We cannot just look at the appearance and criticize the boss, the government or big officials of the government, etc. They have their own difficulties. You have to think carefully. Even if you want to criticize, it should be a suggestion of goodwill.
It’s all right. Mistakes are not always avoidable. Any job can have its loopholes, and people make mistakes sometimes. But it’s easy to say. Master is very strict with them. In order to contribute to the world, we have to make it perfect. Where it’s avoidable, you shouldn’t make mistakes. If you still do, then I’ll be very strict with you. However, to work in such a big group, we would overlook some parts for sure. Occasionally, I go on retreats for several days. Nowadays, I haven’t been able to do retreats for a few weeks or one month already. Because I know, that once I’m on retreat, everyone will mess up. No one supervises.
There’s someone checking, but it’s still not the same. For instance, babysitting children by yourself is different than having others babysit for you. Is it not so? (Yes.) If you work at your job attentively out of love, it will be different when you ask someone else to do it for you. His concentration is different, and so is his personality. His attentiveness and styles are different. You won’t have the same level of satisfaction. That’s why you can’t just leave the work to them, as if letting children do it. No. Doing it occasionally is OK, but it can’t happen frequently.
There’s a story in Japan. A monk took care of some work in the kitchen every day. One day, a follower came and said, “Master, you’re at such an old age, why don’t you find someone else to do it for you? Why do you have to work so hard? You can ask him to do it.” The monk answered, “He is not me.” It means that he and I work in different ways. It’s not that perfect, not that attentive. You know it, right? (Yes.)
When people out there work for someone else, they also should not go against their boss. Even though it might appear as if employees are doing the work rather than the boss, the boss still has to take responsibility. He has to put in his money, venturing his capital in the business. That is also a very important part. If anything happens, he himself has to take responsibility, even if it’s the fault of his workers. Therefore, being a boss is not that easy. Of course, we all think that he earns a lot of money, much more than we do. And it looks like they haven’t done much. They drive nice cars and their wives wear beautiful clothes. They have meetings over here today and over there tomorrow. They meet with important people, etc.
And we don’t have anything except working every day, and we go home with only a little money. It’s not so. It’s not like that. He goes to meetings for the company. It’s also a kind of social activity, such as going to court, etc. He has to cultivate relationships with others. When he goes to the meeting, he looks good. He dresses himself fittingly. He has to go in a shiny car, so that people respect him and think, “His business must be very successful.” Otherwise, they’d be afraid of losing money by doing business with him. Therefore, appearance is very important for the boss and his wife. It’s not because of the appearance only. There are reasons behind it. We cannot just look at the appearance and criticize the boss, the government or big officials of the government, etc. They have their own difficulties. You have to think carefully. Even if you want to criticize, it should be a suggestion of goodwill.
Because this boss has a lot to do. She has to design things and wear clothes of Her own design. She has to take care of the ashram and has to buy ashrams. And this ashram is not the first one She has bought. For this one, She paid for half. For other ashrams, big or small, She bought most of them for initiates. No one has offered anything. No one has bought any ashram for us. There are one or two times that several people contributed small pieces of land. It was in former times, when I didn’t have many disciples. Some of them offered a few pieces of land. But later, they took them back. After we had built houses and taken care of them, they took the land back for their sons or daughters. It all happened. It’s very rare that people will offer without conditions. Unlike when Shakyamuni Buddha was alive, someone paved the ground with gold.
People offer to the Buddha and His monks, a piece of land as their ashram. Very rare, nowadays. It’s already very good that they don’t harm you, speak ill of you secretly or kill you, not to mention about offering you anything. When Shakyamuni Buddha was still alive, I don’t know if His disciples would go to Him when the ashram ran out of water. “Honorable Buddha, there’s no water!” It’s a good thing that there was no electricity at that time. That’s why they didn’t complain, “No water! No electricity!” It’s really the “Dharma-ending age” now, very different from before. But slowly, we are coming to the Golden Age. Take your time. The world has changed; that’s good.
Do you Chinese have any questions? How many questions? (More than ten questions.) More than ten? OK. You read them one by one. (Respected and beloved Master, I have some good news to report to You.) Good. We love to hear good news. Do you like it? (Yes, we do. We like it.) (Following Master’s instructions, we bought 30 tons of rice to be distributed to Pyongyang. Upon arrival at Pyongyang, the reception staff said they very much welcome our Ching Hai group.) North Korea? That’s right. Is it that sister? Good. Then what did they say? And who said this?
