At the beginning of 1993 I decided that I must find God. 1992 had been a very unhappy year for me, full of personal disappointments and disillusionment. I did not see any future ahead, I felt I did not even have any dream left to dream, and I realized that I must find something more stable than unreliable human relationships and castles in the air that were bound to tumble down with any strong gust of wind. So I thought I might just as well try God, if the old white-haired man with a long beard, as I had imagined Hirm as a child, would care to answer to my prayers at all. Some time ago a friend of mine had introduced me to a simple meditation method and in January 1993 I decided to practice it every day. As a child I had sometimes felt that there was a strong loving power guiding and protecting me, but as an adolescent I had somehow got out of touch with that force and my inner self. During the last few years I had even doubted if God even existed. So I did not expect very much from meditating, but I thought that things could not get worse anyway.
The funny thing was that it really worked! After I had practiced this meditation method, which involved concentrating on the wisdom eye, for about two weeks only, I noticed that my outlook on life was gradually being altered, and that my perception of the world around me became sharper, almost as if a veil had been pulled from my eyes. I somehow could distinguish more clearly between good and bad, and my view point on things was not as fuzzy and confused as usual. I even found myself getting calmer. And, what was the best, I suddenly felt God's presence in my life, and even though I meditated only one hour a day I felt that my life was blessed. All my life I longed so much to be loved, and I tried to please people, so they would not forsake me. I did many things that I did not even want to do just to fulfill the expectations of others, and many times they even hurt my feelings instead of returning my love. So now I just thought of God a little bit, and Hes gave me back so much, so generously, so unconditionally, without asking anything from me at all. I thought that the guy was great, after all; and one night I vowed that I wanted to serve only Hirm and try to become a saint, if someone as imperfect as me could ever reach that goal. At about that time I also did not feel like eating meat anymore. I remember that the last time I ate chicken it just felt so uncomfortable that I almost felt as if it were poison.
Then, one day in school, at the end of April, a friend of mine gave me a little green book. It said "The Key Of Immediate Enlightenment" on the cover, and it mentioned the Quan Yin Method of meditation, and also that it was the best method of all. I thought, if it is really the best method, I must definitely learn it. I was very amazed that the initiation was free of charge, and very grateful, since I would not have been able to pay for an expensive meditation class.
Even though I arrived at the venue one hour before the lecture started, the lecture hall was almost completely packed with people. I was amazed at how luxurious the lobby of the hotel was, and very touched that a lecture that was free of charge was held in such an expensive surrounding. There was a tall Chinese man distributing another kind of free booklet at the entrance, and there was something about the way in which he made sure that every visitor would receive a copy and his air of complete dedication to this task, as if it was the most important thing in the world, that really impressed me. I was puzzled how such a strong and stern-looking man could show such tenderness and love, and serve others so well.
I remember that the atmosphere of the lecture was very nice, and that my heart was opening up like a flower under the warm caressing sunshine when confronted with so much kindness and generosity. Finally Master arrived, dressed all in white, and I could see from the enraptured expressions of the guards that they must love Her very much. I liked the way She looked very much, so young and healthy, even though She had a cold. She seemed so relaxed and full of humor that I was simply enchanted by Her. I thought: "This is finally a Master as I always imagined a Master would be."
After the lecture the audience was allowed to ask questions. When I put up my hand to show that I was ready to hand my questions in, the guards immediately noticed and rushed to my place. They collected them as if they were very important and precious. This made me feel extraordinarily good. How lovely these people were to provide such a good service free of charge!
The questions carried on until the evening, and by the time the initiation started I was already exhausted. I noticed that most of the people working at the information and initiation desks still looked very fresh and shining like apples, as if they could go on forever. Some of them meditated when taking a break, and their faces looked so beautiful and calm. I thought they were kind of superhuman to work such long hours and still look like this. So my conviction grew that Master Ching Hai must be a very good Master, since Her disciples were really different.
During the initiation I was so tired that I was almost overwhelmed by the experience. When we meditated with Master I was very surprised, because I heard the sound so loudly and clearly, and I had never thought I would.
During the next few days I just got up earlier in the morning and tried to meditate using the new method. In the beginning I had problems concentrating, and sitting straight. I also had a hard time remembering the Holy Names. Yet I felt that this Method was very powerful. If my previous method had been like a little boat floating with me over the vast ocean of life towards the Kingdom of God, I feel that the Quan Yin Method was something like a luxury steam cruiser, getting me to my destination with double speed. Any negative influence I had ever had in life just fled from me when confronted with that Method, like an ugly bat at the sight of the bright sunlight.
At the beginning, my parents were very worried about my new habit of meditating. They probably thought it was just one more of those crazy things that I always did. My mother even asked a Catholic priest if meditation might be harmful to me. Guess what? Master had arranged everything already! He told my mother that he meditated himself, and that it was not harmful at all. My parents also requested to read the sample booklet, probably because they wanted to find out how to rescue me from it. A few months later my mother suddenly told me on the phone that she had also decided to become a vegetarian, even though I had never tried to convert her. And, what was even more strange, after she had listened to Master's teaching more, she announced that she also wanted to get initiated, and ever since her initiation she has had very good experiences!
More than five years have passed since my initiation now. Have I reached the state of Godhood already? I very much doubt it, since I have grown even more aware of my imperfections and the limitations of my ego. What have I gained from practicing the Quan Yin Method and following Master Ching Hai's teaching? My reply is: everything and nothing. Everything, because through practicing this Method I have truly been reborn. Before, I was like a half-blind person, seeing everything in black and white, not even knowing who I was myself, nor what I was meant to do in this life. Now life is so colorful and exciting, everything just makes sense, and everything seems right and perfect to me. Nothing, because I realize that actually I have not gained anything new, I have just rediscovered something that has always been there, deep inside of me, and I am now reclaiming the me, the great, true me.
So what does it mean to be a practitioner of the Quan Yin Method? My life is not a bed of roses, not a pleasure cruise on the Quan Yin steamship to Nirvana. I probably work harder than before, and I am more aware of people's suffering and of the problems our planet is confronted with. I might become rich tomorrow, or I might lose everything I have. However, no one can take away my treasure in heaven, no thief can ever steal it, and no tooth of time can ever leave its gnawing traces on it by its merciless action. That I know for sure, and this certainty makes me feel light and cheerful inside every day of my life, no mater what the external circumstances are.
I know that when my mission on this planet is over, I will just leave behind these fleshly clothes and emigrate. I will bring all my friends and beloved ones with me and we will drink heavenly nectar every day. I will have a million more things to learn and discover through all eternity. I will travel the whole Kingdom of God freely, and I will always have an unconditional friend guiding me, no matter where I go!