And (in) many other sutras, Buddha always mentioned about the Sound. Like, all the Bodhisattvas rely on the Sound stream to come down to this Earth to save sentient beings. And all the saved sentient beings rely on the Sound stream to go to Heaven or Buddha’s Land, something like that.
You stay here a long time? (No, just until the 12th.) Until the 12th? (I got here on the 2nd.) OK, very good. After the 12th, you have to ask one of the sisters taking care of this. (OK, I will.) Because I only see you every day, people might think I’m your boyfriend. Because not everybody stays long, and he stays quite long and keeps helping. I appreciate your help. You’re a very good boy, good boy. It’s just (that) I’m fed up with so many gossips. I need to ask an old lady who stays long to take care of this for me. But they’re busy, cooking and whatever. I am not his boyfriend. Just to make sure you know. You can bring this upstairs. (To the table?) Table, please. Thank you.
I am going upstairs, OK? (OK.) (Thank You, Master.) The whole world is waiting.
You all manage to get wet or not? (A little bit.) A little bit? (But due to Your grace we were ...) You were what? (Go to your house.) Yeah, you went to my house and the gallery and I asked my assistant if not enough space, then just span some canvas, and you sit under, inside, in the middle, so you won’t get wet. And I said maybe 12, 10 people can go to my hut. So I roomed all the blankets and everything and you can sit there if you want. But she said, “OK, we’ll manage,” so you didn’t come. Or you didn’t like my hut? (No.) (We like it.) Or she didn’t tell you? Didn’t tell. (Yes, she didn’t tell.) (He said this in the office that everyone would want to come.) Yeah, if everyone wants to come then it’s pointless, because you’d get wet. It’s only about three meters under the roof, under cover. In my hut, you can sit maybe two people, or maybe two people lie under the bed and two people sit in front of the bed. That is (the) maximum capacity. Because on top of the bed, there are so many things already. I moved things from my house there, so that the house would be free. And under the bed is where I sleep, so I moved all the bed and things and then two people can sleep there. I mean lie-down meditation. You think if you lie down under my bed, you can meditate well, right? You’re wrong! When I lie down there, I sleep, so the sleeping energy might affect you.
I’ll read you one more story of some of the scary stuff, no, not really that scary. Just to remind you of the karma, the karmic retribution that we cannot always avoid. Then later, I’ll read you some nice story, another sutra. In many other religious texts, there’s not too much mentioned… Maybe I don’t read that many.
I read in the bibles, or in the ... mentioned very lightly. Like Jesus said whoever refuses you, then take a handful of sand and throw it away, meaning that house doesn’t have merit. Wherever you step in, you just take the sand of it and just throw it out, throw away. Or whoever the house that refuses His disciples, similar thing like that. Or they mention like hell fire, temptation of the devil, but not so particularly detailed, like in the Buddhist sutras. Therefore, I’m reading it to you. Sometimes, before I also mentioned many times, and I also read some Buddhist stories before, many years ago or sometimes now and then, because it’s so detailed. In case you’re curious to know what hell is like, now that you can’t go there anymore. You wonder if the Master is hiding something there and doesn’t want us to go. So I checked it out for you. The Buddha already checked it out so I’m telling you. Not because I encourage you to follow Buddhism or that Christianity is inferior, it’s not like that, no, no, no.
All religions are similar, rooted from the same beginning, from the Light and the Sound. And later I will read some of that, and then you know the Buddha mentioned the Sound. He said, “The Sound Hearers of such-and-such-Levels,” etc. I’ll read it to you later. And (in) many other sutras, Buddha always mentioned about the Sound. Like, all the Bodhisattvas rely on the Sound stream to come down to this Earth to save sentient beings. And all the saved sentient beings rely on the Sound stream to go to Heaven or Buddha’s Land, something like that. But of course, as in our group, we practice the Sound, the hearing of the Sound, the inner Sound, hearing with the inner ears, seeing with inner eyes. But I don’t always say that in every lecture. Because you know it already. Or I don’t always… maybe I say it in the open lecture, but not in the group. And during the lecture, I mentioned only a couple of times of the Sound hearing and the Light seeing, and the rest I explained why and I referred to bibles or sutras, etc. Therefore, it’s the same with the Buddha. He doesn’t always mention the Sound and Light and stuff like that. But we see the Buddha has Light all the time and He mentions Sound hearing sometimes. A lot is mentioned in the Lotus Sutra about the Sound, many times, more than in other sutras. But it’s likewise; we don’t always mention it, here even, because you knew it already. Now you see.
This one is about the fish who has 100 heads. Takes a lot of thinking. Let’s see why, why the fish has so many heads. “Thus, I have heard,” so you know it’s from Ananda again.
