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The Spirit Catcher Ko Hsuan - P2/2 March 3, 2009    
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If you do good deeds, you will have good results, like that scholar. He lived with a snake for such a long time and was poisoned to such a degree that his soul wasn't even aware of it, and yet he was still saved. It's because he had a good heart inside. A part of his heart was good, so he could be saved.
 
 
We humans are like that. I often tell you that we can only rely on our merit. These two daughters of the woodcutter were so kind; they just wanted to help a poor old man. They didn't know he practiced magical power and that he didn't feel cold in the winter or hot in the summer. I told the story already. He could plant vegetables in the snowy winter - meaning the vegetables he planted could survive the winter - because he put his energy into the vegetables and they could survive.
 
 
I don't know if I have such magical power as well, but when I was in Germany, I planted some vegetables and they lived! The peppermint. Do you know that? (Yes.) I planted some at the corner of my house. Snow covered them, but when I brushed off the snow they were still green and alive underneath. They didn't wither. They lived through winters and summers. I remember that.
 
 
But normally, would peppermint live underneath the snow? (*No.) Peppermint. No. But it's strange that they survived!
* It's your magical power.
 
*I didn't practice at that time. I didn't have magical power. I just kept a vegetarian diet. I hadn't looked for an enlightened master yet. I just performed rituals and read the Buddhist scriptures every day. It was truly like this. So whenever I wanted to drink tea at that time, I went outside to pick some peppermint and mixed it with the tea. I drank tea at that time, occasionally. I thought it was normal for peppermint to survive the winter. Now when I think about it,
 
 
I realize that that peppermint did survive the winter. I told you yesterday that you could plant vegetables in winter. I thought everyone could do it. You can't?
*No. They will turn yellow if it snows.
 
 
Really? (*Yes.) No, they survived and looked very good.
*It will grow again in the summer.
 
 
I know. But mine was growing and alive in winter.
*(Normally they can't grow in winter.)
 
 
Sometimes the snow covered part of it, but it was still alive. They all survived unspoiled. It's very cold in Germany. In the winter, sometimes it snows a lot. They never have a winter without snow. Munich has a lot of snow. I also planted some coriander. I piled up the soil and planted coriander. They could also live, not just in summer, but also in cold weather. They still lived. You can try. Try to plant peppermint, maybe it can live.
*Coriander can survive snow.
 
 
What?
* Coriander.
*Coriander can survive snow.
 
 
Yes. When it's cold, it wilts and when the snow melts, it stands up again.
Really? Okay.
*I grow some at home.
 
 
It's great! You can plant like this. Maybe you have magical power, who knows. You just aren't telling us. You look like a Taoist with a white beard and rosy cheeks. He looks like the long-lived Taoists in the paintings, right?
*Yes.
 
 
One with two peaches, right? Where did you put your peaches? Tell us.
*I hid them.
 
 
You hid them. I know. He looks very healthy, very much like those Taoists who lived in the forests, but he lives in Paris, a busy city. We spiritual practitioners can live anywhere, maybe because we have happiness inside. We are happy. Do you live alone, or with kids and wife?
*I live with my wife, a fellow practitioner.
 
 
A sister practitioner. What about your kids?
*They live somewhere else.
 
 
They live away from home. (Yes.)
They have grown up. (Yes.)
They moved out.
*(They all have their own families.)
 
 
Okay. Can you get along with your wife?
*Sometimes yes, sometimes no.
 
 
Sometimes no, but you are still so happy? It's wonderful.
*This way, it's better for my spiritual practice.
 
 
You have tests.
*Yes. One of us has to be tolerant.
 
 
Really? You are right. Sometimes it's very stressful. In this world, there are too many hindrances from the maya, and my assistants are tested severely. They are very pitiful, too. Those who have reached a higher level in spiritual practice have fewer tests, or don't feel the tests, but those who don't practice well are tested very severely.
 
 
It is because I am too close to them, so I can feel it. Even if they don't do anything, I can still feel the pressure. Sometimes I really can't bear it. Sometimes I really can't bear it. I can't tell anyone, but I still have to put up with it. I can't do anything about it anyway. Sometimes the pressure is great. Sometimes the pressure is so great that I am afraid there will be an outbreak of violence. It's not just ordinary pressure. Understand?
 
