The Way To Find The Treasure Within -- Enlightenment
Spoken By Supreme Master Ching Hai At Pang Suan Kaew Hotel, Chiang Mai, Thailand Dec 4, 1994
This Article was Published in Central Daily News, Formosa Jul 1996
(Originally In English, Unabridged)
Thai people are very gentle and very graceful. They don't do things in a hurry. That's why when the disciples put up the sign "Immediate enlightenment", I didn't know if that would appeal to Thai people or not. I was thinking maybe we should change it to "Slow enlightenment". (Master and audience laugh.) I'm surprised to see that many people have come. So, maybe it's all right.
Actually, we have been very slow in getting enlightenment, because we have been enjoying the physical creation for many lifetimes. For some people, for hundreds, thousands or millions of lifetimes, feeling tired and kind of had enough with this physical drama. We wish to have some quick way to get enlightenment, to go home, to go back to the Buddha's land, or to go back to the Kingdom of God; this is different terminology in different religions. Perhaps that's the reason why people would come to request for immediate enlightenment, because some of us do not want to stay in this world longer than necessary, longer than this lifetime.
I had the same feeling before I went to the Himalayas. After learning about much suffering and disasters in this world, I felt myself also sharing the suffering and pain of the people in this world, and I wished to have immediate relief by any means even if I had to sacrifice my life. Perhaps that's why God or the Buddhas had pity for me, and have granted me my wish.
The Seed Of enlightenment Is Within
So, it is the same with many thousands of our fellow practitioners around the world. When their hearts were crying for liberation, when their hearts were sincerely longing for the Truth, for the ultimate wisdom, then the Buddhas in the ten directions, or God almighty, also granted them their wish. They have also become enlightened; and they become more and more enlightened, each day through the practice of the Quan Yin Method. Should any of the other people in the future also wish to have the same blessing, then we can share this with you; because the fruit, the seed of enlightenment is already within ourselves, there's no need to go anywhere looking for it.
Therefore, we have seen in the ancient scriptures, different Buddhas or different masters got enlightenment through different locations and different striving efforts in different time durations. Some of them had practiced austerity, and some of them had practiced the leisurely way of a layman. Some of them took a long, long time, many years or a lifetime to reach complete enlightenment. Some of them took only months, some of them instantly.
Children Can Also Be Enlightened
There was one Bodhisattva in the close circle of Sakyamuni Buddha at that time, and he told us a story of an eight-year-old dragon-girl having attained Buddhahood. So, that means age and sex, you know like male-female, or the genes like DNA, whether dragon or human, or the location makes no difference to sainthood, to enlightenment. As we know, the dragon species live at the bottom of the sea, supposed to be; and she was only a child of eight years old. If any of you have read the Lotus Sutra, you'd know.
Now, if an eight-year-old girl could attain Buddhahood, that meant it must have been instant, or would have been the maximum of two years; because since ancient times up till now, the master would not give initiation to children younger than six years old. So, the maximum the dragon-girl took to get enlightenment would have been two years - to Buddhahood, not enlightenment.
We have often heard that only humans can become Buddha, only humans can get enlightenment, and only boys, men can become Buddhas. Now there is another story on the contrary. Girls, women, even young children can also get enlightenment.
We have also many children in a similar category; they get enlightenment at a very early age. That's why people always praise the practitioners who have been studying the Truth since childhood; because when we are young our minds are purer and it's easier to elevate ourselves to a higher level of understanding, to a higher level of inner consciousness.
But how did these ancient people get enlightenment and finally one day attain Buddhahood? This is the answer we must know. Was it through austerity, through relaxation or through the purity of childhood? Maybe through all of these, but it does not absolutely depend on these factors that we get enlightenment. There has been a secret since ancient times, and only recently has it been more or less made open to the public.
Because in the ancient times, if someone wanted to study this secret method with the master, then they would have to cross rivers, climb mountains, and do many kinds of hard labor in order to win the love and the acceptance of the master at that time. The reasons are many; maybe because in the ancient times practicing such spiritual mysticism would arouse a lot of dangers for the masters and the disciples -- a lot of persecution from people, from the government and from the religious organizations who did not believe such things existed outside their organized religion. So the master and their disciples had to keep the secret confidential and low profiled in order not to attract danger to themselves.
