*Before Master gives her lecture, I'll just take a few moments of your time and share with you some of my personal experiences after having received initiation and practiced the Quan Yin Method. I was a spiritual practitioner for many years before I met Master Ching Hai, but none of the meditation techniques or the spiritual practices that I did gave me the spiritual satisfaction that I was looking for, even though I put a lot of time and a lot of effort into it.
A friend of mine gave me a tape of Master, and that's how I was introduced to her. And after having watched the videotape and having listened to her teachings, I realized immediately that this was the teacher that I had always been looking for. Even before initiation, Master takes care of you.
I had to wait several months before I was able to receive the initiation, as at that time, no initiation was being given. And so, Master, knowing the sincere longing in my heart, came to me in a dream and initiated me there. Before initiation, I worked many, many long hours, and I worried about everything, and I really wasn't very happy or peaceful in my heart, but after initiation, due to the ability of concentrating better, I did things much more quickly and more efficiently. In what used to take me two or three hours, now it took me maybe only one hour to do.
I really didn't worry that much about things anymore. It's not that I didn't do things well. It's just that whatever it was that I did, if it didn't turn out the way I wanted it to turn out, that was all right too. What happened there was my attachment to the results of whatever I did was becoming less. The other thing is that I felt a lot more love, more peace, and harmony in relationships and in whatever I did.
And it was the kind of love that accepted people for however they were, rather than for what it was that I wanted them to be; and these changes happened very quickly after the initiation. And because of that, it showed me very clearly how powerful and how effective this method of meditation was. When I am doing work, often I need guidance or help to get through a difficult situation, and if I pray inside to her, I find that I can feel her presence very strongly and her guiding me through any difficult situation. Even in a seemingly scary or frightful situation, she's there protecting you.
And the point is that sometimes you cannot anticipate the situation, and you don't have time to pray for help, and even in those situations, she protects you and takes care of you.
These are some of the qualities of a living saint or a fully realized being - and those are omnipresence, omnipotence, omniscience. “Omnipresent” means that they can be in any place at any time, and in many places at the same time; “omnipotent” means they are all-powerful; and “omniscient” means they are all-hearing.
So, not all spiritual Masters have these qualities, not all spiritual Masters are true living Masters. But when you need help and guidance and you pray to Master, she can hear your prayers no matter where you are or regardless of the situation. And if you have had any personal experience of this, then you know you feel more relaxed and comfortable, and very happy and peaceful because you know you're protected and we're all taken care of.
Those who have practiced this method, or have practiced other methods and then practiced the Quan Yin Method, realize that Master Ching Hai is a true living Master, and she is the best, the greatest, and the highest being to ever have graced this Earth.
*And I'd like to turn this over at this moment to Master Ching Hai.
Thank you all for coming today. I am also very honored to be in this great country, the country of prosperity, of peace, of loving kindness and humanitarianism, because your country has what many countries do not have - the warmth and the human love between each other, as well as a very elevated spiritual standard. I was very touched to know that in your country there is no death sentence. That shows that in this land only love rules above all things.
And let's hope that other countries will learn from your example, to let God rule justice and not to take revenge. Also, I had the opportunity to speak to some of the people who live in this land - the immigrants, for example, and the Aulacese (Vietnamese) refugees who have been welcomed into your country with love and non-discrimination, and they're all very happy in this country, and I am sure this will add more merits and blessings into the great nation that you happen to reside in.
Only a very spiritual, elevated country can possess such qualities of loving kindness, of non-racial, non-discriminating quality; and if every nation is like this, at least our world would become a small paradise. But unfortunately, there are many other things that prevent people from understanding the basic truth: that is, love is the greatest law in the universe. And therefore, many people do not enjoy life the way they should.
The more we cling to life in a forceful way, the less we can enjoy the flavor of it. Therefore, the enlightened persons are happier, more contented, and even then, from this very stable state of mind, they can do many wonders, because they are quiet enough to understand where their wisdom lies, where their greatness is, in order to make use of it.
When we are very busy, or we are in a panic or in a hurry, most often we forgot what we wanted to do, or we do things in an incomplete way. Therefore, the tranquil mind of an enlightened person can see things more clearly, and that's the only logic of this science: “Be still, and know that I am God.” Who is that “I am”? That is the “One” that resides within us, that is the true Self.
Therefore, we are God. This realization doesn't come through hearing people saying that or through believing alone, but through self realization. And just as any other science there is, there must be a special technique. Everything we learn and we master in life, is all done through self experimenting.
