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News No. 150
Supreme Master Ching Hai's art exhibition at the Taipei Municipal Social Education Hall, by the Taipei News Group (originally in Chinese)
Spring has come, bringing gentle breezes that enlivened the Taipei Municipal Social Education Hall during an exhibition of Master's paintings held by the Taipei Center from March 13 to 18, 2004. The exhibit, entitled Impressions of the New Golden Age - Heavenly Flowers, was accompanied by a series of soul-awakening activities including seminars, poetry recitations, impromptu musical performances, dances, plays and a celestial fashion show. The event awakened many Taipei residents' long-dormant love of art, and struck a deep chord in the hearts of students from the Haishan Junior High School.
A Broader Vision for the Soul
On March 13, the exhibition and its opening seminar attracted a distinguished panel of artists, art critics and poets, as well as ordinary citizens, who shared their insights and inspirations regarding Master's paintings. Fellow initiates also expressed their sincere yearning for eternal life through moving recitations of poems from Master's collection Silent Tears, accompanied beautifully by a harp, flute and Chinese zither in perfect harmony with the deep, mellow tones of a cello.
On the same day, a special series of activities was held on the City Stage outside the exhibition hall. First, spectacular Dunhuang dances and games for the young attracted a huge crowd of adults and children. Then thunderous drumbeats signalled the opening of an outdoor fashion show in which dozens of new SM Celestial Clothes for spring and summer were worn by fellow-initiate models, revealing Master's unique, elegant, gracious and thoughtful designs. The models' natural confidence accentuated the perfect cut and make of the garments and the soothing texture of the fabrics. It was no wonder that the performance drew enthusiastic rounds of applause from the audience of over two hundred.
The audience members were also highly entertained when a group of innocent young initiates presented an amusing dramatic adaptation of the story "The Chicken Prince" from Master's illustrated book of wisdom, God Takes Care of Everything. Equally humorous was another story dramatization performed by adult initiates, "A Thief Becomes a Spiritual Practitioner."
Reverberations of the Heart
The exhibition's inaugural activities created a warm atmosphere that pervaded the entire venue. As guests proceeded to the exhibition area at the Social Education Hall, they were awed by the aura of grace and brilliance radiating from Master's paintings in a venue that already possessed a rich artistic ambiance.
A visiting artist, Ms. Li, noted how Master had captured colorful glimpses of glory from nature's simple beauty, as demonstrated in the paintings Stone Cave and Enlightened, which evoked a deep response from her heart. She then said, "I'm enchanted by the sharp contrast between the flesh of the fruit in Mangosteen, with its pristine, mild red that instills a sense of serene calmness on the mind, and the colors in Fear, which are a realistic reflection of life." So moved was Ms. Li that she could hardly stop singing while appreciating the paintings Mangosteen and Enlightened. She was also totally immersed in these lines from Master's poem "Advice for Cultivating Self-Realization," from the Wu Tzu Poems anthology: "A hundred years is nothing but a chain of upheavals,/A mix of gold and copper: difficult to know which is deception. /This life is like a water bubble on a rainy afternoon; /One should strive lest it be too late to cultivate self-realization!"
Another visitor, Ms. Huang, had learned about the art exhibition from the TV program A Journey through Aesthetic Realms, and on the event's opening day went to The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association's Love Ocean Art Center in Taipei and rang the doorbell. However, the fellow initiates had all gone either to the monthly two-day retreat at Hsihu or to help out at the exhibition. But through Master's wonderful arrangement, a sister who would normally have gone to the retreat felt an inexplicable urge to visit the Love Ocean Art Center, where she played the role of an escort, bringing Ms. Huang smoothly to the Social Education Hall. Ms. Huang was so delighted by Master's paintings that she acquired Master's Art Creation Album right away and lingered at the venue for five hours, feeling strong emotions as she listened to a sister explain Master's teachings and the meaning behind Her paintings. Ms. Huang then asked without hesitation to learn the Convenient form of practice at the venue. Observing a ten-day vegetarian diet each month posed no problem for her, for she had recently developed a sudden preference for vegetarian food.
While in meditation after learning the Convenient Method, Ms. Huang was captivated by a vision of the painting Stone Cave. During this experience, an energy current drew her into a slanting cave that suddenly changed into a huge, gold colored rectangular door, which she entered without the slightest hesitation. After the meditation session, she told a sister initiate, "I really love Master's paintings Stone Cave and Enlightened. I'm very grateful to Master for reminding me of them in my vision." After learning the Convenient Method, Ms. Huang happily made plans to visit the Hsihu Center the following day to appreciate the rest of Master's paintings, and also planned to adopt a full vegetarian diet and wait for initiation into the Quan Yin Method!
A Tour of Master's Artistic World
While the art exhibition proved enchanting for the general public, it also attracted many professional painters who came to appreciate Master's spontaneous, innocent and likeable style. For instance, Presidential Office Advisor Huang Zhao-yuan was particularly fascinated by the painting Stone Cave, saying that it was even more avant-garde than Impressionism was in its day. "Although this painting looks complicated, one can nonetheless discern a light beam telling us that life should be happy," he said. And for Mr. Gu Min, director of Formosa's Legislative Yuan Library, Filled with Grace had a special appeal as it represents the highest form of bliss. "What is the state of being filled with grace?" he asked before answering himself. "It's a kind of bliss and joy that's only perceived by the heart and brings vibrancy to every body cell." Director Gu Min is also a standing member of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions under the jurisdiction of UNESCO.
The exhibition's organizer also invited guest artists Lin Tsang-Yuh, David Wu and Claire Chen to a seminar entitled "Afternoon Fragrance" (note 1), at which the participants analyzed Master's paintings with great appreciation and interacted warmly with audience members. According to David Wu, creator of the Wu Jin painting method (note 2), works by naive artists are momentary expressions of the dominant feelings at the time. The Supreme Master's artistic style may be spontaneous, pure, innocent and direct, but She is excellent at delivering the message She wants to convey through Her works. Painting with wisdom eliminates what would have been a reliance on techniques typically found among those with formal academic training. For example, Master often uses large, bold strokes instead of going into minute details. In Her ingenious compositions, She turns complexity into simplicity with a superb command of artistic flexibility and expression through the use of shading and color contrasts.
As Mr. Wu said, "Most people undergo long rigorous training when learning to paint, but Supreme Master Ching Hai most probably uses Her wisdom, Her rich inner world, to paint. That's why She has achieved wonderful results in such a short time," adding that perhaps all the tools in the world are insufficient for the Supreme Master to express Her rich inner experience! Her paintings are impressionistic in style and abstract at times, but not given to details in terms of variations in light and shade. David Wu found the Supreme Master's pastels to be no less unique than Her oil paintings. They are simple and quietly elegant, soft in expression and passionate in their use of colors.
Moreover, Mr. Wu asserted, "Supreme Master Ching Hai received no academic training, yet She skips line sketching and goes straight ahead with direct expressions in colors. Her color use is three-dimensional in perspective, featuring gradual shades of brightness. Thus, to appreciate the Supreme Master's paintings, we may view their overall composition. It's not necessary to take close-up looks. If we take a few steps backward, we can better feel the picture's tension, the coordination and harmony of the colors." In Wu's opinion, this is the best way to appreciate Supreme Master Ching Hai's paintings.
Artist Claire Chen pointed out that Supreme Master Ching Hai's style is free and fluent, Her compositions intense and vibrant, completely free of restraints and reflecting absolute self-confidence. To Ms. Chen, the most significant characteristic displayed in the Supreme Master's paintings is "letting go." Her main artistic trait is a bold, intense style derived from innocence. She uses colors daringly and unpretentiously, revealing Her freedom from artificial traits and frills, and indicating Her great joy in painting.
Renowned artist Lin Tsang-Yuh also offered his views on the "one and only Ching Hai aesthetics" from the perspectives of art theory and philosophy, stating, "Supreme Master Ching Hai's paintings create an impression of lightness, freedom and beauty. Stop only for a while and you will observe that, clearly expressed behind Her simple brush strokes, colors and composition is the rhythm of inner vibration and spiritual perception, full of brilliant, pristine power." At age twenty, Mr. Lin won top prize in the Asian Youth Literary Awards competition. His creations cover a vast range of genre including novel writing, painting, photography, television script writing and directing, for which he has often received recognition. He currently teaches pastoral aesthetics at several community universities such as Taipei Wenshan Community University.
Audience member Cai Si-qin described his experiences while attending one of Lin Tsang-Yuh's Wenshan art courses as follows: "Lin has a special way of instruction as his lessons don't begin with sketching, which only serves to develop artistic skill. Instead, since most community university have students already acquired a rich body of life experience that they can express in their works, Lin demands that they make exploratory trials in creative expression. Only when they have difficulty in the process of creation does he step in with timely assistance. This helps students to develop their innate creative powers, and to further transcend the boundaries of traditional painting techniques. Through such unorthodox learning, they can foster their own styles. Cai Si-qin also found great inspiration for creative learning in the example of the Supreme Master, Who became expert at painting without a teacher and has found means of expression in diverse artistic styles.
Interactions with High School Students
On March 17, more than thirty students on an extracurricular field trip from Taipei County Haishan Junior High School visited Master's exhibition at the Social Education Hall. Painter David Wu was invited to serve as guide and teach the youngsters to appreciate the works on display. After an initial guided tour, the students voted for their favorite paintings before touring the exhibition again in smaller groups or browsing through Master's painting albums, all the while earnestly discussing the works with each other.
The vote revealed that the students' favorite paintings were as follows, in the order of number of votes received: New Era, Stone Cave, The Night View of Yangming Mountain and Song of the Sea. The students also had the following insights to share: "In New Era, the pure, light colors make us feel warm and comfortable. In the upper left-hand corner, the vague image like a UFO is very mysterious, as if it's leading us into a new era. The yellow lines covering the whole picture are as gentle as moonlight, and the tiny dots are just like stars. By imagining ourselves in the picture, we feel as if we're being engulfed by the compassionate love of a mother. Stone Cave creates a sense of awakening. Although we don't know what's at the central point of the light, it seems to be penetrating time and space. By focusing on the central point, you feel as if you're about to fly into it. In The Night View of Yangming Mountain, the cold, quiet colors on the ground and the warm, brilliant colors above create an awesome, magnificent feeling, while the brilliant rays of light give infinite hope!
Mr. Wu, surprised and delighted by the students' brilliant remarks, said, "These comments indicate the young people's innocent and highly imaginative hearts, and their penchant for mysticism." He then encouraged the students to remain pure at heart so that they can develop their potential in the years to come.
Work and Growth
Sister Ye was initiated at the age of seven and grew up in a loving Quan Yin family. She is now a university junior, with happy memories of playing with sand and lounging in a hammock in the Rainbow Garden, and of tracing Master's footsteps and having a wonderful time with Her at the Hsihu Center. When the Taipei Center participated in the Heavenly Flowers art exhibition and in Formosa's 2004 International Book Fair, sister Ye joined the work team for the first time, serving as a model for the spring and summer collections of the SM Celestial Clothes. Regarding these experiences, she commented, "It's an honor and a challenge to participate in Master's work. We must completely forsake any desire for personal gain for our minor self, in order to achieve perfection for the major self of the group. Only through teamwork can we eliminate the undetected ego deep in our hearts, and rise above the boundaries we set for ourselves so that we can grow up quickly." Just as Master says, "The more we work and help others, the more we grow." Thus, she hopes that all fellow practitioners will cherish any opportunity they have to serve others, to learn from the experience and to mature both emotionally and spiritually.
