Spoken by the Supreme Master Ching Hai
during the International Seven-Day Retreat In Taipei, Formosa May 27, 1994.
(Originally in Chinese)
The Convenient Method should not be taught randomly to young children. There are many children in school and sometimes, their teachers just casually teach them to sit and meditate. Sometimes, no one is around the children, so if they (the children) see some visions of different levels during meditation, they may be shocked, or they may not understand. The way you teach is different from the way I teach, and your power is only second-hand.
The children may not really be frightened, but then again, you don't know anything about their karma. Being new to the meditation, they may have bad experiences. Children are like us. Their souls, their karmas and their reactions are identical to ours. So, you should not teach them meditation when they are too young. Therefore, only children of six years old and above are allowed to learn a little, and when they are older than twelve, they are allowed to learn more. If their parent is not an initiate, they can only be initiated when they have reached sixteen years of age. Only those above sixteen or eighteen years old are allowed to be initiated. Do you understand? (Everybody answers, "Yes".) I teach whom I should teach. It's not necessary to teach young children at random.
You should not casually become a teacher just because you love to teach. You don't know how to teach and will not know about the children when they go home because you are not there to supervise them. It is different if they were taught by the Master. I will be responsible for them if I teach them; I will go with them wherever they go. (Applause.)
Children do not understand much. Their souls are identical to adults', but they do not know how to react. Sometimes, they do not know how to react to their inner experiences. For instance, when you are meditating, some of you are heavier in karma, so you have inferior experiences. Sometimes, during meditation, you may see something which makes you uneasy, and you write to ask the Master or pray to the inner Master for help; and the Master will come to help! But the children do not know what to do.
Do you think that children can have very good experiences when they just begin to learn to meditate? They are similar to you. The good children will, naturally, perceive superior and beautiful worlds; while the relatively not-so-good children, whose karmas are heavy, will see the dark worlds and, sometimes, experience something unpleasant. What if they get possessed? Will you be responsible for them? You just teach anyone randomly. I did not tell you to teach the Convenient Method to the children. I say this for the last time: "You can't just do what you like to do, as being a teacher." It is easy to teach children, and they will do anything they are taught. However, this should not be the way.
Some time ago, I had replied in a letter - perhaps, in the news magazine - that the Convenient Method should not casually be taught to children. It is all right if he is your child, because, if something happens to him or if there is something that he does not understand, then you can ask me; you can stay with him and take care of him. But if you are teaching other people's children, they may leave the following year. Or they may go to another school the following year and you don't know what will happen to him later. So you can't do this. I do understand that you all love teaching people; you love to be a teacher. However, when you are a teacher, you have to take the responsibility. You should not be a teacher just for the sake of the 'teacher' status only. Our Convenient Method is not an external method; it involves communication with the inner power. Therefore, you must not be careless in guiding people when you have no power. Do you understand?
We all know very well. For instance, if I were teaching you an ordinary method like the so-called masters are teaching - "... Sakyamuni Buddha .... bla bla bla ..." - simply reciting the scriptures, would you be still following me? Why do you follow me? (Everybody answers, "Because You are different.") Right! Not the same. We communicate from within. I am teaching you from within - not the superficial teachings. I am not, randomly, reciting some scriptures to you, anybody can do that! Do you understand? (Everybody answers, "Yes".) You cannot do the same thing as I do just because you observe me doing it; you should not. I don't even teach children the Convenient Method. I, myself, very rarely do so... unless it is for some very special situation. First, because he does not know what to do when he goes home. Second, after he goes home, he will teach his parents. (Everybody laugh.) Then, his parents will teach their friends, and their friends will teach their children. Then, their friends' children will go and teach their friends' children. That friend's children will then teach their friends' friends' children. The power disappears! Everybody gets possessed and gets into a mess. Do you understand? (Everybody answers, "Yes".)
Don't do things just because you want to do them. You should not do things so casually. You may have good intentions, but if you don't understand the reason, the consequence may be harmful to other people. Do you understand? (Everybody answers, "Yes".) Therefore, many people - who have learned randomly - get possessed. This will not happen if they learn from us. Do you understand? (Everybody answers, "Yes".) Because the people outside are disorganized.
