So don’t exchange your spiritual merit for just a little comfort in this world. It’s too precious, your breath, your life, your days, your years here on Earth. Use it just so that when you go up, you smile. “Oh, I’ve done my best for my spiritual practice. I am where I am because I earned it.” And don’t just cling to all this little temptation in this world and a little comfort in this life, and bypassing the spiritual chance to go to the higher level.
How are you guys? (Good.) Everything good? Wow. Why are you laughing? (I feel happy to see you.) Happy. It’s good. Where from? Indonesia. (Australia.) Australia? (New Zealand.) Hi, mate! How are you, mates? Oh, your country has trouble again. Yes. It was earthquakes. Not too big. Not too bad this time? (Yes, not too bad.) Thank God. Indonesia? (Yes.) Indonesia? Only two today? Three, four, five?
Do you feel okay? (Yes.) Long flight, huh? I also had a long flight. From there, fly back here. Some days we feel good, some days we don’t. We don’t have a microphone today, to begin with? (It’s hanging there.) Hanging in there? Hallo! But can you hear me? (Yes.) Behind? Can you hear? (Yes. Yes.) Upstairs can hear translation? Why so high again? Doesn’t have to be so high, my God! Just worry my pretty face is covered, yeah? Don’t worry. (Yes.)
Pretty today, ugly tomorrow. It’s all very, very ephemeral anyway. Young today, old tomorrow. Alive today, dead tomorrow. Who knows? It’s not our house. It’s not our body. Everything’s just temporary. It’s not even our family. Everything’s temporary. Temporary. One day we’ll go away and then leave everything behind. So we have to worry about where we’re going and what we take with us. So every now and then, I have to keep reminding you, how come we have to meditate and contact our Home, our real Home, before it’s too late.
Any of you have any burning question at the moment? Everything’s good? (Yes.) Tell me which group is what? This I know, Australian. (London, UK.) London, UK. (Colombia.) Colombia. Hola! (hallo in Spanish) (United States.) United States. How many Colombia today? Two of you? Hi. How are you doing? (in Spanish) Fine, and you? (in Spanish) Everything okay here? (It is okay.) Not well? Very well? (in French) Very well. (in French) Very well, okay. “Très bien” (very well in French) is Colombian. Yeah, you know, right?
I’m sorry the house is always small. No matter how big, yes? And people are always too many, no matter how big the house. I’m sorry for your inconvenience and uncomfortable “living standard.” Sitting all day. But never mind, only your butt gets tired, right? Everything else is okay, right? That’s why you cannot stay long. Stay long, you’ll feel not well.
How long will you stay? (Eight days.) Eight days? That’s enough. You, mate? (Nine days.) Nine. You? (Seven days.) Seven days only. That’s good. All of you seven days, right? (Yes.) That’s good enough. No, I wanted to see you, but, not like you don’t have enough room to lie down. Everywhere is just luggage. It’s very good already. If we are in Formosa (Taiwan), you don’t have even a room. You have to bring your own room, the plastic room, a tent. And sometimes it rains. And it’s very uncomfortable. But have you been in Formosa (Taiwan) in that situation? How many? And you liked it? Yeah? You did? No, no. Really? Yes, Hsihu is nice. Hsihu is nice, I know – when it rains and your things and tent, and you come out in muddy shoes. Still like? (Yes.) Oh, you’re tough, very good. I’m glad.
Training yourself to be in all kinds of different situations is good. In the Himalayas, I also had problems like that and it was several years. I had only one pair of shoes. When it’s wet in the cold climate, it’s swollen, the feet are swollen and… cold. The ice is cold. Even temporarily, sometimes training is good. So that the body and the mind are used to different situations, and then we can adjust and keep our equilibrium all the time. And then when we have a comfortable situation, better comfortable situation, then we appreciate it and we enjoy it more.
And if we don’t have, then think of millions of people who have no home, not even a little thatched roof on the head. You can see it on TV. They just put some branches, small branches together. Don’t even have some. Sometimes in Africa, it’s difficult to find any dry wood to put it into a shape of a tent. And they don’t even have anything to cover it in such a hot climate.
The refugee people, they have to leave everything. Because some people, their lives just belong to a village and cattle, and farming. And if war breaks out or any disaster befalls them, then they just have to leave everything and they can’t take… what do they have? They have only their hands to cultivate. And if they left their land, they have nothing more. And their cattle and all that, that is their livelihood. And when these are destroyed or left behind, they have nothing. They have nothing. So, I saw on TV, some just put some plastic, whatever little torn plastic sheet on top, not even covering the entire twig structure that they put up.
