Easter and the Law of Giving and Receiving
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Transcript of a talk delivered by Brother ChiSing
April 12, 2009 - Dallas, Texas

Well, since it is Easter, I want to share with you an insight that came to me recently, which I shared at the Tuesday meditation group as well as the retreat on Saturday, so I'm positive some of you have heard it already. But just in honor of Easter and the teachings of Jesus. I was meditating a couple of weeks ago, and all of a sudden after about 57 minutes of meditation, just before my 60 minutes was up, I had this insight about the Lord's Prayer, and also about spiritual mind treatment, which is a form of affirmative prayer in New Thought spirituality. And I saw how the two were actually harmonious, and so I would like to share a little bit about it with you right now, and then continue to talk about the law of giving and receiving.

So, you all know about the Lord's Prayer: Our Father/Mother which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy names—I'm translating. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the time of trial. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever, Amen. Okay?

Well, in my meditation, sometimes every few months or so, I will suddenly—my mind is meditating, and then boom. An insight just comes forth from deep consciousness. I see this whole picture or understanding of something. And it happens once in a while, and remind me to tell you why that sometimes happens for me and all of us, but what I saw was in the spiritual mind treatment steps, we have what is called first, recognition, and then we have something called union, and then we have the step called realization, and then we have the step called thanksgiving, and then we have the step called release, I believe. Right?

Okay. Now when I saw it, I did not at first see the spiritual mind treatment steps. I saw what I call the divine source reality, the one being, and then I saw connection to that source, manifestation, celebration, or praise or gratitude, and trust. Those were the original words I saw, but then as I thought about it, I realized those are exactly the same as the spiritual mind treatment. So when Jesus gave us this prayer, I don't think he meant we are supposed to pray this literally, you know? That this is the way that we should only pray. I think what he meant was this was a habit of prayer in how to pray. So this five-step habit of prayer is actually what Ernest Holmes also came up with in his spiritual mind treatment steps as a distillation of New Thought teachings, which of course are in Unity as well.

But what I realized was wow, our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name, that is the recognition of the source. So as we pray and affirm, we say—and of course, if we want to do it in Buddhist terms, there's only Buddha nature. There is only wisdom, compassion, strength, power, beauty, pure potentiality, as Deepak Chopra calls it. And I am a manifestation of that. I am an expression of that. I am one with that.

And then, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven is that connection between the source and the manifestation, or as Buddhists would say, emptiness and form. They are not separate. And then, give us this day our daily bread, which is abundance and nourishment. Forgiveness is next, guidance, and protection. Those four things, we can realize those things in our lives. It is funny. I was reading a quote from A Course in Miracles the other day, and it said, "Fear of the will of God is the strangest belief that humans have ever made up." It is true. You know, we say, "Thy will be done," and start to cringe. Okay. Uh-oh. Thy will be done, which means it is not going to give us what we need and protect us. But no.

Actually, when you say Thy will, the divine will, the will of the universe, will of Buddha nature, it is abundance, peace, enlightenment, joy, love. So when you say, "Thy will be done," expect something good. Smile. Be happy. Because that is what it is. And we realize that will, we manifest that will, when we allow that will take place in our lives and manifest. So as we affirm that manifestation of that will in practical terms. Jesus gave four examples. Then we can just celebrate that and give thanks. You know, Jesus once said—I can't remember the exact quote. Create and be grateful before you even receive it. You know? It is like act as if.

And that reminds me of something that Thich Nhat Hanh once told the sangha. He said, "Practice mouth yoga," which means you smile. He looked at all these really somber Zen meditators and said, "Smile." And someone said, "I am not feeling good today. I don't feel happy. I don't want to fake smiling. I don't want to pretend that I am happy. And Thich Nhat Hanh said it is not about the feeling. It is a yoga practice. It is mouth yoga. Just do it, and see what happens. And actually, when you actually practice smiling even when you don't feel like smiling, it actually does something. It transforms everything. So when you meditate, remember to keep that light smile on your face to relax the face and not be so serious. Just relax. It is the smile of the Buddha. It is the smile of enlightenment.

You know, we think that we are trying to become enlightened, and of course there is that aspect where we are trying to realize and manifest that, but prior to that realization of manifestation is the truth that we already are Buddha nature. We already are enlightenment. And so when we sit, we can actually express that even before we become fully mature enlightened ones. We can express that pure potentiality that is already right here and give that, radiate that from right here, right now.

The Soto Zen Buddhists, they say that when they sit in the meditation posture like this, it is not that they're trying to become enlightened, but rather this is enlightenment itself expressing in the form of meditation. So instead of meditating to become enlightenment, enlightenment is meditating there. That is deep, right? And there's a truth to that, because did the Buddha meditate before he became enlightened? Yes. So in some ways, you could say meditation is the process to support enlightenment.

