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The Quan Yin Method
Frequently Asked Questions

The Meditation on the Inner Light and Sound

taught by The Supreme Master Ching Hai




Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association
P.O. Box 10040,
Westminter, CA, USA 92885

Last-modified: May 29, 1998
Version: V1.0


This is the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) for alt.meditation.quanyin newsgroup. The purpose of this FAQ is to provide brief information about the Quan Yin Method and the Supreme Master Ching Hai. Any further questions may be directed to the many centers all over the world. The list of these centers is also posted on the alt.meditation.quanyin.

This FAQ may be distributed freely for non-comercial use as long as its content is un-modified, including this message.

Please forward your comments/suggestions concerning of this FAQ to info@quanyin.com.

Contents

1         Charter

2         The Quan Yin Method in brief

2.1         What is the Quan Yin Method?
2.2         Who teaches the Quan Yin Method?
2.3         How do I learn the Quan Yin Method?
2.4         What is initiation and the Five Precepts?

3         Collection of the frequently asked questions

3.1         FAQ about the Quan Yin Method
3.2         FAQ about Initiation
3.3         FAQ about the Convenient Method
3.4         FAQ about Enlightenment
3.5         FAQ about the Five Precepts
3.6         FAQ about Vegetarianism

4         The Quan Yin Method World-Wide-Web

5         The Supreme Master Ching Hai News Magazine


1    Charter

The general charter of the group is to discuss the Quan Yin Method, Meditation on the Inner Light and Sound, as taught by Supreme Master Ching Hai. But any other meditation discussion topics are also welcome.

2    The Quan Yin Method in brief

2.1    What is the Quan Yin Method?

Quan Yin Method is a meditation technique on both the Inner Light and the Inner Sound. The Chinese characters "Quan Yin" mean contemplation of the sound vibration. These inner experiences have been repeatedly described in the spiritual literature of all the world's religions since ancient times.

With this method, we can all attain understanding of the great joy, compassion and heavenly bliss described in religious and spiritual scriptures around the world. More than just a simple meditation technique, this living teaching brings to anyone who sincerely desires it the ability to carry the meditative state into all parts of their lives. It offers each of us a way to have true love and understanding for our fellow beings, to play our part in society while still keeping our mind clear of worry and attachment, and a way to find freedom here and beyond this world.

2.2    Who teaches the Quan Yin Method?

Supreme Master Ching Hai teaches the importance of the practice of meditation, inner contemplation, and prayer. She explains that we must discover our own Inner Divine Presence, if we are to be truly happy in this life. She teaches that enlightenment is not esoteric and out of reach, attainable only by those who retreat from society. Her job is to awaken the Divine Presence within, while we lead normal lives. She states, "It is like this. We all know the Truth. It's just that we forgot it. So, sometimes someone has to come and remind us of the purpose of our life, why we must find the Truth, why we must practice meditation, and why we must believe in God." She asks no one to follow Her. She simply offers Her own Enlightenment as an example, so that others may gain their own Ultimate Liberation.

For some, Supreme Master Ching Hai is their Mother, for some She is their Father, and for others She is their Beloved. At the least, She is the very best Friend you could ever have in this world. She is here to give to you, not to take. She takes no payment of any kind for Her teachings, help or initiation. The only thing She will take from you is your suffering, your sorrow and pain. But only if you want this!

2.3    How do I learn the Quan Yin Method?

Supreme Master Ching Hai accepts people from all backgrounds and religious affiliations for initiation. You do not have to change your present religion or system of beliefs. You will not be asked to join any organization, or participate in any way that does not suit your current life style.

Supreme Master Ching Hai's goal is to teach us to be self sufficient. Therefore, She teaches a Method that can be practiced by everyone, by themselves, without props or paraphernalia of any kind. She is not looking for followers, worshippers, or disciples, or establishing an organization with a dues paying membership. She will not accept money, prostrations, or gifts from you, so you do not need to offer these to Her.

Supreme Master Ching Hai offers initiation free of charge and conditions to anyone seeking the Truth.

However, you will be asked to become a vegetarian. A lifetime commitment to the vegetarian diet is a necessary prerequisite for receiving initiation. She will accept your sincerity in daily life and meditational practice to progress to sainthood.

Please contact your local contact person/center. For the most recent worldwide contact list, please check it at

http://www.spiritual-discovery.com/eng/world.html

2.4    What is the initiation and the Five Precepts?

The initiation into the Quan Yin Method is not an esoteric ritual or a ceremony for entering a new religion. During the initiation, specific instruction in meditation on the Inner Light and Inner Sound is given, and Supreme Master Ching Hai provides the "spiritual transmission". This first taste of Divine Presence is given in silence. Supreme Master Ching Hai need not be physically present in order to open this door for you. This transmission is an essential part of the Method. The techniques themselves will bring little benefit without the Grace of the Master.

Because you may hear the Inner Sound and see the Inner Light immediately upon initiation, this event is sometimes referred to as "sudden" or "immediate enlightenment."