And there are so many other hardships. If you watch TV, you know already. I don’t have to tell you. It breaks our heart. But so long as we have this kind of lifestyle, you know, making our life and everywhere become a slaughter field for humans or for animals, then the bad karma (retribution) we cannot escape. One way or another, one life or another, it will return to us. The hardship, the suffering, the pain, we will have to endure in order to cleanse whatever bad karma that we made in the past life.
I don’t ever complain if I live in any situation. I already made myself into “situation.” So there’s nothing that scares me anymore. When we live in this world, we have to accept many situations. We cannot always want this, want that and want others. We should train ourselves. Train the mind to accept the situation. And wherever you go, of course you try to make the situation as comfortable as possible, in your own means, and if the situation allows. You don’t sit there and wait for somebody else to take care of you. I’m talking also about everybody, not just the group here.
Generally speaking. If you come in a situation which is cold, you wear more clothes. (Yes.) If it’s hot, you wear less, not wear nothing! No, the men can. The men can be topless, but the women I advise not to. Nobody says anything, but the police might come any time and I’m not responsible for this kind of situation. Don’t pray to me in this situation. Okay? We can pray for things which are logical and which are really necessary. But not always praying for every little thing, “Master, do this for me, do that for me.” This is really terrible. The situation arises so that you can be stronger spiritually and mentally, emotionally, psychologically, physiologically. Everything, “-ly, -ly, -ly,” all things.
So you don’t always run away from trouble if it’s not too dangerous. If it’s dangerous, of course I advise you to run away, don’t stay there and wait. “Master will come and take me.” If it’s dangerous, I run away myself. You have the duty to protect yourself. You have the duty to protect this temple, which you will use to practice until the day we finish our karma (retribution) on this planet. That’s the duty you have to take care. So you make sure your body is warmly clothed, or comfortably clothed.
And at home, if you’re elderly, please sleep on a comfortable bed. Don’t stay on the floor like here and sit, and then back pain and all that. “Oh, Master, I have pain!” What will I do? Come and massage you? If you have trouble, go see the physician. If after a while, it doesn’t go away, that means it’s maybe serious. Go see the physician. And if the physicians, after many don’t cure you, that means you have to endure it so that you can cleanse your bad karma (retribution). I do the same. I go to the doctor, and if the doctor doesn’t work well, then okay, I accept it. And then with time, it will also go away. But don’t keep praying for everything. My goodness. Every little pimple on your face. Maybe it’s pretty going there, more charming than your face before – too plain.
And don’t pray for every little thing. Like your daughter ran away and your son doesn’t get on with you. I cannot force them to stay with you when the karma (retribution) is finished with you. I told you, on this retreat, don’t ask me about any mundane questions. (Yes.) Heal your sickness, heal your pimple, whatever. Don’t do that. But I mean inside also. I don’t mean don’t talk outside and then inside keep praying for these nonsensical things.
Everything is ephemeral, you know that. If your daughter runs away, then it’s good. You have more time to practice. She’s grown up. You can’t stop her. Can’t control her forever. Our families are not our prisoners. We did our best to educate them, to make sure they’re safe and have everything they need. But if they decided they don’t want it, then it’s okay too. Or if you want, you can tell the police and look for them.
Don’t always pray for Master to do things. We pray for everything, we get it. But you have to think twice before you pray. Think about what you want. When you came to get initiation from me, did I promise you that I will heal your sickness? Yes or no? (No.) Did I promise you your husband will love you forever? Yes or no? (No.) Did I promise you your wife won’t divorce you? Yes or no? (No.) Did I promise you your children will stay with you forever, brave and nice and kind and filial? Did I? (No.) What did I promise you? (Liberation.) Liberation and go Home. Yeah, that’s it. I promised you to know yourself, to know your great Self, to know God. That’s all I promised. And did you get it, step by step? (Yes.) Yes. Then I keep my promise.
You do your homework. Your family – none of my business. Any trouble of your physical life – none of my business. I only want to take you to where there’s no trouble. As long as you’re here, there will be trouble. I never promised you that after initiation in this lifetime, you will never have any trouble, all peace and love and quiet – no. Did I do that, did I tell you that? (No.) No!
