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Spoken By The Supreme Master Ching Hai,
Hsihu Center, Formosa

May 27, 1990 (Originally In Chinese)

There was a village named Ramathaim-zophim. It was located in a hill near Jerusalem. Here lived a man called Elkanah and he had two wives. One was called Peninnah and she had many sons and daughters. The other wife Hannah did not even have one child and she felt sad about this. Although she knew that her husband loved her more, she still felt very sad. Every year her husband would take the whole family to a place called Shiloh to worship their so-called God. After their worship, they would have a party and everyone would assemble in the temple. The wife that had many children would be surrounded by her children. But Hannah was always alone.

Seeing that the other wife was surrounded by so many people, Hannah looked at herself and felt more sad than before. When the feast finished, she left the party and walked alone to one corner. She felt very bitter and told God in her heart that she was very sad. Then she prayed: "If the Lord gives me a child, then I will let him serve the Lord all his life."

God had heard her prayer, just like Hes had heard any of our prayers. However, priest Eli, when he saw this wife, thought that she was drunk. This wife said to him, "Priest, do not think that I am a wicked woman. I am also not drunk. I only feel very unhappy, very grieved." Then she told Eli about her circumstances. Eli then said to her, "If you want to have peace, you can pray to the Lord to grant you the child that you are yearning for." Having heard the priest's words, Hannah wiped her tears and felt better after going home.

The Lord really replied to her prayer and gave her a very beautiful child. She named him Samuel. Hannah said, "When my little child is a little older, I will bring him to Shiloh to become a monk. He will stay there all his life to serve the Lord. This is what I had promised Hirm." She really did kept her promise and brought the child to priest Eli, saying, "This is the child that the Lord has granted me in response to my prayer. Now, I give him to you because I want to give him back to God. Please take good care of him and train him to work for the Lord." A few days later, their family returned to Ramathaim-zophim. Samuel was left behind with priest Eli.

God knew that to be separated from her own child was a very painful and very difficult decision for Hannah. But Hes did not disappoint her. With the passage of time, Hes granted her three more sons and two more daughters so that she could make use of her motherly love to take care of more children. Every year when they went to Shiloh, Hannah would go to see her little Samuel and brought him clothes that she had made herself by hand.

Samuel had now grown up to be a very lovely child. Anyone who saw him loved him. Now that Priest Eli was old, he very quickly had to prepare his children to minister the temple of God. However, Eli's children were unlike their father. They were all greedy and had no love nor respect for God. God warned Eli that Hes would not give the job of a priest to people like his children. The Lord said: "I will choose a priest. This priest must be loyal to me, listen to me, and do everything that I request."

One night, Samuel was sleeping in the temple of God. At that time, he was somewhat awake and he heard someone calling his name. Samuel ran to Eli, but the old priest had not called him. A similar thing happened again. Then Samuel asked Eli, "Are you calling me? I am here." But Eli had not called him.

However, the old priest knew that it must be the Lord calling Samuel. Therefore, when the voice came again the third time, Samuel answered because Eli had taught him what to say when he heard the voice again. At that time, Samuel said to the Lord, "Speak, for Your servant hears." The Lord said to Samuel: "I want to punish Eli's children. No one from their family can become my priest!"

The next morning when Eli asked Samuel what God had said to him, Samuel did not tell Eli what the Lord had told him the night before. The old priest then commanded Samuel to tell him. Reluctantly, Samuel had to tell him. Having heard that, Eli felt very sorry. However, he said, "Let the Lord do what seems right to Hirm."

After a while, Israel had a battle with a race called the Philistines. Israel sent a special box, an 'ark' to Shiloh. The ark contained God's power and they thought that the little box would bring them luck in the battle field. Therefore, Eli's two children brought it to the camp. However, the box seemed to be of no help to them, the Philistines still won the battle. Not only that, they got hold of the holy box and also killed Eli's children. Eli was now very very old and was almost blind in both eyes. When he heard the terrible news of the defeat, he broke his neck.

