The Secrets to Longevity P2/4 February 25, 1989 Chungli, Formosa (Taiwan) (In Formosan)    
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We are the same. We work so hard for this world, then we are punished because of the work. If we work so hard to make money in this world but we don't do a little charity with the money, or do some good deeds, when we go down to hell we will be beaten up by the king of hell. We can't get away from the evil cycle. It's similar to the person who was given some money to take the beating.

He didn't get the money and was beaten 30 times. Similarly,we are fooled. We are fooled so badly by this world, Yet we continue to live happily and even say 『thank you.』 Every day, we work eight hours or six hours, sometimes ten hours or more than ten hours, to have a little food. Some rich people don't have to work so hard, but their energy is used up managing the factory, which is also very tiring.

They don't just sit there and take money. It's not that easy. They have to take care of the workers, listen to their complaints, look after the factory, and make plans; otherwise, they might lose money. So they have mental stress. We work so much, but how much do we eat every day?

At most, a few bowls of rice, two or three chicken legs and a piece of steak. That's all. This is what the meat eaters eat. The vegetarians eat even less. Their food costs less. We are so stressed, and yet we thank the king of this world… No,not the king of the world but maya. The king of a country is different from the king of the world.

We thank him for giving us work and thank him for giving us the chance to do charity. We use the money to buy security and blessing. If we don't,we will be beaten to death. We pay with the money earned by hard work and we have to say 『thank you,』 and we have to give it away. Yet there is no guarantee that we will be safe.

There is no guarantee that the king of hell will let you go if you give some charity. Not necessarily. He will deduct a lot of tax. Understand? He will say, 『Yes,you did charity, but you looked at another person's wife once,so you have incurred a certain bad karma (retribution). Also you ate too much, and you were not diligent in your work,』 or,『You didn't treat your children fairly, or you were bad to your neighbors,』 etc.,etc.

He will list all kind of sins we committed, so we can't escape. It's a truly pitiful situation when we are dropped into this world. We are prisoners; no matter what we do, we are still in prison. It's similar to a prisoner confined in a prison. Regardless of the merit he has earned, he is still in prison. No matter how good he is, how much work he has done for the prison, he is still a prisoner.

Understand? He is just a better prisoner who has contributed a lot and is more virtuous. A long time ago,there was a sheep who ran to a stream to drink water. When he was about to drink, a lion came and said to him, 『Hey,this is my water. If you drink it,I will have an excuse to eat you because you have no money to pay me.』

The sheep said, 『Oh,good! I have not drunk any. Look at my mouth,it's dry. I didn't drink any. I just arrived. Okay,I am leaving now.』 The lion said, 『No,you can't. Even if you didn't drink, your father must have drunk it, or your grandpa;

your ancestors must have drunk it, so you should pay for it,』 and with that, he ate the sheep. It's similar to our situation in this world. Even if we didn't do anything wrong, we are contaminated by the sins of our ancestors. What are our ancestors' sins? It could be something we did in our previous lives. Understand? In Buddhism, we don't call them 『the sins of our ancestors』 but 『past bad karma (retribution).』 It's almost the same.

It just sounds a little better. It means that they are not something given by others but the sins we committed in our past lives. It's the same. So we truly have to get out of the suffering. Otherwise,we can't get out for billions of eons. That's why seeing our pitiful state, the so-called living Buddhas,saints,or high level beings sometimes come down to remind us, 『Hey,there is a way that only I know,』 because it's a secret. If it weren't a secret, then everyone could leave and maya wouldn't like it.

Maya would like to capture his prisoners and never allow them to leave. So not everyone knows this path, except those who have been on it once before. Those who have been there are the ones who have been liberated from birth and death and who have gone beyond the control of maya.

Since they have been there, they know the way; otherwise, they wouldn't know. Once they go there, they look back and feel sympathy for other people and think, 『Before we left, we also suffered like that.』 So they can not help but come down again to pull people out. 『Over here,please come here quickly!』

They grab as many people as they can, 『Come quickly!』 Those who listen to them will follow the same path to liberation and go up easily. It's because they know the way, they can't get lost. Those who don't listen will,of course, stay in this world and suffer life after life. We don't have to wait billions of eons to be liberated.

Of course we can wait, because everyone will naturally be liberated. When the time comes, no one will be left behind, but we have to wait for our turn. //If we don't find an enlightened Master and don't practice diligently, when the time comes, when it's our turn, we will be liberated naturally.// However,we might be too tired after waiting for so long. So if there is someone who promises us liberation, why not go with him?

There is another story from Russia.

A long time ago in Russia,there was a king named Tsar Peter. He disguised himself as a commoner and went to Spain, because he wanted to learn how the Spanish people built ships. He wanted to build ships for his own country. After he went there, he studied hard every day. Over there,he met a few fellow countrymen who he had exiled. Perhaps they had wanted to assassinate the king or disobey him or something.

