By Fellow Initiate Leong in Hong Kong
On the day of reporting attendance everybody came to the ashram respectively, found a place to set up the camps and made preparation. Soon, many colorful and closely arranged tents accompanied by the surrounding green trees formed a beautiful picture. Everybody was refreshed by this delightful scene.
The time schedule of this three-day retreat was rather different from previous ones. Apart from the diligent meditations, there was an extra working session for everybody to help with the construction of the ashram. As the number of fellow practitioners are increasing, the place for meditation is no longer big enough. Knowing our problem, Master instructed fellow practitioners to build another place immediately for the meditation. After a survey, we decided to build the new meditation venue on a steep slope close to the original place. The construction of this meditation venue became a main feature of the Easter three-day retreat.
Master said, "The ashram is the real home of the fellow practitioners. Everybody must make an effort to arrange and maintain it. Working together, you would have a sense of participation, feeling satisfied and blissful. Hearing Master's words, all fellow practitioners eagerly joined the reconstruction of the ashram, building our home for spiritual practice with devotion. During this period, under Master's blessing of love, each fellow became full of vigor. They took up hoes and spades and started working in coordination and cooperation, accomplishing the construction step by step.
In order to find some suitable rocks, we went to the small streams down the hill. It seemed that we have returned to the time of our childhood, brothers and sisters playing with the stones and water. Blessed by Master, we didn't feel exhausted even though we were doing heavy work. On the contrary, we were delighted for being able to work together achieving the same goal.
On the second day at noon, Master invited fellow disciples to have tea and biscuits at the fifth tier where Master lives. She also allowed fellow initiates to conduct free activities on the grass patch: meditation, resting, or taking a nap, etc. Fellow practitioners participated in the work included young and old ones, but they all did it with total devotion. Master wanted everybody to have a rest, and had a cheerful chat with them. The whole day's exhaustion disappeared, leaving only the highest satisfaction, and the intoxication in the divine love. Fearing that it would be too hard on the fellow practitioners, the ever caring Master ordered to changed the working session from noon to the time after the morning meditation and in the evening, thus avoiding the scorching sunshine at noon. The immaculate care of Master deeply touched the fellow practitioners. This move provided ample time for the meditation, and was more suitable for physical labour. The result of this three-day retreat was incredibly good. Bestowed with Master's mother-like care, we were as harmonious as a family.
On the next day, the new working hours made the working even easier. Master also checked the progress at the site and gave fellow practitioners some instructions. During the group meditation, Master told us some stories and jokes lubricating everybody, so we could work more energetically.
Besides from the meditation and the work, Master also gave us some wonderful speeches. Master said, "When we just begin to practice, we can see good and bad. As we practice more, we no longer see good and bad!" "Because our view is different! We can see totally, conclusively. Just like when you are watching a movie, you won't scold the bad guy fiercely, because you know he is only acting. Also, you don't have to praise the good guy, because she is acting too. Furthermore, these so-called good guys, bad guys is only a habitual feeling of good and bad, or behaviours of good or bad. It is not the real person."
"This is why I tell you to meditate every day, so you can be enlightened. Then, you should follow that direction and keep on getting enlightenment. I just give you a rough guideline, and you will slowly find out the detail. Why do I say that we won't see good or bad after we practice more? Because we don't see good or bad, so we can easily forgive our enemies. Whoever has done you wrong, you won't be very, very angry with him. And you will forget very fast. You won't be very upset. Sometimes, you feel sorry for other people, but not for yourself. Therefore, we practitioners look at good and bad differently from others. We always think of others, seldom of ourselves, of our own time, finance, or the so-called vitality or spirit. We don't care about anything. We just care about others. As we concern about others, we can understand why they behaved good or badly. Therefore, we can easily forgive them.
In fact, it is not really forgiving. We just treat it lightly. We understand the way of the universe, so we feel it is like a movie. Therefore, you see me dressed as if I am acting. Really, it is an act. Everybody is acting, so it doesn't matter what they wear! Wearing beautifully or ugly are more or less the same. Wear whatever you wish, just for passing time anyway. Is that right? However, by watching a perfect acting, we may be affected. Similarly, we find the world very painful. Sometimes, we forget that it is a movie. We are also affected and feel painful. That's all.
Therefore, good or bad exists because we forget about the real person, forget the real person of that other person, and of ourselves. We are attracted by the movie, by the outer appearance, and then we forget. We join them discriminating good from bad, cry with them, laugh with them, according to the situation. Actually, there is nothing. However, since we are already here, let us act better. We have to act now that we are on the stage. We want to play our own role, so play it better!
The more we practice, the less we are solemn. We don't see any good or bad, so we are more relaxed. Not that there is no good or bad in the world, but they are not related to us. We see things differently, and we are not contaminated. Without being influenced, we are more relaxed spiritually. Even if we are good or bad sometimes, committed some mistakes, we can forgive ourselves. Therefore, we are relaxed, and so we say one life liberation."
That evening, Master invited fellow initiates to visit the new fire place in the stone hut at the fifth tier. The so-called stone hut used to be a place for keeping cows. The walls were built with big granite stones. Previously, we have only added a roof and leveled the floor, and then cleaned it. There was nothing special about it.
One by one, we stopped outside the stone hut, took off our shoes, stepped on a chair, and peeped inside over the stone wall. Master have arranged us to look from a high angle, so we can see everything. Our eyes were brightened with delightful surprise, for Master's talent in designing! We could see a new stone fireplace neatly built on the originally uneven wall. The exterior of the fireplace was plated with tiny and beautiful stone flakes. They were plated by Master Herself. As fellow initiates didn't collect enough stone flakes, Master made a search at the fifth tier last night. She easily found the suitable stones. It happened that the stone flakes She collected were just enough for the use!
The fireplace was connected to the chimney on the roof. Blazing logs were burning in the fireplace, and the stone hut was veiled lightly by the smoke. The interior of the stone hut was decorated with a coffee table, a chair, a small screen, and a large bright red Persian carpet on the floor. An originally ordinary stone hut became so elegant, with a light medieval European taste, giving out an atmosphere of great warmth, relaxation and carefree. Master was so generous, inviting us to share this beautiful stone hut.
Later, Master met us outside the stone hut and spoke to us. She mentioned that She would always built a house or something at whichever place or country She went. They were usually built in a very short time. For instance, this stone fire place was finished overnight last night. Master said, "It is true we are practicing in this world. However, try to make yourself a little bit more comfortable. For instance, I have turned a cave for keeping cows into a warm living hall. I just cleaned it up, put a few grass mats on the floor, very cheap, and then put an ordinary carpet on top. The seat pads are also cheap. It feels so warm, and is good for meditation. This is not luxury really! Knowing the way of decorating, any place could be beautiful. Originally, the cow cave was very dark, dry and dirty. Now it turned into this shape. This is a method of balancing your emotion, and relieving the pressure." Fellow practitioners couldn't help praising this beautiful result achieved in such a short time! It was very late at night, so we bid goodnight and farewell to Master.
Happy moments always passes by quickly. Soon, it was the last day of the
retreat. Intoxicating in Master's ocean of love, many fellow initiates were
reluctant to leave. They packed up and went down the hill until after the
group meditation in the evening. Thanks to Master's love and care, besides
from having the opportunity to meditate diligently in this precious holiday,
we could also participated in the meaningful construction work of the ashram.
It was really a rich harvest!