You have heard of ancient masters of the east, enlightened masters, perfect masters, now there is a supreme master among us. (1) From what I understand this is the highest title given, as the name ‘Supreme Master’ and her Chinese name, means nothing greater than her.
Every several years a new-enlightened master comes on the scene to share their so-called spiritual wisdom with the world. It is more rare to see a woman in this position, but there have been a number of women over the years. Ching Hai’s success proves there is even room for women gurus.
Her real name is Hue Dang Trinh but her followers know her by the name Supreme master Ching Hai, the Chinese enlightened master. Originally born in Au Lac, Vietnam she spent much of her adult life in Taiwan. Ching Hai was brought up as a Catholic by her parents, but learned the basics of Buddhism from her grandmother. Suma Ching Hai’s grandmother was a Buddhist, who taught her the scriptures and Buddhist worship. Her father was a highly respected Naturopath who loved to study world literature and was especially interested in philosophy.
When she was young an astrologer pronounced that the young Ching Hai possessed ‘supernoble character and morals.’ She would often be reading philosophical literature while the other children were doing homework and playing. This along with other spiritual influences molded her to what she is today.
When she was young she disliked when someone would harm plants. She got very upset, because she could feel their pain, and says we really shouldn’t harm plants without any reason. She has been known often to take a wounded animal home, to care for it. If she saw an animal slaughtered, she would cry. All her life she's been repulsed by the sight of killing animals for meat and wishing that she could prevent the suffering in the world. She has always been a vegetarian.
Her appeal is to bring peace to all brothers and sisters, which is done by her meditation technique and prayer. “We can change histories outcome by doing this method” she claims.
Master Ching Hai went on the road at an early age to seek knowledge. She left home at 22 to study in England, and then went to France and Germany, where she worked for the Red Cross as an interpreter. At 30, she met and married a German physician, and after two years of marriage, with her husband's consent, they separated. She left the marriage in her continuing pursuit of enlightenment. Fulfilling an ideal that had been with her since Her childhood. She became a Buddhist nun and pursued enlightenment in India. As a result of time spent in the Himalayas she says she discovered “the Quan Yin Method and the Divine Transmission.” Some have said that in the movement’s literature there is no mention made of how she came upon this enlightenment. Although her disciples seem to know all about this and accept her story, others are a bit skeptical.
Calling herself shy in nature, she kept this treasure she found hidden (Quan Yin Method). After she returned from the Himalayas she then began to teach this initiation to others at the earnest request of those people who sought her instruction and initiation. It was through the insistent requests and efforts of Her earlier disciples in Formosa (Taiwan) and United States that Master Ching Hai now lectures throughout the world. She has initiated multiplied tens of thousands of spiritual aspirants using the Quan Yin method. In a brief autobiography she explains that her spiritual experience came about as a result of time spent in the Himalayas where she discovered “the Quan Yin Method and the Divine Transmission” (“A Brief Biography of the Supreme Master Ching Hai” in The Key of Immediate Enlightenment by the Supreme Master Ching Hai [Formosa, 27th edition, 1999], p.9)
A letter I received from someone who knows eastern religion wrote on her meditation
practice: The system she practices and teaches is really Sant Mat (also known as Surat
Shabd Yoga). Her immediate master was Thakar Singh, a well known Sant Mat master. In the
early days Ching Hai acknowledged Thakar Singh as her spiritual master but later denied
him and invented the tale of descending from the Himalayas.
Ching-Hai shares the method with others, encouraging them to look within to find their own greatness and source of strength. People from all walks of life use the Quan-yin method of meditation. It is offered for people to attain fulfillment, happiness and peace in their daily lives. As her message began to spread invitations arrived from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, and the United Nations for Master Ching-Hai to give lectures.
Quan Yin meditation is basically a silent meditation -- Quan means ‘contemplation,’ and Yin means ‘inner vibration.’ The ‘light and the sound.’ Ching Hai teaches that this is found in the Christian Bible where John says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). Jesus’ disciples called it the ‘Holy Spirit’ or the ‘Word’ (which is from the Greek word ‘Logos,’ meaning sound). This Word is the Inner Sound. Master Ching Hai says, ‘It vibrates within all life and sustains the whole universe. This inner melody can heal all wounds, fulfill all desires, and quench all worldly thirst.’ She declares ‘I am offering proof of God’s existence’. She offers this by claiming seeing (the Light of God) is believing.’ At this time I need to respond by stating that this is not what Christians interpret the Bible to mean, but that matters little to her followers who had an experience with her method that has taught them they are God.
The Word is an eternal person who is God, not a sound. All one needs to do is read the next verse that says He was in the beginning with God. John then says in v.14 the Word became flesh, and in v.18 he is a son in relationship to the father. To those who do not know Christianity this will not make sense, but suffice it to say that what Ching Hai is teaching is her own unique spin on something that has been taught for almost 2,000 years. (In the same way Sant Mat did when he reinterpreted John 1:1-3 and substituted “Truth” in place of “the Word” preface of Sant Mat and the Bible).
She describes sound as the special language God uses to communicate with us, light and sound is the manifestation of our wisdom inside us, this is not a physical hearing or seeing it’s the inside awareness of your own self, ‘our own glorious nature, we are light.’ And this light is God. In other words, you go inside yourself and with this meditation technique you find out you are God.
Where have we heard this teaching before? The God is not a sound, (like aum) God is personal. This is not the same Word or Holy Spirit the Bible teaches about.
‘Quan Yin’ is the name of a goddess, the most popular in China. Worshipped both by Buddhists and Taoists, Quan Yin is represented as a female figure with many arms to signify her generosity towards her devotees. She is particularly favoured by women who pray to her for the birth of a son. (See Kari Harbakk, ‘Kuan Yin Revisited’ and ‘Goddess of a Thousand Eyes’ in Areopagus [Hong Kong] II, 2 (Epiphany 1989), 35-37).
