When you’re practicing, all the Buddhas in the past, meaning all the Masters in the past, and present, are helping you also. Blessing you all the time. All the angels are protecting you. But you have to be really sincere, so you can connect better.
When you’re born in here, you forget your merit. And then the maya and all that just try to drag you down, and doing one mistake, and then you’re finished. Maybe, the merit is still there. The merit of painting the stupa is still there. But you don’t reap it until many other lifetimes. And meanwhile, you suffer already, because you killed a buffalo. Just one buffalo, an animal, not like killing a human being even. Then suffer 500 lifetimes, being killed, being killed, being chased. Dying in the prime of youth. Even if you have strong power, muscle and all that, you still get killed. And then the mother, the old woman, because of helping them to kill the buffalo, just helping and eating. Not like she was the main one who wanted to kill the buffalo. She was just helping. Just lending her things and her yard. And then still, she had to be the mother of these 32 people. And suffer life after life, seeing them killed in front of her eyes in such a way.
So no matter what. Of course enlightenment, immediate enlightenment is the best. So you have the one lifetime, finished. If you practice directly, the (inner Heavenly) Light and the Sound of the universe, then you are directly in. Don’t have to be reborn again, and enjoy the merit or suffer the sin. It’s the best.
Otherwise, Buddha’s sutra, Buddha’s name, so that you don’t go to hell. But it’s just the problem. One problem is that, even at the time of death, before you go into the Three Evil Paths, just before that, even if you remember Buddha’s name, just one Buddha’s name, or one sentence from here, then the road to hell is closed for you, even if you’ve done a lot of bad things. Everything is illusion anyway, killing, stealing, robbing. This is all back and forth with karma in the cycle of revenge and back and forth, each other. So therefore, the name of the Buddha is true. At least truer than those karmic consequences. So if you repeat the names of the Buddha, meaning your mind, your thinking is toward the truth, instead of toward the fake, then immediately, the hell and other bad destinies are closed in front of you. So at least you are saved for that life. Then you will be born in maybe Heaven, or as a human being. But then who knows the next life, if you even remember the Buddha’s name again. If nobody, anybody reminds you again.
It’s not like all the persons on the planet know the names of these Buddhas, even though Buddhism is spreading everywhere. But most of the Buddhist monks, they are modest. If you offer them something, then they take it. If you don’t offer it, they don’t do anything. If you build the temple, help them to build temple, then they accept and they stay there. And if you want, if you come and ask them about Buddhist sutras then they will tell you. If you don’t ask, they also don’t tell you. They’re not like outgoing, make lecture everywhere, everybody knows the Buddha’s name. You see what I mean?
Therefore, even to know the Buddha’s name is very difficult already. And then... OK, you are rescued that lifetime when you die. Then you’re not going to hell. But you don’t know about the next life. Suppose you even know the names of the Buddha. When you’re dying, all the (bad) karma comes and tears you apart. Your thoughts, your body, it is all in pain, mostly, if you were very sinful when you were alive, then when you die, it’s very suffering. And maybe you can’t even remember the name of the Buddha. So at least just say, “Pray to all the Buddhas in the Ten Directions. Please, rescue me.” Just say that because the names are sometimes difficult.
So just remember one name, maybe Shakyamuni Buddha, Medicine Buddha, Earth Store Bodhisattva, these simple names, or Quan Yin Bodhisattva. Tell them that. That’s why many people just tell the outside laypeople to recite Quan Yin Bodhisattva. Or Shakyamuni, it’s easier, because They are famous. Or Amitabha. Otherwise, all the names of other Buddhas, it’s very difficult to remember all. One name is enough. It’s just only... The difficulty is that only if you remember it at the time of dying, or anyone reminds you of that. That is a problem.
But I also sing, I sing this song, “Namo Amitabha Buddha” in Chinese. That’s also good. You just give it to them, to the Buddhist. They don’t mind, they accept it. They don’t care about me, about my teaching. But they know I’m singing the Buddha’s name. That will be OK in their ears. That’s why I sing it. Even the Catholics heard it, OK too. The Sikhs heard it, OK too. It’s still the name of the Buddha. The Buddhas don’t care if you’re Sikh, or if you are Hindu. They are all the same up there. They’re all friends. The Sikh Guru is also a Buddha. The Hindu Master, also a Buddha. So it doesn’t matter. You use just one tape like that, it’s OK.
That is why there is a tradition when people die, they invite the priest. Some don’t even know why. But when they come, they read the name of Jesus Christ, for example. Or they read the names of some Hindu Masters, or some Sikh Guru. Then you hear the name of the Buddha when you die. That’s a Buddha, any Buddha. Then you’re also rescued for that moment from hell fire. Once you’re out of it, then you have more chance to improve, and then to be rescued more later. If you are in hell already, then you stay there, until don’t know when, until your sin is finished. Once the sentence is already passed down, it’s very difficult, very difficult. Unless you have a living Master, already initiated, maybe. It depends also on the power of that Master, and on the sin that you made.
