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World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice   
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Sarah-Mai (f): Good evening. My name is Sarah-Mai and this is Fred and we're both vegans.

Fred (m): That means we don't… Sarah-Mai (f): Yeah.

Fred (m): Thank you. That means, Sarah, we don't eat meat, but we do live healthily on a plant-based diet.

Sarah-Mai (f): Exactly, and we'd like to welcome you this evening to “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” an interview, via videolink, with world-renowned humanitarian, singer-songwriter, poet, artist and spiritual teacher, Supreme Master Ching Hai, who is also vegan. We are here at the prominent International House at the University of Chicago in the Windy City of Illinois.

Fred (m): This evening's videoconference will be broadcast live on Supreme Master TV, a constructive television channel that broadcasts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year. It can be enjoyed on 14 free satellite platforms that reach millions of viewers, in more than 60 languages and more than 40 subtitles. It can also be viewed online at www.SupremeMasterTV.com.

Sarah-Mai (f): Now, I'd like to introduce our hosts for this occasion: Commissioner Frank Avila of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago and his lovely wife, Sherry Avila - both vegans - and joining them is Commissioner Avila's colleague, Commissioner Patricia Horton.

Fred (m): Commissioner Avila, who has had over 40 years experience as a professional engineer, was elected to the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in 2002. He is the Chairman of the Engineering Committee and the Committee on Maintenance and Operations.

Sarah-Mai (f): He is an active participant of the Water Environment Federation and the National Association of Clean Water Agencies. He served on the External Advisory Board for the Institute of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Illinois here in Chicago.

Fred (m): Commissioner Avila and his wife, Sherry, have produced many Chicago Access Network TV shows entitled “Commissioner Avila Speaks,” “Avila Chicago,” “Avila Making a Difference,” and “Avila Irish Craic.” Now the word “Craic” in Irish means “fun.” Their programs include topics such as “How Does the Environment Impact Our Health?” and “The Future of Clean Water,” which can be found on Google Video, AvilaMediaNFP.Blip.TV, YouTube, and on Comcast Cable TV.

Sarah-Mai (f): Commissioner Avila has set a priority to protect the health and safety of the public, safeguard the water supply, and ensure the water quality of Lake Michigan and other waterways. Because of his sincere endeavors as a Commissioner and a concerned citizen, he has received many honors including the 18th Annual Distinguished Service Award, the Business and Family Award from the Illinois Committee for Honest Government, the Citizen in Action Award, and the Public Service Award. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Commissioner Frank Avila.

Fred (m): Sharilyn Avila, fondly known as Sherry, has been married to Commissioner Avila for 46 years. She is a 10-year docent for Loyola University Museum of Art and a 5-year docent for the Irish American Heritage Center, both in Chicago. Sherry was a former Board Member of the Education of St. Andrews Lutheran School, and a current Administrative Board Member of Edison Park United Methodist Church. She is also a member of the Irish Heritage Singers in Chicago. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Mrs. Sherry Avila.

Sarah-Mai (f): Commissioner Patricia Horton was elected to the Board of Commissioners of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago in 2006. She serves as Chair of the Committee on Industrial Waste and Water Pollution and the Committee on Public Health and Welfare. Commissioner Horton has extensive experience in community and economic development with DevCorp North and the Women's Self-Employment Project. Welcome, Commissioner Patricia Horton.

Fred (m): We look forward to a lively discussion with Supreme Master Ching Hai who has set aside time to address questions about love, peace, and the current state of our planet. Also in store for you is enlightening and uplifting entertainment. So sit back, relax. We thank you for your presence and we trust this will be an event that will inspire us to achieve our common goal of love, peace, and the protection for our planet. Again, welcome all!

Sarah-Mai (f): Over 20 years ago, young Clinton Hill was concerned about what we were doing to our planet: polluting our skies and rivers, neglecting our precious plants and animals. He took action: he started a club called Kids for Saving Earth, for children who were dedicated to peaceful Earth-saving measures. Since then, Kids for Saving Earth has become a non-profit organization, inspiring instructors, children, and parents across the country. Out of this movement came the Promise Song.

Fred (m): Here to perform “Kids for Saving Earth Planet Promise Song” is a newly formed group of Chicago Public Schools and college singers called Chicago Sings for Planet Earth. They will be performing under the direction of Ms. Josephine Poelinitz, a vegan, and accompanied by the combo group G-III. Let's welcome them with lively applause.

"Kids For Saving Earth Promise Song" Performed by Chicago Sings for Planet Earth (group):

The Earth is my home, I promise to keep it healthy and beautiful I will love the land, the air, the water, and all living creatures. I will be a defender of my planet, United with friends, I will save the Earth. United with friends, I promise to keep it, United with friends, I will love the land. United with friends, I'll be a defender, I will save the Earth.

The Earth is my home, I promise to keep it healthy and beautiful I will love the land, the air, the water, and all living creatures. I will be a defender of my planet, United with friends, I will save the Earth. United with friends, I promise to keep it, United with friends, I will love the land. United with friends, I'll be a defender, I will save the Earth. I will save the Earth. I will save the Earth.

Sarah-Mai (f): Thank you, Chicago Sings for Planet Earth, for your beautiful performance. Sarah-Mai (f): Upon reading one of Supreme Master Ching Hai's newly released poem anthologies, “The Love of Centuries,” Commissioner Frank Avila fell in love with it.

Fred (m): And since he has known of her loving and compassionate environmental work, he requested time to speak with Supreme Master Ching Hai and ask questions regarding “The Love of Centuries” as well as the pressing issues of saving our planet. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Commissioner Frank Avila who will share with us his thoughts about the environment.

Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you very much for the introduction. The song that they just sang is the song that we play, our introduction song for our TV, “Kids For Saving the Planet” and that's who is going to save our planet - it's the kids. My name is Commissioner Frank Avila and I am a Commissioner with the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. We are responsible for treating wastewater in the greater Chicago area. The district has seven wastewater treatment plants.

Three are the largest in North America and one is the largest in the world. People come here from all over the world to see how we treat wastewater. Our mission is to protect our water supply, Lake Michigan, protect public health, and the water environment. Of all the surface water in the world, 1% of it is drinking water. Twenty percent of that 1% is right here in the Great Lakes. Ninety percent of all the surface water in the United States is right here in the Great Lakes. We are living in God's country because we have water, we have excellent soil to grow crops, and we have the means to treat wastewater.

Since God has given us abundant precious resources in this region, I feel we have an obligation to protect the resources that God has bestowed upon us. As we will discuss later tonight, our diet has a tremendous impact on our environment and our health. When I was first elected as a Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, my wife, Sherry, said I should set an example for others. Therefore, with Sherry's encouragement and help, I became a vegan together with her about 7 years ago. Since then I have seen my health improve, with my blood pressures going down. Now, look at me now: I'm good-looking, a good dancer, a good singer. It's all because of being a vegan!

As a Commissioner, I often go out to give talks about the environment issues. Several years ago, Sherry and I started producing environmental shows on Chicago Access Network TV, or CAN TV. One day when I was at CAN TV, I saw Supreme Master Ching Hai's disciples explaining the very topic I am concerned with. I made a point to know more about the Supreme Master. What I came out with knowing about Supreme Master Ching Hai is her big love for the whole world and her passion. I have… I have the same passion as Supreme Master Ching Hai; however, my passion has been with the greater Chicago area as an elected official. But her passion is for the world. That touched me and that is why I made it a point to know more about her, and I want to help her save the planet, which in turn helps the people here in the greater Chicago area.

As I am learning more and more about Supreme Master Ching Hai's work, I feel that she is like Mother Teresa. Supreme Master Ching Hai is concerned about the less fortunate and all beings; she wants them to survive and live happily on this planet. That is her love and her goal. In over three decades, she has done more worldwide than anyone I've ever known. As mentioned above, I often go out and give talks. Sometimes I get frustrated because I do not know if people understand what I am talking about. Nevertheless, here is Supreme Master Ching Hai; she really makes people understand the importance of how to save the planet.

That is why I am so happy to meet people from the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association. It is hard to change people, but Supreme Master Ching Hai is doing it every day. That is why Sherry, my fellow Commissioner, Patricia Horton, and I are interviewing Supreme Master today. Thank you for coming and I hope you enjoy our conversation with Supreme Master Ching Hai. Thank you very much.

Sarah-Mai (f): Thank you, Commissioner Avila. At this time, we would like to hear from our guest, Commissioner Patricia Horton, who is also from the Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. Please welcome Commissioner Patricia Horton.

Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you. Good evening. Thank you Supreme Master Ching Hai, performers, audience, and Commissioner and Mrs. Avila. Again, my name is Patricia Horton, Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago As you may or may not know, I've traveled halfway around the world. I've spent time in Bangladesh and saw firsthand the impact of poverty. That journey still resides in my mind and has made an impression on my life ever since.

What I witnessed were people who were affected directly by what they consume. Be it here in the Midwest or in Bangladesh, what most people don't realize is, healthier eating and water consumption is the key to disease prevention, along with helping to preserve the Earth's natural resources and saving the environment. As Commissioner for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, I have continued my personal crusade towards promoting a healthier diet as well as disseminating information regarding the impact that water has on our lives.

I am concerned about the water quality, water conservation and the environment. I chair the Public Health and Welfare Committee at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District; I sit on the Illinois State Diabetes Commission Board; I give free tennis lessons to any urban child who wants to play tennis and I have already about 200 children to this day. It is for those reasons that I am joining you today. Thank you.

Sarah Mai (f): Thank you, Commissioner Avila and Commissioner Horton. Next, we have a young American soprano with a silvery voice whose interpretive sincerity shines in her performances - Jāma Jandroković.

Fred (m): Accompanied by vegan composer Robin Chiang on the piano, she will be performing an eloquent piece inspired by Supreme Master Ching Hai's poetry anthology, “The Love of Centuries.” “Love is Eternal” is a medley of heartfelt songs adapted from Supreme Master Ching Hai's poems, arranged by Robin Chiang.

Sarah-Mai (f): Let us welcome Jāma Jandroković and Robin Chiang to perform “Love is Eternal” with a round of applause.

"Love is Eternal" Performed by: Jāma Jandroković

Love is vital love poetry is vital brings us closer together as a planetary community as siblings of the same family Love, love, love, love, love Love is really all that we need to have on this planet in order to have peace to bring Heaven to our Earth

The Love of Centuries poetry collection speaks powerfully about Divine Love which expresses itself in the carefree spirit of Youth in the Love of Homeland through Love for All Beings in the heart of that Special Someone with the Love that Transcends Space and Time Love is Eternal

The Love of Centuries, The Ideal Beloved is now here Your arrival elevates myriad worlds Waves of joy reach even the farthest galaxy.

When You Said You Love Me My heart sings through the night All the stars shine brightly And the moon dances within me. Thanks to Precious Stars, Moon of Mine, Song 4 the Sun, love from all beings So that we are aware that the whole universe is blessing us God Loves You So Every day more! We're from Heaven, please don't forget One day we will all go back Home Where we belong, where no sorrow

Let's Love each other Let's gift peace to each other Then people will cease to be in pain Then love will brighten the world In a thousand places angels will dance Glory be Heaven and human! Let's Love

Sarah-Mai (f): Such a lovely voice! Let's give Jāma Jandroković another round of applause.

Commissioner Frank Avila (m): Supreme Master Ching Hai is concerned about the less fortunate and all beings; she wants them to survive and live happily on this planet. It is hard to change people, but Supreme Master Ching Hai is doing it every day. That is why Sherry, my fellow Commissioner, Patricia Horton, and I are interviewing Supreme Master today.

"Kids For Saving Earth Promise Song" Performed by Chicago Sings for Planet Earth The Earth is my home, I promise to keep it healthy and beautiful.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Sunday, August 28, for part 1 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Knowing that we all care for people and the environment, we still may wonder about the best way to preserve it for our children and grandchildren, as you care so much about the future generation. Fortunately, we have people like you, whose work offers an example of benevolence and noble values. We also have the teachings of sages past and present to remind us that being kind and virtuous are important, not only because this is right or pleasing to Heaven, but because loving kindness and virtuous living protect us and our world.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Tuesday, August 30, for part 2 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I am sure everyone on this planet who are parents or not even parents, we all love children, and we're all concerned about children. The question is, what are we going to do for them? Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Love in action. We all want the children to grow up healthy and be happy; not just wanting, make it happen. Do whatever we can. That's how we love the children, the parents, parental love. Action, do something.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Wednesday, August 31, for part 3 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Prevention is better than cure, and it saves a lot of money, then the government doesn't even need to cut because we will not spend so much on healthcare anymore, if people have gone vegan and if you turn vegan, Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.) you live healthy immediately. (Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.)

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Thursday, September 1, for part 4 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: First, charity begins at home. We have to take care of our home. We have to have a stable foundation before we even take care of the world. We could provide in abundance for children's education, parents' healthcare, the things that help improve everybody's quality of life. You know, early retirements, more hobbies, more happiness, upliftment of the disadvantaged neighbors, and investing in green technology or organic farming. In short, prosperity for everyone to enjoy their God-given lives on Earth.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Friday, September 2, for part 5 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

VOICE: Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” on Words of Wisdom.
Fred (m): Inspired by Supreme Master Ching Hai's songs and poetry, a brilliant, vegan songwriter from the Washington D.C area, Alex Arndt, has adapted her song 『I Will Forever Love You,』 and poem,『To Thu Hồ,』 into music - a heartfelt piece with the same title, 『I Will Forever Love You.』

Sarah-Mai (f): Performing 『I Will Forever Love You』 is Yvonne Smith, a singer,songwriter, creator,writer,TV host, speaker,and vegan who is lovingly known as 『The Traveling Vegetarian.』 After becoming a vegan, Yvonne Smith started her own TV show, and everything related to 『The Traveling Vegetarian』 has become successful. And so it is with great pleasure that we welcome Yvonne Smith to perform 『I Will Forever Love You,』 with Alex Arndt on acoustic guitar. Please welcome Ms. Yvonne Smith and Mr. Alex Arndt!

I Will Forever Love You Poems written by Supreme Master Ching Hai (Vegan)
Music by Alex Arndt (Vegan) Vocals by Yvonne Smith (Vegan)

Ancient souls in repose Golden autumn leaves scattering... A crane soaring with the wind In the void, wings quietly resting
I will forever love you Through all the worlds Through all the lovers Through all the beauties you so adore I will love you
Your heart elegant as brocade Your spirit smooth as velvet Melody as precious stream Music like heavenly rain!

I will forever love you Through all the worlds Through all the lovers Through all the beauties you so adore
I will love you, I will forever love you I will love you, I will forever love you I will love you

You will forever search for the love in yonder You will forever search for the love in yourself I will forever love you
Through all the worlds Through all the lovers Through all the beauties you so adore
I will love you, I will forever love you I will love you, I will forever love you I will love you, I will forever love you I will love you, I will forever love you

Sarah-Mai (f): A stunning performance by Ms. Yvonne Smith and Alex Arndt! Thank you so much for your special musical treatment of these poems written by Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Fred (m): Ladies and gentlemen, our very special guest for this evening is Supreme Master Ching Hai. But some of you may be wondering, 『Who is Supreme Master Ching Hai?』

Sarah-Mai (f): There is so much I could say about this loving,caring,and compassionate Master. It is said that a tree is known by the fruit it bears. We can also apply this concept to an individual and her contributions to society. The contributions by Supreme Master Ching Hai are countless and include all inhabitants of our Earth. Rather than attempting to describe her myself and share her long list of noble works, credentials,and awards, let's watch this biographical video appropriately entitled 『Walk the Way of Love.』

Video: Walk the Way of Love Supreme Master Ching Hai, as she has affectionately become known to those who have had the pleasure to meet or work with her, lives a message that walks the way of love. A renowned humanitarian,artist and spiritual visionary, her love and assistance has extended beyond all cultural and racial boundaries to millions of people around the world.

Not only are human beings the blessed beneficiaries of her kindness, animals from different species are also the recipients of her boundless benevolence. Supreme Master Ching Hai was born in central Âu Lạc <enter> (Vietnam). During her early years, she was often found helping hospital patients, the needy as well as injured animals, in whichever way she could. As a young adult, she moved to Europe to study and continued there as a translator for the Red Cross.

She soon discovered that pain and suffering exist in all corners of the globe, and her search for the remedy to this became the foremost goal in her life. She was happily married at the time to a German doctor, and although it was an extremely difficult decision for both of them, her husband agreed to a separation. She then embarked on what became a two-year journey in search for spiritual understanding.

