Tra Maestra e discepoli

High Thinking & Simple Living, Part 4 of 5, Jan. 3, 2006

Lingua del discorso:English
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Like, you work five days a week, or sometimes six days a week, and the other day, you don't know what to do! Then you go out in the garden, plant something, and eat from your own labor. It's very fun!

One, two, three... First time? First time today? (Yes.) Can you see behind there? (Yes.) Have you eaten? (Yes.) You did? It's not the break time, now? (Well, we're waiting for the food. They're cooking outside.) They're cooking now? (Yes.) Now? (I guess so.) Why now? (It's just delayed a little.) Why? Why so late? Huh? (We had lunch, but not dinner yet.) Oh, so late? (We eat between six and seven-thirty.) Six and seven-thirty, have dinner. Eat two times a day?

Where are you from? (Belgium.) Belgium? So far? How long it takes you? (The railway.) You were driving? (No, no. By train.) By train? (Yes. Three hours or more.) Three, four hours only? Wow! That's not very far. I thought it's at the other end of the planet. It's good, it's good.

And you? The new one, you? (I'm from Harrow, but I come from Africa.) From Africa, just now? (I come from Harrow.) Oh, Harrow, OK. I mean now! Where do you come from? (Also from Belgium.) Belgium! Train? (Yes.) Took train together? (No.) No. Why take train? Is it more convenient? (The cheapest.) Cheaper? (Yes.) Cheaper than car, right?

Ah, Belgium. How many people in Belgium? (Fifteen, twenty.) Fifteen, twenty. Not growing? (Slowly, yes.) Slowly, OK! You're also Belgium? (Yes.) How many people from Belgium? Raise hands. Three! Three is a good number! What do you guys do? Just a house somewhere, right? House of contact person or something? (Yes.) (We have two contact persons, and we meditate in a house. I mean, a brother's and sister's house.) Understand. (And we rotate, sometimes we go to different houses.) Oh, wow! Isn't that nice! Have a chance to check everybody's house. (Take turns.) Yeah, that's convenient. It’s cool!

How come only Belgium people? Anyone else? From where? New one? Where are you from? (London.) London, OK. Anyone else? Where from? (From Cork, Ireland.) From Ireland? OK, cool! Welcome! Cork is a very nice city, right? (Yes! Pretty, yes!) How do you spell it? (C-O-R-K.) C-O-R-K, Cork! It's like a... (Yes, cork!) What a name! Do they drink a lot there? (Yes, too much!)

I heard in the news that the English people are drinking themselves more and more now to death. I don't know why! Probably, they like to go to Heaven sooner. What kind of Heaven, you know? A dizzy Heaven! That's the problem, because people are so frustrated, they have nothing to do. I mean, they do have things to do, but every day is the same. Nothing interesting. Just go out, earn money, and take care of kids, and wife, husband, whatever. And then, just life is not that interesting, right? Or not?

Are your lives more interesting? Compared to before, it’s better? (Yes.) (Very much.) Like what? Tell me. Like every weekend, you have free lunch or something? Free room? Free room to sit around! You find more interesting? (Yes.) OK, good. All right, then do something interesting in return! What do you think you do? What kind of interesting thing you can do for people? Tell me! Apart from coming to the center and just sit there. What would you do? (Bless the world.) Bless the world! Wow! That's very cool! How? How? By meditation? (Yes.) That's good enough. That's good. I mean it's good, but not good enough, is it? Is it good enough? Well, in a way it is.

So Belgium, 15 people? (Yes, I think so. Fifteen, twenty.) Fifteen, twenty. (Yes.) On retreat, the same? (Retreat, mostly 20 then. And every Saturday, 15.)

Any other country? Except the UK, anyone else come from another country? Ireland, is it growing anything? (Yes, it's growing. A lot of immigrants join in.) A lot of immigrants? (Yes, people from Eastern Europe and from Africa, a lot of people join us.) Join your meditation group? (Oh, well there's only six in Cork.) It's a small... (Small still, yes.) Smaller city. How about Dublin and other cities, big ones? Nobody comes from there? (Growing all the time.) Growing all the time. Really? (A lot of interest.) Good. Good, I'm glad.

The one behind just raised hand, who was that? (I'm from Cork as well.) From Cork? (Yes.) OK. You both are growing? (Yes!) Six people? Well, six is a good number. Chinese "Feng Shui." You have a lot of "shui" [water] over there. A lot of water. Cork. Do you have any "feng" - wind? (Yes.) Yeah, OK, a lot of "Feng Shui." It means "wind and water." They have a lot of water in Cork. They live next to the sea. It's a nice city, no? People tell me. (Yes.) Big population? No. (A hundred and twenty thousand.) A hundred and twenty thousand? Well, you know, that's cool. At least you know where you live! A lot of people, they don't know what's going on around here.

I was thinking if I come to England, then I would rely on the local "gods," to conduct me here and there, and to tell me what's happening, and where is a good place. But they don't know anything. I have to find out all by myself. Or I have to keep asking. Yeah, you guys are too comatose. Don't read newspaper? Don't watch TV? Watch the news? No? (Just a little bit.) Just a little bit.