(People in Pyongyang said that they warmly welcome our Ching Hai group. They said that they have never received such premium rice. They were very grateful to Supreme Master Ching Hai.) They didn’t know that I had quietly contributed to North Korea before. It was much more than this time, through the King of Cambodia. The two countries were friends. At that time, we couldn’t communicate with them, so we asked the King of Cambodia and the government to send it to them. It was a lot, but I kept quiet. About US$800,000. And we continued to send more later.
(We’re preparing to send another 60 tons of rice next year.) Sixty tons of rice? (Yes.) OK, very good. You can contact the fellow initiate in charge of our accounting. I’ll give you more money to buy more for them. Also buy more of something else, not just rice. If it’s just rice, it is very heavy. Buy something for the children to eat. If vegan milk is available, also buy some for the children. Is the sister around? Is she here? (Yes, she’s here.) Please stand up. Are you working together with the other one?
(Yes, actually, I am charge because of Master’s instructions. Then they requested for something to feed the infants. They asked for milk because the infants had nothing to eat. I said milk is not good, and I suggested rice milk. That's how we feed our children. He said it’s OK, and asked us to buy nutritious food for the infants. I’ve already said yes.)
Originally, I wanted to do it quietly. Then you asked me in writing about whether you could do it in the name of our group, so I consented. We do this to benefit others. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in our group’s name or not. (Understand.) You wrote me a letter asking whether you can make the donation in the name of Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association, (Understand.) as it’d be more formal. If it is OK, legal and doesn’t cause any trouble, then of course it’s OK. (Yes.) Whenever you go there for relief, let us know first, so that we can also supply something. OK? (OK.)
How do I contact you? How do I contact you if I want to contribute something? (My phone number…) Just write it down quickly. Ask her to write it down. Yes. Must respect your privacy. Do you have pen and paper there? He’d given it to her. Write it down.
The guards are really helpful. They have everything, even a mirror for me to check my lipstick. Even a comb for my hair. When I urgently exclaimed, “I don’t have a comb. The wind has made a mess of my hair.” He immediately gave me a comb. The person who trained them is very good. They are very well-trained.
Originally, I wanted to use some girls but I was worried that they might be too weak to stop people like you. I am not sure. Perhaps I’ll try again later. These men have served in the military, so at least they know how to react. They are alert. When women have their period, they become weak and agitated. I can’t wait three of four days for them to resume guard duty. If it happens to be Sunday, she will be OK on Tuesday. By then it’s too late. It’s not discrimination. I’m just being considerate. Men are stronger. They can run, and won’t be easily overcome by people. Women may be too weak. Most women are weaker than men. We rarely see women taller than men. Is that right? Very good.
This one is not radiant, right? These spectacles are anti-reflective. Is that right? Very good. This is the type that they should buy. There are two types of glasses. One can reflect light, and one cannot. (It looks OK.) Is this one OK? Because some glasses can reflect light, and people think that my eyes are sparkling. Some say that it is not real.
Give me that telephone number. Have you written it down? (It’s on the table. Yes, it’s on the table. It’s on the table.) You see, when I look at you, I forget everything. I’m just like you. I forget everything when I see you. I don’t feel hungry, cold, thirsty or tired. I only feel tired when I go home later. Just like yesterday, I wasn’t tired. I didn’t look tired at all, did I? I ate with you, enjoyed jokes and looked very healthy and strong. After I went home, I sat down at the computer to work on documents. As soon as I sat down, I thought, “What’s wrong? Wake up! Wake up!” As soon as I sat down, I felt very sleepy. I was very tired. But I still went outside to have some cold air, then I felt better. I dared not eat anything. Sometimes, eating can change the atmosphere and wake me up. Eat just a little bit, not a lot. Instead of waking up, I’ll fall unconscious if I am very tired and eat a lot. Sometimes, there’re some good and tasty stuff. If I eat a lot, then I’ll fall unconscious. So I need to go out for some fresh air and exercise.
I may come back feeling better. Otherwise, if I continued to work, then I definitely couldn’t finish anything. I would fall asleep on the desk. You know this perfectly well because you are professionals. Right? In here, there are no desks, and you still can sleep like that, resting on your chins. You are professionals. It’s OK. You sit very well. Sitting all day and night, this is quite good already. I’m very proud of you. It’s OK to rest on your chins. Occasionally, it is all right. Or, it’s also safer to rest on the shoulder of the one in front. Then he can rest on the one before him; each one resting on the one in front. In this way, you rest on each other. It’s OK as long as you don’t damage my floor. These floors are difficult to make. Do you know? That’s it, sister.
