“The Living Messiah of Our Time” Lecture by Supreme Master Ching Hai Hawaii, USA - September 3, 1994
In the beginning of our lifetime, in the beginning of all life, we have choice. We have the voice inside telling us, “This is better, this is good, this is no.” But sometimes we like to play, we like to do the things that are not according to the parents' teaching, like children, and hurt ourselves. That's the problem. Sometimes when the parents say, “Stay away from the fire. Don't play here. Don't play there,” but we do it, just for the sake of curiosity. All right, then God lets us learn the hard way, the easy way, it's up to us.
Therefore, some people stay holy, wholesome, some people go astray, but that is only for a while. And they will suffer the consequence, and then they will awake from and through the suffering and become wholesome again, and turn back in the right direction. Therefore, sometimes people are also right in saying that suffering is a blessing in disguise from God. Otherwise, if we are always happy and have everything in our life, and smoothly, we don't appreciate and we do not try to listen to God's will. Truly like that.
Okay, here. Now, I just remembered the Reader's Digest. I also read a story this morning about a boy who was trapped in a well, about six stories high - no water in it, only mud - and then how he tried to use all his wisdom and strength to go back up again - nobody helped him - and how after the incident, he appreciates everything that he has in his life: the clean sheets of the bed, the brothers, the sisters, the flowers in front of his house, the beautiful meal.
Because he was trapped there for six days and all he had was muddy water - dirty, muddy water - to drink for his strength, and he had to dig up the wall, concrete wall of the well, to tip-toe up, and it took him six days. And how he appreciated everything, even a meal and the nice, hygienic surroundings and the clean bed sheets. Just like me, I grew up near the ocean. Yes, in Âu Lạc (Vietnam), we have a long ocean on the borderline and I never thought of water, of the ocean, as any great deal. So when I come here, I just stick in my house all the time - actually, I didn't come for the ocean - and then sometimes I walk on the beach for some exercise because the medicine makes me feel so drowsy.
I can't sleep all day And then I went on the beach with one of the attendants and I saw some people just sitting there on the beachwith children and dogs and cats and together, family, and just stare at the ocean and so mesmerized and fascinated, and I said to the attendant, “What are they doing?” He said, “Well, some people never saw the ocean in their life.” He said, just like in China - he's Chinese - he said, “In China, when people are born in the big China, in the mainland and very deep inside, they would never see ocean in their life; they never know such a big gathering of water.”
I said, “My God! Really true.” Because I never appreciated the ocean. I was born with the ocean, I always see the ocean in my life - even my name is “Ocean” - so I took it for granted, that it's no big deal. But now I realize that some people have to pay a lot of money and go through a lot of savings and hardships in order to come to Hawaii, for example, just to look at the sea which they never saw in their life and probably never will see again. Such a big body of water, it must be amazing for them. They sat there all day and stare at it. It's worth the money. So, that sometimes probably is the effect of the suffering.
During the suffering time, we turn inward more, we pray more, because at that time we know whatever it is, that there must be something, we have to rely on that thing. Also, Nostradamus, he also said that in this, probably, coming time, there will be a lot of disasters, and Before in this century, a lot of disasters, a lot of trouble, that even some people who never believed God before, begin to pray to God and the saints. That's what he said. Probably that's the way it is. God tries to help us, to turn our mind back to the source of all blessings and eternal life. And do not worry even if you lose your life - you don't lose anything.
told you already, life is a joke. It's a setup for us to play around and to learn whatever that curiosity wants us to learn, and when we're fed up with it, God will help. Even if God destroys the planet, we are not to worry. Of course, we try to save it, it's a beautiful planet. That's the only one we have at the moment. But if Hes has to do it, it doesn't matter. There's so much, so vast the universe, a lot of planets we could go and roam around. Don't worry. But be good, otherwise we could not even have that privilege. That's the problem. That's the problem. Even though God is very neutral and no male, no female, no good, no bad, and no judgment, but the way we do things carries in itself the consequence.
Just like our parents love us anyhow, whether we're bad or good, their love will not die. But if we do bad things that are not according to the parents' warning, then we bring harm upon ourselves, we bring sometimes disaster, sometimes injury, sometimes it's damaging to our beauty. But still, after we get damaged, still the parents love us. They might love us even more but that doesn't help us. Their love won't die but we damage ourselves. That's the problem only. Therefore, we just have to be good, be virtuous, be God-like, so that we are near to God for our own benefit. God loves us, it doesn't matter what we do. They love us. She/He loves us anyhow. All right? Just I teach you to be good for your own benefit. Okay, now, here, the article…
Thirteen, the article that everybody wants to look at… no, the females want to look at. Thirteen, “What Women Do Better.” See that? Reader's Digest, April '94. Even it's this year. It was so battered I thought it was last year. Okay, look here, what the women do better: the women learn language better, the women are more handy than men - I just read the headline and if you want, you can buy it - the women are more social, talented, more smiling, more sunny, etc., yes? The women are born to lead. See? They say that women, when they are leaders, they're better because they encourage other people to recognize the best in themselves, to bring the best out of themselves.
