In the Bible, it says, “Seek you first the Kingdom of God, then all things will be added unto you.” That means all the worldly things will be beneficial for you. In the Surangama Sutra, it says the same thing. After the Quan Yin practitioners see their Buddha Nature, then their worldly affairs are also trouble-free.
We can use money for promoting the Dharma, for relief work, for the needy. If we are greedy and use the money for marijuana, drugs, or doing some stupid things, then at that time, money is poison. But when we use money for the right things, for the benefit of others, to make them joyful, happy, then at that time, money is a tonic. Depending on how we use something, then it becomes tonic or toxic. Even the drugs which can cause people to be high (or intoxicated), sometimes can be used in medicine to save people. But if we use it too much, selfishly, then it becomes toxic and harmful to humans, for example like that.
So, you see I am doing these things and I’m richer than you. That’s because I do it properly. That’s all, nothing else. In the Bible, it says, “Seek you first the Kingdom of God, then all things will be added unto you.” That means all the worldly things will be beneficial for you. In the Surangama Sutra, it says the same thing. After the Quan Yin practitioners see their Buddha Nature, then their worldly affairs are also trouble-free.
Nevertheless, no one listens to this. And then just laments all the time, “Why is my life so hard? Why do I suffer? I work from sunrise to sunset, but can’t pay the debt on my credit card.” The mortgage [for house] is for thirty years. I almost fainted when I heard that. You sit in that house for 30 years to pay off the mortgage! My God! Do you know that thirty years is one lifetime? One lifetime has not that many days, just think about it. From young age to maturity, we don’t have a lot of time to take care of ourselves, do you see? Since childhood, we’re always busy with studying. Then when you grow up, you have to work. And when we’re older, we are sick a lot and die. So, you see, we don’t have that much time to waste like that. Such a waste! You work eight hours, ten hours a day, locking yourself in a four-walled concrete room, so that you can earn many tens of dollars a day, or many hundreds of dollars a day, but it is not worthwhile. But it is OK, if you want to do it, it is fine. However, you should know how to do it properly, to make it less tiring and more beneficial.
With our extremely intelligent wisdom, we shouldn’t have to raise a finger, it’s enough to control the whole universe! Lao Tzu called it “non-doing,” “do without doing.” We have to attain that state, to remember again our limitless wisdom; we have to use it for it to work, then it will be beneficial to ourselves, to the country, to the world, to the whole universe. But if we use our little brain, our little computer, to work day and night, then even if we work life after life for many millions of years, the world will still not have enough. The evidence is that you can see all the people in the world are working from dawn to dusk, at least eight to ten hours, or even twelve hours a day. Some people work sixteen or eighteen hours a day: with two, three, four jobs, but still don’t have enough money to spend, and the world is still going nowhere, even though it is a little bit civilized.
The more civilized we are, the busier we are. The more civilized we are, the more our spiritual level declines, the more our filial piety decreases, and our family happiness with our wife and children is so-called colder. So, you can see that the work of the world is not beneficial. It is just talking and shouting and making such a big fuss. The whole world is so big, so rich, that one person can raise four, five, six, seven dog-people. Sometimes they raise a group of cat-people, but still cannot save many thousands of refugees. Ah, I am saying this not to criticize people. It is just as an example for you to understand, that’s all. Because if I give other examples, it may not relate to you, and you would not understand well, understand?
You see? For many years, they’ve been talking about the refugees, but they’re still stuck there, with nothing moving. But I worked only two, three, four weeks and there are some results right away. Not that I am good and talented, but I know the right way to do things. Now, if you want to do things the right way, then just follow my way. Follow the path I teach you, the plan I give you to work with, then it will be easy. That’s why you see my disciples running after me like crazy. Because whatever I say comes true, whatever I do is right. They know I say the truth, 100%. Many of my disciples are doctors, engineers, intellectuals. So, I cannot tempt them like young kids or teenagers. There are many old women with grey hair and “stones in their brain.”
How can I tempt them? They tempt me instead! Wherever they go, they force me to accompany them. Sometimes, I am very tired. Can you imagine that? One person, only one person, has to take care of thousands of people. Wherever I go, there is always someone requesting, pulling, pushing like that. Those celebrities, they are famous, they have a lot of fans, but after they sing, they run away, because they are afraid, they know. But I have to stay, after singing, I have to stay to hold hands, have heart-to-heart talks, until three, four, five, six o’clock in the morning. How can I handle it? Is there anyone who is not afraid of that? I am afraid, but I still do it, because of my selfless spirit.