Daily practice of the Quan Yin Method of meditation, and the keeping of the "Five Precepts" are your only requirements after initiation. The Precepts are guidelines that help you to neither harm yourself nor any other living being. These practices will deepen and strengthen your initial enlightenment experience, and allow you to eventually attain the highest levels of Awakening or Buddhahood for yourself. Without daily practice, you will almost certainly forget your enlightenment and return to a normal level of consciousness.

The Five Precepts
-----------------

1. Refrain from taking the life of sentient beings.*
2. Refrain from speaking what is not true.
3. Refrain from taking what is not offered.
4. Refrain from sexual misconduct.
5. Refrain from the use of intoxicants.

*The keeping of this precept requires a vegan or lacto-vegetarian diet.

3    Collection of the frequently asked questions

This collection of the selected questions and answers were gathered from various sources.

Q denotes the audience. M denotes Supreme Master Ching Hai.

3.1    FAQ about the Quan Yin Method

Q: She would like You to explain the composition and the real principle of this method

M: Okay, actually there is no written method, but there is a so-called method, because at the time of initiation, the so-called teacher or friend can help the people interested to know the Truth, open their own inner power to recognize their own Buddha nature. And this method is not a verbal one, it will be transmitted in silence. But then when it is done, the interested seeker will have realized a part of their enlightenment. For example we see brilliant Buddha's light or can hear some teaching directly from the Buddha, can see the self Buddha nature. Of course there are some helping factors, such as a guide or the teacher will tell the disciple how to sit and how to relax and where to pay attention to, but all these amount to nothing if there is no power behind the method.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on December 23, 1994 in Thailand
A Telephone Interview with Radio Five On "Sunday Focus"
>
* * *

Q: Can You describe briefly the essence of Your method?

M: Whatever I say with words are just concepts, to advertise the real thing. For example, I can tell you that the cookies from England are very tasty and aromatic, and the cookies are at my home. When you have actually eaten some, then I don't have to describe them to you anymore. When you are truly ready to accept it, then I don't have to say anything anymore. When you are truly enlightened, you will see light. You will see your own "Supreme Master" working inside you. You will hear sound, which is the special language God uses to communicate with us. You will feel more and more comfortable, more wise, more loving and mote clear about your own existence.


Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on Nov 23, 1993 in USA
the Southern Chinese Daily News

* * *

Q: Because it cannot be transmitted by words, how do You transmit it?

M: First, the teacher must realize his own true self and then it will be done automatically in a different level of existence, in a different level of consciousness. It means the consciousness of the teacher and the disciple will be connected, and then something is done which we cannot explain in the verbal language. For example we cannot explain the love between a couple or love between a mother and a child, but nevertheless it exists and both of them understand.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on December 23, 1994 in Thailand
A Telephone Interview with Radio Five On "Sunday Focus"

* * *

Q: Would You like everyone in this world to practice the Quan Yin Method, and why?

M: Only because we suffer so much. If the people are happy with their life and they don't suffer, and they keep the kind of, for example Buddhist precepts or the Christian precepts - like we don't kill, we don't tell lies, we don't harm other people, we don't gamble, we don't take drink and drugs, things like that - then it's not very much necessary for everyone to practice. But because people mostly very suffer, even if they are rich and highly positioned they still suffer, therefore, if each one of us in the world can practice Quan Yin Method, of course it's better for them. Because the people who practice Quan Yin Method have such an inner happiness that money or position can never equal, can never exchange for it; and it is lasting, nothing can change it.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on December 23, 1994 in Thailand
A Telephone Interview with Radio Five On "Sunday Focus"

* * *

Q: If one attains the highest level after practicing the Quan Yin Method, what would it be like, and have any of Your disciples attained that?

M: If one attains the highest level in Quan Yin practice, then one becomes like Bodhisattva Avolakitesvara, you know, Quan Yin Bodhisattva, who can hear everything, can see everything, and can help people in different corners of the universe, without having to be near them or without having to know their names or person. And this is of course the goal of every follower of different religions, to become omnipresent, to become a source of blessing for all the suffering beings. And some of our disciples have attained near this kind of level, but they are very humble. You will not be able to discern them. It's just sometimes other disciples can tell, or during meditation then you can see, who is which level.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on December 23, 1994 in Thailand
A Telephone Interview with Radio Five On "Sunday Focus"

* * *

Q: Master, Why is it seeing light and hearing sounds so important in meditation?

M: Because that is our own real self. Light and sound is the manifestation of our wisdom inside, which is invisible to our eyes and ears. Hearing the sound doesn't mean you hear with the ears. Seeing the light doesn't mean you see with eyes. It's just the inside awareness of your own self, of your own glorious nature, that we are light; that we are a beautiful melody and that we are not the body. And the more you hear of this invisible, inaudible sound, the more you'll see this invisible light or heaven, the wiser you'll become; the more loving you'll become; the more satisfaction you'll gain; and the more efficient you will be to serve the world.

It's not because the light and sound are important; it is because it is ourselves. It's just like food, we don't eat because of the taste only; it's because it will give nourishment that will later manifest as strength and energy, so that we can work for the family; we can think; we can read books; and we can do other things. That is the importance of food. Similarly, the importance of the light and sound is that it makes us wiser, more loving, more capable in all aspects. Alright?

