|Master Others Stories of Life with Master in the Early Years|
Stories of Life with Master in the Early Years
By resident disciples, Hsihu, Formosa
One day, Master stopped by the office at Hsihu unexpectedly, walked up to my desk and asked, “Do you have anything to report to me?” Overjoyed at Her sudden appearance, and still struggling to finish my work, I replied spontaneously, “Yes, I do.” I didn’t want Her to leave right away, so I began to search through the files on my desk. Strange! The document had been lying right in front of me. But where had it gone? I flushed with embarrassment at having to make Master wait. At that moment, She swiftly lifted Her umbrella and lightly tapped a document on my desk. Her hand moved so quickly, so lightly and unexpectedly that before my mind even had time to react, I saw the file, lying right before me! I looked at it and smiled. My face must have been filled with reverence at the time, but Master smiled casually as if to say, “This is nothing great, really!”
Sometimes, Master suddenly thinks of assignments that She has given previously and asks how things are proceeding. Thank God that She asks, for only then do we find that something has gone wrong; for instance, documents that may not have been carefully filed and are about to be destroyed. Her seemingly unintentional inquiries give us a chance to stop many impending mistakes in time.
Once She gives an assignment, She rarely intervenes unless it is absolutely necessary or something is about to go wrong. When we pray for help, She is by our side, asking about it before we even have had time to consult Her. Once we get Her advice, we can proceed with our work smoothly. And it is actually Master who does everything!
Master once returned to Hsihu feeling sick from a trip abroad. After a few days of rest, She felt much better and came to the office to see us. Her magnetic field is so serene that it never disturbs anyone. That day, She strolled down the middle of the office blessing everyone, while some of us at work were still talking loudly and did not notice that Master had just passed by.
Master looked stunningly beautiful, with long hair, rosy cheeks and clear eyes. We were dazzled! But She smiled bashfully and moved away from our adoring eyes, silently blessing the whole office. Master was really beautiful that day. When She left, a unique fragrance began to float around the office, as we were elevated to a state of exalted relaxation, and hummed romantically as we worked through the rest of the afternoon.
The Inner Connection
When the great Indian yogi Paramahansa Yogananda gave his first lecture in English abroad, he did not know how to express himself on stage very well and stood there speechless, while from within, he silently asked his master for help. Then his master in India immediately transmitted his blessing, making Yogananda suddenly eloquent. Today, Supreme Master Ching Hai’s disciples have similar experiences.
For instance, a monastic disciple once told Master that when he went out to share Her teachings, many people asked him questions. And to some questions that Master had never answered before, he did not know how to respond. But the disciple quickly prayed for Master’s help, and suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, he became very articulate. When asked why he knew so much at such a young age, he answered that he could not figure it out either. He said it was miraculous that he could provide wonderful answers to questions that Master had not taught him about previously. Actually, Master has taught us everything already, but inside, not outside.
Just as Master says, “Even if I talked until I were old and my hair turned gray, I still would not be able to finish telling you all that you have to learn. Publishing a few books is not enough. Since I have inner communication with my disciples, even if you are next to me and I have taught you a lot of things, you are not aware of them. It is because I teach with the “heart,” not merely through the outer form of teaching. Sometimes I teach through action, sometimes by scolding; by scolding others to teach you or by scolding you directly. Sometimes I only tell you a brief idea, and sometimes I answer you directly. There are times when I do not say anything, yet I teach you many things. It is from within that I give the most teachings. So, sometimes you might find that you have not learned about a subject, yet you can speak convincingly. You might have never heard about a certain teaching, yet you can answer people correctly. However, as soon as your arrogance emerges, this wonderful ability vanishes. You are stuck there because you are then using the mind, the ego. So do not say that I never teach you anything; I teach you a lot!” (By Supreme Master Ching Hai, Hsihu, Formosa, November 14, 1990, originally in Chinese. Videotape No. 138)
A Transcendent Transmission
Once, Master summoned all the monastic disciples at Hsihu. She remained silent and just told us to meditate on the floor. With eyes closed, Master was sitting in Her own chair meditating with us. That day the surroundings were extraordinarily quiet and serene. Sitting close to Master, I had a very intense experience. When meditating on the Sound, I experienced a wonderful melody that I had never heard before. I was totally absorbed in ecstasy and felt that my whole being had been swept into a stream of love, until Master gently woke us up. I opened my eyes, still half immersed in bliss. I wondered if this was the way souls communicate in the superior realms. When I looked into Her loving eyes, I found my answer.
When Master teaches us through the “heart,” Her teaching surpasses any verbal speech. Though wordless, the effect is perpetual.
Her Loving Reminders Finishing Today’s Work Today
During Master’s early years in Formosa, She often traveled and hold group meditation sessions at various Formosan centers, thus Her personal attendants would work late into the night alongside Master. Only then would they have time to do their own chores. But sometimes, when the attendants got too tired at night, they did not feel like doing their laundry. When Master noticed this, She would lovingly remind them like a mother, “You never know where you will be heading tomorrow. So finish the laundry while you still have a little time now.”
When Master was staying at the Hsihu Center, She instructed the resident disciples as follows: “Always clean up any instrument or tool you have used, and return it to its original place, as if it had never been used. This way, the next user can find it conveniently. No matter how late you stop working, always clean up the site and tools before you go to bed.” But occasionally, someone would carelessly leave some tools out in the rain. Master would feel very bad when She saw this, and so She reminded us, “Treasuring public property is treasuring our own merit.”
Master often reminds us that living in a group is different than living at home. We should always be thoughtful of others and refrain from polluting them with our undesirable qualities.
Entering It into the Account
Once during a seven-day retreat, I was helping out at a stall selling daily necessity items to fellow initiates from all countries. Then Master came over with a disciple, and told him to take anything he needed. Before She left, She specifically told me to have the items recorded in Her account. I was so thrilled when I saw Master that I virtually forgot about everything. I thought everything belonged to Master anyway, and so She could just help Herself to anything She wanted. Thus, I gave no thought to the account! But Master is always considerate of others, making it convenient for them, and is attentive to every detail. If Master had not reminded me about the account, I would have been my usual disorganized self and not given any thought to informing the next shift of workers about this transaction. In the end, the bookkeeper would not have been able to balance the account. Master’s way of handling things is always clear-cut and immaculate!
Picking Up Nails
Behind every word and action of an Enlightened Master, there is always great blessing power. If we can put aside our ego and always follow Master’s instructions in our work, many unknown obstacles will be surmounted.
Once, Master and some disciples were busy repairing a building. Master saw some nails on the ground and asked a disciple next to Her to pick them up. For some reason, the disciple did not do as he was instructed. Master told him again, but he still did not pick them up. (He did eventually pick the nails up later, however.) Afterwards, Master mentioned this incident, saying, “Because of this, he will have a very long lesson to learn.”
Secrets How Master Attained The Tao