This meditation is practiced with one’s attention focused on the ‘third eye’ centre, located in the middle of the forehead as all other meditations. This, she said, is the wisdom centre and the highest gateway for leaving one’s body. She cautions the technique should be learned properly and practiced correctly as there is danger of focusing on any chakras or centres of energy without proper guidance. Of course she is offering that guidance.
In one of her lectures a question asked was “ Master, sometimes during meditation with the Convenient Method, I feel a chill from my spine going up to my head, and then there seems to be a feeling of energy encircling in my head. What does this mean? Is this a bad or good sign?” Master: “It’s okay. It’s your kundalini at work. Afterward you’ll be used to it. It’s only a Convenient Method, and still it works all so much, because of the master power blessing you. Other people they practice many years to try to awaken the kundalini, and they can’t do it.” (Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 10, 1993 in Colorado, USA
During her initiation service http://futures.phys.cmu.edu/eng/booklet/initiation.html She provides the ‘spiritual transmission’ to the enlightened world. This event is sometimes called the ‘sudden’ or ‘immediate enlightenment’. On the initiation she says, ‘A Christian might experience Jesus, a Buddhist might experience Nirvana.’ And it would not be unusual that a Ching Hai follower might experience Ching Hai. Of course this would be superior; since she is the living master on earth now, they are not. You can call it whatever you like but it really is the same thing we have heard from the many gurus before her. It may be a different name and a different approach but it leads to the same goal; You are God.
As with any type of group seeking enlightenment we would get a different story from those who were inside after they come out. Former disciples of Ching Hai have alleged that disciples are taught to meditate with a blanket over their heads. This practice tends to induce hyper-ventilation which makes people more susceptible to mind-control. It has also been reported that disciples were strongly encouraged by Ching Hai herself to put together a six-figure donation towards U.S. President Clinton’s personal legal defense fund. (Tom Fitton’s article, “Brainwashed Clinton Donors” in Opinion Inc 08/05/97 http://www.opinioninc.com/current/august/080597.html.)
“The Supreme Master Suma Ching Hai” is a 50 year old five-foot-tall guru who can laugh along with you while she teaches. She has a sense of humor and can at times can be found laughing at her own jokes that are both good and bad. She seems to have an uncontrollable twitch in her nose and eyes mouth, and her facial expressions contort at times. Her left cheek is slightly paralyzed which gives her a sly grin at times. This is said to be the result of surgery that partially paralyzed the left side of her face. I find this interesting that a master went to have surgery, maybe this was before she found herself to be God.
In the tradition of gurus they lay flowers at her feet and on stage at her lectures. She is sometimes surrounds herself on stage from those in the audience. One time I noticed the man she asked to sit next to her was very uncomfortable and certainly did not hold to her teachings. She made him very distressed insisting on having him sit next to her for support as she lectured.
Her teachings combine shreds of truth Consisting of sayings from Bhagavad Gita, Surangama Sutra, The Bible and various other religious books. Just about any religious book she is familiar with becomes putty in her hands. Using a certain type of logic, humor and sharing her experiences, various religious teachings are blended and accepted in her portrayal. The most referred to that I have heard from her lectures is Christ. Her message appears to be inclusive to all faiths and this type of tolerance comes across well in today’s vulnerable society. Her message is -- you don’t have to give up your religious tradition but can enhance it by discovering what it really is about. In this way she is not seen as a threat to anyone’s belief system. However it really is the opposite if one listens carefully to the punch line.
Her religion is known as everything, but not any one thing. Buddhist, Christian, Catholic or Hindu, they are even able to worship the supreme Master Suma Ching Hai. A passage from Ching Hai’s literature states: ‘Our path isn’t a religion. ... I simply offer you a way to know yourself.’ She says, all religions are actually the same, but what she is offering is not religion not even spirituality, but to know yourself. She explains that the peace and love we seek, we already have within ourselves. Her trek down from the Himalayan mountains to civilization is to tell us to look within for our answers. So knowing self is the answer to all our problems. We are told the future is in our own hands, it is our choice. We only need discover it by her method. She states, “We can have both Heaven and Earth at the same time and enjoy both. There is no mystery about how to know God. It’s very, very simple. Even children can have the experience of God. Exactly the experience that written in the Bible.”
Is it? Where did anyone teach to look within for self in the Bible to find God? In Ireland in the main hall of the Royal Dublin Society she told them ‘Heaven is here and now!’ and invited the Irish public to ‘see God while living.’
The followers say the initiation into the Quan Yin Method is not a ceremony for entering a new religion. How does one know the Quan Yin method is the right one for them. We are told ‘you don’t know until you try’. She suggests to pray to your Inner Self, to God, to Jesus, to Allah, to Buddha, to whoever you believe, to help you to decide. Coming from a Christian perspective this all sounds quite hazy, as if it doesn’t matter, whatever it takes for you to try it and get an experience to prove what she is saying. How do you pray to someone or something that may not exist? It doesn’t matter what you call it as long as you go within. This has always been the essence of occult enlightenment.
Her followers are to use the Quan Yin meditation 2 1/2 hours every day. She has 5 precepts one is to practice, which requires a vegan or lacto-vegetarian diet with no meat. As strict vegetarians you are to refrain from taking the life of sentient beings. If they have difficulty with this, there is another alternative: Meditation for just 30 minutes a day, you can try vegetarian food whenever it’s convenient a vegetarian diet is required only 10 days a month or twenty days ... She wants her adherents to be comfortable in transitioning over to this new way of life. You can do this until you’re ready with the idea that God comes first, God comes before everything else in life, before every reason, before every logic, before any pride at all, then you get initiation.