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on March 9, 1993 in Singapore

* * *

Q: Dear Master, there is always a fear of the unknown. How can one be certain that the Quan Yin method is the right one?

M: Of course, you don't know until you try. But as you see, from our lining principles, you can see that, even if the Quan Yin method doesn't do you any good, or you are not certain of the benefit of the Quan Yin method, one thing you can be certain that it will do you no harm. No harm if you eat vegetarian diet, at least, you will be healthy, if you don't believe in any spiritual compassion at all. It is proved scientifically that vegetarian diet is healthy for you. All the hospitals in the world are built for the meat eaters. You know that! Most of the meat eaters are in the hospitals anyhow. Okay, one stand point.

The so-called five precepts are to protect you from the uneasiness of mind. Should you have only a very loving and one pointed relationship. You don't take what doesn't belong to you. You do not gambling, which causes misery to yourself, to your family and to others. You do not take alcohol and make your mind, your vision blurs. And if you take drugs, it is not good for you. So, for all this very apparent so-called material guidelines, as least you know our teaching, our method will benefit you somewhat. And from there you start. And you get to know better.

At least, we offer you somewhat immediate proofs of enlightenment. And at least, we don't cash any money for it, before, between, and after. You have no conditions, no binding whatsoever. Suppose even afterwards, you don't want us, we also don't do anything to you. Understand? So, in any ways, you don't lose anything, you will only gain. That is some symbolic things I can tell you. But moreover, you might use your intuitive wisdom to ascertain which path to follow. It doesn't matter what I say, you have to know it. Pray to your Inner Self, to God, to Jesus, to Allah, to Buddha, to whoever you believe, to help you to decide. And if you see a stronger pull to come to us, then you know it is for you. Should you do not felt it or you felt stronger pull into the world. All right. Then you are not yet ready. Understand? It is very simple.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on Mar 16, 1993 in Sydney, Australia

* * *

Q: Master, which religion does the Quan Yin Method belongs to and how does it differ to other religions?

M: I have explained that all religions are actually the same. They all talk about the supreme power, the noblest and most compassionate quality within us. So I include all the religions. I never taught you to attack each other's religions. This is not the proper attitude for ordinary people, let alone the spiritual practitioners. Isn't that so?

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on March 9, 1993 in Singapore

* * *

Q: Master, will I be able to find my dead relatives and communicate with them if I practice the Quan Yin meditation?

M: Dead relatives? Oh, sure, sure. But I am afraid maybe you don't like to go there. Some of your people are difficult to get in touch with. If you want to go such place, you need a Master. Otherwise you will be in danger. So it's not always good to see dead relatives. Now you practice the Quan Yin Method, and some of your relatives, dead relatives will be immediately released from whatever suffering they have. If they are already in heaven, they will go to a higher level of heaven. If they suffer light punishment, they can go immediately, quick. If it's too heavy, then we have to negotiate. Then the Master must negotiate or has to suffer for that person. But it won't be too long. For example, if those people have to suffer for thousands of years, the Master wouldn't have to suffer for thousands of years. Just maybe a few hours, or sometimes a few seconds, sometimes a few minutes, sometimes prolonged but not a big deal sickness, things like that.

So it's not always ideal to see your dead relatives. It's better to see live relatives. Love them, serve them, and encourage them before they are dead. (Applause) But you can see them, you can see them. Many of our practitioners see their dead relatives and friends coming to thank them that due to them, they are liberated. That is no big deal, no big deal.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on Jan 10, 1995 in Singapore

* * *

Q: What's the real teaching?

M: The real teaching is not in any religious scripture. The real teaching is inside ourselves. So the master only reminds us that we have the Kingdom of God inside, have Buddha inside us. The Buddha said the Buddha is inside yourself, you are the Buddha. Jesus said God is inside you, that means you are God. Who can teach the Buddha? Who can teach God anything? Therefore the master only tries to awaken the great wisdom within yourself.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 27, 1994
Korean Religious News, Issue No.1062, in Korea

* * *

Q: How do You explain the Quan Yin Method to non-initiates?

M: It depends on the level of the listeners, also depends on their religious backgrounds, depends on their openness and eagerness. But general, we can tell them that in most of the scriptures of the great religions of the world it is stated that all beings come from the sound and the light. So the Quan Yin Method is the way to bring us back to this original creative power, back to where we came from, back to where we originated. And because of Quan Yin Method, we can hear the original sound and see the original light. That is our origin.

And this original power contains everything that we desire, because it can create everything. Therefore after contacting this original creating power, we can own and create everything. We have no more desire and attachments, and the desireless state means "Nirvana". But that doesn't mean we throw away the world, we still contribute to the world, but we have no desire.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 27, 1994
Korean Religious News, Issue No.1062, in Korea

Q: Did the Quan Yin Method exist also in ancient times?

M: The Sixth Patriarch Hui Neng passed down the Quan Yin Method to ten disciples. However, the lineage of the method was discontinued later. It was because the most enlightened disciple had gone to another country and developed there, and this country heard no more about this lineage.

Sometimes because of political reasons, economic reasons or the collective karma of the people of that country does not allow Master's teachings to be continued there. So it will go develop in another place.

