|Golden Age We are Stepping Into the Golden Age|
We are Stepping Into the Golden Age
by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Sometimes we are touched. It is not because of the Master, I don't think. People make a big deal out of any Master, call them even the supreme Master; but I think, it is you that makes things happen with your sincerity, your openness of your deepest intelligence and love within yourself — that you'll experience sometime or another on different occasions, this kind of blissful experience. We sometimes experience this, less or more in some degree, through deepest prayer and/or sometimes when we are in very deep sorrow or experience some untold suffering — we feel that the blessing from God is very near.
Meditation or contemplation is just another kind of opening our sincerity and longing to be a kind of receiver for the abundant blessing and love which is always present throughout the universe. Perhaps sometimes coincidently or through the arrangement of the highest intelligence, we feel more blessing in some places or in encountering someone special. Maybe because that someone is also in the same frequency with us, in the same sincerity, longing and openness to God like we are. At that moment, the two united forces experience the blissful feeling or the so-called awakening.
Many of our people in this world think they are okay. They don't need to change their lives, don't need to do anything, don't even need enlightenment. Therefore, they don't search for it. Even if the teacher or a good friend, unconditional out of love and devotion, comes to them — to their door, they still reject him.
That's what makes our world the way it is, still now. We have not learned the unified power. Many of us have not learned yet to use the greatest blessing that is in abundance everywhere in the universe, just have to stretch out our hand and fetch it, and everything in our life will become smoother — all our desires.
We Are Not Okay
Many of us always blame God, or blame circumstances or situations that are unfavorable to us. Many things we ask are not given. We blame the society, sometimes the governments or our parents, even our schools, anything we can lay our hands on. But if we stop to think deeply or fairly a little bit, we should think: What do we contribute to the society, our nation, the world at large to make it become a better place; instead of waiting for it to be better by itself, which is sometimes impossible.
God doesn't create us here so that we just lay in our rose bed everyday, waiting for bread and butter. We are here to learn — to learn to grow as well as to learn to use our limitless power of love and creativity in order to make a better world wherever we happen to be incarnated. If we do not learn to do this, then we have to return again; and that is what people call reincarnation. The unfulfilled desires or the unfulfilled mission, which is dormant within us, will be always awake inside, reminding us time again and again that we have not yet finished our job.
Many people think that we are okay, we are doing right; but we aren't, we are not truly okay. One fifth of the population of this world is hungry. Another large portion of the population, our brothers and sisters, are undernourished. That is according to scientific research, it's not from me. You can read that in the newspapers or demand for the proof. Many portions of our beautiful planet are still suffering under war, conflict, violence and many other disasters — man-made or by nature. It's because we are not okay.
Even sometimes, we can't do our hair alone, just to talk about small things; we don't know how to clean the house properly; sometimes we can't even help some people in need the way they want it. We make more mess out of our good intentions. Even if we want to help, we can't. That's why many projects are failing, many good leaders have become kind of almost useless, despite their very, very best intentions to help the world and their people. Why? Because we are not okay. We are not okay the way we should be okay, not the way we think we are okay.
If everything, many things in our life go wrong, if many of our desires go unfulfilled, if our next-door neighbor suffers, or if we suffer in any way, that's because we are not okay. It is time that we faced up to our own shortcomings, our own accumulated, undesirable habits in order to reshape our beauty, our Godly nature; so that we can do what we want to do in perfection, or at least, near perfection. At least, don't make a mess out of our good intentions whenever we want to help or we want to better ourselves, our family or our environment.
Enlightenment Is The Way Of Life
Enlightenment is not an advertisement from our disciples for you or anyone to come and just to research, or maybe curiously see what's going on. It is a way of life, it is a survival fact. It is a necessary ornament in our life here and after.