You are also to give up stealing, lying, only speak what is true. They are not to use intoxicants, and no sexual misconduct. These are all good as far as learning morals and ethics. But they do not justify what she is actually teaching.
She describes herself as a living chosen pole. She transmits the enlightenment. She says she could talk about it for 100 years but the real thing is transmitted. She says she is not a prophet she is teaching the people that they are. She states the method cannot be communicated with word but by experience through a different level of consciousness.
In being questioned about this method: “The question. How does the transmission take place?” Answer: “Well, you know it later. If you want to know, you stay behind, and after the conference we show you. It’s, I cannot explain it. It’s just inside of me. It’s just the power of God that’s doing this. No talk, no language to describe that. That’s why it needs a living transmission pole, otherwise all the Bibles would be in writing how to do it long time already, and we would have been able to do it ourselves already. It needs a living transmission. And in every era of the planet, God chose at least one or two or three, that’s the way he wanted, to transmit this power to his children whoever wants to go back to the kingdom of God.”
It means the consciousness of the teacher and the disciple will be connected, and the goal in Quan Yin is when one attains the highest level practice, then one becomes like Bodhisattva (a Quan Yin Bodhisattva) who is able to hear and see everything. By this they can help people in different corners of the universe, without having be there and without knowing their names or person. She states this is the goal of every follower of different religions, to become omnipresent, to become a source of blessing for all the suffering beings. I doubt many other religions would agree on this being the goal, neither Islam, Hinduism teach this. For example in Christianity there is no such thing as we become omnipresent, only God has this ability and it is clear man is not God but a creature.
She can explains all this away as she answers the “Question: “Why can one not talk about this experience with others?” Answer: “You can, but they don’t understand. They might laugh at you, think that you’re boasting, you’re blaspheming, and that you are idiot and whatever.”
This ‘supreme master’ is different, she does not ask her devotes to sell all and give to her as the other masters came from India in the 60’s and 70’s, she gives them the best of both worlds. She has no initiation fees or collection from disciples. Both people and money are attracted to her; money seems to find by what she offers her followers and seekers. Ching-Hai has made use of her multiple “spiritual talents.” Some call her a shrewd merchandiser, as she is able to sell anything she creates. This includes paintings, music, poetry, aesthetic jewelry, clothing and designs. All of these express the inner and outer beauty of the cultures and people she has met in her travels.
The sales of all her artistic endeavors have enabled Master Ching-Hai to create an independent source of funding for humanitarian activities, highlighting her pragmatic view that we should always try and create our own means from which to give to others. Her oil paintings such as a wood-and-rice-paper lamp titled ‘At One With All Creation’ sell at just $2,160.
She has designed a flamboyant clothing line (started in 1995) consisting of flowing silks in bright colors, elaborate hats, with custom-made umbrellas as her trademark. Her creations toured on the international fashion circuit, debuted on runways in London, Paris, Milan and New York. Her ensembles from the ‘Celestial Clothing’ collection can cost up to $11,000.
Her disciples bid for her used clothing; for a pair of “the Master’s” sweat socks at a retreat in Taiwan the price was $800. ‘The socks are a memory of the Master, so they are priceless,’ says one devotee, who admits that she’s not sure if the socks were washed before the auction. ‘When the Master leaves the physical world, at least I will have her socks.’
The supreme master seems to have taken an economic course in college as she is marketing a line of merchandise. The ‘Elevation of the Soul’ catalog offers more than 400 videos of the Supreme Master’s public appearances, everything from an $8 video of ‘Funny Non-Saint Stories’ taped in Los Angeles to footage of ‘Master’s Birthday Celebration’ in Taiwan for $64. Her catalog lists more than 50 books, including a Supreme Master cookbook, a coffee-table book of photos, and a volume devoted to Ching Hai’s song lyrics. There are six volumes of Immediate Enlightenment, a small hardback that offers the basics of Ching Hai’s teaching. Each volume costs $16.
Is she a Christ or a modern Buddha? She’s not a Christ because there is only one messiah and the same one is coming back again, beside the Christ is not a she. Is she a Buddha? Hardly, as a Buddha she does not ask anyone to give up the things in the world. How can she when she herself is promoting them. She explains that we are all born into this world of Maya, of illusion but she herself is certainly enjoying the ride. Money, prestige, prominence are all hers as the Supreme master. Enlightenment may be offered as free to her meditators but it does cost something and is highly commercialized.
The greater portion of her financial support comes from Taiwan, Supreme Master Meditation Centers have incorporated in several states as religious organizations with tax-exempt status. This includes centers in Los Angeles and Morgan Hill, south of San Jose. Her Center in San Francisco is visited regularly to watch the Master’s video lectures and meditate using her Quan Yin method. Tucked away in a spare room at Peterson’s Parts Warehouse on Cesar Chavez Street, the center is just one of many Ching Hai’s outposts in nearly 40 countries. Initiations take place at the 40-acre Ching Hai Meditation Center in Morgan Hill.
Master Ching-Hai is well received in many countries. She has received awards worldwide by government officials and private organizations on various occasions. They include the World Peace Award, the World Spiritual Leadership Award, Award for Promotion of Human Rights and the Award for Outstanding Public Service to Mankind. Ching Hai has been recognized and honored for Her humanitarian work by government officials throughout the world. For example on October 25, 1993 was proclaimed “The Supreme Master Ching Hai Day” by the mayor of Honolulu Hawaii, and February 22, 1994 was proclaimed “The Supreme Master Ching Hai Day” by the governors of the States of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kansas, Missouri and Minnesota. She also received the “World Peace Award”’ in Honolulu, and the “World Spiritual Leadership Award” at a ceremony in Chicago on February 22, 1994. Many government officials worldwide sent congratulatory messages to the Chicago ceremony by, including Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Reagan.