And the men are mostly dominating, making other people feel subordinated. That's what it is in here, all right? And, even more in the sports. The women swim better it's a joke - the only woman who swam the English Channel, 1978. Yes, other men dare not swim there, I guess. So you know I'm not “cooking” something from my own diet. You can read. Okay? All right. Anything else?
*Master, I want to ask a question. You answered several of my questions while you were finishing what you were saying, and I had a question. There are so many people coming out now that are like Masters, being recognized by people, like Mother Mira, and there are gurus that are Masters and that are enlightened and so on, and I know that your disciples call you “Supreme Master,” and I want to understand that, because I had a message come to me a month ago about Quan Yin meditation, and I had never heard of it before.
I didn't know anything about it, and I feel I have been called here, to come here today, and yet I don't understand what separates a Master from another Master. Could some of us also be Masters and not know it or not be using it or…? I just want to understand better, what it means by a “Supreme Master” or are certain people attracted to one Master because they can learn something specially from them?
Well, many people, they believe in the vision when they meditate and they know what their Master is. Well, I can't interfere. All right? And so they call me what they want to call, and you call me what your want to call. All right. And, the Supreme Master, we all are, just that you do not recognize it, or you're not called to do this terribly troublesome job. You should be happy. If you're called, you can't run away, yes?
Sooner or later you have to appear, against your will even. All right. And some people believe in Nostradamus, for example, so how to look for the Master because he described inside, the savior of the world is what, and what, and what, and what. They have several signs to measure, because there are so many Masters. But all the Masters are good, yes? Just like all the teachers in the educational hierarchy are good. One teaches one thing and the other teaches another, we should respect all and learn with whomever we feel most sure, most attracted to and most in love with. All right? You are happy with my answer? (*Yes.) Good.
*Thank you, Master. It's my pleasure to be here and my honor.
My pleasure too.
*Thank you. For years I've meditated and I feel like I'm in a desperate situation. I know that there is a point one reaches… I know the enlightenment is within me. I know a great deal intellectually, but I have not felt it emotionally yet. I feel that I'm almost still struggling, and when I saw your tapes on TV that you told people coming back, “I will give you enlightenment, the Light and the Sound.” Master, that's why I'm here. (I see.)
*Every other question to me means nothing. Can you help with the Light? Can you help with the Sound? Can you help me to be enlightened or to bring forth what I know is within me, because my goal in life is to be able to say what you say, “I live there.” And for this, I say “thank you.”
No problem. That's what I'm here for. If tomorrow you have time in the morning, we can conduct an initiation here.
*You mentioned that life is not important.
Not important? Yes?
*Can you explain it to me?
When? Just explain the whole thing, the whole sentence.
*Well, we go through life and it's not such a big deal. It is a big deal where life doesn't make any difference.
Our life is a joke? I just said it before, right? In this night.
*Maybe I just misunderstood you.
No, no, no. You didn't. It's just that you didn't understand completely. What I mean is, this physical life, which is so short anyhow, and full of sickness, suffering, and misery and dissatisfaction, it's not really that important, compared to the life that we get after - you know what I mean? - the real life, without shadow. Yes? That's what I meant. But of course, as long as we live in this life, treasure your life.
That's what I told the gentleman: his life is more precious than the precepts. Then you must know. You can't just hang on to one sentence, all right, and attach there. Life is precious as long as you have it. And if you don't have it, no problem, you have a better life still, but that is if we are prepared for that better life: we have a virtuous way of life, we meditate, we're closer to God, we are God-like, then life is better for us. That's what we should utilize this life, for that end only. You know what I mean? Is that clear now? I'm not clear to you yet?
*Yes, I understand.
Okay, good. Our life here is only as precious as long as we use it to find God. Otherwise it's nothing: we're born, we die, nobody cares - accomplish nothing. If we cannot use this life, this physical life, to know God, it's really a waste. We don't know if we'll get another life again, the same life again, physical life. That's why life is precious; otherwise, nothing, okay? Someone's born, someone dies, it's only a few decades of lifespan. It's a waste. Going through a lot of suffering, a lot of enduring, it's really a waste. Are you satisfied? Everything's all right? Ask everything you need to know so that you go home light and “digested,” okay.
