Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, December 28, 2002,
Christmas Five-Day Retreat, Florida, USA (originally in English)
To the ones who have progressed: congratulations. You've done your best. You've put down many things. That's how you've progressed. For the ones who have not progressed: You have progressed, but too little.
The only secret is to put it down. God takes care of everything. We can't do anything! If God's Grace isn't there, we can't do anything. Of course, you come here and ask me to intervene in your destiny. Sometimes I could ask God to do it. But it's not my problem. I could intervene; I could do anything for you. But it's your problem. Because if you come here with that intention, that's all you get. Maybe your son gets better or your daughter has a good marriage, but that's all you get. The whole treasure, you leave behind. And that's a pity for you.
That's why I'm not bothered if you ask me any questions, even mundane or petty questions; I can answer them for you. I can help you with anything. But I just feel bad for you. You came here for only five days, and you can't even remember God.
Just for once, you should come here just for Hirm, just for God! But no, you always come here and try to make excuses, asking for all kinds of favors. All these kinds of favors you could ask for at home. I tell you truly: Anytime you pray to God or the Master Power, it's heard. We're not deaf! I hope you don't think so. (Audience applauds.)
And I hope you don't think that "I" am here (Master indicates the physical body) -- that I am sick, I am ill, I am weak, I am small, I am big, I am this and that. No, no, no! It's not me; it's not this person. We're not deaf, we're not dumb, we're not blind and we're not stupid. So there's no need to come here whining about your family and friends or your problems and misfortunes. You can; you can talk to me about anything you want. Of course, if you want to take me as a mother, as a friend, as a shoulder to cry on, that's fine also. But remember, these are only secondary.
And whenever a retreat comes, you should take advantage of the time, of no disturbances, no demands from family and friends, no business, no work, no boss, no colleagues, no husband or wife íV we separate for you íV no quarrels, no kids. You should concentrate. Treasure this time as if, after this, you'll die. You'd have no more chance then to even worry about your family, who would be left behind! Will you have a chance to worry about them when you die? No! And you don't know if I'll be alive again the next day, much less after five days if I'll still be here to conduct another retreat. So you're really silly.
The ones who don't progress are really silly. Every time you come to a retreat, we remind you to concentrate on one Guy only: one Husband, one Wife. That's true faithfulness. It's not about you being loyal to your spouse on this planet. But you have to be loyal to the Spouse in Heaven; this is most important because the spouse here can leave you at any time. If you become ugly, sick, old, or he meets someone better, like the karma loosens and he meets someone from a past life he feels better with, then you're doomed. But the Spouse in Heaven will never, ever leave us. And we're very unfaithful; that's bad news. Nevertheless, I hope you learned your lesson this time, those of you who haven't progressed. Whenever or if we have a next time again, take your chance then, OK? (Applause)
I'm not angry with you; I'm not frustrated with you; I'm nothing. I just do whatever I have to do, at that moment only. So whatever poison you feel, give it back to me now. You can go home and you're free. You're good, you're perfect again, and you're the person you are. When you're here, I have to correct you, I have to cleanse you, and the process is sometimes very painful for both of us. But it's OK. It's done, and you're free. After the five days, whatever's bad here or good here, it's gone. (Applause)
So you're perfect, you're loved and you're wanted, as usual, and during the retreat, too. But other kinds of treatment might make you feel that you're unwanted or unloved. It's not true. It's just that administering medicine was necessary at that time. So whatever you don't need, give it back; put it back right here and go home free. You're perfect as usual, even if you haven't progressed. You've just learned another lesson, at your own expense. I mean, money-wise, also. (Master laughs.) You spend a lot of money, coming here and going back for nothing.
It's not my fault; I sell everything! Everyone has the same sale. I don't reserve anything for anyone special; everyone can have the same merchandise. If you want to buy it, everyone has a chance.
Now, for the ones who have progressed, you should be happy and proud of yourselves. I don't have any reward or certificate to give you, but you know you're rewarded. You have your own certificate. You should be happy. (Applause) And for the ones who have not progressed at all or maybe just a little bit, since you can't help but progress a little íV I hope there will be a next time for you, so that you can undo your mistakes. Next time, if we have any time, if you have any more chances to come ever again for such a retreat, please be one-pointed as if you're dead. If you're dead, no one can do anything to you. Put the word "Dead" on your forehead before you go out the door. Take it off and say, "I'm alive again!" when you get out of this retreat. That's really what it is. (Applause)
Because if you're not dead to the world, you can't be alive with God. It says the same thing in the Bible: "You can't worship both God and mammon." So we have to be one-pointed. Whatever I did during this retreat was to guard you or herd you into this one-pointedness. Be it loving, be it petting, hugging or scolding, it's all to help you during these five days only. So don't think that you're more special if I give you more tenderness, and don't think that you're terrible if I give you a scolding. You're all equal, equal, equally loved in my heart. (With tears in Her eyes) I love you so much! (Extended applause)
Because even though sometimes you do things I don't like you to do because I know they're not good for your practice, or you have something in your heart that's not good for your practice, I know it's not your fault. It's just the circumstances that made you this way. It's this terrible world that pushes you into these situations.
I have nothing but love for you. I don't want to give you any harsh words or anything, but I have to. It's for your own good, but I just want you to know that I love you through all that. It's just like sometimes you scold your children, but you never stop loving them. And maybe if some of your children aren't well, you put them in the hospital. It's a terrible treatment for them, but you want them to be well. So you put them in the mental ward, because you want their mind to be sharper, you hope, in the future. That's all there is to this treatment, but treatment is never pleasant. Just try to meditate more so you don't have to have this kind of treatment anymore.
Some of you were more enlightened in Heaven before you came here, but you wanted to be even more enlightened than that. For example, when you were 80% enlightened in Heaven, it means you were in the Fourth World or something. But you came down looking for me because you knew I'd be here. And when you came down, your enlightenment became less than when you were in Heaven. And you suffered and suffered here, and forgot everything that was on the path and in Heaven for you. You've suffered more here because you've forgotten.
So I'm trying in every way to make you remember, to reach back there and above it, above the level you were on before you came down. So anything that's possible, I'll do for you. But you also have to try to remember your real Self. Otherwise, the less we remember, the more we suffer. Anyway, I just want you to know that you're very much loved and very much respected because you're good. It's not because you were bad that you're good. It's because the situation makes you so bad, yet you're still trying to be good. That's why you're good. (Applause)
You have so much pressure from home, society, friends, colleagues, jobs, boss, husband, wife and so on. And you still try your best to meditate at home, go to group meditation and also come here on retreat. Even if you come on an airplane, it's easy and all that, but it's not all that easy. So for that, I really love you. I know you try your best, and God will know. So anything you want, you should just pray for at home. The next time you go to a retreat, just desire to know God: For just five days, be dead to the world. (Applause)