Develop Our Latent Power - P3/3 April 20, 1989 Taichung, Formosa (In Formosan)    
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pray for your blessings so they can have their wisdom openedand be able to study well and practice spiritually at the same time? What should they do?

It is very difficult. //I can teach you a convenient method.// If you want to have peace and to feel more comfortable physically and mentally, you may follow my instructions to practice. //You still need to be vegetarian// as much as possible. However,this method is not the ultimate one and it's not too good either. You cannot become a Buddha, or have innumerable transcendental bodies and the almighty power to help sentient beings.

But it can give you some peace of mindand make you a little smarter. That's all.

Master, Quan Yin Bodhisattva vowed to rescue suffering people upon hearing their prayers. So is there any relationship between compassion and a solemn vow?

Yes,they are related. Inherently,a person has compassion so,of course,we can tell his compassion from his vow. However,the Quan Yin Bodhisattva had practiced for eons. She was originally an ancient Buddha,

not just a Bodhisattva, but She manifested as a Bodhisattva to get closer to people. A Buddha is in a higher level of Nirvana (the highest paradise). A Bodhisattva is closer to sentient beings, a grade lower. She made the vow to deliver sentient beings while she was living. After passing away, she is now in the higher realm. If we have seen her in our previous lives, perhaps several thousand or several hundred years ago when her incarnation was in this world saving people, if we saw her in person or listened to one of her lectures or heard about her name,then when we pray to her now at home or call her name, we might have some response. //However,it is not much help because she has left this world.// Her work in this world has been completed. She is not doing the work for this world anymore. If we truly want to pray to her,we should go to where she is living now to talk to her,or at least connect a “telephone line” from here to up there. After the line is connected, you may talk to her and she will understand what you are talking about. Otherwise,every day we pray for help from the Quan Yin Bodhisattva but there is no response, very little response, right? Very rarely,right? That is why we are still suffering,because there is no response. Not that the Bodhisattva is not responding but our prayers are ineffective because we do not have affinity with her. We didn't see her when she was living in the world. Now,even when her transcendental body returns,we will not recognize her. Therefore,we are not connected to her and have no relationship.

Master, what is a Buddha? If humans have the Buddha Nature, then why are they still doing bad things?

I have told you: //they knowingly do it on purpose.// //We humanshave the Buddha Nature, but we have not dug it out to use.// For instance,we can control our heart, but we have not learned the method to control it. We can stop our breathing, but we have not learned the method to stop it, so we cannot do it. Our parents have left money in the bank for us, but we don't know where the bank is. How can we get the money? It is as if we don't have any money.

Hallo,Master. Why do people say that authentic Buddhists should worship past Buddhas with incense?

Perhaps they think we should pay respect to the past Buddhas. We cannot say this is wrong. //It is good that we respect the past masters, but it is even better to find a living master. //

Master,I have decided to get initiation from you and to practice the Quan Yin Method, but my mother stands in the way. I feel very frustrated. Please give me advice.

I don't know why your mother is blocking you. Communicate with your mother to find out why. If she thinks the vegetarian diet is not nutritious enough for you, tell her that horses, elephants and cows are all vegetarians. They are very big and strong.

If she thinks the vegetarian diet is against tradition, tell her that it is a tradition in Formosa (Taiwan) that when parents are sick or have passed away, we pledge to be vegetarian for one or two months to forward the merits to them,right? So,if you become a vegetarian for life, won't your parents have even more merits? This is very much in accordance with our tradition in Formosa (Taiwan).

So explain to her clearly regarding the areas of her concern. Read my book “Why Should We Be Vegan?” There is also an audiotape of the same title, spoken in the Formosan (Taiwanese) dialect. Listen to it with your mother, so she can understand.

Venerable Master Ching Hai, is Buddha constantly by our side taking care of us?

Yes,but he is sleeping. He is by our side, but he is sleeping. We cannot wake him up. Only one person can awaken him. Who? (Master!) //If you follow me to practice the Quan Yin Method, I guarantee that you will be aware of him staying with you all the time,every day.// I promise you.

