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Words of Wisdom / Supreme Master Ching Hai's Lectures

Sorcery Contest, Part 9 of 12, Aug. 11, 1991

Language:English,Mandarin Chinese(中文)
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OK, so I can promise you liberation in one lifetime, immediate enlightenment, and liberation of your five generations. That is no problem, because I know what I am doing. After initiation you are liberated from life and death, but you still have to practice. Because if your mind doesn’t allow you to become a Buddha, it will be hard.

Thank you. Do I look like that? Do I look like your past emperor? (Yes.) Good, good! Otherwise, you wouldn’t recognize me. Yes, yes. Somebody is about to prostrate, do you see? You recognize me now? Remember our past connection now? Yes, yes! What was I going to say just now? That set of clothes got all wrinkled. They look like they’ve just been washed but not ironed. Embarrassing. I feel embarrassed wearing it. It is not that I want to show off again. This was to be saved for next week. Otherwise, I would have no more tricks to show next week.

Just now we were talking about martial arts up there. Our martial arts master told me that he used to practice the kind of kung fu that shows outer strength, for example, chopping a brick into three pieces, just like cutting a banana. But later he stopped doing that, because he has gone beyond that. Now he just stands there and appears to be soft and pliant. But if anyone touches him, that person would be sent flying into the wall. So this is the “soft” way. He doesn’t use the “hard” way. To practice until it becomes effortless is very hard, isn’t it? You have to practice very diligently. He practiced for 13 hours every day. Are you willing to practice for 13 hours every day to become a Buddha? Sometimes we do practice like that when we have a 7-day retreat.

So now you know what I meant when I told you to be more diligent during the 7-day retreat. We have to do it once in a while. Otherwise, when can we ever be diligent? Two and a half hours every day is nothing. One hour of dozing off. Then another half hour snoring. And another one hour checking the time, and that is about it. Actually, when we learn the inner kung fu of Quan Yin, we can succeed as long as we have a sincere heart. It doesn’t need that much effort or strength. Because sometimes we are unable to make much effort. We are too busy and tired from work, and we can’t concentrate when we get home. The children, husband, wife, friends, phone calls, and many other things make it difficult for our mind to calm down. So when we decide to seek liberation and learn the Quan Yin Method, we are not alone.

Just like the brother who practiced martial arts. He doesn’t need to practice anymore. He has reached the level of effortlessness. No one can touch him. If they do, they would go flying over there. Or if he touches us accidentally, we would fall over. It’s the same with us. His kung fu does not rely on force. So it is different. Our Quan Yin Method is similar.

So the best kung fu is like this. The best kung fu is effortless. Like sometimes in the movies, we see an expert swordsman, or one who wields his stick in the most powerful and spectacular way. But a few years later, he doesn’t need to use a sword or a stick anymore. That means he no longer needs to do it at the coarse level. It is the same with our spiritual practice. When we first came, maybe those past Masters would teach us some magic or kung fu. Later we should give it up, if we are sincere about seeking the Truth. If the Master knew that we had a sincere longing for liberation, he would teach us something else.

Our Quan Yin Method is the same. We do not use force to practice the Quan Yin Method. We only need the key to this Method. Without a teacher, we wouldn’t know this. We would not achieve anything, even if we practiced for ten thousand years. It is the same with martial arts. It is no use just punching and kicking like what you see others do. It is not the same. If the teacher doesn’t tell you the secrets, you will not succeed. Just like the brother whose softness triumphs over hardness. The one that makes people fall without lifting a finger. Or like his uncle, who is now over 80 years old. It’s too late for us to learn now. He just makes a move and people go flying and get thrown on the wall.

It is the same with the Quan Yin Method. The best method is no method. I didn’t say anything when I passed on the Dharma to you, did I? We did it in silence, and it didn’t matter if I was there or not. The disciples went to mainland China to give initiation, and they also saw me there. They went to America to give initiation and saw me there too. I don’t need to be present. Somebody thought that I used something like… hypnotism. No! To hypnotize someone, you have to be there. How can I be here and hypnotize people in mainland China? They don’t even know me. I don’t use the mind power.

But for martial arts and magic, you still use the mind. We have to surpass that, “To do without doing.” Like you said, when I was cutting the cake, the knife emitted light, or my hands emitted light. That was not done deliberately. It was not like I’d say, “Now I’ll emit light.” I was just cutting the cake for people to eat. If light was emitted, I could not help it. It was not with effort.

Sometimes when I play a musical instrument casually, it sounds nice, and then the disciples also play in a “casual” way. The day before yesterday, we had a campfire party. They said it was Father’s Day, and they regard me as their Father. The monks regard me as their Father, because I’m their Master “Father.” But they also celebrate Mother’s Day. Because I am a woman, they can also celebrate. They celebrate Father’s Day for “Shi Fu.” Anything can be a reason for celebration. They celebrate all the time, and consume a lot of my candies and biscuits. OK, never mind.

So Father’s Day is on August 8, which sounds like papa in Mandarin. The Chinese are good at playing with words, so August 8 is Papa’s Day. Wonderful! Well, at the campfire, a resident disciple came up to play casually. Ah! We could not bear it after a while. I said, “OK, you may stop now.” I knew they were impatient, saying, “How come it’s still not finished?” It felt like a long time when he played casually.