The Philistines returned to their city in glory and placed the holy box in their temple of the 'Dagon' (the Dagon was a Philistine idol) as a symbol of victory. The next day, their idol -- the statue of the Dagon -- fell down before the holy box and the nose was broken. They put the statue back to it's original place. However, it fell down again the next morning. This time, it was completely broken. Then, plague started to spread throughout the city. Everyone was very scared. They said, "The God of Israel is starting to work now. Let us quickly get rid of this holy box!"

Therefore, they sent it to a place called Gath. However, the plague still continued to spread. This time, the Philistines were very worried and confused. They discussed with their sorcerers and priests, "We have to send this box back to Israel quickly. As well, there should be some present as an offering to God." They were now afraid of the God of Israel, thinking that Hes was the real God with unlimited power.

Some wise people in their race gave the following advice: "Only by doing this can we be saved. You have to remember what God had done to the Egyptians before!" Therefore, they sent it by putting the box in a cart pulled by two bulls. Then they waited to see what was going to happen. The two bulls were very tame. Just like being trained, they brought the box across the border and walked straight to a village in Israel called Beth Shemesh. When they arrived at the village, the people rejoiced at seeing God's holy box back. By this, the Philistines knew that the God of Israel should be well respected.

Do you know what was the most touching part of this story? It was the woman who was yearning very much for a child. Because of having no children, she felt so lonely, painful and was teased by others. Then she ran to God and cried. Even after having longed so much, the little child was offered to God after being born! When I see someone offer their child to God, I am very touched. One could only do this when the heart is the most pure. If it were us, probably we couldn't let go because it is really very difficult to do so. Getting one after such yearning and then offering it to God. However, because she had offered one, therefore she got five children.

That's why it is said that we should not be greedy. We also should not think that when we get something then it is supposed to be like that. One really can't say! Never forget God, then we will have everything. If we want to get something, then we have to know that everything belong to Hirm. When Hes gives us, we should not think that it is ours. If we need to use it, then use it. When other people need to use it, it could also be shared. It would be best if we offer everything to God. The more we offer Hirm, the more we will have.

Just like with her child, she could have said, "I offer to God but no need to give. Offering just in my heart is enough." Are we not also always like this, "It's good enough for me to have the intention! God knows my sincerity. It's the same wherever it is! When my child is here, he also belongs to God. Since everywhere belongs to God, then being next to me would also mean belonging to God! Then simply put him next to me, God is omnipresent! Since Hes is everywhere, it would be enough for Hirm to know that I have the intention to offer!"

It's not the same, because the love between a mother and a child is very deep. To be really separated from the child is different. Also, to be able to put down the heart and offer the child to God is really different. Wasn't it said that: "To say it in the heart is good enough, then no matter where he is all would belong to God. It's the same whether he is in the church or at home." It's not the same. When we give a total offering from the heart it is not the same as just saying it. If we are able to put down our heart or not able, it's not the same! Because of this, God was touched and then gave her five more children. Originally she had no children and there was no hope. Eventually she had six!

This is not just a matter of children, it's all the same. If we are not greedy and we can put down everything, then we will have more. Really, this is my personal experience. I have not given anything that I have not been able to get back! Besides, I do not even think about it and then it comes back. It really comes back by itself!

Just like a story I told you before: When a farmer went to cultivate the land, he dug up a jar. He took it out to have a look. Oh! It was real gold and glistening. He put it to one side and continued to cultivate. After that, he went home and told his wife, "Hey! You know what? Today I dug out a jar of gold! It's full and very shining."

His wife said, "Where is it? Where?"

He said, "It is still in the field. I dug it out and put it to one side."

The wife said, "You are so stupid. Why did you leave it there and not bring it back?" Then she continued to scold him.