Finally,in the deepest reaches of the Himalayas in India,she found an enlightened Master who imparted to her the Quan Yin Method, a meditation technique on the inner Light and Sound. After a period of practice, she became fully enlightened. Soon after her return from the Himalayas, at the earnest request of those around her, Master Ching Hai shared the Quan Yin Method with others, encouraging them to look within to find their own greatness.

Before long, invitations arrived from the United States, Europe,Asia, Australia,Africa and South America as well as from important organizations, for Master Ching Hai to give lectures. The income generated from her artistic creations has enabled Supreme Master Ching Hai to create an independent source of funding for humanitarian activities, in support of her noble mission of assisting God's children in their times of need.

Although she does not seek acknowledgment of any kind,Supreme Master Ching Hai has been given awards worldwide by government officials and private organizations on numerous occasions. These include the World Peace Award,the Award for Outstanding Public Service to Mankind, the 2006 Gusi Peace Prize, the Los Angeles Music Week Certificate of Commendation, and First Place Silver for the 27th Annual Telly Awards,2006. In addition,October 25 and February 22 have been proclaimed as Supreme Master Ching Hai Day in the United States.

"She is the light of a great person, an angel of mercy for all of us.』『I dream that all the world will become peaceful. I dream that all the killing will stop. I dream that all the children will walk in peace and harmony. I dream that all the nations shake hands with each other, protect each other and help each other. I dream that our beautiful planet will not be destroyed. It takes billion,billion, trillions of years to produce this planet and it's so beautiful, so wonderful. I dream that it will continue,but in peace, beauty and love.』『The peace and love that we most often talk about and seek, we have within ourselves.』

Fred (m): Ladies and gentlemen, up next is the most anticipated moment of the entire conference - the interview with Commissioner Avila and Supreme Master Ching Hai via videolink.

Sarah-Mai (f): During this session, Supreme Master Ching Hai will graciously answer questions posed by Commissioner Avila, Commissioner Horton, and Mrs. Avila. Commissioner Avila, thank you for hosting this interview segment. We'd also like to take this moment to acknowledge Nancy Hung representing Chicago Chinese News; Peter Anderson, Executive Director of Midwest Area Pit Stop dog rescue,also a vegan; and Dan Maloney, author of Sunrise on Kusatsu Harbor. Thank you for joining us today.

Commissioner Avila (m): Ladies and gentlemen, we are honored to have as our special guest, Supreme Master Ching Hai, joining us today via videolink. Hallo,Master, Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hallo. Hallo and thank you.
Commissioner Avila (m): And how are you today?
Supreme Master Ching Hai: I am great,thank you. And how are you? How is everyone there?

Commissioner Avila (m): Well,we're having a good time here because we're having wonderful weather here in Chicago.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Good for you.
Commissioner Avila (m): God has blessed us today.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Good for you.
Commissioner Avila (m): Supreme Master Ching Hai, it is an honor and a pleasure to meet you. I am most appreciative and honored.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: It's my honor,sir, my honor.

Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you very much. I sincerely thank you for accepting our invitation to interview you regarding your poetry book, 『The Love of Centuries,』 and other issues concerning our planet. I was also privileged to receive a copy of 『From Crisis to Peace』 and 『Celestial Art.』 Thank you so much for sharing these books with the world. Before we start the interview session, it would be wonderful if you could share with us some of your insights and wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: You're too kind,too kind. Thank you,sir,thank you. And thank you, you and Commissioner Horton, and your beautiful wife, Sherry. Thank you all of you, as well, involved in this beautiful conference. You're very kind. May God bless you so much,so much.

Commissioner Avila (m): Yes, when I read your book and when I met your disciples speaking about love and peace… You know,I love God, and I love my wife, and I love my kids,but I love you also,because you are concerned…

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you,thank you. Thank you.

Commissioner Avila (m): Because the way you you're concerned about the kids. The kids are going to save our planet, and that's why we have to educate them on how to save the planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you for doing all you're doing,and my warmest greetings to you, Commissioner Horton, your wife, and everyone there. I am very happy to have a chance to participate in this conference today, (Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you.) and to be in the presence of such distinguished and caring people like yourself, Commissioner Frank Avila, Commissioner Patricia Horton, and Mrs. Sharilyn Avila, your beautiful wife,and So sweet,as well as all the concerned participants attending this discussion.

First of all,my respect for your hard work and high moral principles that guide your endeavors, and at the same time have shaped this great nation of America. You have each reached out and touched many lives in your own capacity. Commissioner Avila and Commissioner Horton have served millions of people through the internationally admired

Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. It's a long,long title. It's not long enough for your merit actually; you have done all to make sure that people have safe and clean drinking water, while improving the environment in which they live. The people of Cook County are fortunate to have your dedicated guardianship and selfless spirit of service. And Mrs. Sherry Avila, in your diverse community roles, you have enriched the wholesome learning for many people.

All your actions speak volumes of the genuine love and compassion flowing in your heart. You make a lovely couple. Knowing that we all care for people and the environment, we still may wonder about the best way to preserve it for our children and grandchildren, as you care so much about the future generation. Fortunately, we have people like you, whose work offers an example of benevolence and noble values. We also have the teachings of sages past and present to remind us that being kind and virtuous are important,not only because this is right or pleasing to Heaven, but because loving kindness and virtuous living protect us and our world.

The wider we extend our circle of loving kindness, the wider we will be, the wider we will have the shield of protective, positive energy around us. So, imagine this circle extending to encompass all creation,including the whole planetary environment and all the living beings within it. Such a shield would protect us from any negativity or harm, be it climate change, disasters,war,economic depression,etc.,etc. Being vegan- a word that in today's world means to live without exploiting the lesser beings, lesser co-inhabitants, animals- is the most pervasive way to expand this circle of peace.

Veganism is just the modern term for an ancient practice that matches the teachings of ancient prophets like Master Jesus Christ, Prophet Mohammad, Lao Tzu,the Buddha, Socrates,etc. All these great teachers spoke the way of peace and walked the way of veganism,the way of love,for all beings. If we don't walk the way of loving kindness, we will widen the sphere of non-peace,of violence. We can see the evidence of this in the animal farms and the slaughterhouses

Supreme Master Ching Hai: where there is no inch of peace for our innocent and aware animal co-inhabitants. Not only that, there's no peace for the countless wild animals who lose their habitats to the land that is cleared for the animal industry every day. Over 80% of the Amazon's increasingly deforested areas have become pasture for livestock,with the rest going mostly to livestock-feeding crops. There is also no peace for the millions of people in need,who suffer from hunger and thirst, which is only worsened by the massive resources consumed by the livestock industry.

There is no peace for the neighbors of factory farms, where hydrogen sulfide, ammonia and bacteria-laden dust can create an unbearable stench and cause health problems that have both trapped people within, and driven them away from,their homes. There is no peace even for the consumers who are plagued by the rising incidence of meat-related diseases. As the vegan doctor (Dr.) Neal Barnard has pointed out, 4000 Americans have heart attacks every day due to meat eating. Every day, 4000 Americans suffer heart attacks. Can you imagine? That's heart attack alone; there are other things that we don't mention.

There's no peace for the animal industry workers even,whose bleak and hazardous working conditions today remain similar to those of the Chicago Union's stockyards meatpacking days a century ago. I guess you have not forgotten. Human Rights Watch calls meatpacking or slaughtering the most dangerous factory job in America; and in the end,there's no peace even for the few who financially profit from the meat and dairy industry. They must bear the dreadful consequences of their actions, if not in this life, then in the hereafter,because God has warned those who harm or kill animals that they should stop all this cruelty.

It says so in the Bible. `Stop all this cruelty or He will turn His head away when they pray to Him, because their hands are full of innocent blood.' So,a completely peaceful world must be a vegan world, where all beings live in peace and do not fear one another. Therefore, I urgently call upon all the caring people to please be vegan, and also pray and meditate for World Vegan, World Peace. This is to protect our planet,our lives and our souls with our positive energy. Please be vegan to manifest peace and health,at least in your circle of life, so that together we can lessen the violence and sorrow,and increase happiness and love in our world.; and this shall be the kind of tomorrow we could ensure for our children and all beings on the planet. Thank you. May God bless us all.

Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you for those kind remarks. And you know, you mentioned the Chicago stockyards. Well,the effect that the Chicago stockyards had here in Chicago, the area,we call it Bubbly Creek, and Bubbly Creek, it still is contaminated. The bottom of Bubbly Creek is all toxic. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Still?) Commissioner Avila (m): Still,in Bubbly Creek.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: My God.
Commissioner Avila (m): And we had trouble in Bubbly Creek in dissolved oxygen, because you know, we as human beings, we need air to breathe; well,the aquatic life under the water, they need dissolved oxygen to survive also, and it is contaminated, and we have to increase dissolved oxygen in Bubbly Creek. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Gosh!)

Commissioner Avila (m): And also, Supreme Master Ching Hai, what we do here in the Chicago land area, the way we treat wastewater, and we discharge our effluent,our liquid,into our channels; it flows southwest into the Des Plaines River. From the Des Plaines River, it flows into the Illinois River, from the Illinois River, it flows into the Mississippi, and it flows down into the Gulf of Mexico. So we, the people living here in Chicago, have an environmental effect all the way down to the Gulf of Mexico.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Geez! Yes.
Commissioner Avila (m): And that's why we have to be considerate about our water environment here in the Chicago greater area.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes sir,you see just Chicago alone is like that. (Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.)

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Can we imagine uh around the world, everywhere? Even worse than Chicago, some places.
Commissioner Avila (m): And,and we live in God's country as I mentioned,because we have wastewater plant to treat our wastewater.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right.
Commissioner Avila (m): So this is God's country.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right. We are really harming ourselves by harming the animals.
Commissioner Avila (m): Yes,because God created creatures and creatures is everyone,including us. We are creatures of God.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right.
Commissioner Avila (m): A cow,cattle,pig, they're creatures of God, and we should all love each other.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: You're right,sir.
Commissioner Avila (m): And again,thank you for taking time from your very busy schedule to be with us and sharing some life changing information.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: My pleasure,sir.

Commissioner Avila (m): I am thrilled that you are here. From just hearing your opening remarks,I see we're in for a special night filled with stimulating, challenging,and inspiring wisdom and truth. So at this time, we are going to start our interview, our question-and-answer session. I will ask the first question, but in the meantime, I'd like to introduce: David Maloney is present here and Vincent is present here also, to our conference, 『World Vegan, World Peace.』

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thanks for coming.
Commissioner Avila (m): Supreme Master, in the Bible, the first sentence says, 『In the beginning, God created the Heaven and the Earth.』 If one reads through the chapter,it says that God made humans and made them the stewards of the Earth. If God made us the stewards of the Earth, we have to protect our planet. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right.) Supreme Master, how do we protect our planet at this time in 2011?

Supreme Master Ching Hai:Yes,anytime,sir, not just at this time, but you're right,we are in a more urgent situation right now. And thanks for your question. I'm very honored to meet such a genuinely noble government leader as yourself,sir. First,I want to say that. You have been recognized many times for your honest, selfless leadership and whole-hearted service for your fellow citizens. You even worked extra hard to produce hundreds of television shows with your beloved wife, Ms. Sherry, about the environment, health,as well as culture and music on Chicago Access Network TV, one of the country's largest and widely used television networks. This is amazing! Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: And the shows can be watched on television and internet as well. You didn't do this for financial gain or for fame; it was out of your pure care and concern for others' health and happiness. I salute you, and thank you and congratulate you. Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you. Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: In response to your question,sir, from all info and evidence gathered up to date, we can protect the planet best at this moment by adopting the organic vegan diet, by going green, and by doing good deeds, just as you are doing up till now,and continue. In addition to instructing humankind to be stewards of the Earth, the Bible,God, also describes exactly how we should do this. In the first chapter, God said,『Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, and over every living creature that moves on the ground.』 Then God also said, 『I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole Earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it; they will be yours for food.』 In other words, we humans have been given the entire plant kingdom to enjoy as vegans,while we care for our animal co-inhabitants peacefully. God said 『rule over all animals;』 God did not say 『eat all the animals.』 Mark this in the Bible, it's very clear we should follow the Bible,God's instruction.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: That is how to be the stewards who protect and maintain an Eden planet. As this has been true since even before biblical times, the vegan way is more urgently needed now than ever before. Thank you, Commissioner Avila, and by the way,we also thank you for your work to reduce chemical pesticides in your district land. (Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.) The way you are always watching out for people and the environment's safety is also protecting the planet. We thank you wholeheartedly.

Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you for your answer, and I'm glad that you mentioned toxic chemicals,because that is one of the problems that we're facing today, especially among our kids that are being born. Our kids are being born with diseases that adults have, and our kids are having it right now.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,because chemicals are poison. (Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.) In the water and in the environment, affect their health and their formation, even as a fetus already, in the womb already. It's a disaster.
Commissioner Avila (m): And that's why I love you because you're concerned about the kids.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Well,we all are,sir. We all are. I am sure everyone on this planet who are parents or not even parents, we all love children, and we're all concerned about children. The question is, what are we going to do for them? (Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.)
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Love in action. We all want the children to grow up healthy and be happy; not just wanting, make it happen. Do whatever we can. That's how we love the children, the parents,parental love. Action,do something.

Commissioner Avila (m): Well,I have the next question, Supreme Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Please,sir.

Commissioner Avila (m): Your disciples and I have been going out to talk about saving the planet, but in the long term, who will be around to protect our planet? It is our kids. Supreme Master, you are a supreme teacher, how does the supreme teacher teach the teachers to teach the children so that when they grow up, they already know how to protect our planet?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,sir, Commissioner Avila. Actually all of us have to be teachers. We are all supreme teachers,we have the Supreme Power within us. Our Father,God, is the Supreme Teacher. We inherit this name, we are the children of God, so we all have to be the supreme teachers on this planet and anywhere else. For the children's sake And for them to learn from us,and for us to learn from the sages of old and new about the ideal lifestyle for humankind, so that we can pass it on to our children, we can draw from the exemplary lives of the sages who practiced the compassionate way of life.

They never killed or harmed animals, they lived a vegan lifestyle that protects humans,animals, and the environment. They also taught about the power of being virtuous in saving the planet from any threat of harm. For example- we can talk forever, there are so many examples, but I'm just citing a few- like Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher, said,『For as long as man massacres animals, they will kill each other. Indeed,he who sows the seed of murder and pain, cannot reap joy and love.』

The Russian philosopher Leo Tolstoy commented, 『It is horrible,man, without any need for so doing, crushes his lofty feeling of sympathy and mercy for living creatures,and does violence to himself that he may be cruel. The first element of moral life is abstinence.』 He means abstinence from violence, from animal meat. Now Prophet Mohammad, Peace Be Upon Him, also said,『Allah will not give mercy to anyone except those who give mercy to other creatures.』 Buddha advised all his disciples to be vegetarian; so did Mahavira, Guru Nanak,Lao Tzu, Confucius,Jesus Christ, and many more,sir.

Very simple to live a noble life. There are 5 universal peace principles that are inherent in all religious orders of this world that should be taught by parents and teachers to the children from a young age, and all ages,any time. Number 1,never harm or kill others, but protect and save lives. Number 2,never lie but always tell the truth. Number 3,never steal but give whatever can to the needy. Number 4,never commit sexual misconduct outside your loving partnership with your wife, your husband, your partner, your life partner,but to honor your relationship with loyalty and love and sincerity. Number 5, never use intoxicants including tobacco,alcohol, and addictive drugs, but contemplate on the holy God quality. You see, children are naturally pure and can easily adopt such concepts from an early age. In Âu Lạc (Vietnam), we have a saying that, if you want to teach, then you teach the children since young age.

All school curricula must,therefore,include these uplifting moral values,(Yes.) values about living a life of loving kindness, of a noble human standard, loving kindness to all around us; then it will reflect back to us. Then we'll be happy,and we will have true peace. Meanwhile we can teach the children by being an example ourselves of loving kindness, like what you do. You are the example for your children. An example speaks more than thousands of volumes of words. Thank you, Commissioner Avila, for your vegan example as well.

Commissioner Avila (m): And thank you for your kind remarks. And we just had our first granddaughter, and she's four,five months old, so... (Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Seven months.) - my wife - seven months now,And, we would like her to grow up in a planet that has love and is passionate and caring, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Amen,sir.) as you just mentioned. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) Thank you very much for such an inspiring answer. And now my fellow commissioner, Patricia Horton, will ask the next question.

Commissioner Horton (f): Well,first of all, thank you, Supreme Master, for giving me this opportunity to ask you a few questions.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Hi ma'am!