If we have any religious beliefs we know there is life after death. If we don't have any religious beliefs, we should know that there is life after death, because there is a lot of medical research on death, near-death or after-death experiences. This kind of information is available to us nowadays, in abundance. Many books about enlightenment and about bettering our inherent powers, etc., are available in the markets. These are good for us; yet in a sense, not always that good. The Americans, the ones who read a lot and love to read, are very intelligent. They hunger for knowledge so they read a lot. I read a lot, too — before, between and I still continue to read. It is because sometimes I have to know what's going on, what's the trend in the society in order to respond to it or to explain — to kind of solve some of the doubts which result from these books or intellectual food.
Why I said this, is that sometimes all this information is not always good for us. Because we love to read, we eat everything from the intellectual supermarket, and sometimes we have indigestion or we stuff our brain with all kinds of intellectual information without truly having personal experience. So, we think we know. "Oh! Yes! I know, Yogananda — the light. I know what it is, Sanmat — light and sound. I know Master Ching Hai. She teaches the same. So I don't have to come and listen to Her."
It's not that we come to listen. We must come so that we have the true experience, if we already did not have; if we had some portion of the enlightened experience, but we do not know how to go further with it, how to nourish it, or how to live with it or to integrate this enlightened wisdom into our daily productivity in order to serve the world.
Make Our World Into Heaven
We must make our world into heaven, not run to heaven; because everywhere is heaven. God created only heaven, until we messed about with our computer brain — kaput one; I mean damaged, or not very in order. Enlightenment is the way to put ourselves back in order. It's not a kind of far-fetched heavenly mythology the way we think, but it is just daily experiences of our great resource of love and wisdom, which God bestowed upon us before we arrived in this physical dimension. If we think that heaven is somewhere high above the clouds, then we are in trouble; because we have to wait at least sixty or a hundred years in order to go there. With suffering and all kinds of misery in this world, we don't have to do that.
Life is meant to be joyful for the children of the most high. If you are the children of the king or the president, now you go to school, how do you feel? You have guards, you have a special Rolls Royce, you have all kinds of privileges — even all the school look upon you with reverence, love, admiration, envy and many things. You feel you know your status.
In the Bible, it is stated that we are the children of God, and He's king of all kings. Now, we live in this kind of life and we worry about pennies, everything frightens us — even just a bullet, that big. One thousandth of your weight could frighten you into losing your sense of dignity and even begging for your life. We'd do anything just to be alive, just to keep this physical body functioning. This is not a life of dignity. This is not the life of children of God, if we truly understand what God means. God is the owner of the whole universe and we are the children. Can you believe it?
Just talking about it and never knowing it, is not the way of enlightenment; and we think we are okay! As long as there is one person suffering in this world, as long as there is still war and famine going on in our neighborhood, we are not okay; because we share the responsibilities of this house that we live in. It is a big family, extended; because we can't live together in one room, and we don't have to. We need variety. We need different talents in order to make the world colorful and interesting. That's what God wants us to do.
We have so much talent, each one should contribute something. Even with all our talents we can't contribute as much as we want or we can not be as useful as we'd like to be; because we are not yet okay. We lack something. We lack the true wisdom, the true love which lays sleeping within each of us.
Use God's Love And Power For The Best
There shouldn't be any master; there shouldn't be any teachers; there should be only spiritual friends, spiritual brothers and sisters; because we inherited the same portion of great wisdom from God. There is no difference between any master and any of the audience who sits here, and no difference between him and any child or any older citizen; because we all have the same portion of love and power within ourselves. If we don't use it, it's the greatest waste on earth. It doesn't matter how much we recycle materials, we still waste. The greatest waste is that we don't know we have wisdom, we don't know we have God's power, we forgot that we are the children of God.
It's okay, you say you know it already, you read the Bible, everyone knows they are the children of God. But, what makes the difference whether you know that or you don't know that? Because you are just the same as yesterday, you don't truly know. You only intellectually heard about it and that makes the difference.