Masters Risk Everything To Remind Us Of Our Greatness
Take the case of Jesus, of Mohammed the prophet, and even Sakyamuni Buddha; all of them were persecuted to greater or lesser degrees during their preaching times. I have studied many scriptures in India from different religions, and many of the great masters of different religions have been persecuted, sometimes flayed or burned alive because they preached the Truth.
Even Sakyamuni Buddha, He was very famous, was born noble, an aristocrat. He was a prince; and His fame, compassion and wisdom spread all over India and the neighboring countries. Even then, many people, different religious sects and orders, also persecuted Him and tried to even assassinate Him; but they failed.
Another reason is perhaps the master would like the disciples to appreciate something that he gives to them, if through hard work and penance they earned it. Because the master knows, that human psychology is somewhat like that. Whatever we work hard for, we earn, or we chase after, we probably would appreciate it to a greater extent than whatever is given to us too easily, too freely. That's why there are many tests and trials for the disciples before the master even accepts them.
In the old times, the master made the disciple leave home, forsake all the pleasures of the flesh, forsake all the luxurious life in order to follow him; and had him do laborious work, just to test the strength and sincerity of the disciple. In the old scriptures, we have read many stories in a similar train.
But in the modern times I don't think that works because not many people have time to be tested by the master. Not that the testing method is no good. It is very good, very valuable, and it has a lot of advantages.
One of the advantages is that the master will have less burden from the disciple's accumulated karma because he works for it; and he uses different tests, different hardships to grind the disciple, to make him purer in speech, actions and thought. Like that, the master does not have to work too hard on him at the time of initiation; does not have to bear the karma of the disciple in such a heavy burden.
So, these are some of the advantages about the tests and trials that the masters in ancient times gave to the disciples. But this way has also offered a lot of disadvantages for mankind. That's the reason why our Earth planet is still in such a backward stage compared to many other planets, more civilized, more advanced in the universe. That's the reason why up till now we still have religious discrimination, religious wars, even within one religion; and also the reason why our world still suffers hunger and a lot of injustice.
Even up to the present time, in many countries, such teachings as ours, the Buddha's or Jesus' are not allowed in the open. And it's already toward the twenty-first century - men have already landed on the moon and explored Mars, etc.; and people are still so backward in their thinking and in their spiritual progress.
But to open the secret for the public is not even that easy as we wish that to be. That's why many masters have lost their lives because of risking to tell the public the wisdom that's inherent within themselves; risking their lives, reputation and comfort in order to elevate our spiritual awareness.
Whatever spiritual messages we have today are left over by the ancient masters, and we owe to them a great deal. Whatever we know, even whatever little is leftover today, we owe it to all the great masters of the past.
That's why, perhaps, people like to build temples, churches and mosques in order to remember the great masters, in order to express their gratitude to these great masters who risked everything for the sake of the well-being of the world. But, to build temples and churches is not enough. It's not enough that we are grateful to the masters, but we must make use of the messages that they left behind for us; because that was the purpose of their coming to this world, that is, to remind us of the Buddha nature (God nature), of the wisdom, of the Kingdom of God within ourselves, and that we must, by all means, use all our strength to find it.
Because the masters did not come here to enjoy the reverence, the respect, the worship of the worldly people, they came to make them also become masters, to remind them of their greatness within themselves. That's the purpose of the masters.
The Buddha had said: I come to make you understand your Buddha nature. He said that the Buddha and the sentient beings are equal, there is no difference. Even if we believe the Buddhas, we still don't know what the Buddha nature is; because no one taught us, or maybe we have not tried enough to understand it ourselves. For the lucky people who have found it themselves, that is all right. For the majority of the people who have failed many times over the past, numerous lifetimes, it becomes more and more and more difficult each time.
Some of the clairvoyant persons who have their third-eye opened and have the gift of heavenly sight, they have seen that the world is full of old souls. That means, the people in this world have come back again, again and again to the same planet, in same the situations, same existence. It is because we have failed the first time to go back home, and we failed the second, the third, the fourth and for thousands of times, to remember where we came from.
Because we have forgotten our Buddha nature doesn't mean we've lost it. We can still find it anytime. Hundreds of thousands, and millions of people in this world have already found their treasures, including myself. So can you.
After enlightenment Everything Becomes Perfectly Natural
Many people have asked me, "After enlightenment what will you become? How is your personality changed? How do you live your life? How do you think? What do you do after enlightenment or after Buddhahood?" I think you also want to know, right? Yes or no? (A: "Yes!" Applause)
So, I told them, "After enlightenment, when I'm hungry, I eat; when I'm tired, I sleep." But that is only the physical part of myself which is doing that. The other part, which is the spiritual part, which is the Buddha nature, is already awakened and is doing something else alongside the physical function.
