What is meditation?
Meditation, there are many kinds. Some are good for health, some are good for the mind, some are good for the intellect, some are good for money. Because you can make good business if you concentrate on your work. The intensive concentration is meditation. So all of us meditate every day. Some meditate on a wife, some meditate on beautiful girls, some meditate on money, some meditate on business.
Our meditation is on God, is the original plan from God, that we should get in touch with the God power and with the Word of God. In the Bible it is said, "In the beginning there was the Word, and the Word was God and the Word was with God."
How to meditate?
So we meditate on that Word, which is the vibration within, the Word which indicates the frequency, the God Power. Because we are the temple of God, and God speaks to us in such a way. He appears to us in the form of light and speaks to us in the form of sounds (Quan Yin Method -- Meditation on Light and Sound). Seeing the light, we see many other things. Hearing the Word we hear many other things. We hear the teachings directly from God. So this is what we are meditating on.
But when we have a powerful teacher (a Living Master), you may pray inside to Him or Her, if you have difficulty in meditation, or if you are too far from God, then you might need an intermediary. So you are still a little weak like a baby that needs his parents to hold him, so he can walk. But later you walk alone. You must know that your goal is walking alone, and growing up, and not to rely on parents forever.
Fruits of Meditation Practice
The more you meditate, the more wisdom you have, the more peace you feel, and the more detachment you grow into. You live in the world, but you don't feel attached to the world. And you forgive people easily, because you're contented within. Before initiation or before practicing meditation, if someone scolded you, you felt very upset or angry, but now sometimes you don't care that much. Sometimes you just smile away. Maybe you react, but not with anger like before. Sometimes you might pretend to be angry just to suit the circumstance, but you're not truly very deeply hurt like before. Sometimes you might cry or laugh like before, but your crying and laughing are not the same anymore, not so deeply emotional. We cry and laugh just like it rains - it must rain or it must shine - without attachment. Even if we have anger or an emotional upheaval, it's just very short, and not for so many long days like before. If you feel this, that's the mark of your success in meditation. That's a great improvement - not vision, not magical power, not riches, not healing powers and all those sorts of things. No, these are not important. Love is important. If you feel your love inside that emanates toward all beings and you feel peace within yourself, these are what's most important.
Master Ching Hai Answers the Questions on Meditation:
Q. How does one meditate? What should be in his or her mind?
M. There should be nothing. Nothing should be in the mind of the meditator. But actually it is not like that. At the initiation I may have the time to tell you everything. It's not good to answer casually like that, because you won't get it.
Q. Where can we meditate?
M. Anywhere. In a park, in a garden, on a bus, on a plane, but not when you drive a car! You should not! (laughter) There are two kinds of meditations, one is on the inner light, and the other is on the heavenly music. In the latter case, you should meditate in private. It is better. I will explain every thing during initiation.
Q. How long should we meditate every day?
M. It depends on how quickly you want to go to God. So, for ordinary people, maybe half an hour to an hour. But for our serious disciples, two and a half hours or three hours, at least. But then, after you become used to it, when you talk, you walk, when you sleep, it is just a kind of meditation all the time. And even when you sleep, you can see heavens and communicate with higher beings.
Q. When meditating, how do we concentrate our thoughts without being affected by our daily life?
M. It will come naturally after some time of practising. It will just be effortless. You won't even know when you think or don't think. You just sit there and it happens. The light will come, the sound will come, and you will be oblivious to everything. And whenever you want to come out of it, you will be aware of everything again. All right? It is very easy.
Q. What should we think about when we meditate?
M. Nothing. We already think too much all the time so why think again during meditation! But there is a way to calm our thoughts and our mind. I will teach you during initiation. We need time to sit down together and talk for a while During the real initiation, we won't be talking, including me, and in silence you will find your original nature.
Q. Is it advisable for a person who has suffered mental problems such as severe depression and schizophrenia to practice meditation?
M. Yes. Yes, it is all right. It will cheer you up, and make you happy. You are depressed because you do not see God, you are separate from His love. Once you are connected with Him, and feel His presence and love, you will no more feel depressed. We are all depressed, some more, some less, because we are separated from God, and long to meet Him. Even if we have a lot of money, have a good wife or husband, somehow, we are never completely happy in this world. We always feel something is missing. Sometimes we also do things that are wrong, because we think that they will make us happy. It is only because we lack God's love. Therefore, when we are initiated and get in touch with God, we won't do wrong things again. It will be easier for us to keep the commandments, and love our enemies then, because we will have God's direct support.
Q.You said that we are not to just go and meditate in a cave, but we are to be out in a kind of living, walking meditation in the world. Could you go into that in a little more detail?
M. After being initiated you will know how to meditate while living, and not to run away from the world. You will integrate this great cosmic power into your daily activities, as well as when you are meditating. You will accumulate it a little more consciously and dispatch it during your life, to benefit our world. Otherwise, there is no use to just meditate, and bless only yourself. Actually, when we know ourselves, we can bless the whole world. And after we are initiated and are enlightened, in whatever we do there will be a deeper meaning than just the surface physical work, and we will be having joy in doing our things, and not just doing our duty like before. And we will be able to contribute more and more, with less work. You see, I am a very small person, and I don't eat that much, and I don't sleep that much, but you say I am very active. It is because of this great energy. I would bust if I didn't do anything.
Q. You said that meditation will lessen desires and wants, but no matter how happy I am I still have many desires and wants. Can you explain why?