Note 1: The enlightening seminar "Afternoon Fragrance" will soon be broadcast on the TV program A Journey through Aesthetic Realms. For online viewing, please visit http://www.godsdirectcontact.org.tw/ch/index.htm. Detailed reports will be published in future editions of the News magazine.
Note 2: More than a decade
ago, innovative artist David Wu created the Wu Jin technique of using
industrial adhesives as pigments and his fingers as paintbrushes.
"Doesn't this painting depict two opposite shores of the sea - dark and sombre on the far side, contrasted sharply by warmly hued floral fields on the other? In this work, the stiff, solid stones in dark blue are highly incompatible, yet display a rhythmic harmony. This image reflects our habits, which originate from knowledge, endless concepts and debates. We have had enough of this rigid, frigid world!"
~ Lin Tsang-Yuh
The Unique Ching Hai Aesthetics
Supreme Master Ching Hai's paintings create an impression of lightness, freedom and beauty. Take a few moments to appreciate Her works, and you will observe that behind Her simple brushstrokes, colors and composition is the rhythm of inner vibration, the perception of a soul full of radiant, pristine power.
Painters use their talents to express their emotions, thoughts and reasoning, and it is natural that they be trained to develop their techniques to their full potential; however Master Ching Hai never received such training. Her command of artistic technique comes instead through meditation, and Her inspirations originate from God. She believes that each person is a self-accomplished enlightened Master and Buddha, and of course, She is no exception.
The Supreme Master doesn't need recognition or praise from the world. Using concise words and an ever-changing appearance, She raises questions about our concepts, patience and cognitive ability. Her freedom seems overwhelming to us, or have our mental constraints thrown us into decadence? Are our habitual values and opinions the only assets of our human form? Are we having difficulty shaking off habits accumulated life after life? To what extent have we assimilated the wonders of the common sense and knowledge that we have been seeking and disseminating? Day after day, in our quest for worldly knowledge and possessions, we have exhausted our energy. Can occasional contentment and complacence erase the fact that we are lacking?
Before Master Ching Hai's paintings, I feel ashamed at the limits of my descriptive powers. However, this is precisely why I love and am touched by Her art. Ching Hai leads us into Her works with a simple, focused vision. Though limited by our worldliness, we are awe-struck each time we appreciate Her paintings, as we share the freedom of a wise sage, the charm and profundity of a poet, and the astuteness and freedom of a nomad. Sometimes we are so deeply touched by the intense passion, childlike innocence and motherly love of the liberated One that we can scarcely be ourselves.
Profile of the Author, Lin Tsang-Yuh:
The Way to Regain Heaven
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Stockholm, Sweden, May, 31, 1999,(originally in English) videotape no. 655a
To be reborn again, to become a child again, we have to reverse the process; we have to try to train ourselves daily, to unburden ourselves and focus on God
High-level practitioners just learn from Heaven, from God Hirmself directly. We have all the wisdom of the universe within our being so we don't really need any physical teaching; it's just that we forget. I can show you how to remember your own wisdom, how to be your own teacher, how to distinguish between Heaven and some of the negative powers that try to bother you, how to protect yourself, how to meditate safely and how to talk to God every day.
Then, you can just stay home, quietly and in your free time, and contact your own Self. And it's no work at all because all this will give you the greatest blessing, the greatest happiness, the greatest pleasure and the greatest freedom that you've ever known, not like worldly work, where we tire ourselves, we exhaust our bodies and minds, just to earn a few thousand dollars or Kronor (Swedish currency) a month.
To work for God is a pure pleasure. It elevates our body, mind and spirit; it even cures sickness, dispels depression, opens our wisdom, opens our heart to more loving kindness and opens our intelligence so that we know how to deal with difficult situations. And the more we meditate, the more we contemplate God ourselves, the more we become an entirely different person - an angel, a saint, a carefree spirit.
Maybe you think meditation is only something for the Himalayan masters or yogis who sit cross-legged all day. No, no! It's very simple. I used to think that way; I did! I thought I had to leave this dusty world to contact God in the pure air of the Himalayas, but now I see God everywhere: I see Hirm on the bus, I see Hirm in a crowded third-class hotel, in a dirty toilet, in a taxi, at the park, on an airplane - anywhere!
God comes in different forms. God is originally formless but Hes can manifest in metaphysical forms for us to see. Hes can appear to us as the brilliant light of a thousand suns; Hes can talk to us in the voice of many waters, in a voice like thunder or a voice like beautiful Heavenly music. This will open up all of our being, and we'll soar up into the highest Heaven and enjoy our freedom forever.
We don't have to leave the world. We don't have to leave our family, our wife, husband or children. We can stay right where we are and meditate in the attic or the living room, or contemplate Hirm from the bed, in the bathroom, on the sofa - anywhere we choose. God will be there, because Hes is always there. Hes is never anywhere else.
And that's the most incredible power of God; Hes can purify the whole environment so that wherever you are is Heaven. Because God's creation is actually perfect everywhere, even on this planet. Even this dusty physical world is God's Kingdom. It's just the illusion of the negative power, which is actually the illusory power of this physically dense energy, that makes us feel separated from Heaven, makes us feel that we're human, that we're not God. Even time is an illusion. So all we have to do is traverse the space and time of this physical dimension and then we're there, right there in the Kingdom of God.
You've heard that the gate to Heaven is as thin as a razor blade. You've heard that Heaven and Earth are separated by just a hair. But it's even thinner than that! There's no separation between Earth and God or between Earth and Heaven. It's just that we let the power of this physical world delude us; so I'm just going to show you how to dispel that, and then you're immediately there.
We may have a little problem with concentration, and that sometimes makes differences between the experiences of different people. So even if I show you God, the Light of Heaven or Heaven's scenery today, you should renew it every day until it's like going back to the original habit again. That's all we need to do. Everything is just habit. That's why as children it was easier for us to contact God, because we had nothing else to think about, nothing else to concentrate on, nothing else to burden our souls with. We were all pure, all happy, all "no responsibility" so God was always there anyhow.
To be reborn again, to become a child again, we have to reverse the process; we have to try to train ourselves daily, to unburden ourselves and focus on God, which I'll show you how to do. Then it becomes a real habit, and then we can see God anytime. You have nothing to learn from me; I'll just show you how to unlearn what you've collected - all the garbage and all the unnecessary things - and then you can become like a child again. When we have no burdens or worries, we can see God as we did when we were children. Is that logical enough for you? Isn't it simple?
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Four-day Retreat, London, U.K., August 27, 1997 (originally in English) Videotape No. 595
After initiation, we still have to renew our connection with God again and again, or else we'll suffer from the illusion of being less than children of God. So we each have to be reminded again because every day we spend about eighteen to twenty hours in the world, where everyone else in society, even our friends and relatives, remind us that we're mere mortals, that we're weak, we're physical, we're nothing. So we have to spend at least two-and-a-half hours, one tenth of our time, reminding ourselves, "No, no: I'm God's child. I'm a spiritual being; I'm great." That's the time we spend reminding ourselves, counteracting the world's pressure so that we don't let people convince us that we're merely weak human beings; that's why we have to meditate each day. Otherwise once you get initiated, that would be enough; you'd be Buddha: finished, final.
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Brisbane, Australia, March 21, 1993 (originally in English) Videotape No. 337
There would be no evil in this world if we were only to know God, think of God, speak about God, and do only Godly actions. And even if evil existed at all, there would be no problem. The problem is that we don't remember God very often except when we're in sorrow. That's fine: At least we remember Hirm when we're in sorrow. But if we're enlightened, God is always with us, reminding us of Hirmself.
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Brisbane, Australia, March 21, 1993 (originally in English) Videotape No. 337
There are two so-called forces in the universe: One is the so-called negative and the other is the so-called positive. Actually, both are positive. But if we use them negatively, even the positive power turns negative. For example, if we don't understand how to handle certain good chemical materials, they can be poisonous. But even a poison, used by an expert, can become a medicinal substance to heal people in certain cases.
We're endowed with both positive and negative power. But above this positive and negative, there's a greater power that encompasses both, in non-separation. And if we could reach above the positive and negative duality, into the deepest recesses of our inner Kingdom, we'd be able to handle both the positive and the negative - for our own benefit as well as for the benefit of our immediate associates, our country and the world at large.
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Three-day Retreat, Cape Town, South Africa, November 29, 1999 (originally in English) Videotape No. 674
Please don't forget to thank God Almighty, to thank all the Masters of the past and present Who have sacrificed so much, Who have loved us so much since the beginning of time, Who have blessed us immensely and continuously so that we can always walk peacefully and courageously in whichever ways we've chosen for ourselves. Blessed be all these noble Beings, here and in other worlds. We'll always be grateful in our hearts to Them. Please remember.
The more grateful we are, the more we'll be blessed. The more we remember Their loving kindness, the more we'll also be endowed with loving kindness. The more thankful we are for the peace They've bestowed on this planet and on our path, the more peace we'll realize, the more blessing, the more bliss. Everything that's better and better will come our way, even on this physical planet, even in the difficult situation of the globe. We'll always walk in peace and protection. And we'll know that; we'll feel it. We'll definitely realize it every minute of the day.
Report from Thailand
A Seminar Full of Wonders Graces Western Thailand
by the Bangkok News Group
[Kanchanaburi] Determined to introduce Master's teachings throughout their homeland, Thai initiates recently began by holding a video seminar at Kanchanaburi College in the western province of Kanchanaburi, an area full of peace and love and the site of international retreats.
As the sisters and brothers enthusiastically distributed flyers and hung posters of Master around the town of Thongphapoom to promote the event, and during the activity itself, they had many wonderful experiences such as the following.
Master's Blessings Revealed through Infinite Light
While distributing flyers, one brother initiate met an electronics shop owner and explained to her that the Quan Yin Method involves contemplation of the inner Light and Sound. The owner was very interested and mentioned that during her meditation at home she frequently saw white Light as if someone had turned night into day. The initiate then gave the woman a sample booklet, and upon seeing Master's photo on the cover, she excitedly told the brother that over the previous week she had been having dreams in which Master, surrounded by infinite crystal light, gave her numerous hugs and good wishes.
Master's Manifestation Form Appears to Disseminate God's Gospel!
Another remarkable incident occurred when an initiate introduced Master to a frame shop owner by giving him a sample booklet, and then invited him to attend the seminar. The shop owner inquired about Master and asked where She lived, and the initiate replied, "Master does not reside in Thailand." Then, the owner looked astounded and said, "Master came to my shop only a few days ago and gave me a sample booklet!"
The Testimony of an Innocent Young Girl
During the flyer distribution project in Thongphapoom, a six year-old girl requested one for her mother, and when she saw Master's photo on the front she said with certainty, "Oh, this is Father [God]; I can remember!"