Commissioner Horton (f): I consider it an honor to sit here before you. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: My honor.) I have learned so much, I've learned so much, even by my colleague and his wife, and I've just learned to grow. I'm not a vegan yet, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: You will be.) but I'm moving towards there, and I'm happy to say that, because before I used to harm our animals by eating them, and now I've changed, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: You did not know. ) and I'm still moving forward.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: You did not know. Thank you. Thank you. You're making my day.
Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: And you are so beautiful.
Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Lovely smile you have.
Commissioner Horton (f): And you as well.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: So kind. You are very kind.
Commissioner Horton (f): I just thank God for you because you've given us so much insight and so much direction and information that we can live by and we can not only live by, but we can share this message with others. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you.) Thank you.

Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: God bless you.

Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you. Well, my first question is this: We all know how precious our water is. As a commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, I am pleased to see in your book, 『From Crisis to Peace: The Organic Vegan Way is the Answer』, you have a section on water shortage and use; and we have identified the livestock industry as the biggest threat. Supreme Master, can you elaborate on this issue?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,Commissioner Horton. Gladly,gladly. And I'm also honored to know you as well. You're a very kindly lady.
Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you for asking for the sake of others, as surely everyone here and you yourself are already aware about this urgent issue, especially you, Commissioner Horton. It is estimated that about half of all the water used in the United States alone goes to raising animals for food. It takes at least 20 times as much water to produce meat and dairy products, compared to plant-based products, for the same amount of calories. Several studies have found that beef requires a hundred times more water to produce than grain.

Just to get an idea of quantity: it takes,like,2500 gallons, or nearly 9500 liters of water to produce just one pound of meat, but it only takes 25 gallons to produce a pound of wheat. Madam Commissioner, I heard that you traveled all the way to Bangladesh, even,to learn how to help impoverished people and to enhance your own noble work. You must have witnessed firsthand,while traveling, what life is like for people who don't have enough safe water to drink, to apply to their crops, or even to keep themselves clean and not sick, for their children even.

Children are even more vulnerable, more sensitive,to the unhygienic environment and unclean water. But most of the water used in the livestock industry is to grow the grains and soya beans,again, to feed the animals, not humans. So,while this staggering waste of water, of both water and food, is occurring, one billion people in our world lack access to safe drinking water and go hungry.

We all know about the current starvation crisis in Somalia, in the Horn of Africa. Such tragedies could be minimized or even averted if everyone became vegan, because the vegan diet saves nearly 70% of our precious water resources. 70%. The livestock industry is becoming a bigger and bigger threat to our water supplies, which scientists warn are shrinking worldwide, fast,due to climate change. Also what causes climate change? Animal industry as well. So we are in a devil's cycle here. Also,animal raising is the top cause of water pollution worldwide. You know that.

In the US alone, livestock produces 130 times the excrement of the whole US human population, 130 times more than the whole US population,yes! That is 87,000 pounds generated per second! These excrement,this polluted waste,however, is not really treated at all, despite the fact that animal waste contains about 160 times the bacteria and pollutants more than human sewage even.
Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: So in the US, according to the Environmental Protection Agency or EPA,runoff from both animal manure and fertilizer for growing animal feed is the number one source of pollution in rivers and lakes. Now we are drinking this water. Just imagine we're drinking these things,all inside our beautiful『temple,』 we're taking all this pollution in,every day. And if we treat it,then it has more chemicals into our water; that is also not good for our body either. No wonder we're sick, we're ill,and the healthcare problem in America is also a very burden for the government to take care. Just look at the Mississippi River, whose runoff is known to be the source of the gigantic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico - Commissioner Horton (f): (That's right.)

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Uh Commissioner Avila has just mentioned that; you see, the things from one district, from America are running through,and then go to elsewhere also, not just stay there- which scientists just announced is currently 3,300 square miles in size- the dead zone, in the Gulf of Mexico- but forecast that it could exceed 9,000 square miles this year. That is four months from now. It could triple the size, the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico; And then,I don't think it will stop there. We can imagine it will grow and grow and grow, and then we will have nothing but dead zone in the future. Dead planet. To make a comparison, Madam,the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago, which you are in charge, does a wondrous job of treating the wastewater, to maintain the health and safety of over 5 million people in Cook County. 5 million people! (Yes.) The lucky 5 million. Through impressive engineering…

Yes. Go ahead.

They deserve it,yes. Through impressive engineering, high class facilities, and diligent management, hard work. Meanwhile, the Food and Water Watch organization,which Commissioner Avila honored with his 2010 Excellence in Protecting Our Water Environment Award, stated that factory farms, with 812,000 pigs in the North Carolina USA County alone,produce as much untreated manure as the sewage from almost 15 million people,equivalent to the Chicago and Atlanta, Georgia Metro areas combined,(Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.)

Supreme Master Ching Hai: and all of this waste, worldwide,is untreated - not just there- directly entering our environment; rivers,lakes, streams,oceans, polluting our drinking water sources and creating dead zones as well. By the way,I salute you, Commissioner Horton, not only for your wholehearted dedication to bring people safe water but for all you have done to help improve less fortunate people's lives. I heard that your work won national recognitions, the Presidential Award for poverty alleviation for helping disadvantaged women in Chicago,(Commissioner Horton (f): Yes.) yes,through the Women's Self-Employment Project.

Commissioner Horton (f): Yes. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you.) Thank you. Yes,it was called the Women's Self-Employment Project. We helped over 5000 women start their own business. We used a Grameen Bank Model in Bangladesh. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) We won the President's Award for helping to alleviate poverty, and I did research, along with Professor Muhammad Yunus,(Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) who won the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) for what we did. Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I am so honored and grateful (Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you,thank you, Supreme Master.) to hear about your loving, dedicated hard work, Madam. May God bless you for all the hope,as well as practical help you give to those most in need. We can surely be inspired by your caring example toward fellow humans and stop the livestock industry from destroying our precious water supplies. Thank you for your question, Madam Commissioner.
Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: God bless you.
Commissioner Horton (f): And that's where I receive my passion, to fight every day for our environment and for our water. Thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: But you look so sweet. You don't look like a fighter, but you fight all right!
Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: God bless you.
Commissioner Horton (f): Okay. You gave us a lot to think about. It's really wonderful; and thank you for sharing the truth.
(Supreme Master Ching Hai: I'm glad you accept it.)

Commissioner Horton (f): Now,my next question. The United States is facing a huge budget deficit, and the government is considering cutting Medicare cost as a part of the solution to reduce the budget deficit.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: No,no. Commissioner Horton (f): Some people oppose the reduction of the Medicare program. Earlier there had been a heated debate on the healthcare reform as well,in the United States. It seems most of the people have already focused their attention on medical treatment. How can we change people's thinking to live in a way to prevent us from getting sick, rather than treat our health after we get sick?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: That's it,that's it, Madam Commissioner. You're right. Prevention. That is very crucial for people to know.
Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Prevention is better than cure,and it saves a lot of money, then the government doesn't even need to cut because we will not spend so much on healthcare anymore, if people have gone vegan. And if you turn vegan, (Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.) you live healthy immediately.

It has been proven through clinical research and medical proof, exams. We should have the governments and responsible authorities refer people to the right information and to propagate a healthier lifestyle for the benefit of humans as well as the planet. The governments can do a whole lot by giving people references through newspapers, broadcasting television, radio,and using networks such as the media or internet to share valuable information about the preventive way to living a long and healthy life; and in making use of this power of the media, I again congratulate the Commissioner and Mrs. Sherry Avila for their television shows that help people to become more aware of the environment and their health so that they can directly improve their own circumstances.

Similarly,all government leaders can also share the medical research that clearly highlight the benefits of a healthy vegan diet. We know now through science that the vegan diet can reverse and eliminate (Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.) all types of disease, even cancers,diabetes, and heart diseases etc. It means reversed immediately in many cases. People just stop having heart attacks or heart problem; as soon as they turn vegan, the heart problem stops. (Commissioner Horton (f): They go away.) It's just like a miracle. It's no miracle. Yes.

We just have to eat scientifically. We don't put poison into our body and expect it to run well, just like we don't put water in the car to replace petrol, or mix it with petrol, then of course our car will have problems. This is all like engine, car: we have to treat it nicely,wisely,scientifically. The government can also collaborate with forward-thinking professional organizations, such as the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, based in Washington D. C., the capital - they live next door; the government should discuss with them- whose members promote a vegan diet as effective, proven preventive medicine.

You can ask them for all the proof you need. Staying healthy is everyone's dream, but we have to do it. Don't just dream about it, not just talk about it: make it happen! Yes,make it happen. Go about to put back health into our body. So you are absolutely right, Commissioner Horton, people have to know that, not only our health but our planet's future depends on it. The government is in the right position and has the right power to start connecting people to these resources. Thank you,Madam.

I get all excited when it comes to people's health and happiness, because it's right there in front of our eyes. Everyone can be healthy and happy. Why don't we just do it, you know? I'm just so excited,because it's so easy. Why do people have to suffer? Lack of information, wrong lobby, wrong advocate. Please turn around. Help people to stay healthy and happy, then the country grows also strong. The country will grow strong if you have strong people,healthy people. Thank you,ma'am. Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you. Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Start from Chicago.
Commissioner Horton (f): And I will continue to take this message forward. Thank you and everyone here who has been a great example. Thank you, Supreme Master Ching Hai, for sharing your thoughts. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: God bless you.) And they will forever be in my heart. And I love you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you. God loves you. It's easy to love you.
Commissioner Avila (m): And now Supreme Master Ching Hai, my lovely wife has a question to ask,also.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,ma'am.

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Good evening.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: The better half. Good evening, Madam Sherry.

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): I just wanted to start off with saying that I probably started being a vegan when I was about 10 years old, and the teacher said 『Make sure there's a green and yellow vegetable on the plate,』 and I went home and told my mother that, and my mother was very like,『What?!』 But since then,now my vegetables are green, yellow,red, and all the colors of the rainbow probably, but I know that I feel better when I eat a lot of vegetables,(Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) and follow the diet, and I know that I sing better - for anybody out there who is a singer, keep that in mind - and I know that my overall well-being, psychologically,is better.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: (Yes.)
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): There are just so many wonderful,honestly, benefits from eating vegan that it's just endless almost. So I just wanted to share that before I begin my question.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: You are a good example - your skin looks good, your eyes sparkling, and your hair is full. Good example,Madam.
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Thank you,thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: You've been vegan all this time? Can we hear you singing later on? Short,maybe? Or maybe now even?
Commissioner Avila (m): She is a good singer - she loves the Irish songs, and I love the Irish songs also. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.)

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Well we're going to have some wonderful singers here that it will be fun to hear. So…
Supreme Master Ching Hai: No but it's different - you and him sing one short song - it's just a minute.
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Let's get on with the question.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Okay ma'am. You're too modest,yes.
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): So I think the bottom line here is for everybody - we all want to be healthy.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): That's the bottom line. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Sure. Sure.) And your words that you shared made a big difference, will make a big difference - now even as we speak, and as Patricia said, go forward.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): I was particularly touched by the poem, 『Please Don't!』 from your poetry book, 『The Love of Centuries.』 (Supreme Master Ching Hai: It's a long one.) I have a personal connection to that poem, because my father served in the Philippines during World War II and I got to know a combination of the sufferings that he suffered there and continued to suffer even here,when he was back in the United States.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I'm so sorry.
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): In your poem 『Please Don't!』 you portray how war is against human nature, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right.) which I truly believe. I would like to read a few words from that poem, and so I am going to read those now.

Please don't go! Leaving an elderly mother and innocent siblings There's no real hatred among us human beings.
Battlefields have but guns, swords and hostilities While here a warm house welcomes your company.
Please don't go! Wreaking suffering on others There's no real animosity, only thirst for power
Countless corpses lie shriveled to expand an empire Whereas here only love, peace and safety thrive.
Taking lives,we'll have to pay with our own How can we rejoice in causing demise and separation?
Only boundless, lasting compassion Shall make us great among all creation…

This is very emotional to me. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: I see.) There are many conflicts in the world right now as we all know (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) and the words of this poem speak very strongly about our current time. How can we make people understand that war is not the solution to conflicts? Can you explain the best ways for countries to protect their uniqueness,spiritual and moral values,and material possessions?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,yes,ma'am. Thank you,Mrs. Avila, for your genuine concern for the people in turmoil right now. Thank you. Yes,I also feel a little emotional. The poem was written… the way I felt in my heart. If I could just kneel all day all night begging the world to stop the war and if that would help, I would do it, because I also, like yourself,I also experienced firsthand the suffering of the people during the war, yes - I was born in Âu Lạc (Vietnam) as you know. Right.

We call ourselves civilized society, we are in the 21st century now and we have developed all kinds of techniques and technological inventions, and we call ourselves advanced,developed, and we do,kind of, look down upon the Stone Age humans as barbarous warlike creatures, who made all grounds their hunting grounds and would kill each other for woman,man love rival,food, water or territories,etc.

We should question ourselves: 『What age are we in now?』 and 『Why we are acting like in Stone Age in some areas?』 I am sorry for your personal pain and may God bless your father and all the victims of war,soldiers and civilians alike. The best way for all the countries to preserve themselves is by helping fellow nations to grow and develop - not by war,not by killing or destroying humans, fellow humans, causing so much loss, pain and suffering on all levels as you know it. The United States policy has many good points, mind you,like respecting and welcoming the talented, the brainy people, the genuine,good humans, the experts,and the spiritual genuines; also expanding the land state by state with peaceful means; that's why your country expanded now.

In the East,the ancient political strategy has always been to control the nearby nations and to befriend the faraway lands. So countries in the East,for example,have always expanded and prospered, despite occasional periods of setback. Mind you,I have to tell you this strategy originated from China, since ancient times. They want to always,like, conquer the neighbors and befriend the faraway lands. Actually,the policy has some good logical point - not the invasion part - but the part that you have to be strong, yourselves,your nation,has to be strong, because the neighboring countries would not ire your nation if you are powerful and strong, naturally.

So for peace sake, that is,to protect our land and people, we should be strong. Maybe we should have muscle - so to say - to ward off invasion, but to engage in war with faraway lands would be costly, too costly,as you know it, and difficult due to distance. This the what ancient strategists already knew - it's all written in the war and peace strategy of Chinese policy. If you don't believe me, you can read it. It's called 『Sun Tzu Ping Fa,』means the military strategy of Master Sun. It's very famous,okay?

If we engage in war with a faraway land… Even nowadays we have airplanes and all that, distance doesn't mean much,but still it's very costly,and the supply is difficult and lacking in the military, or food or familiar nutrition for the soldiers; the unfamiliar surroundings, the different languages and backgrounds, the traditions and climates etc.,the soldiers cannot be used to. Soldiers will be more fatigued because of all that: less confident, more fearful, more vulnerable and lacking morale, while the so-called enemies are in their own elements, knowing their steps, knowing every corner of their countries and can be more in control of all combat advantages.

It would be even better - I would say the best - of course,if we do not so-called control the neighboring nations by force,but instead offer benevolent assistance in all near and far corners of the world. We should use our power and financial privilege to extend humanitarian rather than military help or even aggressive action to those weaker and developing nations. Then enemies would fade. You see,Abraham Lincoln, what did he say? 『I destroy my enemies by making them my friends.』 Even your past president knew these lessons. The enemies then would fade. Peace would be possible and the global economy will stabilize and bloom, and soon all nations will enjoy the same prosperity and peace,dignity and freedom as family members of the human race.

The people in the world will respect and cooperate with each other, or with the powerful nations,not out of fear of strong military force, but out of respect and love for any country, however strong and rich, because from their hearts they love and respect this country and the government that's offering them help. Meanwhile, these countries can all develop in their own space and time while preserving their traditions and protecting moral values, and the country who helps,you see, also profits because they will not have to spend so much money in war.

And we can learn from each other: no matter how developed or underdeveloped the country,we always have something to offer; and the helping hands will also receive manifold benefits, from economy to peace, from happiness to Heaven's blessing. And since charity begins at home,I would like to say that I appreciate your many endeavors in your own community to help it flourish and develop,such as through your church or by introducing people to cultural beauty at one of your local art museums and the Irish American Heritage Center, and before that as a Girl Scouts leader yourself. With gentle,wholesome vegan teachers as yourself who make positive impacts, we could have a more peaceful world. We should have more people like you. Thanks again,Mrs. Avila.
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Ma chérie. Thank you,ma chérie. That is the French for 『My darling.』 Your name,Sherry, is similar to 『ma chérie』 in French.
(Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Yes.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Okay.)

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): I just went to a cross-cultural, cross-racial seminar last Saturday. And it was brought up that through love that would help us to try to understand each other better. It was a very interesting seminar- cross-cultural, cross-racial, through the church.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,I hope there are more activities and more people like you who really get down to work with the people, not just sit and talk.