In Taiwan on Ching Hai Day October 1995, at the ceremony she wore queenly robes (‘under orders from God,’ she says), riding a sedan chair carried by eight bearers to the cheers of ‘your royal majesty.’ In Taiwan, it has been reported to at one time have 300,000 followers. It is report that her largest followings are here in America where almost all of Ching Hai’s followers are new arrivals from Vietnam and China.
She has approximately 2,000 members in California (Dion Nissenbaum’s article ‘Sect Master a No-show, Rumors Had Ching Hai in Lake Elsinore’ in The Press- Enterprise, December 31, 1996 p. B01). According to the article ‘Unusual Cast of Asian Donors Emerges in DNC Funding Controversy’ in the Jan 27, 1997 issue of The Washington Post, however, Suma Ching Hai has 100,000 followers in the United States and millions more in almost 40 countries.
The secular press seems to be unaware of her existence, and counter cult ministries have not taken much notice about her either. There are close to 60 web sites in various languages of the world presenting Ching Hai and her the Quan Yin method of meditation. Margaret Singer, one of the country’s first and foremost cult experts says that she has received callers who complained about the tremendous sums of money their spouses gave to the Ching Hai organization. Some have lost their spouses to the Ching Hai organization. Singer says, ‘Almost everyone I talked to,’ ‘had lost a partner--a girlfriend, a husband--because they had given up everything to go to work in a restaurant or join the group.’ This enlightened master has become an entrepuneur, the owner of 56 vegetarian restaurants, which cover the globe from Taipei to Melbourne to San Jose. She also is not short on other talents being a painter and poet. She is also a fashion designer, publishes a magazine, produces music videos, and is a beauty makeover consultant. According to most of her followers, Ching Hai is not only a saintly philanthropist who took the Vietnamese refugees in Hong Kong under her wing, she is also the living Buddha and Jesus Christ -- Ching Hai is God incarnate.
In the 21st century it can really pay well to be a supreme master, yes, even God has goals, ideas, dreams and a business mind, and not least of all a bank account.
Questions and Ching Hai’s answers
(my comments are in blue)
Her gatherings are mostly question and answers on spiritual matters besides her lectures. Numerous people who are inquisitive or searching for answers to life show up at her discourses. They are basically the same questions and same answers from her no matter which country she is in.
At times she seems stable and at other times she chuckles and even laughs at people's questions. She mocks their intelligence at times and shows a cunning that is unique. Her answering questions from those who inquire about her spirituality becomes even more interesting than her teaching to convince people of her Quan Yin method of meditation.
She claims the real teaching is not found in any religious scripture but from inside ourselves. She states“But, the personal enlightenment, we must have it ourselves. Whatever Jesus says is correct only when he was alive to his disciples. That’s why we must find our own master inside, our own Christ within, because we are the children of God. One eats, or the other cannot be filled. One person eats, other person cannot eat. We have to eat ourselves.” (Olelo TV ch. 52 2001) She reminds people that they have the Kingdom of God inside just as Jesus said. She says the Buddha said the Buddha is inside yourself, you are the Buddha. Jesus said God is inside you that means you are God. She tries to awaken the great wisdom that is found within you. I bet you didn’t you know that you already had all the wisdom and power to sustain all things within you? You are God, however I have yet to hear anyone explain in detail how they have created and sustain the universe.
She is quoting Jesus’ statement on the Kingdom of God, but she doesn’t know what he meant at all. When He said ‘the kingdom is within you.’ He meant within your midst, the English doesn’t give this translation from the Greek well. In other words He meant that He, being the king and the source of everything, was among them. At the time He was addressing the religious leaders that rejected him, He certainly wasn’t telling them any such thing as the kingdom was within them. He did not mean this same kingdom dwelt in every human being, for He said we are sinners, and He, himself was without any sin. He was from above and we are from beneath, He made a clear distinction between us, and Himself; being the one TRUE God come in human flesh. Ching Hai certainly denies this, showing she does not understand even the most basic teaching of Christ, yet she has no qualms using his name or sayings as she pleases.
She states “Whatever Jesus says is correct only when he was alive to his disciples” means He did not have absolute truth but only truth for a short period of time. If she’s a spiritual master just like this Jesus, then the so called truth she gives today would only be good for a temporary time as well. But what she says about Jesus is not true; as Jesus said His word is truth and it is eternal; that heaven and earth would pass away but His Word (truth) would remain forever.
In a question ‘What do you think about the Old Testament and the Jewish religion?’ We find what she really thinks about Christianity and Christ. Masters Chin Hai’s answer: “It is good. But do not wait for the Messiah, because He comes all the time. Pray that you recognize the present Messiah. The one that you are waiting for will never come, if you expect Him the way you do. Just like when Jesus came, people were also expecting a Messiah and they killed the one at hand! We do all the same stupid things. It isn’t that the Jewish religion is bad, it is that we are ignorant. Even Jesus promised to send us a comforter, that means someone that is equal to Him, no? But two thousand years later, we are still waiting and many prophets came and left the earth. We hear that Jesus will reappear, right? How do you think He will look, with wings, with a beard, or on a cross so that we may recognize Him? How could we recognize Him, if He would come? We do not even know what Jesus looked like! We weren’t there, or maybe we were, but after two thousand years who has such a big memory to remember! Jesus comes not in appearance but in spirit. He can come to anyone who is perceptive enough, who opens the right door to let Him in. Then we become like Jesus, then He comes back again. He comes whenever we are ready. He comes through any Master who is capable to house His almighty power. That person is also Jesus, different hair style maybe, but it is still Jesus.”
This mocking answer of all that Christ said shows someone who cares not what the Scripture says. Jesus told us that He would come again a certain way, the same way He left Acts 1:11 and if anyone offers you a Jesus coming in a different way it is another Jesus not the genuine Jesus of the Bible.