As a local couple walked past an initiate's home, they saw a poster announcing Master's seminar suspended from a large tree. The two immediately felt blissful and a continuous stream of tears began flowing from their eyes.
The Seminar a Resounding Success
Early on the morning of February 8, 2004, before the seminar began, a respectable elderly woman in a wheelchair, whose right side was paralyzed, was carried up the stairs of the venue to the seminar room. Out of sincere gratitude and deeply touched by Master's infinite love flowing through the Thai disciples, the woman suddenly began to cry. Then, after everyone was seated, the seminar was conducted with great success. During the question and answer session, many guests asked enthusiastic and insightful questions, and later more than half stayed to learn the Convenient Method, with several requesting full initiation. One of the latter participants was a Thai monk, who had been a vegetarian since the age of twelve and was extremely interested in Master's lectures. He said that he wished to practice the Quan Yin Method and added "I would like to attain liberation in this lifetime." The monk remained in the venue for almost an hour after the seminar, talking and asking questions with a brother-initiate.
The activity ended with Master's limitless love pervading the atmosphere, and besides all the other wonders surrounding the event, the initiates were blessed to have it broadcast free-of-charge on a radio station run by The Mass Communication Organization of Kanchanaburi, Thailand.
Through the Kanchanaburi College video-seminar project, Thai practitioners learned that they should always strive to use their wisdom in accomplishing Master's work, and became more determined than ever to grow stronger while spreading God's message of Truth to their compatriots.
Report from New Zealand
The Luckiest People in the Universe!
by Jo Zhou, Auckland
[Auckland] On February 15, 2004, initiates from the Auckland Center participated in the New Spiritual Festival at Lakeside Convention Center. Through God's arrangement, the Festival organizer gave the sisters and brothers a larger and better situated booth than the one originally assigned to them.
The Festival ran from 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM, with about fifty groups participating. At the event, several notable spiritual practitioners from New Zealand and other countries delivered talks, and many Westerners interested in spiritual practice attended. In fact, the fair was so popular that many people had to park their cars far away and walk a considerable distance to the venue.
The initiates' booth was beautifully decorated with an array of Master's pictures and striking floral arrangements. Also, throughout the Festival, Master's lecture DVDs were presented, attracting much attention among the attendees, as most stopped to listen to Her marvelous and humorous talks. Among the visitors was a young woman who was so interested in Master's teachings that she kept watching the lectures until the booth was taken down. From her smiling and contented face, the initiates knew that the woman had really enjoyed Master's words.
During the event, a large number of sample booklets and flyers containing information about the Convenient form of practice and vegetarian cooking classes were offered to people with affinity, and many recognized Master from Her lecture in New Zealand during the 2000 Ocean of Love Tour, from meetings with Her in various countries, or from video seminars organized by Australian initiates. In addition, numerous guests requested more information about the Quan Yin Method.
After comparing their practice with others presented at the New Spiritual Festival, the initiates reconfirmed that the Quan Yin Method is the easiest and most efficient way to find God. Thus it is clear that those who follow the Quan Yin path, guided by Supreme Master Ching Hai, are the luckiest people in the universe! The fellow initiates are so blessed by God that they just want to say, "Thank You, Master. We all love You."
Report from Formosa
Spiritual Flowers Bloom on the NTU Campus
by Zue-yun Zhang, Taipei
[Taipei] On the weekend of March 13-14, 2004, National Taiwan University (NTU) was immersed in an ocean of beautiful multi-colored flowers during the annual Azalea Festival, heralding the arrival of spring. The NTU Light and Sound Association, formed by fellow initiates, set up an exhibition booth focusing on the theme "Love is the Only Religion" and introducing a lifestyle enriched by spiritual enlightenment. Members of the Quan Yin family from other universities and colleges joined in the activity to sow the seeds of love.
During the Festival, countless students and crowds of people from outside the University visited the venue. Parents came with their children to participate in interesting family games designed by the initiates, such as "balloon painting," "wishing fountain" and "poking fun," creating a cheerful atmosphere. The children threw shiny cards containing their personal wishes into a wishing fountain in front of Master's photo, and joyously painted their favorite patterns on balloons. In the "poking fun" game, players found prizes concealed in balloons, including candy, cookies and small cards printed with Master's aphorisms, which the children examined happily. While the youngsters enjoyed themselves, their parents watched Master's lecture videos. These exciting activities attracted a continuous stream of visitors.
Among the guests was a middle-aged art designer who shared his love and veneration for Supreme Master Ching Hai by saying, "At the Taipei Municipal Social Education Hall yesterday, I saw the Supreme Master's paintings for the first time and was deeply impressed. Today, when I arrived at this event, I immediately recognized from a distance that these two paintings must be masterpieces by the Supreme Master. I have some solemn advice for you. To appreciate the Supreme Master's art work, one must observe a vegetarian diet and bathe to purify the body for at least eight to ten days before one can understand the artistic ideas and messages conveyed. Although I'm not acquainted with the Supreme Master, I respect Her very much!"
The Truth-sharing activity during NTU's Azalea Festival brought many young students and members of the public into contact with Master's teachings. Thus the participating fellow practitioners, blessed with abundant spiritual rewards, promised to meet again to share the bliss of enlightenment when the azaleas bloom again next year.
Report from Peru
Master's Seminars Grace the Sacred Incan Valley of Cusco
by brother-initiate Edgar Nadal, Lima
[Cusco] On February 12 and 13, 2004, two seminars featuring Master's videos were held in Quillabamba City, known in the Incan language as Quechua, "the Moon's place." The community is located in a lush, scenic valley 1,047 meters above sea level and a nine-hour drive by car from Cusco through hilly terrain reaching 4,600 meters in elevation. Originally, only one seminar was planned; however, due to the earnest requests of local Truth seekers, a second was promptly organized for the following day.
The venue for the first seminar accommodated a hundred people, and during the time Master's biographical video was being shown, the seats were completely filled so about thirty audience members had to stand and watch. The guests also viewed Master's video lecture The Mystery of the World Beyond, and were greatly impressed with Her wisdom. Many attendees felt blessed to be able to listen to Master's wise, erudite words and some even encouraged their companies to take the precious opportunity to learn from a living Master. During the seminar the initiates present felt Master's Heavenly love reaching out to the Truth-seekers, many of whom stayed afterwards to examine Master's books and beautiful photos on display.
The second seminar, held in an auditorium that seated 120, also had a capacity audience with more than forty people having to stand to watch the videos, and again people showed great interest in Master's teachings. One audience member even asked with astonishment how Master could be so young and so wise at the same time! In addition, the guests expressed a desire to pursue a vegetarian diet as one brother, a naturopathic physician, provided clear recommendations on healthy, meat-free living. One attendee was extremely touched and said, "Just watching Master's lecture is enough inspiration to make me change my lifestyle."
The overall results of the two seminars were outstanding, with nearly half of the guests learning the Convenient form of practice at the first and one third at the second. Also, through God's blessings, one of the new Convenient Method practitioners from the February 13 seminar kindly offered the initiates a place to hold group meditation, and now Quillabamba City has its own meditation center.
On the following Saturday, the initiates met with the new CM practitioners and also taught four others who were ready to learn the Convenient Method of meditation. One of the newcomers said, "I was thinking about it last night and decided not to miss the precious opportunity to feed my soul, which I've neglected for a long time."
The brothers and sisters of Peru were filled with joy and satisfaction at having had the chance to share Master's wise teachings of peace, love and happiness in distant Quillabamba City, located in the sacred valley of their Incan ancestors.
Report from Costa Rica
Dragon and Lion Dances Open the 2004 Ching Hai Day Celebration
by Melody Lin, San Jose
[San Jose] According to Chinese custom, lion and dragon dances are performed together for important celebrations, as the Chinese consider dragons to be friendly, helpful creatures associated with good fortune. And the lion is also an important Chinese totem, symbolizing power and courage, and capable of warding off evil spirits.
Thus, San Jose initiates planned to invite a local lion and dragon dance group to perform at the San Jose Center during the 2004 Ching Hai Day celebration; however, the group's dragon costume was extremely long, requiring a total of 60 performers, who were difficult to contact. Then, just as the initiates were about to give up on their plan, one of the sisters suggested that they create their own dragon costume and perform the dance themselves. So the brothers and sisters pulled together and eventually made the idea come true.
On February 22, 2004, when the long-awaited Ching Hai Day arrived, the "dragon team" initiates took out their dragon costume after group meditation to begin the celebration, and as they walked down the mountain near the Center it began to rain softly, as if Master were showering them with blessings. The dragon made its way around the garden in front of Master's house and then into the meditation hall and onto the stage. After this, initiates in two lion costumes performed a lion dance to the rhythm of drums, and everyone greatly enjoyed the activity. The entertainment continued with a lovely performance by a fellow practitioner who sang several spiritual songs. Next the celebration ended blissfully with all the initiates singing the song "I Love Supreme Master Ching-Hai," newly composed by the sister who had created the dragon's head:
"You are like the moon; you are like the sun,
Enlightening my heart and my soul;
You are like my parents, always taking care of me,
And giving me love and happiness.
Master, we love you, we need you so much.
You cleanse my heart and take away my karma,
And bring my soul back to Heaven."
Report from California, USA
An Aulacese Cultural Festival Abounds in Master's Light and Love
by the Los Angeles Entertainment Team
[Los Angeles] On January 31 and February 1, 2004, the sun shone brightly as LA Center initiates participated in an Aulacese cultural festival at Whittier Narrows Park in El Monte, California. The initiates set up a booth displaying Supreme Master Ching Hai's sample booklets and offering delicious vegetarian food to the public, along with a bamboo tea house, where complimentary hot tea was served.
Staff members from local TV station KSCI Channel 18 interviewed the initiates about the current trend toward vegetarianism, and many visitors were surprised that vegetarian food could be so tasty and simple to prepare. One young man and a cute little boy were offered samples of vegetarian barbequed chicken. But the boy would not accept his sample until he was absolutely sure it was vegetarian, and when asked why he was a vegetarian he replied, "Because I like it." It turned out that the child's father is a pastor and the entire family is vegetarian.
Ever since the program A Journey through Aesthetic Realms resumed airing last year on KSCI Channel 18, conveying Supreme Master Ching Hai's love and blessings across Southern California, a breath of fresh air has bathed the region. Thus more than ever, local people have been showing interest in the Supreme Master and the Quan Yin Method by calling the number displayed at the end of each show.
Some of the program's viewers also shared their feelings about the Supreme Master's teachings. For example, Mr. Felipe Carbajal said, "I think the program is very good because it gives us an idea of Who Master Ching Hai is. I love it because I'm a Westerner and we can learn a lot from Master Ching Hai. What I love most is that She is very compassionate toward all animals and human beings. I think a vegetarian diet is very good and I'd like to invite all people to try and become vegetarians because it's especially good for our soul and excellent for our health."
Another viewer stated, "What I like is that Supreme Master Ching Hai talks about spirituality, Christianity, Buddhism and the masters of Western and Eastern cultures, and that's what I'm interested in."
