Supreme Master Ching Hai is a world-renowned spiritual guide. An artist and humanitarian, her loving assistance extends beyond all cultural boundaries. Born in Âu Lạc (Vietnam), she studied in Europe and worked at the German Red Cross. She was happily married but sacrificed personal love in order to bring her message to the whole world. A concern since childhood was her interest in helping others, but above all, in protecting animals. Well, I have the opportunity to be with an extremely interesting person: Supreme Master Ching Hai.
Welcome. I am very overwhelmed to have this opportunity to be with you here in Cancún
(Thank you for having me.)
Thank you. You are such an interesting... I've been talking about a few minutes with you and it's great. It's great all the things you do and all the messages you have for the world, and looking forward to the Earth
Thank you and to love, and to really spirit and blessings. Thank you.
How do you feel to be here in Mexico again?
It's one of my favorite places. I could stay here forever. I love the people. I love the people especially. They're so pure and so warmhearted and so welcoming and so hospitable. I think that's why everybody likes to come to Mexico, no? Not just me.
Maybe, maybe. You were talking about Mexican people are so warm-hearted and ( Yes.) focused on treating people well.
Yes, very, very. Very well. Every one of them, anyone, even on the street or the taxi driver, in the restaurant - anywhere. You just pick any Mexican and they make you happy.
Thank you. That's very sweet from you.
It's true like that.
Thank you. But you are such an interesting woman because you've been all your life dedicated and focused on helping the environment and helping people. When did you start your work?
More than 20 years ago, maybe almost three decades. Yes. But when I was younger, I was always already interested in how to protect people, how to help people, how to protect the animals. But I see suffering so much. But I begin officially, like, maybe since 1983, yes.
And why did you start? What happened to you that you said like, “I need to give this message to all the world?” About helping the animals and the environment and how we are all connected.
Yes, yes. Originally it started first with humans, yes, what I saw on TV. I was working for the Red Cross, the International Red Cross, in Germany, and I worked for the refugees' issues, and I saw so much suffering, because people are displaced by war, by disasters, yes. And then I watch TV, it's always some very suffering news for people. And then I started to question, “What can I do to help my fellow humans?” And then I started questioning and I started my quest for “whatever I do?” and that's how I went to find the answer. And then I'd go to ask the wise masters, yes, like the Buddha. At first, I prayed. Because I didn't know any master at that time, so I just prayed to the Buddhas, prayed to Jesus. My father was Catholic, my grandmother was a Buddhist, so I was brought up in both. (Yes.)
And I compared the writings of the masters, the teachings of the two and I thought, “It's the same.”
The same. ( Yes.) It's great. ( Yes.) I once read that - it's beautiful! Like, it's a poster that had the true religions ( Yes.) and it said: “God is so big that He didn't fit in one.” So it's like all the same.
Yes, yes, yes. It's for the same and that's beautiful. That is a good saying, yes? (Yes.) The thing is, masters like Lord Jesus are the representatives of Heaven who were sent down here to help us, to enlighten us, to remind us to live the way of the righteous children of God. And Buddha is the same, also sent from Heaven. (Yes.)
Same with Prophet Muhammad and same with Guru Nanak, same with Mahavira, same with Krishna. Yes. Many, I cannot name them all here, yes. They all teach the same message, like we have to really love each other and help each other and to live in peace.
So you would start just praying, so overwhelmed about the situation that the world was living back then?
And then what did you do?
And then I could not enjoy my peaceful life as a married woman. I was married to a physician. He had two doctorates - a dentist doctor and also medical doctor, so two, doctor, doctor. Yes. And he really was so much in love with me and we were in love with each other. It was very difficult. But I thought there was something bigger I had to do than just continue to be a housewife.
And so I just left home and I begged him to forgive me. It was very difficult. I was crying and he was very sad, and I wrote many poems about that, about how sad I was to leave him.Well, maybe sometimes the right thing to do and hardest thing to do are the same.
Very hard. (Yes.) So getting back to you, almost 30 years later, you are here and working for the planet and going all around the world, and the government and the people look for you.
Yes. Of course they do. ( I don't know.)
You've been writing books like, “From Crisis to Peace.” ( Yes.) It's your latest book?
Yes. Actually, I wasn't writing it. It's just that my Association members, they collected from many different lectures concerning this climate change topic and how to prevent it, so they collected my lectures and edited and put in that book for people.
You told me that the Earth has been a ball of blessings. ( Yes.)
And all through history, we've been destroying it. Tell me a little about this.