This time is urgent, besides so many disasters, so many wars, so many suffering in this world, you can't wait to select one or two disciples. It is the order from heaven that we spread it quickly and openly. It is the mercy of heaven, of Buddhas also.

We have accumulated too much negative karma, through the killing of animals en masse, and through many destructive weapons.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 27, 1994
Korean Religious News, Issue No.1062, in Korea

* * *

Q: There are a lot of methods in this world, why did You choose or accept the Quan Yin Method as your practice?

M: Yes, I have also practiced many different methods before I realized this Quan Yin Method is the one which offers you the quickest and the highest level of self-realization. That's why I announce it to whoever would like to share the fortune, like I did.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on December 23, 1994 in Thailand
A Telephone Interview with Radio Five On "Sunday Focus"

* * *

3.2    FAQ about initiation

Q: Master, can You explain the initiation of the Quan Yin Method?

M: Initiation is a kind of invisible opening wisdom ceremony. No flowers, no incense, no prostration, no Buddha statues, no church, nothing. Only you and your own positive original power. Now when you sit there all alone, then I will point to your soul where to go, in order to get back the positive and negative together, understand? Now you are separated because you are always leaning onto the negative side for survival. Now when you sit alone there and ready, willing to go back, I just pull you back. But no action involved. These things are abstract, are the wonderful things of the invisible power. There is no doing of anything. Do without doing.

I don't have to be there even. I don't have to even know your name, your address, your age, your profession. I don't have to know you; I mean physically. Inside I know. Therefore the initiation is just like you sit there and get back your positive side. You know, like out of balance, that you always lean on the negative. Now, come back and then you're balanced. That's it. And then you know that you are enlightened because you saw the light, you received the teaching from heaven through melody.

It's not by "Singlish", it's not by Chinese. It's wordless words, silent sounds. This will make you wiser, and more and more realize that you are great, and you are the master of the house. Yeah! That's the initiation. But no words can describe that, because I would not talk to you at that time. I might not even be present, because you will be along with the whole universe then. You know? That's how you know yourself. It's difficult to try to understand now. If you don't, just go for initiation then you'll understand.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on Jan 10, 1995 in Singapore

* * *

Q: Specifically, what does Your initiation involve and once one is initiated, what would the day-to-day practice involve?

M: Okay. Yes. First of all, it's all free of charge and no binding involved, except that you have to bind yourself, should you want to continue to go further. Hmmm? So, the conditions - no experience required. Yeah? No previous knowledge about any yoga, or any meditation required. But then, you have to commit yourself to a lifelong vegetarian diet. No eggs. Milk okay. Cheese okay. Anything else without killing is okay. Egg because it also involves of half-killing, even though it's how to say... infertile. And also it has kind of quality to have a tendency to attract negative power. You know, that's why many people of the black and white magicians field, or many voodoo people - so-called voodoo, they use eggs to draw some of the entities from possessed persons. If you know it or not? You know? Oh, that's fantastic! At least, I have immediate proof, if not immediate enlightenment, for you. (Laughter) And after initiation... the time of initiation, you experience the light and the sound of God. Yeah? The music of the spirit, it draws you up to the higher level of consciousness. You will understand the taste of samadhi - the deep peace and joy. Yes. And after that, you continue to practice at home, if you are serious. If you are not, I cannot push you, I cannot bother you any more. If you continue and you want me to help you all the way, then I continue. If you do not... you see that's the way. And two and a half hours a day meditation. Wake up early in the morning.

Before you sleep, meditate two hours; and maybe half an hour in the lunch time. When I am not here to speak, you have one-hour lunch. You can hide away somewhere and meditate. That's already one hour. Yeah? And in the evening, you make one more hour or half an hour. In the morning, get up earlier one hour. Regulate more of your life, you know, less TV, less gossip, less telephone, less newspapers, then you have a lot of time. Yes, truly we have a lot of time but sometimes we waste away our time. Just like our car running in the backyard instead of going to Long Island, yeah. Are you satisfied with that? Or... ? Yes? Yes, and nothing more. No conditions for you, nothing else except you commit yourself to this lifelong practice. And everyday you experience different changes for the better, and different miracles for your life, not that you wish for it. It will happen anyhow. Understand? And then you truly experience what's heaven like on earth, if you are really serious about it. That's how many hundreds of thousands of our disciples still hang on, still hang on to me after many years, because they have better and better experiences, because they are serious about it and they do practice.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on June 26, 1992 at the United Nations, New York

* * *

Q: Dear Master, is meditation necessary before initiation? How will initiation help me in my everyday life?

M: Meditation and experience about meditation practice is not required. If you have it, it's okay. If you don't have it, it's okay. You might have to start all over again because you didn't meditate in the right way anyhow. So we start to help you from ABC. And after your initiation, you will see miracles every day. It helps you in all aspects in your life. Whether you work better, or you take care better of your family, you are more loving towards your family members, more loving towards yourself, more self-confident, everything! One thousand and million of things, I can not tell you all. You have to experience it. It helps you. Otherwise, what is the good of meditation and suffering here every day, waiting for heaven. We have to bring heaven to earth by meditation practice. And we enjoy some part of heaven here, and then when we quit this earth, we enjoy even more!