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Well, when I came back home to the church and I said to the congregation that I attended this cross-cultural, cross-racial seminar, 『I think some of you would like to go to this,』 several people came up to me and they said they would like to go to this. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: See?) So I think that when the opportunity is there, there are others out there who are open and willing,ready to learn, so… (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right.) and I actually have your poetry book with me. This is 『The Love of Centuries.』 Frank and I really love the book, both the illustrations in it as well as the words in it and the variety of poetry that's in it and so I have another poem.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I'm glad you like it. Another poem?
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): And so I'm going to read the touching poem.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: You're really a poem lover,aren't you?
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Yes,yes. My daughter was the founder of the poetry club in high school.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Really? Wow, she takes it from whom?
Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): So this particular touching poem, which is actually an environmental poem, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) is 『Please Wake Up!』 And as I said,it's from 『The Love of Centuries.』

O world, wake up and behold Rivers and mountains are in tumult Burnt forests,eroded hills, desiccated streams Whither do the poor souls go in the end of all dreams?
O heart, relent your sobbing For my soul to rest in long nights Tears dried up and I'm wordless Weeping in pain for the tormented!
O night,please kindle your source of light Shine the way for those human souls in darkness Be serene for my mind to still And enter emptiness with the miraculous celestial melody.
O day, stir not sudden unrests For peace to repose in our very hearts For humankind's struggles to subside For the true Self to gloriously shine.

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): So I was particular touched by that poem because it is an environmental poem and we have become very actively involved in the environment. And so,that inspired my husband and me to continue to help people to renew our planet, and although the world is lively and advanced, many of us did not realize that we were asleep. I think when Frank and I go to some of these conferences and we find out more and more about the toxins and the pesticides and so forth,we realize that we're definitely asleep. How did we come to this slumber? That's the question, I guess. What are some of the ways to awaken people? Will we ever know our 『True Self』 in order for it to 『gloriously shine』 as your poem states? Thank you, Supreme Master.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you,Madam. I have something to tell you,which I did not tell anyone before. When I read that poetry together with the 『Please Don't! 』 I was very,very in a physical bad shape. I thought that was the last thing I'd ever tell the world - in these poems. It was really all my heart and soul in there, and I was crying when I wrote it. And I was crying when I read it. I thought that was the last time I'd ever tell the world anything. I thought I was going to say goodbye to the world. That was a kind of a goodbye poem as well.

But Heaven wants me to continue to stay in this world for a while longer, so that's probably why it touched you so much, because… It's even translated, it's not as original as in the Vietnamese (Aulacese) which is even more stirring,for me at least. So anyway,I am glad that it touched you. Maybe it has touched some other people as well and maybe it will remind them to do something for themselves and for the planet, something more positive, more constructive. I thought that was the last speech I'd ever make,in poem,yes. But I'm still here, thanks to God and Heaven. They told me, 『No,no,you stay.』 Okay.

Well,Madam, to know the True Self for it to gloriously shine through,there are only two things to do. We are already God-like, we're already the children of God, and the children have similar quality to the parents, we all know that, even physically. Children are from parents, we are the children from God,so we are God. At least we're God's children, God's offspring. So to know our True Self, to know the meaning the Kingdom of God, is very easy. That's just to go back to our Origin,to turn back to where we are. Just like if your children got lost on the street, and if they found their way back home, then they're back home again,because they're already your children.

There's nothing that can change that. No law,no disaster, nothing can change the fact that your daughter is Miss Avila,your daughter. You see? Yes. So if everyone told us, all the Masters of old told us,that we are the children of God, then we are the children of God! Why should Jesus lie to us about our origin? Why should Buddha tell us the untruth about our greatness? So we have to believe it. We are the children of God,no? So to go back to be the children of God again, it's so easy.
If everyone told us, all the Masters of old told us that we are the children of God, then we are the children of God. Why should Jesus lie to us about our origin? Why should Buddha tell us the untruth about our greatness? So we have to believe it. We are the children of God, no? So to go back to be the children of God again, it's so easy. But since we have come to this slumber as you have put it, we just have to wake up.

There are two things to do only, very simple: the physical and the spiritual. Physically we have to clean ourselves in order to recognize ourselves again. Suppose your daughter has been lost on the streets for many days or many months and she has been in hardship, because she's without home, without parents, and when you find her, you cannot even recognize her. She wouldn't even recognize herself, the way she was before; she'd be dirty and unkempt, and tattered, maybe very sick and troubled. Yes? So, the first thing, clean her, no? Bathe her, give her new clothes, feed her, so that she becomes strong and healthy again.

Now, similarly, to go back to our True Self, the two things to do: physical and spiritual. Physical: clean ourselves by turning back to the compassionate lifestyle, God-like lifestyle, Heaven-like lifestyle. No harming, no killing others. Just everything it said in the Bible, or in the Buddha's sutra (scripture) or in Mahavira's sutra, or even in the Qu'ran. We misunderstood the Prophets when we kill others, even for God's sake; we are not to do that. God never teaches any of us to kill. The first commandment in the Bible is “Thou shall not kill.” That includes the animals, because God did not say thou shall not kill men but can kill animals.

No, it was very clear already, I have mentioned before. So now we have to return to the God-like. You know she has to behave now like Miss Avila, the way she was before. Even if she has been on the street, maybe bad influence or something, met some bad people and maybe misbehaved and not behaved nobly or, like the daughter of the great commissioner and madam like that, she has to return to family life, a good-girl lifestyle now, you see? Same.

So physically we clean ourselves by keeping the five peace principles: Not kill, not steal, not tell lie, not commit wrong sexual relationship except with your partner, and do not take poison, like intoxicants, drugs, alcohol, cigarette. These are poison for the body. Meat is also poison. We know it by now already. So we have to eliminate all these in order to keep our body clean and healthy to receive the strong, powerful grace again, because a sick body cannot assimilate good vitamins or nutrition. It could even turn into poison. Yes?

If your stomach is poisoned somehow and you drink milk it gets worse, for example like that, or if you eat something, you get worse. Yes, food turns into poison. So now, first of all, physical, we clean our “house,” clean the “temple.” Live the way a God-child would live. No harming any, just helping, being benevolent, being virtuous. So, you see, the five universal principles are in all religions, more or less modified, but it's the same. We keep those five precepts. That's the one thing; be vegan.

It is also included in those five precepts, because do not harm or do not kill means indirectly as well. If we don't harm the animals but we eat them, then other people have to harm or kill them for us. So the vegan diet is included in the first principle. So, physically we keep the five peace universal principles, and then we're clean and pure, ready for God's Light again. Secondly, spiritual. This is a harder part, but it's not hard if we can find the Guide who helps us. Nowadays, it's not difficult: we have internet; we know which gurus teach what, which school teach what yoga, teach what meditation. There's no excuse to say that we don't know. We know everything, we just don't do it. That is the second part.

Now we're ready, we're clean, the “temple” is swept and washed and mopped, everything clean; now we go and find the Guide to show us how to see the Light within again, the Light that's mentioned in the Bible, the Light which shines in darkness but darkness knows it not. Okay? `Know you not that the Light is within you.' “Know you not that the Kingdom of God is at hand.” You see that? Okay, now, we have to find that Guide, the Guide that knows, the friend or teacher, whatever you call him or her, a Guide, who has already been enlightened, who already sees the Light - I don't mean the flashlight here, the electrical light, I mean the Light inside you, the Light without any instrument.

When you close your eyes, your whole body is flushed with Light, Light of more than a thousand suns. You are that. You are that Light. You are that God quality. And there's also the Music of the spheres. You can hear forever and it will soothe your troubles, heal your bodies, enlighten your souls, make you closer and closer to God. So, very simple: Physical, clean the “temple”; spiritual, find the Guide to show you how to reconnect with yourself. Because you are the great Self, you are the children of God. Everybody says, “You are the children of God.” “I'm the child of God.” But how, what? You have to prove it to yourselves that you are the children of God by contacting God, and if you cannot do it yourselves, just go find somebody who knows how.

Mostly… I have to say that I think all the teachers teach these things free of charge, because it's your property, so nobody costs anything anyway. Suppose you forget your glasses in your pocket and I say, “Hey, your glasses are there, look in your pocket,” should I charge you for that? For the guidance that your glasses are in your pocket? No, no. Therefore all these teaching are free of charge, ever since time immemorial. So, Madam, that's it. Two things to do; physical, spiritual.

There are many teachers, yes, who teach different ways, or just… anyone could find what he is looking for. When you're ready for spiritual guidance, you will find a teacher, or the Guide; we call it the “Guide” anyway, the inner Guide. Yes. The outer Guide will guide you to the inner Guide, and then you can talk to Jesus, talk to Buddha, to Prophet Mohammad, whomever you would like to contact, and contact direct to God. Why listen to anything? Why read the secondhand experience from anybody? Like, okay, `John sees the Light,' `John hears the trumpet.' You will see the Light. You will hear the trumpet. It's the same. You will see God like a bush of fire. Yes.

You will hear God's voice like the Sound of many waters, like the Sound of trumpet, etc., etc. It's mentioned in all kinds of scriptures - Buddhist, Christian, the Granth Sahib, the Hindu scripture, etc., etc. Just have to find it, and verify it. Thank you.

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Thank you.
Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you very much for your comment. Mind, body, and spirit. Excellent.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, sir. That's right, sir.

Commissioner Avila (m): Sherry and I derive great pleasure from the insight you have about people and the world we live in. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) Here is my next question. People in the United States are one of the most Hard working people in the world. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: True. True.) And yet our economy has been experiencing downturn in the last few years. So, is it true that the economy does not just depend on how much you work, but something else? If so, what is that?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It is true, sir, that the economy doesn't depend on how much we work and earn. It also depends on how much we spend or waste. Yes. Right now, you mentioned that Americans are (one of) the hardest working people in the world. I have to testify that it's true. When I was in America, as long as you have money, you can buy anything, 24 hours, seven. Not in every country like that.

Some countries, they have siesta, and they close on the weekend, and they close at certain hours. America, no. No. Even in a small town, you can buy things in Home Depot, for example; if you need, desperately, things, always ready for you. Anytime, you can buy anything in America. So they truly are hard-working people. I had the impression that what you said is true, but the thing is, all this earning and tax paying goes where?

Many places that it's leaking to, your hard-earned tax money. Subsidies. Subsidies for the meat industry - otherwise, the meat industry will go bankrupt, and the hamburger will not cost 99 cents but will cost at least 30 or 50 dollars apiece. That's the leaking “1”. And the US is spending too much money on military operations, in the far lands, as I told you before.

I am sorry. I am very sorry, but I have to tell you the truth because you asked me, and I so much love America because they honor me so many times: at least 10 states of America gave me honorary citizenship and the key to the cities and states and all that. I am forever honored by and grateful for the American government's recognition and many of your presidents, at least five, six presidents, have written congratulations notes to me and given me awards, certificates, Presidential Award, things like that. I am not trying to make you feel bad, I'm just trying to repay your kindness, by telling the truth. You see? Because the policy needs to be turned around.

As President Obama has stated recently, we should not use money For war in foreign land anymore but to use the money for the benefit of the people at home and the needy instead. I'm glad he has said that. I'm glad he has realized that, because that's where the money is running to, and fast-paced. Because, besides the irreplaceable cost to human lives, war puts a great financial burden on the nation. Every day, as you know it yourself - I'm saying this for the sake of others who don't know - every day, the US has been spending at least, at least US$720 million for the war in Iraq alone.

One day, in one country alone, US$720 million. It is also estimated that the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan will cost the US at least US$3.7 trillion in another 10 years of long-term payments and interest. So, even if your citizens, the Americans, are working 24 hours, seven, even if you are the richest country in the world, no matter how large your budget, it will run out. Would you agree with me?

Commissioner Avila (m): Yes. I agree with you. Yes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The poor American citizens, they cannot put up with all this. They cannot catch up, no matter how much they're willing, no matter how deep they reach into their pockets, they have nothing in there anymore to reach to. So, it's not the American citizens, it's the policy that has to change. We should not do it as habit as a proud nation always going to war and “beat the…” whatever - you know that - out of everybody else.

The way we're doing like this, it gets bigger and bigger, more and more resistance, and more Americans die also in foreign lands in the prime of their lives. Look at all of them. Look at all the soldiers. You saw them on TV, how beautiful they are: the best of Americans; the best-looking guys. Any girl in the world would like to marry one of those soldiers. They're so good-looking, aren't they? Beautiful. So beautiful! So pure. Their faces are so pure, and so intelligent. We cannot afford to even waste this kind of human resource. If the Americans, all young and beautiful, and intelligent and handsome like that, go out and are dying all the time like this, what will you have left in the future?

Because able young men have all gone out, got killed. Either that, or you kill other countries' youth and beautiful and able people. Either way it's not correct. You see, plus, we have to spend extra on the aftereffects of the war, such as to care for the veterans, for another… many years. And you can't… Sometimes the budget is not even allowed to care for the veterans. Many veterans became even homeless. (Yes.) It's not fair that they sacrificed their youth, their prime time for the country and then come home to become a homeless beggar.

This is not the dignity for Americans. Please think again, what we can do with all that money. And of course, some of the most painful costs of war are not able to be paid financially but emotionally, psychologically, environmentally and spiritually. So the economy and the sense of accomplishment, for the hardworking people of America, would benefit greatly from the monies being spent on good causes, like President Obama mentioned. (Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.)

We should spend this money on the things that help improve everyone's quality of life. Trillions of dollars, my God! The Americans don't need to work anymore if…
Just sit there and the government takes care, if we have all this money, yes. If we don't spend in war, then Americans can sit pretty, yes. And with all that money saved and all the hardworking Americans, your country will be so powerful that even you don't have to go to any war.

But you weaken your own power, economically, manpowerly, and karmically, okay? This I cannot prove, but I can only tell you logically that if we spend all the money, then we have to go begging elsewhere; and where goes the dignity of the great nation like America?

First, charity begins at home. We have to take care of our home, we have to have a stable foundation before we even take care of the world. We could provide in abundance for children's education, parents' healthcare, the things that help improve everybody's quality of life, you know: early retirements, more hobbies, more happiness, upliftment of the disadvantaged neighbors, and investing in green technology or organic farming; in short, prosperity for everyone to enjoy their God-given lives on Earth. Thank you for your thought-inspiring question, Commissioner Avila.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I just have to tell the truth.
Commissioner Avila (m): And thank you for your thought-provoking answer.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: I hope it helps, sir.

Commissioner Avila (m): And, you know, I agree that if we spend that money on organic farming,(Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, yes, organic farming. Yes.), that would help us and the world also.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, and people will be healthy, (Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.) and the planet will be saved. Because organic farming also absorbs 40% CO2 in the air also.

Commissioner Avila (m): Yes, that's true. You know, when we treat wastewater, at the end it comes out in what we call “bio-solids” and liquid. Well the bio-solid is fertilizer, and when we give it to the farmers to grow their crops, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) they have greater yield per acre using our treated waste. Our human waste is treated as you mentioned; the animal waste is not treated.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, understand, yes.

Commissioner Avila (m): And that's what causing the problem as you mentioned, down in the Gulf of Mexico. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) We have that dead zone down there.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, yes. I'm glad you are doing something. It's helping your community; and then other counties, other cities could learn from your method or your examples. Thank you. Yes.

Commissioner Avila (m): Now Sherry will ask the next question.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, ma'am.

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): When I was a Girl Scout leader, part of the program was a cross-religious, cross-cultural invitation, that we would get to know somebody from another culture, from another religion, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right.) and I was very fortunate, because I knew Amber. Amber was Muslim, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Oh.) and Amber invited us to her home, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) and all my Girl Scouts came to her home, and she helped them to understand the Muslim religion, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) and… She helped us.

She also had a baby at the time. She fed my Girl Scouts, and she was very generous and kind to them, and that brings me to my next question, Supreme Master Ching Hai. The freedom of religion is guaranteed by the Bill of Rights in the United States Constitution. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: That's right.) Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): In the past few centuries, many faiths have flourished in this country, thanks to that Bill of Rights. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) However, after the tragedy of 9/11, there has been a tendency of discrimination against Islamic citizens.

Also, there has been an increase in the number of Islamic schools so that the Muslim children would be treated with respect and dignity in their own schools, because they weren't being treated with respect and dignity in the public schools. What can people do to stop prejudice, and to promote love and peace among all people, regardless of religious background?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, yes Mrs. Avila. It's not only in the United States, but there is kind of a wave of “counter-Muslim” in the world, including in the European Union. Hence, you see many new laws come in, you know, like the law that discourages or forbids Muslim ladies to wear a full gown to cover the face, for example? It had not been like that before - just recently. It's because, I think, the government is also afraid that any extremists could disguise themselves in the garb of this full-veiled woman Muslim, and do some harm to the public. That's another thing.