In addition, upon arriving at the booth, Mr. Tran Ngoc Chau exclaimed, "Greetings to Supreme Master Ching Hai! While I was at a refugee camp in Thailand in1990, She sent me US$20.00 and also gave monetary assistance to the other refugees. Although the material gift was small, it was greater than a thousand pieces of gold and I'm eternally grateful to the Supreme Master." And another viewer said, "The TV program from 8:30-9:00 AM is very good and brings morality to society. I hope that the broadcasts continue forever." These guests as well as all the other visitors received a complimentary DVD of the program featuring Supreme Master Ching Hai's lecture The Six Buddhist Perfections.
During the entire period of the festival, sunshine warmed all who attended and had a chance to become acquainted with Master's teachings and the vegetarian diet. Then, the following day, a heavy rain washed over Southern California, cleansing the region with sweet nectar. The Los Angeles Center brothers and sisters are grateful to our Master for Her infinite blessings as Her love and light are forever present to comfort and guide initiates in their daily lives.
A Memorable and Exciting Ching Hai Day Celebration
by the San Jose News Group
[San Jose] On February, 22, 2004, initiates from the Northern California cities of Fresno, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose, along with their loved ones, gathered at the San Jose Center to celebrate the tenth anniversary of Supreme Master Ching Hai Day.
To open the event, the MC discussed the day's historical significance, and then a moment of silence was observed to thank our beloved Master for Her noble example and selfless contributions to the world, as the initiates prayed for people everywhere to enjoy inner peace and happiness.
During the festivities a sumptuous luncheon buffet prepared by the kitchen team was enjoyed by all, and after lunch the brothers and sisters celebrated with splendid performances dedicated to Master, including songs based on Her exquisite poems, other spiritual songs and several instrumental recitals. The day's activities also featured a highly amusing impromptu belly dancing competition and a raffle drawing with wonderful prizes, such as framed copies of Master's aphorisms in Chinese calligraphy and Master's book of humorous stories God Takes Care of Everything. At the conclusion of the entertainment program, the initiates and their guests joyously shared a beautiful three-tiered cake, a variety of fruits and blessed food.
In a memorable day of merriment at the 2004 Supreme Master Ching Hai Day celebration, Northern California initiates and their friends showed their appreciation for a great living Master Who has dedicated Her life to serving sentient beings. Throughout the event, God's special love poured into everyone's heart, and all felt happier and closer together in the realization that they are children of the same blessed Mother under the protective roof of the Quan Yin family.
Being God's Torchbearers at a Truth-sharing Event
by the San Jose News Group
[San Jose] On March 6, 2004, San Jose Center initiates held their quarterly video seminar at the Fremont Library, located approximately fifteen miles north of downtown San Jose. While in Fremont, many of the initiates fondly remembered the inspirational lecture that Master gave in the city's Hindu neighborhood in 1993.
Projecting a warm atmosphere, the venue was soon filled to capacity, and during the video Be a Torchbearer for God, the guests were captivated by Master's loving voice and showed great interest in Her message of Truth.
Most of the audience members had already heard of Master, and one lady who was very excited to attend told a story about how she had listened to the San Jose Center's radio show every morning for ten years. Overcome by enthusiasm, she asked her friend, who had driven her to the venue and wanted to leave right after the video presentation, to stay longer so that she could learn the Convenient Method. And fortunately, they were able to stay. Master always has a way of granting the wishes of those who are sincere.
Also, a gentleman from Portugal enthusiastically shared a story about how he had encountered Master's teachings while visiting The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association's website and read all of Master's lectures given in Asia, Europe and South Africa. He was excited at the idea of learning and practicing the Convenient Method and eagerly wished to receive full initiation. Filled with peace and joy, he left the seminar intent on sharing his new experience and happiness with his family.
Throughout the Truth-sharing session at the Fremont Library, the ambiance was loving, peaceful and satisfying and thus truly reflective of Master's blessing energy.
Events Date Book
To keep pace with the planet's ongoing spiritual elevation, the local centers of The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association are holding more and more video seminars and other Truth-sharing events worldwide.
You are welcome to join in these activities with your friends and relatives. For the latest schedule of our Truth-sharing activities, please visit the following URLs:
God Can be Revealed through Any of Us
by sister-initiate Helen Guo, Michigan, USA (originally in English)
Many of my past Christmas holidays were joyful occasions that took place during retreats in the presence of our beloved Master and fellow initiates. But in 2003, even if a retreat had been announced, I would not have been able to attend due to the daily radiation treatments I was receiving as a cancer patient. This situation made me feel lonely during the Christmas season as I drove down the empty streets of my city and into the parking lot of the hospital where I received my daily radiation therapy. But through Master's infinite mercy, it so happened that I met two elderly patients whose words touched me deeply and helped alleviate my sadness.
Before one of my treatments, a schedule delay caused by a mechanical problem left me and another patient sitting together in the waiting room. The patient told me that she had a tumor next to her liver, and because it was quite large and dangerous to remove surgically, she was receiving radiation treatments to shrink it so that it might become small enough to be operated on. She said that when she was first diagnosed with cancer, she prayed every day to God, asking Hirm to save her liver. But now she simply decided to leave everything to the Lord and stopped praying for a miraculous recovery. She then began to live her life as usual, which made her feel good and added, "When it's time to die, it means my work on Earth is done, and the Lord will take me Home."
On the day before Christmas, as I sat down in the waiting room I noticed that I was in the company of two other patients. One was a thin elderly woman who looked very pale. She was telling the other patient that she had not been feeling well for a while. The other patient responded that he was almost done with the first phase of his radiation treatments, during which he felt like he were being dragged through a keyhole. For many, radiation treatments not only cause weakness, but also great pain.
Then suddenly, the woman stood up and walked toward me, and I thought she was leaving the room. Seeing that she was physically weak and walking with difficulty, I reached out my hands to support her. Surprisingly, however, she stopped in front of me and half-knelt down. Then, holding my hands in hers, she gazed at me with compassion and asked, "Is there anything bothering you today?" Although I didn't know what to say, I found myself telling her that I felt lonely. Next she said something that I will never forget: "Don't ever feel lonely. The Lord is watching over every one of us all the time. You're not alone!" She then kissed my hand to make sure I understood her and felt loved, and slowly, with great effort, walked back to her seat.
I now realize that these experiences were Master's loving arrangements. Because She has blessed our world by elevating its souls, many people, including these patients, now feel a stronger faith in God even though their bodies may be weak, sick and old. They have no fear of death because their souls know that they no longer need to come back to the cycle of rebirth. Once their work on Earth is done, they can go back Home. No words can adequately praise our greatest Master! Thank You, Master, for this wonderful Christmas gift!
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Florida, USA, April 18, 2001 (originally in English) Videotape No. 729
On their wedding day a new wife said to her husband, "From today, we're one; we're married. So I don't want you to say, 'It's yours' or 'It's mine.' We have to say, 'It's ours.'" And the husband said, "OK."
The next morning, they were in their honeymoon suite, which had only one toilet: It's romantic to share everything, but the wife was desperate to go to the bathroom since the husband had been in there for a very long time.
So finally she said, "Honey! What are you doing in there? Why are you taking so long?" And the husband said, "Oh, I'm sorry! I'm having trouble shaving our beard today because yesterday you used our razor to sharpen our eyebrow pencil."
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Florida, USA, December. 28, 2001 (originally in English) Videotape No. 735
There once was a young man who went to his girlfriend's house and said to her father, "Sir, may I ask your permission to marry your daughter?" And the father said, "No way. There's no way my daughter is going to marry an actor. That's final!" But the boy begged him, "Please, before you make a final decision, would you at least go to see me perform tonight and then decide?" So the father said, "OK, fair enough." So that evening the father took his daughter to the theater to see the young man perform, and after the performance, he took his daughter backstage into the young man's dressing room and said, "OK, you can marry my daughter, no problem." The young man was beside himself and so happy that he said, "Yes, sir, but why?" And the father said, "Because you're no actor."
Please visit the following websites to enjoy the original video versions of these jokes, and you may share the joy of
Master's humor with those around you: http://www.godsdirectcontact.org.tw/eng/news/150/jk1.htm (Formosa)
The Way to Eternal Wealth and Prosperity
Spoken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai, Hsihu Formosa, May 10, 1992 (originally in Chinese) Videotape No. 245B
Through spiritual practice, we can unearth our wisdom, and then we can do everything smoothly. That's why I say, "Spiritual practitioners are the ones who help the world the most." Despite all our good intentions, however, we can be of little help to the world if we do not have talents, wisdom or virtues.
As I said before, if the people or government of a country are immoral, even if they have the best economic projects and the best technologies, the wealth and prosperity of that country won't last. Just observe the fall and degeneration of several powerful nations in the world, and you'll know what I say is true. Conversely, some nations that were small, weak and scarce in financial resources have developed rapidly and steadily. It's because these nations are highly moral and respect spiritual faith, human rights and dignity.
Take Singapore for example. It's small in area and has few financial resources. So how did it develop so well as to earn the respect of the world? It's because the Singaporean government respects the people. The government truthfully works for the people, not for its own power or to secure positions. In that country, all religions are respected. The government holds spiritual practitioners in high esteem. When I went to give a lecture there, you all know how they respected, loved and admired me. It was because they knew what I Say is right. In that country, there is no discrimination among religions. Whatever your faith or whatever religion you come from, as long as you're enlightened, what you say is logical, and you're truly virtuous, they'll follow you to learn.
Hence, we can't afford not to practice spirituality. It's because regardless of the kind of work we do, be it in the artistic, political or economic fields, we still have to develop our wisdom to its greatest potential so that we can achieve perfection in our careers and serve the world.
Spiritual Practitioners are the Best Citizens of the Planet
When I teach you how to pursue spiritual practice and guide you strictly, I don't only observe your shortcomings and ignore your good qualities. But since these qualities were there in the first place, there's no need to mention them. We're supposed to have these qualities originally so why bother to praise them? We need to change because we have flaws. Our shortcomings make us regress, separate us from others and sometimes hinder us from developing our compassion. That's why we must axe those shortcomings. We don't have to change our profession, social status or level of wealth. All we need to do is rectify our shortcomings, and then we'll do our jobs better, become richer and develop our talents better.
All that our fellow initiates need to do is focus on spiritual edification, and then their talents will improve continuously. We don't abhor the world or try to escape it. We practice spiritually for the sake of fully developing our talents, abilities, virtues and wisdom. In teaching you about spiritual practice, I have never demanded that you all become monastic practitioners and go into the Himalayas. You practice at home and meanwhile take care of your family and develop the country. This is the only goal of a spiritual practitioner. What's the use of spiritual practice if we cut ourselves off from the masses? Where else can we use the merits derived from spiritual practice, except in serving the masses?
Therefore, spiritual practitioners are really good citizens, truly good citizens of the world. Whether they're presidents or taxi drivers, spiritual practitioners are always peaceful and pure at heart in everything they do. They're extraordinarily clean and honest, very contented and amiable. Anyone who sees them likes them, and then they ask how they've become like that and whether they have any secret formula. This gives us the opportunity to spread the good news. If each fellow initiate could share the Quan Yin Method with two persons each month, or let them know the benefits of our spiritual practice, the whole world would be completely delivered very soon! It doesn't matter even if they don't practice the Quan Yin Method; at least we let them know the moral aspects, remind them of their responsibilities as a human, of the Golden Era and the innocence, virtues and magnificent spirit that we had before we came into this world.