If anything I said today makes sense to you, it is because I recognize this wisdom within myself and I know you have that within yourselves. It's just you don't want to use it. You reject it, you deny it, or you feel too inferior about yourself. We didn't do anything that wrong. If you did or if we did, it was because we did not know. Now it's time to know what is the righteous thing to do, so we can change very quickly. How much time do we spend everyday in order to take care of this body? We know it won't last long, but still it's necessary to take care of it. Now, if we don't take care of our real body, then we are in even more trouble.
Most of the suffering in this world is due to ignorance of the greatness of our position. No other reason! Because we're ignorant of it, we identify ourselves with the habits that we learned from maybe TV as a youngster, or maybe from neighbors, from books. We do many things that our conscience within us tells us that: this is not correct; but we still do it because many people do it. Then we run into many problems. Sometimes, we know we shouldn't take drugs, for example, but we feel empty within ourselves, we feel frustrated. Sometimes we have talents, we don't know how to use them, or where to use them. Society sometimes rejects us for some prejudices — race problems or our appearance doesn't please them. So, we fill this void with all kinds of cheap substitutes which, in the long run, ruin us mentally, physically and spiritually. It is because we do not know that we are great, or how to make use of our greatness.
I'm not here to collect your money, tell you what to do, or make you into any condition that is difficult for you. I just want to help you find your great wisdom, your greatest ability again, in order for you to better your life. Because when you better your life, I better my life, too; and my children, my friends' children, my sisters' and brothers' children, we have a better and better environment to live in because we are all connected with each other.
Suppose you don't keep America clean and safe. Could I sit here and talk to you? So, we owe each other everything. Suppose the farmers don't grow any crops. Even if we have money, can we fill our body with nutrition? No! So, we owe each other everything. I can not say that I come to teach you anything. Please don't have this notion despite all this supreme what... nevermind, because we are all supreme. We came from the supreme source before we descended into this physical body and we'll go back to the supreme source when our time comes. There is no denying our supreme status. If you don't want to acknowledge it because you are humble, or because you feel you are not up to it, it's up to you; but I don't want to deny my status because I know. There's nothing arrogant about it. It's just admitting you are — without any pride, without any fuss, without false humility, because false humility is also false; it's not true.
We should be true, beautiful and virtuous in spirit, speech and actions. That is a perfect human being. Even if we don't want to follow this method of immediate enlightenment, we can try other things; at least to think, so that we can focus back again within ourselves, to remember who we are, and to truly understand the sentence that we are the children of God, or for Buddhist, we all have Buddha nature within ourselves. That means we are equal to the Buddha, instead of worshipping the Buddha.
We should worship in the right way — to recognize ourselves so that the Buddha (enlightened Master) has less work to do. If we truly want to worship a Buddha or any saint, we should become one; so that they have less burden, less worry and one more companion to uplift mankind.
That's why some people don't like it when I say, "Don't worship the Buddha. Be one!" and I can show you how to be one. I can make a Buddha. Not by sculpturing or carving, but by pointing into your own Buddha qualities; and you have to recognize them day by day until you're fully convinced. There is a way to recognize them; face yourself until you're fully convinced that you are Buddha. That is the time when you are equal to all the Buddhas (enlightened beings) in the ten directions and three periods of time — past, present and future.
Changing Ourselves And Change The World
We are stepping into the Golden Age, so we have to change. We have to leave behind all these old useless conceptions of how a saint should be; or we should leave behind the dark thinking, the negative expectations of the world and ourselves. Do something!
We start from ourselves, we clean our house. If our house looks filthy, we clean it first. If there's anything we don't like about ourselves, change it! Replace it with more positive, more virtuous qualities. For example, before, when we saw any homeless person we didn't bother about him. He could stand there on the highway for hours under the sun, wanting to work for food. You'd say, "Oh! No! I can not take a stranger into my house. That's dangerous!"
Yes, but we could give him food. We don't need to ask anything from him. Then sometimes we pass by a homeless person, we feel nothing. We don't want to help because of our slow reaction habits, so we don't help him. When we get home, we feel something is wrong. "I should have helped." But then we cover it up quickly, "No!" and watch television or do other things.