There is a difference between his casual playing and mine. Just like our fellow initiate who is a kung fu master. If anyone picks on him, he would give a casual pat to ask him to leave. And the person probably would land where the guard stands, at least that far. So can you do it casually like this? There’s a difference between his casual way and yours. For example, I give initiation casually like this. Can you do it casually? It is different. There is a difference. First we have to learn it well before we can do it casually. Once we know how to drive, we can drive as casually as we like. But before we learn it, we may drive into the lake, even with great effort, not to talk about driving casually. We may fall into hell or go to the Western Paradise.

Sometimes there’s a difference between kung fu experts. When we see someone break bricks like cutting a banana or bend an iron bar as if it is a noodle or baguette, we think he is great. But some people do not need to do it like this. He doesn’t have to move. But people fall when they touch him. They just fall over after touching him. He has done nothing. This kind of kung fu is better. Or for example, you say that Master has a lot of magical power to cure your illness and rescue you from disaster. Whatever you wish for comes true. But I don’t do it with the mind. It is done casually. You receive whatever you want, because I know it immediately. I know it even before you ask. It is very fast, faster than light. So that kind of magical power is the power of non-doing. Similarly, that kind of kung fu is the kung fu of non-doing. Kung fu without effort. It is of a little higher level.

Anything that is at a high level is effortless, very gentle and very ordinary. Or like that fellow initiate who wanted to shoot me with swords of light, that she had practiced her whole life. I didn’t see anything, nor did I resist her. I didn’t use anything. I was just sitting there eating cake, giving a lecture, or cutting the cake, whatever. Understand what I mean? It’s completely effortless. The Quan Yin Method is the highest way for us to practice.

If you practice diligently for a while, you will be like me for sure. I guarantee. If you are sincere, and have strong faith, you will achieve the same. You cannot be different from the teacher, or at most only differ a little, yes? What are you laughing at? What are you guys laughing at? (A little different from Master.) A little different. Yes, a small difference is better than a big difference. So where can you learn to be just a little different from the teacher? For example, an English teacher speaks English fluently. Even though our English is not as good, we are still able to speak it. Just not as fluently or perfect as him. But people understand when we speak. When the teacher is not here, we are the best.

Frankly, it is not only monks who have the power. I could close my eyes and pick anyone, regardless of gender and age, to give initiation. It would be exactly the same. Same as if I were there. This means, if I pick someone, it doesn’t matter who he is, I don’t care. Anyone can stand up and volunteer. I don’t mean to pick but you all say, “Master selects the best.” It’s not true. It could be anyone among you. Even the lousiest one, who has no inner Heavenly Light and no inner Heavenly Sound. Even if he meditates less than two and a half hours a day, and doesn’t keep the precepts strictly, I don’t care. Just stand up and volunteer. For example, if I let you go and give initiation, at that time, I would transmit the power to you. I just transmit it casually, and you won’t see it. And I don’t need to make any effort, thinking that I’m going to transmit something. No, no. This is done inside. It is very easy. And then you can go out and give initiation to others, in exactly the same way. Exactly the same as if I were present. It means that you are able to carry the Master power, to accommodate the same power as Master. It means you are on the same level as Master, more or less. Otherwise, how can you carry it? For instance, if you are not as strong as me, how can you carry 20 kg? How can a child carry 20 kg? Being able to carry 20 kg means you are as strong as me. So don’t sit there and chant every day, “When will I become a Buddha? When will I?” You already are one. So this is even better than martial arts. Because in martial arts you have to practice very well to be almost the same as the teacher. But this, you don’t need to practice. You don’t rely on yourself, or your own mundane concepts and abilities. No, no!

If I pick you out casually like this, you will have the same power, but your personality is still not good. If you haven’t kept the precepts strictly, been vegan for long, and been meditating enough, sometimes you cannot bear yourself. When you go out, people also look down upon you. People cannot believe that this is a Buddha, or Master’s big disciple. They cannot believe it, nor can you bear it. Although we are egoless, you have not yet reached that egoless level. So even if I give you all my wealth, you cannot use it. This is like a pampered son who’s been given all the power and property by his parents, but he doesn’t know how to manage it, and he messes up. His subordinates and workers do not listen to or obey him. And then he squanders the family fortune. You know what I mean?

Similarly, any one of the resident disciples here can give initiation, including the very young ones. Why did I ask them to go up on the stage and give a speech? So they can speak to you to test their eloquence. Because the power is not the only thing that makes a perfect Master. That’s the difference between the Buddha and maya. The power is similar, but the wisdom is different. The love is different. The personality is different. Therefore, choosing a Master is not that easy. Anyone here can be Master’s successor. I could pick anyone, even the lousiest one. I could give you the same power, completely the same. But we still have to train ourselves, so that we become suitable for that position. Do you understand what I mean?

OK, so I can promise you liberation in one lifetime, immediate enlightenment, and liberation of your five generations. That is no problem, because I know what I am doing. After initiation you are liberated from life and death, but you still have to practice. Because if your mind doesn’t allow you to become a Buddha, it will be hard. It will say, “Someone like you? Are you kidding?” Or other people may also say that to you. If you do not have self-confidence, it is no use becoming a Buddha. What is the use of becoming that kind of Buddha, right? So our manner and demeanor have to match the higher realm.

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