M. Maybe you don't meditate the way I meditate. I can't be responsible for that. When I say meditate, I mean the Quan Yin Method of meditation. We are in direct contact with our own source of all happiness, of all wish-fulfilling power, and then and there, you will be happier and with no wants. Ask all of my disciples. Of course, some of them get it slower because their level is different, but some get it quicker and eventually all desires just go. We don't reject things. 'Desirelessness" doesn't mean detesting everything in this life. It is not true, not true. We like things, we love things, we take care of things, but we are not attached to things. And should the things not be there as per our request, we are not bothered. Do you understand! This is the 'desirelessness' state. But this doesn't mean that you don't go out and make money. No, no, no!
Be successful, be as successful as you want to be. Work for it, use your wisdom inside to be more successful even. Earn as much money as you deserve and want, and if you can't use all of it, give it to me! (laughter) I can make use of it. I can give it to the victims of the volcanic eruption in the Philippines. I can give it to the Vietnamese refugees who have no clothes, no bedding, no mosquito nets, or to the poor in many other places.
No don't give it to me, I wouldn't accept your money. I am just joking! But should you not know what to do with it, I will tell you what to do. That's all. But you will use your money yourself. I don't accept any donations.
Q. How can we develop our Third Eye?
M. You don't develop the Third Eye, because it is already there. We cannot develop what is not material. You see the Third Eye is just a way of speaking, because there isn't an eye at all. Normally we have two eyes, and we see things with a limited vision, but if we have the other eye, the Third Eye, then we can see things in the whole universe. That is why it is called the Third Eye. But actually, the soul doesn't need an eye to see, doesn't need ears to hear, or any sensory apparatus to perceive things. This is the highest Truth, the highest perception without having to use any fleshly instrument. That is our soul power, the Supreme Master within us, which knows all things, hears all things, in all ways, and everywhere. That is what we have to find, because we are that, the Supreme Master in all the universe. Can you imagine how great you are, and how you live your life now? That is why I feel very sorry for you, because you come here to listen to me, and you shouldn't have to do it. Because we are equal, we are exactly the same, we have the same power. It is a very sad thing. But you will know it, if you accept what I say, and you will know just what I know, what Christ knows, what Buddha knows.
Q. When we sleep, our body is asleep, so who sees?
M. That is your soul, your real self. You are not your body. Your physical eyes cannot see anything without the power of the soul. Our body is, in a way, a prison, an instrument. We need a room to house the soul on this earth. Most often, after initiation, the Master arranges that we pay some of our karma through our dreams. That way, it is more comfortable. And sometimes you can also see the future.
Q. Sometimes, when I meditate I feel very uplifted, but I don't see anything besides black and white. Does this mean that I am at a lower level, or that I am not that good yet?
M. If you see black and white, you should buy a colour television! (laughter) You see, if you feel uplifted and more peaceful and more loving, more elevated and happy inside, that is the best result of meditation. All things pertain to bliss. You see, if we meditate and we see a lot of light and hear the sound, it is because we want to learn from the light and the sound, we want the wisdom of life, the peace and tranquillity of our soul. So if you have achieved peace and happiness, it means that somehow, you have already digested the blessing from the light and the sound. The important thing is that you have bliss, happiness and loving kindness, more and more every day.
Q. Oh, Master, I have a hard time meditating because my head hurts when I start to meditate. Please tell me how to stop the headaches?
M. Maybe you try too much. You should not have any effort, yeah. But I don't know what kind of method you study, so it's difficult to tell you. But whatever you do, relax, yeah. Just do it just like you are mowing a lawn or eating the breakfast. No need to put strain on your brain for concentration. In our method we do it without effort. We just sit there and the light comes. Therefore, it is better.
Q. In what way can we get energy from meditation?
M. The effortless way. The energy from meditation is already within ourselves by the power at the time of initiation through a Master, it is awakened. Therefore when we do the meditation in our so-called method which has no method at all, we get the direct energy without doing anything. It's a very effortless effort. That is the best way ,the natural way because we get what we have. We don't borrow. We don't try. We don't steal, we don't force things to happen, but things coming and happening because it's already there.
Q. How should one meditate?
M. You meditate the way you want. If you don't know, you come for initiation and we help you, okay? Actually you should not ask me any question at all! Because it doesn't matter how many answers you have, what's the use? The best way is that we get enlightenment and know all the answers, or we get to the state where we don't care for any answers at all. And then we set ourselves free, forever, from any inquisitiveness, from every desire to know things. That is the time when we know everything. Whatever we need to know we will know right away, and whatever we don't need to know we still know it, but inside, we don't use it.
Q. Master, will meditation lead us to getting possessed by the devil?
M. It depends, depends. If you meditate at random without a teacher, or you choose a wrong way to do it, or you deliberately meditate but break the precepts, eating wrong food or harming other people, then the counter effect will fall upon you, and that's when you allow the so-called devil to come in to destroy you and trouble you. That is only the negative side of all the nature.
When we don't want to lean, we don't stand stably, and we keep like this, then it will pull you back to the negative side again. And at that time, it's stronger, it's harder because it lost you last time, like tightening the grip more; and it's difficult for you to struggle out.
So that's why I don't want to just take a lot of so-called disciples, so that I am famous and have a big group of followers. You must keep the precepts. You must eat a vegetarian diet. Understand? Purify yourself while meditating, so you don't have side effects, you don't have trouble.
And I am responsible for whatever happens to you, if you keep the precepts and follow the instruction. So nothing can happen to you. But if you don't, even God can not help you. Okay.
Q. Master, can those who have mental depression practice meditation?
M. If they understand what I have mentioned today, if they understand the teaching, they're capable of understanding, then they can; because sometimes mental disturbance comes only from depression, too much pressure from society. A form of trying to avoid problems, trying to escape the burden of society. It's not exactly a sickness. So it's temporary and they can stand up again, of course, and faster through meditation.
Q. Why does one see white light during meditation? What does it mean?
M. It's not bad. Seeing light means that there's no darkness.
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