So, that means if a person becomes a Buddha, you probably cannot tell from the outside what he has attained inside. Not with the physical eyes, physical perceptions that you can tell if a person is enlightened, or has become Buddha or not. But if we have our spiritual perception open, our wisdom open, and we practice meditation, or we have spiritual gifts since birth, then we can tell. Or, we can if we study with that Buddha, then we will discover how great that person is.
It's just like the more we learn English, the more we know how good our English teacher is when he speaks English. Otherwise, maybe we know only a little bit; but we cannot judge the knowledge of the teacher if we don't follow the same direction and study the same path.
So, the most important thing still is that we discover our greatness, then we can judge other people's greatness. Otherwise, as we know, the Buddha also had to eat when He was hungry, even just once a day; rest when He was tired; and also caught certain sicknesses, depending on the physical conditions and also the environmental hygiene, even though there is one part of the Buddha which is never sick, which is never tired, which is never hungry. That is the real Self, that is the real Buddha, which all of us possess within ourselves. Before we're born and after we die we still have that.
Our Buddha Nature Always Exists
That's the purpose of our coming here today and going any other place; that is to share with you this good news that we can find it again - our Buddha nature, our real Self, which never dies, is never born, never sick and always exists. Of course, this is a free gift for all times. (Applause)
You like free gifts? (Master laughs.) Yes, it's rare. Nowadays, there's nothing free. It is free also, but we must work for it. That means after the opening of the wisdom the first time, we must try to preserve it and develop and progress higher into Buddhahood by our own effort, by meditation everyday. Apart from two or threes hours meditation everyday on your part, everything else is free. All my time, my advice, my energy, my help is free every time, anytime. Also it's free because I can earn money, I can take care of myself. I don't need your donations.
It's nice to have a rich Buddha. (Master laughs.) That is, if I'm a Buddha. That is, if you believe that I'm a Buddha.
Most people think I am a Buddha. I don't think anything. I just do my duty as a sister in this world to pay back your kindness; because due to the people's kindness, in the world, I could grow up, I could have my education, I could have my wisdom eye opened. So, it is natural that I offer my time, my energy for the world.
All Beings Are Brothers And Sisters
Just like the children, after their parents grow old and they're grown up, they take care of their parents as the duty of filial sons and daughters. So, accordingly, it's an honor for me to serve the people. Therefore, I offer whatever I have, including my finances, my sympathy, my love, my time; because, even according to the Buddhas and according to what we see after enlightenment, all beings are brothers and sisters. It's just because there are people who suffer in this world physically and spiritually. Therefore, we must help whatever we can, not that anyone is a teacher or anyone is a disciple.
Of course, when we are so eager and longing for spiritual wisdom and liberation, and we have found a good friend who is willing to help us, free of any obligation, then in our still ignorant stage, we are very thankful; and of course, we worship the so-called teacher, the spiritual friend. And the so-called teacher sometimes must suffer the worship, the love, the adoration of the so-called disciples; but this is not necessary.
If all of us are equal, if all of us all possess Buddha nature and the Godly quality within, then no one should be grateful to the others for anything at all. The only important thing for us to do is to take the instructions of any teacher that we trust, and practice diligently until we reach the same stage as the teacher. That is the best gratitude from a student.
Of course, not all of us are used to the way of life of a saint such as in the ancient times. So, we will feel reluctant to step into spiritual practice. We have many fears, but this should not be an excuse. We should fear only when we do something bad, damaging, detrimental to ourselves, our families or our nations. We should never fear when we do something good, noble, righteous and spiritual.
Vegetarianism Is Beneficial For You And The World
Some people tell me that they fear the vegetarian diet, that people will laugh at them. I said, "Why? Vegetarian diet doesn't harm anyone. Even if you don't become a Buddha, by vegetarianism your health will improve."
By the way I'm happy that in Chiang Mai many people are vegetarian - thirty to forty percent are vegetarian - and there are so many vegetarian restaurants in Chiang Mai. This is good news. (Applause)
I remember long time ago when I was in Thailand for vacation. It was difficult for me to find a vegetarian restaurant in Bangkok, and even in any other places. I visited your country many times before I took over this business. That is, before enlightenment. I was thinking Thailand is a Buddhist country, and would be easy for me to eat vegetarian food here, but no chance.