You think, “OK, it’s one name of the Buddha, I remember.” Even if you are not an initiate, you say you remember. But at the time of death, maybe not. Just on the verge of death, you have to recite it then. Or before you go into hell, at the hell gate, you must recite it then. In the 49 days, if people keep repeating it to you, then maybe you’re OK. But if not then... this is so much suffering there. You heard it, right? It’s terrible, terrible. And when it’s forever, forever, forever like that, then it’s really, really... I don’t know how anyone could even fall into that and bear it. Sometimes you’re sick, you have headache just two, three hours, and you couldn’t bear already. Imagine. Or you’re operated on, or you cut yourself, or wounded, have to bandage, or cast, you know, in a cast, and you’re terrible already. Imagine anything else, forever, forever like that, day and night, non-stop. Oh, God!
It is precious to be human, but it’s a curse also. It depends on how you take care of your life. Very difficult to go on the right path, because survival leads you to every opposite or bad directions which you don’t even want. But then slowly you’re in there, and you can’t go out anymore. You don’t remember even how to get out. Survival makes you do many things.
And even when you die, if you don’t have a Master, or if you don’t have somebody to read sutras, or to remind you the name of a Buddha, many of the ghosts will come in these 49 days. Or when you’re dying, they come and appear like your dead father, or your passed mother, or brother and sister, auntie, whatever. They come and say, “Hey, come with me, this is the way.” And you trust them, because you think these are relatives. So you’re attacked by all sides, by your own karma, and by the ghosts.
And, so if there is no benevolent being, such as the Ghost King of Life, or the Earth Store Bodhisattva, who would try so mightily, to fight away these ghosts, then you’d fall anytime into hell.
Of course, you don’t have to remember any of them. If you have one Master, it’s good. Just many others don’t have. Many others don’t have. A lot of people in the world don’t have anything. They don’t even believe in Jesus, or Buddha, or Guru Nanak, or Mahavira, or any good things. Many. That’s really pitiful.
OK, oh my God, 10 o’clock already? Did you eat? (Yes.) Dinner, dinner? (Already.) Lunch? (Yes.) OK. It’s very good, it’s very good. What else do you want me to do? It’s a long story but... You are going tomorrow, or today, some of you? (Tomorrow, tomorrow...) Tomorrow? (Yes.) OK. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow. Good. And these, next day? After tomorrow? OK. And these after, after, after tomorrow? (Tomorrow.) (Tomorrow.) Tomorrow. Have a good trip, yes. We probably see each other again somewhere or here.
This retreat is good. I feel it’s good. That I have a little more balance, like I have my retreat time, and I have time for you, and time to do some other things, and time to give comfort to my dogs. Last retreat was crazy. I fell very badly ill afterwards, because of bad treatment of my body. Did not take care well. Too much work, and nothing coming for the physical repairment. It was really terrible. So we should not do this kind of extreme thing anymore. Just everybody comes and they all want to see me. And I just work, and work, and work, and I see one group after another. And no time to rest, no time to recover, no time to eat, no time. And get sick, and don’t have time to take medicine. If I take medicine, then just some little (vegan) biscuits like that every day, and it was too much.
We don’t go to that extreme anymore. This time is good. Also last time, (bad) karma don’t let me stay here. So every night at two, three o’clock in the morning, I have to go home. Go home, too tired. Nothing there to replenish the physical energy. And so I got very sick. But it’s not only that, it’s something else, also (bad) karma. So this time, I stay here. I don’t waste at least three hours coming and going. Because from here to the house where I stay is about one hour or one hour and a half. More than one hour, I think. So I wasted all that time also to come and go.
Some of you are just 45 minutes away from your home, and you complain already. Sometimes I have to travel far away to see you and even to come here.
Do not complain. Whatever you have is good. In your place, if you can buy a Center for yourself, if you can afford it, that is very good. You know it’s yours, and the energy is always the same. A rental place is not always the same. Whatever it is, it’s not always bad for us. We have to think more positively, and do not complain too much. You just meditate well, sincerely, and everything will come accordingly.
Just one person is easy to take care. Like the husband meditates, and dedicates his merit to his wife. Then it’s easy, because they live together. Every day, their energies are similar. And for one person, it’s easy. But even then, it takes this man one month. Every day, three hours. Oh, God! Who can do so much for his wife? But then, even then, one person only. Not to talk about such a mix, a big pot of karmas and egos. This is very difficult for me sometimes.
You sit and you dream, and you think everything is easy for Master. It’s not like that. Even the Buddha. If you don’t believe me, at least the Buddha is the greatest. Suppose Buddha is the greatest. And look at all His disciples. Sariputra didn’t even want to take the old man in, because he was old and could not help the other monks to take care of the things. And then the other monks refused him, for example. Devadatta, His cousin, was trying to harm Him all the time. I’m sure there are many more who are not too good disciples. But Sariputra just has that one mistake. But otherwise, in those times, people are less “fighty,” less stubborn than now.
