27, 2000, responding to the intense longing of many sincere souls, our
beloved Master finally graced the Land of Long White Clouds -- New Zealand.
(Note: the Maoris, the native people of New Zealand, call their country
Aotearoa, which means 'Land of Long White Clouds').
venue for the lecture was the Aotea Center in Auckland, a popular site
in New Zealand for international conferences
and performances. Fellow practitioners exquisitely decorated the huge
stage using a beautiful background that consisted of a blue sky and
white clouds. The edge of the stage looked like waves moving in a blue
sea. The green mountains and trees on stage created a warm and natural
feeling, while the brilliant sunrise in the middle perfectly matched
the infinite radiance of our loving Master.
Auckland lecture program began at 7:00 PM, and the several thousand
seats were soon occupied by an earnest audience waiting for The Supreme
Master Ching Hai to talk about how to experience the divine realm of
heaven. That night, Master wore a striking short-sleeved dress suit
with a long, close fitting skirt in light pink, decorated with tiny
blue and purple flowers. She wore Her hair with two short plaits hanging
down from Her temples, which added to Her gorgeous and dignified appearance.
fellow initiates were sharing their personal experiences with the audience,
a group of Maori people outside the venue performed a traditional Powhiri
ceremony to welcome Master to New Zealand. A Powhiri
is more than just a welcome;
it is an acknowledgement of the dimensions of spiritual, physical and
mental wellness. This introduced Master for the first time to Maori
customs, which are an important part of New Zealand's heritage and Maori
Powhiri is a way of life to the Maori people. On a physical level, the
physical presence of the person being welcomed is acknowledged. In that
acknowledgement, reference is made to the essence of the spiritual dimension
of those who have died in the year, the month, the week and the day
belonging to the person whom you are welcoming, and in particular, Manuhiri
Tuarangi (those who have traveled across the seas). Reference is also
made to the essence of the rivers and mountains, which joins with the
essence of those Tangatawhenua (native peoples of New Zealand) who have
passed over. The physical presence of the person being welcomed is a
visual representation of the physical and mental dimensions.
"Kaumatua", the Maori Leader, welcomed Master to our shores,
thanking the Creator for the safety of Her journey, while verbally connecting
all the different aspects of the "Powhiri". On this occasion,
the "Kaumatua" was also a spiritual leader of the Maori. He
then thanked Her for the tremendous work that She is doing for the higher
good of all people. He said that as Tangatawhenua we have a responsibility
and accountability to our people to Manaaki (embrace and host the Master
with the reverence She deserves), and finished his speech by calling
on the Creator and the holy angels to bless Her and Her stay in New
Zealand, and to continue to support Her in Her journey.
a "waiata" (song) about the gentleness and beauty of the female
energy was sung by the Hato
Petera (St. Peter's) Culture Group. The second waiata was a welcome
to the shores of Aotearoa (New Zealand). Master was then given a "hongi"
(a pressing of the nostrils and forehead or third eye area together,
thus sharing the breath of the spiritual life force on all levels).
This is a sacred greeting of the Maori given to those considered to
be friends. Master then proceeded to give a hongi to everyone in the