Question: I believe that Jesus will come back. If this is true, how shall I behave? Her answer: “I won’t answer you. You won’t believe me.” You can imagine what she thinks about this.
Ching Hai’s teaching takes elements with bits and pieces from other religions and changes their meaning. For example, she speaks about the three bodies in Buddhism, which she terms respectively the ‘dharma body’, the ‘manifestation body’ and the ‘physical body’ and then she states: “Catholics speak of this as the Trinity.”(“Trinity - spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Chuongli, Formosa, February 25, 1989”, published in The Supreme Master Ching Hai [News No. 105, September 1999], 9).
No Catholic I’ve ever known would think this way, but she has interpreted this into another religions construct. One wonders if she ever understood the Catholicism that she was supposedly brought up in to state such a foreign statement. Especially, one who claims to be God, they should have accurate knowledge on other religions as well. She does not.
Her spiritual discourses are filled with words that sound wonderful to all. She says, “I dream that all the world will become peaceful. I dream that all the killing will stop. I dream that all the children will walk in peace and harmony. I dream that all the nations shake hands with each other, protect each other and help each other. I dream that our beautiful planet will not be destroyed. It takes billion, billion, trillions of years to produce this planet, and it’s so beautiful, so wonderful. I dream that it will continue, but in peace, beauty and love. Yeah? That is my dream” (Olelo TV ch. 52 2001). This may be the dream of many others beside herself, but it is quite a contradiction to teach people they are God and then dream for something to happen. What kind of God is this that has no influence on the world? That dreams for things to happen. It makes sense when one understands that maya, means an illusion, that none of this is real and can be reshaped to what we want it to be.
She says, “The way to contact with the grace of God, people call that the way of the enlightenment, but the way of Jesus, the way of Buddha, the way of Mohammed, the way of those great masters in the ancient, in the present and in the future. I’m not trying to save the way of religions, because religion has two, two essence. One is a theory that we read the Bible, we become pious, we keep the commandments of God, and we fast, we become good person, we help one another. That is one way. There is another way. The spiritual way is much, much deeper. The spiritual way is the way we can contact directly to God and tell him everything that we want to tell, and he will tell us how we going to solve the problems. He is going to bless us so that our lives will become exactly the way we want to live. Because in the Bibles or in many of the spiritual religious scriptures, it doesn’t, they don’t mention how to contact God. They just mention that the ancient times like Saint John or whoever have contacted God, or Moses have seen God, and then he gets blessed and then he has wisdom, etc, etc. But the Bible or the Scriptures did not tell us how to get the wisdom the way Moses did. Jesus had meditated in the desert for 40 days, similar with Mohammed, and similar with the Buddha, similar with Mohammed, etc., etc. There are endless of masters since ancient times. I cannot mention them all. But they all have to go through a process of contemplating for a long time in everyday life in order to contact this god, and contact God inside of us.” (Olelo TV ch 52 2001)
Here Jesus is reduced to one of many enlightened masters like all the gurus before her, this position is nothing new. Nowhere does it say in the Bible he meditated (like she is teaching) in the desert, so one wonders where she received this information. Jesus never said He is a way among many ways, But THE WAY, the TRUTH, the LIFE. By demoting Jesus she exalts herself. Of course her belittling the Bible is no surprise from one who opposes Jesus and puts herself in the place of God.
She states “the Bible was written by men, we have no way of checking what they wrote we were not there”
She is a walking contradiction when it comes to spiritual knowledge. The Bible itself says it was inspired by God directly influencing men to write and communicate what was said perfectly (1Tim. 3:16-17).
She says, “Someone had to be in first and everything else come from that. So in my experience that God has shown me, there is no mystery about how to know God. It’s very, very simple. Even children can have the experience of God. Exactly the experience that written in the Bible, like if Moses had seen God as a big bush of flame, if other things had heard God like the sound of many waters, we can experience exactly the same like that. And more, more, more, more, more.
That’s why Jesus has told us that whatever he can do we can do also, because it was not him that was doing, it was the father. Similar to us, if we are, if we will be transmitted, this god-power all will be rekindled, this existing power within us again, then we can also experience Heaven while we are living in this planet. We can also have the healing power”
She ignore the fact that Moses was specifically picked for a huge task and what he experienced was unusual and not normal. Very few prophets have experiences like this.
What I find even more contradictory is that she says she is God, as is everyone once they discover their true self. Yet she needs an interpreter for languages, something that God would not need. Sometimes she does not understand the questions at times and answers wrong. Everything else she states proves it is only her personal opinion.
Question: “What does it mean by having people live this life passed through the world?”
Answer: “So that we may know we are gods. That is a short answer. If you want a long one, I can talk for two or 300 years, from the beginning of the universe until the end. You see, we are all children of God. We are all gods. Because we are all gods, we cannot know that we were gods. We do know that not in such an exciting way is if we had the suffering and material discomfort to compare with. Just like the sun is always good but when compared to the night and the darkness it’s more glorious. While we have chosen to come here and suffer in darkness so that we appreciate the light better. That’s why I respect all the people and like them a lot and like them because they are all gods.”
Are we gods, as in many? This certainly goes against Jesus who said there is only one God and there are many monotheistic religions she would have to contradict to pawn this off to her unsuspecting public. If we are all gods then what kind of a god forgets he is god. Obviously we are not speaking about a God who is in control of the universe, a universe that depends on this God’s existence; but a God who depends on the universe. Jesus quotes this verse in Jn.10. Psalm 82:6-8 I said, “You are gods, and all of you are children of the Most High.” But the psalm goes on to say “But you shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.” “Arise, O God, judge the earth; for You shall inherit all nations.” No we are not gods and anyone who claims such a position blasphemes against the God who is their creator and they will one day know the amount of separation there is between them and the true God.