*Master, for some time now, I get this urge that for one reason or another - and it's usually that I'm not content with how I handle inside matters, inside I have this urge that I want to shave my hair.
It's very short already.
*And then I read this article that said it didn't have anything to do with your practice, and tonight I still get this urge that I want to do it because it's some kind of a purification that I'm going to derive from it. Do you approve of your disciples doing this when we're not exactly nuns?
Well, it's your hair. I have no right, I have no patent right over your hair, except you probably don't look that beautiful. It's your responsibility. Do it if you want. Cut it, shave it. (*Okay.) I have my long hair now. You have your hair short. It's all right. You do what you want, as long as you're happy with it for some time - because you were a nun last life, so you long to go back to the cycle. It's all right. If you need to do it, do it. It will grow again, very fast.
Don't worry. What I meant is, some people, they are so much attached to the outer appearance that they think if they have not shaved their head or have not worn the yellow robe, that means they're not holy, they can never reach Buddhahood or Godhood that way. That is the attachment that should be cut, not the hair or not the “not hair.” You can cut your hair if that really makes you feel good for a while. It's fine. It's just the notion of the people that I cut All right. I had to do it. I had to wear my red robe.
*Since you're interested in Nostradamus, there's also a film, “The Life of Nostradamus.” It's quite old and it was made with Orson Welles, but it's very good;
an excellent film that follows all the quatrains very closely.
Yes, thank you very much. I just hope they made it correctly, because even the people who interpreted the predictions of Nostradamus… I'm not very much into astrology and things like that, it's just that this man is so excellent. He's truly worth his name. Not many can be like that. He's a very good clairvoyant, and a very virtuous person as well. I don't even need to know anything in the future actually, it's just that this man was so accurate and people talked about him and then they lent me a book.
I knew his name a long time ago, but I'm never intoreading these kinds of things. I'm not very interested. Just that lately a boy lent me a book of Nostradamus in Aulacese (Vietnamese) and I read it. That's it. That's how I know about his predictions. Even the people interpreted his predictions, they can only interpret correctly when things already happened. They know, “Ah! No wonder! This and that…” and then everything fits into the picture. But when it comes to the things they do not know yet, even though they can translate line by line, but they still wonder why it's like this.
But if you are meditating in the Quan Yin Method… When I read him, I knew exactly what he said, just like he was writing for me alone. It's very, very easy to understand and I know exactly what he said, but people still question whetherhe meant that and this and other: “How come?” You know what I mean? Yes?
*I was going to say the quatrains are written very metaphorically. And so as time passes they've been interpreted about three or four times, and just like you said, the interpretations become clearer and clearer or more accurate as time passes, (Yes.) and they're done almost in hindsight.
The things have not come, for example, because I read only up to… He predicted up to the savior of the 20th century, and everything is so clear, just like you look into a mirror, and people still staying there, wondering, “Who? Where? How come?” It's so clear, so clear to those Aulacese (Vietnamese) who read this.
It's like just like put two and two make four. But the people who wrote the book, who compiled the book, still wonder. They still do not feel sure. Even though, for example like, they put about 10 Masters together, very famous in those days, and they still don't know who that is, because so many signs are missing.
*Thank you. I have several questions. One is: Do you carry the “traveler's keys?” I am of the belief that a Master is handed the “traveler's keys,” because, well, I also belong to a spiritual organization, (Yes. So?) and this person I believe carries the mystical traveler's keys.
Key. Yes? Well, I believe that we have the key in the book of “The Key of Immediate Enlightenment.” Is that what you're talking about? (*All right.) Okay. But this key, I cannot show you. I can only open the door, but I cannot show you the key.
*So obviously that answers my question. (Yes.) Another question is, with this initiation, to become an initiate, what is, apart from all the other things that you've said- meditate and the vegan diet - do you also have books that we have to study? (Books?) Are there books for us to study with?
You can read practically any books you want to.
*But you don't have any books as such, for us to study with?
No, not really. Some of the books that the disciples have compiled came from my lectures somewhere. Probably if you are interested, you can read them, and any other books you can read. I'm not particular, like you have to read my book or other Masters' books. Any book that is nourishing for your spiritual practice, you can choose.
* Okay. But you don't have any set books as such.
No, I don't like to be a biased…
*Like teachings, teachings that are in set books (No, no, no.) and we have to read them every month, or (No.) whatever like that.
*Well, that's fascinating.
Why? Does it disturb you?
*No, I think that's great, because we have to read books, these books and I feel…
Headache, right? (*Yes, in fact…) Okay. Probably you passed the books already and they didn't know. It's not their fault, it's your fault. If you keep hanging on in the kindergarten all the time, then you have to play with the blocks, wooden blocks, and things like that. The teacher can't offer anything else when you hang around there.
