Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Los Angeles, USA
December 16-18, 1998 (Originally in English) Videotape No. 641
We're all monks in different ways; we're walking monks. We walk on the street, and we mingle with people. It's the same. It's just that in the old times, it was very difficult for people to go out and spread the teachings. So you had to be a monk. You didn't work, and you relied on charity so that you could walk far and wide to spread the teachings of the Buddha or Jesus. Nowadays this isn't so necessary. You can do so from your own home and be a monk at home.
And another reason was that in the old times, people saved their sexual energy in order to do other things. Because if you had a family and a lot of kids, it was difficult for you to walk around on the street and preach the Truth. So you had to renounce that pleasure of family and lovemaking in order to walk along the way and spread the message. Because sexual energy is very distracting to the work that monks do so they had to do it that way.
So to be a monk or nun or not to be one, to me, is not the real question. The real question is whether you understand things in your heart, and you find God yourself. And so many of the householders are also very attractive to outsiders because they practice diligently in their hearts. And they are really enlightened. They also can spread the teachings from their homes, and they do a lot of wonders.
It's a different time now. We have this very wonderful method, which covers everything. So we don't have to starve ourselves physically, mentally or emotionally in order to reach God. I tell you, God is wonderful! Hes is so generous, so powerful. Nothing can distract you from Hirm, let alone a little pleasure with the woman or the man that you love. So it doesn't matter; the monk or nun is inside.