 
Sometimes, I have to lock my own home very securely - to such extent - because I live by myself with no one protecting me. Just in case something happens, it's safer to lock the door. So you should lock your cave, to avoid that kind of snake which swallows people. Sometimes it's like that. We are someone's relative, friend, or spouse out of a loving romance, and we think it's okay.
 
 
But it's not okay all the time. Sometimes your partner has more bad karma (retribution) than you and you don't know it. That's why things often go wrong and you feel depressed. He or she might not poison you like the snake, but they create an unpleasant atmosphere, which sometimes is also very….
 
Oppressive.
Very oppressing. Sometimes I feel like going out, because I can't bear it, sitting there, for example like that. Sometimes I also have this kind of feeling. Sometimes when their bad karma (retribution) comes out a lot, they create this kind of atmosphere. Fortunately, they practice spiritually and have some control, otherwise…
 
 
That's why the people outside who don't practice spiritually have violence between couples sometimes. Right? Of course, spiritual practitioners have less such violence. Maybe there is still pressure, but it won't break out like that. It's very difficult to practice in this world. There is pressure everywhere. Especially at this time, the maya is causing a lot of trouble, serious trouble.
 
 
When the maya is going to be annihilated, it causes trouble, like that snake. When it realized that it was caught, it turned into a huge python and wanted to swallow the husband. Understand? Fortunately, the Taoist who had magical power was there; otherwise, the husband would have been finished. Even if the snake was caught, it would have been difficult to keep the husband's life.
 
 
It's terrible. I wonder if it's a true story or it's just an allegory? Maybe it symbolizes an enlightened master coming to teach a spiritual practitioner who has some longing for the Truth. Understand? What's wrong with you? You have a problem with your eyes, do you? Your eyes have problems?
*No.
 
 
What's wrong?
*I feel a little sad.
 
 
Is that so? Why?
*You said that sometimes you were very lonely by yourself and felt pressured and suffocated.
 
 
Is it you?
*When you said that, I felt very sad.
 
 
You also felt that way?
*No.
*I can't express well. When I heard it, I felt sad.
*After she heard you say just now that sometimes you were under great pressure and you had to lock yourself in a room, and you had no one to talk to.
 
 
Me? Are you talking about me or you? (You.) You didn't explain clearly. I thought you had some problems. You lock yourself in and you felt lonely. I thought you had problems.
 
 
Yesterday she said she could get along very well with “rats” but today she said she feel sad, so I was a little confused. I was wondering why she said she felt so good yesterday but today she said she was lonely. Then where did the rats go? Now I understand. You are talking about me. This is not the first time. I can get through it. I have to pay a high price as a Master.
 
 
I should know it. I already knew it, so I don't complain. I will get over it. As long as other people are okay, it's fine. It has to be this way so that other people can be better. Otherwise, where would the bad karma (retribution) go? I have to take some. There is a lot of suffering in the world, so it's all right if I suffer a little. I am like everyone else. If I don't suffer this way, I'll suffer another way. Okay?
 
 
So I think the story is a fable. Understand? My situation is not always like this. It only happens when sometimes, the bad karma (retribution) comes, or when people around me are going through the worst karma (retribution), then that kind of atmosphere will emerge and then I also need to protect myself. Of course, I have to protect myself, too; otherwise, who can protect me? If I don't protect myself, who else will? Never mind. I have dogs. Yes. Sometimes, I have to bring two or three dogs with me to the cave.
 
 
Then they understand and behave well. It's not a big deal. There might be some intruders, but my dogs will protect me. Usually, they have their own place to stay, but sometimes I bring them with me because I love them very much, and I want to sleep together with them. I bring them with me to have company and protection. Very long ago, in the era of Kings Yao and Shun, people didn't need to lock their doors. However, for a master, it's safer to lock it, whichever era he is in. Opposition does not only come from outside people, but also from our own people. Understand? Sometimes, demons grab them to go against me.
 
 
So, even though we are practitioners, we need to be prepared, then it will be fine. I think it's a fable. It implies that even though our action, speech, and mind are not pure sometimes, because of the contamination from the world and the influences from the society, our nature is always good. Therefore, enlightened masters still come here and teach us the way to save ourselves. Then we'll cut our bad habits, bad karma (retribution). From then on, we will be fine. It's like that.
 