Sometimes I would go into a temple, I thought I'd get vegetarian food there; but no. The monks didn't even have it, how could I get it? Because when they go out begging, people just put anything inside because they worry for the monks' health: "They must eat a lot of chicken and beef in order to be strong Buddhas." So, the poor monks have no choice. But I think in Chiang Mai, it's better. I might consider becoming a nun in Chiang Mai. Everyday I'd go to the vegetarian restaurants and beg for food.
I think because of the high percentage of people being vegetarian in this land, so when I came here I felt very, very good. Also, here is a very religious place; that's why the atmosphere is different from other places that I have been. We can feel that.
Spirituality Develops Our Sensitivity And Wisdom
After practicing for a long time, we become very sensitive in different aspects of life. We can feel many things that we did not feel before. We can understand many things that we did not understand before. That is the benefit of spiritual practice. Otherwise, from outside we don't look different from before. From outside maybe we become a little younger, and look more beautiful than before; but that is not a criterion for a spiritual practitioner. It is the inside that is important.
Inside we become wiser. We know the past, the present, the future. Then we go beyond that even, to reach the absolute power of wisdom that we have lost for a long time. We have come here to share with you, to offer you the way to immediately realize our treasure and continue to nourish it until we become completely aware of our great Self. The result is proven and is immediate.
Many people - the first day already - can know their past or future. Many people will know more in a matter of days, weeks or months. It depends on our background and our sincerity.
So, that is the summarized message of our offer. Okay, I think I'll leave you time for questions, otherwise it takes too long. I could talk for a long time because Buddha's business is very great, but I think it's better you find out for yourselves, by being awakened and practicing spiritual meditation everyday.
It is like a thriller movie: If people tell you the end and tell you everything in the movie, then maybe it's no longer thrilling, and you lose the pleasure of watching it. All right, so we invite you to discover for yourselves.
After the lecture we will share with you the secret. The people who want to know the whole secret must make a vow to be vegetarian from today. The people who want to know only half or one-third of the secret can take the Convenient Method and try first - see if you like it.
The difference is that the one who practices the whole secret can become Buddha even in this lifetime and liberate their many ancestors, friends and loved ones. The other Convenient Method practitioners can only liberate themselves, individually. So, I leave you the choice. Thank you for your attention. (Applause)
Meditation Can Reveal The Secret Of Death
Q: He would like to ask You whether he will be born again after death. Before he has been listening to a monk preaching. Since the monk has not died, how does he know that we are reborn again? How can we believe him?
M: The monks are not to be doubted because they preach from the wisdom of the Buddha that they have learned from the sutras, and perhaps they have learned from their meditative practice, if they practice meditation.
We don't have to die to know what happens after death. Of course, some people ask me, "What will happen after I die?"
I also tell them, "I haven't died yet, I don't know." But when we meditate, we can go into many different levels of understanding and existence, then we can know whether people are reborn or not reborn after death. This is very easy to check out. No problem.
If you want to prove it, you can come and study with the Quan Yin Method, and you'll find out yourself. It's good to check-up everything we hear and we do not believe by blind faith. It is very wise like that. The way you did, it's very wise. But, instead of just doubting the monks or questioning, we have to find a way to find out, to check it up.
Q: She would like to know what is initiation and how to get initiation?
M: Initiation is the time that the so-called teacher sits with you in silence, whether in front of you or thousands of miles away, and tries to communicate with your own inner wisdom and opens the gate of ignorance for you; so that you see the light, hear the teachings of God directly, and become awakened.
There are some verbal instructions when the teacher is around. But, sometimes even that is not necessary because the transmission is from heart to heart, from mind to mind, from our Buddha nature to our own Buddha nature. There is no need for language or any actions from the master or from the disciples.
If you want initiation, all you have to do is go out and book your name; we will take care of you after the lecture. Many people get also an unofficial initiation through the faith with the master and through sincerity, even though they haven't seen the master, even though they are thousands of miles apart.
Meditation Requires An Experienced Teacher
Q: He used to meditate three hours a day for nine days, and he saw some future scenery - twice. He would like to know why is it like that, because he doesn't feel that this is the real Truth or the real phenomenon.