You will be aware of it yourself. Fellow initiates, do you agree? (Yes.) Yes.

Master,I once heard you say that merit was good karma (retribution) if we could not achieve “giving without giving.” However,I like to give to charity. In that case,will I have to come back and reincarnate? If,after making a donation, I have the mentality of “I am the one giving,” is it still better than not doing it at all?

Of course it is better than not doing it at all.

What I mean is, you shouldn't expect anything in return. If you want anything in return,you will have to reincarnate to enjoy the blessed reward. While enjoying the blessed reward, you might incur new bad karma (retribution) at the same time. For example, we were good people and have helped others, coming back to this life, we become wealthy officials. However,since we have the position as an official, sometimes we unknowingly… Suppose we are a judge, and unknowingly or unintentionally sentence a person wrongly. This wrong judgment could negatively impact our position, or we could be affected by this bad karma. Or,some people might tempt us and bribe us. When it is exposed later, we will be in bigger trouble. This is how things are. //It would be better that you do not expect anything in return when you give to charity.// If you want something in return, you'll have to come back to enjoy the reward. When we come back it could be agonizing sometimes. That is all. People who want to be liberated from birth and death should make donations anonymously. After giving alms forget it quickly,and do not pray for anything in return. Should you still want to come back, then it is all right. When I said the blessed reward from doing charity was good karma (retribution),I was talking to those who are more enlightened and who want to be liberated from birth and death. For ordinary people who have no wish to be liberated,of course they should give more to charity,so they will be more comfortable and wealthier, with less suffering in their next life.

Master, when ignorant ideas or bad habits emerge, should we let them continue or try to suppress them?

Suppress them if you can by chanting the Buddha's name or mantras, or control them with positive thoughts.

Master, if a person practices sincerely after initiation, but due to his family situation, he cannot join Master at the seven-day retreats often can only practice at home, when encountering problems in spiritual practice or during meditation that he cannot resolve, would Master come to teach him in his dreams in a transcendental body?

Of course I will. This is my job.

Master, during meditation my body wavers and my hands perform mudras. Is this normal? How can I overcome this? Please advise me.

It's not normal.

However,if you do not pay attention to it, it will go away after some time.

Just practice more. It will disappear later.

The hand mudra is also nothing special. There are many so-called vital force currents inside our body. When we meditate, they may sometimes vibrate within us,then project out to become a kind of natural action. If we just treat it as an exercise, then it is okay. However,five minutes of exercise is enough. We are practicing meditation, not movements.

Many people think that hand mudras are amazing. They do not know that it is just a minor low-level movement. It is nothing. //Don't be attached to it. If you do,you might become possessed.//

Master,if I meet several good masters with each practicing a different method, how do I decide on which one to practice?

Congratulations. You may choose one by playing rock, paper,scissor to decide. Like this, “One,two,three!” Whoever beats you can be your master.

We should observe and then choose one who is good for us. We have to make a decision. Not every teacher can be your teacher. Suppose you want to learn English, then you cannot choose a mathematics teacher or a teacher who teaches French. //You should be clear about your objectives,// then you'll know which teacher matches your requirements. Suppose you want to be liberated from birth and death, you should ask the teacher whether he has been liberated or not. If he has,can he also lead you to liberation? If he can promise to do so,then he is okay. If he cannot promise,go and find someone else.

Is the so-called enlightenment and the “realization of the Tao” in Taoism referring to the same thing?

Yes, they are the same thing.

Master,four years ago, I suffered from tinnitus and thus became a vegetarian. Will Master please tell me why I behaved in such a way?

Becoming a vegetarian is good. Some people who don't have tinnitus lso become vegetarians. The cows and horses are also vegetarian without behaving in certain manners.

It is very good to be a vegetarian. It is not because of the tinnitus.

Master,is there only pain in living and liberation in death?

