The Real Selflessness
By a resident disciple in Hsihu, Formosa (Originally in Chinese)
I still remember a joke that Master told us: A cow was bathing in a pond and a little mouse on the bank kept asking her to come out. Finally, the cow came out of the water and asked what the matter was. The mouse replied, "I just wanted to check if you were wearing my bikini or not!"
This joke left a deep impression on my mind because very few people truly understand the immense love of a Master. Very often, we use our narrow minds to scrutinize and measure the actions of an Enlightened Master.
Master's great sensitivity to the needs of sentient beings can only be described as "feeling exactly what they feel." For instance, in 1991, before news of the Pinatubo volcanic eruption had spread across the world from the Philippines, Master was already feeling extremely restless, as if Her body was on fire! Master's "radar" is always "on" for people in need. After the 1995 earthquake disaster in Kobe, Master sent a relief team to Japan. Even though the team had already been working day and night and had delivered a lot of relief items to the needy, Master still had someone phone the team to ask why they were not doing their work. Later they found out that some Aulacese asylum-seekers among the quake victims were praying in their hearts to Master for help. These people were ineligible for government aid because they had no identity in Japan. Master felt their distress. When the relief team finally found this group of people and satisfied their needs for emergency relief, they received instructions from Master that their mission was finished.
Very few people understand the extraordinary way that Master uses money to benefit sentient beings. To Master, money is merely a tool. She said that people in the Golden Age long ago exchanged and shared things according to their individual needs. They did not have money as we do today. "Ever since people had money, things have become more difficult. However, if we use the money for beneficial and compassionate purposes, it is also very useful. Since the world has adopted this money system, we have no choice but to follow." (Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai in Chinese at Taoyuan, Formosa on May 5, 2000)
When sentient beings are in need, Master always contributes without any reservation. Unlike ordinary people, She never considers Her own sense of security or personal interests. Nor is She ever deterred by time or distance, or concerned about profit or loss, fame or wealth. She only considers the genuine needs of others and then gives all She has. Whenever we think of Master's selfless actions, we never fail to be amazed at heart as we find that an Enlightened Master always puts compassion before money.
My personal realization is that the universe functions similar to the way our body does. When our blood flows to the heart, do we question why the organ needs all that precious blood? Does the heart think that it is great? In the same way, Master regards Herself only as an instrument.
Master is a very thrifty person. For instance, She tries Her best to use up both sides of a piece of paper and saves a half-eaten cough candy for later. She uses a kettle instead of an electric water boiler that has to be connected to the power constantly, because it saves energy if it is only for Her to use alone. (Of course if the water boiler is for many people to use together, She asks them to find out which one consumes less energy.)
Some people may have raised their eyebrows at Master's seemingly extravagant attire. Sometimes it is because the occasion requires it. Besides, Master is talented in many areas, which enables Her to create many beautiful things. Has She ever enjoyed or had a preference for this kind of attire? For Her, it is like dressing up as do performing artists to entertain the public, contributing to the aestheticism and arts in this world. Once the performance is over, She changes out of these clothes as soon as possible. Master has helped us to overcome conventional preconceptions in our spiritual path. We realize that we can practice spiritually while living a normal lifestyle and can be enlightened without having to be dressed in rags or practicing in the mountains.
I have never seen anyone other than Master who has nothing of Her own. Everything She has belongs to all of us. Even the things that She has used do not "belong" to Her; they are items that can be sold for charity to help other sentient beings anytime. She is indeed a person who commits all Her money and Herself to the benefit of others. It is no small wonder that Her disciples follow Her with such utmost devotion. Apart from their own spiritual progress, it is also because their innermost is touched by this shining example of a Master who practices what She teaches.