Because I remember many times before, every time there was a disaster, I had to call Miaoli and told them, "Look! Do something!" And they said, "Where, Master? Where?" And I had to tell them where. And they said, "What's the town?" Like, "What's the country?" I told them the country. And then, "What's the town?" And I had to tell them. "How to spell it?"

Even I remember in America, there was a big... What was a very big event in America? Not the 911, I mean the natural disaster. I forgot. (New Orleans?) (Is it New Orleans?) Yeah, something like that. Whatever, many! Anyway, many! I always had to call them. And even, believe it or not, Taiwan (Formosa), there was a very big typhoon before. How many years ago? A couple of years ago. I had to call them! That was the biggest one at that time. I had to call them. I called Miaoli, and everybody was meditating, didn't answer the phone. And I don't have the address of the contact person! Mostly I don't call contact persons to bother them. I mean, they are just for you guys. Anything is for you guys. Nothing's for me, really. And I don't have the list. Sometimes I have the list, but I call them, they leave the machine on all the time.

Or there was one contact person, I got through. And then he said, "Who is it?" I said, "It's me!" And he said, "Who is 'me'?" I said, "OK, you want me to spell the name? It's C-H... Charlie-Hotel-India- November-Golf." And then the line went dead! Just half of the name, and the line went dead! I don't know what happened to the other end. So, when I called back, it didn't work again: "Beep, beep, beep!" Busy. So, I tried, I can't! So, I had to call someone that I knew before, one of the guards, one of the rare guards that used to go around with me before, long time ago. I called him, and told him, "Please contact whoever that is still alive in Taiwan (Formosa). Whatever contact person is still alive, or the Miaoli, wake them up, or drive there, tell them there's a big disaster, and you guys have to wake up and go do something - don't just sit there!" And then, they began to organize things.

That was really amazing! I was in America. And when I had a chance to go back to Taiwan (Formosa), the lecture the last time in Taiwan (Formosa) in Taipei, the press even asked me, "Did You even come back when we had disaster? Did the Master worry about us, that we had disaster?" I said, "Sorry, I was in America!" Can you believe it? It's the truth! It's the truth!

So, you guys are too comatose. Too comfortable! All of you are Buddhas except me. I have to work! The Buddhas don't work. Mostly They sit under the Bodhi tree, you heard that, and They don't do anything. Is that the concept? Is that what it is? (No.)

It looks like you are all Buddhas to me! Even the center, they ask me to buy it for you. My God! What kind of disciples is this? Not only don't I even take anything from you, but I have to pay! All of you are very expensive already. How much per head, you don't know! Before you even come and sit here, we have to pay for lectures and all kinds of stuff, organizing, airplane and stuff. I guess you guys are already very economizing, right? Sometimes we just waste money on so many things that we don't need. Otherwise, our lives would be less expensive and more joyful.

There was a program on TV I watched two days ago. It said there was a guy who's supposed to pay for 20 years, the mortgage. But there's one expert who came and taught them, the couple, how to pay it in two years only. And they really did! He came and checked out whatever they had to cut. For example, the husband loved to buy all kinds of gadgets. You saw this program? (Yes!) You did? (Yes.) OK, OK. So he said, "Well, don't need, don't need!" He bought a lot, and he'd just left it laying there. So, number one: they took it all out and sold it, garage sale, took some money in. And then from now on, if he has to buy something, he has to consider: Really, must be really necessary! Otherwise, don't buy. That's number one thing.

Number two: instead of going to a restaurant to eat every day, or coffee shop or canteen, whatever, they just packed a sandwich lunch, and took their own coffee. And they saved a lot every month. Not a lot, but it’s here and there, here and there, and it added up. And the first six months, they saved about 6,000. Six months, yeah! So 1,000 per month. You know, a little bit here, a little bit there.

Like, the girl also smoked, and he pointed out that two packets... one packet per week... How much is that? How much it costs? I forgot, you forgot. Like 14 pounds or something per week. You know, it is not even... She doesn't smoke two, three packets a day. And then, how is it? He calculated, per year, you could even buy a car! The whole year, or two years, in two years. And two years pass very quick! You could buy even a car if you don't smoke! I hope you don't!

So, and then, instead of going by car to work, they go on the train. Like this brother and sister. Cheaper, and quicker and safer. And sit there, read newspaper, catch up with things, read Master's books, or whatever. Or learn something new while sitting on the train. So they saved another, maybe 100 or 50 per month. No, more! More! Petrol is very costly nowadays, right? And if you keep running here and there all the time, go to work with it, it probably costs more, right? It depends on where you go, of course, but at least you save a couple of hundred pounds per month, or not?

You save a couple of hundred pounds per month if you go by train and not go by car to work? Or not? (You've got parking, as well.) Parking tickets! Oh, parking space and everything. Ah, yeah! So, you save, like... How much do you save? One of you guys tell me. If you don't go by car to work, how much do you save per month?

