, born bad, born negative, born masters of murder and mass murderers. If you kill a person here, you're in trouble. But in the war, they direct guns at thousands and millions of innocent people and children, and no one ever prosecutes anyone. They just say, "Too bad." And after all this separation of families and friends, all the damage of property, youth, intelligence, and human life and treasure, no one says anything. Maybe later there's a little bit of an apology, like "Sorry," or not even that.
Just like nowadays, people still press Japan to say "sorry" for World War Two, but they still keep their mouth shut. They don't say anything. And for all the people's sorrow and suffering, no one cares. They say they care, but who does care? If they did care, they would have taken care of more of the refugees in the world instead of driving them home mercilessly using all means. If they did care, they would stop war and never start it again. But most of the leaders, why do they start wars? Because it doesn't affect them that much. It doesn't matter how many people die or how much national property has been damaged, they are okay! They still have enough to eat all the time, and they still live in luxury. They still have their limousine, their private airplane, their bodyguards and whatever else until the last minute perhaps, when they lose. Then they take the whole national treasure with them on the private airplane and say, "Goodbye." They still survive like a king somewhere else, just without a kingdom, that's all.
Therefore many leaders don't care whether there is war or peace. Because they are not really leaders. They just use the position to amass wealth, power and dictatorship for themselves. That's why we must be very careful in choosing our leaders. Of course, you can never find a perfect one or the one we expect, but at least the best and the least harmful. At least if he cannot do any good, "Oh! Please, just don't do any bad!" (Master and all laugh) "If you can't protect us, just at least don't kill us!" That's all. So at least it should be like that. And that's why it doesn't matter what they say; you have to see what they do. Whether it's really good for us to have such and such a president, or such and such a king, you have to know. The president you can change, but a king, you'd better think twice! If you make a revolution, you are the one who first gets your head chopped off. Luckily, nowadays we don't have that many dictator kings.
Before, a King meant God. Nobody could oppose him. Just if your mouth had not yet closed, your head was already gone! You couldn't even say anything or look directly at him. Every time the king rode outside somewhere, you had to kneel on the floor with your head down in the dirt. If you looked up, your head was gone. Before you looked at his face, your head was already somewhere. (Audience laughs) It was that strict everywhere. And it didn't matter how many people suffered from hunger or starvation or any kind of discomfort. Whether cold and heat or disaster, the king was always well off. So were his thousands of concubines, wives and eunuchs. They were never in trouble. That's why they didn't know what suffering is.
Lessons of Love
You know the famous story about Marie Antoinette? She was born with a golden spoon in her mouth. And when she was told that the people of France were very hungry and had no bread anymore, meaning that they were hungry, she said, "No bread, then let them eat cake!" (Audience laughs) If I don't have bread, how can I have cake? But she didn't know about such a situation. She didn't know that bread means everything to the ordinary citizen. Bread means a meal; it means blood. Just like the Chinese say, "Oh, we don't have any more rice." That means we are hungry now. We don't have food. Rice is just a saying, symbolic for food, just like bread for the American or European people.
But such a queen like Marie Antoinette, perhaps she had never suffered from hunger and cold. She perhaps never had to walk on an uneven road or to go outside and even have a look at the ordinary life of the citizens. Wherever she went, the people ran away or had to be covered, and she was protected by all her bodyguards. She never saw anything. She never saw the life of the people. Perhaps she was not a very cold-hearted queen. But because her life was surrounded by too much protection, too many lies and too much luxury, unnecessarily; sometimes the king and the queen didn't even know what they were doing. This is very difficult. And no wonder people always make a revolution against the king and queen and chop them down. It's just to change the rules or the dictation so the people's lives will become more bearable.
Because in the old times, you couldn't talk to the king. You couldn't tell him he was wrong. Today you still cannot, but with some presidents you can. At least it's freer than before. It's a little bit different. Before, you could not say anything against the king or the government. You just did what they told you to do. Today you can speak against the government or the president, but you still have to do what they tell you to do. (Audience laughs) So there is a difference, a "speech-freedom." You can say what you want, but you still must "do it." (Master and all laugh) It's not much different really, but maybe when people can speak it out, they feel, "Oh, I am free. At least I can say it." Let it out and clear the air. So even if they have to work, they don't feel that they are so suppressed. And that's a problem, too.