And one more thing is they want them to integrate into the country where they stay, to be like everyone else, you know? Like, “we like to know each other, we like to see what each other look like.” I also, not for religion, but I would have loved to have seen the lovely woman behind the veil also, because I've seen some of them. When I was still married with my husband, some Muslim ladies came to have treatment from him, and when they unveiled the veil, they were very beautiful inside, very beautiful.

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Very beautiful eyes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes, beautiful eyes, yes, and flashing their eyelashes, you know? Very, very attractive. God creates us so beautifully. I would have liked to see them, you know? - man, woman without covering, yes. In the West, people are also afraid that if you cover yourselves, that means you have something to hide. That's why they're afraid, and especially after 9/11. You know, it affects not only America but affects the world as well.

So, you see, I share the same wish with you. And we all have to exercise - help each other - tolerance and understanding for the different stages of development in various nations. We should try to reflect on the common ground that we all have, that we all share; that is love, universal love, and love for the family. We all have, whether Muslim or Christian or Buddhist, love for our favorite family members, our pets, our friends, our teachers, our countries. We all have this kind of love, Muslim or not. We all have all this common ground that we all share. We all have the innate nature within us to “love thy neighbor” and to help them when they are in need.

So, we just have to be loving, friendly, and let each one be, let each one be in peace. Saying that, however, I would like very much also to see the people of Islamic faith really go all the way to take responsibility for world peace, to take any opportunity to have respect, to integrate into the societies where they live, and to prove their worth; the more they hide in their own community, the more people will not understand them. You see, just like when you were in the Girl Scouts time, the Muslim lady invited the children to her home, and therefore the children understood what Islam is all about.

They see the kindness with the Muslim people. You see that? The example speaks louder than words. So they, the Muslim people, also should open their hearts and minds and houses as well, to accept others, no matter how different in looks, religious beliefs, and traditions. If the Muslim people are in America, they should try to integrate to become like Americans.

I don't mean eat the same or have to go to the same church or anything, but outwardly at least look like the neighbors -yes? - so that there is no maybe suspicions, or a little hesitance between the neighbors, yes? If the Americans have a Muslim next door, maybe he or she would like to make friends with the neighbors, but if she comes out always veiled like this or keeps to herself all the time, then the American people, they very much respect privacy, they will not always come and make an initiative to get to know them, thus also know the Muslim faith. You see?

So, in Âu Lạc, Vietnam, there's a saying, “When you enter a river, be mindful of where you're going,” because there are currents difference, and the shallowness and deepness are different in different places of the river. So, be mindful of the currents and the place that you're entering. And “When you enter a home, be mindful of the house rules,” so that you'll be in harmony with your environment, with the people that you meet. It has to be mutual respect and consideration in order to build lasting friendship and peace.

And, above all, everyone, be they Muslim or other faith followers, must discourage and boycott any germination or exercise of violence, because it destabilizes the friendship of nations and destroys peace in the world, including where they live. As God's nature is love and forgiveness and peace, and we are God's children, we should do the same. Thank you, ma chérie (my darling).

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Thank you, Supreme Master. Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I also agree that religious and spiritual leaders should work together and let people know that it's time to change, that the planet is in urgent danger now, and we must be more loving in our actions, whatever religion we belong to. And be vegan to save it, whatever religion we belong to, or non-religion we belong to.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Saturday, September 3, for part 6 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I'm not just trying to talk or convert you or people into my way of life or anything. I was sincerely, honestly, genuinely concerned that, if any word I have spoken, through the grace of Heaven, should benefit people, your people or any people who are listening.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Sunday, September 4, for part 7 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Commissioner Avila (m): World Vegan, World Peace - it's got to be our Conscious Choice. If people stop eating the flesh of another being today, that is a good way to start a responsible, compassionate, and healthy lifestyle. Therefore, the future of the planet is in our hands. We are the protectors. We are the stewards. We are the example of our children. They can pick up where we left off effectively, with a determination to keep the planet clean, fresh, flourishing in peace and in love.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Tuesday, September 6, for part 8 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

Commissioner Avila (m): This is our planet home. I was deeply, deeply inspired by the wonderful experience I had tonight. I think we all kind of forget and we go down, but today, wow! I am up. I'm really up. We will continue in our quest to inspire love, peace and compassion. Take care of your heart. Take care of what is in it. Check for the love, the peace, the compassion for all beings, and for the environment.

VOICE: Please join us on Supreme Master Television, Wednesday, September 7, for part 9 of the re-broadcast of the live conference entitled “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” with Supreme Master Ching Hai; the Honorable Commissioners Frank Avila and Patricia Horton of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago; Ms. Sherry Avila, docent of the Loyola University Museum of Art and the Irish American Heritage Center; and performances celebrating compassion and environment, right here on Words of Wisdom.

VOICE: Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for our program, “World Vegan, World Peace: A Conscious Choice,” on Words of Wisdom.
Commissioner Avila (m): And Supreme Master Ching Hai, our next question is by my colleague, Commissioner Horton.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,colleague!
Commissioner Horton (f): That was an amazing answer.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Oh,really?
Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you, Supreme Master.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: I'm glad that it helps.

Commissioner Horton (f): Yes. We can do better about respecting all faiths, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) and we will.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: It has to be mutual, you know,mutual. (Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.) Yes.

Commissioner Horton (f): That's right. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) Thank you. I have a question about health. We see that government leadership has recognized that the overwhelming decline of health and obesity stem from the diet of our youth. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) US First Lady Michelle Obama working with the United States Department of Agriculture introduced 『My Plate,』 which replaces the old food pyramid. In 『My Plate,』 the image of a plate is divided into basic food groups: (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) Fruit,vegetables, grains and protein, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Great.) which is a smaller circle, with a smaller circle on the side for dairy products. This seems to be a start. Can you comment on how government can have a greater leadership role in influencing people to eat healthier?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,thank you, Commissioner Horton. The government is in the best leadership role to help people eat healthier, which,to many doctors and experts, means eating vegan food. As we mentioned earlier, the government must work with the media to direct people toward good information sources. The US government's 『My Plate』 campaign that you mentioned,which was launched by First Lady Michelle Obama, is an improvement from the standard diet of the past because it emphasizes more plant-based eating than ever before. It is to be applauded and strengthened. I very much admire her. For example, it indicates that about three-fourths of your plate should be vegan, one-half fruits and vegetables,and another one-fourth grains. Commissioner Horton (f): Right.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: But the best,of course, would be that governments recommend the recipes for compassion as well as health- you know,moral, virtues,compassion, God-like quality. Health is just a by product of a compassionate lifestyle. Now,we don't always have to eat vegetables- it looks all green and yellow like that - no. Nowadays we have vegan sausage, it's delicious; vegan steaks,vegan pork, vegan chicken, vegan eggs,vegan whatever you want, and it's delicious, delicious,delicious. Yes. And everyone would enjoy it. If they have all that, they would never bother to go to meat again because it tastes even better than meat, (Commissioner Horton (f): That's true.) and you become healthy almost immediately. (Commissioner Horton (f): Yes.)

After one week, you feel a big difference: not heavy like before; you feel lighter, more easy to think, more easy to concentrate, less sleepy, more efficient at work. Now,in the animal-free organic vegan diet, we will find everything we need,100%. Hundred percent for health, for moral standard, for blessing, yes,for blessing, because that is the diet that goes with Heaven, Heaven's standard, so Heaven will bless us no end. Animals also will bless us to no end, and Mother Earth will bless us to no end, because we go with the flow. If we go with Heaven's standard, we will meet Heaven, and we will see Heaven at the end,and even now, in this world already.

To help people eat healthier, governments can simply provide facts since there is a lot of scientific research already available that highlights the hazards of meat and dairy consumption. The government must also be courageous enough to help reverse outdated myths about the meat and dairy industries, abolish all this wrong information and bad lobby. Yes. Thank you. Thank you.

Such as the one saying protein and calcium must be obtained from these animal-based sources. That is wrong. For example, there are studies clearly showing that consuming cow's milk, rather than reducing, would increase the risk of osteoporosis; and today's research informs us that plant-based foods provide the perfect amount of balanced protein for human needs,naturally, without the side effects, like cholesterol or sickness or bacteria stuff. Instead of subsidizing the meat and dairy industries, the government should pass along the real cost of producing meat, which would help people think twice about their purchases.

If the government subsidizes not the meat industry anymore, then the meat price will go sky high, and if the government subsidizes organic farming, then all the healthy fruit and vegetables will be,like,almost free for the people. So,they can compare the price; they buy what's healthy for them and it tastes good as well. If the environmental clean-up needed for all the pollution from livestock's waste is factored in as well, then the economic cost alone would be too high. All the tax money is also leaking there as well. Ultimately, Madam Horton,your government policies must promote and subsidize organic vegan farming and stop subsidies for animal industry,you see. Subsidize life and health, not disease and death.

Subsidize organic vegan diet means life, life and health. Organic farming, life and health. Subsidize life and health. And ideally,Madam, governments should ban all animal products, just like they ban tobacco and smoking,yes!The people rely on the government to lead them. That's why we call them leaders. Yes? And if the leaders spoke, people will listen. That's why you are leaders. Leaders must lead correctly and righteously. If you know what is right for people, you are the leaders, you lead. You tell them.

In Âu Lạc (Vietnam) or China,we even call the government or the government leaders 『parents of the people.』 As parents, you have the right to ban whatever not good for your children, just like at home, you ban violent video, sex video for your children. You have the right to do that,and people will thank you for it. So,why don't we strive to ban all harmful poisonous lethal products? Alcohol,cigarette,drugs, including meat and other animal products.

All the information about vegan benefits and animal products' harmful effects should be posted everywhere: on billboards, on government's internet website, make a billboard outside, advertisement-size, everywhere,on website, in all possible media and possible corners of the world, and obligatory posting in all markets, food stores etc.,etc. We have to do something, not just wishy-washy. As parents of the whole nation, the government is responsible for the health of their subjects,like parents to the children.

As an official yourself, Madam,I thank you, and commend you for always thinking of the best interests of the people. You are the real example of a mother of the nation. Michelle Obama is a real example of 『mother of the nation.』 We call them 『mother of the nation』 in Âu Lạc (Vietnam) or China, 『mẫu nghi thiên hạ,』 meaning the mother under Heaven. That great title is bestowed upon the Queen of a nation, or the First Lady of the nation. It's the same; she's the 『Queen』 of America right now. You see,the government, we call them parents of the citizens.

Now, you are taking people's best interests at heart, whether in making a new policy or maintaining an efficient budget, and I wish that the leaders in charge of food and health will likewise make righteous policies and use of the tax dollars wisely,for the benefit of the people. Now, in your work assisting the disempowered people, you have proved that with a little help, even the most helpless can become self-sufficient and develop themselves; and you,one person, make such a big difference for thousands of people. Imagine if the other leaders, the whole nation's leaders are doing something with the real people's interest at heart, and not care about their supporting… finance money for the next election or whatever. I am sorry to be so blunt.

Now,similarly, with just a little jumpstart from the government, people will be empowered to lead longer, healthier lifestyles, and morally fit lifestyles. I don't think any nation would dare to eye your country, if your whole country's people are healthy,virtuous, morally fit,and know what's right from wrong, thanks to the leaders of the government, the leading role of the government,you see? Leaders have to lead and have to lead righteously. In China or Vietnam, we call the king,you know, now president,yes? - we don't have many kings anymore, so the president is like king - we call them 『son of Heaven.』 『Tian zi,』 『thiên tử』- means son of Heaven, means you represent the Father in Heaven to take care of your subjects, to take care of God's children on Earth.

So,we call them son of Heaven,yes. They liken the king or the president of the country,as the Son of Heaven. So,the son of Heaven has to rule, excuse me,『must.』 I wouldn't say 『should』 or 『please,』 I say,『has to』 rule as the son of Heaven, as the best leader for the people,always with people's interest at heart, no matter what it costs - and it won't cost much: it won't cost as much as war; it won't cost as much as conflict within the countries. Yes.

And in the long run, it will save a lot of money because the health benefit will be no longer necessary, the people will be more educated, and behave and be grateful to the government. Then you don't need to have army even. People will just love you. But,you see, I also thank the US First Lady and government profoundly. for the veg diet promotion. They're doing their best. I mean, they are the first,even. The first government, first leaders of the nation ever do this openly, so actively. (Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.) Yes? And the US government is the first government to openly support and declare it. I salute their courage and wisdom and goodwill. Nevertheless, more should be done. Stronger measures should be implemented. Thank you.

Commissioner Horton (f): Thank you, Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. Even lawmakers, you know, should consider passing a vegan diet bill as soon as possible,to save lives and the planet, and save your financial crisis.
Commissioner Horton (f): That's right.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Be Veg, Go Green, Do Good. That's all I ask. Three things. Be Veg, Go Green, Do Good. Do I ask too much? No.
Commissioner Horton (f): I love you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I love you too, Commissioner Horton. And I ask that, for your own good even. Be Veg, Go Green, Do Good. That's all we have to do. And okay, if you become enlightened, good for you. If you don't,that's enough for Heaven already; Heaven will bless you forever.

Commissioner Horton (f): But we must do right for the planet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I don't mean you, I mean the planet people. Yes,we must,we must, Madam. We must. There's no other choice. There are only two ways to do things: the correct way and the incorrect way. There are only two ways. Simple. I am a simple person. Okay. Thank you. Any more questions?

Commissioner Avila (m): Yes. Our last question.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,I got all excited and passionate about these things.
Commissioner Avila (m): You just finished talking about the government. (Yes.) Now, I have this last question. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,sir.) You know, it's really simple. The Supreme Master, the organic diet is the answer! Our planet and fellow beings will be benefit so much from it if we all change right now to a more compassionate and loving diet, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: That's right,sir.) the plant-based vegan diet.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Right,sir.

Commissioner Avila (m): Supreme Master Ching Hai, the last question of the interview session: Religion shapes the hopes,dreams, morals and values of an estimated 85% of the world's population. How can we promote partnerships between religious groups by putting aside ideological differences and combining their voices to create the greatest influence on political leaders for them to address environmental issues? Supreme Master Ching Hai, can you help bring the leaders of all major religions together for this purpose, for the good of the planet?

Supreme Master Ching Hai: How am I going to do that?
Commissioner Avila (m): I've been trying to think for a long time and I just don't know how.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Good question,sir. I don't know,sir. You are very,very kind. I'm only passionate about the humans' lives and the value of our planet and the people, but I'm not sure if, I could do what you ask. I'm only doing what I can,yes? But this is a good question,sir. Yes, I try my best all the time, and I know you do your best as well,such as, through your work, you have organized an interfaith discussion last year,about the role that different religions can play to promote environmental stewardship. You see,you have more power than I do, secular power. I'm just a meditation teacher.

This care for the Earth and our fellow inhabitants can be expressed in terms of the Golden Rules that we mentioned earlier, the five principles of peace, universal principles, that are logical, harmonious principles for everybody. It doesn't have to be religious. Everyone,be they Buddhist, Muslim or even atheist, if they follow the five Golden Rules, universal peace principles, then life would be paradise on Earth.

Now,the first principle of Ahimsa,meaning non-violence, which is to avoid harm to any other beings, be they human and animal. So now,we try to remind everyone, regardless of their faith, to return to this timeless ideal. That is why I have called upon the world's spiritual and religious people to meditate and pray together for World Vegan,World Peace. If we have world vegan, then we will have world peace as well, as outcome. When we don't kill animals anymore,then we don't kill each other.

Thank you. Now I'm glad to see, that it was helping. You see,in our television, they call it Supreme Master Television, I have tried to arrange that all the religious scriptures' main points are aired together - Commissioner Avila (m): (Yes.) then you can see that, (Commissioner Avila (m): (Yes.) and that's the best I can do- so people can see that it's ridiculous to fight with each other. My religion, your religion say the same thing. Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. So,if anyone, after reading all this common ground of different religious orders still want to fight, in the name of Muslim, or in the name of Christian, I think they just want to benefit themselves. There's no excuse to do that anymore,yes? Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I also agree that religious and spiritual leaders should work together and let people know that it's time to change, that the planet is in urgent danger now, and we must be more loving in our actions, whatever religion we belong to; and be vegan to save it, whatever religion we belong to, or non-religion we belong to.

There are quite a few other leaders,like,His Holiness the Pope, (who) also tried to gather some different faiths, Muslim people to come to him,discussing things, and I'm glad that it has worked out in some areas,yes? But all religions belong to God. We all say we worship God. Then why fight,for God? This is ridiculous,really. We have to grow up, that's it. We have to grow up as adults and talk together, instead of using bullets. Everybody can do that.

