|On the Path While on the Path Come To Master|
Come To Master
brother-initiate Gilbert Rivera, Ohio, USA
Last winter, I had the opportunity to receive a sample booklet about Supreme Master Ching Hai. Agreeing with all the teachings, I became interested in Her message.
With help from the local meditation center, I viewed more videos, read more books, and listened to numerous audio cassettes. The more I listened and viewed the videotapes, the more I believed that I have an affinity with Master. Soon I became a vegetarian and learned the Convenient Method of meditation.
I prayed every morning and evening during my meditation so that I could receive initiation soon. To my great surprise I received an answer. One evening while reading one of Master's books, I heard a voice say: "Come to me." I did not think much of it and continued reading. The next evening I was reading one of the News magazines and again I heard the same voice say: "Come to me." It was very real and I could not believe that such an experience could happen to me.
I called an initiate and told him about what had happened. I thought that he would laugh at me or think I was crazy. But he listened carefully and advised me to prepare for a journey to go see Master, because he believed that She might be in Australia during the international retreat. However, he said, "You may or may not see Her and you may or may not get initiated." It meant that I had to take a chance.
I did not have a passport and the retreat in Australia was to start in a few days. I wondered how I could get a passport in such a short time since people had said that it would take a few weeks to get a passport and visa. I prayed to Master and began to process the paperwork to send it by overnight express. Master stepped in once again to assure me that I could go to Her. I was very surprised to receive my passport in a few days.
The next step was to send my passport to Washington so that I could get an Australian visa. I thought I would definitely miss my chance to go because it usually takes a week to receive the visa. When I called the American embassy in Australia, they informed me that if I were to fly Qantas Airlines I would be able to get my visa over the phone in five minutes.
There was one problem however: The price of the ticket was very expensive because of the short notice. It was a true test for me. I have never paid such a high price for a plane ticket in my life. But I took the chance. I faxed my flight details to the Sydney Center and left that same day.
When I arrived in Australia, I disembarked and waited for a few hours. There was no one there to meet me, and I began to wonder if I had made a terrible mistake. Had the Sydney Center received my fax? I did not know what to do. I walked over to the phone, but had no Australian coins to make a call. I held onto my picture-pendant of Master and asked Her for help. While praying, I just followed the information signs at the airport without thinking. Suddenly, within ten footsteps I saw two people holding a picture of Master. I felt instant relief and walked up to them and asked, "Are you looking for me?"
They looked at each other and said, "Who are you? We're here to pick up two initiates from Japan. We know nothing about you."
I introduced myself and we all knew that Master had arranged not only for the pick up of the Japanese initiates, but also for me. I was very happy to follow them to the retreat site!
At the campsite, I was told I could not stay because there were no plans for an initiation. So I stayed outside and waited for Master. I did not have a sleeping bag or a tent; but one initiate who had escorted me from the airport helped me to buy a sleeping bag and other things I needed to stay outside the retreat campsite.
There was also a Canadian man who was in the same situation. We became friends because we had the same desire for initiation although we had not been vegetarians for three months. After we heard that Master had arrived at the retreat site, our anticipation grew. At least we would have a chance to see a living Master in our lifetime.
We were very happy to know that Master had agreed to let the two of us receive initiation. When we received the news, it was a further confirmation that She had guided me to Australia. I feel very privileged to have been initiated during this special celebration of Mothers' Day and Master's birthday.
Having become a new initiate, I was allowed to sit near Master on the stage. I cannot forget this precious moment. Sitting near Her and seeing the love and compassion in Her eyes are experiences I will always cherish. Master, you said to me, "Come to me." Yes, I have come to You. Please take me home.
on the Path