He said," Ayah! If it is really meant for us according to our fate, it will 'crawl' here! Only when it crawls to my door then I will think that it's mine, because digging it out doesn't mean it's mine!" Maybe that person had practised the Quan Yin Method so he was like that. One would not think like that if one didn't practise the Quan Yin Method.

The wife was aggravated to death after hearing that. She couldn't say anything because the field was rather far away from home and the path was not that easy to walk. The farmer comforted her, saying, "It doesn't matter. If it is ours, it will 'crawl' to our door."

He really said 'crawl'. Using a word like this is more fun! Otherwise, how can gold crawl?

While they were talking to each other, there happened to have been two burglars outside and they heard everything. Originally they wanted to steal their things. Having heard the story, they were very happy and did not want to steal their small things! They hurried and ran to the field to take the jar of gold. When they got to the field, there was really a jar. They said, "Ayah! Our fate is so good. We will be billionaires!" The two of them sang and danced for a while and then opened the jar to have a look. Oh! Inside there were only snakes! Not one piece of gold! They were scared to death and closed the jar immediately. Then they left it there and quickly ran away. The next morning, the farmer went to the field again. After cultivating the land, he saw that the jar was still there. He opened it and saw that the gold was still inside. He closed it and left it there. Then he went back to tell his wife, "I just want to tell you, the jar is still there. It wasn't stolen. Old woman, you just worry too much!"

The wife was very agitated and said, "Why did I marry such a stupid husband, not bringing the gold back? Why do you just keep looking at it over there all the time?"

The farmer said, "No hurry! If it is ours, I tell you, it will 'crawl' to our door!" He continued to say that.

It happened that the burglars were outside, wanting to hear what was the matter with them. Therefore they were also much agitated after hearing that, "He thinks the snakes are gold! Okay, we'll just let it 'crawl' to your door!"

Both of them then ran to the field. Seeing that the jar was still there, they opened it and that it was full of crawling snakes. They said, "All right, we'll let it 'crawl' to his door!" Then they laboriously took the jar to the farmer's door and left it there. Before they put it down, they looked very clearly into it again to see if it was really gold or snakes. Then, they very happily hid themselves and waited for the drama the next morning.

On seeing the jar in the morning, the farmer said, "Hey! Old mama you see! I told you that it would 'crawl' to our door!" When the jar was opened, both of them could see that it was full of gold. They then took it and became rich. The two burglars could not believe it and continued to watch. At last, they could not bear it and asked them, "How did you turn the snakes into gold?" At that time, it was really gold, not snakes. Before, when the two burglars saw it, it was snakes.

Then the burglars spoke frankly to both of them, "It's really surprising. Why did we see snakes and when you saw it, it was all gold?"

The farmer then said, "Ayah! Because it belongs to me that's why it changed like that. It 'crawled' to my door! I really didn't want it."

Then the farmer felt sorry for them and gave them one or two pieces. At that time, what they were holding was real gold. If they had opened it themselves, it would have been all snakes.

Why do I tell this story? The meaning is that it's good enough for us to be natural in our work sometimes. There is no need to push too hard. Therefore, some people who try very hard still can not earn much money. On the other hand, some people basically didn't bother about money and the money just keeps coming in, and can not be used up. It's all because people have fate. To us practitioners, we have God. Meaning that our highest wisdom, God will take care of everything for us. If we believe in Hirm, our life will be more comfortable. No matter under what sort of circumstances, we can live very freely and won't worry too much.

Just like Jesus Christ knew that He would soon be crucified. Though He could have run away, He still accepted it! He understood clearly and told His disciples beforehand, "After a while, you will not see me!" Yet He still accepted the arrangement, although this was not a happy thing. Because we have faith, practice, the unhappy circumstances will be less. Because our hearts are consoled, we have insurance, have a sense of security, have a kind of courage, therefore we can face problems more bravely. It's not that we escape the unavoidable problems of this world.