They have more time. They don’t have television. They don’t have sports Sunday. They don’t have football games and all kind of games. They don’t have cars. Their mind is purer, easier. Even then, He still had trouble. Some people want to harm Him and all that stuff. You just read that some disciples are offering gold to pave the garden, a forest for Him. But you don’t read the many other hardships He had, even as a Buddha. And then, even then at that time, people were purer already. Less contaminated in the brain from so many toxins, chemical toxins and all that, that we have right now. So their brain was more simple, cleaner, easier to talk to.
Nowadays, we are contaminated with all kinds of poisons. From methane, from CO2, from food that we eat with insecticide and pesticides. And the water we drink with the chemicals running in it that we’ve ruined. Nowadays, if the Buddha comes here, He would not even think of, “OK, I should go to Nirvana.” He would just go. Understand? (Yes.)
When the Buddha just became a Buddha, He observed that the beings there were so difficult to teach. He said it’s better He go to Nirvana. He was just thinking like that. But now if He came here, He’d look, look, and He’d... He wouldn’t even think. He’d just go. So the Brahmin King would have no chance to come down, and beg Him to stay even.
Because Buddha was thinking. So He has a chance to come down, fly down and stop, interfere. And told Buddha please stay, because of this, because of that. But if He just goes, then he has no chance. Even then, all the Heavens and Earth and hell praise Him that He’s great, because He does things that are difficult to do. He teaches the beings that are so difficult to teach. They praise Him sky high, in many sutras.
If He comes here now, in our toxic time of body, mind, and spirit, then maybe all the Heavenly beings will fall down here, and prostrate to Him day and night, to praise Him. Don’t you think so? (Yes.) Luckily, He went before everything became worse. When He was alive, He predicted that five hundred years later, there would be the Dharma-ending age, kind of a Dharma-ruin age. People would be more troublesome, more stubborn, and more difficult. He doesn’t know, four times 500 years, 2,000 years, 3,000 years later, which is our time now. Can you imagine how much worse it has been? Only 500 years after His Nirvana, He predicted that it’s difficult already. Now it’s six times more than that.
So you take care of your life. It’s your life. I can only tell you what to do, but I cannot force you. It is your life, your future. So you take good care of that. Because you don’t know if you can be born human, and have such a good condition again. Try not to complain a lot. Try to see things positively and accept the situation. But nevertheless, all the Centers should work together. Every time we do things without love, there’s a hole in our protective layer, personally as well. Only peace and love can protect you more, apart from the Holy Names, and the Buddha’s power, and all that.
When you’re practicing, all the Buddhas in the past, meaning all the Masters in the past, and present, are helping you also. Blessing you all the time. All the angels are protecting you. But you have to be really sincere, so you can connect better. It’s like the television, it has to be good, otherwise, it goes “ka, ka,” and then the picture will be jumpy. Not that the Buddhas, or the Saints in the past or present don’t bless you. It’s just you don’t get it. So you have to take care of yourself. Wherever you go, take care of yourself, and tell others to be more modest, more humble, more cooperative. There is no winner and loser in our circle, just brothers and sisters. I trust you would all do that. Thank you.
Take care of yourselves. I love you. I love you. (Master.) Everyone just learn “I love you.” Otherwise, how do I speak so many kinds of languages, it’s too tiring. (Thank You, Master.) Do you all understand? (Yes.) I mean you understand all clear in here. Good. (Thank You, Master.) Everybody take care, OK? (Master, please take care of Yourself.) I’m sorry that I can’t take care of everyone. (It’s already very good.) Bring the (vegan) cookies to me. (Yes, take these cookies.) OK. (Thank You, Master.) You’re going back home, right? Tomorrow? (The day after tomorrow.) The day after tomorrow. Going tomorrow? Come back again if you have time, have opportunity. (Thank You, Master.) Send my greetings to everyone, OK? (OK. Thank You, Master.) (Take care, Master.) God bless! (God bless Master.)
You’re all monks, sleeping outside. (Thank You, Master. Bye, bye.) Really hard you are! Not enough place, too hard! So pitiful. (Bye, Master. We’ll leave tomorrow.) You’ll go back tomorrow? Have a nice trip. (We’ll leave tomorrow. I wish Master good health. Thank You, Master.) Sorry. There isn’t enough room. (Thank You, Master. Master, stay healthy. Thank You, Master.) May God protects you. (Thank You, Master.) See you. Thank you for coming to see Master. (Thank You, Master.) (Love You, Master.) (I wish Master good health.) Thank you. Thank you. Have a nice trip home. God bless. (Master, please take care.) Take care. God bless! (You too, Master.) Thank you. God bless!