M: But with what kind of method does he meditate? He doesn't say? (A: No.) If you study with any teacher, you should ask your teacher for further guidance. For the people who study with me, they write to me and ask personally. But as a general guide, if after your meditation, after your vision of light or heavenly music, you feel good, relaxed and more loving, that is the true vision. If you feel agitated, frightened or feel intimidated in some sense, that means your vision was illusion, was from maya, and you should not count on it again.
We have inner visions, sometimes not due to meditation only; but sometimes any person can get some illusion by taking drugs, or under extremely painful situations or lack of oxygen. Therefore, it is wise to seek an experienced teacher because a spiritual path is long and dangerous sometimes, without a good guide.
Q: How is the life after death?
M: If I say I know, he would ask me, "You didn't die yet, how do You know?"
According to different religious sutras, people have different lives after death according to how they lived their lives at present. If we led a virtuous life and practiced spiritual wisdom, then we'll go to very beautiful, peaceful and happy levels of existence. If our life was a bad example of love and sacrifice, then we will go to a lower existence. How low, how high, according to how virtuous, how wise or how damaging we lived our life.
There are many books in the modern time about spiritual practitioners' visions after death. Also, there are many books from the ordinary persons who have been clinically dead for some time and come back to life; and they have told their stories. So maybe you look up in the library.
Q: Is there any difference between Master's meditation and Buddhist meditation?
M: There should not be any difference but there is now, because most of the meditative practices in the Buddhist traditions now are different from the true meditation practice that the Buddha had handed over to His disciples.
Our meditation practice offers immediate enlightenment. Most of the Buddhist traditions nowadays - meditative practices - do not offer this kind of guarantee. We practice Quan Yin Method; it is guaranteed and proven with results from thousand, millions of disciples, that we are liberated in this lifetime. This is the last life that we have to suffer. This is in accordance with the teachings of the Buddha, the original version, the original way; because the disciples of the Buddha, in His lifetime, became Arhats, Bodhisattvas or liberated beings, immediately after the Buddha transmitted the silent awakening to them.
All our relatives and friends will also become liberated, even though they have not reached Buddhahood. Liberation and Buddhahood are still different.
With our practice, we can immediately taste the stage of enlightenment during the first moments of initiation and continue forward. Most of the other Buddhist traditional practices, in present time, do not offer this. That is, you can meditate with the teacher but you get nothing. You do not know whether you're enlightened or not. But in our method you know, because there is a proof for you; so that you know, you feel, you realize that you are enlightened, that you are different, that you are awakened. There is great light and great music accompanying a person's awakening. Without these, it's not an awakening.
Also, there is a great feeling of elation, of shedding away the burden of a long time; that something has fallen off our shoulders. Like we have shed the burdens, that we feel elated, we feel light, we feel ecstasy.
This is the proof of enlightenment. This will continue everyday of our life after initiation and improve more and more each day. That, would make us wiser, more loving, more tolerant and a different person; because we have entered into sainthood. We live the life of the flesh but we have the spirit of a saint. If any other method could offer you all this, that is the true way for enlightenment.
Every other method we can practice, we can use; but it's only for temporary, for elementary steps, and not leading us to the absolute throne of spiritual wisdom. (Applause)
Meditation Is The Deepest Prayer
Q: When I am in trouble, I pray to God. Sometimes I get some answers. My question is: How can I know or judge the answer to be truly the response or guidance from God?
M: When we are in deep prayer, we are very sincere, then we can get in touch with the inner God blessing power. That's when we have a response, otherwise, we don't. Meditation is the deepest, most sincere prayer. That's why we will always get the response.
After initiation, the teacher will open the connection with our innermost God-power or Buddha nature. That's why we are in contact everyday, and that's why whenever we pray, we get the response. Then one day, we have no more prayers, we will be the one who responds to the prayers of other people. This is the goal of spiritual attainment. All of us can reach this. (Applause)
Q: If we would like to get liberation as soon as possible, what should we do? The other question: If we practice in our family, that means we don't have to leave our family, would that be slower than leaving the family?
M: First, you book your name at the initiation desk outside. Secondly, if we practice at home, will it be slower than being a monk or leaving home. Right?
No, it's not slower; because even if you become monks, you're also busy. There's only certain times in the day that the monks can practice. Otherwise, they have to attend to the temple's business, attend to the devotees, attend to every other thing in the mundane level, just like we do, but in a different location.
We stay home, take care of our Buddha's family, and we practice when we have time, like early in the morning and at night before we go to bed. That's all right.