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on March 8, 1993 In Singapore

* * *

Q: Is it okay to receive initiation from more than one master?

M:Yeah, it's okay. But why is it necessary? For example, if your master has already taught you the light and sound within you, and you are satisfied and you're making progress with that path, then you don't have to be initiated by another master who will teach the same method. But nevertheless, if you are not completely satisfied and you would like to have more, I mean you are more convinced in some other master, of course you may do so.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 10, 1993 in Colorado, USA

* * *

Q: Dear Master, Why must we be initiated to get enlightenment?

M: Because you don't know how to get enlightenment yourself, otherwise you're welcome to try without initiation. If you already know how to get enlightenment, then please don't come.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on March 9, 1993 in Singapore

* * *

3.3    FAQ about the Convenient Method

Q: Master, I understand there is a method called the "Convenient Method". Is it the same as the Quan Yin Method?

M: Not exactly, but it offers you also a taste of enlightenment. And you can continue to practice that every day without such a strict regulation as a pure vegetarian diet or two and a half hours a day, things like that. You can meditate half an hour everyday or one hour apart, or twenty minutes, whatever you like, and eat the vegetarian diet as conveniently as your position or your situation allows. So that's why we call it "Convenient Method".

And you also have enlightenment. But, it's a small kind of vehicle, you can only liberate yourself alone. And the Quan Yin Method will liberate many of your relatives and friends, up to seven or even nine generations, the people you don't even know, your ancestors, etc., and your next generation, your grand, grandchildren not yet born, etc.. Because of the blood link, they will also be free.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on Jan 10, 1995 in Singapore

* * *

Q: Even after initiation, I may not be a full vegetarian. Can I still be initiated by You today?

M: You know the answer. I am also very touched by your honesty and sincerity. But we have another way for you. Not to completely reject you at all. Anyhow, you can practice the Convenient Method, and you can try vegetarian food whenever it's convenient for you, ten days per month, or twenty days, or fifteen days... Whenever convenience. Until you're completely satisfied with the idea that God comes first, God comes before everything else in life, before every reason, before every logic, before any pride at all, then you get initiation. Alright? otherwise, it's not fair for everyone else. Otherwise I initiate the whole theater, the whole hall. why you alone. Everyone else, many other people, most people would like my teaching, and love to follow the initiation process. Just they cannot eat the vegetarian. So why you alone? Then I just make a cheap wholesale. Everybody is welcome. It's not that I care whether you eat meat or vegetarian. But you must know what you want, and pay for it.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on March 9, 1993 in Singapore

* * *

Q: Master, sometimes during meditation with the Convenient Method, I feel a chill from my spine going up to my head, and then there seems to be a feeling of energy encircling in my head. What does this mean? Is this a bad or good sign?

M: It's okay. It's your kundalini at work. Afterward you'll be used to it. It's only a Convenient Method, and still it works all so much, because of the master power blessing you. Other people they practice many years to try to awaken the kundalini, and they can't do it.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 10, 1993 in Colorado, USA

* * *

3.4    FAQ about the Enlightenment

Q: What exactly is immediate enlightenment? How can we achieve it?

M: Immediate enlightenment is possible because we already possess the enlightenment inside of us. It is like a diamond, which is already a diamond; we only need to clean it a little and we will have it. So we can have immediate enlightenment because it is already here. It is only because you have forgotten where it is, and we know where it is and we will show you where it is and you will find it immediately. Okay! How come everyone is so quiet?

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 27, 1993 in Paris, France

* * *

Q: How long must one meditate to reach enlightenment?

M: Enlightenment comes immediately. As soon as you sit down with the Master and sincerely want it, it comes immediately. Even sometimes before initiation; sometimes I have not finished the instruction, and people already got enlightenment. Some people are in a hurry, you know, they have no time to wait.

But the meditation takes place daily, because we always want to be in the enlightened state, and we always want to renew our acknowledgment of enlightenment. Or also we want to strengthen it, to strengthen, to expand until infinity. Otherwise, even if you meditate for one hundred years, you don't get any enlightenment.

Meditation doesn't bring enlightenment, the Master power does, because during initiation, or during so-called meditation in our method, you do not meditate, because meditation means effort, but in our way, it's effortless. You might sit there sometimes even sleepy and then enlightenment even comes, even then. Or you will be enlightened during sleep because the Master power will wake you, wake your soul during your sleep. While your mind is asleep, your body is at rest, your soul will be awaken into the world of light and wisdom.

Therefore, meditation is not a means to enlightenment. But for lack of vocabulary in this world, we have to call it meditation. Actually, you just sit there and receiving the grace of God and acknowledging your own supreme power. There's no meditation actually that is involved, because anything that is earned or it is a result of some kinds of action, it is still the worldly production. It's still within the material framework. Therefore, our meditation is a non-meditational meditation, effortless meditation.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 7, 1994
During the group meditation in Seattle, USA

* * *

Q: How can we know that we are enlightened? What are the manifestations?

