That day I came here to challenge You. I shot swords of light at You. And You melted them all. Master’s Buddha light filled the entire hall. My swords turned soft and fell. Turned soft? (Yes.) Like a noodle. Not a sword. The Buddha light dissolved the swords of light. Their light merged together. So it became harmless. (Yes.) That’s good!
Master: After the Song dynasty it was the Liang dynasty, right? Is that right? (Pardon?) (Yuan dynasty.)
Q(f3): Song, and then Yuan.
Master: Yuan dynasty? It is! Huh? (Pardon?) No, no. We’re talking about something else. It has nothing to do with you. (OK.)
Q(f3): Five dynasties and ten kingdoms.
Q(f1): Oh. What you’re discussing does not concern me.
Master: Hmm. I’m talking about something else with her. (Oh. OK.)
Master: Then what about my other lives? (Other lives?) The one before being a monk. (The one before…)
Master: If you can’t see that far in the past, check out a more recent one. Anything?
Q(f1): The more recent one… The more recent one is now!
Master: A little more recent. (A little more recent?) Not more recent. From this time to that...
Q(f1): Oh I see, there’s no more.
Master: Then before that? (Before that?) Did you think that I was only a monk for one lifetime in China?
Q(f1): No. You had affinity with China many times.
Master: What kind of affinity? (Complicated affinities.)
Q(f3): The relationship is really… might still be thinking.
Master: Tell me using your magic, not by guessing! (OK.) It’s not fiction.
Q(f1): Many affinities. You were once a king. And also…
Master: Which king? (An emperor.)
Master: Which one? (Yes?) Which one?
Q(f1): I saw in Your body that You were a king in one lifetime. I saw You dressed in a dragon robe. Only kings could wear that.
Q(f3): She saw You dressed in a dragon robe. So You were a king.
Master: Yes. But which emperor was that? (Which emperor…) Which one? (Which emperor…)
Master: Which dynasty?
Q(f1): Which dynasty… Let me check it out at home, OK?
Master: You seem to have no magic at all. I could say that too.
Q(f1): I have to go home and meditate more on the Sound. Then I’ll have more power to look into Your previous lives.
Master: You don’t need to have a very high level to see my previous lives. (Really?) You can see this if you go to the Buddha City. No need to meditate more on the Light and Sound. No big deal.
Master: Is there anyone who knows about my previous lives in China? Raise your hand.
Q(f1): We have many fellow initiates with magical power.
Master: Yes, you can see everything. (Yes, Master, I’d like to escape, too, but I can’t.)
Master: Does anyone go to such a place to see? Come up! Come here. If you make mistakes, I’ll cut off your hair. Force you to be a nun. Anything else you want to say? Please wait a moment. She wants to say something.
Q(f1): Master, I have a request. I want to be a nun.
Master: Don’t take advantage of this opportunity! You haven’t shown us much magic. And now you want to be a nun with nothing to offer. Go home to do some research. (After that…) It has to be correct. (Then I can be a nun?)
Master: If you are correct, I’ll accept you as a nun. (OK.) It’s because you do have a little talent.
Q(f1): Thank You, Master.
Master: It’s all right.
Master: Now tell me! Can’t hear you. I can’t hear. Pass her another “magical tool.” It’s called a “long broad tongue,” which is very loud.
Q(f4): Sorry, it's too loud. Master, Master, were You the Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng?
Master: I don’t understand.
Q(f3): She said, were You Hui Neng, the sixth Zen Patriarch?
Master: Why do you ask me?
Q(f4): During Your lecture at Shih Jian Hall, I saw You appear as Master Hui Neng. You looked very old.
Master: How could you tell it was Hui Neng? Many monks were old.
Q(f4): He was short. He was just over 160 cm tall.
Master: Hmm… I wouldn’t know. Did he look like me? (His hair was white.)
Q(f3): With grey hair.
Master: When people get old, their hair turns white. You cannot tell by that. (Thank You.)
Master: OK. I won’t tell you the answer. You saw the image and had to ask me! If I say yes, people would say I am bragging. What to do? I cannot prove it. The only similarity is that we both cannot write Chinese, we can only speak it. There’s no other similarity. Do I look like him?
Q(f4): You’ve already changed into another physical body. Of course, it looks different.
Master: Looks different? (Yes.)
Master: OK, never mind. I was a monk in the Song Dynasty. But why was I also a monk in the Liang Dynasty? You are making me out to be a monk life after life. It’s too boring! (I saw You appear like that.)
Master: Maybe I was... I’ll look into it. (OK, thank You.)