*Right. Also there are different realms.
Yes. There are different realms but we don't mark it with mileage and things like that.
*So when we become an initiate, what realm do you take us into?
It depends on what you wanted. (Causal realm…) No.
*There are various realms, so what realm do we actually go into, do you take us into?
Into the highest one.
*To the highest realm?
Finally, finally; not immediately.
Yes, it depends on your background, your karma (retribution), your sincerity. You get into a realm above this Earth first, see?
*Yes, I understand.
Somebody goes into the first, so to speak, but we don't have it marked, so to speak, and then I will tell you how you recognize which realm. There are some signs inside, like what Light you will see or what Sound you will hear in first realm or second realm or third realm, then you just recognize it, for the sake of curiosity.
*I know I'm in a realm right now and I don't really know which one it is.
Well, how do you recognize it? The teacher doesn't tell you?
*If I was to write over to him, yes, I would be told, but I haven't written.
So, you want me to tell you? You keep it a secret, okay? (Yes.) You should not tell other people your inner experience. (*Okay.) But you could tell it to your teacher.
*Yes, I understand. Thank you.
You could tell me, but secretly, not in front of people. You might lose it. All right?
*In spiritual life, do I have a choice of doing my own spiritual awareness or my own God or do I have to choose any specific religion?
As far as we are concerned here, we do not have a particular religion to recommend people. If they are Catholic, I say, “Then just stay there,” if Buddhist, “Stay there.” Because, actually, from my understanding and my realization is that the religions are only the names of the same thing, the same essence, but over time people have forgotten the essence.
After the Buddha, they name it Buddhist; after Christ, they name it Christian, so we have no opinion on what you believe. Yes? Doesn't matter what you believe as long as you get in touch with that essence of your belief. It's all right with us, all right? Yes. And no need to change your religion or no need to look for a new religion.
One time, a disciple, a fellow practitioner in Texas, she went to study with a kind of theological group they learn to discuss the Bible and explain the Bible and things like that - because her family background is a “Bible-ish” kind of family, and she had to answer all of their questions related to our practice now, whether it is really according to the religion's scripture or not. So, she went there and studied with them. Then many times it happened that she was the student, but she answered everything clearly for the professor, so she was a kind of a “sore thumb” for them.
Because she's already enlightened and probably they were not so enlightened. They clung to the Bible, but not the essence inside. So one day they invited her to come and asked her about all things, but the thing is not about her discussion with the professor; it is about the things she did. People who go into that class have to state what religion they belong to, and she didn't know what to say, she put “Ching Hai” and that was what made more problem.
And then when she came to tell me, I said, “No wonder they asked you to come for interrogation! I am not your religion!” I told her, “You should not put me as your religion. I'm just your teacher to make you understand more of your religion, whatever your religion is, to make you understand that the real essence of all religions are only one: there is only one God, one Buddha essence, one Buddha Nature, nothing else. Just like one electricity power for all the lights, the bulb, the refrigerator, the iron, and the television.
And then she made me laugh so hard - “Ching Hai.” That's probably the problem with you. If you don't have any religion, you'll probably put my name on it and then I have to be responsible for anything. Yes, after I die, probably people will build temples even though I don't have any now. When Jesus was alive, he didn't have shoes - he didn't wear shoes even - he didn't have a house. I have, when I stay here, of course, I have a house, but people's house, and when I stay in the headquarters for some time I have only a tent. But when I die, perhaps people will build temples and make a Ching Hai-ism out of me. I can't do anything about it.
So you don't have to worry whether you have a religion or not. We're all right. You have God inside. Got it? Good. Yes. I'm with you. Good! Here, again you? You excited things.
*Master, I thank you for all my children. Please bless them to enter your Kingdom.
Okay, you know what? Even Buddha's cousin went against him. I am lucky I have a good family clan. All believed in me and some even got initiation, including my parents, my sister, my niece, my cousins' cousins, and nephews
But not all the family members of a Prophet or of a Master or of any spiritual seekers have the same faith in him or in the same faith with his Master or her Master. So don't worry about that. They are all children of God. God takes care of them in the right way, in the right time. Okay? If they go with you, fine. If they don't go with you, they go with God, it's all right. Right or wrong, they're all in God's hands. You okay? They are not with you yet? Vegetarian? That's good already! My God. Good that they're not against you.
Some people come to me and say, “Master, I can't get initiation.” I say, “Why?” “My children don't let me eat vegetarian.” Yes, I can't believe it, yes. Husband, wife, children, parents - everyone - because they go with the whole world, the trend of the world is non-vegetarian and “do as you please.” They don't know God. They just pray to God but they don't really feel fear of God.