Not necessarily. We do suffer when we are living, //but it could be even worse after death.// Many people do not know this fact. That's why when I ask them to practice spiritually, they don't know why. I advise them to be vegetarian and meditate, but they don't understand what for. It is because we need to take care of our situation after death. If we eat a piece of meat, later when we go down, the Yama King (King of Hell) will ask for such a big piece. We will be cut over and over again, hundreds and thousands of times, because we have to repay the consequence of that piece of meat. //Good causes produce lots of good results. Bad causes also produce lots of bad results.// Suppose we have planted an orange seed, every year it will yield hundreds or thousands of oranges. If we grow a poisonous plant, every year it will also yield lots of poisonous seeds. Don't think that after living for 100 years, we will die and then become liberated. How can you be liberated?

Most people do not practice spiritually. When they die, they have no wisdom and are tricked by their bad karma (retribution) and habits, which drag them to very dark places. Such dark places are what we call the world

of the Yama King (King of Hell). He has a mirror there. Standing before it, all our causality from many lives appears like a television show. We have no way to defend ourselves. There are no lawyers; they are not needed. In this world, we can lie to people, we can do bad things without being seen,and we can simply deny it, or sometimes the lawyers can change it to the opposite. Money can change many things. However,when we go to the Yama King's (King of Hell's) place, his mirror shows everything very clearly. We cannot deny the things we have done. Both good and bad deeds are all displayed very clearly,clearer than we can remember. Only when we see it, do we remember, “That year I did such evil things.” So fiercely accurate! //So,while living, if we do not practice a good method or follow a powerful enlightened master, when we die no one can accompany us or say anything to defend us, no one can shoulder our bad karma (retribution),// no one will treat us courteously. We each have to go our own separate ways. No husband, wife,parent,or child can shoulder any responsibilities for us. We are absolutely alone. //If you practice the Quan Yin Method, I will accompany you.// No one else will.

Master, the deities worshipped in Luan Tang interpret Buddha's teachings and heal people through a medium. Why?

Why? Because it is their mission. This is their job.

Master,after practicing the Quan Yin Method, will our careers become smoother and our kids more obedient?


//Spiritual practitioners shouldn't have this mindset.// If you want to make your kids obedient and your business prosper, go learn from the sorcerers. They can use magical power to inscribe many incantations, which can be burnt and drunk by the kids, or can be hung at your place of business to attract customers. We are not that kind.

Master, is spiritual practice limited to a certain “better” religion?

No,it is not necessary. According to my knowledge and experience, all religions are quite good already. //It is the inner visions mentioned by the religions that we should be looking for.//

For example,all radio stations are good.

You give them money and they will advertise your cookies. They broadcast the same advertisement.

For example something like “Mr. Huang's cookies are the most famous in the world and the best in Formosa (Taiwan). They have the cheapest prices! Buy one get one free!” and so on. All the radio stations broadcast the same way.

We cannot say a certain station is not good. They are all quite good. But what if we want to eat the cookie? Can we just listen to the radio broadcast all day long? //We have to buy the cookies and eat them Ourselves,//right? (Right.) Similarly,I am like the cookie vendor, but I am not selling it; I am offering it for free.

Master,people often say that freeing animals and printing moral books can eliminate bad karma (retribution). However,people are buying animals to set them free. (Yes.) If the freed animals are bought again by someone else, how can this action eliminate bad karma (retribution)?

They are "freeing the animals to death." After being “freed” too many times, the animals will die. It is true. You have asked a very enlightening question, because you already answered it yourself. In the season of “freeing the animals,” many birds are captured. Isn't that right? Many animals are captured just for us to free them. Soon after we let them go into the sky, they are captured again. Some die before they are even freed. So this should be called “freeing to death.” Sometimes, //it is better to do things in a natural way.// When it's intentional, it becomes different. People take advantage of our kindness and turn it into a business. However,what should I tell you to do? Tell you to free them or not to free them? Make your own decision; just be natural. I have told you that no matter how many you've freed, it is never good enough. Why? All the fish,pigs, and chickens that you eat are inside you. So,where do you set the animals free? //The best way to free animals and to earn the most blessed reward is to become vegetarian for life. // If everyone becomes vegetarian,no animals will be killed. This way,we are freeing innumerable animals. If we stay vegetarian for life,we are freeing thousands of fish, thousands of shrimps,