Did I tell you the joke about the Russian? One American came to Russia to have a look and visit. And there he saw all the secret police, and the people were scared and didn't smile. (That was before; I don't know how it is now.) So the American said, "What's wrong?" He said to his friend, "What's that? You dare not say anything. In America, we can criticize the president and government anytime we want. We are free to criticize them anytime, about anything." So the Russian friend said, "Yeah, here we're also free to criticize the American government and its president any time." (Master and all laugh; audience applauds)
A Hopeful Future Is in Our Hands
Some time ago I told you about the UFO that landed in Au Lac. That was about four thousand years ago. And the man was supposed to rescue the Aulacese country at that moment. He was an alien, very small, and he made himself very strong and big. He rode on a fiery horse and flew into the sky. Whenever the horse landed, there was a rounded hollow in the ground. What kind of a horse was that? It must have been a football kind of horse, all rounded like that. So whatever it was, it didn't look like a horse. Besides, it was an iron horse with fire on both sides, and wherever the fire went it destroyed all the enemies there. They all died. And nothing could go against that horse and the fiery weapon that came from the horse. So it sounds like modern-day equipment, like fire guns or a UFO.
We always think in our time that we are very civilized, that we have discovered everything and that we know many things. But actually we should read history again and again to be more humble--not to be depressed, but to feel more hopeful. If in the old times, humankind reached such a peak of civilization, then we will be able to do it again in the future. But there is a lesson to learn: that we should not abuse the power of intelligence. Above all, we must train ourselves within to have the stability of ethical conduct, moral standards, noble ideals, love and compassion. Then it doesn't matter what kind of machine we invent, even if it's dangerous. We can turn it into a peaceful apparatus to serve humankind and to help speed up civilization, instead of destroying each other. I hope we learn. (Applause)
Master's Love is Extended to Suffering Afghan Refugees
For years, the situation in Afghanistan has been very difficult. The country's crisis is the result of years of war and severe drought. This year, with the onset of winter, conditions are expected to worsen. Children are especially at risk. For them, hunger, illness, and cold conditions can easily lead to death. People have been fleeing the country trying to find a home in more civilized neighboring countries. After their arrival, however, they face lives of poverty and pain. Despite the fact that for years charity organizations have tried to help, there is never enough money to provide for the basic health, food and educational needs of Afghan refugees. After the most recent war started, the situation became even worse. Many people were forced to leave their poor abodes and go into unfamiliar areas, hoping to find a helping hand that would carry their burden.
In response to their desperate cries, the Supreme Master Ching Hai immediately authorized a contribution of US$50,000 dollars to The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and another US$50,000 to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which provides relief services for refugees in countries bordering Afghanistan.
On October 22, 2001, a representative of Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association presented a check for US$50,000 to the Red Cross and Red Crescent branch office at Second Avenue in New York as a contribution to assist in the organization's Afghan refugee relief works. Red Cross and Red Crescent staff member were very happy to receive the check.
On October 25, 2001, another US$50,000 was wired to UNICEF, an organization that not only provides critical help for refugees in all of Afghanistan's neighboring countries, but also delivers as many relief supplies as possible into Afghanistan itself. The organization is doing all it can to help millions of children and women survive what is shaping up to be a major humanitarian crisis.
Although such monetary contributions can never fully meet the requirements of the needy masses, when people from every corner of the world render their help, it can establish a pattern of goodness, empathy and sharing on this planet. Each little act of charity and goodness counts toward enhancing the total consciousness of oneness.
love1-4-128: Mr. Encho Gospodinov, Head of the Delegation, Permanent
Observer for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent
Societies at the United Nations, received the US$50,000 for Afghan refugees.
Going Beyond Transmigration
Jung Geum Ok, Seoul, Korea (Originally in Korean)
Nowadays, each time I watch a videotaped recording of Master's May 8, 2000 lecture at the COEX Convention Center, Seoul, my tears flow uncontrollably.
The title of the lecture is "Experience the Divine." When I attended the lecture, I wondered as I listened to it about the nature of the lecture and the identity of the unfamiliar woman speaker. However, it was my longstanding aspiration to find "God" that had made me go to the lecture originally.
As I was sitting in the front of the lecture hall Master entered, and a feeling as strong as a large fire rose from my chest to my throat. The ecstasy was so intense that I became absolutely immersed in it. And because of this powerful experience, Master's unfamiliar hairstyle and dress did not bother me at all. The lecture made me believe that "there is only one Truth." Only the names of the world's religions are different.
