There was a man who went into the deep forest, perhaps for sightseeing or to do some business. Then one day, he happened to see a fox who had lost all his legs. So he was wondering how the fox could survive in this jungle no longer having any legs. So he kept watching. Then he saw a tiger who brought game back and ate it. Whatever was leftover the fox fed himself on that. Now he knew, that's how it survived.
The next day again, God also fed the fox through the tiger. The man was thinking that he was somewhat enlightened now. He said, "Ah, we have to depend on God. We must trust God, then Hes will provide everything for us."
So he dropped his business, forgot his wife and kids, and didn't even go to Hsihu Center for group meditation anymore. (Laughter) He just sat there in the forest, tried to surrender to God, and hoped that God would bring provisions to him. He sat there, meditating on God; and he didn't even recite the Holy Names or 'Namo the Supreme Master Ching Hai Wu Shang Shih Supreme Master Tzu's' name. (Laughter)
He said, "I just trust God. Why should I recite anyone's name? I trust God, I love God, I believe in God, I fear God; that's enough for me. I surrender everything to God."
So he sat there. He waited for maybe butter and cakes, bread, cheese, tofu to arrive.
First day, nothing came, so he continued to sit there. He said, "God is testing my faith." He sat there another day. Second day, no tofu even appeared and no cabbage grew from the earth in front of his nose. Nothing happened, so he thought, "Oh, God must be testing my courage and my belief." Of course I'll show Hierm my faith, my surrender ability and my unwavering, unshaken trust in God. So he sat there again and kept waiting.
Third day comes. Nothing happened. No butter, no bread, no cheese, no tofu, no cabbage, no carrots, not even water in the form of rain. Slurp, slurp. Now, he felt the test from his throat, his stomach, his limbs; not from God necessarily, but from all over his body. All the spare parts of his body began to try not to spare him. (Master and all laugh.) So he was deeply suffering and trying to think, what happened.
He prayed to God, "Please don't test me any further, I truly trust You. I really surrender to You. My faith in You is unshaken. It can never die."
So there came a voice from heaven, or maybe from his stomach, I don't know. (Master and all laugh.) It said something like this, "Oh, you stupid fool. Why do you learn the way of a disabled fox? Wake up. Walk the way of the tiger."
So you got it? (Audience: Yes.) Good. (Applause)
Well, we can be monks too, but we should work. Do some little thing for our living. That's why I told you, we must earn our own bread; because we are provided with tools and intelligence. We are not disabled foxes. If we were, maybe God would provide for us. But since we are not disabled, why should we walk the way of a disabled animal? We should walk like a lion, tiger, elephant, horse. We should be the provider and not the beggar, not the receiver. That's the way of life.
As long as we are still in this illusionary world, we should provide for ourselves. Train ourselves. Play with these tools, experiment with our ability and intelligence. Let's see what life has to offer. Let's see what tomorrow will bring.
With our intelligence and ability we watch life growing inside us. We watch life changing with the seasons. We watch our tools bringing benefit to ourselves, our family and the society at large. We have intelligence, we should use it. Wisdom is one thing; intelligence and ability are another. Wisdom we keep. Wisdom can never be taken away from us. Wisdom can never be trained, can never be defiled, can never be lessened or increased. Intelligence, knowledge, we should use, just to deal with daily life in this mundane world. The wisdom we keep for ourselves. We can use it for a greater, more noble purpose like getting other people enlightened, or getting ourselves more power so that we can help those in need. Like healing without healing, knowing without knowing, helping without helping, blessing the world without even a trace of arrogance, and without a trace of credit for our part. That's the way we should be.
So today, tomorrow or everyday we meditate; this is just like walking the way of the tiger. We provide, we bless, we don't ask, we don't beg.
I think God, angels, enlightened beings, are doing their part already. They are getting their jobs done. Now we have to follow their footsteps and do their jobs too - not always praying for ourselves or begging for this ephemeral life. Whenever we truly need something we may pray for it; just for that necessity so that we can go on with our spiritual life, but not forever being a beggar in the spiritual kingdom.