hundreds of chickens, pigeons,pigs,and cattle. A lot of them. Earthworms. Lots of animals are freed. No need to wait until July to free them. Therefore,my method is the best way. It is true Being vegetarian is the best,the most natural and most effective way to free animals.

Master,due to the nature of his work,he must socialize with clients.

He wants to get initiation, so his question is: If his clients want to invite him for a treat, he doesn't know how to handle it, he wishes Master can tell him what to do.

This is not very difficult. Just like you,I was also a householder before. I went out to work, and I was a vegetarian. At that time, I was not yet practicing the Quan Yin Method. I was just a Buddhist and a vegetarian. Of course,I had to mix with people in my work. It was even more difficult in the West,

but it turned out all right. They all ate vegetarian food with me. My neighbors also came to learn vegetarian cooking from me. Then they requested me to conduct vegetarian cooking classes in the school.

Therefore,//we must be determined and have the ability to stay independent.// Then, people will follow us. Otherwise, we will follow others. We have only two choices: follow the crowd or walk our own way. You must know that most people who follow the crowd are very ordinary. They won't achieve anything. //The most outstanding people are the most independent;// they do not follow the crowd. They are not doing anything wrong. They just have their own ideals and do whatever they want. They are valiant and unafraid of being mocked. If they know this is the right thing to do, they will do it resolutely and thoroughly. These people are often most outstanding and very famous. They often benefit many people, and lead them to follow their good path. Isn't that right? (Yes.) So we should learn to behave like a valiant person. Had Shakyamuni Buddha remained an ordinary prince, had many wives and lots of descendants and enjoyed the world, his name would not have been remembered today. It was because he acted differently. He decided to walk his own way. Thus, we still know his name and venerate him. Almost half of the world worships him even now. It's the same with Jesus Christ. Had he remained an ordinary carpenter his whole life, gotten married and given birth to a carpenter's baby, no one today would have known about Jesus, the carpenter.

It's precisely because he was not an ordinary carpenter: he was seeking a nobler ideal,thus his name has passed down to later generations. Many heroes or capable leaders of countries, because of their independent character and stronger will, different from others and unwilling to follow the tails of others, became great and highly respected by people. It is also fine if we want to be like everyone else. But think about it: why should we make ourselves so ordinary and so boring? Couldn't we do something new? Is there anything wrong with taking a new action? (No.) No. Then change. Try something new. Give it a try.

The Meat Industry: Bad Business, Bad Health

Livestock and fish are constantly threatened by a wide range of diseases. During processing, animal products are often tainted with potentially deadly bacteria and other dangerous contaminants. The outcome is unending hazard to human health through the meat industry. The following are just some of the recent problematic incidents across the globe that has claimed both human and animals' lives.

January 2010: 950 pigs in Denmark found infected with potentially fatal swine flu,which is also transmissible to humans, while 5,500 chickens died of bird flu in Indonesia,and 173,451 poultry birds and 15,453 eggs are destroyed due to incidents involving bird flu outbreaks in Bangladesh, India, and Israel. As a disease with a 50% mortality rate, the 92nd human bird flu case is confirmed in an Egyptian boy.

February 2010: A 29-year-old woman in Egypt dies of bird flu. In Indonesia, Cambodia, and Âu Lạc (Vietnam), bird flu kills 16,000 ducks and sickens over 30,000 ducks and chickens, with 14,000 more poultry birds killed to prevent the spread of infection. In Sweden,anthrax sickens 90 cattles and a cow in Canada is found to have the highly contagious and always deadly mad cow disease.