Did the Buddha meditate after he was enlightened? Yes. The Buddha meditated for the rest of his life until he died at age 80. Now if meditation was only to become enlightened, then why would the Buddha meditate for so many years after enlightenment? He was demonstrating that meditation itself is an expression of enlightenment, you see? That is why meditation, we don't want to strive and struggle too much and just have a goal in mind only. Just relax into who you already are, which is Buddha nature, which is enlightenment, and just let it expressed as the meditation. So the meditation itself is a manifestation of who you really are. Just let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.

So, we give thanks before something manifests because we know that it is already true in the realm of pure potential. It is already enlightenment, and now we just give thanks and let it express, and we trust. We release and say amen. So be it. And so it is. We release and trust. Entrusting our prayer, our affirmation, our spiritual mind treatment into the universe, the universal law, into the law of dharma. And this is very similar to when we just plant a seed in the soil. We trust in the laws of nature to take care of the seed and the soil in the sunshine and everything. We just plant our seed and trust and we release.

You know, even though it is only a short word, amen, there's so much here. In fact, most of our struggles and practice have to do with our inability to really say amen, our inability to really release and let go and trust. Most of the struggle really happens just because of that.

You know, another spiritual teacher that I really highly respect and recommend to you is Adyashanti. At a retreat I went to a few months ago, late last summer, one thing that he had over the door of the meditation hall—every time you went in the room to meditate, it said, "Resistance is futile." And in another dharma talk, he said, "We need less of this," you know, this clenched fist, "And more of this," and he opened his hand. Less of this, and more of this. You see?

So our practice is to help us to let go of the layers and layers of ancestral, family, and social habit energies of resisting, of clinching, of closing, that sort of energy. The more we relax and let go, then the light that is already there gets to shine and manifest through this human form. So isn't it interesting that this Lord's Prayer spiritual mind treatment steps are so harmonious? This is actually the way we need to pray and that we need to create affirmations. It is the way we need to live our lives, in trust.

Why do these insights come to me now and then? Well, I believe it is because at least in this particular area of my life, I think I am truly practicing the law of giving and receiving. Because I have dedicated my life to giving and to supporting others in the teachings of liberation, the universe knows this, and therefore gives to me, and I am more receptive to that because I'm in the flow. You see? It is not like I'm going to keep it to myself. The universe knows I'm not going to keep something to myself. So because I'm giving, because of the flow, then these insights come because the universe knows I'm going to teach whatever insights I get if I feel like it is the appropriate time. Sometimes I wait a few months until the right moment when I feel like the sangha is most receptive to a particular teaching. But I usually do teach everything that I receive, so I do believe that the reason why I receive it is because the universe wants me to give it. So it just kind of goes both ways, giving and receiving.

You know, some of you have heard me share this experience with you. Last year I was flying to California. First I flew to L.A. to lead Day of Mindfulness, and then I was going to lead a workshop in San Francisco the next day, but I lost my wallet in Los Angeles, and somehow the airline let me get on the plane without a picture ID because I could show her I had already flown to San Francisco. I mean, I had already flown to L.A. and was trying to fly to San Francisco. It is kind of scary. But anyway, I can't bring my shampoo on, but I can like, you know.

Audience Member: They are not expecting violence from a Buddhist monk.

ChiSing: Okay. So I got there. But when I got there, I was going to rent a car and get a hotel and everything like that. Well, I did not have a picture ID, and I did not have my credit cards either. I just had a little cash that I have, about $100 cash on me, which was good. Enough to pay for a hotel I thought. But I had to pay the cab first, because I couldn't get a rental car. They would not give me a rental car, so I took a cab to the nearest hotel so it wouldn't be too expensive. So I got to the Motel 6, and they would not let me have a room because I did not have a picture ID. And I said, "But I have money. I have money for a room." They said, "I'm sorry. We cannot give you a room." And it was like almost midnight.

So I just sat on the curb, and I was like, I don't know what I want to do. I sat on the curb, and then I heard a gunshot. I was like, am I in a bad part of town? So I just thought, okay. And I said to the universe, "You guys take care of me because I am here on your mission. You are the ones who put me here, so you do something." And then I remembered something that happened years before when I was truly broke. I just finished school, my second master's degree, and I was going to move to Minnesota, but I had very little money to move. I was counting on my deposit from my landlord for my apartment, but the check you gave me bounced, and so it caused my bank to go below zero, and I did not notice for a few days until I called my bank and suddenly I realized I had had several days of fees, so I had -$300 in my bank.

I was like, what am I going to do? I couldn't even move. I didn't have any money to move. I had about $40 or $50 cash on me, and so I was complaining, doing whining meditation, and I told my friend about this, and he said, "ChiSing, you need to start practicing what you preach. You give so much to people, and the universe uses you. Don't you believe that the universe is going to take care of you? You keep telling everyone that the universe takes care of them. Well, won't the universe take care of you?" I was like, oh, yeah. I really need to change the way I talk. So I said, "Yeah. You are right."