But do inform us before you leave. Tell us earlier. Don’t say, “I’m leaving tomorrow.” Then it’s too rushed. I’ll tell the accountant. She’ll contact you, and you give her your telephone number. Or she’ll give you her number for you to contact her. You may also contact the Foreign Group. Understand? (Yes, thank You, Master.) The Foreign Group will report to me, (OK.) and I’ll tell them to allocate more money for you to buy more things for the children, the elderly, or for wintertime. (OK.) For people who are less cared for, or in urgent need. It could happen in any country, not just Korea. I’m also glad that you can take care of the Korean people. Thank you and everyone in your group. (Thank You, Master.) Infinite merits. (Thank You, Master.) You are welcome. Thank you. (Thank You, Master.)
Because sometimes, you only tell me after you have done it. I can’t do it alone. I cannot possibly know which person is doing what, if they do not report to me. (This time, fellow initiates from Korea, Taiwan [Formosa] and those of us from China have supported and accomplished this mission perfectly.) Good. Of course, it is very good to be able to help other people. (Thank You, Master. I thank all of them.)
Good. If you don’t need anything, it’s OK not to inform us. But if you need anything, do let me know. (OK.) I also want to contribute something. (OK, thank You.) I also want to help them. The Koreans are very nice. Only when they report to me, I know about the relief work. (Understand.) I wouldn’t know if they didn’t report. (Understand.) Even if I knew, I wouldn’t know whom to ask. (Yes.) OK, thank you. Next one, please.
(Master, there is more good news. We worked together with some monks from the Pure Land Buddhism, and the guru of the Buddhist Academy.) Where is she? The same person? (Yes.) Then you speak. Let her speak. This sister speaks very good Mandarin. Who did you contact? (On November 24th this year.) This year? (Yes, just last month. Now it’s December. On the day that Master destroyed the maya, we received news that several lives were about to be put down in a slaughterhouse. After learning that, some initiates quickly gathered some money. They only gave us two days. If we didn’t get the money in two days, they would start killing the animals.) What kind of killing? (Killing cows to sell their meat. Killing animals.) Understand.
(Our fellow initiates collected the money just in time to save these three lives. The next day, there was another news. People make winter coats with fur from foxes and minks. Fur coats made with animal fur. We heard that there were several thousand foxes in that batch. Not one or two hundred, but several thousands of them. Even if we tried our best, we couldn’t get so much money. The guru of Larung Gar Buddhist Academy in Tibet, China, he is a monk, a lama. Together with several monks from the Pure Land Buddhism and our fellow initiates, we worked together and saved about 10,087 foxes on that day.) Oh! Thank you. (They were loaded in several wagons. Each wagon can hold several hundred of them.) How can this be? (They skinned the foxes right in front of them. The little animals were petrified and crying. It really broke our hearts. It began from that day. Yesterday, I was informed that they had saved over a thousand yesterday, and also, more than a thousand on the day before.)
Then, where did you put them? (We sent them to an animal shelter, a place specialized in protecting them. Originally, they were kept in cages. After we bought them, we released them into the wild.) Understand. You set them free. (They were jumping around in joy.) Free. (Yes, and then the monks and our group members explained to the animal farm workers about karma. The owner of the animal farm was shocked. He said, “I will stop doing this immediately and change my job.”) That’s great! (He sells four to five thousand foxes each year. Just one farm owner kills so many lives each year.) I know.
(Another person was a meat vendor. Also, after we talked to him…Changed his occupation. He wrote a letter of intent. “I will change my job next year.”) He will change. (But, five days later, he said, “I can’t stand it. I am scared of this karmic retribution. I will change my job immediately, and give you a letter of intent.” He also donated 500 dollars. This owner also changed his job.) Very good. Thank you, and thank everyone. (We’ve been acting according to Master’s instructions, and have been protecting animals. Our initiates will deliver food to them twice a month, because the rescued animals need to be fed. We have to sustain their lives, until they die naturally. Therefore, we guaranteed them that we would provide food for them and protect them until they are released. In Hubei, Liaoning and Jilin provinces of China, we, the three groups, have cooperated until now. In less than a month, we have rescued 45,000 animals.)
Wow! Thank you! Thank you! I’m really proud of you. Thank you! (Also, there are partners not from our group, but they work together with us.) All of you. (Every Sunday, four brothers, who believe in the Buddha, go to the cattle market, where they sell cows for meat. Every time, they bought three cows.) Slowly, they keep buying. (They bought them and saved their lives. They have been doing this for five years and have rescued more than 700 cows.) Thank you, thank you. (They are also protecting them.) Thank you. I can also help. (Our actions are the result of Master’s teachings.) I know, but you can let us know if you need any help. We’ve been helping other people, so we can also help you. (OK.) Thank you. (Thank You.)