Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Singapore, March 9, 1993
(Originally in English)
Q: Master, how can I remember my past lives so that I can retrieve the knowledge I learned then?
M: It is enough to learn in the present because in our present life, we haven't even learned enough yet. The past life is gone and God has drawn a curtain between the past and present. It's for our own benefit. Therefore, it's not always necessary to retrace the past. If we know too many things about the past without having enough power to handle it, or to improve it concerning the present, then we will be in trouble. That's why people sometimes come into a possessed state of mind. Or knowing too much of the past, they are miserable living in the present.
Suppose you knew that in a past life, you were the sultan of such and such country and now you are driving a taxi, would you like it? Or suppose you knew that last life, you and your wife had some kind of bloodshed with each other. Now, every time you see her, would you be afraid since she killed you in your last life? Could you ever be loving again toward her? It would affect very much your family harmony and your personal relationships, as well as your own happiness. Is that not so? Therefore, we don't need to know the past. We take care of the present, and the future will come beautifully. Meditate on your Inner Self, or choose whatever method you like. But I would only recommend the Quan Yin Method, because I know after all the studies, that it's the best; that it's the highest, the quickest, and the safest. So, we offer that to you in case you want to gain more knowledge in the present and for the future. And the past will take care of itself. The past is gone, the past we can just forget.
~ The Supreme Master Ching Hai
What is the spirit of Zen? It is to enjoy today, to do what is required today. No matter if it is happiness or suffering, it is all today. Don't bother about the past. The past cannot be retrieved; the future is not here yet. But very few people will devote their attention wholeheartedly to the present moment. That's why everyone suffers so much
Pearls of wisdom
~ The Supreme Master Ching Hai
If and when we feel that our life is not going smoothly, we should understand that we have formed undesirable affinities in the past; therefore, we have to strive hard. If we have good affinities, we should also understand that we have done something good in the past; therefore, we must cherish them. We must strive persistently until our mind is entirely stable, absolutely uncaring about anything and not attached to any situation, and until nothing in this world can bind us. Then, it is truly good.
The past decades, generations, and eras of our Earth's history were mostly very dark. If we had been the Earth's inhabitants, we would have gone through one of the kind of happenings, which is very difficult for us to forget. Should we be able to remember, it would give us tremendous suffering and depression so that we wouldn't want to even know about it! That's why it is a blessing from the Most Intelligent that we don't remember our past lives.