It takes more than words to persuade someone to pursue spirituality. We ourselves must first practice well, and then our words will have a powerful backup. Also, once they believe us, we still have to continue helping them, because they may be afraid of the vegetarian diet or of meditation. So we still have to take care of them with every step they take. We must not just speak to them casually, and then forsake them even though they don't know what to do. This is not the way. We should remember the difficult situations we encountered when we, or other fellow initiates, first pursued spirituality. Sometimes, we were misunderstood by worldly people or by our family members. We have to be aware of such problems. When we help others, we should help them thoroughly. The purpose is not to get more fellow practitioners, but to purify the world.
Develop Your Unlimited Potential and Talents
Having practiced the Quan Yin Method until now, you have already derived many benefits, and are aware of the many changes in your actions, speech and thoughts, and in your family. Then, of course, you should help others to receive the same benefits, and let them become better, more intelligent and capable persons. Having embarked on the spiritual path, we can develop all our talents a hundred percent. Therefore, it's not sufficient to just become a good doctor or a good construction worker; we still have other talents to develop. These talents and wisdom will only be unearthed after we practice the Quan Yin Method. This is my personal experience.
We don't need much from the world, yet we're capable of contributing a lot. Thus, we seem to be very rich people, and in fact, we are really very rich. We lack nothing all because we practice the Quan Yin Method! So in this world we don't have to be wealthy or powerful in order to live a good, prosperous and meaningful life. Instead, we should have virtues and wisdom, and then we'll have everything we want.
That's why the Bible says: "Seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt 6:33) What's the Kingdom of God within? It's the greatest power and capability within that God has bestowed on us. Since our Father is almighty, being Hiers children, we ought to be like Hirm. Even if we can't believe that we're as almighty as God is, at least we should be close! At least two-thirds! God is almighty; Hes irradiates the whole universe. Then at least we should have two-thirds of this power and illuminate two-thirds of the universe!
This means that we are powerful. However, in our oblivion, we busy ourselves with insignificant roles, struggling in the material dimensions, and forgetting our greatest ability. The Kingdom of God is within us; the God nature is within each sentient being. Any great Master would say the same thing, yet worldly people don't understand, then chant the scriptures daily without knowing their meaning. Only we Quan Yin practitioners understand because we've found the Kingdom of God. We know who God is, and where God's nature lies. We can apply It in our daily life. Although the spiritual achievement of fellow initiates may differ and their degrees of realization may not be the same, they have all entered the Kingdom of God.
Integrate Spiritual Practice into Daily life
Ancient Zen masters didn't teach disciples how to meditate when they first came to them for training. In stories about them, we don't hear about their disciples meditating every day. Most of the time, we hear about them chopping wood, grinding grain, cooking meals or perhaps striking the bell or scrubbing the floor! The same happens here. Sometimes I instruct the monastic disciples to do a lot of work that exceeds their so-called capabilities. However, this is good; it's training! If I tell you to do the same thing every day, that will confine you in the same corner, and you'll have no chance to recognize your other talents. You'll have no chance to realize to what extent your wisdom has developed. We have capabilities far exceeding our imagination, but we don't have a chance to use them so we're not aware of them. Therefore, fellow practitioners, please do not fear hardship, do not fear work, and do not fear new tasks. Try it yourself. You can do anything because "I" can do everything. (Applause)
I have numerous disciples. Of course, you initiated people are my closest disciples. Otherwise, I have innumerable visible and invisible believers, uncountable! Of course, there's a difference between disciples and believers. Disciples are those who follow me to learn from me. I teach them how to practice spirituality through personal instruction so that they can teach other people and benefit five, six, seven, eight, a hundred generations of their families. Believers are those who believe in the ability and power of the Master, and who pray for liberation for themselves as "a person" alone. This is called "Hinayana." But you initiated disciples are my "Mahayana" disciples.*
Although I have plenty of disciples, can have anything I want and believe there's nothing that you would refuse to give me, I still work to fulfill my own financial needs. Why do I paint pictures, make handicrafts and even do plasterwork myself? Because I want you to learn from my example, let you know that an enlightened person is capable of doing anything. Also, I want you to know that we spiritual practitioners are not parasites in the world.
We have grown up and become knowledgeable. If we still can't take care of ourselves, how can we take care of the world? If we spiritual practitioners or so-called enlightened persons have to ask others to do everything for us, are incapable of doing anything, are very slow and sluggish, and rely on others, servants or disciples for everything, then what kind of Enlightened Masters are we? So it's not my intention to boast about my talents; I never had these talents. I just do what I need to do, and then find that I have such talents. Just like you, I don't predict the future. I simply react naturally in any situation that arises and depending on the circumstances, I just handle it accordingly. So, don't be afraid of any event in your life. When experiences come, first calm down and then you'll know how to handle them!
Dissolve Natural Disasters and Man-made Catastrophes with the Way of Love
Of course, there are things that we can't handle because they're related to the multitudes of the world. Their collective karma and complex systems, their government, mindset, customs and habits are quite unlike ours. To avoid trouble and conflict, we do the best we can without engaging in too much confrontation with the world. Thus it appears as if we're incapable of handling some aspects because they're related to the mundane. If the problem concerns only us or our fellow practitioners, we can solve it immediately. Between us, Master and disciples, and among our fellow practitioners, there's never been anything that can't be handled. Isn't that true? (Yes!) We're truly one because we practice the Quan Yin Method.
We know about these things so we're happy and delighted. Now, whenever we can share the news with someone, we try our best. However, don't force people. Just let them know that there is such an option, and then let them decide. It doesn't matter if they choose otherwise. We love the whole world, including fellow practitioners, non-fellow practitioners, believers, non-believers, enemies, friends, enemies of enemies, friends of enemies, enemies of friends, and so on. We love them all. (Warm applause) It's because people in this world practice discrimination that they struggle, kill each other and reduce our beautiful, fertile planet to one that's poor, weak, backward and miserable. We thus become inferior to other planets. We Quan Yin practitioners should spread our undiscriminating love to the whole world. Only through this way of love can we dissolve all natural disasters and wars, and turn foes into friends. (Applause)
We should act with sincerity, fairness and impartiality, and without discrimination. The people of the world will thus follow and learn from us. When we act in this way, the world will become more and more peaceful. You must bear this in mind: People practicing the Quan Yin Method must have wisdom and influence the whole world instead of being influenced by the ignorant multitudes!
* Hinayana and Mahayana are Sanskrit terms meaning "Small Vehicle" and "Great Vehicle" respectively and are applied to the two major branches of Buddhism. Here they have the meaning "less benefit" and "greater benefit."
No country will last long if it only takes care of its economy and ignores the moral, ethical and cultural aspects of life and society. No matter how good the economy may be, without morality, love and noble customs, I'm afraid it won't last very long.
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Hsihu, Formosa, May 9, 1992 (originally in Chinese) Videotape No. 244
Finding the Way Home in a Distant Land
(Originally in Aulacese)
While traveling through Poland to Germany from my home country Au Lac, I broke my legs after falling from a tenth floor window in the city of Warsaw. The police hurriedly came and took me to the emergency room. And as I experienced the excruciating pain caused by my injuries, I found myself in a strange land unable to speak the local language and with no friends or relatives.
During my surgery, the doctors relocated the broken bones and placed casts on my legs to mend my damaged body. However my heart was so sad and I was in so much pain that I had to cry. It was at this most desperate moment of my life that I noticed a picture of the crucified Christ and prayed to Him in all sincerity, gradually falling asleep while praying.
When I awoke, a Polish man came to my room, held my hand and looked at me with friendly eyes. I then felt extremely light and warm as though a stream of energy was being transmitted into my body, and amazingly, my pain subsided! Next the man asked if I had any friends or relatives in the area and, although I did not speak Polish, I somehow I understood what he was saying. Fortunately, on the way to Poland, I had befriended a man who subsequently gave me his relatives' phone number. Thus I gave the number to the kind Polish man, who called the people on my behalf. About thirty minutes later, an Aulacese man came to visit me, thinking that I was a soccer player who had injured his legs during a game, and since he was involved in the sport he immediately came to see me. Naturally I cleared up the misunderstanding and told him of my unfortunate situation. Afterwards, he telephoned many organizations: the Aulacese embassy, a charitable foundation, the local Aulacese association, the Association for the Elderly, and the Protestant Association. In a loving response, representatives of all these groups came to visit me, and members of the Protestant Association even brought me some books, which I read, and hence I began thinking about the power of Almighty God.
After two weeks, two of Master's male disciples visited me, bringing a sample booklet and a container of vegetarian food. For some reason that was beyond my understanding, the men emanated a loving energy that was different from that of anyone else who had visited me, and although many caring people had helped me both physically and mentally, I was still able to perceive the difference. Afterwards, the kind-hearted men brought me vegetarian food every day and offered me much encouragement. I readily consumed the food, read Master's booklet and after some time, although I did not fully understand Her teachings, naturally stopped eating meat.
In my mind, I pondered the power of God and my experience with Hirm, and asked myself, "Why did these gentlemen say that Supreme Master Ching Hai is a living Saint and also their Master?" They gave me Her picture as well and seemed to have a strong and distinctly elevated form of love for me. Despite these questions, I remembered to pray sincerely to God in Jesus' and Master's name every day.
Then after a two-month stay in the hospital, I was taken to a Polish protestant church, where I rested while waiting for my casts to be removed. One night during this period, the inner light form of Master appeared to me in a dream and said, "If you believe in me, I will bring the whole temple to you." I then woke up and wondered to myself, "Who are you? This is a Christian church; how can you bring the whole temple over here?" I kept having such thoughts until one day three men came to visit and gave me some of Your audio tapes. Thanks to the tapes, I came to understand Jesus' teachings to a greater degree, and thanks to God, I now understand Who Master is. Through Your miraculous arrangement, I feel overjoyed to live within the loving embrace of the Quan Yin family. At present, I am practicing the Convenient Method and waiting for Initiation.
Master, I am grateful to You. You protected me and saved my life when I was suffering the most. Dear Master, I like Your poetry very much, and especially Your voice on the Buddha's chanting tape, which soothes my soul.
I wish You good health always so that You may continue to lead sentient beings to Enlightenment.
With profound respect and love,
Your would-be disciple Ha Van Thanh, Warsaw, Poland
The Beggar and the Millionaire
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Seven-day Retreat, Taipei, Formosa, May 23, 1994 (originally in English) Videotape No. 428
There once was a beggar, and in his home town there lived a millionaire. But that person was very, very stingy! So everything he had, he stuck somewhere in a cupboard or dug a hole in the earth and hid. No one, not even he (laughter), knew where it was. In this way, he didn't have to spend!
So he was very, very stingy! He never gave anyone a penny, not to mention refugees or the Red Cross; he didn't even want to hear about such things. He wanted to keep his money intact. As for spending in the home, he was also very, very expert in stinginess. So his wife, his children, his mother, his brother, his sister - everyone - was miserable.
Then one day a beggar came to the millionaire's door and wanted a piece of gold from him. The millionaire had a lot of gold, but of course, he kicked the beggar out and also told his workers and family to throw him out.
