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Special Report on The Supreme Master Ching Hai's
2000 Oceania & Asia Lecture Tour

Second Stop

Colombo, Sri Lanka


 Sri Lanka, rich in spirituality and famous for its Ceylon tea, is a small island country in the Indian Ocean, south of India. Gorgeous Buddha statues stand nobly at the corners of many streets in Colombo, Sri Lanka's capital, and these shrines are illuminated at night.

 On the afternoon of April 29, 2000, people began entering the grand ballroom of the Trans Asian Hotel, a five-star accommodation in Colombo located on a harbor on the country's west coast, facing the Indian Ocean. It was a sunny, warm and humid Saturday.

 Soon, people filled the lecture hall. A Dutch man who attended the lecture said that he had flown from Holland to Colombo to meet Master and added that he had waited for the inner "signal" to tell him this was the right path, after he had searched for many years, even going to India to find the Truth. Another person, a man from England, was still not satisfied within himself after being a monk in a monastery in another area. Some Sri Lankan monks with their traditional yellow robes also came to the hall, as if it were their last journey home!

 After the new videotape entitled "Ocean of Love" was shown, describing Master's European Lecture Tour from May to June of 1999, a local drum dance team led Master to the front of the hall, passing a respectfully standing crowd. Wearing a light violet blouse and a long, dark purple skirt, Master looked youthful as Her long, brown hair flowed down to Her shoulders. She was greeted by colorful dancers and drummers dressed in traditional Kandian costumes - women in royal blue, silver, and red with metal (gold) headdresses, and men in white and red sarongs, drumming on tablas (traditional drums used in India and Sri Lanka). They performed a Kandian dance accompanied by chanting, to the delight of Master and the crowd. (note: Kandy is a Sri Lankan city located in the middle of Sri Lanka, whereas Colombo is on the west coast of the island).

 The lecture began with a prayer for peace in Sri Lanka. Master asked everyone in the hall to close his or her eyes and pray for blessings on those who already have peace and also on those others who do not yet understand and thus are suffering. Master said that peace and happiness are our nature. We sometimes use violence, anger or other means, but we have no choice but to return to our true Buddha Nature inside, which is peace and love.

 We can have many choices in life, but the final choice is to find our own self. The Way of the Buddha is peace and love, the same as the way of the Saints, which is our true self. We can attain peace and happiness through meditation or deep prayer. Buddha said: "Everyone is Buddha". Enlightenment is similar to a lit a candle-- it is lit and can pass its flame on to other candles. This is why we have candle lighting ceremonies in the Buddhist tradition. A person has to have a lit candle before he can light others. We are all born with Buddhahood. Buddha said, "I am a Buddha now, and you are the future Buddhas". The Buddha Nature inside us and inside The Buddha is the same! We do not see our Buddha Nature because we do not try, but if we are sincere, we will be shown the way. It is written in The Diamond Sutra that "No matter how long a room is dark, all it takes is one light, and then the darkness disappears." We should turn inward to hear our true nature.

Lighting Our Buddha Nature Within

 The light passed from The Buddha never dies. Just as in going from one candle to the next, all we have to find is where the candle was last lit, and then our candle will also be lit. The light inside us is all perfect, noble and good. That's why we call it enlightenment, we call an enlightened person The Buddha. Different religions point to this Buddha Nature with different names. Sri Lankans call an enlightened person "Buddha", Hebrews call it "Christ", Sri Lankans call a teacher "Guru", and English speakers call him or her "Teacher".

 Limited human language causes misunderstanding and religious disputes. No matter where a Master (Guru) is born, he/she is a "lit" candle, a light keeper, so that whoever comes along will be lit by that candle. Universal light never dies. This light can be transferred to different countries: Sri Lanka, India, Germany, etc. It has to circulate so that the whole world can be awakened; it can not be kept in one country or one temple, because the whole world has to know the light. It is just like water or rain, which has to be in different places at different times to bless different people and countries. We should know where to find the "light", so our light can be lit, but it doesn't matter where the light is.

 All of us want to find where the Buddha Nature is, where to find God. It is within ourselves. Buddha and God reside in this church (Master pointed to Her body). We have nothing inside but Buddha and God, and we are nothing but the children of God. One thing that separates us from our Buddha Nature is the ego, the mind. It is a machine, a computer, which records all things and broadcasts all things, the same. But the mind can only record and understand worldly happenings, not the Buddha Nature. In order to find ourselves, we have to bypass, to go through the mind. If we use the mind, we can only run around with worldly knowledge, customs, and habits. If we read the Buddhist Sutras and the Bible, we can not understand what was written in these books and will misunderstand a lot. What is written by a Buddha can only be understood by a Buddha, by truly understanding, not guessing. Try to become a Buddha to know and understand the Buddha.