 
The snake in the story symbolizes the demons, maya, or the negative power. It seems like this. Most of us are controlled by this force of maya, so if we don't practice spiritually, we have no way to escape. In this world, there is much pressure, with or without work, whether you are married or not, and everyone struggles to survive. Sometimes, we just live day by day. When we are busy, we forget a little bit.
 
 
When we are not busy, we think of how much suffering this world has. We cannot bear thinking of animals either. They are so pitiful. People in some places of this world suffer a lot. I think your eyes have some problem. I ask since I have a kind of eye drops that I apply every day. Otherwise, these lights make my eyes very uncomfortable.
*It would be great if the whole world becomes veg. .
 
 
It would be good if the whole world becomes veg. I agree. It's a correct statement. You are so smart, old mama. I think so too. I'm your consultant, so I understand you clearly, but they don't listen to you, and that's the trouble. I'll go out to tell them to listen to your words of wisdom. It's really great! It's so simple like this: just be vegan!
 
 
But they don't. We can get used to not eating meat. Even if we couldn't, when we think of the suffering of the animals, we wouldn't want to eat meat, right? We didn't know it before since we were blind and too busy to think about it. No one told us or reminded us. Now we know it, how can we dare to continue to eat meat, right? (*Yes.)
 
 
We don't want to. Thinking of how much suffering the animals go through, our heart is already broken, let alone eating it, right? (Yes.)
 
 
When I think of the anxiety of the vegetables, I don't dare to eat them. I don't want to eat them. Understand? Not to mention eating meat. I wouldn't eat it even if I wanted to, understand? We have many kinds of foods, why should we eat animals? They are so pitiful.
 
 
Okay, the characters in this story symbolize the positive and negative forces. It must be like this. How can there be that snake? Terrible! But the negative force is truly vicious like this. Even if it doesn't harm people physically, and eats them up, it harms their spirit, right? It is so stressful and so painful. Sometimes it's very hard to practice spiritually, right? (*Yes.)
 
 
There are a lot of obstructions. People who don't practice suffer more, and they don't know whom to talk to, understand? So even if the negative force doesn't eat people up, it still harms their spirit, mind, and emotions. Sometimes the mental pressure makes people suffer as much as physical sufferings. Sometimes it's even worse. Your eyes are not feeling good either?
 
 
Don't rub them too much, or it will get dry. Do we have eye drops here? Probably yes. We must prepare some eye drops in small bottles. If you have dry eyes, go ask for a small bottle of eye drops. You can throw it away after using it Does anyone need it? No. Did you say you are the same age as me?
* Yes, I'm a tiger.
 
 
Really? You look beautiful, really! Perhaps you have a good marriage and a comfortable life. His marriage is sometimes good, sometimes bad, but he also looks good. Is your wife here?
*Yes, she is.
 
 
Where is she? Raise your hand and let me see. Why do you sometimes not get along with him He is such a good husband. Is it because of personality?
*His personality has improved now after practicing with you.
 
 
He was not good before, right?
*Before his mind was a little too “old.”
 
 
He is old already, of course his mind also gets old. Okay, you two have already lived until now. Okay. My parents were like this too. When I saw my father at that time, he was in his seventies already, almost eighty, yet he still clung to my mom to such a degree.
 
 
My mom told me, “Your father doesn't let me go out. If I go somewhere for a few days, he asks, `When are you coming back?'” The older people get, the more they love each other. Strange. After living together for a long time, you become the best of friends. How long have you been married?
*Almost 50 years.
 
 
Fifty years! Then it's a diamond marriage or what?
*It's a golden marriage.
 
 
Golden marriage. (Yes.)
It means the marriage is like gold?
(Yes.)
 
 
It's not a diamond marriage yet?
*A diamond marriage is 60 years.
 
 
Sixty years is… (Diamond.)
Diamond, you're right. So not yet. After ten more years, both of you will become diamonds. Okay, how long have you been married?
*Thirty-three years.
 
 
You're also terrific. Is there anyone else who has been married for 50 years? You too? Fifty years? You have a lot of patience. You deserve a peace award. I tell you, those who have been married for 50, 60 years deserve an award.
 