The next day, however, the beggar came back again and wanted the same thing, a piece of gold. So the millionaire once again kicked him out. But the beggar came back again yet another day - and again and again, day after day, month after month, year after year. He really practiced patience! (Laughter) He must have meditated or something because he was so persistent. Patient endurance is one of the virtues the Buddha taught his disciples, one of the Six Perfections.
Year after year it went on like this until one day the millionaire was so fed up with the beggar that he finally cut a piece of gold, a very small one, and gave it to him. (Master comments that we should learn from this story: Whatever we want to do, we should persist in, and maybe we'll succeed!)(Laughter)
Then the beggar became very, very happy. He jumped around and sang "Hallelujah!" And then he took the piece of gold to his bosom and went back to his place and went to sleep. He put his piece of gold next to him, on top of his meditation cushion, and went to sleep.
But when he woke up, it wasn't there anymore. (Laughter) Of course! Maybe another initiate had thought it was a play toy and brought it home with him or he left it alone and someone else took it, but he didn't know who. Because the beggar just slept anywhere: in front of the supermarket, under a bridge, in front of the theater, in an empty field, anywhere! So if he put his piece of gold there, people could just take it away. Then the next day he went back and requested another piece of gold from the millionaire.
And the millionaire asked, "But why? I just gave you one yesterday. What did you do with it?" So the man said, "Yes, yesterday I had it. I put it beside me, and I just closed my eyes, and when I opened my eyes, it was gone. So today I have to come back again for another piece."
When the millionaire heard this, he immediately became enlightened! (Laughter) He realized the truth about the things of this world: Today you have them; tomorrow you don't. Or you might have them now, but later you don't. He suddenly somehow became enlightened about the detachment that we should have concerning all possessions in this world.
And after that, he changed his behavior. He began to give in charity to people and to live a very normal, relaxed life. He didn't cling to gold or money anymore. So the people around him thought that the beggar was a Heavenly being who had transformed himself into a human in order to teach the millionaire the lesson of detachment, and maybe enlightenment. (Applause)
This book (Master holds up the book She has been reading from) is really my benefactor, my teacher. After I read this book, I also became enlightened; I also became very detached. I don't think about money and gold anymore because I don't have any! (Master and everyone laugh. The audience applauds.)
I wasn't born with any gold, and I won't go out with any gold. Whatever I have is yours. It belongs to the world. Just like you take it from here and give it there. It's the same with every one of us. We take water from the river, put it in a water tank, and then the water tank distributes it to the whole village or town.
We should live our lives just like a water tank. Whatever we have is for distribution. We're only the receivers. For example, I have a lot of money, but I never consider myself as having any. It's very relaxing. You don't worry because you already don't consider that it's yours. So whether it's there or not, it doesn't matter.
by sister-initiate Suchada, Chiangmai, Thailand (originally in Thai)
Before my initiation, I became acquainted with an amiable couple who were disciples of Master Ching Hai and who owned a shop near mine at the Chiangmai Night Bazaar, where they often greeted me. One day, the pair gave me a copy of The Key of Immediate Enlightenment sample booklet. But Master's image on the cover did not correspond with my concept of a spiritual master, whom I thought should dress simply like a Buddhist monk. Nonetheless, I accepted the booklet out of courtesy, and despite my initial lack of interest, did manage to briefly flip through its pages as I did not want to hurt my friends' feelings when they asked me about it. However, the booklet failed to convince me that an enlightened Master could cleanse the karma of Her disciples. Because it was the first time in my experience with Buddhist doctrines that I had heard it was possible to purge others' karma. I then decided to set the book aside. Later, when my friends lent me one of Master's books, a thicker one than the last, I accepted it for fear of hurting their feelings but had no intention of reading it.
My friends played Master's Buddha's Chanting tape in their shop every day. Although the volume was low, I could still hear it clearly from my shop more than ten meters away. It sounded noisy to me, and as the tape playing went on day after day, I asked my neighbors, "Don't you find the Buddha's Chanting very noisy?" And they replied in amazement, "What Buddha's Chanting? We can't hear anything!" I was bewildered. Why was I the only one who could hear it so loudly and clearly? I then took out the copy of Master's book that my friends had given me, and read through it randomly. When I found that Master's teachings are to some extent similar to Buddhist doctrines and every word that Master says is logical, I began to read the book more seriously. Very soon, I finished the six volumes of The Key of Immediate Enlightenment series and realized that I should not have misunderstood or looked down on Master's teachings. Soon after, I learned the Convenient Method, and then in 1998 received Quan Yin initiation. I rejoice at having found the best spiritual method in the world, and feel that Master is constantly looking after my family and me. The best testimony to Her care is the way in which my 86-year-old mother blissfully passed away in the hospital three months ago.
In 2000 my mother was diagnosed with cancer, and her condition fluctuated from week to week. Several days before her demise, she developed a good appetite, and laughed and chatted like a happy child. Her doctors and nurses were astonished since she was terminally ill, cancer cells had spread throughout her body, and she was not using painkillers; yet she did not complain about pain. In light of her positive mood, I thought that mother would soon recover and return home. However, when I told a fellow initiate about her condition, he observed that my mother was going to pass away, but Master had compassionately erased her pain so that she could focus only on Master and God when she died. He advised me not to be overcome by sorrow, but instead to meditate more as Master would take my mother to a beautiful dimension. I was skeptical about the brother's comments, and even felt a little unhappy, thinking, "Mother looks just like a normal, healthy person. Why did he say that she's going to die?"
The following day, mother was placed in the intensive care unit because she was having difficulty breathing, and only then did I think that what the initiate had said might be true. Although with an airway inserted in her throat my mother remained completely conscious and smiled happily all the time. Another day passed and the doctor ordered that the airway be removed. Then just fifteen minutes later, mother passed away with her palms folded. I quickly realized that she had folded her hands because Master had come to take her Home.
I then decided to write down this experience so that I could share it with others, but procrastinated about completing it. Then one day during a group meditation session, I saw mother in my inner vision, her eyes like those of a child. She asked me, "Have you finished writing the article?" And I answered, "I'll try to finish it today!"
I am extremely grateful to Master for taking care of my mother so lovingly in her final months on earth and in the hereafter. There is nothing that I can do to repay Her except to practice more diligently.
by sister-initiate Cindy Xing, Melbourne, Australia (originally in English)
On March 3, 2004, my 28th birthday, I had an experience that made me realize Master's blessing power is with us always, especially in times of trouble!
That night, after my roommate and I returned home from a day at the beach, he temporarily parked his car in the street outside our house, and not in the garage as usual. I then hurried inside to make a phone call. About twenty minutes later, I heard the sound of the car starting up, and suddenly felt that someone was trying to steal it. I ran to tell my roommate, but he failed to react and simply refused to believe that his car would disappear.
Later when he discovered that the car was really gone, his face became frozen in shock. I then reminded him to call the police, and told him that I felt the car would be returned soon. But he was so depressed that he did not even hear what I was saying.
Back in my room, I sat down quietly on my bed, closed my eyes and told Master, "If the car isn't returned, my roommate will be very, very sad since just two days ago he finished replacing its tires and battery cables, and now it looks as if his work has been wasted. Moreover, if he doesn't get the car back, he'll be in even worse financial trouble than he already is, and I only began driving the car a few days ago and am just getting used to it. Thus, if the car isn't returned, we'll both have serious problems."
After a few minutes, I opened my eyes and happened to see one of Master's books lying near my pillow. I opened it casually and on the page before me saw a story entitled "My Loving Car Came Back!" I then smiled and knew I had already received my answer from our dearest Master Ching Hai!
Next I went to comfort my roommate. "Take it easy," I told him. "Have you heard this story? A man lost his favorite stallion, but a few days later the horse returned, and brought a mare with him. So the man got back even more than he had lost. Don't worry, if the car runs out of gas, the thief will abandon it and the police will find it."
When I got up the next day, my roommate told me that the police had called him to say they had found the car in the town of Ringwood, some distance from our place! And the situation unfolded exactly as I had told him: The car had run out of gas, and with the nearest gas station two kilometers away, the thief had left it in the middle of the road where the police discovered it. My roommate was so excited that he shouted to me, "Angel, you're my special angel! And you were right about that horse story you told me because when I drove the car back, I found that its broken headlight had already been fixed."
At that moment, my heart swelled with joy, and I knew that this was the best birthday gift I had ever received from Supreme Master Ching Hai. For through this experience, my roommate has become more respectful of Master and has drawn nearer to Her, and also, I am more confident than ever before. Because I now know that whatever happens, everything will work out in the end through our own efforts and Master's grace! Her blessing power and true love are always with us, no matter who we are or where we may be!
Narrated by brother-initiate Abao, recorded by sister-initiate Ren-yi, Taoyuan, Formosa (originally in Chinese)
Master says that once we are initiated, Her manifestation body is with us twenty-four hours a day. But while under Her constant, meticulous care, we often take for granted the many miracles that occur in our lives, and only when surviving grave danger do we realize the profound meaning behind Her words. On February 24 2004, a miraculous incident occurred that moved me and three fellow practitioners to deep reflection.
Around seven o'clock that evening, I was driving the initiates and a five-year-old child back to Taoyuan. And as I sped through the Hsinchu section of the local freeway, the child suddenly became noisy for no apparent reason, disturbing the initiates who had fallen asleep. Shortly after, we heard a sharp, loud sound from outside the car and suddenly saw a dark object looming up right in front of the driver's compartment. I took a closer look, found that it was a rock about fifteen cubic centimeters in size and thought, "If our speeding car collides with the stone, the consequences will be devastating," Then I immediately began praying to Master for help, and just at the most critical moment, the stone bounced twice, deflecting to the right away from the driver's seat, and then rolled up and farther to the right, placing us out of harm's way. Such was our miraculous escape from a potentially dangerous situation!
Recovering from the shock of the experience, a brother initiate observed softly, "It seemed as though someone had picked the stone up from the right and above!" This miraculous incident lasted only ten seconds, but it conveyed a meaningful message, bringing home to us the truth that "Master's manifestation body is with us twenty-four hours a day." While awed by Master's almighty power, we who escaped disaster are also extremely grateful for Her protection!
Sincere West Africans Hasten to Learn the Supreme Teachings
by a Quan Yin messenger (originally in English)
Spiritual practice is not new to most Africans, who have highly developed cultures deeply rooted in spiritual cultivation, and beliefs and customs that existed long before the arrival of Christianity and Islam. Being tribally based, these indigenous traditions contribute to Africans' hospitable nature, open-mindedness and warm appreciation of the Quan Yin Method.
In recent years, The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association's centers in West Africa have been growing rapidly. For example, in Benin (a country bordering Nigeria and Togo), the Cotonou Center has been overwhelmed by the tremendous success of its radio broadcasts, which have attracted so many new Truth-seekers that the Center's main building will soon be too small to accommodate everyone for group meditation even though it can easily hold over a hundred people.
The West African centers are well organized in their promotion of Master's teachings, and have created facilities specially suited for Truth-aspirants to easily acquire priceless spiritual knowledge. Each country in the region has an established meditation center and also an information center located either in the meditation venue itself or in another location easily accessible to the public. The information centers are open six days a week from morning till evening, providing access to Master's books and News magazines and featuring daily presentations of Her video lectures. Each day, many local people spend hours reading and watching videos at these facilities, which thus provide a valuable service to West Africans.