Zen should be in daily life, like sitting, standing, laying down, and walking. It should be all Zen. Otherwise, what did the Buddha do? We cannot always be a sitting Buddha.
Sometimes, we can go on retreat for one week, two weeks or one month. That's all right, but cannot do that all the time. We have obligations to the society, even as monks.
The Buddha sat there only forty-nine days, and afterwards and before that, He had to walk around or do many other things.
We have many monks in Taiwan. But most, many of the monks have to attend funeral services for the dead people. Sometimes they don't even have time to eat, they have to rush from one place to another. So, it's not always as you think; that being a monk, then you have a lot of time to sit there and meditate. It's not true.
enlightenment Is Beyond Time And Space
Q: How did this world originate? Why do humans have to be born even though we know that after we are born we have to face the cycle of death and birth eternally?
M: It's a long story. I don't have enough time, even if I told you from today to the day I go to nirvana, how this world was created. But if you insist, I think we both have to be reborn again in this suffering world in order to tell you the story of how this world was created. I don't think you'd like that. So, the quickest answer is enlightenment.
After you get complete enlightenment, you know everything. Even many lifetimes in one flash; because with enlightenment we cross the border of time limitation and of space limitation. When there's no time involved, then we know many things without having to spend a lot of time.
So, sometimes we sit in meditation for many hours, but we feel like it's only one minute. We know many things that take many centuries to understand. That's why we must search for this inner wisdom. All the answers lay within.
Q: Why do we have so many religions in this world? Which one is the true one?
M: Any one. Pick one. If you understand one religion thoroughly, you understand any other religion. Otherwise, we always have debates, discussions and wars between religions which only lead to one Truth.
Stay with your religion but get enlightenment today. Then, you know which religion is the best, you know there are not many religions, there is only one.
Without enlightenment, it's very difficult to convince ourselves that all religions are one. It doesn't matter how much I explain to you, it's my own knowledge, not yours. So, you must get your own.
If all the religious people could understand their own religions, then there would be no wars, absolutely, between, within, even one religion, as you know happens in the world today.
Only enlightened persons can be truly, truly, deeply, a hundred percent religious. That person will understand the brotherhood of mankind despite all race, creeds and religions. That person is the true peace-keeper of this world.
Q: Is it necessary to pray before doing the meditation?
M: Yes, we can; but it's not necessary. Meditation is the deepest prayer. Through which you get anything you want. Anything that is good for your spiritual and physical well-being will automatically come your way, whether you pray or not pray for it. That's why the life of a Quan Yin practitioner is full of contentment and satisfaction. He wants nothing. The more he practices, the less he wants. The more he practices, the less he prays. Seek you first the Kingdom of God, and all other things shall be added onto you.
Q: Is there any merit in the prayer or is it just a saying?
M: No, there is merit. If we do not have complete enlightenment, we must always pray for enlightenment and liberation; and, of course, pray for what we need, what our necessities demand in this life. Whether our prayers are answered or not, when we pray we get comfort, psychologically already, and that is also very good.
Sincere prayers are always necessary because heavenly beings will hear through the brightness of our soul which is sent to heaven through the prayers; and they will come to our aid. We can pray for other people's well-being. If we are sincere, all these prayers will be answered immediately.
Vegetarianism Purifies Body and Mind
Q: This person has practiced meditation for ten years and eaten a vegetarian diet for two years. Sometimes he has dreams which come true. The dreams come true about eighty percent. What is the reason?
M: That is the result of your spiritual practice and vegetarianism combined. Because we follow a vegetarian diet, our body is less burdened by animal instincts and substances, and we become purer in body and mind. So, it's easier for us to perceive the spiritual messages. Especially when we meditate, we calm our turbulent mind somewhat, and then the spiritual messages can filter through. Otherwise, God, Buddha and spiritual beings always stand by and help us in many ways and answer our prayers; but we can never receive because we are too busy and too noisy inside our mind, and our body and spirit are crowded by different substances, especially from the animal's lower vibration.
So, now you see the logical explanation of the vegetarian diet and meditation practice. The lower and the higher cannot mix. If you are nearer to the physical existence, nearer to the animal kingdom, then we cannot be nearer to God's Kingdom or the spiritual hierarchy.
Q: Is initiation and meditation the same? If it is the same, can we erase the past and present karma?
M: First, initiation is to open your meditative power, then you can meditate. Of course, through this meditation we can erase the stored karma. The Master-power can do that for you, and just leaves a little karma for you to carry on in this life. Otherwise, you die.