So they were exiled and couldn't go back. He ate with them, slept with them and got to know them. Thus,he came to know that they missed their homeland,their families, wives and children. At that time, although he was a king, he was also far away from home,so he himself also missed his homeland. That's why he had sympathy for those people. So he said,『My friends, please don't worry.

Soon, I will take you home.』 They asked him,『How can you take us home? The king has exiled us and we can never go home again. How can we now?』 Peter the Tsar said, 『Oh,no problem! I know a high official in the royal court and he is very influential because he is the king's councilor. He has never refused any of my requests before; the king will listen to him. So don't worry about going home with me.

The king sent me here to learn something . When I go home with what I have learned here, he will listen to me.』 Some people believed him, but others didn't. Those who believed him said,『He looks reliable and kind. He seems like a gentleman. He asks for nothing for himself. Whatever he does, he doesn't ask for money, nor does he ask for favors.

Perhaps it's because he himself misses his home and he has the power to save his fellow countrymen. It won't do any harm if we go with him. We are criminals already, what else can happen to us? The worst thing that could happen is we will be sent back to Spain. We can't be sentenced to anything more serious than that.』

So they went back with him. At the border, they saw a lot of their countrymen on the road waving flags to welcome him. The criminals said, 『Wow! This person must be really powerful.』

So they continued following him. Wherever they went, people welcomed them waving their flags. The closer they got to the capital,the warmer the reception became, and the more people there were welcoming them.

When they reached the capital, they saw Peter the Tsar ascend to the throne and sit down, and all the officials bowing to him and congratulating him. All his beautiful wives came out to greet him. Then they knew he was the king. As they got closer to the capital, they thought he must be a high official, 『Yes,he has to be a high official.』

When he went up to the throne, they realized he was their king. Their own king! Then they knew he had the power. Similarly,if Buddha comes to this world,and if he is different from us, then we wouldn't believe him. He won't be able to sympathize with our pain.

We have to remember this: he has to come down to suffer in order to remember. Since he has not suffered for a long time, he forgets what suffering is. In the Western Paradise, there is no such term as suffering, so how can one experience it there? Thus,he has no idea what suffering is, so he has to suffer like us.

He has to learn about happiness,anger,sadness and everything else before he gets enlightened. Then after he becomes enlightened, he won't run away from the human emotions. Otherwise,he will forget. He will enjoy Nirvana (the highest paradise) every day and forget about the suffering of sentient beings; he won't understand their longing hearts and he won't understand their inner feelings. Okay,I will let you ask questions. I had so much to say, but I don't remember it now.

The point is, I have a jewel which is more precious than life. Like what I'd said yesterday,if you want to have a share of it,I will give it to you for free.

Master, why in my dreams every night do I see myself in many places that I have never been to before and see many of my relatives look different from their usual selves? Can you please explain why they look different from before?

It's like this:

you went to the astral world. That's why they looked a little different. It's because they don't have physical bodies there. Most people go to the so-called Heaven after they die. If they have been good, they go to Heaven; hell is for evil people. So you went to see your old relatives and friends. When we sleep,our soul will wander around, but it can't go too high. That's only the first world, the astral world. That's why you see them. If you practice //the Quan Yin Method, you will go beyond that world// and take your relatives and friends up.

Master,how can I tell if I have affinity or not?

If you have affinity, then you have it; if you don't, then you don't.

Master,when a person reaches the third world, will he fall again?

No. When one reaches the third world, he will become a non-regressing Bodhisattva.

Master,it's said that the more knowledge one has, the more obstacles one has, and it will affect one's spiritual level. But many Masters' disciples are highly educated people with doctorates or master degrees. Do they have obstacles in their spiritual practice? Can a person have both a high academic degree and a pure clear heart like you do

I see everyone is a Buddha. That's right. There are ignorant Buddhas as well as learned Buddhas. It's not necessarily that we will obstruct ourselves if we have knowledge. If we are not arrogant about our knowledge, or if we are not attached to it or if we don't think we are great,then our sincerity for the Tao (the great wisdom) will not be contaminated and our spiritual practice will not be obstructed.

I have many disciples who are very learned, who are physicians, doctors,lawyers, technicians,engineers, etc.,but they practice very well and progress very fast. So,it depends.

Master,can you explain the difference between the Quan Yin Method and other meditation methods,such as Zen meditation in Buddhism, transcendental meditation, or Taoist meditation?

The method practiced by true spiritual practitioners since ancient times is no different from the Quan Yin Method. But because there were few such spiritual practitioners in ancient times, there were fewer people who taught this method and there were even less who taught it in public. Therefore,everyone invented another method of their own.

Then they also made progress and had inner visions, but the levels were different. For example, the so-called Zen practice today solves Zen puzzles, koans,such as: 『Who are you?』; 『What is `nothing'?』; 『Who is repeating the name of Buddha?』; 『Why did Bodhidharma come to China?』 etc., or repeating numbers from one to ten.

That's the so-called Zen practice. One will have inner visions practicing this as well. Some people might see Light and hear the Sound naturally. At that time, we can say that he received some of the benefits of the Quan Yin Method, even though he didn't practice it. The formal Quan Yin Method has to be transmitted by a master,understand?

