Take the Initiative in Life
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Three-day International Retreat, Los Angeles, USA, December 16-18, 1998 (Originally in English) Videotape No.639
Foreword: For those highly enlightened Saints who thoroughly understand the game of creation,a reclusive life in the remote mountains,far from the mundane world, is one of happiness and freedom from care and worry. However, these Saints often choose to remain in the dreary world to help and set real-life examples for sentient beings. Thus, we are sometimes blessed to gain a glimpse of Their lives, of Their elevated words and deeds. By observing their actions, we can learn how an advanced spiritual practitioner applies the great wisdom of the universe in the secular world.
Remember, you are greater than anything else in this life, be it happiness, disaster, personal affairs, business, success or failure. Nothing is bigger than you are. So keep it up. God loves us. I know that for sure. I experience it often. Even though Hes makes jokes with me sometimes, I am still okay. (Applause) Really, you'd be surprised. For example, there are sometimes very small things that you don't notice.
Like recently I renovated a place where I wanted to stay. It was an old place and it was dirty, so I asked some people to fix it up a few months ago. I left the money with them, but they didn't do it. It was one excuse after another. When I came to the house, it was still empty, dirty and not ready. So I rolled up my sleeves, called people, grabbed anyone I could and finished it in one week. They told me it would take maybe a few months. I said, "Nonsense! There's no such thing as a month of time to waste." So we did it in one week, not even one full week.
I got people only because it was like an emergency; I would grab them wherever I could. In the supermarket or wherever, I would ask them if they wanted an extra job. If they said, "Yes," I would say, "Come here, and I'll tell you what to do." They weren't even professionals, meaning they could only do it after work, from seven to ten at night, or seven to eleven at the most. That's it! But we finished the three or four rooms in one week's time. But then one place in the kitchen was not painted; because they had to do the tiles first. But the tile guy could not come in the daytime, and that night I had to come here. So I said, "Okay, I'll do it myself."
But then I had already worked for a week or more before, running around trying to organize things. So I was very tired. Apart from our other jobs, I also did the painting and sweeping and all those kinds of things, so I felt half-bad. I also had a little physical problem on top of that; I was stiff all over. Anyhow, on the last day, I was supposed to go, but I said, "I have to paint the kitchen before I go." I wanted it done before I left. So I lay there, tired! I didn't sleep the whole of last night. I said, "Oh, God, how am I going to paint my kitchen now? I'm really tired.
I talked big to all the guys, and now I am not doing it." It would be kind of like "losing face." (Master Laughed.) I kept thinking like that, and then I just walked out the door. I just went out for some reason. And there was a man passing by me on the street, and he wanted to talk to me and said, "Do you need a painter?" (Applause) Yes, it happened. So I said, "What do you paint?" And he said, "I paint the walls and all that." I said, "Oh, when are you available?" He said, "Right now." (Laughter) I said, "Okay, come in." And then I showed him the machine and he got it done in no time. So I finished it before I left. (Applause)
In some places you can't just get people like that. Big companies are busy, and it's holiday time and everything. Even if you have money, you cannot pay because people won't just come and work for you when you want. You have to make an appointment, and so on. But everything just came. Within one week, everyone came: security, carpet, tile,
even though they had threatened me before that it would take months to organize such a place. Even in America it takes time. You have to make an appointment, maybe a week ahead at least. Nothing! I did it all in a few days. And everyone just came running from nowhere. Normally, they are busy, and even there you don't get them like that. But I said, "Well, I need it done before I leave, so could you make it?" And they said, "We'll try." And then they did try. Everyone came. And everything was done in almost one day's time. The rest was just touch-up and everything else. I'm really grateful, you know. The Guy is doing some job, really. Hes is not so bad, you know.
Our Father, Hes takes care of it if we really need it. Sometimes we don't need it, and we just want to be spoiled. And that's also fine. But then we don't have a chance to learn what we can do. If we delegate everything to everyone else, then we also delegate the power. The people who do things for us have more chance to learn and to be more capable. And we, meanwhile, are not left with much.
Actually, that's also true. In a lot of things, I am handicapped because I have a lot of people who do things for me. I don't know how to use a computer. I don't know how to use many things that are a lot of fun: e-mail, the Internet and so on. I don't know anything about them. Because I have people who do them for me. Maybe also I don't have time, but if I did have time, I could do it and I would learn some new things. And I would be more able and have more fun.
But even before this time, there were many things I didn't do: I didn't book my own airplane tickets, I didn't take taxis, I didn't know where terminal 'what' is and I didn't know what 'where' is. So I missed out on a lot. There were a lot of things I didn't know. Also, I didn't know about driving. And I didn't know how to spend money. Now I know it's fun! (Laughter) It's fun to spend money. Buying things you need and getting them at the time you need them is fun. It feels satisfying. So I missed out on a lot in life because I was too busy doing all the so-called big things. But it's also good that I learned to do some small things, to get more in touch with life and reality, to truly know how people live their lives and how they feel.
You have no idea how busy I am. It can get quite hectic at times. So don't look at me sitting here smiling and think nothing's happening in the world. Things are happening all the time. But it doesn't do me any good or do you any good if I sit here crying or complaining. We just smile it away. Things will go away. And most of the time, we see through it as an illusion and just play along.
That's it; it's not so bad. To live alone is not so bad. You can see things more clearly and see through the illusion more clearly. But don't see so clearly that you go and leave me! When you see too clearly, you don't want to do much. So sometimes God keeps us a little bit in the dark or in the closet, so we continue to do the things we must do before we leave this world. If we see too clearly, there's not much we want to do, and we want to go Home quickly. We might cheat; we might try to tie things up quickly, do everything fast, put everything together and then say good-bye. Good-bye, cruel world!