M: It isn't difficult. Enlightenment means with light. If we are enlightened we must see the inner light, but not with our physical eyes. when you are enlightened, you will see immediately the inner bright light, and this is the sign of enlightenment It works instantly because our nature is the light from heaven. We are not our physical bodies. They are only clothes that we can remove and put back whenever we want if we know how to do it. I will show you how to do it during initiation.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 27, 1993 in Paris, France

* * *

Q: Can You give enlightenment to everyone? Are You capable of altering the profound nature of someone?

M: Everyone has the right to be enlightened, but it is your choice to wish for it or not. After having found our true enlightened nature, our greatness and our wisdom, we will change own selves. For myself, I do not change people. It is they who change because their true nature is exceptional; it is their nobility and their wisdom. And he who finds his true nature will rid himself of all negative habits.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 27, 1993 in Paris, France

* * *

Q: Master, usually how long does it take to get enlightenment? May I know what does it depends on?

M: Oh, depends on many things. First, it depends on the proper meditation method. And it depends on your teacher, whether that person is capable to lead you to enlightenment. Never mind talking about long or short. If you get a good teacher, you get immediate enlightenment. If you don't get a good teacher, I don't know how long, very, very long, many lifetimes. And also enlightenment depends on your sincerity, if you want it or not. If you do want it, you get it immediately. If you don't want it, it doesn't matter how much you pretend, how long you sit there, until your bottom falls off, (laughter) you don't have anything.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on Jan 10, 1995 in Singapore

* * *

Q: Dear Master, is it true that a relationship and marriage will distract us from immediate enlightenment?

M: No. No. It's not true! It's not true. It's not true at all! But it might make us a little bit side-tracked for a while, for a while only. If you are completely enlightened, or are very strong on your spiritual path, it doesn't matter what you do, how attractive the world is, you will always remember what you want. But by the way, enlightened people will not become metal or wood. It's alright to take care of your family and your marriage. Most masters were married, and had children, and raised a family just like you. And I say it's absolutely normal.

Anyhow, it's absolutely normal to fulfill our duty in life, and at the same time, aspire to heaven. Yeah, because God doesn't put us here just to be lonely, or to endure hardship, or to be feelingless, or lifeless. It's all right. Whatever happens naturally, accept it, without struggle, condemnation, rejection. Just accept it and do things in a moderate way. We practice the middle path. It's alright if you don't want to get married, or if you don't want to take responsibility of a family life. But if you want to get married, if you love somebody, it's alright. It's part of the universal love. Any love is part of universal love. Yeah? Just accept it as God's gift to you should you find a good partner. If God doesn't give to you, even if you look through your life, you won't find any. So, don't worry about it.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on March 9, 1993 in Singapore

* * *

Q: What do You learn when You are "enlightened"?

M: If you do not have any religious faith and you have never seen the "light", once you follow my teachings, you will have "experience" immediately. This is called "immediate enlightenment". When you continue to learn, you will have a greater enlightenment, and you will understand yourself more and more. One should not stop at having a little bit of enlightenment.

Q: What is the extent of the "enlightenment"?

M: To what extent? It is boundless. But, it is also not boundless. We already possess everything. Therefore, whatever you need to use, it will come automatically. If you don't use it, it will be there sleeping. I just teach you how to find what you already have.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on Nov 23, 1993 in USA
the Southern Chinese Daily News

* * *

3.5    FAQ about the Five Precepts

Q: Are the Five Precepts mandatory after initiation?

M: It is better for you and everyone else, for your conscience and the peace on earth, for your wisdom and your nobility. It is better to keep the Five Precepts.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 27, 1993 in Paris, France

* * *

Q: What is the reason behind not eating eggs and we can drink milk?

M: We can drink milk, yes we could, no problem about milk because we don't have to kill the animal for milk. About the egg, even if it's not fertilized egg, it still contains a kind of symbol of life and death, born and reborn, and also the egg has the potential of attracting the negative energy. Perhaps you would read or know or heard that many of the magicians, they use the eggs to attract the negative entities from some of the possessed persons. Therefore we do not like to attract the negative force into ourselves, because now we try to reach the positive nature.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on December 23, 1994 in Thailand
A Telephone Interview with Radio Five On "Sunday Focus"

* * *

Q: If someone has taken the initiation already and after that they cannot practice or do what they have promised, is it a big sin and can they quit being a practitioner?

M: Sure they can, anytime. It's difficult to be a disciple but it's easy to quit. It's just that they stopped at that level they attained, and do not progress if they don't sincerely want to achieve a higher level, and if of course they committed sin, then they also would be handled like everyone else.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on December 23, 1994 in Thailand
A Telephone Interview with Radio Five On "Sunday Focus"

* * *

Q: Could you please explain your precepts against killing. Specifically against abortion.