We don't want to listen to our conscience, that's why the world will never get better. If it is the case, whatever we think makes the world better, at least a more comfortable place for ourselves and neighbors, we can share. Begin with sharing, then we will feel a subtle change in ourselves — more love will pour into our consciousness. We will be aware of something, that is the beginning.
That's why the five precepts are just a suggestion that we should change some of the corners of our life which we do not like. It's not that we should feel so guilty or blame ourselves, should we fail some of it; but it is a goal so that we go forward. For example, we try to be more loving instead of violent or angry; be more giving instead of trying to take; we should be more faithful to our partner instead of having another mistress, or it could be mister. (Master and audience laugh.)
You always blame the man, I don't know why. There are women also, who want to play Madam butterfly (laughter), flying from one flower to the next. There are two kinds of flowers — male and female flowers. You know that! These brighten our world more and create a more calm atmosphere around us so that makes us better. That is all good, also a kind of meditation. We meditate anytime anyhow in our life. We just meditate mostly on the wrong things. So now, we just use that meditation power, switch to the right thing, that's all. When we think too much about how to make money at the expense of other, that is also meditation; we meditate on money. (Master and audience laugh.) We use all our concentration power, or our mighty thinking power in order to get that piece of paper, and on that piece of paper is printed "In God we trust." (Master and audience laugh.) Isn't that paradoxical?
Our God is money sometimes! (Master laughs.) You see, "In God we trust" means we have to know God. If we don't know God, how could we trust. It's very easy to say, "In God we trust," but how? Who is Hirm? What does Hes look like? What did Hes do for me? What will Hes do for me that I have to trust Hirm? So, we must know that is what enlightenment offers. We have to be enlightened in order to know what God is, who Hes is, and what does Hes do to help us everyday in all details of our activities. That is the thing we know after enlightenment. We know more and more.
If we did know God before, in some of the blessed incidents; then we know Hirm more and more everyday through a meditative attitude, through a very scientific way of maintaining our enlightened awareness. If we are enlightened once or twice, we still feel not yet there. If someone is hungry for a long time now, and you give him just a little bit of water and bread, will he be satisfied? Of course not.
Only God Dwells Within Us
So, immediate enlightenment means you have a taste of enlightenment and then we tell you how to nourish it, keep it everyday, and expand it until you truly know the whole spectrum of enlightenment — know your real self. That's when you know God, because only God dwells within us.
Does the Bible say there are two persons dwelling within our temple? Did Jesus say that? Did Buddha say there are two Buddhas inside — one is Buddha and one is a mundane person? Did He say that? No! No Bible, no scripture says there are two persons in this house, in this body. So, who is that inside? Only God!
If we cast aside, we overlook our habits, our accumulated knowledge of mundane nature, then there is nothing there except God. The habits, the knowledge, the PhD person, is not the real self; we were not born with it, and we will not die with it. So, this 'only real one' is God, our true self; but most of us have forgotten. (Applause)
You keep asking me, "How can we have immediate enlightenment when we meet you?" You are already enlightened before you met me; just you don't know it and you forgot, because you identified yourself with Mrs. so-and-so who works eight hours a day, who has three children, who gets angry sometimes, and who is loving sometimes. All this is not you. You just accumulated it, you just reacted to the environment and the necessity of the time; but it's not you. We were not born with all these.
Therefore, we are truly God-like but we are also part of God. Actually, we are God. You may not believe it now, but think about it when you go home. We are breathing in God, we are living in God, we are born from God, and we'll go back to God. Where can we go, where could we have come from except from God? Do you think we came from the carpet, from the ceiling or even from the drop of blood your father sent to you before you were born? Is it the food you eat that makes you become you, then should we call ourselves B-burger (laughter), C-cabbage or vegetable grocery shop, instead of a person or a human being with an intelligence? Even if you feed the cow or the dogs all the food which you eat, they will not be as intelligent as you. If you give a drop of blood from your father to the dog or to any other thing, will it become a human being? No!