They just learn at random. They cross their legs like this, place their hands like that, put their head this way, and then "meditate". What kind of meditation is that? There is nothing, no power at all that supports them, no elevation whatsoever of their internal level, and they have no inner experience. They are not cleansed of any of their karma. It is useless for them to sit for a thousand years! You all know it very clearly.
Originally, even the Convenient Method is an esoteric method. Why is it an esoteric method? Because it must be imparted by a master for one to get in touch with the inner power. Outsiders do not know why this person is meditating differently from that person, or why the teachings of this master are different from that master's. This is the esoteric method ... not that we have anything esoteric. Even if I were to write and publish a book openly teaching the outside people how to meditate, and they learn the Method through reading the book, it still would not be effective. Do you understand? (Everybody answers, "Yes".) The two of them - Master and disciple - must communicate with each other and consent mutually - I agree to teach and you agree to learn. This is the esoteric method, only the two of us - Master and disciple - know. It is not simply teaching people to sit like this. This would be selling it cheaply.
I have never said that you can teach the Convenient Method to children, have I? (Everybody answers, "No".) Then, why is that teacher doing it so casually? Not doing what he should do, and doing what he should not do... I am referring to the Convenient Method. Do you understand? You can teach people the other things: to perform charities, to keep the five precepts, to be vegetarian, not to smoke nor drink alcohol, etc. These are good things which can be taught to others. You can teach others the external morals, things beneficial to the stability of our world, but not matters concerning the inner power. This is a profound matter! This is not buying and selling, not simply repeating a sentence! This is concerning the Convenient Method which you should not even teach ordinary people at random. Do you understand?
We should see whether that person is kind-hearted or longing for the Truth before we teach him. Do you understand? (Everybody answers, "Yes".) A vicious person will be possessed if you teach him this method because he has too much karma inside. For instance, that person is extremely vicious, and he does not repent nor become a good person; after you teach him this Convenient Method, he will have an internal struggle. This method is the best, the most beautiful, the most virtuous and the most compassionate; it belongs to the Yang (positive) force. He is deep in the Yin (negative) force. Mixing these Yang and Yin forces together, that person will struggle internally. Do you understand? He will be possessed and have conflict within himself, a change will occur in him. Therefore, you should not just teach anyone at random. If our method could be for anyone, then I would have already made it wherever I went. And I would have no need to teach you to become vegetarian, keep the five precepts, perform charities, be a good person, meditate every day, and always study Master's teachings. There are certain rules in teaching anything, and because we are teaching the incredible power of the universe, of course, there are rules, too. You must be careful because you don't know how to use it. For instance, the atomic bomb is not meant to be a plaything for children. Can we let an ordinary person use it? Even a general or a scientist - whose work is not related to it - is not allowed to use it. Do you understand?
You must be careful in handling matters concerning the internal states of consciousness. With regard to external knowledge, one can learn to be a physician, a doctor, a professor, a musician or anything one wants; but you should not use the same criterion for something that concerns the internal states of consciousness. It is fine if you have the Master power inside; but you should just let it be if you do not have it! If you do not have it yet, then do not act rashly. Understand? (Everybody answers, "Yes".)
When you go out to represent me to perform the initiation, remember that it is always the Master who is performing the initiation, not you. However, we still have to select the right person to be sent out. It is not really selecting, but training him for a while, and teaching him how to do it. He cannot just teach anyone at random. This applies, also, to the outer aspect which also requires some training. He must be able to talk fluently and know how to answer people's questions.
However, there are certain things that you can handle by yourself. For instance, recently, you all know that Master is concerned about helping the refugees. In this case, you can do anything that you feel is best to try to achieve this objective. It is not necessary for everyone of you to wait for my instructions, to ask Master this and that. Do you understand this? There are thousands, tens of thousands and millions of you. If everyone of you has to ask me what to do, then when can you all finish asking me? You all have the inner Master in you, ask it. Meditate well, and then ask it. Try your best to help with those administrative works. Do you understand? For instance, if you know the President, then, talk to him directly. Why do you still have to ask me? (Laughter and applause.)