I had lived the life of a Buddhist for more than twenty-five years, but the Buddhist scriptures were difficult for me to understand, and I found no satisfaction in chanting the scriptures from memory without understanding them. So I began to spend more time doing Zen meditation. A monk suggested that I continuously recite the Quan Yin Bodhisattva's name. So, for twenty-five years, I did as he recommended; I recited it when I was sitting, walking, and even working.
Then one day, I fell ill, which made me think of death and transmigration. I began to wonder where I would go after I died. For the first time, I feared death. I had forgotten that life and death co-exist. After recovering from my illness, I began to read books about the transmigration of souls, and happened to come across "Traveling through Previous Lives" written by a psychiatrist. I later sought his advice and decided to take a journey through my previous lives.
After several trials, I finally experienced the sufferings of my previous lives, and discovered that I had shared my last three lives with my present husband. After this experience, I realized that suffering always exists in life, and that the good things are always accompanied by those not so good. There is no such thing as perfect happiness in this life. For the first time, I came to see why the monk had told me that we all have to seek liberation. No matter how many times we transmigrate, one life is not much different than the others. From then on, getting liberation became the major issue in my life. It seemed to me then that this was only possible for a noble monk or saint. I was frustrated because I, an ordinary sentient being, did not know when I could get liberation. I looked through all the scriptures but could not find a clue. Once I wanted my soul to disappear because I was very frustrated. Then, finally and miraculously, I met Master at the Seoul lecture! I was so elated that I almost jumped up and down!
By the time I got home from the lecture, it was already late at night, and I put a volume of "The Key of Immediate Enlightenment" and a sample booklet on a table in the living room. My eldest son read the book and went to the place where Master was staying in Korea. After he returned, he became a vegetarian and we started following a vegetarian diet together. Whenever I went to the Center in Seoul to watch Master's videotapes, I would buy one and bring it home. And after my husband watched them, I would hear his admiring words: "Wow, She is the Buddha. Yes, She must be." My husband was completely captivated. All three of us are now initiates. And my other son, who has just completed his military conscription, feels a change has come about in the family.
On the day of my initiation, I prayed for the liberation of my father, whom I admired and loved deeply. He had rarely appeared in my dreams in the thirty years after his death. But some time after my initiation, he appeared wearing a very peaceful look on his face. I think he appeared in my dream to help me after he became liberated. It is true that Master brings liberation to five generations of our families. For me, meditation became more pleasant. Now, when I concentrate, my mind is peaceful, and I have experiences during meditation. I am trying to meditate more to increase the spiritual nourishment of my soul.
I had never had many experiences in the twenty-five years of my practice and study of Buddhism. But ever since I began practicing the Quan Yin Method, I have had a great many experiences. I realize that sincere prayer becomes a reality because it has power and attracts the wanted object. I am trying to concentrate constantly on my wisdom eye. Master has told us that there is no such thing as fate. The only question is whether we have practiced well. Now I know that we have to wake up our real Self, our soul. Only then can we transcend the obstacles that we have built over many lifetimes and return to the Home of eternally liberated souls!
Missing Initiation by Twenty Minutes
By brother initiate Maxwell D. Dube, Johannesburg, South Africa (Originally in English)
My Quest for the Truth
A few years back, I wanted something real in terms of spirituality. So I began my quest for the Truth. I went to church but quickly realized that the "something" was not there and left. I joined a spiritual group and read several religious scriptures and books on philosophy. I delved into Zen, Sufism, Buddhism and conflicts between science and religion. But all this was just not presenting an answer.
Then, one morning, while still in bed, I experienced what I thought was astral travel. It lasted for just a few moments, but was enough to reveal to me what all those books I had read could not. The "something" I was looking for truly existed and was waiting to be discovered!
Enter Master Ching Hai
A while later, I walked into a "Shoprite," one of the giant supermarkets in South Africa, and noticed a pamphlet bearing Master's picture and containing information about a master from the Himalayas. It did not occur to me that the person in the picture was the Master. I thought the lady was probably introducing readers to some old, long-bearded "guru" from the Himalayas. However, I wrote down the phone number, and the other information on the pamphlet.
After a few months, I noticed the number in my notebook and decided to call. I was told to come to some address where I could be told more details. It was far away from my home, and I could not afford this luxury at the time. So I gave up on the idea. After all, I consoled myself, I could always phone and make fresh arrangements since "the guru" seemed to always be around and not that far away.