How can you not be tied up when you are in prison? If I’m a lawyer and I defend you and you’re originally innocent, and I promise you, “Okay, I take this case and then you will go out.” But while I’m doing paperwork and dealing with the bureaucracy and the law, you stay in prison. Yeah? Until it’s done. In prison, you cannot ask me, “Where is my Mercedes? Where is my bodyguard? Where is my breakfast in bed?” You can’t ask these things. I promised you will go out. And then you wait. Okay? (Yes.)
So in this world, you will have to accept whatever situation. And if you want it better, quicker, you meditate more. You do your homework. You don’t always rely on this little old woman running errands for you. If I do it, suppose I can, you become nothing. Accept the condition in the prison. If the prison ward tells you, “Go cook today,” you go cook today. If he tells you, “Take care of the laundry for all the inmates,” you go take care of laundry for inmates. You don’t call your lawyer and say, “Look, I am free, I am innocent, I am everything, I… You are working on my behalf, why am I still having to wash the laundry here, clean the floor?” As long as you are in prison, you do what the prison ward tells you. Otherwise, your liberation will be delayed. Because they will say you disrespect the authority. Or even if you fight with the prison ward, you’ll stay there. The lawyer will not be able to do anything if you happen to make trouble with the police there. Or if you beat up the prison ward. Then that’s it, you’re done.
We are here. We do everything necessary here. If you have to work, you work. If you have to take care of your children, take care of your children. Any of them run away, you tell the police to look for them. And if they can’t, then they can’t. Do not force any situation on me. All right? Suppose if I do everything for you, what are you? A zombie? A disabled being, cannot think, cannot react, cannot use your IQ? What would you do? Everything, you call Master. Then what would you do? What for do you live? Just to eat and sleep?
Take every situation as a God-given challenge or the erasing of the bad karma (retribution). If we lost something, we gain something else. It’s always the same. Everything happens for some reason. Everybody would tell you that. So do not just so conveniently or easily just pray for any little thing that you could take care yourself. If you’re sick, don’t pray to Master to heal you. Go to see a doctor. Unless in a desperate situation that you could not help it, then of course, maybe you can.
But I told you, if you keep the five precepts, the angels protect you. And make sure what you eat is pure and clean. Make sure you meditate enough. Then every situation will turn into a very mild situation. Big troubles become small troubles. Small troubles become nothing. And that is normal if you keep your precepts, eat pure vegan food, and meditate well. Okay? (Yes.) Sometimes, if we don’t meditate well or we don’t keep the precepts well, even just a tiny fraction, everything is accounted for in Heaven. Maybe I’m not there, maybe nobody watches, but Heaven knows everything. So don’t think you can cheat. And if you don’t do it, then sometimes the consequence becomes worse than it should have been. Because the maya, the negative force, in this world we live, demands all fair and just treatment for every being on this planet. So, we can do everything we want, but we have to pay for it.
And now, suppose we do everything already, we meditate well, and then still something happens to us. Then let it be. That’s the payment of (bad) karma (retribution) from the previous lives so that we’re free. Even just a little tiny bit, we have to pay, so that we can become clean and go up. Sometimes we have trouble a little bit, or something bothers us, but then we go to a higher level.
So don’t exchange your spiritual merit for just a little comfort in this world. It’s too precious, your breath, your life, your days, your years here on Earth. Use it just so that when you go up, you smile. “Oh, I’ve done my best for my spiritual practice. I am where I am because I earned it.” And don’t just cling to all this little temptation in this world and a little comfort in this life, and bypassing the spiritual chance to go to the higher level. Master power can bless you, but if you just use it for any other thing, (if) you abuse the power just for a little mundane gain or little pleasure, then you lose it. And then after you die, you just sit somewhere in maybe Astral or Second Level or Third Level, seeing all the other disciples flying by. Then you’ll feel sorry that you shouldn’t have clung to this world so much.
When you came to me for initiation, you came for God, no? You came for the highest possible level of spiritual liberation, no? Or did you come for your daughter, for your son to pass exams, for your daughter to get a handsome husband even though she is so ugly, nobody even wants to look at? If you did come for those mundane purposes, I’m sorry, the concept is wrong. You have to change it.
If somebody runs away from you, you check out what’s wrong with yourself. If nothing’s wrong with yourself honestly, then okay, maybe time has come. Karma (retribution) is erased, so both of you can leave each other in peace. Then be happy, save more time to meditate.
