It’s your fixed karma. If you have to be there, you have to be there. If you have to have children, you have to have children. Not even the Master can avoid it. Just remember Yourself, that’s all. That’s all we can do.
Who would understand you? Who? Ask your family members - even they don’t understand you! How would a stranger understand you? Yeah, really, our reality is like that. It’s not like I’m phobic or anything. It is just like that. In the common sense of the world, you don’t have any commonsense, and you’re even happy and proud about it. Oh, God! So proud of your craziness. Now you know. Now you know why we have trouble. Because we are not like them, and anything not like them is not them You see what I mean? And they think we are something. (Yes.) And they don’t have time to take time to know us. It takes them a long time to know people, you see? And how do they know you? It takes a long time. We have to be friends first, and they know each of you, or some of you at least, and then they know we’re OK. But at the first glance, oh...
When I was in Taiwan (Formosa), a long time ago, often I took the monks and the nuns, the residents, into a very faraway corner of Taiwan (Formosa). Taiwan (Formosa) is very small, but as far as we could go. I went into the mountains. We crossed many rivers and went into the mountains, and camped there. Sometimes for weeks, sometimes maybe a month. I forgot the duration, but a long time. And over there is nobody. Nobody! It’s a mountain. And there are some mountain people, but they didn’t bother us. They let us come and go, it’s OK. And we camped next to the river, and we drank from the river, and we filtered the water as much as we could. And then we cooked there - gathered the wood, and cooked with the fire. Simple food, simple food, and camped there. At that time, I told you, I didn’t earn much money, so, three people, four people in one tent. And sometimes the tall guy stuck the toes out, and the rat came and nipped at him: “Oops...” That’s not a problem. It sounds very nice and all that, but the mountain people, they are not real Taiwanese (Formosans), they are aboriginal Taiwanese (Formosans). They are the natives before the Taiwanese (Formosans) came. Even then, they are not curious people, they are the least curious people, but they are curious. Can you imagine, you awaken the curiosity in them? They came and asked one of our awakened brothers and sisters, “They are very tired, aren’t they?” And he said, “No, no, they are not tired.” “Then why are they sleeping in the daytime?” Because each resident found a rock, under a tree or something, and just sat there. And you know how we sit, right? So these mountain people must have been observing us for many days already, and as peaceful and very simple as he is, he couldn’t bear to see such a sight. It never happened in his whole life. Even his ancestors never told him such things. So he couldn’t bear it, he had to ask. He was so funny.
It sounds very romantic. Well, we could do it again, but not with these people, not a lot of people. It would be too noisy. At that time, we didn’t make any business yet, so we just lived in the tents. Whatever we had, we had to eat. Sometimes we just roasted potatoes. Come inside. It’s too hot, you might get headache, guys. Just come inside. Come inside. Where there is sun you just come in. Squeeze in a little bit or sit in the middle of the row, it doesn’t matter. It’s OK, come inside, it’s too hot! Come, you might get a headache. If there is sun, you don’t sit to long. It’s fine to sunbathe, but when you’re not used to it, 20 minutes the most, or you get burnt later on and it’s very uncomfortable. Also, you will have a headache. Understand? Or you get a cold at night because the temperature is too much, your body cannot bear; cannot adjust. Where are we? Where are we? So we roasted potatoes and sweet yams sometimes, and oranges. But even then, I went on lecture in Taiwan (Formosa). Not as big as in London, but in a theater or something. And after that, we went to the river again, and roasted some yams on the fire. We gathered the firewood from the riverbank or in the forest, then we made a fire, and then we roasted some yams and potatoes and orange and apples and sugarcane, whatever we could buy cheap.
And one of the listeners, later he became a resident, and later he came out of the residency... a dis-resident, dissident, by himself. But he followed us to the riverside. And that was the New Year, New Year’s Eve. That means that night was between the old year and the new year. Just a few hours, and it became New Year. And we didn’t have traditional cakes or anything. We just roasted yams and potatoes and all that and ate them. And the guy who followed us was sitting there and watching me all the time, waiting. I guess I told you already, but I’m not sure if you remember. He sat waiting, waiting, and waiting. Later, he told me, “How come You don’t talk anything about Buddhist teaching? You just sit there and roasting yams, yams and potatoes.” It’s New Year! He should have brought me some Chinese sticky rice cake or offered me something. Nothing! Sat there and ate with us, and then criticized why I didn’t talk about Buddhism at midnight! After he already had a lecture, and he benefited from it. He said during the lecture... He used to have a cramp on his hand because he’s a farmer and had to milk the goats and all that. And he had very cold hands that were cramped and painful a lot. And during the lecture, his pain was completely gone, immediately, and didn’t come back. And even then! He said he felt so comfortable and warm all over him, and warm on this hand, and the pain - completely gone, disappeared, and never came back. Even that! He came to my abode, my tent, and watched me roasting some potatoes to eat, and criticized that I didn’t talk about big deal stuff, just sat there and ate. Understand human nature? Of course, later he knew it. But can you imagine how many people are like that in the audience? And you ask about making miracles! Miracles happen all the time, it’s still not enough for them. You see, a miracle is not enough to convince you. Even when the Master blesses you, cures your sickness and all that, it’s too obvious to you, and your brain still does not understand! And you still argue, argue, argue: “Why is this? Why is that?” And you grab one or two sentences, and then chop the hair into four... They call it splitting hairs. It’s no use. It’s no use. You see how miracles don’t work. It’s no use.