And the real Dharma lineage is very clear. By practicing so-called Zen or Taoism, or a yoga method, one will also see Light, have visions and hear some Sounds. If the teachers of these methods have the experiences of Light and Sound or inner visions, then their disciples will also have them.

We spiritual practitioners have to do what's right. As far as I know, their levels are lower. The Sounds they hear do not belong to the higher levels, the Light they see does not belong to the higher levels, and their visions do not belong to the higher levels either. It's from what I know. There might be some that are high level whom I don't know about.

I am studying in college. I often buy food from vegetarian restaurants to eat, but I don't know if there is any alcohol or eggs in the vegetables from those restaurants. My mom said that I should keep the precepts strictly. Also,during the examination periods, I am afraid that I won't have enough time to meditate due to the academic pressure. Can I still receive initiation?

Yes. You should try to be careful. If you break the precepts unintentionally, it's not your fault. We just try our best to keep them. Students should also meditate. The transcendental method teaches people to meditate for only 20 minutes at a time and they have obvious benefits. Many college students are learning meditation nowadays, so we should do it. It's helpful for everything, in this world and in the world beyond.

Master,someone said that I should wait until I'm 32 to practice spiritually because my affinity to this world is not finished. I am 24 right now. Should I receive initiation from you? If I do, will my worldly affinity still exist? If I don't, what should I do? Will I have the chance in the future to learn the Quan Yin Method, the highest method to achieve liberation?

You don't know if you will live tomorrow, let alone until you are 30. Life is ephemeral. As I'd mentioned yesterday, although there is fate, still some people die in spite of it.
The world is so ephemeral. Don't wait until tomorrow.
You should have received initiation yesterday.

Master, I am a householder. How can I practice to reach the highest realm?

Why can't you? //Practice the Quan Yin Method and you will reach the highest realm,whether you are a householder or a renunciate.// It's the same.

He said,『Each time my daughter is sick, I pray to Quan Yin Bodhisattva for her blessing, but the result is not good. What is the best way to pray to Buddha?

You are ruining the reputation of Quan Yin Bodhisattva. It's not that she does not respond to you, it's just that our level is too low. Our sincerity doesn't break through the karmic walls of this world to reach the ears of Quan Yin Bodhisattva. If you want to reach her ears,you have to have a telephone line to call her from here. 『Hallo, Quan Yin Bodhisattva, my child is sick.』 At that time she will respond. Why? It's true that you are sincere and your heart is pure, but you don't have direct communication with her.

Your prayer is caught by ghosts and devils Half way there. Then they bless your child incorrectly. Of course the result is worse. We should communicate with Buddha first, then our prayers will reach his place. Otherwise,it's blocked by the devils halfway through. The devils know that we are sincere and they want to take the offerings, so they 『bless』 us with bad things and,of course, the result is worse.

Have you seen the disastrous results? That's why I say that we should communicate with Buddha first and then all our prayers will be answered. That's why I offer the Quan Yin Method, Because// by practicing this Quan Yin Method, we communicate with Buddha every day.// The devils can't steal the blessing from our prayers and sincerity. Otherwise, whatever we pray for, only the devils and deities such as the Earth Deity will hear.

Master,human beings have wisdom and souls. Animals have souls as well, but do they have wisdom? Do plants have souls? Do all creatures have souls and wisdom?

What are 『living beings』?

Similar to microorganisms, the invisible ones.

I see. Everything has a soul; however, 『soul』 is not a good word for it. It's a kind of Buddha Nature, a kind of spirit. //It's the same Light that all beings come from.// Some have more and some have less. Buddha has the most universal power, the Light and the spirit. Animals have less and trees have even less.

Humans have five elements. Apart from the soul, and wisdom, we have elements such as metal,wood,water, fire and earth. Animals only have four elements: water,fire,air, and minerals. Animals have one less element than us. Birds have two less elements. They only have air, like the air we breathe, and water and minerals.

The minerals construct their bones and feathers. But insects don't have minerals, they don't have metal nor do they have wood. They only have air and water.

They must have air to have a body and water. They only have two elements. Humans have the most elements, including a soul. When it comes to trees, they only have water, nothing else. That's why eating vegetables doesn't create as much bad karma (retribution) and sin as eating an animal. It's easy to prove. If you kill a person, of course you will have heavy karma (retribution). You might have to pay back with your own life. Right? If you kill a cow, you can pay with money.

If you kill a pig, it costs less money. If you kill an insect, no one will ask you for money. So if you take a few vegetables, it doesn't create much bad karma (retribution). You just need to pay a little money in the market. That's all. Even our law does not punish us for eating it.

Similarly, in the invisible world, the higher the life form we kill, the more sinful we are. This is very scientific. A tree almost has no soul. It only contains water and the life force inside. It does not have a wise soul that's afraid of death and that clings to life. It can only react, without any wisdom. We can call it a chemical reaction.

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