Oh, is the livestream on already? We don’t have to wait? Wow, high-tech! Wonderful!
“One time, the Buddha was in the country called Ma Kiệt Đề (Magadha) in the Bamboo Grove. One day, the Buddha…” They say, “The World Honored One.” Same. The Buddha – “World Honored One and all the bhiksus going from there to the next country, Tỳ Xá Ly (Vaisali), and they were resting at the bank of a river, called Lê Việt. On the bank of that river, alongside, there were 500 ...”
Why always 500? I wonder. It’s just probably kind of symbolic. Like I asked how many people are left over in the rain, they said, “Approximately 500.” I said, “Oh, 500 won’t fit in my hut and in front of the hut.” In front of the hut, there is a protective roof also, you saw it, transparent, so that I can see the rain and the sun. And the hut inside is just a normal hut, a wood hut. I opened all the office and everything, the living room downstairs, upstairs the nuns are staying.
Well, should I continue with the nuns or continue with the story first? By the way, I’m telling you, why I ask you to respect them, because they’re not ordinary nuns. By the way I’m telling you this. Yes, they are nuns already, many tens of years, many decades. But even then, they follow me. Not only these, there are many Korean monks, nuns do that, monks and nuns too. Some are very elderly already, maybe 60, 70 already, many decades being monks, and they still follow me and believe in my teaching. That is special, because many monks and nuns, they believe they’ve already got everything from the Buddha’s sutras. They don’t need me; they don’t need any other method. The Buddha’s just talking about enlightenment. I’m bringing enlightenment. That’s the big difference. But I’m teaching the same as the Buddha, as Jesus or other Masters. I’m not teaching anything contradictory to that. That’s why they’re more special, understand? (Yes.)
Remember I had a retreat in Korea Center before? Yes. And some of you put money together for the buses and for the food and all that to eat together. And then some was left over and I also put some out. So together I gave about 120 or something U.S. dollars… thousand, 120-something thousand U.S. dollars to build a little refuge, ashram for them. So some of the Korean monks, they had nowhere else to go, then they stayed there. But they don’t just stay there and receive offering. I did not tell them that, but they went out in the vicinity working on the plantations, grapes or whatever gardens, and then earn their own living. So they are very special and worthy of your respect. Understand now? (Yes, Master.)
Not just because I said, “OK, you can practice and you don’t have to be monks and nuns.” It’s not the same. They have self-denial, self-discipline, a little bit more than you. And they don’t go out and buy a lot of clothes. They just wear three, four, five pairs of similar clothes every day. They live simple. They always sleep on the floor. I knew that. Therefore, I made the floor warm, you know this warming floor system? Because it’s a new house, so we can do that. They did not build it yet, so I built it, I specified they make the floor warm. Is it still warm, the floor? (Yes.) Yes, so in winter, Korea is very cold; even then they sleep on the floor. So I specified to make the floor warm, warm under the floor instead of on the wall only, or from the ceiling or from air con. Daytime, they work anyway. But nighttime, at least when they sit in meditation or lie down to stretch a little while, they don’t feel pain, because it can be very painful. Winter, if the cold comes from the floor, you can’t avoid it, and it gives them pain.
Asceticism is good, but pain is not. I mean, we don’t spoil the body, but we try to take care as good as we can, so that it lasts long and it's comfortable to continue our practice. Because if you have too much pain, you cannot concentrate very well, at least in the beginning. Once you enter samadhi, then you don’t feel much. That should be the good practitioners. But then not everyone reaches that level so quick. First, comfortable, and then go up.
So I want you to have respect for them. Don’t push, don’t take their place, and don’t try to, kind of… Because you want to see Master and don’t care who is who: “Get out of my way.” My dogs are like that, I’m sorry. When they see me coming, they forget each other, they’re just squeezing, elbowing each other to come to the front, and sometimes wagging tails at each other, the tails coming together, so cute!
Every day, if I have something special for my lunch, I always share with them, a little bit, not much, because it’s from mine, they cook for me only. Don’t cook more than that, OK, kitchen (staff), because I don’t have room to put all the trays. Maximum two trays, only for whatever you want to cook. And one time a day, that’s enough. Don’t think because I invite other people, and then cook more. It’s not, it’s not like that. Because you have already food here. Only something special, then I offer to them. Also because they’re monks, maybe they don’t have much money to buy the things that you make for me. And not only that, but the Aulacese (Vietnamese) things, they won’t have it there. They work all day; they don’t have time to make (vegan) spring rolls and all that for themselves, even though they know how. So if it’s something special like that, I offer to them. But if it’s normal, and the rest is just normal food like you eat, then I don’t offer, because they have it here in the common kitchen.