What heroic action in that? Go out and blow people up in the market,everybody blown into pieces, including children and harmless women - what heroic action I can see in that? I don't see it. I'm sorry,I don't see any hero in these kinds of actions,for example. I don't see anybody heroic in pulling the trigger and terminating another person's life. He's not born to die like that. Whenever God wants him to die,he dies, but it's not by such a violent means like that. So,religious and spiritual leaders should recognize that this is not a request for them to compromise their ideology or to glorify the other faith,but it is because the principles of being loving and kind are really central to every religion. Don't you think?

Commissioner Avila (m): Oh yes. Yes. Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): Oh,Yes,yes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Then why do we act contrary? (Commissioner Horton (f): Yes.) Yes. There's another thing. You see,also, the religious leaders must personally change, Commissioner Avila (m): (Yes,I agree.) be our compassionate vegan role models and thereby demonstrate the most powerful way to love all and protect all on this planet. Thank you, Commissioner Avila.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: And thank you,all of you. Thank you,all of you,for your supportive applause. I feel I have friends sitting there. Thank you so much. Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you very much for all your answers to our questions.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: You're welcome,sir.

Commissioner Avila (m): Supreme Master Ching Hai, it has been an amazing experience to meet and converse with you. It's quite a privilege for Patricia,Sherry, and myself to have been given the opportunity to ask questions and exchange ideas with you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: The privilege is mine,sir; the honor is all mine. I'm so grateful that you honor me this way. Thank you so much. I have tried my best. Since I knew of your invitation, I have been thinking, day and night until now, to think of the answers that would really benefit you and your people. I'm not just trying to talk or convert you or people into my way of life or anything. I was sincerely,honestly, genuinely concerned that any word I have spoken, through the grace of Heaven, should benefit people, your people or any people who are listening. I was really deep into prayer and meditation, to try,so that the words will sincerely make an impact in the souls of the world's people and your country.
Commissioner Avila (m): Your words have made an impact, especially in our audience,today. I deeply appreciate your gracious acceptance to grant me an interview. Supreme Master, would you like to share a few remarks to close this interview session? It would be our honor.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,sir. I obey your command. Since actually today is about poetry,yes? Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: About the new poetry book, and then by the way we talk the heavens and Earth, which is also very important- more important than my book - but since we are here for the poetry book, 『The Love of Centuries,』 I would like to read you a new poem, if everybody has time and would still like to sit there to listen? Commissioner Avila (m): Yes. Thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Okay. This is the newest poem, and you are the first ones to hear it. This is about a love for a family member.

We have been together For over ten years, Including the times I took leave.
Your love has always been constant, Growing more with my joy and grief.
Ever since you came into my life I am the only, your central focus.
You'll join others' game for a few minutes But return often, next to my seat
Then throwing a loving glance to reassure me always that I am the only one you cherish.

You never discriminate nor miss a chance to protect the wronged and the meek,
As their defense you even risk Heaven, getting beaten and torn to stitches.
But whenever any harasses you, you always keep your cool,
and you let others have the best quarters, bed,sofa,or even your favorite corners, quietly sleep on a bare floor at any room's end.
Let them be next to me to their heart's content.

Shy to strangers,hiding when they approach, but accept all my disciples, their hugs and caressing,
whether they are from New York or Beijing, 『Egal』 if they are Christian, Buddhist or Muslim.
While your gentle blue eyes beaming out unconditional love,
your serene countenance mellow and soft, you gave all what they needed from you.
You love me 24/7, happiness or sorrow.
In your simple manner you show it and I always know it.

Though your strength could create a revolutionary crisis, but you always humbly listen and obey command.
Even if that means parting from me and your heart is turbulent, you just sadly bow your head and go wherever requested.
(Swear I could feel the tears in your heart!) Oh sweet boy, I love you forever.
How can I find another one like you ever?

When I walk into your room any time, you acted as if God has descended into your life.
You love coldness, but would bear the heat so that you can lie at my feet.
You know I like you to sleep on soft ground,
So you always go to your soft bed To show that you do.
Only if I am in the near, of course.
Then you would sneak back onto the terra keramic, because you are a shepherd and love cold floor.

Even when crippled with genetic disorder, you try so hard to crawl,
to clutch the corners of your soft bed to show me that you respect my wish and didn't forget.
And my wish is always your command, no matter how small or how grand.
You would wait patiently for a pat or a glance, never wanting to leave, even in a little cave or a tiny apartment.
Wherever I am, that's your happy dwelling palace.
On rough wet ground or gravel terrace, on comfy bed or squeaky sofa, all you care is just to be with me.

And what did I do to deserve this love eternity?
I dragged you all over the globe! Well,partly because I have to move on the job
and God knows why my work met with peculiar situations.
Hence,we don't always have peace and freedom.
Constant changes and forever anxious traveling that must have stressed you out,I bet.
Your immune system would go haywire,I guess.

And lately often if I'm home, then,『No,no,no, not now,I'm busy.』
Or,『Go,go,I'm tired.』 As I usually close myself in for the work at hand,
or if you stay around, I'm just buried in documents, endless global demands and tele-speech.
Or I would watch the news to see where in need, while you just lie there as if non-existent.

I haven't much time to dine with you as in those earlier years then.
And you are hushed into another room during the long hours that I meditate,
with nothing to do but to wait and hope that I would come out and give you a rub.
Then you would roll over merrily.
Even just for those few seconds, as if my hands were that of Heaven.

You are the epitome of endless patience, of vast devotion and boundless love.
You are so tender, but so strong and so tough. I thought you'd live forever.
But you can't. Back to Heaven you went Leaving me here with a void in my heart…

I cannot believe you have left. Just like that,you're gone.
I'd do anything to have you back again. I'd make up for you the time we lost.
Oh dearly beloved! But I can't!

As you were back from the hospital, a still warm but lifeless body's remain, why did I even fancy your faint heartbeat?
Rushing you to emergency clinic, just to confirm that my heart's broken again!!!
Though I'm happy that you are free from pain, enjoying your deserved glory and peace…

But please don't ever come back.
This world is not yet too kind.
Maybe we will have it all one day.
As for now,stay in Heaven, where you are safe.

Even if I am so desperate, even if you are so missing me, I just want you to be happy.
You deserve all the more than just this old, busy buddy.
Oh pure and angel friend, I love you forever!

Repeatedly I told you and again and again at your sick bed
And I meant every letter of that. And I'm genuinely happy, to know that you're free.
All the tears now are just for me, `cos I lost the treasure of the world. I lost a rare,precious jewel.

I'd like the whole world to stand still, mourning with me my loss,
but somehow no one seems to care or to be so conscious.
They're just all moving on.
Don't they know a beautiful being is gone?

If I must write down all your loving goodness, it would take forever.
Now that you are here no longer, what's the volume of words good for?
I should have treated you every day as if it's your last on Earth.
Should have given you more favorites and not stop while saying 『it's for your own good.』

You asked me once why I love my work so much, seems as if more than I love you.
I said to you, 『No,no,no,it's not so.
Pray with me that the world soon will have peace.

Then all, and humans and animals will be protected.
Then we will spend more time together.』
Well, that day is not yet near and you have already departed forever My unfulfilled promise
I'm ever so sorry,my love I'm ever so sorry

You are gone, The house seems to enlarge.
I miss your royal, welcome ritual I miss your affectionate tug I miss your silly smile I miss your pawing hug
As I am sitting here next to your empty rug
Thanking Heaven for your love once by my side Asking Heaven why dogs have to die.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: I dedicate this in memory of Hermit, my special dog who just passed away a few days ago, and for all the dog's lovers in the world. I know how they feel. I really miss my dog. I know he's good in Heaven but I still miss him.

Who loves me? Hermit loves Momma. Hermit loves me. Who has my love? Who… Ooh thank you,darling. Good boy you are. It's Hermit. It's Hermit,my love.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: That's my dog Hermit. He's very special. So intelligent. So obedient. So cooperative. So good,so good. And he is vegan. All my dogs are vegan. That's the day all the dog's friends fear most,is the day they're going,and they're going so soon. Oh,they have so beautiful videos. Oh,God.

SM (from VIDEO): You're good. You're good. Yes. You do what you like here. Just be good boy.

I am still grieving my dog. I am so sorry. Sorry, I cried so much already, and I can't believe I still cry tonight. I wish you all the best and enjoy your pets' time. God bless you. God bless all animal lovers. Thank you so much.

Commissioner Avila (m): That was a very touching and compassionate poem that you have,『Hermit.』 It shows how much you love your dog. It was very touching and compassionate about God's creature,Hermit.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Well,thank you,sir. Thank you for your sympathy. I am sure every dog lover feels the same. It's very painful to lose a family member like that, and he's so special. And I'm sure every dog lover would tell me that their dogs are very special and the most intelligent, the most loving, the most affectionate, and I know that very well. I feel the same. I know he's in Heaven and he's better there than here,but I still miss him so much. And one more thing, when I was rushing him to the clinic and I just talked to him - he was already gone- but then he came back to answer me. Can you believe this? He was gone, but then I asked him, 『But it's better that you stay in Heaven,right? You don't come back here. You don't,you don't, you don't just come back here anymore,』 and he came back to answer me. He said,『No.』 He would prefer to stay here with me than in Heaven. That's what he said.

The last thing he said to me. He'd already gone and just came back to answer me like that. And… I just cannot forget my dog. No matter how many dogs I have and no matter how many times they die, it's just like the first dog and the first time. Thank you for all your sympathy. I know you feel the same about your dogs, especially if the dog has gone to Heaven. Thank you so much. God bless you all. God bless our planet. God bless all the animals.

Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you. That was a very touching poem, 『Hermit.』 My nephew was deployed in.... He's a Marine and he brought back his dog from Serbia,(Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.) and that shows how much he loved that dog in Serbia. (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Oh,yes.) It was being abused, and the Marines let him bring the dog back to the United States, (Supreme Master Ching Hai: Oh,yes.) because he loves dogs.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Oh,I heard that. I heard these services. Yes. And one of it is yours?Your family member's?
Commissioner Avila (m): Yes,my nephew. And the dog did not understand English.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes.
Commissioner Avila (m): He only understands Serbian. So we had to teach him how to learn English.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Oh,he will understand English,sir. I adopted all kinds of dogs - some are Hungarian - but they understood absolutely everything, Commissioner Avila (m): Yes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: English and all. (Yes.)  Yes, and very,very obedient, very well-behaved.
Commissioner Avila (m): Oh,yes,yes.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes. Understand English. I'm surprised. Oh,really. Foreign dogs,you know, not 『English』 dogs, but understood everything as if from inside,yes.
Commissioner Avila (m): When he used to hear a car or a backfire, he used to get scared because he came from the war. So we all have some type of effect in war.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: Yes,sir,even dogs, yes,yes. One of my adopted dogs, he's very afraid of guns, gun shout,and thunder. It's similar to him. He will cower into a corner, he will not eat, he will not drink, he will not go out that day. Whenever he hears a gun- sometimes people go hunting nearby- he hears it and then he just cowers under the bed or some corner,and shaking, or when thunder- it's similar to gun- he would not eat, he will not drink. He will not even go out. He will not even follow me. Well, he goes to my room, of course,and, he feels safer there; but if I tell him to go out, he will not. He's so scared. Not just humans are afraid of,gun sounds, but animals also.

Commissioner Avila (m): Yes. Thank you very much for sharing us your poem, 『Hermit.』
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Thank you,sir.

Commissioner Avila (m): Once again,let's thank Supreme Master Ching Hai for doing what she does so well.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: Sir,and all the loving people there, please excuse me, I have more meditation hours to catch up.

Commissioner Avila (m): Yes. Okay,thank you.
Supreme Master Ching Hai: I haven't done my quota enough today.
Commissioner Avila (m): Okay, thank you very much.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: It's for World Peace, for World Peace. Thank you.(Avila (m): Yes.) Please forgive me. I take leave. (Commissioner Avila (m): Okay,thank you.) Thank you very much.

Commissioner Avila (m): Supreme Master Ching Hai, she shared her wisdom and unconditional love from the heart. Let's give her a really heartfelt round of applause again. She explains to us in straightforward words what has been done,and what needs to be done to save our planet, to ensure peace. Everything Supreme Master Ching Hai says comes down to what she is all about - that is love: love for yourself; love for every aspect of our environment; love for all beings; love for each other. The way I see it, you don't have to pray for peace when love flows from your heart.

With love,it would be no problem to switch to the vegan diet, which is necessary to cool the planet, to protect our natural resources,to ensure our personal health, and to have enough to feed the hungry. If we would simply express and demonstrate love, if we will stop breeding animals for human consumption, how many lives would not end up in slaughter, how many people will be fed,how healthy and long-living will people be, how clean would our water,rivers, and oceans be, how fresh would the air be,for there would be enough trees doing their job.

World Vegan, World Peace - it's got to be our Conscious Choice. If people stop eating the flesh of another being today,that is a good way to start a responsible, compassionate, and healthy lifestyle. Therefore,the future of the planet is in our hands. We are the protectors. We are the stewards. We are the example of our children. They can pick up where we left off,effectively, with a determination to keep the planet clean, fresh,flourishing in peace and in love; and hearing Supreme Master's words I feel a warm connection and a common bond between your love of nature and human love. Didn't you like that?

Commissioner Avila (m): At this moment, I would like to thank the performers for their wonderful performance - we have more to come in the second part of our program tonight. Once again,let's thank the person with the biggest heart tonight: Supreme Master Ching Hai. (Yes.)

Thank you for your time, thank you for sharing your wisdom, thank you for sharing your love, and I hope that my wife Sherry, Commissioner Horton, and I may meet you one day in person, Supreme Master Ching Hai. Thank you.
MC introduces Entertainment segment Sarah-Mai (f): Thank you, Commissioner Avila, Commissioner Horton, and Mrs. Avila. We applaud your initiative to contact Supreme Master Ching Hai, not only to express your appreciation of her as a humanitarian who genuinely cares about all beings, the environment,and the future of the planet, but also for her courageous actions. The perceptive questions posed and the insightful answers from Supreme Master Ching Hai resonated within all of us.

At this moment we would like to thank Vincent Photar, President of Vafcom; Donna L. Montgomery, co-founder of The International Peacehood Society; Jean Hendricks, Executive Director of the HHN School of Performing Arts; Sherri Frank, Director of MAPS; Vanessa Muhammad, co-founder at Metropolitan Area Group for Igniting Civilization (MAGIC); and James Huang, President and Editor for the Chinese American News. Now,we'll begin the entertainment segment of the evening,followed by an amazing dinner, which will,of course, be 100% vegan.

Fred (m): To begin the entertainment portion of our program is Vegan Elite,Alex Arndt. In September 2010, Alex Arndt and The Sonic Universe album “Sonic Paradigm” debuted. The album included wonderful songs such as, “Love Beyond the Room,” “The Inside of a Rainbow,” “Ignite the Light,” and “Love Unconditionally.” In an interview on Supreme Master Television, Alex observed that he sees Supreme Master Ching Hai as a light, a source of light for the entire world. Singing “Love Unconditionally,” let's welcome back to the stage Alex Arndt and Yvonne Smith as backup vocals.

Alex Arndt (m): Thank you. What's up,Chicago? We're going to turn it up a little bit. But thank you for being here and please enjoy this song.

“Love Unconditionally”Performed by Alex Arndt & Yvonne Smith (Vegans)Written by Alex Arndt & The Sonic Universe

To all of life, I'm writing you a letter
I wanna give you all the love you've given me
With arms stretched out we lift each other higher
When giving hands are open they receive
May every hungry mouth be fed
Every child a safe warm bed
All animals treated right
All lonely shadows brought to light.

It's oh so easy to Love unconditionally Being grateful
For what we have and Letting the whole world see
It's so easy baby It's so easy baby It's so easy to Love Unconditionally.

To all of life, I'm writing you this letter
I wanna give you all the love you've given me
May the sun dawn in our lives Peaceful reflections in our eyes
Every leader speaking truth
Imploring faith in all the youth

Walk a mile in someone else's shoes
Keep love alive even when you lose
Embrace the gifts from Mother
Earth Feel the magic of the Universe.

It's oh so easy to Love unconditionally Being grateful
For what we have and Letting the whole world see
It's so easy baby. It's so easy baby It's so easy to Love Unconditionally.

But what does it mean?
It means accepting with an open heart
There's no expectations, no rules or regulations.
It's oh so easy to Love unconditionally Being grateful
For what we have and Letting the whole world see
It's so easy baby It's so easy baby It's so easy to Love Unconditionally. Isn't it?

To all of life, I'm writing you this letter
I wanna give you all the love you've given me.

Alex Arndt (m): Thank you. Yvonne Smith (f): Thank you.