Master: You’re welcome. I also suspected that a little. Who else? It seems that I have deep affinities with the Chinese. I’ve been in China many times. One time I was an emperor. It was not fun being an emperor. It was most pathetic. However, some emperors are very enlightened. They were wise emperors. They were loyal to the country and took good care of the people. They were selfless and sacrificed for their people. They truly cared. Some Chinese emperors were truly like that. Yes or no? (Yes.) Like the Qianlong Emperor of the Qing Dynasty. He was good, wasn’t he? I know little about others, only him. He had a dignified presence and was both strong and intellectual. He was elegant, kind and loving. He did nothing wrong. He did everything right. Other emperors had both merits and shortcomings. Is that right? But he seemed to have only merits. He had just one weakness when it came to beautiful women. But that’s like every man, isn’t it? Nevertheless, his feelings were pure. He just liked to look at them and chat with them. He didn’t do anything to them, did he? It was nothing. He was just making friends and offering them help. Because he was attracted to their beauty, he was able to learn about their grievances. And he helped them by the way. He left after helping them. It was OK. It was good.
Master: So, any more you want to tell me? The “challenger.” The Taoist. Wait. The “Taoist” who came to challenge me that day, became the “challenger.” And what happened? Gave up?
Q(f1): That day I came here to challenge You. I shot swords of light at You. And You melted them all.
Q(f3): They wanted to have a magic duel with Master. They kept projecting light (Yes.) which Master all caught. (I shot light at You like a sword.) They projected swords of light.
Master: Swords of light? (Yes.) Ah! If I had known that, I would not have dared to show up that day. I have aging eyesight and saw nothing. Otherwise, I would have been trembling in fear. Then what happened?
Q(f1): Master’s Buddha light filled the entire hall. My swords turned soft and fell.
Master: Turned soft? (Yes.) Like a noodle. Not a sword.
Q(f1): The Buddha light dissolved the swords of light.
Master: Their light merged together. So it became harmless. (Yes.) That’s good!
Q(f1): Yes. My magic swords could not hurt You. No magic, Taoist or otherwise, works on You.
Master: Doesn’t work? (No.) Really? (Yes.) That’s great! (Yes.) Wonderful! You Taoists are so mean. I’ve never offended you. Why did you shoot swords at me? Really! I didn’t even know you. And now you ask to become one of our nuns. How scary! To bring an enemy into my house. I have to think about it now. I have to reconsider your request. It’s so scary.
Q(f1): I am now Your disciple. I can leave my past behind and learn the Quan Yin Method with Master. The Quan Yin Method is the ultimate Method. It is the only way to reach Buddhahood. If I really want to strengthen my Taoist power, then I have to practice the Quan Yin Method.
Q(f3): If one wants to master the Taoist power one has learned before, then one has to practice the Quan Yin Method.
Master: Of course! (The original Taoists also practiced this Method. That’s how they developed these abilities.) Yes. (If I want to reach their level, if I want to go higher, I also have to practice the same method of enlightenment.)
Master: Wait a moment.
Q(f3): She said that if you want to learn and reach the same level as the Zen Patriarch, you have to be like them, to learn the same method that’ll make you enlightened.
Master: Yes. (Yes.) The original Taoists also practiced the Quan Yin Method. You know? (Yes.) They were also Enlightened Masters. They would put aspirants through some tests before accepting them as disciples.
There were different levels of apprenticeship. You know? Beginners would learn the magic of mopping the floor, cleaning the toilet, and carrying water. Later, they learned faster spells like summoning wind and rain. It was useful. It was needed at that time. In the old times, they lived in very simple houses. At big spiritual gatherings, people had no place to stay. During the assembly, sorcery was used to dispel the clouds and postpone the rain. But it sapped their energy, leaving them physically exhausted. It was not easy. They couldn’t do it at will. Besides, they were beginners, and many were not vegan and not strict with their diets. They did as they pleased! Those were not real disciples, just followers. So they just did what they wanted. That was why they were exhausted after using magical power. They did not have much endurance like us vegans. And they were easily disturbed by demons.
Demons respect vegans, who have more love. Fairies, demons, ghosts and deities, all respect people with morals. They dare not hurt us. If they do, it’s a grave sin for them and nobody can save them. So, they dare not do that. They rarely do. For example, in our society, thieves and robbers only rob the ordinary citizens. They dare not rob the presidential office or from high officials. Because if they were caught, it would be the end for them. Do you know what I mean? It’s like that. OK, continue.
Q(f1): There’s one more thing. On the day I challenged You, the swords of light I shot were very short because my level was very low at that time. The sword was about 3 inches (7.6 cm) long. The length of the sword depends on your power.
Master: I don’t understand!
Q(f3): She said as for the power, the more powerful you are, the longer the sword of light is. (That’s right.) The light can be an inch, or two or three inches long.
Master: What about her?
Q(f3): She hasn’t spoken yet.
Master: How long was your sword? (The one I shot at Master was about this long.) This long? Wow! It was very powerful! (Yes. I saw a photo of You on that day, which was…)
Master: Not bad! You have to practice for a long time before you can manifest a sword this long. You must have practiced since childhood. (Yes, from childhood.)
