Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Bangkok, Thailand
June 13, 1996 (originally in English) Videotape No. 553
There's a story about the spirit of Cholera. One day he passed by a meditation practitioner and said, "Hallo, I'm going to China." And the Spiritual practitioner said, "Oh! You're going to make trouble again!" And Cholera just smiled and flew away to China.
So, about a month later, when Cholera came back from China, he just passed by again and said, "Hallo! I'm back." And the practitioner, perhaps a Quan Yin Method practitioner, said, "Oh, so you killed 50,000 people in one month?" And the Cholera ghost said, "No, no, only 25,000." He added, "The other 25,000 died from fear. I didn't even have to touch them."
So sometimes the actual situation is not as terrible as we imagine. And if we face it, it won't be so bad. It's just that if we're very afraid and fearful and run away, we make a lot more trouble than if we just face it.
We've heard it said by the Buddha: "I am the Buddha; you will be the Buddha; everyone is equal." So what's the difference? Why are we not the Buddha? It's just because we don't think in the way of the Buddha; we don't do things in the way of the Buddha. We don't act in the way of the Buddha; we don't live the life of a Buddha.
The Buddha, He meditated, and then He was not attached to any possessions. People might have given Him a golden bowl for food or some beautiful silk for His dress, but even though he would take it or wear it, He was never attached to it. He always sacrificed His life and His time to teach other people. He used His time to remind people to set an example of the noble ideal of humankind, of a Buddha. And all the time, His mind and His thinking were always set on the Buddha, on the highest ideal, on the noblest goal of humankind and of the universe. He never thought of anything else, and He never feared anything. So Maya, the so-called negative force, came and bowed to Him. But here we sit and bow to the negative Maya. That's the difference. Fear makes a lot of trouble for us; it pushes us below our dignity. So we have to choose a different way of life.
If you don't think of these negative things, they won't exist. That's why I tell you not to watch all those bad movies. Don't watch ghost movies, and don't go to see all those mediums. Then you believe, "Oh! There's a ghost coming inside of him." And then you come home and think, "Oh! Maybe that ghost followed me home. Maybe the ghost thinks I'm handsome." Things like this affect us, too.
But this is just our feeling; it's not real. Sometimes fear and attachment stop us from doing many things that we originally could have done or would have been able to do if we hadn't felt so afraid or weren't so attached to more comfort and an easier way of life. So try to concentrate all the time on the Buddha, not on ghosts.