When we have a big selfless spirit, then our wisdom, our power also expands naturally. You should not think that you are a small person, then your wisdom is limited, your power is only that much. No, no, no. This wisdom, it is impossible for you to measure it. This power, it is impossible for you to limit it. It’s just that you don’t know it. You Keep thinking, “Yeah, I only work 8 hours a day. I only know this formula. I can only work on the computer; I can’t do anything else.” No, no, no, no. You can do anything, but you don’t know it. You are too busy, so busy making money from dawn to dusk. So you only do what you already know, and insist on doing just that. So, you don’t know other aspects of yourself. You spend twenty-four hours for one aspect of your life, just for a boring job every day. What a waste! You don’t spend any time to know more about your vast environments in other places. So, you don’t know. That’s the difference between an enlightened person becoming a Buddha, and an ordinary person, that’s all. Understand?
Now that you are working a lot of hours a day, you can make some money, sure, but then you spend it all, right? Because you eat a lot, wear luxury clothes, so the money will be gone. I make a lot of money and spend very little. Each day, I just eat half a bowl of (vegan) congee, two bowls of congee; two, three (vegan) spring rolls, then I can survive, and they are cheap. I make my own clothes. See how beautiful they are? Beautiful, but not expensive, because I design them myself. And you wear expensive clothes, but not as beautiful as my clothes. Just kidding. Don’t take it seriously. Because no one praises my clothes, so I praise them myself for fun.
So, in general, if we know the right way to work, then everything will be favorable. Do less, but gain more. For example, do you think a normal person can work the way as I do? I have to earn money, teach the renunciates, give initiation, give lectures all over the world, and take care of my fellow countrymen as well. The problem of taking care of fellow countrymen is more complicated than spiritual practice. Even with that, I still don’t feel all that tired. Why? Because I don’t use the mundane power but the wisdom and the power that is already available in the universe. We call it the Buddha Nature or the Kingdom of God. If we use that, then we will never run out of it; we can do everything without being tired. Not to talk about refugee problem, or group meditation, initiation, renunciates, lay persons. If you give me a hundred thousand other jobs, I can also finish them quickly. Those are nothing. Because no one asked, I have no other jobs to do. In politics, we have a president and a parliament to take care of things. To fight a war, there are generals to take care already. To catch the wrong doers, we have the police already. To teach students, kids, we have teachers, professors already. So, it’s good that I don’t have to do those jobs.
In fact, whoever practices the Quan Yin Method, their wisdom will come out, they will all have it, naturally. Just like me, I never learned to paint, but now I can paint beautifully. People praise my work. But I don’t know if it’s really beautiful. I think it’s truly beautiful, but I don’t want to praise myself. But I am sure those paintings are beautiful. In the world, there are a lot of painters. Painters are normally poor. But this painter is special. So, in this day and age, it is different. Nowadays, it is advanced.
We should not think that spiritual practice is to suffer, to be ascetic, to not eat enough, to not sleep well, to be sick in order to become a Buddha. Which Buddha is that cruel? Which God is that heartless? Tormenting people to make people to become like Them? God must be compassionate, Buddha must be merciful, right? They can’t help people enough, much less torment them. People suffer in life, every day, going to Heaven and hell. They have been ghosts, demons, humans, for a long time already. They are tired, hungry and thirsty. They are exhausted. So, they come and beg for a remedy to save them. And then [Buddha and God] still punish them, make them suffer, not eat enough, not sleep well, wear tattered clothes, and failing at any doing. What kind of Buddha is that? What kind of God is that? Do you understand?
So, you should not ask me why I have a lot of money, or why I have to work for money. I have to prove to you that spiritual practice is clear, straightforward, righteous. Spiritual practice is very beneficial for Heaven and hell, for the world. The visible as well as the invisible aspects, all should benefit from it.
Because if you are forced to be hungry, will you meditate? Yes, you can, but you sit and think about buns, bread, jasmine rice, right? How can you concentrate to think about Heaven? Therefore, our Aulacese (Vietnamese) people are very wise by saying, “It's no use preaching to a hungry man.” They all say that, but then they force others to be ascetic when practicing spiritually. Nowadays, how can you force people to eat once a day, wear tattered clothes, walk barefooted, beg for food from house to house? They can’t stand it. In this age, it is different. But I think in any age, it is different, it must be...