Sarah-Mai (f): An outstanding performance. Ladies and gentlemen, Alex Arndt and Yvonne Smith - please give them another round of applause. An award-winning singer-songwriter from Rio Verde,Goias,Brazil, Sanoeth Schulze, also a vegan,will perform the next song which she has adapted to music based on Supreme Master Ching Hai's poem, “When You Said You Love Me.”

Fred (m): This same poem also inspired the Oscar and Emmy Award-winning composer Bill Conti who set it to music a year ago and it was performed on the 4th anniversary of Supreme Master Television. This evening, Ms. Sanoeth Sanoeth Schulze will perform a Portuguese rendition of “When You Said You Love Me.” Let's now welcome the lovely and talented Ms. Sanoeth Schulze.

Sarah-Mai (f): Before Sanoeth goes on, what did you think of our performance so far?
Fred (m): I think everything is lovely. In fact,there's so many things that I can say.
Sarah-Mai (f): I guess we'll get to that later.
Fred (m): Okay.
Sarah-Mai (f): They're ready to go on. Thank you.

When you said you love me All sorrows go away
On the cloud I soar high Like a swan on the mountain I fly
When you said you love me The sorrows go away
On the cloud I soar high Like a swan on the mountain I fly - I fly- I fly

And you hold my hands tight My heart sings through the night
All the stars shine And the moon dances within me.
Can we keep This magic moment! Can we keep This magic moment!
Can we go Where time stands still Where love is forever new
Where our feelings will never end?
And love is a beautiful song For the whole world to sing along

When you said you love me All sorrows go away
On the cloud I soar high Like a swan on the mountain I fly - I fly
When you said you love me Never let me be lonely
Together we will share The dream that never fades away Never...

When you said you love me All sorrows go away
On the cloud I soar high Like a swan on the mountain I fly - I fly
When you said you love me When you said you love me.

Fred (m): Wonderful! Wonderful! Wonderful! Ms. Sanoeth Schulze! Let's give her another round of applause.

Sarah-Mai (f): An award-winning Celtic singer from California with a nearly five-octave range, Moira Greyland is equally at home singing a lead in an opera, playing the harp for a wedding reception, or giving a concert of a variety of stunning vocal selections accompanied on the pedal harp.

Fred (m): Tonight, accompanied on the piano by vegan composer Robin Chiang, Moira will perform “London,” a song that had been adapted into music based upon a poem of Supreme Master Ching Hai by Robin Chiang. Please welcome with a grand applause.

London is a big city It's easier to feel lonely
Especially if you are in love With a special someone that you cannot be.
I told myself just forget him But how? Like climbing mountains! Inscribed in all corners of my heart
Are thousands of years of deep affection! If there is no such thing as reincarnation How come I feel so bounded?

To whom could I tell my troubles? The world keeps silent.
The moon shines The stars twinkle The breeze sends eternal caresses Côte d'Azur is ever blue.
The soft voice The tender lips - inviting - The sparkling jewel of his eyes
The striking regal look That send me to cloud nine And make my heart race Sky high!

I do believe Together we'll make a real difference In our lives and in the world, I do believe
Still I long for the day When our hearts will beat together
And the whole world will rejoice In our reunion forever.
O pray Heavenly Father Do grant it be.

Sarah-Mai (f): Once again, let's give our applause to Ms. Moira Greyland and Robin Chiang.

“A Word with the Buddha Stone-Statue” is a compelling poem written by Supreme Master Ching Hai in her latest poetry anthology, “The Love of Centuries.” Expressing a passionate commentary about the conditions of the time and with an affinity to Buddha, the devoted one pours words from the heart to Buddha,the beloved ascended Master, hoping for a reply, pleading for a resolve, wondering if there will be one.

Fred (m): Here to perform “A Word with the Buddha Stone-Statue” are our Association members from Taichung, Formosa (Taiwan). Yes,and of course, they're all vegan. Let's thank our Association members from Taichung. What a marvelous performance! Gayung Shin is a young, talented vegan singer from South Korea whose music instructors include Korean soprano Mi-kyeong Kim and tenor Antonio from Belgium.

Sarah-Mai (f): This evening, she will be singing one of the poems from “The Love of Centuries” poetry anthology that has been set to music by Excellent Soo, a vegan musician and composer from South Korea,entitled “Precious Stars!” Let us welcome Ms. Gayung Shin.

Stars,stars! How beautiful you are! How precious
Beyond all words Adorning this samsara!
I love to visit you And sing for you
You're so shining You're so enchanting
Why did God make you Soo... beautiful!
From far away I feel your love
Spreading from the sky To this planet of mine.

Stars,stars! How beautiful you are!
I feel your love To this planet of mine. I feel your love
Yet you remain Forever brightened
Forever loving Forever unchanged Forever giving!
We the humans Frail and humble But love and cherish you
Forever we try To embrace you From far away I feel your love
Spreading from the sky To this planet of mine.

Stars,stars! How beautiful you are! I feel your love
To this planet of mine I feel your love I feel your love.

Sarah-Mai (f): A lovely performance. Thank you, Ms. Gayung Shin. Let's give her a round of applause.

Fred (m): Among our distinguished guests today is Dick Gregory. An African American comedian,actor,author, recording artist, Dick Gregory remains one of the most influential civil rights activists,philosophers, anti-drug crusaders, vegans,and advocates of healthy living,of all time. Since 1961 he still uses his performance skills to convey his messages on civil rights.

Sarah-Mai (f): In 1973,Mr. Gregory developed an interest in vegetarianism and became a nutritional consultant, and since the mid 1980s, he has been a prominent figure in the health food industry for his advocacy of a raw fruit and vegetable diet, and by going on fasts, sometimes lasting upwards of 50 days. Mr. Gregory has been credited for introducing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s son to vegetarianism who then went on to influence his mother, Coretta Scott King, to become a vegan. In 1992,Mr. Gregory initiated a program called “Campaign for Human Dignity” to fight crime in St. Louis neighborhoods.

Fred (m): Let's listen to some of his published books “No More Lies,” “From the Back of the Bus,” “The Hood Health Handbook: A Practical Guide to Health and Wellness in the Urban Community,” “Dick Gregory's Natural Diet for Folks Who Eat: Cookin' With Mother Nature!”

Sarah-Mai (f): Mr. Gregory's many talents include his gift of laughter. Through standup comedy, he brings joy and humor to everyday life. Former President Clinton once commented, “I love Dick Gregory. He is one of the funniest people on the planet.” We are honored to have Mr. Dick Gregory join us this evening.

Fred (m): Ladies and gentlemen, let's give it up for Mr. Dick Gregory!

Dick Gregory (m): Thank you. Let me first say we thank and praise God that we've all made it here safely today. I pray to God that your return and my return will be equally as safe. First let me just say, I've entertained all over the world, I've enjoyed it but tonight was something special. Audience (all): Yes.
 
Dick Gregory (m): Tonight was something special. That's because you're special. You know,we sit and we think about,just as ordinary people, how do you change a planet that has been controlled by money folks and business folks, and I am sitting here - I have been here two days now - and I don't know if you are too close to it to see it,but you bring something special in this room and maybe to this city. I lived here for 25 years, I have never known two days in August to be as nice and as cool as these two days, so I have to “blame it” on you. You know, you think about it.

When you think about love and pleasantness, and I am sitting here and I am thinking about Africa; the biggest news going now is the starvation in Africa. I mean,think about the role you play. We're not talking about arming armies. We're not talking about fighting floods. We are talking about, after all,of the craziness that has happened, you're the group that's going to be left here to feed the folks. Anybody can kill folks with guns and military and tanks; but with love, when you leave here, when this is over and those of you that are looking all over the world, remember you do count. One person with courage is the majority. Think about that. And so I say to Supreme Master, thank you.

When I think about Jesus, when he was on the planet, everything we read that he said is hearsay; that don't mean it's not true, but the technology wasn't there than that's here now. Jesus Christ never traveled within 300 miles from where he was born, and tonight what you do here has gone all over the planet, interpreted in many languages.

We hear people talk about, “Oh the pen is mightier than the sword.” Come on,that's obsolete. What that mean was you can take the pen and write,but with that you can only reach the reader. This here the mic is mightier than the pen because with the mic you reach the reader and the non-reader; that's where we are today. And when you think about the decent people, they just haven't been given marching orders - that's your job. When you think about how many people... When I walked in and I had been knowing it for years but to see that sign outside that talked about one vegan meal will save 3,000 gallons of water.

Think about that. One steak: in order to produce a pound of beef, you have to feed 16 pounds of grain. So we have it in our midst, we don't have to invent nothing; it's already here. It's your job to re-change to reorganize; take the priorities, and then things will change fast and fast and fast. Oh,people don't understand you, they think you're crazy: “What do you mean you are not going to eat no meat?” “Oh what do you mean by that?”

I remember when I used to drink a fifth of scotch every day, smoke four packs of cigarettes every day, my top weight went up to 365 pounds,they called me “brother Greg.” When I got into veganism and don't want to eat anything that has to be killed, they called me a “nut.” “Health nut,” you know? Somewhere… And please understand the importance of water. I didn't realize until recently in America, more people die every summer from dehydration than all the people die in America from floods, from hurricanes, from tornados and winter storms. Something as simple as water.

And so I say to you, please understand what tonight means to a whole lot of people that are kind and nice, but nobody ever told them “If you give up that steak, if you give up this over here,if you give up that cheese, things will change automatically.” I remember someone asked me,they said, “You've been fasting for 40 years. What does your doctor think?” I said,“My doctor's been dead 30 years.”

My next birthday, I'll be 80 years old. Next birthday,my wife will be 75. We don't have a prescription between the two of us. So not only when you change into the vegan, not only do you help free up food for other people, My God,think what you do for yourself. Somebody asked me, “You'll be 80 your next birthday? You look so well. How do you know when you getting old?” You know, you're getting old when somebody compliments them beautiful shoes you're wearing, and you're barefooted.

Somewhere,and when you change that diet, and you find that real love locked down in here, fear goes out the window. All of them little things that we think are just part of nature - fear,poverty - these things are conditioned. The one thing my mother told me when I was growing up, “You're not poor, you're just busted.” “Poor” is a mental condition. Busted is just a temporary situation. And so you have a job to go out and change these situations, in the head,in the mind, somewhere. And you young folks, you all have a big job to do because a lot of old folks, they'll be telling you all stuff that don't even make sense.

When I was a little boy, we didn't have television - it wasn't invented. You imagine how stupid we were sitting around a radio, listening to a tap dancer on the radio. I ran into some old folks the other day,said, “I don't know what's wrong with these young folks today. When we were their age, we didn't have to lock no doors” - you didn't have nothing!

I mean, when I was a little boy, we were so poor and hungry and raggedy, the best day we had in our house was Halloween. That's the day you could wear your  natural clothes,and everybody thought you were dressed for the occasion. “Whoa, look at Richard! Got on shoes look just like feet!” Now I listen to people talking about poverty and let me tell you, we were so poor when I was a little bitty boy, the only time a rat was in our house, he was taking a shortcut to get across the street where there was some food.

Somewhere,when you think about and fear it... you know, we look at TV now, and so many people look at TV, and identify with crises, they identify with violence, and identify with… I got a cousin in Kansas City; he even watched so many TV movies about violence,he got 27 locks on the door, and ain't got nothing in the house. I said,“Boy,if somebody broke in here, they'd leave something.”

So,somewhere, when you stop,thinking- stop and think - we're going through all kinds of transitions now. All the banks are in trouble, the stocks are in trouble. I know people I've been talking to this week, that don't even know what the stock market is, but they're scared. See, fear will do that to you. I've been married 53 years. 53 years, and when I first got married,my wife couldn't handle debt. Fear- couldn't handle debt. “Oh,when we're going to pay Sears and Roebuck?” “You act like we have some money.” We don't have no money and when I get some money, Sears and Roebuck is not my first priority.

They knew I wasn't going to pay for this stuff when I got it. I walked in the house two weeks later, she's scared to death. She said,“Here it is, here it is, Sears and Roebuck, Sears and Roebuck says the final notice.” I looked at it and read it, “final notice.” “Ha,thank God we won't be hearing from them no more.” You've got to stop letting people manipulate you into fear. It's a game.

Three weeks ago, coming back from Europe, and a guy asked me, “Mister Gregory,people are losing their homes and all the foreclosures. How do you feel about that?” I said,“Feel? They took my house when times was good. Are you serious? They repossessed my Rolls Royce while me and my wife were in it, and she was so naïve, she thought they were giving us an oil change.”

So fear,(when) you leave here, understand that we have the power to change this planet, and don't let nobody manipulate you into believing that this planet's going to be destroyed. Only the universal God force that put this planet together will ever be able to destroy it. It don't need no nuclear bombs, it don't need nothing. Let me tell you something, if everybody left this planet today, within 24 hours, the rivers,the streams, the oceans would be clean. Don't underestimate the fact that somebody can scare you, that a bunch of evil old men and a handful of women can change this whole thing with negativity.

No,all they can do is remove us. We can die from impure air. We can die, but once we're gone, you're just like your clothes,as long as you're wearing them, you can't clean them. Once you take it off, the cleansing starts. So,let me tell you who you are. If you don't have a washing machine in your house, go to a Laundromat and look at that washing machine, and then you know who you are.

What cleans your clothes, what cleans that laundry, is a little thing in there called an agitator. And when you leave here, know that's what you will have to be, an agitator. And if you ever took the agitator out and put your laundry in there, all you're going to end up with is some wet,dirty clothes. It is that agitator,and we can be that agitator, with love,not with fear, not with anger.

You can't look at people starving and be angry about it, because that means you have already realized that you don't have the power to change it. We have the power to change it. And so,in our meditation, as we sit through the meditation, think about not the hungry people starving, but see them getting up with smiles on their faces, and understand that there's a love out here that can turn this whole piece around. That's our job,but you can't do it with fear. It's love,love,love, and being lovable. And so as I sit here and say to Supreme Master, thank you, thank you for being here.

First,we've always thought this was a men's job. We always thought, well,the men will come and save it. No,no,no, no,no,no,no. Human beings have no sex,have no race, when love sits in. You know what has to be done, we have the power to do it, and when I sit here and listen to that conversation on the couch... As long as I've lived here in Chicago,I didn't know the importance it played when it comes to water. I didn't know that at all.

And so somewhere, I can't swim. You mean,80 years old and can't swim? I'm sitting there listening to what they doing for water. I might go jump in the water tonight. And so again, let me just say to you, we are changing this. And to sit here and look at the technology, and this,what we heard tonight and what's going around the world, this will never be seen on all the billions of dollars that the corporations have,this.

But it went around the world, and we didn't have to go and say, “Can we get some money to put this together?” We did it. That's the power of love. That's the power that you have; and with the leadership of the Supreme Master who can bring groups together. And I hope that we can get copies of this, and I hope my brother and sister and your wife, I hope you can look and see what the world heard you say, just ordinary people.

You didn't come up here with an army outside, you come out here with you and your wife, and you sit, and once we understand how smart women are… you hear me? So somewhere I just want to say how thankful I am not just to be here, but to listen, to hear the whole conversation about water. You hear people talk about water shortages, and water shortages, but you all put a face on it tonight; you put a face on it, not only the say the planet is being messed up, but here is what we can do about it.

And so for that I thank you, for those of you who's here and spent your time here, I thank you and your message is getting through. I was here 4th of July, when everybody was cooking ribs and eating barbecue,nobody wanted to hear nothing about no “save the planet.” And I got this old crazy cousin, he don't like to do nothing but drink cheap wine and stay high. I woke him up and gave him an apple. He said,“Is it organic?” I love you. God bless.

Fred (m): Thank you,Mr. Gregory. Mr. Gregory, I'm wired up here and they keep telling me I don't smile enough but you did that. You brought out the smiles and we really thank you.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: There was a person named Sima Cheng Zhen. He studied the Tao with a hermit. After practicing for a while, Cheng Zhen went to travel around the country, and he visited many Taoist masters as well.

VOICE: Join us on Supreme Master Television, Friday,September 9, for part 1 of Supreme Master Ching Hai's lecture titled “The Story of Taoist Sima Cheng Zhen” on Words of Wisdom.

Supreme Master Ching Hai: When our brain understands clearly why we practice spiritually, why we have these questions and what the answers are, it will let us meditate peacefully. That's why Cheng Zhen needed to write some books for his disciples.

VOICE: Join us on Supreme Master Television, Saturday,September 10, for part 2 of Supreme Master Ching Hai's lecture titled “The Story of Taoist Sima Cheng Zhen” on Words of Wisdom.