After gaining knowledge of Master's teachings, many of the centers' visitors learn the Convenient form of meditation and become full vegetarians in preparation for initiation. It is truly heart warming to see so many sincere spiritual seekers deeply appreciating this great opportunity to learn the Truth. While preparing for initiation, the Convenient Method practitioners continue to visit the information centers regularly, showing their genuine enthusiasm for knowledge and understanding of Master's wisdom. Convenient Method group meditation sessions, which are held twice weekly, always have excellent attendance, demonstrating that many have had direct personal experience of the divine and attained greater inner peace while practicing meditation.
In addition, most West African initiates meditate continuously for four hours at Sunday group meditation sessions. And when asked about the difficulty of meditating for such a long period, one sister replied, "Initially we meditated for six hours without stopping because we wanted to progress more quickly!"
Having practiced diligently for a number of years, some West African initiates began to feel a need to share their blessings with their sisters and brothers in neighboring countries. So recently, several practitioners from Togo and Benin have moved to the nearby countries of Niger and the Ivory Coast to spread Master's divine teachings to local communities. Soon these countries will establish their own centers, thus offering spiritual refuge to many more longing souls. So as Africa continues to develop spiritually, its inhabitants can look forward to a brighter, better future during the Golden Age!
In Benin, Convenient Method practitioners awaiting initiation earnestly participate in group meditation, and assimilate Master's wisdom from Her teachings.
In Benin, fellow practitioners study Master's teachings while sitting leisurely on the veranda.
Before a group meditation session at the Togo Center, sincere Truth-aspirants greatly cherish the precious opportunity to pursue spirituality - a blessing that may come only once in a millennium.
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Los Angles, CA., USA, July 5-6, 1997 (originally in English) Videotape No. 587
Q: Sometimes we practice well, and so we feel easier and more comfortable. But sometimes we're humans with lazy habits and karma from the earthly environment. Master, how can we overcome these kinds of difficulties?
M: Continue meditating and try your best to minimize the bad and maximize the good. Whatever you know is good, according to your conscience and moral understanding, continue to do it and develop it. Whatever is good for other people and good for you, at least you know it's good so that's easy. Whatever is harmful to other people or even harmful to you is something bad. So try to minimize whatever you think is bad. Whatever negative traces exist in you, minimize them. Always control yourself and say, "This is no good. I won't do it. I shouldn't and I won't." Use your will power to control your destiny. You walk this way all the time but don't walk that way. The bad way, you should try to avoid, and the good way you should try to follow. That's how you can minimize karma, help yourself and of course help your Master.
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Los Angles, CA., USA, July 5-6, 1997 (originally in English) Videotape No. 587
Q: My question is how can I balance meditation with work and responsibilities? Because according to Your teachings, whenever we do something, we should do it wholeheartedly. So if we're too devoted to our job or work, meaning that we think about it all day, even during meditation, how do we balance this with meditation?
M: I know. You just have to try. There's no other way - try. After a while, sometimes it works. It's just like playing the lottery.
Q: Should we just put down our interest in work, or should we do something else?
M: You mean during your meditation time? (A: Yes.) If you have a big question about a job problem, then of course during meditation time you can ask about it or think about it for a while. Sometime you don't have to ask; it just comes automatically. Sometimes you have a problem that gives you a headache, and you don't know how to solve it. So you say, "Oh, never mind, just forget it. I need to meditate for a while." Then during meditation or after you meditate you get the answer very clearly.
Q: But every job has endless problems. They're never finished, and you always have to solve them.
M: Yes, but whenever you can't solve them, the answers will come through meditation. You don't even do it deliberately; you just try to meditate and whatever comes comes. If it doesn't come, it doesn't come. In this world; a thousand and one problems are unsolved so yours aren't the only ones. Don't worry about it. You're not supposed to be a "Superman" In this world. Making a mistake is all right.
Q: Thank you, Master.
M: Just try your best.
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Los Angles, CA., USA, July 5-6, 1997 (originally in English) Videotape No. 587
Q: When they meditate, some people pray for something. From my understanding, if you're really praying for the right thing, maybe your prayers can work out. But what if it's for something that's not good enough or not for a very good reason?
M: When you pray to the Master, most of the time making it come true actually depends on you. It's not the Master. Whether you want a bad thing or a good thing, it will come true because you're the one who's responsible for your prayer. You're the one who wants it. And you know because you're the master, too. Don't blame any other master. You know what you want, and your wisdom will know it and grant it to you because you want that experience. Maybe it's a very expensive experience for you, and it costs you dearly in many ways, but if you want to learn the hard way, the Master will let you learn like that.
Because the Master isn't a dictator, sitting there telling you what to do. The Master just assists you in growing, in mastering yourself and in making the right choices at the right times. And you sometimes learn to make them through mistakes and sometimes through hardship. It's all right. No one is there to judge you except yourself, to know: "OK, I know that was bad, but I still wanted it because I was weak, I wasn't strong enough to control my desire. So I take full responsibility." That's it. Next time, you won't do it again because you already know it's no good. But if you already know that something is good, and you're really sincere and pray for it with full length and never change your mind about the desire, it will come true.
But sometimes it takes time because when something you desire involves a lot of other people, you have to wait until their minds get your message and tune in with your desire. They might not even tune in that quickly, or they might not even tune in at all. It depends on how strong you are to be able to maneuver other people's minds to suit your desire. So sometimes your desire comes true quickly, and sometimes slowly. Because it depends on how large the scale is, how many people are involved and what the circumstances are in which your desire will be fulfilled. Suppose you have a girlfriend who already loves you and who you desire to marry and she'll be OK with that. Even then, it takes time for her to digest the same idea and have the same desire. And then it will be quick because it involves only two people who are already going in almost the same direction. That's why group involvement and group consciousness work wonders. That's why when people pray together in a large group, even if they aren't QuanYin practitioners, when they join minds and join in sincerity, it works because if everyone wants the same thing at the same time, it's bound to work.
When Jesus said, "When two or more sit together in my name, I am with them," that's what He meant. When two or more people agree on one thing, it will definitely come true. If they're both of the same mind, the same sincerity and the same desire, it will come true. But it takes time. Some things take time. If you desire to have a cake, I don't think you should pray. Just go to some shops and see who has one. That's quicker.
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Florida, USA, May 11, 2002 (originally in English) Videotape No. 740
Q: Recently, I was wondering how to distinguish between negative thinking and when the Master is trying to warn us about something bad that will or could happen. I'm having trouble distinguishing between them.
M: What does the Master tell you?
Q: Well, sometimes an intuition comes, and it's hard to tell if it's the mind engaging in negative thinking about a certain situation, or if it's an intuition coming to warn me about something.
M: It depends. If you've encountered that kind of situation before and it came out negatively, it could be your prejudice. But if it's brand new and your intuition comes suddenly from nowhere, then it's true. It depends on the situation. If you've already been talking negatively about the situation with someone else, or someone else gives you this negative thinking, then maybe it's from that. But if it just comes instantly out of nowhere, then it's all clear.
Q: There's just so much noise going on that it's hard to distinguish sometimes.
M: Well, then - too bad! Then you have to wait to find out. If you think the Master is warning you that you're going to fall from a ladder, then wait until you fall and you'll know.
M: But take precautions, anyway. If you feel that way, take precautions as much as you can. Do what you have to do, but think about whether there's a better way that you might have forgotten to look for, or some detail you may have overlooked that's important.
Re-check; always re-check. Make sure and there will never be any harm. Make sure. For example, you want to do some project and you think it's OK, but suddenly you have a pre-warning or bad feeling about it. Then you need to re-check the details of your project one by one to see whether you're missing something, or if something should be changed. When you re-check it, you'll know.
Q: Also, I had complained last time about not having too many experiences, and Master fixed that because now I'm having a lot of experiences. But they're not very pretty. So I'm thinking maybe Master was protecting me from seeing that before. Mostly, even in dreams or in meditation, I'm at a place where things are really flimsy and it looks like everything I touch turns to dust. Even buildings; the rail and the staircase are alike.
M: Don't touch me, then. Get away from me! (Master and everyone laugh.) No, that's just your past negative actions.
Q: I was wondering what this signifies. Could it be that my past framework of life is being demolished?
M: No. Your past destructive patterns come back sometimes so they have to be erased by dreams. Otherwise, you'll keep doing that again. You used to use magical powers to destroy things and now, if we don't resolve that, they'll stay there.
Q: I did that?
M: Yes, in the past.
Q: Really? Oh! That's not nice.
M: It's OK. It's in the past. Everyone has had a past at some time; every Saint has a past. So now we're just working it out so that everything happens in dreams, and there's no trace left of that karma. So you can elevate yourself.
Q: I'm glad that it's happening, and I'm willing to go through it.
M: It's OK; it won't be long.
Q: OK, thank you. Also, when I'm in a dream or in meditation, sometimes I'm not very nice to people. I wouldn't act like that here, right now, but in a dream, it's like I'm running on automatic. I can't really control anything.
M: I told you, you're working out the past. It's OK. At least you see something that's interesting; it's better than nothing.
Q: That's what I say.
M: Yes, sometimes when you're bored, a bad movie is better than no movie.
Q: I just worry a little bit: I'm not hurting real people in that experience, right?
M: No, no.
Q: It's just a vision or a dream, right?
M: It's just working out your past tendency to clean it out. It's not that you want to do that now, but just that you have some residue. And you have to clean it out so that you can get rid of it, and then you can go up a little higher.
Q: OK. Thank you very much, Master.
M: You're welcome.
Daily Inward Focus Brings About True Spiritual Progress
by sister-initiate Old Monkey, Munich, Germany
Recently I began thinking a great deal about the nature of spiritual development, especially after learning that most of the earth's population has been elevated to a higher level by our beloved Supreme Master Ching Hai. My first thought was, "Wow! Fancy that we still need Master to 'carry' us." However, I soon came to understand that we really do very little by ourselves.
Although we meditate two-and-a-half hours a day and adhere to a vegetarian diet, we often fail to reach high enough. In my own practice, I have gradually begun to have inner experiences, enjoying the inner Light and Sound, beautiful inner visions and occasional periods of clairvoyance and telepathy, all of which have given me hope so that I feel my life has started anew. At these times I think, "Wow, I'm progressing." But now I believe that such "progress" is still at the beginner's level and not much above bodily or worldly awareness. How I yearn to fly from the earthly domain to higher levels, to the Fifth Level, to our original Home!
Sometimes I even believe I have sufficient strength to do things without Master's blessing, thinking, "Master can have a rest now." But I quickly learn through experience that this is not the case, and that without Master I can do nothing well. It is just in these moments when I feel strong enough to "go it alone" that I find I must depend on Master more. In many situations this "proud monkey" has been forced to admit that she was just a nobody.