M: Wa! You get me into trouble. Ah, Thou shalt not kill is the precept of all religious scriptures, not only Christians. It's even in Jainism, Hinduism and other religions also. If they truly take this thou shalt not kill in a true sense of the precept, abortion, of course, should be avoided. And the doctor should be very precise in determining what is the special situation that people should undertake this. Because maybe sometimes it's dangerous for the mother, yeah, or dangerous for both. So, the doctor should be fair in determining that situation. Otherwise I think we should save life in any way we can. Whatever special circumstance with you, that you have to answer, your self- conscience, and the doctor has to determine that. Okay? I am not here to condemn anyone, because I know life is very hard, and very difficult to say which is right and which is wrong. Because we are also all under the sway of karma, of the law of cause and retribution, and sometimes it is very difficult for a person to go above that, to be saintly, and to be decisive about anything in life. But, bear in mind that if you have faith in God, and in all our wisdom and if we are enlightened, no circumstance is difficult, no situation is hard to handle. So, I just propose enlightenment, and no condemnation for anything. (Applause.)

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 10, 1993 in Colorado, USA

* * *

Q: You said You denounce immorality. What is meant by sexual misconduct? Is that wrong?

M: I do not denounce anything. I just propagate correct way of life. And you are free to follow it, okay?! I do not denounce anything. If you feel that is a denouncement, it's not true. Just that you go into the wrong direction. Now you should go back to the right one, if you want to arrive at your destination which is the Kingdom of God. Too much sexual abuse and indulgence tires your body, exhausts your mental power which should be conserved for the greatest enlightenment, and to help yourself and to help mankind. It's more noble that way. That's all, yeah. Sexual misconduct means you have too many girl friends, too many boy friends, too many husbands and wives. It exhausts your storehouse of energy, okay?!

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 10, 1993 in Colorado, USA

* * *

Q: If after being initiated and I still make a mistake like eating meat or having an evil thought, does it mean that I'll be disconnected from God or suffer some bad punishment?

M: Evil thought, you might not be able to control it immediately after enlightenment, because it's just like the car brake, you see. When the car runs sixty miles an hour, and if you want to brake it, do it slowly, yeah. So, it'll probably take some time to be able to purify completely yourself. But the meat you can avoid it, yeah, except when you don't know it and you eat it by mistake, then that's fine. But you have to meditate more on that day to clean that, because that is a very heavy karma. That's what makes people ill, what makes our body suffer, and what makes us go to hell afterward to repay for the suffering of other beings. (Applause.)

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 10, 1993 in Colorado, USA

* * *

Q: In Your teachings, Master Ching Hai, You talk about the five precepts. What is that exactly for our listeners who might not be acquainted with that?

M: Yes, well, they are similar to the Ten Commandments of Catholicism, of the Christians. Like you don't kill. Refrain from harming other beings, including animals; hence, the vegetarian diet. And even don't cut trees and things at random. We don't worship nature but we must protect nature, even including trees and that; because they also have living, loving impulse within themselves. And also to protect our environment. It goes deeper than just the five sentences. But you know, this scares people. So I just say: We refrain from harming and killing other beings. We refrain from telling lies, tell the truth only. We refrain from stealing, but give in charity and love. We refrain from adultery, but are faithful to one another, helping one another spiritually and materially. We refrain from drinking intoxicants, drug and things like that, or alcohol.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on Mar 17, 1995
A Live Telephone Interview By KQSB Radio Station, California, USA

* * *

Q: Master, one of the five precepts is refrain from sexual misconduct. How does this apply to singles?

M: Oh! What we mean is that you should be faithful to each other. But in the case of some of the other religious orders, they may, due to their tradition, have many wives. If they already had them before initiation, then that doesn't mean they have to separate and take only one. But in the general case we tell people to refrain from having too many ties, because if you have one wife, I think you suffer enough. Oh, sorry. (Laughter) I mean... I am sorry. Don't kill me please. What I mean is the suffering in affairs of the heart are very heavy for the wife or the husband to bear. And that you don't want to cause to other people, let alone your beloved friends, or the mother or father of your children.

So that's why we say refrain from having another affair if you are already married. But if you already have before initiation, just keep it like that. And better don't let the other to know each other. Minimize the suffering. The less suffering the better, because it will affect you also. You will have a bad conscience and guilty feelings. How can you meditate in peace? When you meditate you want to think about God. All you think about is the second or the third wife. Yeah! How she wanted to beat you last night because you came late, etc., etc. Or you bought better clothes for the other one etc., etc. Aiya! so many troubles. It hurts. That's why. That is called sexual misconduct.

But in the case of people who are not yet married, of course in the modern time, I can not tell people don't, don't, don't do that, you know. Yeah! Then try to be faithful to each other, yeah? It's good for the heart, good for your moral and good for the mutual trust between each other and especially good for your health, you know nowadays. You read newspapers more than I do. The letters spelled very big. Should I say more? More and more people die from AIDS each day, so take care of yourself.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on Jan 10, 1995 in Singapore

* * *

3.6    FAQ about Vegetarianism

Q: Why should I be vegetarian?

M: I am vegetarian because the God inside me wants it. Understand? Eating meat is against the universal principle of not wanting to be killed. We ourselves don't want to be killed, and we ourselves don't want to be stolen from. Now, if we do that to other people, then we are acting against ourselves, and that makes us suffer. Everything that you do against others makes you suffer. You can not bite yourself and you shouldn't stab yourself. In the same way you should not kill, because that is against the principle of life. Understand? It would make us suffer, so we don't do it. It doesn't mean we limit ourselves in any way. It means we expand our life to all kinds of life. Our life will not be limited within this body, but extended to the life of animals and all kinds of beings. That makes us grander, greater, happier, and limitless. Okay?