Okay. When God created this planet, it was all for us to have comfort and beauty and blessing. And so we have many crisscrossing Spiritual Blessing Lines all over the world, all over the planet, yes. It's difficult to see these Spiritual Blessing Lines, because they're ultra light, ultra supra light. Mostly people cannot see it. In the world, only six people, seven people can see it; I myself included, yes. And then these Spiritual Blessing Lines come from one of the highest Heavens, the Fifth Level of Heaven. And it's supposed to make us happy all our lives, and everything will be in abundance.
But people started to do violent things, killing each other, and then later also killing the animals en masse. Too much killings. But it takes thousands of years of doing that to destroy some of the Spiritual Blessing Lines. It's not like one or two years that we can destroy it. But now, there are some are broken, some are intact
And what would you say that we can do to prevent that?
We have to, like, if you drive in the wrong direction on the highway, right?
(Yes.) Then you just have to return to the right way. That's it. Instead of heading south, we go north if we want to be in the north. You know the law of like attracts like, yes? So if we want to have benevolence from Heavens, we have to start to be benevolent, we have to show signs that we want benevolence, we want peace. We cannot show signs to Heaven… Because we are the children of God.
Whatever we want will come true. Children of God, believe it? Just like you are the children of your parents, and they are in television business or movie business, so if you want to be in the movie business, they let you, you see? In the television business, they let you, they train you. But you have to show sign of interest, “I want it.” You see?
(Yes, I know.) Same, same. We are the children of Heaven. If we want something, we have to show the sign that we want that. Okay. Now, if we want peace, we want benevolence, we want love, blessing from Heaven, we have to start showing that, by action. We have to love each other. We have to be benevolent to each other. We have to be benevolent to all.
Then Heaven will say, “ My children want that!” Then that will come. But we cannot just sit and pray peace and peace and benevolence when our actions are in the opposite direction. We cannot go south and then pray to be in the north. You see? (Yes. That is true.)
This violence and killing of humans and animals are the sure sign that we don't want love, that we don't want compassion, that we don't want peace. Don't you think? think that's so true.
Is that logical to you?
That's what it is.
so like, congruent, you know, that we have to do. Actions speak louder than words.
That's it! that's a fact.
And we're going to get to a topic that is so hot (yes.)
and so here, right now in our society, let's say, global warming,(Yes.)
the climate change, the environment. What's happening to our world? We're destroying it.
yes, we are.
And global warming, is there a way to prevent it, to stop it?
s, we can. There is a way - that is a good news. Global warming is caused primarily, you know already. People say it's CO2, okay? - means carbon dioxide. But carbon dioxide is not as harmful as methane.
It's not as heat-trapping as methane and nitrous oxide, for example. Nitrous oxide heats up the planet 300 times more than CO2, more than carbon dioxide. And methane heats up the planet 100 times more than carbon dioxide (CO2). Now the methane and nitrous oxide are just two of the most potent gases, greenhouse gases that heat up our planet.
There are more, like hydrogen sulphide, for example, also is very deadly, also very deadly. And now, for example, if we stop methane, then the planet cools quicker than when we stop CO2, and CO2 will stay in the planet for thousands of years even. But methane, we can stop quicker, because it stays in the planet maybe from 8 to 12 years only.
So if we stop this quick-dispersing but great heating potential, then we cool the planet fast, and then we can have time to develop more technology.
Yes, yes, yes.
And methane and nitrous oxide came from animal raising.
All the animal products.
we have to stop using animal products to stop the greenhouse effect, (Yes!)
that is made by methane?
Yes, yes, yes. And okay, I tell you, from the United Nations and other scientists' report, , originally they said only 18%, but now they say 51%, at least, greenhouse gases came from livestock raising. //It's 51%,// understand me? Five-one. (at's so much!) Okay,// so if we stop livestock, we stop 51% of global warming.// You follow me?
(Yes, I do.) Right.
And then, instead of that we plant organic farming. Organic farming will absorb 40% of CO2, of the carbon dioxide. You see that? So just by stopping animal products and growing organic vegetables.
When you said about organic vegan, I… ( Vegetables, yes, yes).
I read a little about your book, and like the diets you have. ( Yes.) About what it's made?
What it's made of? (Yes.) Of the food that we eat? Protein has two sources: animal protein and vegetable protein. The diet of the Mexicans consisted of beans in the ancient times, beans and corn (Yes.) These are the best. There is a lot of protein in there already. (Yes, I know.)
Pork has only like 16%, including cholesterol, fat and all the hormones and all the antibiotic medicine in it, which make the people sick. That's why the meat-eating people often die younger. If you are vegan, you'll live up to 15 years more, 15, yes. Because all the heart disease, all the cancers, all the diseases in the world are caused by meat eating, by animal products.
