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Between Master and Disciples

Taking Care of the Homeless As Our Family, Part 3 of 4, Mar. 10, 2019



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We eat to survive, not to enjoy the flavor. Whatever we can do without, we let it go. It will reduce our bondage. Not just to the food, the more we give up, the freer we will become. But remember to make offerings to the enlightened Masters in the Ten Directions, in the past, present and future.

They are just in bad luck. Some of them are highly educated people. May be architects or engineers; suddenly they lost their homes. However, some of them don’t know how to manage their lives. Suppose you’re an architect or engineer; you want to have a big house, a room for each kid, and a fancy car, etc. All this costs a lot of money, and this unplanned spending will catch you unprepared, when you lose your job. You earn this much every month and you spend that much every day. Spending on food, and then mortgage for the car, for the house, the washing machine, mortgage for the swimming pool, maintenance and cleaning fees.

You work hard to earn money but it is spent quickly; very fast. It is not easy to earn money. Yet people think that this is how life should go on. “I am an engineer, architect,” and so on. “It’s proper that I live in such a place.” But, when karma strikes, you never know. It could be a car accident, or any others. Or his company had bad luck, and then he became homeless. Kids have no place to live, and couldn’t even go to school; whether we are rich or poor.

If your life is OK with lots of money and the house mortgage is paid off or if business is OK, then continue to live there. If you have just started your job, then stay in a humbler house, a simple one; no need to boast about your status; then you won’t be in debt. In case something happens, you will have savings to handle the situation. May be less luxurious, but at least the kids can still go to school. At least you can still live in a small house, a rented one, not purchased, then you don’t have to pay mortgage, or less.

I know it’s not that easy, but try your best to plan well. Prepare well for the future; don’t just look at the present. Get ready and be mentally prepared. OK? When things happen, we’ll be able to respond. This is life. For us, it’s simple. Without a house and business, we just go sell stinky tofu. It’ll be OK. Stinky tofu is very popular in Taiwan (Formosa). If I have nothing, I can also sell stinky tofu. Vegan stinky tofu. I haven’t eaten any for a long time. No one cooks it for me.

Why must you buy this? Why do you have to give me the fruit tea from Europe? I’m an ordinary person. You have wild imaginations. Do you think that I must have a lot of people to serve me, to clean my cart and other things? No! I clean it myself. (Do You want to get a helper?) No! Oh dear! She wants to find someone to clean the cart for me. I know what it means. One person cleaning the cart and another one sweeping the floor. I do it myself. Because I want to minimize my expenditures. The more I save, the more I can give to others; many people may need it. I’m just one person. I can take care of myself. It doesn’t matter where I live.

In India, I lived in a corner of a veranda for many months. I have told you before. The veranda was rectangular and there were corners; I put my coat over one corner and lived there. I had luggage and a chair. I got rid of the luggage later; I sold it. I ran out of money, so I sold it. In India, you can sell anything. “Oh! Foreign goods. Wow! Good stuff!” Even very old items can be sold to make money. Then I could buy more (vegan) chapatis to eat. Living in there was not bad, except when it rained, I had to take shelter under the roof. My coat was not waterproof; it was not a raincoat. It was fine; I survived. You see, I’m very much alive.

So, don’t feel bad about me living in a cave. No! I am very happy. Really! Yesterday, I was thinking, “How lucky I am to have found a place that no one wants.” It’s leaking all over; who wants to live there? There’s water from above and on the floor, flowing in from outside. The cave was built for sightseeing, so they didn’t plan thoroughly. The interior of the cave was lower than the road. They built the road this way, and the door is here, so of course, the water flows in, and it flows in from the ceiling as well, getting wet together.

The floor is wet, and the ceiling is also wet, but it’s OK, I have a tent. There was some higher ground where I could pitch the tent. I put a small bathing stool there, a small stool for use in the bathroom; I put it there and use it as a staircase to climb up. It’s comfortable sleeping inside. I could stay inside all day to meditate and to sleep, not having to care about worldly matters. It’s really comfortable. I don’t understand why we need big houses. I really don’t know why everyone needs such big houses and cars; so luxurious; it’s not necessary. Some cars are cheap and good. The Japanese ones are cheaper and low in maintenance costs and very well built. It’s good, as long as it’s practical and suits your needs.