Question: In order to be able to love, must to we be enlightened”? Answer: yes, to a greater extent. We are all capable of love to some degree, but if you want to develop complete love like Jesus or Buddha or Carson, we have to be more enlightened. Because enlightenment and loves. God is love. When we love to another person as a husband or wife, as a child or a friend, and we know a little fraction of God’s love, but if we want to know the whole magnity of love, we must know God.”
She does not always come off so humble as supreme master showing enlightenment when people ask irritating questions. Her response does not completely come through on paper as it does in the videos.
Question: The Buddha says one must not desire enlightenment. Why do you say that you want enlightenment? (Ching-Hai) What, what, what? Translator: Why do you say that if you want enlightenment you will get it? It is not a process. Our desires cloud the truth.
Answer: Oh, my God. So how do you get enlightenment? We sit here and argue about dictionary words all the time? Okay. So you don’t want enlightenment? Well, fine then. Don’t want. Just go home. Then I would never know whether you want me to teach you the way to enlightenment or not. I think you better not get initiation. The one who asked this question better go home. You are not yet at the level of getting ready for enlightenment.”
Afterwards she separates the people to be initiated and those who are inquisitive and want to try it out.
Question: How do we know that your path is the true one? There are many religions in the world, and all of them claim to have the true message. Now, what says that your path is different? I think that maybe it’s just like other churches that is also the business that you’ve put in the mind.”
Answer: ‘Well, you have to try it before you can be kept. I cannot convince you unless you educate yourself. Also I have told you whatever path you want to choose, you are convinced about that path? Choose it. I’m not here to prove anything. I’m here to tell you that you can prove anything to yourself. At my own expense. We earn nothing from you, not even membership, not any obligation, not even a condemnation that you will go to hell if you don’t follow my preaching. Not that you are not my brothers and sisters, we don’t follow the same method. If I were you, I would try it, because you lose nothing. You only gain. You gain the whole world. You gain everything that you ever imagined. That’s all I can promise you. To realize this promise, you have to follow the way I show you.’
This is a contradiction to say they must try the way she shows to understand. While her statement has manipulation all over it by offering to someone everything they want in life. She seems to have forgotten Jesus who said what if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul. She says you gain your soul with meditation, yet she disregards the very reason He came to earth to die for sin.
Who or what is God?
Question: I would like to ask if you see God, you tell that you see God as a man or as a woman, it appears to you? But do you visualize God as a human being or . . .
Answer: No, you don’t visualize. He comes the way he wants. You don’t have to visualize, because God is God. You cannot visualize him. He comes the way he wants.
Question: What is God? Does it have a form or look like paintings of God that we see?Answer: like Michelangelo’s God! No, this is his God, it is Michelangelo’s God. You want to see what God looks like? Who is it who asked this question? Please raise your hand. I will show you immediately. You? Look behind you, your neighbour in front, to your right and left, that is what God looks like. Alright, you are satisfied? God said, ‘God made man in His own image.’ So if you want to find God, look at your neighbours. Each one of us houses God inside.
Question- When you describe God, you use the masculine word ‘He.’ Is God masculine, feminine, both or neither? Answer: Both. Neither. Okay, then I’ll use She! Because if I use She maybe you will also object. Since ancient times, we have always referred to God as He, and now who are you to say that God is a She!”
Question- Do You believe that the Supreme Messiah of the universe - Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, said, ‘I am the way, the Truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father but by me’; that no one can enter heaven, God’s home, except by Jesus? Master -Yes, it is true; every Master has said that. ‘Jesus’ is the name of His body; ‘Christ’ is His title. Every Master should have this Christ power; therefore, in a sense, Jesus never died. Jesus works through all the Masters, through all the centuries, through all the ages, to liberate and enlighten us, the ignorant still left behind.”
Question: Once we have achieved our closeness to the Supreme Being, are we ever going to separate again, like it happens to leaves on the trees that fall on the clothing?
Answer: Yes, we will, because that’s the first act of creation, because that’s the game we play with God. And that’s how the creation exists. Otherwise there’s just God, and no name, no form, no feeling, no feeling, no creation, no black nor white, no good nor bad, no evil, no sin, nothing. But we could also remain in God’s abode forever. We could choose to do many things if we want to. But most likely that when we choose to play games with him again, like now, then we rest again, and then we’re bored and then we go out to play games again. Heaven is not eternal. We will not want to stay in Heaven eternally. We will just want to bring heaven to anywhere, and any level of existence, because that’s the way creation is. That’s the way God would like us to be, and that’s the way we will choose to be. Besides, after enlightenment, we will look down and see so many other brothers and sisters. They are suffering in ignorance. They are suffering in all kinds of lack of comfort due to spiritual darkness. We will be willing to lovingly come down to assist them. And so that’s how the creation continues. Jesus did not come down for the first time or the last time. He said he’ll come back again. He said he’ll come back again. He might have already did, but how do we recognize him? Does he necessarily grow a beard like last time? Does he necessarily walk barefoot like last time? Does he necessarily wear a rag the way, you know, wear rags and clothes the way he did last time? No. He should not. He must not. If he wore rags and dirty clothes and walked barefoot in front of your door, you would call policemen. Now Jesus, if he comes down, he has to be good-looking, modernized, wealthy, healthy, well ding ding, comfort, etc. And he has to say mostly he loves our lives. You know, mostly people like a shaven man. That is if he came back as a man. He might choose to incarnate in a lady’s body or in, you know. Besides, we only heard of him as a man. We don’t even know we were not there. Have you seen me 2000 years ago, Nico? Nowadays we have photography and we still don’t know who’s really fit because they still can use computers to mess around with our appearance and put another person’s head on your body and put your body on another person’s head, etc. And your head on another person’s body to create a different person or a different, blah blah blah. How would we even prove that Jesus looked like what might reach?