Even toxin from the fish, mercury, all kinds of deadly diseases, deadly, fatal even, came from eating cows, sheep, pigs, or even wild animals. Even AIDS, that is spreading all over the planet and killing many people, came originally from eating the wild monkeys to begin with, and then now it's spread all over - AIDS. And it costs millions of lives. It costs billions of dollars to heal it; and not heal it even, not control it even.
And we have to control it, because like you said before, we have to focus on making it right and looking forward to the Earth, and stop the climate change. ( Yes.) And we're all connected with each other, even with the animals. ( Yes, yes.) And that's something we don't understand maybe in our world. We have to look forward, by helping each other and protecting each other.
Yes, and protect the environment and the animals, because every time we kill something… It's the law of the universe, that if we kill or if we harm something, we have to share our spiritual merit with that. So how many animals we eat, we share all our spiritual bank account with those animals, and then we're depleted, we get poorer and poorer spiritually, poorer.
And if you don't have spiritual merit, enough, then you have to pay with your health, your luck, or your family member's peace And then larger, we pay with peace in the world - we have to pay the price for having no peace.
We are all connected between each other.
Yes, yes, like that. You are right.
And you've been traveling all around the world, like I said before, you have been to Mexico City. I read that you have been in Paris. You have been in so many places, and what do you think that our humanity is prepared for that message, prepared for more than climate change, a social change?
I do hope, because we just try to inform everyone, as many as we can. And I'm sure people are aware of it, but they just need to change, that's all. Instead of having that piece of meat, we have the whole planet. You know, right now everybody's just focused on CO2, like, have to stop the airplanes, stop the coal industry, stop the car - and then what do we do, walk? How far can you go with a bicycle? To Mexico City, bicycle? (Yes.)
We can still keep all that, because CO2 is not yet our number one enemy. Number one enemy is methane, the greenhouse gas that traps more heat than CO2 but disappears quickly from our atmosphere. So if we stop this potential heat-trapping and let them disappear quick, then our planet cools down first and then, of course, when we still have the planet, we still have time to develop green technology. Because even if we develop green technology, it takes a long time to install everywhere, (Yes.) number one.
Number two, we haven't tested all of them, if they are safe to use. For example, at the United Nations, in one of the sessions that I attended, they suggested using new technology to trap the CO2, trap the carbon dioxide gas and bury it in the ground. How safe can it be?
You never know.
You never know.
Maybe you have radioactives…
Yes, yes. It's not only that, but if something leaking out it will be in our soil, poisonous, and then it will be in our water, and then we'll be eating poisoned potatoes, drinking poisoned water. Do you understand me?
(Yes). We're already poisoned enough here.So CO2 is not our biggest enemy.(Not yet) It's methane.
Yes. Of course it's better if we have less, (Yes.) but we don't have time now to develop, so quick, technology. You see, even in my place where I live,
I use a hybrid car or electric car. But here, I want to find a car, (And you can't.) you cannot, you know? So they have to rent a Mercedes, for example, or the Ford for us to transport around. But, of course, I go as short a distance as possible, and then I go from the hotel to the Messe, and then leave the car there and to Moon Palace or elsewhere that I need to go.
Yes, it's like we need to be prepared for that.
And that will take some years.
Because not everybody has the opportunity to get that information, and the opportunity to get an electric car.
Yes, yes, yes. They're not available even.
Yes, I know.
Not enough for everybody.
It's not even available.
Not enough for everybody yet, you see? So the CO2 we can just let it go for the moment, let it sleep there, because it will be there for thousands of years anyway. But we have the solution. If we plant all the tillable land on the planet, then we can absorb 40%. We plant it with organic material, yes? It's better for health even. And it's more economical - it's less water-using, less labor. And then we can absorb even 40% of the CO2 in the air already. And we have another 51% from stopping the animals industry. And because of that, we will save trillions of dollars from the mitigation cost.
Yes. And education, do you think is the key for the people, education in that side?
We need to invest in the… We need to ( Yes.) tell the government.
Yes. The government must invest in this. Have a lot of information, grassroots, like, to begin with, //the government should subsidize organic farming and encourage people to change into organic farming. It can be fast. // You know the cows don't live that long; we just let them live until they die naturally, and from then we don't raise any more.
The reason we have so many cows, for example, because we force them to breed, force them by medicine even, by hormones to make them… And then we squeeze the milk out of the cow until her bones become all broken. She cannot even walk. That's why I don't even take milk I don't take cheese.