Master: And you were not vegetarian, no? (No.)
Master: It’s really not easy! Not bad! Most people can only manifest a needle, like the pin on your ID card. Understand?
Q(f3): A sewing needle.
Master: Only a sewing needle. That’s not bad! Thankfully, it didn’t hurt me. It was long enough to go through my head. And possibly hit another person behind me.
Q(f1): This sword can also penetrate spiritual bodies.
Q(f3): She said even spiritual bodies can be penetrated. Master: Yes, yes.
Q(f1): Yes. The other day, I saw a photo of You holding the Sword of Wisdom. The power it emitted was immense.
Master: Which photo?
Q(f3): There’s a picture of Master holding a Sword of Wisdom. (The one with the Sword of Wisdom. The Wisdom Sword of Manjushri Bodhisattva.)
Master: What sword? The knife I used to cut the Christmas cake? (Yes.) That was the Sword of Wisdom? It was for cutting the cake. How powerful could it be?
Q(f1): It had tremendous light. Then I realized, if I wanted my swords of light…
Master: It’s just a good kitchen knife. Maybe it was the reflection of light. (No.) What did it have to do with me?
Q(f1): It was Your Buddha light…
Master: You can just find the… (The kitchen knife.) The kitchen knife shop.
Q(f1): No, it’s not that. It shone with the brilliant Buddha light from within You. The power came from You.
Master: I was just cutting the cake. No big deal.
Q(f1): That’s what I saw.
Master: Did you see clearly? I was just cutting cake to give to people. It was not magic, not like you shooting swords. Nothing like that.
Q(f1): Yes. Everything You do is magical. It’s just that sometimes Master cannot hide it. So it reveals itself.
Master: I cannot hide it? (No.) Then what can I do?
Q(f1): I saw Your Sword of Wisdom. It was very bright. So, I thought to myself that I had to practice the Quan Yin Method if I wanted to have a sword that emits bright light. That’s the only way.
Q(f3): She saw that the light from Master’s Sword of Wisdom is very strong. She thought that if she herself wanted to have that kind of light, she had to practice the Quan Yin Method. There’s no other way.
Master: Really? (Yes.) You are a wise person!
Q(f1): It’s due to Your blessings.
Master: And then? (Then...) You could not shoot the sword. Then what happened?
Q(f1): I did shoot it, but then it was dissolved by Your light.
Master: Dissolved? (Yes.) Then what did you do?
Q(f1): I was helpless and didn’t know what to do.
Master: So you just sat there.
Q(f1): Originally, I came here to expose You. I saw that…
Q(f3): Originally she wanted to check if Master has a flaw. She wanted to reveal Master’s flaw.
Master: Oh! You wanted to see me fall and have everyone laugh about it. But I did not fall.
Q(f1): You were too powerful!
Master: I can’t help it. I am sorry for that. (No, no.) I didn’t do it on purpose. (I know.)
Master: If you had told me earlier, I would have pretended to fall. It would have been fun. You’re a bad actor! We could have put on a show. You could not act alone. If you had asked me, “Today I am going to shoot You. Please fall down for a moment.” I’d have done it for you. No big deal.
Q(f1): That was before my initiation. I was trying to convert the sister back to I-Kuan Tao. It was me who introduced her to I-Kuan Tao. But before I came to Hsihu, the celestial being or deity in Taoism told me, “You can practice the Quan Yin Method.”
Master: He was so candid? (Yes. He said that I could practice the Quan Yin Method. So before I came, before I received initiation, I asked Master Ji Gong.)
Q(f3): She asked Master Ji Gong before coming to You.
Master: What did he say? (He did not say anything. The next day, he called my name. I had practiced I-Kuan Tao for three years, working very hard. Then Master Ji Gong called my name three times. “A-cai, A-cai….”)
Master: So her name is A-cai. (Yes, my name is A-cai. I knelt down and kowtowed three times. Then he said, “You are ready for Buddhahood.” When I heard that, I cried.)
Q(f3): She kowtowed to Master Ji Gong three times. Then Master Ji Gong said to her, “You are ready for Buddhahood.” Then she cried.
Master: Ah! (Yes.) Why did Master Ji Gong cry? You are going to be a Buddha, so why did he cry?
Q(f3): It’s she who cried.
Master: Oh, you cried? (Yes, I cried.)
Master: Ah! This means that you could practice the Quan Yin Method? (Yes. Only the Quan Yin Method can make us Buddhas.)
Master: How did you know? (Because…)
Master: Did you ask him whether or not you could practice the Quan Yin Method?
Q(f1): I asked him whether I could get initiation from You, and he kept silent.
Master: That’s right. That was his answer.
Q(f1): Yes, but I didn’t understand until he told me to go ahead and be a Buddha. Then I cried.