Any good questions about spiritual practice? So, you would take care of the homeless when you go back, OK? (Yes.) I wanted to bring them all to Hsihu. But Foreign Group told me, “No need, Master. We will take care of them in our Centers.” OK, take care of them if you can. Otherwise, bring them to Hsihu. We have a lot of empty space there. Even if it’s just one cave or one tent for them, they could have their own place, without being pushed around and looked down upon by people. They would be happy, understand? (Yes.)

If they complain, tell them that I also live in a tent. But there are many caves that they can live in. If you don’t have a place, take them to Hsihu and let Tong take care. Do you have any questions? Any complaints? (No.) No complaint? I’m amazed. Why are there no complaints today? It’s enough to just look at me in silence, right?

And I have told you already. Whatever you do at home, I cannot control. But I have told you on our TV. On our TV I told you not to eat onions, garlic, etc. Don’t eat the five pungent flavors, I have listed for you, including vegetables that belong to the same family; their relatives. For example, leek. Don’t eat those from the same family, OK? It affects you truly. But you probably don’t know it and think it’s OK. I’m not so strict; it doesn’t count as killing. But for example, if you want to come here for retreat, it would not be good for you, and your meditation would not be stable. You would have distracting thoughts and bodily desires; the Yin energy would enter you. I’m not joking. It’s true.

When you are at home, and you cook onions, you won’t feel anything, because you run around, and you have your family anyway. But when you’re on retreat or sitting quietly for a few days, it will attack you immediately. Its energy is like this. Just like the sun gives you warmth, fire makes you feel hot, and ice makes you feel cold. Onions and garlic, their qualities are like that. They are naturally like that. Just like some kind of poison, it looks harmless, but if you eat it, you would die. Their quality is different. Don’t eat those things.

When you come here, don’t cook those for us. It would hurt others, and hurt me. Sometimes, I eat it by mistake, because I am not aware it has been added to the soup or other things, because they cut it so finely and the color has changed. Perhaps adding soy sauce changes its color; it doesn’t look like onion anymore. But when you eat it, you feel different. It does not harm anyone, but it’s not good for your spiritual practice. Understand? (Yes.) I don’t mean to control you when you’re at home, but it’s better not to eat it or cook it when you come here. OK? (OK.) At home, if you want to misbehave, I can’t do anything to you. Here, you must not cook that for everyone to eat.

Lucky that I eat with everyone every day, because I want to know what you’re cooking for everyone. You could have cooked especially good for me, but casually for everyone else. So, I’ve been eating the same food as everyone. I mean exactly the same, no more, no less, and that’s how I found out. What’s the use of coming here and meditating if you keep cooking like this? Your mind would not be stable, and the atmosphere would not be good. It’s not only the smell; the smell is only physical. But the invisible odor can be smelled even in Heaven. Anyway, it’s not good for your spiritual practice. It definitely would cause problems. Understand? (Yes.) And then it would affect me, on top of everyone else. Lucky that I’ve been eating with you.

Remember my words and don’t make this mistake again, otherwise, I won’t let you off lightly. OK? (OK.) I need to protect everyone, not just you, a person with heavy ego, or a group of people with heavy egos. You just do whatever you wish to, and see what I would do with you. I won’t do much; I’d just disassociate myself from those people. But the harm has been done; it’s too late to reverse it. The best way is to make sure that it won’t happen again. You come here to meditate and practice quietly. At home, sometimes, you cannot quiet down. That’s why you come here to meditate for a few days. If you eat those things, it will give you strange body sensations, and you can’t sit stably. You will have random and unclean thoughts. Then what will you do? It shouldn’t be like this.

No matter how tasty the food is, the spiritual body is the most important, not the physical body. The physical body can eat whatever is available. Look at Shakyamuni Buddha; He was a prince and could eat all kinds of delicacies. Why should He beg for food and eat whatever people gave Him? It shows that we eat in order to maintain a little connection to the world. If we stop eating and drinking, we will die very soon, because we have no more, or very little karmic connection with people. Then we won’t live long. We should take care of our physical body, for spiritual practice, not for fear of death. It’s extremely difficult to acquire a human body. What did Shakyamuni Buddha say about this? You Buddhists tell me. Who is a Buddhist? Raise your hand. The Buddhists, raise your hands. Only one? You must be joking.