Even though karma is illusionary, it is necessary for anyone who lives in this physical body. Otherwise, we have no reason, no excuse, to exist in this physical world. But only through the meditative practice we then realize the illusionary nature of karma. Therefore, we are free of karma, even though apparently we still carry on the karmic actions to function in this world.
That's the difference between a liberated person and a not-liberated person. Both carry on the same karmic pattern; but one realizes the illusionary nature of karma, the other is still sunk deep in the trap of this karmic function.
Karma is not fearsome. The only fearsome thing is our ignorance that we do not understand the nature of karma.
Only Inner Realization Sets Us Free
Q: Why do we have to continue the circle of rebirth and death until we reach nirvana? What is the cause, what is the reason of the first birth?
M: We came here because we wanted to take part in the creative drama. Without our participation, there is no creation and no fun. So, each one took a job in this world and then tried to accomplish this job. So, originally there were different levels of people, different jobs; and no one minded whether he had a lower position or he had a higher position, whether he was blessed with richness or whether he was appointed to be a beggar on the street. No one minded in the beginning of our "play".
But after some time, we became attached to our role and we became self-pitied or self-arrogant and we lost the purpose of the "play". That's when we began to feel the suffering of wanting this and that, of comparing the positions and the blessings in this world. We took the roles we played for real and the more we attached to our role, the less we remembered the purpose of our "play", the less we remembered our greatness and our origin. Then, because we became so attached to our roles, we identify ourselves with the beggar that we were playing, or with the king that we were in a position of. We tried to do our best to better our lot, or to keep our high position; and we did not fear to do any bad things to accomplish our desires. Then, the fun "play" roles became suffering. As we tried to improve our lot, to keep our positions, desires aroused. If the desires didn't get satisfied this life, we tried to come back again to fight for what we believed was justice. That's how we spoiled the "play", and that's how we transmigrate and suffer.
So, originally we came from the Kingdom of God or the Buddha's land, equally. The king born in this world, or the beggar born in this world, equally great angels or of the spiritual hierarchy in heaven, now began to fight with each other for position, wealth and fame. That's how we began to suffer. That's how we can never get out of this physical transmigration.
Only enlightenment can help us to cut through all this illusionary position and boundary to realize that originally we were all equal in the Kingdom of God. There is nothing we need to fight for. There is nothing we should be ashamed of. There is nothing we should be proud of about the physical existence and the positions in this world.
That's why after enlightenment, it's equal for us whether we stay to become a king to rule a nation, or we renounce everything and become a monk, begging on the street. With enlightenment we can stay as a king and rule the nation and have liberation at the same time. Without enlightenment even becoming a monk is only an empty gesture, and doesn't bring us any spiritual elevation; because it's only the inner realization and recognition that sets us free. It's not the outer force, appearance or actions that can bring us the Truth. (Applause) Thank you.
Q: He would like to know whether after initiation, would his way of life be changed?
M: Yes and no. Change inside, not outside. Of course, the outside appearance will also change somewhat. Many initiated people became more useful, more beautiful, more tolerant, more loving; but the most important is the inner change from ignorance to wisdom. Otherwise, we don't require any change of life-style, job or religion.
The True Master is Omnipresent
Q: After following Master's meditation practice, if we do it ourselves, would there be some danger? If we have some problems or some doubts, from whom can we get information?
M: If you follow the instructions, that means you don't do it yourselves. So, there is no danger. Besides, the Master is everywhere. You can always get answers from inside. The Master will know when you are in danger and help you immediately without even you asking for it. Should you have any intellectual questions, you, of course, can write to me or our Center. Come to see our Center and some elder practitioners or monks of our group can help you. But that's only the beginning. Later, you'll know everything from inside. You'll have no more questions, no doubts, no desires. Just fulfilling your loving duty and enjoying the inner blessings.
The true spiritual master must be omnipresent, must know every disciple's moods and desires in different corners of the world and in the universe. Otherwise,, if you rely on the physical presence of the Master, in times of trouble and emergency, it would be too late.
That's why I advise my disciples not to go out and teach people in a hurry. They must wait until they've reach at least the spiritual level of the Master, in order to help the disciples omnipresently. Otherwise any master who has not reached the omnipresent stage should never venture in the spiritual field and lead other people into danger.
So, have no fear. If I teach you, I'll take care of you. I promise. (Applause)