 
It means that their endurance is like gold. No wonder they call it “golden” or “diamond” marriage. You have to endure to that degree. How can you live with one person for so long? Is it possible? Yes, it is easier. There are only two of you. It's easier to do things and to get used to it. If there are too many people, sometimes it's very tiring. Okay, very good. It's not that the gas will stay above the ground. The soil can absorb the gas.
 
 
Without the soil and the ocean absorbing the toxic gases, we would have been dead long ago. Our world would have been ruined a long time ago. There are a lot of toxic gases from atomic bombs, carbon emissions, vehicle emissions, understand? There are also the toxic agricultural chemicals applied to the soil. The more of those that are used while plowing the farmlands, the more the soil is damaged.
 
 
These chemical fertilizers, which have no nutrients and are unnatural, damage the soil. So our world has too many toxic gases and toxic substances. What we eat is not very nutritious or clean. It is not very beneficial to our body. Even vegetables have toxic substances in them. Even the water we drink has toxic substances in it as well. Many toxins, carbon emissions or animal manures contaminate the water.
 
 
They seep through the soil and then contaminate the water. They slowly seep into water, which we later drink. Because the water is too toxic and unclean, many chemicals are used for detoxification, and this adds even more chemicals. That's why humans' long lifespan is increasingly rare, and there are more and more wards and hospitals. The more meat, food and drinks, the more sick people there are. We are really very pitiful, I'm telling you. We are not only oppressed by maya, but we can't even maintain our body well, which is the equipment for our spiritual practice.
 
 
We don't ruin it intentionally, but it just happens like that. Everything around us is hurting our body. I wonder when the worldly people will awaken? If they don't, even if there is no global warming, slowly our life will get worse and our body will become weaker, understand? We get sick from eating the unhealthy foods and drinking the toxic water which contains many chemicals. Then we get sick and go to hospitals more often. We then take more medicines, antibiotics and chemicals. We are too busy to save ourselves, understand? We cannot fight it. You are better off because of spiritual practice, right?
 
 
We have the spiritual power within to protect us a little. Outside people go to hospitals often. Understand? The more they eat, the more often they go to hospitals. They are so pitiful. So you have to rely on your merits. Otherwise, this world offers us nothing good. Everything is harmful to us, physically and mentally. If you are not well physically, how can you be well mentally? If you feel drowsy all the time, you cannot concentrate on your spiritual practice, and all day long you are controlled by the system that requires you to work eight to ten hours a day. Otherwise, you won't be able to earn your living.
 
 
Then you get too tired after work. You have to eat the food even though it's toxic because you are hungry. If you don't eat, you'll die immediately. If you eat, you'll die slowly. We really have no choice. Humans are so pitiful. We drag the animals into this system as well. They are very, very pitiful. Therefore, if married couples fight with each other, or if the mother-child relationship is not good, it's not necessarily because of karma (retribution).
 
 
It might be the toxins making people crazy. Those foods make people mentally unhealthy. Being sick is truly like this. It's so pitiful. You'll be fine if you protect yourself more. Okay? There is no other way besides more spiritual practice. I can't tell you other things. Truly, there is no other choice, unless the whole world stops harming the Earth and adopts the natural way of farming. Then the Earth will recover and become better and better. The trees will grow back. If we stop contaminating the soil, it will recover by itself. Then, as we gain more merits, the atmosphere of the Earth will become happier.
 
 
Everyone continue to meditate. I'm going back to my house. Okay?
*Okay.
 
 
So many candies and cookies. Who should I give them to?
Yes, the elderly.
*Thank you, Master.
* Thank you, Master.
*Thank you. Thank you, Master.
 
 
We have different blessed rewards. Some have the blessed reward of wealth, some have the blessed reward of marriage, some have the blessed reward of spiritual practice.
*Thank you, Master.
 
 
Have a good trip. Go home safe.
*Thank you, Master. Please take care of yourself, Master.
 
 
Take care!
*Thank you, Master. Take care, Master. Wishing Master everlasting beauty.
 
 
I am fit and healthy.
*Master, we love you always.
 
 
Thank you.
*I wish Master everlasting health.
*See you, Master.
 
 

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