Similarly, enlightenment can be achieved through some perseverance, self experiencing, and therefore, it will be lasting. That's the reason why we have heard a lot of saints and sages of all times saying that God is within us.
If God is within us, that means we and God are one. If we and God are one, we are God. But even then, we have heard so often, we have read so many Bibles and so many statements from such great men, like Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, etc., but we would not truly believe that we are that, and we could not find the God that is supposed to dwell within ourselves. It is because we lack self experience.
We have not known it by our own discovery, but only by hearing. In the old times, when science had not reached the height of today, we had many problems. Even the rain would trouble us, even the snow would bother us; anything, any small things, big things, obstruct our daily activities. Even the rain, for example. Now we have umbrellas, we have raincoats, we can walk in the rain; we can enjoy even the rain, and we can work in the rain. Better still, we have cars, we have buses - we have all things that protect us from the different weather changes in nature; therefore, we are very comfortable.
In the ancient times, if we were to hold a meeting today, many of you who stay a very, very long distance away could not be here; not because of the distance only, but because of rain, because of weather and all that. So in the ancient times, people hid themselves in caves, in mountains, under the trees, to protect themselves from natural disadvantages; and many people still do today, in some of the undeveloped countries. So that must not be.
Enlightenment is like that. Just like we add more comfort into our life and be happy in whatever conditions. Suppose we don't have a raincoat, we don't have an umbrella, we don't have a car. If it rains today, we are stopped from all of our activities, from all the things that we love to do and want to accomplish. Is that not so? Yes. Similarly, life is fantastic if we have enlightenment. There is nothing in this life which could be named “suffering,” or “terror,” or “trouble.”
Only because we lack protection that it seems to be so. Because, take for example the rain - if it doesn't rain, we don't have water, and all the trees, the flowers, cannot grow, and all the crops that we need for survival will never be there. Therefore, rain is not terrible in itself. But it is if we don't have an umbrella, and we walk miles in the cold: we will shiver, we will catch a cold, we will be ill, and we may lose our life even, through such a very harmless and useful natural phenomenon. Even a very natural, beautiful phenomenon becomes harmful to us if we lack equipment to protect ourselves.
Therefore, many people want to change the world, to change the way we live our life, but the sages of enlightened spirit say, “No! Change yourself.” Because if we change ourselves, we change the world around us. Even if the world still stays the way it is, we are not affected. And if each person changes in this way, there is no need for any war, and there will be no disaster.
If everyone has an umbrella, a raincoat, what is the need to change the season, to stop the rains, or to make the magical power to control the raining time, like many people would like to learn, and many people possess this magical power -can stop the rain, can make it lengthen, can push it to another direction, and it takes a long time to learn this magical skill- but why bother? Why bother? We just wear the raincoat. It's cheap, it's simple, and everyone can use it.
Once the Buddha wanted to cross the river on a boat and the boatman did not want to take him because he had no money - at that time, he was, of course, a renunciate, a monk still, who possessed no property - so the Buddha had no choice but to walk over the river. These days, quite a few yogis in India, Tibet, and elsewhere still can do that. Many people ask me about magical power because people are curious about things that they cannot explain, and also about things that they scientifically think is impossible.
So I told them that, “Yes, these things still exist.” But nevertheless, it's not to be used at random, and also not to be done for show. Even Jesus, he possessed a lot of magical power, but he didn't always do it; he was very reluctant. Therefore, he raised only one dead person to life, he cured maybe only two or three blind persons, and did not run around all the time and raise all the dead back to life. That would bring the natural law into a chaotic nature -
that is the thing an enlightened saint would not do. Each one has to learn to yearn within his heart to know himself, to know God, and then the Kingdom of God will come and the Master will come to help that person.
If we use magical power, or any other supernatural ways to convince people, we unknowingly lead people astray, because we limit God's power within these magical skills, which could be learned by some expert. And also, by doing that, we interfere with the flow of nature, and of course, we bring some disaster upon ourselves.
Because what we seek are the eternal things, like wisdom, love, and the greatness of the universal power, not the small corner of these low level of games. But when we possess great wisdom, we also possess numerous miraculous powers, but at that time, we have so much, too much, that we might not even know how much we have and things just come out from us automatically, without us intentionally doing anything.
That's why the saints do things without doing, without even thinking, without even wanting to do it. It's just like a very, very rich person, he has no idea how much he has. He can never count, he can never see enough of all of his treasure. Therefore, the enlightened person is always happy- at least most of the time happy - and even when he encounters unhappiness, which is brought to him by his very close contact with someone he loved, maybe then he is affected.