[She further states another time “And there is a way to get to such a state as living in Heaven while working on Earth. There is a way to do that, because Heaven is already within us. Heaven exists all the time.” So she believes heaven is not a location but a state of mind]
She states “Who is God? You! You! We have two sides to our nature, one is physical, and one is super physical. I find no words for it, so I have to say it is super-physical, spirit; one is physical, one is spirit. The spirit means the God who sleeps inside our body. And if we awaken that sleeping spirit that is God, then we become God. Like Jesus said, I and my Father are one. Then we become one with the whole universe.”
She states “…The Bible is only a record of a super Master who has graced our Earth, but what about those before Jesus, and after Jesus? Those after Jesus probably will say: ‘Okay, we hear His name and we will be redeemed.’ But a billion, trillion years before Jesus, was there no one to rescue them, or what? Is the Father so merciless just to send only one Son and only one time? Could He be so stingy?”
Question- But why would God want Jesus to die the way he died?
Master- Otherwise His disciples would not be cleansed of the sins. The body of the Master is for two reasons. First, for the disciples of the physical world to be able to see. They couldn’t see the astral body of the Master. Second, the body of the Master is for sacrifice. It is to receive all the things that the disciple has to get rid of, to deposit the sins of the disciples. And then to be... has to be cleansed out.”
This is typical guru talk, that he took on their karma, but this is not the Christian explanation at all.
Question: Please talk about sin.
Her answer -Sin? You all know about it. You know better than I do. [Laughter] I’ll talk about virtues. You should be loving to each other; should help the poor and needy, because God lives in them; you should be tolerant toward each other’s shortcomings; love and respect your parents, love your wife and respect your husband; take care and educate the children; be a good citizen to the nation. That’s what we should talk about. If you do all these, then there’s no need to talk about sins. If we are positive, then we couldn’t be negative.”
Question: Christianity teaches us we are all sinners; are we still sinners when enlightened? If so, does it ever end, our being sinners?
Her answer: Yes, we are sinners, because we believe we are. Because we have no way to raise ourselves above the sinful level, above the mud. If you are in the mud, of course you look muddy, no? If you rise up, what the mud has to do with you, whether it’s there or not, understand? So rise up; be enlightened.”
Do we change our nature by just believing that we are no longer that thing? Ching Hai speaks as if she is an authority on the Bible and she knows less than a 5th grader in Sunday school class. Jesus came into the world to make people aware they are sinners, the very reason He came was to die for sin which this Supreme master is denying. Therefore she is saying she knows better than what Jesus taught and every other spiritual teacher’s teachings for that matter.
Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but now you say, ‘We see.’ Therefore your sin remains.”
(John 9:41) “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. (John 15:22). John 16:7-9 “Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.” And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:” of sin, because they do not believe in Me.”
I John 1:8-10 “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” “If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him (God) a liar, and His word (truth) is not in us.” No truth and we make God a liar.
Question: What is the reason behind not eating eggs and we can drink milk?
Master: … we don’t have to kill the animal for milk. About the egg, even if it’s not fertilized egg, it still contains a kind of symbol of life and death, born and reborn, and also the egg has the potential of attracting the negative energy. Perhaps you would read or know or heard that many of the magicians, they use the eggs to attract the negative entities from some of the possessed persons. Therefore we do not like to attract the negative force into ourselves, because now we try to reach the positive nature. (Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on December 23, 1994 in Thailand A Telephone Interview with Radio Five On ‘Sunday Focus’)
Question: Jesus was enlightened and He ate fish. Is it necessary not to eat animals to be a Master?
Her answer: Yes, it is necessary. Jesus never ate fish. Many people misunderstand the Bible. Jesus was vegetarian since he was born, and when He was in the womb even. You should study more the life of Jesus; in another separate book, not in the Bible. You see the fish He brought and gave to people may even be vegetarian fish. In Formosa we have many kinds of vegetarian meat. We make chicken, vegetarian chicken.’
I guess we cannot believe the Bible, written from the personal accounts of those who lived with him, because she has another book that’s superior. Nonetheless I need to give the Bibles quotes to show that she disregards whatever she wants to formulate her own religion. Matt 14:19-20 Jesus “ took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. So they all ate and were filled” They also ate meat Matt. 26:17 the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for You to eat the Passover?” They ate lamb at the Passover meal. Mark 14:12: “Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they killed the Passover lamb, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare, that You may eat the Passover?” Luke 22:11 The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?’”Jesus makes it clear food does not reach or affect the “mind,” the “soul,” and cannot pollute it. Matt 15:11 “Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man; but what comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man.” Mark 7:18-23 “So He said to them, ‘Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”
When asked “what are some spiritual benefits that we get from being vegetarians?” She said “The spiritual aspects of a vegetarian diet are that it is very clean and nonviolent. ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ When God said this to us, He did not say do not kill human beings, He said do not kill any beings. Didn’t He say that He made all animals to befriend us, to help us? Did He not put the animals in our care? He said, take care of them, rule over them. When you rule over your subjects, do you kill your subjects and eat them? Then you would become a king with nobody else around? So now you understand when God said that. We must do it. There is no need to question Him. He spoke very clearly, but who understands God except God? So now you have to become God in order to understand God. I invite you to be God-like again, to be yourself, to be no one else. To meditate on God doesn’t mean you worship God, it means that you become God. You realize that you and God are one. ‘I and my Father are one,’ didn’t Jesus say so? If He said He and His father are one, we and His father can also be one, because we are also children of God. And Jesus also said that what He does we can even do better. So we may be even better than God, who knows? Why worship God when we don’t know anything about God? (Excerpt from the article ‘Why Must People Be Vegetarian’)
This is not what God meant because He told the people to eat animals and to even sacrifice them for their sin. It was God who took the first animal for sacrifice and accepted it from the beginning Genesis.4-. Ching Hai does not address the concept of sin but seems to change its meaning to ignorance, as she employs her own ignorance with the words of the Bible. Right after the flood here is what God (not what Ching Hai, said)
Gen 9:2-3 “And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs.”
