Teachings Mind  

Positive and Negative Power
Yin and Yang



When we think that we are very good, or excellent, we might be cheated by the mind. The mind loves glory, praise, fantasy, and thinking that we are good. On the other side, the mind also degrades us. It might sink into depression and an inferiority complex, and cheat us of our glory. It goes two ways.

From News 57, Pearls Of Wisdom
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Penang, Malaysia
February 23, 1992
(originally in English)

When you meditate, you should have a pad next to you. Any clear ideas that occur, jot down quickly the main points – one, two words to recollect later. During meditation, you are in a different level of consciousness. When you come back to this physical one, you forget because the mind is limited. It’s like a computer. It’s not equipped for all the information in the universe. So sometimes it misses out on information. It’s defective — the mind, the computer.

From “Have a Notepad Handy While Meditating”
News 102, A Valuable Secret of Spiritual Practice
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Los Angeles, California, USA
June 7, 1998
(originally in English)

Q: I have one question, which is purely theoretical, but I’ve stuck with it for over ten years. I understood with the mind that we don’t have an I; our feelings are not us and our thinking is not us and so on. So what is the thing that goes from one reincarnation to another, and what causes karma and collects it, and what causes merit and collects it? Is it our mind?

M: Our mind, and our soul that clings to that mind. For example, if the car goes wrong and the driver doesn’t jump out of the car, then he gets done with, together with the car. If he jumps out in time, if he doesn’t feel so attached to the car that he tries to save the car, then he might save his life. Some people love the car more than their life. That’s the same trouble with most of us; we love our garbage collector more than our soul, more than our real Self. We are always in touch with the outside world, with the collecting of thoughts, with all kinds of preconceived ideas, with all kinds of nonsense, but we are not in touch with our real Lord, our real Self. So we have trouble.

I will try to explain more. In your life, do you understand who is living now? It’s the awareness, the real “I” that is living through the perceiving agents of the hands, the feet, the eyes, the ears, the mouth, the feelings, and the brain. That’s it. And should “I”, this awareness, always get stuck with these feelings, with this thinking, with this information, then the “I” cannot be free from the feelings, from the thinking, from the preconceived collective ideas of society, of the environment, of the habits. And of course, that true awareness, that true “I” has to come back again. But should this true “I” always understand that he, the true “I”, the true awareness, is only the witness of all these feelings, all this thinking, all these collective thoughts, then this “I” never gets stuck with these feelings or ideas, and is always free. So when he dies, he knows absolutely that he is not these feelings, not these bindings, not these surroundings, not these ideas; then he is free. He marches back to the whole, to the whole river of life, and doesn’t get stuck in that corner of so-called thinking, feeling, hate and love. So we have to awaken our awareness again, pull it back and keep reminding it all the time, “You are not this feeling, you are not this idea, you are not this, and you are not that.” Understand? Nothing is you!

Q: Is it the same with pain?

M: Yes, because the body feels pain; the nerves feel pain because the nerves are made to feel things. The awareness enjoys these feelings and enjoys knowing outside things. Otherwise, how can we be aware? This is the awareness that experiences pain through the body, but the awareness itself never has pain! If you eat an apple, it’s the apple that is sweet; it’s not your tongue that is sweet. It’s not you who are sweet! The sweetness is not you, it’s from the apple; you are the one who enjoys the sweetness. Similarly, we ourselves, the awareness, enjoy the pleasure, know the pain and reject the unpleasant things. But all these things don’t matter. You enjoy it or you reject it; you experience the unpleasant or the pleasant, but that’s it. You are not the pleasant or unpleasant. These are only circumstances.

So why should you get stuck there, and be bound life after life? Because you are not satisfied. You have to know that these things are fleeting. Today it comes, tomorrow it goes. Okay, that’s it. If I have enjoyed, I enjoy it. If I experience an unpleasant thing, then I endure it, and that’s it. When I’m gone, I’m gone. When I don’t have them, I don’t have them. Otherwise if we, the awareness, keep chasing after pleasure, then we reincarnate. The awareness is trying to catch the last leftover feeling, so it tries to put itself into a frame again and enjoy it or suffer, always clinging to this sweet or bitter feeling, chasing after it.

If someone gives you an apple, and you eat it: Oh, you love it so much! But now you don’t have another one, and you go everywhere searching for an apple; every day your mind says only, “Apple, apple, apple!” You cannot do anything else, and you lose yourself. You lose yourself in the sweetness of the apple. It’s the same thing with our life: The awareness is chasing after the pleasant and hating the unpleasant, and we get stuck there. The awareness cannot free itself from these feelings; therefore, we are bound, we are not liberated. If we know that at every moment, and especially at the time of death, we are not this feeling, we don’t care about this feeling, and we are done with all these feelings, then we are free. We are always free! We have never been unfree. (Audience applauds)

So, cry when you want to cry, and laugh when you want to laugh, but understand that the crying and laughing are not you. You just experience them, for the sake of knowing things, for the sake of existence. Otherwise you don’t exist; otherwise the world doesn’t exist. We say that the world is full of suffering and it shouldn’t exist, but why shouldn’t it exist? If it didn’t exist, it would also be boring. There’s nothing else to do, and you enjoy all the time: “Oh, I am this, I am that, (Audience laughs) I am God, that’s it, I am Almighty, and I know it! I have no suffering, nothing. I am always blissful.” So what? Don’t bother about nirvana, so what? If you are happy every day, so what?

But because you still want nirvana, so work for it. Work until you don’t want it any more, until you’re fed up with it, and then you’ll be free. (Master and audience laugh) I only want you to work for nirvana because I want you to know that you don’t need nirvana. But as long as you need it, then work for it. If you still want the dummy, the plastic one, then just have it. But have it until your mouth is dry and you have no milk, nothing, and then one day you will throw it away. And realize that you didn’t even need it in the beginning. Because you are always free of that, you don’t need it.

From “The True 'I' Is Always Free”
News 117, Spot Light
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Santimen, Pingtung, Formosa • December 21, 1992
(originally in English)


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