The Criterion for
Gauging Spiritual Development
Spoken by Supreme
Master Ching Hai, Long Beach, CA, USA, December 29, 1996 (originally
in English) Videotape No. 571
I'd like to know if the things that happen in our life have meaning:
good things, bad things, natural disasters and so on. And is it good
to be aware of the hidden significance behind these events?
Well, they happen for our spiritual development even though
sometimes during a crisis or event we might not be able to
understand it. But everything has some purpose. If you can be aware
of the hidden meaning, it's fine. If you can't, just let it be.
Things happen; it doesn't matter how they happen. It's not what
happens but how we react to the event that's important. The event is
there so that we can reflect on ourselves and our development. Then
we know how far we've grown up, to what height.
I'll give an example so
it's easier for you to understand. Some journalists write some
things about us that aren't true. Some people get upset, and they
tell me. They cry and all that, thinking that because of the
journalists, I get my name blackened, and they're upset for me. But
I say there's no need. The journalists write what they write. I am
what I am. How I react to them is what's important, not what they
write about me.
If they write something
good about me, if I'm proud or very excited, happy and feel very
arrogant, then that's bad for me. So it's not that writing good
things about me is good, but whether my attitude toward it is good
or bad. It's for me alone. And then if they write bad things about
me and I get really upset, I feel bad for a long time, I hate them
or I want to make revenge, and that's also no good for me. It means
I'm not truly so developed as to have my peace at every moment, in
every situation. So, if you look at the situation like this, then
how you feel, how you react and how you solve a problem, that's the
lesson. That's the tool to help us remember who we are, how great we
are, how tolerant, how loving and how understanding.
I also feel upset
sometimes for a very short while because the situation should not
have happened that way. It should have happened in a more beautiful
way. That's just my expectation. But I'm not upset because of bad
people who write bad things about me, nor do I expect them to write
good things about me. They write bad things because they don't know
me. Even you don't know me so how can outside people know me? That's
a very obvious reason; they don't know me. And I'm not going to go
out into the world and tell all the journalists how good I am. Even
if I tell them, whether they believe me or not is another question.
Why should they believe me?
Even you, so-called
disciples, came here by yourself voluntarily, and you really love
God so much that you can even humble yourself to ask questions and
learn from me. But sometimes you doubt me. You think bad things
about me. You look at my appearance and my actions in a distorted
way and then criticize me and leave the path. You look at my
personality instead of my teachings. I was born the way I am. God
made me the way I am. I can't 'wig-wag' myself to please everyone
the way you think. I am what I am and I'm perfect: finished. You're
also perfect: finished. If you don't know you're perfect, then you
have to know.
You have to learn how
to accept yourself as perfect. Anything that's not perfect according
to your opinion you can change if you want. I think I'm perfect.
(Applause) I don't mean that sometimes I don't make a mistake
according to your opinion, but that's all right. I accept my
mistake, too, as long as I don't stick there all the time thinking
it's good. But maybe it is good! (Master laughs) Maybe my mistake is
necessary for someone else. It looks like a mistake, but it might
not be. It might not be a mistake.
Say for example,
there's a man who's crying in distress and emotion. Maybe he looks
handsome and good-looking. And I might hug him or comfort him. In
your opinion, maybe I shouldn't do that. Maybe I should refrain from
hugging him because I'm a woman and he's such a good-looking young
guy. But I care not about what you think. So maybe in that instance,
you think I make a mistake. But maybe my mistake was necessary for
that man. He needed my mistake. Maybe I shouldn't have done it in
order to keep my reputation more flawless and to keep your respect.
But I don't care. Why should I care about everyone's opinion? His or
her opinion might not always be correct. I just do what I feel is
correct at that moment according to my understanding. And I always
stand for what I believe in and what I feel at that moment only. For
anything else, I'm not responsible. That's the way it is. (Applause)
So that's one thing. If
all the newspapers or people outside talk bad about me and I feel
very hateful toward them, it means I don't understand. It means that
I still have to practice harder, I have to control myself and try to
look into the situation better, with more intelligence. That's my
job. Their job is to write what they want. They're responsible for
their actions and I have to be responsible for my actions. So I look
at it this way: They don't know me. They can't understand me and
that's fine. They write according to their beliefs, their
understanding and their opinions. And that's all right with me. If I
can, I'll explain it to them. If I can't, then I just forget it.
I have to tell you that
even though we're spiritual practitioners, we don't always
immediately have understanding about every situation that we
encounter in our lives. We may not always understand, but at least
because we practice, after a few minutes of anger and immediate
reaction, we reflect and say, "What is this here?"