Before I did not even know that; it's not like everybody knows everything. I also did not know this, until I go research more. Then the more I know, the more I think vegan diet is the best for everyone, for the health also.
And right now, like the way our world is, you will get to the limit that you won't eat an apple without hormones in it.
Oh God. Yes, yes, yes. But at least if the government encourages organic farming and subsidizes for that, instead of subsidizing meat… The meat costs very cheap because the government subsidizes it. For example, in America, without the taxpayers' money to subsidize the animal industry, then a hamburger would cost maybe $30 or $200, not $1 like that. (Yes.)
You see? So you're eating your tax. You are eating your own money, and having disease and abnormal hormone levels in your body, and cholesterol and everything - all these poisonous antibiotics. Even if we take antibiotics, we have to take it a little bit, only when we need it. But they keep feeding the animals to keep… Because they raise them in the farm industry that is very filthy and the animal easily gets sick, so they give a lot of antibiotic all the time. Imagine eating all that!
Yes. It's very harmful (Yes.) for our health.
Yes. Whenever you're sick, even if you don't want to take antibiotic, but if the doctor prescribes to you, then you take it maybe for a week only and then you know it's not good for you already, you stop. Then you eat the animals which have it every day.
So that's why people are going crazy, you know? They cannot think straight, and they are sick.
That's very worrying…
And all the money goes into the hospital as well.
Yes. And in Mexico, how do you see the problem in our country? You have been here so many times, you have been in Mexico City, you have been here. What do you think that Mexico is going through, like in this ( Desertification.) matter…? Yes.
Desertification. It's a lot in your country; more than 50% of the land has become desert, or going to be a desert now, because of deforestation. Yes, and therefore it endangers the life of people because they cannot cultivate if always flooding and then drought, you see? Drought because we don't have enough trees to keep the water in the ground. The trees are the keepers of water, and then recycle it in the ground so that it distributes evenly, you know, enough quantity at a time.
But if we cut all the trees, then we will have a lot of floods because the water will keep running down, nothing to keep it in the ground. And then it still runs and wasted, the land will have no water, no moisture, and then no cultivation possible. And then nothing keeps in the ground, so we don't even have water in the ground to dig out to even use.
That is so very important. We have seen in all these last years, all the floods, (Yes, yes.) all the disasters ( Yes.) weaving, going through our country. (A lot. A lot.)
You know in Veracruz, Chiapas, Ciudad de México, here right now. Five, six years ago ( Yes.)
we had a hurricane ( You know that.) and we saw the water was so strong, ( Yes!)
so it makes such disasters. And we don't see far away, far from that,( Yes.)
that it's a problem if we have no trees.(Yes, yes.)
That's what you were saying.
No trees. And because of raising animals, or because of deforestation for any other reason. Too inconsiderate management of the forest. And then mostly it's to raise animals or to grow the crops to feed the animals, instead of feeding humans. We have like one billion people hungry right now on our planet. But the grain that we make is enough to feed two times the whole world. But we feed it all to the animals instead. (Yes.)
And it takes a lot of water many hundred times more water to cultivate a piece of meat than to have organic vegetables, like soya, corn. Very little.
Yes. And most of our people here in Mexico live from agriculture.
It's very… It's a concern.
Yes. And now, if they don't have water, then they cannot cultivate, because the land becomes dry and cracked, desert, yes, because of deforestation for animals; mostly to use for animal products. Even if they can cultivate, the flood will come out and wash everything away and people will have nothing. (Yes.)
They become beggars, you know? They lose not only their money, their livelihood, but they lose their dignity also. (I know.) Normally, they are independent, they can take care of themselves and they can grow vegetables and everything, and they can even sell it. But if the floods come, wash everything away, they cannot even have enough to eat. You see what I mean?
The more we talk about it, the more I feel very sorry for the people. It should not be this way. Of course we can inform everybody and tell them to make the choice to be organic vegan, but //if the government helps, it would be faster// The government has more power than you and I.
Yes, of course.
We can appeal to different people, but just a group, and a city. The government, if they lead the process, they print out leaflets, educate people, make websites, and subsidize the farmers, the poor farmers to change into organic vegan, then not only we can absorb CO2, they have good livelihood for people. Because right now organic food is very in demand, very high
(Yes.) in demand.
If we want peace, we want benevolence, we want love, blessing from Heaven, we have to start showing that, by action. We have to love each other. We have to be benevolent to each other. We have to be benevolent to all.
First, have to stop the animals industry to cool the planet and then everything else we can have time to take care.