March 2010: Bird flu outbreak in Bhutan and Myanmar with 117,000 bird flu-exposed chickens killed to contain the disease in Bangladesh. Shellfish in US and New Zealand recalled for norovirus and other toxic contamination.

January-March 2010: About 4,600 tons of US beef,chicken,pork and other meat products recalled in an effort to safeguard the public from E. coli and Salmonella contamination. Listeria-infected cheese is recalled in Austria, Canada,the US and UK. Four tons of Listeria-exposed salmon recalled in Sweden.

April 2010: In an attempt to contain the highly contagious foot-and-mouth disease, 1,471 pigs are killed in China,along with 16,000 cattle and pigs in South Korea, as hundreds of thousands of cattle,pigs,goats, and sheep in Japan die or are killed as an outbreak sparks a nationwide crisis.

May 2010: In Âu Lạc,4 people are diagnosed with infection stemming from blue ear pig disease (porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome) due to eating pork, with one fatality.

June 2010: In Brazil,148,000 pounds of cooked beef recalled due to the discovery of an animal anti-parasitic drug whose adverse effect on humans is not yet known.

April-June 2010: Salmonella-contaminated cheese and chicken products recalled in Australia and the US, with Salmonella being detected in 80% of chicken meat sold in Moscow,Russia. Listeria-contaminated cheese,pork,and chicken are recalled in the US and Canada, while 135,500 pounds of E. coli-contaminated beef are recalled in the US.

July 2010: In Italy,a 42-year-old woman is hospitalized and succumbs to the fatal human version of mad cow disease.

August 2010: In Indonesia,30 chickens later found to have likely died from bird flu are sold for human consumption. In Âu Lạc,710 pigs with the widely contagious blue ear pig disease are killed. Zimbabwean cattle are discovered to be infected with foot-and-mouth disease. In the US,herring fish is recalled from human consumption for containing toxic spores that cause botulism,a serious paralyzing illness. One million pounds of E. coli-contaminated beef is recalled in the US after at least 7 people are sickened. In the largest such action in US history, over 550 million Salmonella-contaminated eggs are recalled after at least 1,300 people become sickened.

September 2010: A cow in the Netherlands is diagnosed with mad cow disease. In the US,75,000 bags of beef dog treats are recalled due to Salmonella contamination. In Turkey, it was discovered that up to 12 tons of meat or 160,000 Listeria- contaminated hamburgers had been consumed at one restaurant.

November 2010: Another 288,000 eggs are added to the US recall as more are found to be contaminated with Salmonella. Officials in Âu Lạc announce 1,370 foot-and-mouth disease cases.

December 2010: From May through December 2010, 882,660 chickens,ducks, and turkeys are killed to contain outbreaks of bird flu,mostly in Palestine as well as Laos, Âu Lạc, Japan, Canada, and South Korea. A man in Formosa (Taiwan) is thought to have succumbed to the human version of mad cow disease. October-December 2010: Listeria-contaminated fish,cheese,foie gras, and other meat products including pre-packaged sandwiches are recalled as over 4 cases of illness are identified in the US and Canada. Tens of thousands of pounds of E. coli-tainted beef and cheese are recalled in the US as more than 5 people are reported to fall ill. During 2010: In the US alone, more than 27 million pounds of meat and poultry were recalled due to potentially fatal bacterial contamination and adulteration including undeclared allergens, foreign materials, and animal drug abuse. During Japan's foot-and-mouth disease epidemic from April through August 2010, an estimated 290,000 cows succumbed to illness,with hundreds of thousands more cows,pigs,etc. ordered to be killed.

January 2011: In South Korea, over 2 million livestock animals were put to death due to foot-and-mouth disease since November 2010 along with 4,700 livestock farms that closed in Germany due to toxic dioxin found in animal feed. Agents known as prions that cause fatal afflictions such as mad cow disease are found to be transmissible not only through infected meat but also via air and milk, increasing their lethal risk to animals and potentially humans. The H1N1 swine flu worldwide epidemic that
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