Second Contact with Master
Eight months passed, and I never contacted those people again. This time I was walking towards a local corner shop on a weekend morning. A newspaper page, tabloid size, carried a picture of a lady dressed in royal clothing. It also mentioned that an acclaimed spiritual leader was coming to town on November 25, 1999. I was going to attend this lecture, I promised myself.
On the day of the lecture, I walked to the city hall. A sister handed me a sample booklet and welcomed me to the lecture. I immediately recognized Master on the cover of the booklet. "Is She the Master who is coming today?" I asked. The sister smiled and answered me positively. I was surprised, to say the least. I kept looking at Her face on the booklet, and then walked to a table where some old magazines had been placed and collected one from each stack. But there was no time to read, as I was listening keenly to different versions of Master's histories from those who had heard about Her. If only I had gone to that address, I kept cursing myself, I would have some knowledge about this person as well.
For Master's lecture, the hall was packed and everything went well. Some cried on seeing Master; extended hands literally blocked Her way as people made frantic efforts to shake Her hand. And I did shake Her hand as I had hoped.
Missing Initiation the First Time
After what I had heard in the lecture, I very much wanted to be initiated, but the vegetarian diet stood in the way. So I eventually settled for transmission of the Convenient Method, which Master conducted Herself.
After a week or so, having read most of the magazines and the sample booklet, I reflected on the coincidences I had experienced, and compared articles I had read earlier with Master's teachings, and things that had happened in the lives of other initiates that I had read about in the magazines. I meditated for thirty minutes every day and realized that something had happened to me. Therefore, on January 1, 2000, the dawn of the new millennium, I became a full vegetarian. My family was amazed! My yearning became real and I began to realize the full extent of what I had missed when Master came to Johannesburg. Anyway, I was to wait for only three months for a Quan Yin messenger to come and give me initiation. During my wait, the 30-minute Convenient Meditation became frustratingly too short a period but I patiently held on.
News finally came that the messenger would be coming to my area. You can imagine my excitement! I now knew what I was looking for and, above all, knew without a doubt that I wanted it. Three days before the messenger came, local candidates for initiation were told that initiation would be held at the Center at 9:00 AM. On Saturday evening, I met a brother initiate and after some formalities he told me that the initiation was to be held on Tuesday. He reminded me that you should arrive at 8:00 AM for initiation and I just said, "Okay," without giving it much thought. On Monday afternoon, I went to our local supermarket, where I had first made contact with Master. Again I met the same brother I had encountered previously. After we had greeted each other, he said, "Don't forget, you must arrive for initiation at 8:00 AM tomorrow!" Again, without bringing myself to ask why he had emphasized 8:00 instead of 9:00, I replied, "Okay," thinking that he wanted us to watch a video before initiation.
On Tuesday, although the 8:00 AM mentioned by that brother flashed through my mind, it never occurred to me that something was not quite right. I was excited, not knowing that I would be late. I left home at around 8:15 and got to the Center at about 8:35. I was twenty minutes late! They had given some allowance time for late comers but I missed it. Even as I write now, I can feel a mist of tears in my eyes.
The brother who kept reminding me about the time was acting as a security guard. When he told me that I was late, I thought he was joking, and pleaded with him to let me in, but that was outside of his control. He actually went inside to see if there was any chance that I could enter, but came back to say he was sorry. I felt I had been rejected by God! I would have cried out, but I was just dry and dumbfounded, not knowing what to believe.
Another elderly brother, who also could not be initiated because of his age, came along. We sat in his car and told each other our stories--he also had missed his first initiation because of the vegetarian diet. I felt sorry for him, for I still had a chance, but I did not see it that way on that day. Again I had missed the call, missed the divine arrangement. I finally was initiated on December 19, 2000--after a whole year had gone by. Thank you, Master, for giving me the strength and courage to hold on for that long!
As I Look Back ...
Putting all the pieces together, I would not have missed anything if I had had the wisdom to see the signs as they unfolded. Even today, I wonder how much I missed because I had not seen these signs. They were just too subtle. When I look back and notice the perfection in the arrangement, I cannot help but smile. When Master came to South Africa, I am now sure that I was ready but my stupid brain just had a different agenda. That is the time when I should have cried over missing initiation. On the second miss, the Master-power must have noticed the mix-up in time and put a brother from the Center on my path, twice, to try to correct the situation but I missed it all.
Brothers and sisters, be on the lookout, and you can save yourselves a whole year of waiting for initiation!
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