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An Evening of Poetry and Music – Traces of Previous Lives and Love Songs for the Homeland, Part 23 of a Multi-part Series

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Ladies and gentlemen, the next performance is also the last one of the evening. Ladies and gentlemen, I am sure you have heard of these famous comedians: Vân Sơn and Hoài Linh. Whenever these two guys step on stage, they create a lot of bustling laughter to make you feel good when going home.

“First of all, I would like to ask your permission, to represent all the brother and sister artists, to thank the poet Supreme Master Ching Hai who gave Her gifts to all of us. Secondly, I would like to thank the audience who are patiently sitting here to watch a very fascinating but also very long program. And I think without Master’s presence here to give all of us the strength, then we would not be able to stay this long to watch the program, would we? (My God, today Vân Sơn called me ‘Master’ already?)

Ladies and gentlemen, you have enjoyed the singing voice, which is beyond time and space, of singer Thái Thanh. Today, I would like to introduce to you the singing voice of a male singer whose name is Thái Giám (Eunuch)! When I introduce you to the audience, you have to come out right away. What took you so long? (I was comforting a friend. My God, yesterday, we went to a coffee shop and we had only one dollar left. He went right into ‘Li cơ’ and he bought a Super Lotto. Then he went into some temple and took me with him so that we could pray. He prayed that if the ‘Above’ let him win the lotto, then he would shave his head and be vegetarian for a month.) Did he win then? (He won five dollars, but it cost him eight dollars to have his head shaved. He lost 3 dollars. How ridiculous! He just prayed to win, so he did win!)”

"We Have to Represent Love" Gathering with Supreme Master Ching Hai (vegan) after the program "An Evening of Poetry and Music – Traces of Previous Lives and Love Songs for the Homeland" Long Beach, California, USA, Dec. 30, 1996

Want to come over? You want to come over? No, you! All of you! Oh, never mind. Personal warmth. And love.

So, take care of your treasure at home. Do not think that after you’re enlightened, you don’t need anybody. Even if you don’t need, you must care. Because they need you. And that’s why they’re with you. The reason why we are together with someone is because there is affinity; there is a necessity that we join together somehow to learn to love each other. If you couldn’t love a human being, maybe you just take care of a dog[-person]. And let him teach you how to love – unconditional love. The dog[-person] would not care whether you’re a vegan or you’re eating hotdogs. He loves you all the same. Similarly, we must have such a devotion to our family members. After one week of separation, you’ll probably feel more closeness to them and more appreciation. That should be so. And that should continue every day of your life. Make every day special.

Don’t wait for your relatives or friends to treat you nicely – you treat them nicely. Why not? The problem with us is that we always wait for somebody else to treat us nicely, and then we’re disappointed, and then we cry. We should be the ones [who] treat people nicely, and then the result is obvious. You believe in karma? The cause and the consequence. Perhaps in the beginning of your journey to your spiritual home, you probably feel that they did not understand. But you must understand them. If you think you are enlightened, you have better knowledge now, and you have discovered more of your wisdom inside, you must be the one who understands your family members. So then no more complaining to me.

They’re all Buddhas. If they choose to stay here longer in this world to do their other work and their other training and their enjoyment, let them be. They don’t all have to. They do what they want. Everyone has freedom. Same as you have freedom to choose to walk this way, to walk in truth, beauty and in virtues, they have the freedom to choose to walk the other way. You must understand this.

And no more quarrels, no more “you must follow me” kind of attitude. Nobody must follow anybody! We all have to follow ourselves. Because we are the Buddha. We are God’s children. They follow themselves. That’s the course of their life, the map that they have charted for themselves before they descended into this world. You have no right to interfere in people’s ways of thinking and choice of lifestyle. And because of the different choice of lifestyle, we should not make a kind of a dispute between each other. We can always have different opinions, but you can love each other. No problem. You can love bird-people, you can love dog-people, you can love cat-, elephant-people, all kinds of beings. They are different from you. Are they not? Yes. They don’t eat the same things as you.

In China, there is a story about a king who loved a bird[-person] so much that he trapped him, and then put him in a golden cage studded with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, etc., etc. And every day he fed him all kinds of delicacies that he loves. But as you know, bird-people only eat some kinds of grain, drink pure spring water, and sing and fly in all freedom with the vast sky above him and the limitless universe around him. So, if the king loved the bird[-person], he should have set him free. Let him be what he is, the bird[-person]. Let him choose to eat what he wanted to eat as a bird[-person]. Let him fly whenever he feels like [it]. Let him sleep when night falls. If he lives with nature, he’s happy.

Similarly, with us, everything that’s good for you might not be good for someone else. Everything that’s good for you because you like it, because it benefits you. But other people might not want to try. So that is no reason for you, for us, to be distanced from them. You must always show your love; it doesn’t matter how people treat us. It’s how we treat people that is important. Right? (Yes, Master.)

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