So, what is it that make us the way we are? It is God-power and it's all over the universe. It's in the air. It's everywhere that we walk, everywhere that we stay. It just happens to be housed in this instrument, in some of the instruments, and it houses itself just like an electric power. It houses itself in a bulb of light, in a refrigerator or in some motor generator. The electric power is all over. It's the same power everywhere. It houses itself in some instruments only; therefore, the God-power is housed within us.
We are one of the instruments that happen to contain the God power for a while. Catch it, just like a current of water flowing from a waterfall or from a mountain very high. Someone happens to dig a hole or a swimming pool, get the water into it, and the water comes in and out again, connecting it with the river. The water in the pool is the water from the river.
In Hong Kong, we dug a swimming pool, actually we didn't dig it. Where I stay, is a mountain. You'll be surprised to know Hong Kong has mountains, very quiet, next to hundred-story buildings. You just walk five minutes out and you see the whole Hong Kong; and you turn in five minutes, and there is a retreat mountain with all fruit trees — green, beautiful and quiet. That's where I stay in Hong Kong.
Now, we have a kind of mountain, so there are many levels, terraces. You see level after level. So, between the two different levels we surrounded it with rocks and cement, and made it natural looking. We led the water from the stream nearby into the pool. And under the lower layer, I grow vegetables — big ones; that is when I have time. I don't always do that. The water from the swimming pool when I swim will go onto the vegetables, so I don't have to work too hard.
The water just goes in and out all the time, and it is always fresh; because we clean it now and again, to take out all the moss, the green stuff that covers our pool. We put a lot of big pebbles, shining and beautiful like ornamental pebbles. They're cheap, one dollar for ten kilos; but beautiful. They were put in the water, and sometimes become covered with green, so we wash them.
The fish come in also. They are very expensive fish. They sell it for about twenty-two hundred US dollars for one fish; but that big. It can grow that big (laughter), but not much different. He is a kind of very stupid pea fish. So, the fish surprised me one day. He is supposed to be a stupid fish — very slow and does nothing; but because they are a rare species now, many people want to catch them and buy and sell them. We don't. We don't make money out of that, we protect them. No one can come in our territory and take, because our territory is filled with this fish. I could be a millionaire in no time (laughter), opening a fish market.
Now, this fish is very special. On top is dark brown, underneath has bright orange spots — under his stomach, hands and all that; and he can swim in the water as well as go on the dry land. He can survive on both, that's why people like him. I thought he was a very stupid fish; but one day he surprised me, because they can talk with each other lovingly, just like a loving couple. One was kind of angry and turned around, and he just kept following. Just stopped in front and looked him in the eyes, and did like this. (Laughter and applause.) Like when you want to make up with your lover when she is angry. That one! Just like that! Can you believe it? I was so touched, and thought, "My God, I'm sorry. I apologize for thinking that you are stupid (Master and audience laugh), as you make a better lover than we." So, after a while, the female agreed. Then they both swam with each other and had no more of this argument.
One day he surprised me more, because he's a very slow action fish, stupid-like. Like this, very slow in the water. When I came to the pool, I saw one of them. I was surprised, and said "Hey! You there, come up!" Just a joke, you know. Then he came up. Then he zoom like this to me where my hand was, he touched, and he went down back again. I said, "Hey! Can you understand me? Then come back again." He did (as requested) three times in a row just to show me that he is not stupid. (Laughter)
Now, I spend all day repenting to God and apologizing to this creature. Fancy being a supreme Master and didn't know the fish is intelligent. (Master and audience laugh.) So, I feel very bad. But it was good, there were other witnesses with me; not that I made up a story at all. (Master talked to Her attendant) You remember the fish, it came from the pool three times. Yes! Yes! He was there and he tried to go and fetch the movie camera. But when he (fish) saw the black eye of camera looking at him, he said, "Uh, uh! I don't want to be on TV." (Master and audience laugh.) He didn't want to be famous! Probably he was scared, and I thought: That's right! That's right! I told him, "Don't photograph him in this way, because people will catch them more, make commercial out of it, and they will be in danger." They are already an endangered species.