We can never avoid the things of this world. Even if your driving technique is the best, sometimes you still might have a car accident. It's not that your driving is no good, it's because someone else's driving is no good. It's not that you are drunk, it's others who are drunk. Sometimes your car is no good. For example, the tire is perforated, you ran over a stone, some animal bumped you, or someone suddenly ran in front of your car, so that you could not brake the car in time, et cetera. All these could happen. Therefore, it's really hard to be a human. If there is no faith, no practice, ayah, I don't really know how you can get through the days in your life!

Why do all of you like to practise with me? Because you get some benefits! Just like when you get ill and need an operation. Although it's painful, you still have to go. Without that little while of pain, it would be even worse later. Then, after the operation, you still need to recover and take care of yourself. It's not that after the operation all is well. Similarly, we also need to train ourselves through work. After accumulating many experiences then we can get what we want. Therefore in practice, you cannot always ask me to give the sweet and bright side to you only. This is also no fun!

Even in such a comfortable and full of fun place like the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve still felt bored, so bored that they had to listen to the snake and ate the senseless apple! The taste must have been no good, there was nothing good to taste! With so much fruit, what did they lacked that they had to eat that one? Everything was theirs. Only the fruit of that tree could not be eaten. But still they could not bear it! Because it was so boring, even when they had so many things, they still wanted something else, just wanted to change the scene.

Therefore when we practise, sometimes it is very difficult. I know this. Sometimes, the faith decreases, because the things we asked for we are not able to get, thinking that God is not taking care of us, that the Master power doesn't care, et cetera. Not really! Because sometimes what we requested is not good for us.

Just like the apple that God asked not to be eaten. It was not because Hes wanted to reserve the apple for Hirmself. It was because it was not good for them! After eating that, then really the mind changed and became different. Both of them became impure and complicated. They started to know what was shame, and started to say what was good, what was bad, and made a mess. It was unlike when they were like children, so pure and so happy.

Similarly, our brain wants many things and it does not mean that everything is good for us. Therefore, sometimes when we ask for some lousy things and we can not get them, then we blame and say, "God is not taking care! Master is not listening to my prayer." It's not like that! Even I have to work according to rules. I cannot avoid things like operations. Like a doctor, if he needs an operation then he has to be operated on by others. You cannot say that because he is the best person to operate, then when he gets ill he should not allow the other person to operate. He cannot operate on himself! Just like Master Vimalakirti, sometimes he got ill. Then people asked him, "Why are you sick?" He said, "Sentient beings are sick, therefore I am sick." He could not be without sickness! Sometimes, he had to get ill to let others to know that he is the same. Otherwise, everyone would think that being a Master means you can avoid all kind suffering from birth, getting old, being sick and death. It's too good! Then everyone would want to become a Master because of this and not have the courage to be a human, thinking that one can avoid one's responsibilities or avoid human suffering.

Therefore, most of the so-called Masters suffer. They have to show some of their sickness and suffering so as to console the sentient beings. Everyone is the same! Then when we are sick, we would remember that even our Master got sick, so what about us? If a Master is too happy every day, people would wonder, "Is he made from iron or copper? Because he is different from us, that's why he can practise. I am different from you, how could I possibly practise!" It's the same! The bodily structures are the same.

The real Master is very ordinary, just the same as you, and has everything. It's only that he can use what he has in a relatively good way. The average person has the same, but uses it in relatively not so good ways. For example, we have human emotions. A Master who has reached the Tao has also human emotions. But he uses the emotions to help others, to be compassionate to others, to let others know that he can understand them since he also has it himself. He can accompany others and simply chat with them. After chatting, the feelings are deeper and it would be easier to liberate them. We ordinary people use this human emotion to bind others and ourselves. Therefore, though it is the same thing, the use is different. Like money, two people have the same amount of money. One uses it to scare others, to force others' wives, pretty ladies, to bribe people and to do other senseless things. On the contrary, the other person uses that money to help the poor and do something good. The value of money is the same, but the use is not.

Quan Yin Method