Why do I talk to you about all this? I don’t remember why. What is it? What was it that we started? Tell me. (Simple living.) Simple living? One at a time. Who? (You were talking about Croatia.) I was talking about what? (You were talking about Croatia.) Croatia. And then? (You have no time for regulations.) Yes. And then? (About neighbors. About...) (How are they going to accept us...) That’s why it comes to the mountain people who were not very curious and who didn’t say anything, who didn’t even report to police or anything. Even if they reported to police, I doubt it if the police would swim two, three rivers and climb another few mountains to come to see me. They’d get all wet. I got wet! It’s very difficult. Sometimes the current is very swift. And we have to... One of the toughest guys, strongest and best swimmer, went across first with a string. In case he fell, we’d fish him back! And then he went over to the other side of the river, and tied it on the tree, a big tree. And we tied another end on this tree, on this bank, and then we went with the string, because we had backpacks and tents, food, all kinds of stuff. And they even brought a small camera to record all this stuff. You’ve seen some.
Have you seen some of the old movies? (Yes!) We were on the mountain. They did do some at that time. Because we were talking about how weird we are. And I said even the mountain people, they became curious, even though they are very simple. They are very friendly and very simple. They don’t go and nose into your business, no! They go do their job around it, because they plant vegetables on the mountains. And for them, it’s very simple. All they do is just, they burn the grass or the weeds in one piece of the land that belongs to them. And then they go with the sticks. They dig the hole in the ground, with the ash ground, the ground that has been burned, the grass. And they get the stick to dig a small hole in the ground, and they drop the corn. And then do it again, “tak, tak, tak,” like that. So their corn also grows, but very small, about this size, about this small. All kinds of colors, but very, very sweet. But they don’t have fertilizer, or anything like us. They just burn the ground, and then they put the corn, and they cover it with their feet. It’s very convenient and practical. “Tak,” corn, like that, and then they walk - two - stop. You see? And it’s very simple! And they live a very simple life, so they’re not so complicated like the people on the plain.
Still. On the plain? Or? The people who live down there? “In” the plain, or “on” the plain? The flatter area? How do you call that? (On the plain.) On the plain. OK. “On,” not “in.” OK? My English was bad. I told you to get your kids to study English when they were younger. Anyway, I’m always with the Chinese, and sometimes I don’t remember English also. It’s very difficult, sometimes. Sometimes I forget the spelling, and I ask somebody, “Is that spelled with an R at the end, or without R?” And she says, “With an R.” I look at the word again, and then I feel so strange, “Why is it like that?” I don’t identify the word with the meaning. But nevertheless, if the dictionary says so, it is so. Sometimes you’re so far away from the word, from the language also. Feels so funny! Don’t you sometimes have that experience? You see this, and it’s paper: “Paper? What do you mean, paper? Why paper? Paper! Paper?” It doesn’t register as something meaningful. This one looks like you. Is she your sister? (Yes.) You are? (Yes.) Really? (She was initiated three weeks ago.) She’s your sister? (Yes.) No wonder! Sometimes I just see her alone I say, “Hey, she’s cut her hair?” Yeah, because I saw her outside sometimes without you. And I thought “She cut her hair?” But I didn’t want to ask. OK. Congratulations! At last you came. My God, it’s so hot!
No more questions? Oh, my God! Yes! (How can we take it out - the mud that we got into this morning?) How can you take it out...? The mud! Ah, the mud! Meditate! Meditate! (Just we can grow up only by...) Meditation and serving other people. (Yes, but maya all the time...) I know! I know! That’s why you still have to meditate. (It’s very...) Difficult. (Yes.) I know that. (It’s hard, it’s slow.) I know. Otherwise, they would have killed you already, and made you die, and then you’re free. (Yes.) But you still have to be here. Only in the water can you swim, can you learn to swim perfectly. You can do a little bit on the land, just to practice. But only in the water, that’s where you should learn swimming. (But we have to live... have a different life? Or change the life, or...) You can’t. (No?) It’s your fixed karma. If you have to be there, you have to be there. If you have to have children, you have to have children. Not even the Master can avoid it. Just remember Yourself, that’s all. That’s all we can do. In the prison, somebody can be a little bit more free, somebody else is less free; somebody is assigned to a more comfortable job or more favorite job, somebody’s assigned to clean the toilet of the prison. But we all have to do it, this or that. I do a lot for you guys, also - with you guys, already.
So, just try not to be distracted. Whenever you are distracted by a good-looking guy, or gossiping, an interesting gossiping story, you just cut it quick, as quick as possible. As quick as you remember, you stop it! Just drop it right there! In the middle of the gossip, “Blah, blah... You know that guy and this guy? Oh, he’s bad, blah, blah...” “Oh, no! I’m going! Sorry!” OK? Just like now, remember? I remembered; I took my medicine? I was just talking to you guys all nice and all that, but I remembered my job: “Ah, sorry! I’ve got to go!” You have to take as good care of meditation as you take care of your body when you’re sick. Like that! Nobody else can do it for you. Nobody else can take medicine for you. You have to do it. I’m very sorry. It’s sad. But it’s good! (Sometimes.) Only because like this, we can get stronger.