Because of the love for that person, he may share the suffering or unhappiness of that person, but even then he is very, very calm inside and he knows that the unhappiness is only of an ephemeral nature. He is not, kind of, dragged and sunk into this unhappiness like most of the people are.
Therefore, if we even want just to be happy in this life, we should get enlightenment. Of course, I should tell you, the great people of Canada, that you have to seek God for God's sake alone, not because of happiness in this life. But I do think that these things come together. If you are enlightened, you are happy, and the more happy, the more you believe in enlightenment, and the more you will appreciate God Nature anyhow.
What is the use of expecting an everlasting happiness in Heaven while we grovel here in darkness and in misery every minute of our life? An enlightened person enjoys both worlds - enjoys Heaven at the same time as enjoying the world. Why? Because he knows that whatever is manifested in this world is also the will of Heaven, and it's also a copy of the real manifestation in the higher Kingdom of God.
And because he is very relaxed, has no fear, no anxiety, so whatever he enjoys, he enjoys to the utmost. Many people think that after enlightenment, maybe you don't know how to love your wife anymore, or how to love your husband or children any more - it is the opposite. Only when you are very happy and know your true worth can you truly love another person, because you see her reflection, your reflection, within her. You will respect that person and love all the good qualities that God endows in that person because you have realized what God has given you yourself, and then you know God gives all beings the same amount of quality.
But we choose sometimes to go into the opposite direction and therefore we suffer, and then we blame God. We say “how come God has such almighty power and cannot turn this paradise into Heaven!” The power doesn't lie in God's hand; it lies in your hand. I know all this through experience, not through books and not through any Bible. And I know this also through the experiences in the lives of my disciples, and that is also the reason why we see each other today.
It is due to the kindness of my disciples: they want to share with you what they have discovered so they have gone through a lot of troubles and expenses, and time consuming, to organize this day's congregation. We do not do this with a very burning ambition to convince you into our path, but we do it with a very happy attitude of just a happy person.
Therefore, we do not care to wear very special renunciating dress to impress you; we do not try to make a very holy appearance of ourselves to convert you; we do not try to give anything to you - gifts or any other kind of magical power - to let you come into our circle, but we do it as a duty of a brother to another brother, and we just do it for the sake of doing it, actually. We're happy whether you are convinced or not convinced.
We will be contented whether you come, or you go, because nothing is that deadly serious to us anymore. We do it or not do it, it is the same thing to us. I could be sitting pretty on the top of the mountain in Formosa (Taiwan) and enjoying my samadhi power, or I could be sitting here knowing more of the people of the Earth planet. It is the same to me.
Therefore, if you feel that you're ready for this happiness, which is the true happiness because it comes from the root, because you know the whole thing from Heaven to Earth and hell - you know everything - and then you choose what you would like to enjoy.
Therefore, your happiness will be true and lasting. Otherwise, most of the so-called “enjoyment” in this world, we are not free to choose. Sometimes we are dragged along to a party and we try to enjoy it; sometimes we are forced to get married because of some political or business reasons, and try to make the best out of it; sometimes we drag along with a big family and try to feed them, working from morning to night, and try to think that we are great because we are taking care of the family.
But it's not always a choice, therefore, we do not feel happy in many things we do because somehow we feel that we are not the one who controls all this. We are not the host; we're just like a guest. We are blown with the wind, and we go along with whatever the situation is. We lose many interests and joys in life through not knowing why we are doing all this and that.
But after enlightenment, it's different: whatever we enjoy, we truly enjoy. We understand the value of life, as well as the value above this life. There are two lives on any planet: one is of the material existence, the other is of everlasting nature. If we know only one and we lack the other, just like most of the people in the world, they enjoy only the material existence of so-called life but they do not know the real picture of this projection; they know only the shadows, so they enjoy the material life and fear to lose it.
But the truly enlightened person knows both - the everlasting and also the copy of it - and he can enjoy both at the same time, or he can choose to enjoy one and not the other, or he can choose to enjoy both. But I think while we are already here, we might just as well enjoy, and there is nothing in this world that we should not enjoy, really, except those that are harmful to the lives of other beings. Therefore, we just suggest a vegetarian diet so the fish can always swim in the sea as much as he pleases and the cow can graze on the pasture until nature calls him back to where he belongs; and we can enjoy them, and they can enjoy us.