Tell me how difficult it is to be able to have a human body. (It is similar to a turtle floating up once in a thousand years, and a piece of wood is drifting by…) There is a hole! (Right.) Like a turtle rising up once in a thousand years, when a piece of wood happens to be drifting by, which has a hole in it, and the turtle plunging its head through the hole. It’s as rare as that. Understand? (Yes.) The human body is truly difficult to acquire; we must take care of it. Take a look outside and you’ll know. Transmigrating as cows, horses, chickens, ducks, even turtles, or any number of insects. How miserable!

We humans are capable of doing anything and protecting ourselves. We can earn money, build houses, drive cars, and use computers. Wow! Becoming more and more comfortable. Inventing more and more things. Only humans have this capacity; animals don’t! Even with miracle power, they can’t create a car; their blessed rewards are different. As humans, even if we have no miracle power, someone will build a car for us to travel in, or a house for us to dwell in. We don’t even need to do it ourselves; that’s only the material aspects. Only with this physical body can we practice spiritually.

Numerous beings wish to have a human body, but they can’t. Even a heavenly king is not permanent. Sooner or later he will fall, despite his great miracle powers and glorious palaces, despite his domination of the 60 heavens. Here we are merely ordinary people, yet we can practice spiritually to attain the Truth and liberation. Our many generations can be elevated. This is a great achievement; no other beings can do the same. So, take good care of your body. Eat just enough. Never mind whether it is delicious or not!

We eat to survive, not to enjoy the flavor. Whatever we can do without, we let it go. It will reduce our bondage. Not just to the food, the more we give up, the freer we will become. But remember to make offerings to the enlightened Masters in the Ten Directions, in the past, present and future.

If there are no more questions, I will then…what? Dismiss! Right! Have a question? Speak up, fast. It’s time for your meal. Don’t eat too late. Come!

(First, I have to thank Master for taking care of me over the past 20 years. This is my insight after practicing for 20 years.) Already 20 years. (Yes, 20 years. I feel that it is very difficult to break through. It’s been 20 years. Outwardly, my life is full of miracles. I constantly receive Master’s blessings.) And then? (Inwardly, I still have no major breakthrough at the spiritual level. So, after 20 years, I wish to ask, I want very much to go to that glorious Home in the New Land. I wish to know how I can return to that Home. May I ask how, Master?)

I don’t know how you’ve been practicing. (How can I…) How do you practice? (How do I practice?) Why is there no breakthrough? Are you being too anxious? (I don’t know what to do.) Do you meditate enough every day? (I used to meditate enough, but not recently.) Oh, congratulations. Shall I do the meditation for you? (No, Master. I can do it. I want to change.) OK, then you have answered yourself. We should treat spiritual practice as an utmost priority. We are getting on in years. Time is running out. Don’t be chained anymore. OK? (OK.)

I don’t know why you don’t cherish time. I cherish my time dearly every day. I feel that time really flies! I have no time to do this and that, and I still have to practice spiritually. I have to handle the writing, assignments, and reports. I feel that I’m really short of time. So, sometimes I am totally exhausted when I sit down to meditate. I fall down too, not just you.

What I feel most ashamed of is even though I want to meditate more, I can’t. If I shut myself up completely to meditate in my tent, then there is no one to take care of the world. There is no one to take care of the world. There are some people, but they also have a mind. Apart from having a soul, they also have a mind. And that mind needs to be trained, educated, and instructed precisely, otherwise, the people do not want to practice spiritually. They don’t know why they should observe a vegan diet. They don’t know why they should practice spiritually. “I’m perfectly OK. Why must I practice?” They know nothing about their original Self. As such, I have to be really balanced on both sides.

However, I am still very sorry, very sorry for myself. During a retreat, I’m in such wonderful Realms. Once I come out, there are all kinds of work to do. I can’t ignore it. I still have to do it. However, I go into retreat very often, at least once a month; if not for a week, at least for several days; it depends on whether my work is urgent or not. When I find a place where I can escape to, I’ll go there. And then come back to my work again.

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