From Buddha Nature to Buddha Nature in Silence

 Master said that all of the above is boring theory and She did not want to talk a lot. She just wanted to show the audience how to know their Buddha Nature. She said that it is simple, because we are Buddha, we already have the Buddha Nature, but the problem is that we only listen to our mind. The moment we forget the mind, the habits, the problems in life, the preconceived ideas, etc., then we will find the Buddha Nature. Master then added, "When I show you, not by talking, but from a Buddha Nature to a Buddha Nature, and in silence, in that instant, if you concentrate well, you will see the light, not only see the light, but you will also hear the sound stream, gain inside knowledge, the holy teaching, the holy vibration, that teaches us to go back to the Buddha land. We become Saints, Boddhisatvas, by hearing the sound which all the Saints have heard. Hearing the sound inside without using the ears, seeing the light inside without using the eyes, that's true knowledge."

 This sound is called Shabda in the Sanskrit language. Then Master continued: "Whatever I said is not really useful to you, but what I don't say would be useful for you to know, but you must quiet down. What I talked about is just an introduction, but what I show you in silence, you can meet Buddha on a lotus, see Jesus with light all around, or other past Masters inside, you can listen to direct teaching from them. You can see light more intense than thousands of our sun, without burning your eyes. Buddha said that when we die, we should follow the bright light which leads us to heaven, to the Buddha land, not the dim light which can take us to the "Asura " world."

 Each of us can see different kinds of light, due to our different karma, different concentration, or different sincerity. So each one sees differently when going inside, but everyone experiences a glimpse of the Buddha Nature. That's just the beginning, and we have to practice every day. Master said: "I have tried to explain the unexplainable, which can not be explained through any language at all. Just like when I drink this cup of water, it is cool and refreshing, but you also must drink in order to know, and if you don't drink, you will not know what I am talking about, and also depending on your thirst, you will drink more or less. What I talked about today is nothing new. Your soul knows. But you have forgotten. We forget that we are Buddha, and we think we are lowly!"

 Master continued: "Buddha said that we must respect everyone, because everyone is a Buddha. But one must become a Buddha to know and be able to do that, not "become", but "remember " that you are Buddha. I am going to show you just enough to see. (Master showed the audience a brief form of meditation, the Convenient Method). But if you want to know more, you have to get initiation, and meditate more every day. It took the Buddha six years to get enlightenment, but maybe it will take you ten years to get it (Master joked)! It took six years because the Buddha learned many wrong methods, but when he learned the right and last one, he became enlightened immediately. We must have the proper method; we can not cook sand and make rice out of it!"

 Then came the "Question and Answer " session. Asked how to cure anger and a bad temper, Master answered that the only way is to gain enlightenment and then we will see that everyone else also is Buddha. One Muslim person in the audience praised Master, saying that She is the only one who can save us. Master thanked him but said that The Buddha once told his disciples that he wondered, since his Buddha Nature and everyone else's Buddha Nature was the same, why people did not see? She said that She already had caught up with all the past Masters, but how about us? We must catch up quickly, otherwise, She will be alone and that would be boring. The reason we don't know our Buddha Nature is because we are too worried and busy about life in order to make a living. But when we are enlightened, we are more intelligent, more loving, and our worldly life gets better, too. We can make more money to help the poor. We should be Masters of our minds, and not let the mind tell us what to do! The mind thinks a lot of nonsensical things, and it makes us "fear". Being enlightened, we don't lose anything, but gain more inside and outside, so it is a good business!

 Asked if She can end the war in Sri Lanka, Master answered "no", that the war is being created by sentient beings and must be solved and finished by them. You don't force your knowledge on your children, but teach them to learn by themselves. She said that if She used (miracle) power to force the war to end, then later another war would start and it could be worse. But if the Sri Lankan people meditate more, then it will minimize the war. Let the war be resolved naturally. The people who make war are also Buddhas, so they have to realize themselves that war is no good and mainly caused by misunderstanding. Some other points made by Master during the question and answer session were as follows: Everyone has the "light"; it doesn't matter what religion he or she follows. If one just follows the five precepts, one will never come back as an animal, and if one follows the Buddha Nature to become a Buddha, one will not have to come back at all.

 After the lecture many people learned the Convenient Method and hundreds of Sri Lankans and others (such as the man from Holland mentioned earlier) received initiation. Finally, hundreds of "candles" were being lit that night in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to shine in this little Buddha island!

Ocean of Love
Report

New Zealand