For example, at work I was long popular with all my colleagues and readily accepted as a vegetarian and spiritual practitioner. So I began to think, "I must be practicing well because my co-workers like me. I feel 'strong' now, Master. Maybe I can walk alone." Soon, however, a new person came to work with me on an assignment, and we disliked each other immediately, creating a "cold-war" atmosphere in the workplace. We tried to get along, but simply could not, and I eventually felt forced to leave the project.
After leaving, I thought about this relationship, and realized I had forgotten Master's teachings on humility and tolerance, keeping only myself and my own righteousness in mind. Since I had forgotten Master, only the egotistical notion "I might be strong enough to walk alone" had remained in my mind. I saw that as a spiritual practitioner, I should have forgiven my co-worker and not have expected him to treat me kindly. I then begged Master to give me a chance to go back to the office and work again with that colleague, and soon he unexpectedly invited me back to the project. This time, although we were still not friends, the strong antagonism between us disappeared.
In such situations, it is frustrating to admit how truly weak the ego is. But when I abandon my frustration, I can put aside my pride and rely on the strength of the Almighty, realizing that we must keep Master in mind at all times through Her teachings and put them into action. Thus, our spiritual level will be enhanced, we will feel less with our physical faculties, and life events will unfold naturally like the spring warmth that silently melts winter's ice. Even though we ask for nothing, the miracles will come and we will innocently receive God's grace. When we rely on the Master Power instead of our own mind, we can finally progress. The Chinese proverb "The pure heart is like a child's, attached to nothing" describes this state.
Besides maintaining purity of heart we should also be ever attentive to God, not only while sitting still and concentrating, but also when we are active in the world. If we meditate sincerely, but later speak as if we are throwing knives and stones, and if we think negatively and blame God for not helping us enough, then what is the use of meditating?
Daily meditation should quiet our minds so that we can focus on the inner world continuously, even while encountering negative people and events. When we constantly turn inward, our happiness supplies enough wisdom for us to work out all our problems, no matter how stressful. And we come to love other beings naturally as we love ourselves. Love and forgiveness become our natural habits no matter what our abilities or skills. Then we can say that we have made a bit of spiritual progress. At that time, we may begin moving upwards into the spiritual domain through God's grace and Master's love.
Above all, what we need to do is cherish - cherish everything that Master bestows on us!
Report from France
Master's Tender Care Benefits both Givers and Receivers
by the Paris News Group
On February 8, 2004, fellow practitioners from the Paris Center extended Master's wintertime love and concern to their less fortunate brothers and sisters by distributing quilts, delicious vegetarian sandwiches, hot tea and coffee and sample booklets around the city. Many of the recipients, in dire need of warm clothing to fight the cold, were shivering and starving on street corners and were thus surprised and delighted to receive the loving gifts; while the initiates were equally happy to learn a valuable lesson in sharing by acting as Master's vehicles of compassion. The participants all agreed that they would conduct more such charitable activities in the future.
Report from Virginia, U.SA
Taking God's Love to the Streets in the Depths of Winter
by Vincent Nguyen, Virginia, U.S.A. (originally in Aulacese)
In early February 2004, the weather in Washington, DC changed abruptly and became extremely cold as the northeastern section of the US suddenly entered a period called "the deep freeze" by local news media. At night, the temperature sometimes dropped to below zero degrees Celsius (32?F), making survival difficult for those living in the streets. Thus, Virginia Center initiates quickly planned a project to help the city's homeless. After acquiring a supply of winter jackets and preparing a large quantity of vegetarian food and drinks, the sisters and brothers immediately set about driving through DC to distribute the items to those in need.
A disciple who had worked for over ten years in the capital guided the Quan Yin work team to places around the city where the homeless often slept at night. Due to the urgency of the situation, the initiates had insufficient time to buy necessities such as soap, towels and underwear. So instead of these supplies, each homeless person received some cash to buy food or anything else they needed. After driving through Washington giving gifts to needy people in parks, on benches and on the sidewalks, the initiates went to a shelter to offer food, drinks and warm clothing to the homeless who gathered on the sidewalk nearby. A number of shelter residents also came outside upon hearing about the gift distribution. After receiving a jacket and a financial gift, one man yelled out happily, "God bless all of you!" The sisters and brothers replied, "God bless you too, brother!" Other people eagerly asked when the initiates would return.
While they were distributing provisions, a middle-aged man who had just lost his job after working regularly for sixteen years told the work team, "It's a new experience for me to live on the streets, and I don't know where or how to find a shelter." A disciple then comforted the man and directed him to several shelters in the city.
Due to this project a number of Washington's homeless were assisted, so the initiates felt very encouraged and extremely blessed to have brought Master's Love and warmth to these less fortunate brothers and sisters. After their wintertime aid effort was completed, the Virginia Center initiates decided to conduct similar activities for the homeless each month in the future.
Report from Costa Rica
A Sunday Visit to a Marginal Community: Master's Love Made Visible
by Gemma Garcia, San Jose (originally in Spanish)
On Sunday, February 1, 2004, Costa Rican initiates and Convenient Method practitioners distributed gifts in an underprivileged community known as Tibas-Zurqui's Dump in downtown San Jose.
When the brothers and sisters met the Dump's residents, it was easy to "Feel from the soul." The locals were certainly unfortunate for their homes were like "honey-comb cells" built one on top of another, and besides the small size of the living quarters, three families sometimes had to coexist in the same space. In fact, their homes did not seem like real houses since the wooden walls were rotten and the roofs were only metal sheets kept in place with sticks. In addition, there were limitations on basic necessities such as water, electricity and sewers. The suspended foot bridges over the gorge that we had to cross to reach the houses in Master's name were also made of decaying wood. Thus, overall the inhabitants of Tibas-Zurqui's Dump were living in dreadful conditions.
As the practitioners approached the residents they smiled but remained silent, perhaps because they felt shy about the sudden visit. They only spoke when the brothers and sisters talked to them; however it was sure that their souls were accepting Supreme Master Ching Hai's love.
While observing that the Dump's inhabitants were of all age groups, the sisters and brothers focused their attention on the children, joyously giving them small bags filled with candies and cookies. At the same time, the head of each family was presented with literature containing God's divine words about the Quan Yin Method. During the activity, the atmosphere was very blissful.
Fellow practitioners thank our Mother for the opportunity to get closer to Her loving Kingdom, and through Her Grace they can now call this unfortunate site an "Ocean of Love."
Report from Ouebec, Canada
Timely Gifts of Love Turn Gloomy Winter into Cheerful Spring
by the Montreal News Group (originally in English)
To commemorate the auspicious tenth anniversary of Supreme Master Ching Hai Day, instituted by the governors of six Midwestern states in the U. S, Montreal Center initiates distributed gift packages to their city's homeless residents.
The project began on the morning of February 21, 2004, when, filled with joyful anticipation, the practitioners prepared a supply of nutritious vegetarian meals including sandwiches, muffins, fruit and drinks, and then gathered at the Center to wrap the food in individual gift packages. Next, before starting to distribute Master's thoughtful gifts, the brothers and sisters meditated together and afterwards divided into groups to seek out the recipients around noon, because at this time the homeless can usually be found at specific locations in the city.
Through Master's blessings, the day turned out to be warm and pleasant, which was unusual, as Quebec tends to have extremely chilly, snowy winters. During these times of severe weather, it is common to see the city's homeless hovering inside subway doors and bank entrances or sleeping in the streets. Thus they were truly happy to receive Master's presents, with some even showing their joy openly posing for photos with the initiates.
Deep in their hearts, the Quebec brothers and sisters knew that these less fortunate friends were one with them, and had come to earth to play their roles in order to give all of us a chance to remember the unconditional love we should show for each other. In God's eyes, everyone is a beloved son or daughter so Master's grace, compassion and blessings are bestowed equally upon all sentient beings. We merely serve as Her instruments, bringing divine mercy to every corner of the world, reminding people of their Godly nature, and thus rekindling a true sense of love and brotherhood.
(Originally in French)
P.S.: For details of relief provided to flood victims in Quebec, Canada, please refer to The Supreme Master Ching Hai News #146.
by sister-initiate Sonia Paiva, Byron Bay/Northern Rivers, Australia (originally in English)
From February 21-22, 2004, I attended a wonderful two-day retreat at the Hsihu Center, Formosa. The following is an account of some of my blissful experiences during the event.
The Center is a magical place, and upon passing through its gates, I felt a tingling sensation as my energy rose and vibrated at a very high level. For the first meditation session, I chose to sit next to a little waterfall flowing from the Nectar River. After I closed my eyes to begin meditating, it felt like only seconds had gone by when Master's Buddha's chanting tape resonated through the area signaling lunchtime and calling everyone to a feast of delicious fruit and vegetables. Master's video lectures were presented during and after meal times until the next meditation session started, and all the while I was captivated by Her wise and humorous words.
The landscape at the Center is pristine and scenic, with most of the land being covered by pebbles. A small stream, the Nectar River, flows through the grounds along three terraced levels creating cascading waterfalls. In addition, numerous fish leisurely swim in a large body of water called Dragon Boat Lake, which features a pleasant zigzagging bridge with two evenly spaced pavilions. Also, in the verdant International Garden where a lush lawn and various beautiful plants, flowers and trees thrive, is the log cabin where Master used to entertain guests, dividing the garden into two areas for men's and women's meditation. Besides, in the serene Bamboo Grove, initiates can sit in the garden and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and the fragrance of flowers permeating the air.
After lunch, the initiates meditated in the Bamboo Grove, where Master used to meditate; thus the energy there pulled me up very quickly. As soon as I sat down, I entered samadhi. At the end of the session, I realized that I had felt no discomfort, and indeed, never noticed my body at all during the entire session as I had been fully focused on Master. The power during the retreat was so great that it pulled me up easily.
It was just like a fairytale watching all the saints meditating around the Center. Upon seeing the angelic faces of my fellow practitioners, I felt their great purity, and realized I had never seen so many brightly lit faces in one place before. I wish to always inhabit such a wonderland!
718 Love is Always Good
Group Meditation at the Florida Center, U.S.A.,
<Spoken in English, with subtitles in 23-languages>
Summary: Master explains why local group meditation centers exist, and reminds fellow initiates to inwardly seek the Kingdom of God while living their lives rather than clinging to the idea of becoming a resident and thus being overly dependent on a center or ashram. She also addresses the following questions. How are children created in the higher spiritual dimensions? How different is it in the physical world? How should we view marital relationships, and unmarried mothers and their children from the spiritual perspective? In addition, Master reminds us that we should welcome every newborn soul with love, honor, care and joy so that it will develop into a useful person and a spiritual being.
642 Divine Love is the Only True Love
International Three-day Retreat, Los Angeles, CA, U.S.A.,
<Spoken in English, with Chinese subtitles>
Summary: Master emphasizes that not a single Quan Yin practitioner on this planet can fail to see the inner Light so fellow initiates should never give up on meditation. Even if you don't see the Light today, you may see It tomorrow. She also discusses how to distinguish between true and illusory spiritual experiences, and how to achieve a balance between our free will and God's will. Finally, Master gives a penetrating exposition on the profound effects and benefits of "positive thinking" with respect to spiritual practice and daily life.
Supreme Master Ching Hai's Latest CDs
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Group Meditation at the Florida Center, U.S.A.,
CD-EG160 A Selfless Motive (DVD#726)
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