Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai
Houston, TX, U.S.A., November 12, 1993
(Originally in English)
Q: I heard on some of Your tapes that You recommend not mixing practices. Perhaps You can clarify for us what You intended by that.
M: Only when it has anything to do with breath control; that is all. Otherwise, there is not much there. For example, there are many kinds of so-called meditation. People say anything is meditation, so we are confused. But actually there are different types. There is a kind of mantra practice; they recite something. People also call that meditation, so that's confusing. People tell you to pay attention to your breathing- you breathe in and breathe out, and that they also call meditation. Some people say you have to pay attention to the solar plexus, the abdomen, all the time; that they also call meditation. Fine, there is nothing wrong with that.
But we abuse the word "meditation" too much and confuse people; because otherwise, I would say that everyone meditates anyhow. This morning when some of the television interviewers said, "We are not used to meditation; we don't know what is meditation, and you tell us to meditate," I said "Yes, you meditate all the time; some people meditate on money, some people meditate on girls, some people meditate on drugs when they don't have enough of them." That's their meditation. When you pay attention to something to a very extravagant degree that is when you meditate.
Therefore, I say to you, "Be concentrated, be one-pointed with my teachings". That's why you get the best results. If you meditate on my teachings and meditate on money at the same time or meditate on a mantra at the same time, of course, you are divided and that's very logical. I am not a dictator. I just tell you what is good for you. Whatever you want to do, you have to pay all your attention to that point. Whether you meditate, you fix the car, or you drive a taxi, if you don't pay attention, you will get into trouble.
That's very simple, but people think I am forbidding you this and that. No, everything I tell you is just good advice as a duty of a teacher. Whatever you know, you have to tell them. Of course, you make the choice. If you don't follow my advice, it's okay. You are responsible for your actions, the success of your meditational practice. But I am responsible to tell you what is good for you, so don't misunderstand that it's a kind of prohibiting or dictating. Everything I tell you is the age-old essence of a practitioner who wants to get away from all the traps of this materialism and rise above this mind-matter controlling power so that he can realize there is something greater than his own body and his own machine brain, the computer.
That's it. All of these are kind of secret codes, secret methods, to speed yourself on the highway of spirituality. There is nothing dictating about that because if you don't do it, I will never say anything to you. I will never scold you. I will never ring you and say, "Hey, you didn't do it." Or I will never check up on it. It's all your choice. The path of freedom is a path of responsibility, self-responsibility, so I never impose anything. Just to suggest, just to tell you, "This is a good way. If you do it, you surely will get that. If you don't, okay, you'll get half or maybe three quarters."