Tune in to Supreme Master Television today for Supreme Master Ching Hai's lecture titled “The Story of Taoist Sima Cheng Zhen” on Words of Wisdom.
Fred (m): SIPA BALED CLONE was formed in Kyoto, Japan,in 1997. Led by lead vocalist, vegan Kanji Iwatani, the band embraced music from abroad and was one of the most anticipated acts to come out of Kansai (the greater Osaka region including Kyoto & Kobe). In 2000,they participated in the Art Promotion Project sponsored by the city of Osaka and released 3 albums. In 2004,the band then moved to Tokyo where they continue to develop their music.

Sarah-Mai (f): As most of the band members are vegans, their self-produced live music event titled 『Think Again』 is also a forum for expressing their beliefs in vegetarianism and ecological issues. Tonight they will be performing 『Think Again,』 vegan Kanji Iwatani's original piece,and 『When You Said You Loved Me,』 based on Supreme Master Ching Hai's poem. Please welcome them with your applause… SIPA BALED CLONE!

And if you don't know a thing, What could you say to me?
You've got to learn to grow, to know is to flow.
You are so curious, the need to know, What's going on.
Give a little bit, shine the light on me and you will see.
No need to complicate, no religion.
The time is right, Take action.
Just to believe in you and I. It's alright.

We have to think again, it's true,it's true,it's true.
We have to think again, it's true,it's true,it's true.
The world is full of lies, you don't know what to believe.
So don't give up, we're here to prevail, we won't fail.
We have to think again, it's true,it's true,it's true.
We have to think again, it's true,it's true, it's true.
We have to think again, it's true,it's true,it's true.
We have to think again, it's true,it's true,it's true.
We have to think again, it's true,it's true,it's true.
We have to think again, it's true,it's true,it's true.
Father,mother, brother,sister,and me. It's just true,it's true.
We have to think again to be happy. It's true.

Kanji Iwatani (m): Thank you. Okay. Thank you so much. The next song is called 『When You Said You Love Me.』

When you said you love me All sorrows go away
On the cloud I soar high Like a swan on the mountain I fly - I fly - I fly
And you hold my hands tight My heart sings through the night
All the stars shine brightly And the moon dances within me.

Can we keep  This magic moment!
Can we keep This magic moment!
Can we go Where time stands still
Where love is forever new
Where our feelings will never end?

And love is a beautiful song
For the world to sing along And our love is forever young!
Never say you'll leave me
Never let me be lonely

Together we will share
The dream that never fades away Never return.
When you said you love me
All sorrows you go away. Never return.

When you said you love me All sorrows go away
When you said you love me All sorrows go away.
Never return. Never return.

When you said you love me All sorrows go away
When you said you love me All sorrows go away.
When you said you love me All sorrows go away.

Thank you very much.

Fred (m): Thank you, Kanji Iwatani and SIPA BALED CLONE for your unique and very original music and instrumentation! Arigato! (Thank you.)

Sarah-Mai (f): In the poem 『My Home,』 Supreme Master Ching Hai describes a home nestled in nature's splendor. As the words speak to our soul,we become aware of a mystical place, greater than James Hilton's Shangri-La. We begin to feel the realness of a home not made of brick and mortar,walls and rooms. We realize home is where we find the real family, beyond humans, and experience intimate contact with these family members - animals, hillsides,flowers,wind, and forests…

Fred (m): This poem has been set to music by vegan composer Robin Chiang and will be sung with angelic sounds by the graceful and lovely Ms. Moira Greyland. Once again,put your hands together for Ms. Moira Greyland. 『My Home』 Poem written by Supreme Master Ching Hai in her youth Poetry collection 『The Love of Centuries』 Music by Robin Chiang (Vegan) Vocals by Moira

Greyland My cozy little home perches on the hillside
Soothing breeze and gentle clouds draped amidst the sky
Fragrant flowers and grass so green perfume the air
Pine trees hum enchantingly to the dance of moon goddesses fair.
Butterflies frolic in the scented garden Flowers adorning tender branches
Pink,yellow,crimson, violet,peach O,so aromatic,
all the way to the Heavens!all the way to the Heavens!

Radiantly the moon glows on the green peak
Borne on the air a song of peace
Golden melody rises with the wind Into the clear sky, so soothing.

The forest path, intimate as an embrace
Enfolding your dainty steps, lifting dreamy days
In the distance the ocean chimes in poetry
Singing with me on this eve of fantasy.

In spring,wild flowers blanket the mountain
In summer,cicadas croon to a sweet reverie
In autumn, canary-colored leaves embroider the window
In winter, flames sing cheerfully in the warm fire.

All four seasons, flowers bloom in my heart
Everywhere clouds approach in greeting
Loving friends make the heart grow fonder
Animals and birds mingle like close acquaintances!

Bring out the moon shaped lute
Sound a delightful musical chord
Spirit soars with the notes of love
Joyful heart follows the music's rhythm.

Sarah-Mai (f): Once again thank you, Moira,for sharing your beautiful voice with us. It is with great pleasure that we welcome Alex Arndt, with Yvonne Smith as backup vocals,to sing 『God Loves You So!』 - a musical adaptation by Alex Arndt from a lullaby that was spontaneously sung by Supreme Master Ching Hai for her animal companions as well as her disciples. It was recorded on the spot to remind us to always remember God. Let us welcome Alex Arndt and Yvonne Smith back to the stage!

Alex Arndt (m): Hallo,hallo. What's going on, everybody? Are you guys feeling good tonight? This is an amazing event and I just want to say one thing about this next song. I mean I'm so honored to be here and so honored to be asked to be composing songs for Supreme Master Ching Hai's poetry and what a connection. And I have not met you yet in person- right? - but when I do I'm just going to give you such a big hug. This is such a great way to connect through music and poetry,and it's just my pleasure. And this song goes out to all you guys. This song goes out to the entire world, this song goes out to the universe, 『God Loves you So!』

『God Loves You So!』 Poem by Supreme Master Ching Hai (Vegan) Poetry collection 『The Love of Centuries』 Music & vocals by Alex Arndt & Yvonne Smith (Vegans)

Good night,beauty, good night,glory  You are divine, remember well! 
Have a sweet dream, wonderful friends  Beauty of mine, love of Heaven!
God loves you so, I love you more and more  You are divine, you are God's love.

We are best friends, life after life come Never apart,we are one. 
`Cause I love you, and you love me  `Cause God loves you, eternally.
We're from Heaven, don't go forgettin' One day we will all go back Home 
Where we belong, where no more sorrow Where no more sorrow, only beauty only beauty

God loves you so, I love you more and more You are divine, you are God's love. 
Good night,dear friends, love of Heaven  Glory of life, wonder of mine!
You are so loved, you are so dear  Heaven shields you And I love you, you know it's true 
Forevermore... Sweetheart of mine, you are divine
God loves you so, I love you more and more
You are divine, you are God's love.  Good night,dear friends.

Fred (m): That was a very touching and graceful performance. Let's give Alex Arndt and Yvonne Smith another round of applause!

Our final performance tonight will be, 『Evergreen,Everblue,』 which was written by a famous children's folk singer,Raffi. Millions know Raffi Cavoukian for his gold and platinum-selling recordings,among which is the beloved melody and lyrics of the classic song,『Baby Beluga.』 Raffi has a longstanding heartfelt commitment to honor his young fans and change the way we view music for young children. Founded on his own record label, Troubadour, he composed award-winning songs, especially popular for students and teachers.

Sarah-Mai (f): Advocating for ecology initiatives and writing and performing ecology-themed music throughout the 90s,Raffi is an incredible activist. His 1990 ecology album, 『Evergreen,Everblue,』 has earned praise from the United Nations and is a valued resource in environmental education. Here to sing the title song of Raffi's ecology album, 『Evergreen,Everblue,』 is Chicago Sings for Planet Earth, with soloist singer David Hendrix of Kentucky State University, under the direction of Ms. Josephine Poelinitz, also a vegan, and accompanied by the group G-III. Let's give them a round of applause.

『Evergreen,Everblue』 Words & music by Raffi Cavoukian Performed by Chicago Sings for Planet Earth Soloist David Hendrix Music director Josephine Poelinitz (Vegan)

Amazon is calling, help this planet Earth With voices from the jungle, help this planet Earth
Hear the tree that's falling, help this planet Earth Rain forests are crying, help this planet Earth to stay...
Evergreen,everblue As it was in the beginning, We've got to see it through
Evergreen,everblue At this point in time, It's up to me, and it's up to you

Ocean's wave is rumbling, help this planet Earth With voices from the seaway, help this planet
Earth Waters for the drinking come on and, help this planet Earth Beluga whales are singing to, help this planet Earth to stay...
Evergreen,everblue As it was in the beginning, We've got to see it through
Evergreen,everblue At this point in time, It's up to me, and it's up to you

Right now is when we're needed, We can all do something,
The young and old working together to, help this planet Earth
'Cause the more we get together the more we help this planet Earth.

So come all united nations, help this planet Earth Children of one mother won't you help this planet
Earth With love for one another, help this planet
Earth For our sons' and daughters' future,help this planet Earth to stay...

Evergreen,everblue As it was in the beginning, We've got to see it through
Evergreen,everblue At this point in time, It's up to me it's up to you
Come on and help this planet Earth stay…

Evergreen and everblue, help this planet
Earth Cause it's up to me and it's up to you,help this planet Earth stay…
Evergreen and everblue, help this planet
Earth 'Cause it's up to me and it's up to you,help this planet Earth stay…
Evergreen and everblue, help this planet Earth

Oh,come on and, help this planet
Earth Oh,come on and, help this planet Earth
Help this planet, help this planet Earth
Oh,help this planet Earth , help this planet Earth

Help this planet, help this planet Earth
Oh,come on and help this planet, help this planet
Earth Oh,come on and help this planet, help this planet
Earth Oh,come on and help this planet Earth
Help this planet Oh yeah… Planet Earth.

Fred (m): What a beautiful song and what a fabulous performance by this group, Chicago Sings for Planet Earth!Hey guys,keep singing! Let's give them another round of applause. We've had an incredible, dazzling,and inspiring evening,which is now coming to a close. Let us welcome back Commissioner Frank Avila with his closing remarks.

Commissioner Avila (m): On behalf of my wife, Sherry Avila, Commissioner Patricia Horton,and myself, we are very grateful to be granted the privilege of speaking with Supreme Master Ching Hai. We are exceedingly blessed for this experience of confirming on the main issues of our time: the future of our planet,love,peace, and the environment. That is what 『World Vegan, World Peace』 is about.

And now that we are informed,it becomes 『A Conscious Choice.』 I know I am even more motivated than ever before. World Vegan, World Peace, we can do it! I mean all of us,the audience here as well as our worldwide viewers watching us tonight on Supreme Master Television. I want to thank all the performers for lovingly sharing their gifts of song and dance. It's time for us to go home.

We are going to share a vegan dinner first, but after that,we are all going to go home. That reminds me of Supreme Masters Ching Hai's poem,『My Home.』 Think of this Earth as 『My Home.』 Think about the home you are going to right now - the home décor was to your liking. You ensure that anyone who comes to your home feels welcome and comfortable. Guess what? If we take care of our environment, we'll be considerate to ourselves and others, we will have a comfortable planet home.

Mrs. Sherry Avila (f): First of all, I'd like to thank you, Commissioner Frank Avila for your sincere words of concern about the environment, and I'd also like to say that I don't know about you,but I feel so full of love that my love is all the way to the back of the stage, all the way to the back and out the door and up the ceiling and all around in here.

This is our planet home. I was deeply, deeply inspired by the wonderful experience I had tonight. I think we all kind of forget and we go down, but today,wow! I am up. I'm really up. We will continue in our quest to inspire love, peace and compassion. Take care of your heart. Take care of what is in it. Check for the love, the peace,the compassion for all beings, and for the environment. Let's all say this together, the world's mission: Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet! Altogether now: Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet!One more time: Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save the Planet! Yahoo!

Commissioner Avila (m): Thank you very much, and God bless you!

Sarah-Mai (f): We'd like to thank the University of Chicago for graciously hosting us here this week. We'd also like to thank Commissioner Avila, Sherry Avila,and Commissioner Patricia Horton. Thank you so much. And,we'd like to sincerely thank all of you for spending your evening with us. We'd like to invite you to have a fabulous vegan dinner. If you'd exit out the side doors of the Assembly Hall, everything is right outside. And you can eat in here with us. Thank you again.

Fred (m): I want to say,also, I feel like Sherry Avila who said,the love,that you can feel in the room. I feel so much love in the room, I feel so much love from Supreme Master Ching Hai, and our whole group together, so thank everybody and goodnight. (f): Thank you. Thank you.

Interviewee(f1): I felt a sense of love and unity and caring about all living things and making us all be one the way God wants us to be. I had no idea of the medical impact that being vegan can do to our body. So it's been medically informative,financially informative, and just all the way around informative. I really enjoyed it.

Interviewee(f2): I really loved when she (Supreme Master Ching Hai) talked about, basically like stuff that the government can actually do, the subsidies and stuff like that. I thought that was really, really interesting. So hopefully something will come more of that.

Yvonne Smith (Vegan)Singer-songwriter,TV host (『The Traveling Vegetarian』)USAInterviewee(f4): I was just telling the person that I was singing with earlier, Alex (Arndt), how blessed we are that we get to do this. We get to share our gifts with the world, and we get to promote veganism and love. And we are just very blessed.

Interviewee(m2): It's wonderful that she (Supreme Master Ching Hai) is devoting her life to showing people that being good is good.

Writer/Conference attendee (Vegan)Dad,Paul (m): She (Supreme Master Ching Hai) seems so generous as well as talented, and inspirational,like a modern day Buddha.

Musician/Conference attendee (Vegan)Interviewee(f5): Yes,such a big and open heart that she (Supreme Master Ching Ha) has and,like my dad said, she is very inspiring. And she shared the story about her dog that she just lost,and it's touching and very sad. We have a dog,too,and it really choked us up.

(m): I think being vegan is good, so I will try it as soon as possible.

Sanoeth Schulz (Vegan)Award-winning singer-songwriterGoias,Brazil (In Portuguese) (f): We represent Brazil; we brought all our love for this event to be the best possible. I am also happy to have sung a song, a poem of Master,and my heart is full of love, full of joy to be here.

Dick Gregory (Vegan)Comedian,actor,author,recording artistInfluential civil rights activist USAMr. Gregory: She's (Supreme Master Ching Hai) validated by the progress that she sees. She's validated by taking human beings, not changing them, but taking them back to their original,( (m): Yes.) space. (SMTV (m): Yes.) I can trust her because I know her kindness. Peace,she's already created that to go back and take into me what I had. And so all she's doing is different because what she uplifts stays in you.

Gayung Shin (Vegan)Singer,South Korea (in Korean)Interviewee(f7): If you're a vegan, it means you are full of love,compassion and loving kindness towards animals and other beings,so your mind becomes clearer.

(In Japanese)(Sipa Balt Clone:) Supreme Master's poem is full of love and peace, so we have noticed a natural synergy effect. We have been trying to publicize veganism/vegetarianism in Japan through our band's activities. We share the same important message: Love,World Peace, and World Vegan with her. Interviewee,Japanese(m5): Thank you, Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Sherry Avila (Vegan)Docent at Loyola University Museum of Art & Irish American Heritage CenterAdministrative Board Member of the Edison Park United Methodist ChurchUSA I just felt deeply,deeply moved by her (Supreme Master Ching Hai's) loss of her dog Hermit. I think because she has this ability to communicate in other ways perhaps, besides verbally,and to have communicated with the animals,that her loss of Hermit was deeper, than any other loss would normally be.

The Honorable Frank Avila (Vegan)Commissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater hicagoUSACommissioner Avila (m): I love what she said tonight in regards to that, 『Well why can we not ban in killing animals since we ban smoking, tobacco? The government says well don't,you've got to put on a label that tobacco's no good. Though why can't we do the same thing on other things?』 Our government could play a big role in how to stay healthy in America. Also,she mentioned on subsidies. Well,why don't we provide subsidies to organic farmers? (Sherry Avila (f): Yes,great idea.) Very simple ideas that we should implement.

The Honorable Patricia HortonCommissioner of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater hicagoUSAPatricia Horton(f): Master Ching Hai, I just can't begin to tell you just how phenomenal you are. The words that you just generate from your heart and how it comes out and it just becomes life, and not just mine, but in everybody's heart. I mean,just the spirit. And it just seems like it just came out and flows throughout the whole audience, and everyone felt you right then and there. It seems like we were all in one accord. So the only thing I can say to you is that I love you,I love you. And thank you for just being you. I really appreciate it. And I'm going to take this message to everyone that I know. And if it just changes one life,one life like it has changed mine, we are moving toward saving our planet, saving our environment and towards veganism. Thank you. I love you.

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