So don't blame yourself
if in some moment of natural reaction if you feel angry or you feel
you want revenge. But afterwards, after it subsides, you think,
'This is not the way I should react to this situation. How should I
react? What should I do in this situation that's the most beneficial
for me and for the opponent?' And that's the way it is. It's not
that you don't get angry sometimes, but that you don't overdo it.
You don't overdo it and you don't let the anger override you for a
long time so as to affect your health, your spirit and your
situation. It's not that you don't get angry sometimes. It's good to
be angry sometimes. It's healthy. But what you do with the anger,
that's another thing. Don't let it destroy you. So for any event
that happens in our life, it's up to us to measure how we've grown
already in our spiritual development. If you can look at it that
way, it's fine. And try to know how to react to it in the best way
Develop Your Inner
Spoken by Supreme
Master Ching Hai, Sydney, Australia,, March
16, 1993 (originally in English) Videotape No. 333
I have the need to become more spiritual toward life. How do I react
to the negativity around me?
If we have spiritual tendencies, we're more tolerant toward all
things, including negative influences and any negative outlooks on
life. We're more tolerant and more understanding. Also, our positive
Self radiates a healing energy, which will somewhat correct the
So we don't need to do
anything, really. If we're truly spiritual, things will better
themselves to some degree. And should anyone come to us for advice
or want to become better also, we'll be in a position to suggest
what to do.
The Mirror of
Spoken by Supreme
Master Ching Hai, Florida, USA, May 11, 2002 (originally in English)
Videotape No. 736
Recently I told Master in my meditation that when I check out of
here, I would like to go straight to the Fifth Level. (Laughter) I
really don't want to come back here.
You don't ask for much. (Laughter) Well, it shall be done. (Q: I
don't care what it takes.) It shall be done; don't worry. (Q: This
time, I've had enough.) Don't worry, you'll change.
So, do you think it's possible?
Yes, it's possible. If that's all you want, that's all you'll get.
It's no problem. If you keep that idea in your mind all the time,
until the time you die, then you're there.
If I work to reach the Fifth Level even before I die, I'll be able
to help Master better here.
Oh, sure, sure. (Q: If that's possible) It could be possible, too.
But I don't know if it's possible with you. It depends on you. (Q:
I'll do anything) No one needs you to do anything. You have to
control your brain. It's not that you need to do anything. It's not
like you die a hundred times and then you become a Buddha, or you
offer anything and become a Buddha. It's not that. It's just the
determination of the soul inside, whether he wants it in this
lifetime or not.
Does he have to prepare for that before he comes? How spiritual he
wants to... ?
It depends. Everyone wants to prepare for this. But when they come
down, it's just that they sway around a little bit. And then,
because Maya, the king of illusion, is there, waiting for you,
saying, "Ah, hah! Welcome home, baby. Let's see how strong you
are. Here's a beautiful girl, here's a presidential position and
here's a big company with big money." And then you work
yourself to death, you serve the girl, and you're so tired that even
if you wanted to go find the Master, you wouldn't know where. You
lose your energy, you get sick and then you die. And then you say,
"OK, it's my time to go now. Next time, I'll try again."
The director says, "Cut!"
Yes, "Cut." But it doesn't really matter. You're
determined to find God, anyway. Before we come down here, that's
what we're going to do. We want to know ourselves as God by being
"not God." You want to find a mirror so you can see your
face. Although the mirror is an illusion, you need it. The one
inside there is not you, but you need it to see yourself. You look
into it, and you recognize yourself. How else would you see
yourself? Should I stand here and look at myself, or stand where?
The mirror is an illusion. The one who looks inside is you, yet it's
not you. So this world is full of God, yet it's not God. God is
inside looking at the God outside here.
It's a bad reflection of the real thing, right?
Well, it's a good reflection. It's just that we look into the mirror
and we get confused because this mirror of Maya is different. It's a
magic mirror, a "mirror on the wall.*" It's not the
mirror, but the mirror of the mirror. So we get confused here, and
we see all things reflected together in the mirror. And then we say,
"Oh, what's that there? What's that over there? And what's
You even forget to look
at your own picture, the mirror is so big. It reflects everything in
it, and you get lost in that illusion. You chase one thing after
another. "Oh my God, this looks good. That looks good."
And you get lost in your mirror. You forget. The time it takes you
to realize it's a mirror is maybe a fraction of a second. But the
time we take to realize Buddhahood is also a fraction of a second in
"Mirror, mirror on the wall" is a line from a fairy tale
called "Snow White," in which the step-mother believes
that the reflection from the mirror on the wall is real.