He is very intelligent, you see. He knows when to come up, when not. Three times he came in a row in one minute. I said, "Come up!" and he came right away. Then he went back down and I said, "Come up again," and he came. Just right where I am, not to sideways. Just zoom like this, straight!
Love For All Beings From Being Vegetarian
So, after you see all these things, it's good not to eat fish or meat. Actually, if we can love a dog, why not love a cow or pig; because they are the same. (Applause) This is one of the reasons why we should be vegetarian, love for all beings, extending love. Enlarge our love, enlarge ourselves, to the whole universe. We shouldn't even cut the flowers or eat vegetables, but still we have to do what is minimum, what's less suffering. The flower when we cut it, it can sprout again and make more flowers. Vegetable when we cut a branch, it can sprout a few more branches. So, it's not that bad.
Even though all beings have feelings, plants have the least feelings, because ninety percent of the constitution of vegetables is water. That's why they have less consciousness than animals or human beings. We human beings are a combination of many things, and that gives a good environment for intelligence to activate. For example, even though you are very intelligent, you need a good computer in order to program some intelligent things, some distinguished program.
Similarly, God-power needs this body which is a composition of different elements, in order to manifest inside into the outer world. That's why we have more feeling, more intelligence, because God-power can make use of many of the tiny instruments within ourselves in order to spread out the blessing, the message and the intelligence. In the plant, God-power cannot do that, because there are not enough instruments. That's all. Just like the bulb here. If the electric bulb is a 100-watt, then its electricity can be brighter than in a 20-watt. If we damage the 100-watt bulb, it is more expensive, more of a waste than a 20-watt bulb. This is why we try to economize. This is why we should eat the least conscious thing possible, like vegetables. Is that logical to you? Is that okay? (Audience: Yes.)
I don't try to push you into guilt or things like that, but we discuss the possibilities of why and how. That's why to kill a human being is the most terrible crime, to kill animal is second to it, and a plant is not much. They can grow again, even from the root. But the animal, even if you cut only half of its head, won't grow again. Therefore, we have to believe things when they're logical; not because it's the guilt-inflicting theory or because we have to do that because some of the teachers say so or some of the religions say so.
I do not feel that we are unintelligent beings, that we could swallow anything, especially the Americans. They are no-nonsense folks. They don't just eat anything. So, we have to tell them whatever is logical. Even if people do not accept it today, they can think about it later. Sometimes I believe also, that during the course of my speaking, sometimes it's too fast — you sometimes listen to one sentence and you miss the next, and also it's difficult. So, if you want to listen again, you can get the tape. All the tapes we sell are without profit. It's like a good quality empty tapes, because we don't believe in selling God for profit.
We make profit otherwise, by mundane talent like dress designing, lamp producing, painting pictures. All these things we are allowed to make. It's our mundane talent, so we get the mundane profit; but not to sell God for profit. We don't even collect money, get a member's fee; or anything to do with God's teachings; because it's all free for every of Hiers children. It was free for me. It will be free for everyone, as long as I can afford it. If I cannot afford, then I stop. Very simple!
Now, can you see why we are God? God-power is omnipresent, is all-pervading everywhere; and we are just one of the beholders. Just like my swimming pool — the water came from the nearby stream, led in by a pipe; and we have a hole underneath or on top so that it will flow out again into the river without stopping a portion of the water. The water in the pool, even though it's surrounded by stones and cement, is still water from the river and is connected in some other way.
If our swimming pool is blocked from connecting with the spring for some reason, then we have to unblock it. Maybe the pipe is blocked, the pipe is damaged, or the hole is blocked; so we have to unblock it. Enlightenment is the unblocking of our obscurity to our own nature, to the God connections within ourselves, and to the whole power of the universe. (Applause)
We are Stepping Into the Golden Age