So, the next day I went to the Buddhist temple in Berkeley, and I asked the monk there to chant for me, a blessing, and he sprinkled water on me while I was chanting, so I was just really receiving the blessing. And then at the end of it because it is custom to give an offering to the monks, and I didn't have food with me, so I took my wallet and had $40 or $50 of cash in there, and I gave either a $5 or $10 bill. I don't remember. I put it in the offering box, even though I was below $300 in the bank, and I only had $40 or $50 to live on. I still gave $5 or $10. And I did it because I remembered that this was a spiritual principle. Giving and receiving are both a part of the same energy. If you want to receive, you need to give, you see?

And so I gave just trusting the universe. I could've just said, "Okay. You got a believe in the universe." I may have been actually sincere, but to actually do something difficult tells the universe that you mean business. To do that shows the universe that you mean business, and it sends out vibration into the universe. The same goes with ritual, too. When you actually light a candle and do the incense—when you do something physical, it shows the universe you mean business. When you sit on the meditation cushion in the morning, the universe knows you mean business and that you will be setting things in motion from the vibration.

The next day, after the Monday night meditation group, someone came to me that I did not recognize and said he had come once before a couple of weeks before and he really enjoyed the meditation and enjoyed the message that I gave and was really touched, and he said that he was contemplating how he could show his gratitude, so this is what he decided on. He gave me this check, and I just slipped it in my pocket and said thank you. Later on when I went home and looked at it, it was a check for $10,000. So I got on my knees and said, "Okay. I believe. I believe."

So, that was like a big lesson for me from the universe to show me that these principles are real and that I need to stop doubting and stop doing whining meditation. I still do whining meditation once in a while. I'm sorry. I'm only human. That is something I have etched in my mind. So whenever I do start whining, I try to remember that. Any time I start to doubt, I just try to remember that.

So anyway, I'm on the curb at Motel 6, and I'm saying, "Okay, universe. You've provided for me before, and I know you're going to provide for me now, and I know I am safe right here and right now." And then a few minutes later, someone went to try to get a room and was doing the whole transaction. Then he came out and said, "Why are you sitting on the curb?" Because I'd been sitting there for a long time. I told him my situation, and he said, "Oh, okay." Then he went back in, and came back out and said, "You know what? I've been thinking about it, and the Holy Spirit wants me to get you a room. I am a Christian, and I feel like it is the right thing to do." And I told him, "I am a Buddhist, and I am so grateful that Jesus and Buddha are buddies."

So anyway, he used his ID to get me the room, and I gave him the cash, so that was wonderful. So I was provided for again. Then I got up the next morning and did my workshop. So, the law of giving and receiving, it really does work. You just need to let it flow. We just need to let it flow. We have so many blocks. And it is not a matter of just saying, "Okay. I believe." And just saying it from the surface mind. Our mind is so much more complex than the surface mind. We have layers, the little voices from our mother and father and our teachers and our upbringing and our society and even ancestral voices, and if you believe in past life, past life voices, things that are layers and layers and layers.

That is why the practice is to really heal each layer, to really transform each layer of our consciousness so that when we say, "I believe," is not just the surface mind that is saying I believe, but every aspect of our consciousness is saying, "I believe," and saying, "Yes," and saying, "Let it be so." It is saying Amen. You see? Because when our whole being without any contradiction says, "Yes," the universe responds, "Okay." You see? The reason why it may not look like it works is because part of us is saying yes and lots of other parts are saying, "I don't know. No. I don't know." Oh gosh. It is like multiple personality.

You know, speaking of, this is kind of a digression. I'm sorry, but we are running out of time. They've actually studied scientifically people who actually have multiple personality disorder. Their brain waves actually change from personality to personality. And if one personality for instance has, let's say—what's that skin condition?

Audience Member: Eczema.

ChiSing: Eczema. Okay. When they change to the other personality, the eczema suddenly disappears, and then when they change back to that personality that has eczema, the eczema comes back. It is scientifically proven, a study. So we all in a way, we actually have different little sub-selves within us, not as extreme as multiple personality disorder people, but that is the more extreme version of what we are dealing with in our own selves. We all have those voices.

That is why, for instance, the Big Mind process, which Zen Master Genpo Roshi has invented, is very, very helpful for many people because it helps us to address all the different voices: the controller, the one who is the protector, desirer, the victim, whatever, the fearing person, the child, whatever, all these different parts of us. But when they all are in alignment and harmony and aligned and it is all saying yes, then suddenly, Buddha nature shows up full force, and that is what you call kensho, a glimpse of enlightenment. It can be a small glimpse or a big glimpse, and of course the ultimate glimpse is satori, which is pretty much the same as full-time enlightenment.

I had a small kensho, a small glimpse, because if you do that process, when everything says, "Okay. Yes. Yes. Yes," boom. It was like just this allowing of seeing my true nature. It was very powerful for me. But that is what we are practicing so that every aspect of us says yes. Every aspect of us is giving and receiving. Every aspect of us is allowing and flowing with the universe.

Transcribed by Jessica Hitch

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