day, Master stopped by the office at Hsihu unexpectedly, walked
up to my desk and asked, "Do you have anything to report
to me?" Overjoyed at Her sudden appearance, and still struggling
to finish my work, I replied spontaneously, "Yes, I do."
I didn't want Her to leave right away, so I began to search
through the files on my desk. Strange! The document had been
lying right in front of me. But where had it gone? I flushed
with embarrassment at having to make Master wait. At that moment,
She swiftly lifted Her umbrella and lightly tapped a document
on my desk. Her hand moved so quickly, so lightly and unexpectedly
that before my mind even had time to react, I saw the file,
lying right before me! I looked at it and smiled. My face must
have been filled with reverence at the time, but Master smiled
casually as if to say, "This is nothing great, really!"
Master suddenly thinks of assignments that She has given previously
and asks how things are proceeding. Thank God that She asks,
for only then do we find that something has gone wrong; for
instance, documents that may not have been carefully filed and
are about to be destroyed. Her seemingly unintentional inquiries
give us a chance to stop many impending mistakes in time.
Once She gives an assignment,
She rarely intervenes unless it is absolutely necessary or something
is about to go wrong. When we pray for help, She is by our side,
asking about it before we even have had time to consult Her.
Once we get Her advice, we can proceed with our work smoothly.
And it is actually Master who does everything!
once returned to Hsihu feeling sick from a trip abroad. After
a few days of rest, She felt much better and came to the office
to see us. Her magnetic field is so serene that it never disturbs
anyone. That day, She strolled down the middle of the office
blessing everyone, while some of us at work were still talking
loudly and did not notice that Master had just passed by.
Master looked stunningly beautiful,
with long hair, rosy cheeks and clear eyes. We were dazzled!
But She smiled bashfully and moved away from our adoring eyes,
silently blessing the whole office. Master was really beautiful
that day. When She left, a unique fragrance began to float around
the office, as we were elevated to a state of exalted relaxation,
and hummed romantically as we worked through the rest of the
Master summoned all the monastic disciples at Hsihu. She remained
silent and just told us to meditate on the floor. With eyes
closed, Master was sitting in Her own chair meditating with
us. That day the surroundings were extraordinarily quiet and
serene. Sitting close to Master, I had a very intense experience.
When meditating on the Sound, I experienced a wonderful melody
that I had never heard before. I was totally absorbed in ecstasy
and felt that my whole being had been swept into a stream of
love, until Master gently woke us up. I opened my eyes, still
half immersed in bliss. I wondered if this was the way souls
communicate in the superior realms. When I looked into Her loving
eyes, I found my answer.
When Master teaches us through the "heart," Her teaching
surpasses any verbal speech. Though wordless, the effect is
the great Indian yogi Paramahansa Yogananda gave
his first lecture in English abroad, he did not know how to
express himself on stage very well and stood there speechless,
while from within, he silently asked his master for help. Then
his master in India immediately transmitted his blessing, making
Yogananda suddenly eloquent. Today, Supreme Master Ching Hai's
disciples have similar experiences.
For instance, a monastic disciple
once told Master that when he went out to share Her teachings,
many people asked him questions. And to some questions that
Master had never answered before, he did not know how to respond.
But the disciple quickly prayed for Master's help, and suddenly,
to everyone's surprise, he became very articulate. When asked
why he knew so much at such a young age, he answered that he
could not figure it out either. He said it was miraculous that
he could provide wonderful answers to questions that Master
had not taught him about previously. Actually, Master has taught
us everything already, but inside, not outside.
Just as Master says, "Even
if I talked until I were old and my hair turned gray, I still
would not be able to finish telling you all that you have to
learn. Publishing a few books is not enough. Since I have inner
communication with my disciples, even if you are next to me
and I have taught you a lot of things, you are not aware of
them. It is because I teach with the "heart," not
merely through the outer form of teaching. Sometimes I teach
through action, sometimes by scolding; by scolding others to
teach you or by scolding you directly. Sometimes I only tell
you a brief idea, and sometimes I answer you directly. There
are times when I do not say anything, yet I teach you many things.
It is from within that I give the most teachings. So, sometimes
you might find that you have not learned about a subject, yet
you can speak convincingly. You might have never heard about
a certain teaching, yet you can answer people correctly. However,
as soon as your arrogance emerges, this wonderful ability vanishes.
You are stuck there because you are then using the mind, the
ego. So do not say that I never teach you anything; I teach
you a lot!" (By Supreme Master Ching Hai, Hsihu,
Formosa, November 14, 1990, originally in Chinese. Videotape
-- Finishing Today's Work Today
Master's early years in Formosa, She often traveled and
held group meditation sessions at various Formosan centers,
thus Her personal attendants would work late into the night
alongside Master. Only then would they have time to do their
own chores. But sometimes, when the attendants got too tired
at night, they did not feel like doing their laundry. When Master
noticed this, She would lovingly remind them like a mother,
"You never know where you will be heading tomorrow. So
finish the laundry while you still have a little time now."
Master was staying at the Hsihu Center, She
instructed the resident disciples as follows: "Always
clean up any instrument or tool you have used, and return
it to its original place, as if it had never been used.
This way, the next user can find it conveniently. No matter
how late you stop working, always clean up the site and
tools before you go to bed." But occasionally, someone
would carelessly leave some tools out in the rain. Master
would feel very bad when She saw this, and so She reminded
us, "Treasuring public property is treasuring our own
Master often reminds us that living in a
group is different than living at home. We should always
be thoughtful of others and refrain from polluting them
with our undesirable qualities.
It into the Account
during a seven-day retreat, I was helping out at a stall
selling daily necessity items to fellow initiates from all
countries. Then Master came over with a disciple, and told
him to take anything he needed. Before She left, She specifically
told me to have the items recorded in Her account. I was
so thrilled when I saw Master that I virtually forgot about
everything. I thought everything belonged to Master anyway,
and so She could just help Herself to anything She wanted.
Thus, I gave no thought to the account! But Master is always
considerate of others, making it convenient for them, and
is attentive to every detail. If Master had not reminded
me about the account, I would have been my usual disorganized
self and not given any thought to informing the next shift
of workers about this transaction. In the end, the bookkeeper
would not have been able to balance the account. Master's
way of handling things is always clear-cut and immaculate!
every word and action of an Enlightened Master, there is
always great blessing power. If we can put aside our ego
and always follow Master's instructions in our work, many
unknown obstacles will be surmounted.
Once, Master and some disciples
were busy repairing a building. Master saw some nails on
the ground and asked a disciple next to Her to pick them
up. For some reason, the disciple did not do as he was instructed.
Master told him again, but he still did not pick them up.
(He did eventually pick the nails up later, however.) Afterwards,
Master mentioned this incident, saying, "Because of
this, he will have a very long lesson to learn."