Don’t cling to something that is not yours any longer. It has never been yours, anything on this planet. Nothing. Have you brought anything into this world? (No.) Okay. Then why do you want something? Even if you’d borne a daughter or a son into this world, you have eaten yourself fat, twenty years first, before you gave birth to a daughter. For example. And then, how many people had to run around for you? The doctor, the nurse, the medical staff, medicine, timing. Wake up in the middle of the night to deliver the baby, comfort you, and check you up after you birth, and then check up after the baby is coming out, checking up when the baby is growing up. How many people work for you already? So, is there something that’s really yours? You owe all these people debt. And the government also. And all the people who pay tax together with you. Or maybe you didn’t even pay tax, but you used the hospital, you used the doctor’s service, you used medicine free, everything. Don’t you ever think about that? And you think you brought something into this world that you’re entitled to hold on to, to think is yours and then keep it forever? No! Especially if you’re enlightened. Even though just a little enlightened, according to your karma (retribution). You have to know that we don’t own anything on this planet. We owe a lot.
So try to do things that are more benevolent, more grateful to the world, to the people around you, initiates or non-initiates. Without them, you couldn’t survive. Without the farmer, you have nothing to eat. Without even the garbage cleaner, your house is a mess and you will get sick. The garbage cleaner, they have the job more dangerous than many other jobs. One of the most dangerous jobs even though it doesn’t look like anything. It’s not only dirty, it’s dangerous. Sometimes things explode. They don’t even know what they touch. The research says that they have five times – or more, multiple times – more dangerous job than the police and the firefighters even. And even there are farmers, but there are supermarkets, there are people who sell things for you, the pharmacy, all kinds of people who we owe a great deal of debt to survive. So even a little meditation is not enough to repay their kindness, is not even enough to share the merit with everybody.
Don’t think that you are anybody. Just because you’re Quan Yin practitioners and you do a little charity here and there... according to my instruction. And then you feel you are something. Always think you are nothing. Okay? Live anywhere, do anything. We have to practice more and kind of, more checking out on ourselves. Not always shun away from hardship and hard work or hard situations. Just because the air con is too cold and you live with too many people sharing one room. You just wear more clothes. Or go outside, sleep outside. There is no air con. I also don’t like air con, I have to say I understand. I understand very well. But then at home, I have to divide the room. Even my cave I divide into two. Outside half is for the dogs, they have air con. Inside half, no air con. I put a curtain in between. And if I have to go out with them, I immediately turn off the air con first to check things, and then I turn on air con for them again. Because if the air con is too cold suddenly, I also cannot bear. I understand that. But it’s easy to take care of that. No?
We have to get ourselves used to situations, react quick. If it’s cold, wear more clothes or… I teach you everything. You could even get a bottle, fill hot water and hug it, and it’s warm. That’s how I do. And the air con, you can turn it upward so that it doesn’t go direct into you. And make it an agreeable degree.
Is it too cold for you? (Cold?) Too cold for you? Air con? (In the room?) Yeah. (No, it’s fine.) Yeah. But what I mean is, it’s not really cold, is it? No. (No.) Even if it’s cold, you can adjust it, right? (Yes.) Or you wear clothes or you go outside to sleep.
I mean, okay, I don’t mean you are bad people. You are vegetarian, you meditate. I don’t mean you, huh? I mean, anyone who became initiated is a good person. That definitely is true. But you have to go one step further. You’re not just being good, you have to do good and take care of others so that they’re also being good. Not just sit there waiting, always praying for Master’s blessing, or if it’s not comfortable, you leave. That is not love. And even then… Of course, I try to take care of all of you, but you also have the duty to take care of yourself, no? All of you.
Don’t always pray to Master power to do this, do that for you. That’s abusive of power, when you don’t need. Emergency, yes. Okay? When you cannot do anything more, okay. But if you can, use your brain first. Use your IQ, train your IQ to be more intelligent, to be more quick-reaction with all situations that arise. In case someday you’ve got to help somebody. It’s not all about us. It’s about everyone around us and everyone not around us.
You have to train to be first good and able, so that maybe one day we can help someone else. Don’t always sit there like a baby waiting for mama. Even if you have been spoiled, you have to prepare to upgrade yourself into a very, very noble being. Self-sacrifice being. But I don’t ask you to do anything drastic. Self-sacrificing – talking about that is a laughable thing. This is too weak for the word. I mean you have to also try to adjust to the situation. Try to help others instead.