Question: If after being initiated and I still make a mistake like eating meat or having an evil thought, does it mean that I’ll be disconnected from God or suffer some bad punishment?
Master: “… the meat you can avoid it, yeah, except when you don’t know it and you eat it by mistake, then that’s fine. But you have to meditate more on that day to clean that, because that is a very heavy karma. That’s what makes people ill, what makes our body suffer, and what makes us go to hell afterward to repay for the suffering of other beings. (Applause-- Supreme Master Ching Hai answered on April 10, 1993 in Colorado, USA).
Actually I know people who stayed on a vegetarian diet and became very sick. What is outrageous is one can go to hell for eating meat but not for sin. Of course to her this is one of the ultimate sins.
Reincarnation in the Bible
Question- “Why do the Christian churches not accept the idea of reincarnation?” Master- Because they misunderstand the Bible, and also because the Bible has been cut and censored many hundreds of times over. I’ll tell you an example. When Jesus was asked, ‘Are you the reincarnation of such and such past saints?’ He didn’t say ‘no.’ Saint Paul also said ‘I live, but no, not ‘I’ but Christ lives in me.’ Okay! Now, if you don’t believe in reincarnation, why are you waiting for the second coming of Christ? (laughter) Ask your church, then see how they answer you.”
She mocks what she does not understand. In his coming again he does not come back born as a baby as he did the first time, he is in heaven as a man who comes back just as He left the earth (Acts 1:11).
Question- Master, why does Christianity as a whole tend not to believe in reincarnation? Does the Bible talk about reincarnation?
Master-“It does, but it has been censored. When someone asked Jesus whether He was Elias, whether He was so and so, the past Master before Him -- that meant whether He was the reincarnation of those past masters -- He kept quiet. That was a part of the Bible that people forgot to censor. Suppose reincarnation did not exist, then Jesus would have said, ‘No, no, there is no such thing as a master coming back. I am me, alone, one time, never again, never before, never after.”
Ching Hai does not come up with any new arguments on this but repeats the same old rumor used by the gurus and New Agers. The Bible was never censored, what were kept out were the forgeries that are like what she is teaching; those who contradicted the teachings of Christ that were passed on from his apostles who were there and wrote about him.
Is Jesus Elijah? The people thought John the Baptist was Elijah and asked John not Jesus, in John 1:21 “And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.”
The fact is his disciples told him what others said he was. So they said, “Some say John the Baptist, some Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matt 16:14-16; Mk.8:28). Jesus said he was not any of them.
Another fact, when Jesus showed who He was to the disciples by revealing his glory Matt 17:3 both “Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him”, which is a hard thing to do if you are Elijah!
Reincarnation was never taught in the Bible, for example they asked Jesus in Jn.9 about a man being born blind. Did he sin or his parents sin to have this happen, He emphatically said neither, denying any hint to reincarnation. To say such things like this and make Christianity to be like Buddhism or Hinduism is fraudulent.
Conclusion of her teachings
Ching Hai has this to say “What I realize it’s repeating a name of a scripture, means nothing to God. God is within us, not in the scripture. So when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist, what did He see? He saw the light from heaven come down like the dove, no? Yes!”
“You always long for that God, that JAHWEH, or whatever you name Him. You can call Him another dozen or hundred names and He would not mind. He has no name, understand? He has no name. He takes on whatever is the name of the master on earth at that time. Therefore when Jesus came they worshipped Jesus as the Son of God, or as even God. Yeah? When Buddha came they worshipped Buddha as God. Understand that? Because the God power manifests in that Person, in that human pole. … I don’t care if it’s Buddhist or Mohammedan or whatever; all empty, just an empty shell. Understand? So therefore you feel in conflict.”
I have no Catholic path, no Buddhist path, no lotus path, no, how to say, ‘lily’ path. [Master laughs] I have only one path - it’s God’s path. If you know the light, you know God; that is the true God, true way.”
He sent me here to tell you how to find Him, not through the Lotus repeating, not through thescriptures, but through your own-self realization. Understand that? Yeah. He will not punish you. You’ve not betrayed any God. It’s your sincerity that counts. It doesn’t matter where you go, you only carry God in your heart, no?”
Did they worship Buddha as God when Buddha did not teach about God? Does God have no name? The Bible says He does have a name, God said His name to Moses as “I am who I am” (Ex. 3:15), “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) that is Jesus Christ not Ching Hai. “Master Ching Hai” needs to come to saving knowledge of Jesus Christ not meditate to find out she is God when in fact she is not! The Bible says Christ when He was raised from the dead was seated at the Father's right hand in the heavenly places, “far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come” (Eph. 1:20-21). “Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth ,and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father “(Philippians 2:9-11).
It is fitting to end this article right here. Ching Hai is not God, a god or even a child of god because of how she distorts the Bible and even other religions. Neither is she teaching the truth according to what Jesus said. She may use his name and every other religious teachers name but this does not endorse her teaching but only shows how confused she is as she tries to bring together religions that actually teach the opposite of each other. What Ching Hai has probably discovered and mistaken for God is her own human spirit.
(1) According to William Claiborne’s article entitled ‘Self-styled Zen Master Has Attained Financial Nirvana’ in the December 20,1996 issue of The Record, p. A40
other quotes taken from her videos and off her various websites and materials