Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Tianshan Center, Hong Kong, October 1, 1993
(Originally in Chinese)
Q: Master, just now when I was meditating on the Sound, my whole body vibrated vigorously. I was sitting on this rock; I toppled and fell down, and then woke up. (M: Do you feel comfortable?) I'm feeling very comfortable. I had a headache yesterday, but now it has gone.
M: Sometimes, the vibration is stronger than we are, so we cannot get used to it. The moment we get used to it, we become stronger than it. Then we will feel very natural. It is as though a person has been starving for a long time, not having enough to eat and suffering from malnutrition. If he is suddenly given a lot of food, he may swallow too fast, resulting in indigestion. That is why we have to meditate seriously and regularly. When we have gotten used to meditating for a longer time, it will become a very ordinary practice, and we won't even be aware that we are meditating.
Why does a baby cry when he is born? In the mother's womb, he was immersed in water like a fish. When he suddenly emerges into our world, his skin gets in touch with the air for the first time and he has to begin breathing with his lungs. Therefore, it hurts and is very uncomfortable all over; that's why he cries. As he cries, he has to use his lungs, and then he will get used to our world. He now understands that there is no more water, that it has been replaced by air. He will get used to it slowly.
Our spiritual practice is similar to the situation of the baby. As we practice more diligently, we will get used to the higher vibrations. These vibrations are much higher than ours and that is why we are unaccustomed to them. A newborn baby also cannot get used to our comfortable and free-living environment; instead, he is accustomed to the dark and confined environment in his mother's womb. Therefore, when he is just born, he feels scared and unsafe, as if he has lost everything.
Similarly, it is not difficult for us to be liberated; the only problem is that we have to get used to the free and liberated state. When we eventually get accustomed to it, we will not want to come back to this bodily prison again. Sometimes in meditation, we enter deep samadhi and go to very high dimensions; we feel absolutely free and unrestricted. However, because of our unpaid karma and unfulfilled obligations, and the fact that we still have lessons to learn in this world, we have to come back to this physical body. The moment we are drawn back, we feel extremely frustrated and agonized; the feeling is so bad that we may cry.
There are difficult moments on our spiritual path. When karmic hindrances come, we really have to exert our greatest effort to overcome them. Suppose a baby refuses to go out because he has lingering feelings for the safety of his mother's womb. Would it be good for him? Though the environment is more familiar, safe, comfortable and warm, he cannot grow in there! He will only make trouble for himself and his mother. Therefore, he had better go out when it is time to be born.
During the process of delivery, the baby has to squeeze through the narrow and bony places in his mother's body, which can be quite painful. It is as though his head has to squeeze through two stone gates and is going to split open; it is really difficult. So you see, even such a tiny baby must make the breakthrough when the time comes. Originally, he lives like a fish in his mother's womb where there is no air, no sunshine and no material contact. After he is born, he has to live in a totally different world where everything is just the opposite! Anyway, it is good for him to force the exit; it may be uncomfortable outside, but it is still better than hiding inside indefinitely, because it is not his permanent abode in there.
In spiritual practice, we may sometimes encounter obstacles; we may feel very exhausted and want to quit. There are also times when we are battered hard by our karmic hindrances. However, we ought to stand up again, because we are human beings! We ought to be brave, and act like a hero! We just cannot lower our heads and surrender to the situation every time or give in to our insignificant obstacles.
Yesterday I read you the story "The Journey to the West". The first part of the book describes a group of monkeys, some old and some young, some very clever and so on. However, none of them dared to go beyond the waterfall just because they dreaded getting wet. What they didn't know was that there was a paradise behind the waterfall - a very beautiful cave. Whoever went in could live in that brilliant and comfortable cave. Being adults, if we fail to constantly think about making breakthroughs, then we are weaker than babies! Where can we put our pride then? Therefore, remember that we must not lose to the babies, as they are also very brave!
Pearls of Wisdom
~ The Supreme Master Ching Hai
We must always react quickly so that we can protect ourselves and get accustomed to the faster vibrations. Sometimes, Master will suddenly tell you to do something. It is good to do it immediately because karma also comes suddenly. We must be trained to always be ready! Then, when karma or disasters come unexpectedly, we won't be frightened and stuck there not knowing how to react.