(Probably 200 if... because there's insurance and road tax and parking.) I know, but even if you don't go by car, you still have to pay for insurance and road tax, right? If you don't have a car? (No, when you give up your car, then you don't pay for insurance.) No, what I mean is, if you don't have a car. But if you have a car laying in the garage, you still have to pay, right? (Yes.) Or you pay less, or not? (You can pay less on insurance because...) In America, you pay less if you prove that you don't ride more than once a week. It depends on how much... (Yes.) Oh, that's even cheaper! Well, just say 200 per month. That's about 2,400 per year, no?

Wow! 2,400! You can buy a lot of things with it. In ten years, you'll have how much? (Twenty-four thousand.) Yes. (But if you invest it, a lot more.) Huh? (If you invest it,) Yes, yes, yes! (you will have a lot more.) You have more interest. OK, so maybe you'll have 4,000 in two years? (You will have 4,800 in two years, and then with interest, probably five and a half thousand.) Wow! See that? Five and a half thousand, you can go into Himalayas, sit there for five years, doing nothing.

(Master?) Yes? (Maybe I can help. I'm a financial analyst.) Ah! I'm doing just this! OK, for example like that. I'm doing this analyzing for them. Yeah, for example. And that is not all. Many other things. Like, you go buy the sales clothes instead of buying the trendy ones. Or wait until winter sales, also end-of-season sales, and you save a lot more money. And wear simple, practical clothes, so you don't always have to change and be in the mode, or anything like that. Well, if you want to live a free life, you can't just always be modish. We don't even need that. Occasionally maybe, in some special... If you go to work and you have to have an interview, or some job that needs presentable clothes, maybe you need. But you don't have to pay a lot of money for brand names. There are some cheaper clothes that look good as well.

That's for example. But the two couples, not only they saved on those things, they also worked extra. She was, like, good at singing, and he was good at doing some other things. And they went out to work and brought extra income every week. And because every money you earn and you save, that means you're earning as well. And of course, if you earn more, then it adds up all the time. So, there're many ways we can live a happy life without having to work a lot, or without having to toil day and night, just to burn it.

Plus, all of that, you don't drink alcohol. You don't know how much it saves you every month, do you? Do you know? (Yes.) Do you? (Yes.) For example, if you drink, like, a couple of beers every day, how much would you save a month? (Two hundred.) Two hundred? Wow! What, love? Easily! Yes, yes, yes! Because not only you drink, the friends come, and then other... Drink together, and then he invites you, you invite him, and then more and more, and it's always more. And not only that, it costs your health, and you have to go more to the doctor, pay lots of money for medicine, and your insurance mounts up. If you are more sick, the insurance gets more money. Next time if you want to insure your health, they will check how many times you've visited the doctors, and how ill you are, they will just rise up the money. And not only that, if you have an accident, it might cost you your life, or your arms or your legs even - it might cost you an arm and a leg, the way the English people say it!

And then, if you die, OK, it's the end of the story, fine! But if you didn’t die, then you would be dependent forever. Maybe on health support, or air support, oxygen support, and then you just lie there and be a burden to your family and society and make sadness for everyone.

So, don't talk about benefit of meditation or anything, my job's already cleared you a lot of trouble. My teaching's already cleared you a lot of trouble. Even if you don't meditate at all, and if you don't see any Buddha, or you don't become any Buddha, you're already safe: A safe citizen for yourself and for the world.

Because drinking and driving kills thousands - tens of thousands of people every day! Hundreds of thousands of people die around the world every day because of drinking and driving. Not only the driver, the other drivers around him as well. Including women, children, pregnant people, anyone! You know that, right? (Yes.) So now you know our teaching is good for you.

So, any complaints about my teaching? Raise hand. No! Good! OK, so it's all right. But I think you've grown up, so I just help a little bit. I don’t want to keep changing your nappy anymore. It’s no good for you. You have to do something. Work together, make you feel united and strong. Everything too easy come, easy go. In the younger period of your life, I did everything for you. This time you do a little bit. OK? (Yes.) I do a lot also.

Yeah? What? (Yes, I'm just thinking, do You think that we in Belgium should also get our own center or keep it the way it is, like...) I don't care. Whatever you like to do. Whatever you feel. You have to talk together, OK? It's not my business. Don't drag me into it. It's only 15 people. I don't know. I don't know how many people have ideas, and I don't know your financial situation. All right? It's not really necessary to have a center per se. But if you want to, if you feel like you could stay together - instead of going out to work and pay rent, you pay for the center, and stay together, and then other brothers and sisters, can go stay together, plant some vegetables, go out to work and, doing both and meditate together, it's also fine.

Very easy to plant vegetables. You can live there - instead of paying rent outside, you pay rent in the center, for the mortgage. And then you can plant vegetables, and that's extra things, that you don't have to eat outside food. Also, very healthy. Yeah! Like, you work five days a week, or sometimes six days a week, and the other day, you don't know what to do! Then you go out in the garden, plant something, and eat from your own labor. It's very fun! You don't have to make a big deal, just plant something simple first. Don't start an organic farm for the 25th century. Then you'll get fed up quick. Just plant some small, small things, and if you're interested, and you feel good, continue planting other things, and more study into it.

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