Exerpt from the article "Why Must People Be Vegetarian"

* * *

Q: What are some spiritual benefits that we get from being vegetarians?

M: I'm glad you asked the question in this manner, because it means you only concentrate on, or care about, spiritual benefits. Most people would care about health, diet and figure when they ask about the vegetarian diet. The spiritual aspects of a vegetarian diet are that it is very clean and nonviolent. "Thou shalt not kill." When God said this to us, He did not say do not kill human beings, He said do not kill any beings. Didn't He say that He made all animals to befriend us, to help us? Did He not put the animals in our care? He said, take care of them, rule over them. When you rule over your subjects, do you kill your subjects and eat them? Then you would become a king with nobody else around? So now you understand when God said that. We must do it. There is no need to question Him. He spoke very clearly, but who understands God except God? So now you have to become God in order to understand God. I invite you to be God-like again, to be yourself, to be no one else. To meditate on God doesn't mean you worship God, it means that you become God. You realize that you and God are one. "I and my Father are one," didn't Jesus say so? If He said He and His father are one, we and His father can also be one, because we are also children of God. And Jesus also said that what He does we can even do better. So we may be even better than God, who knows? Why worship God when we don't know anything about God? Why use blind faith? We must first know what we are worshipping, just like we must know who the girl is we're going to marry before we marry her. Nowadays, it's customary that we don't marry before we date. So why should we worship God with blind faith? We have the right to demand that God appears to us, and to make Himself known to us. We have the right to choose which God we would like to follow. So now you see that it is very clear in the Bible that we should be vegetarians. For all health reasons, we should be vegetarians. For all scientific reasons, we should be vegetarians. For all economic reasons, we should be vegetarians. For all compassionate reasons, we should be vegetarians. As well, to save the world, we should be vegetarians. It is stated in some research that if people in the West, in America, eat vegetarian only once a week, we would be able to save sixteen million starving people every year. So be a hero, be vegetarian. For all of these reasons, even if you don't follow me, or don't practice the same method, please be a vegetarian for your own sake, for the sake of the world.

Exerpt from the article "Why Must People Be Vegetarian"

* * *

Q: Eating animals is killing living beings, but isn't eating vegetables a kind of killing, too?

M: Eating plants is also killing living things and will create some karmic hindrance, but the effect is very minimal. If one practices the Quan Yin Method for two and a half hours every day, one can get rid of this karmic effect. As we have to eat in order to survive, we choose food which has the least consciousness and suffers the least. Plants consist of 90% water, thus their level of consciousness is so low that it hardly feels any suffering. Furthermore, when we eat many vegetables we don't cut their roots, but rather we help their asexual reproduction by cutting branches and leaves. The end result can actually be beneficial to the plant. Therefore, horticulturists say that pruning vegetation helps them grow large and beautiful.

This is even more evident with fruit. When fruit ripens, it will attract people to eat it by its fragrant smell, beautiful color and delicious taste. It is in this way that fruit trees can achieve their purpose of propagating their seed over a wide area. If we do not pick and eat them, the fruit will become overripe and will fall to the ground to rot. Its seed will be shaded from sunlight by the tree above them and will die. So, eating vegetables and fruit is a natural tendency, which brings to them no suffering at all.

Exerpt from the article "Why Must People Be Vegetarian"

* * *

Q: Can vegetarians eat eggs?

M: No. When we eat eggs we are also killing beings. Some say that commercially available eggs are unfertilized, so eating them is not killing living things. This is only seemingly correct. An egg remains unfertilized only because the appropriate circumstances for its fertilization have been withheld, so the egg can not complete its natural purpose of developing into a chicken. Even though this development has not occurred, it still contains the innate life force needed for this. We know that eggs have innate life force; otherwise, why is it that ova are the only type of cells which can be fertilized? Some point out that eggs contain the essential nutrients, protein and phosphorus, essential for human bodies. But protein is available from bean curd, and phosphorus from many kinds of vegetables such as potatoes.

We know that from ancient times till now, there have been many great monks who did not eat meat or eggs and still had a long life span. For instance the Ying Guang Master ate only a bowl of vegetables and some rice each meal, and yet he lived up to the age of eighty. Furthermore, egg yolks contain a lot of cholesterol, which is a major cause of cardiovascular disorders, the number one killer in Formosa and America. No wonder we see that most patients are egg eaters!

Exerpt from the article "Why Must People Be Vegetarian"

* * *

Q: Please explain the reason for not eating or using eggs, and how do eggs represent life and death?

M: Because egg is a symbol of life and death. In it contains life, yeah. And many of the black magicians or white magicians they use eggs to withdraw some of the negative possessive spirit within some people, yeah. Therefore, if we eat eggs too much we tend to attract this negative force toward ourselves. Yeah, that's one of the reasons why we should not eat eggs, hm.

Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 10, 1993 in Colorado, USA

* * *


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