Chiu-Nan Lai, Ph.D.
It is extremely difficult to be joyful, happy, and appreciative when faced with natural disasters, human tragedies, illnesses, pain, and afflictions. Nonetheless, during such times, only the energy of joy and appreciation can transform such negative situations to positive ones.
Many years ago, one of my teachers shared with me on how she learned gratitude as part of her spiritual development. She would say “Thank you” no matter what she encountered, even if a bowl of soup she carried had slipped off and broken into pieces! She understood that the energy of gratitude and joy can create a better tomorrow. Regardless what seeds we have planted in the past, regardless what fruits we are harvesting now, creation of the future is still within our control. If we can plant the seeds of joy, then our future will naturally bear the fruits of joy.
We generally feel sympathetic towards people who are suffering, but not towards those whose circumstances are more fortunate. This is because our minds are limited by time, and we cannot see the past or the future. It may be that those who are encountering good fortune now are planting the seeds for future suffering, but they are not aware. On contrary, people who are suffering now may develop the virtues of acceptance (in the face of adversity), patience, and loving kindness. In that case, their future will be better.
During the Ming dynasty in China, a gentleman by the name of Yuan Liao Fan learned from his life experiences that destiny can be changed by our thoughts and actions. When he was young, he encountered a capable fortune teller who predicted in detail how his life would turn out. Later, he found that no matter how much he wanted to change the fate that had been predicted earlier, he could not change it, including the results of his entrance examination. Hence, he decided not to think too much because everything had been pre-determined by fate. Later, he met a Zen master who taught him how to change his life. It was then he realized that fate can indeed be changed, but one must know the correct method. Originally, it was foretold that he would be childless and only live up to 53 years of age. Later, he not only had a son, but lived up to 74 years of age. He wrote down his experiences in a book for his son, which later became widely circulated and was known as “The Four Teachings of Liao Fan”. This book discusses four aspects: how to shape one’s life, how to change one’s life, how to accumulate merits, and the benefits of humility and virtue. This is a good book that is worth reading again and again. The reason why he had a son and had a long life was because he loved and protected the lives of animals and humans, and actively engaged in work that benefited other people. Joy comes from harmony and peace. When we are filled with love, do not harm other beings, and strive to benefit others, joy is the natural reward.
Le Gong (the practice of happiness) is a form of primordial chi gong that had been very popular in China. This is a therapeutic form of exercise that can be used for health and sickness. Many people have used this method and regained their health. This exercise is very easy to practice. All it takes is to be happy all the time. The quiet or passive form of exercise is to be happy when one quiets down. In contrast, the action mode is to maintain a happy mind when one is busy. Beginners start by thinking of an incident or person that brings them happiness, and then immerse in that feeling. If they cannot think of any happy event because of prolonged periods of suffering, they can start by pretending, that is, relax the entire body, and curve the corner of the tips upwards into a smile. This is using pretense to develop true happiness. Medical research has shown that actors’ bodily hormones and internal secretions changed when their facial expressions changed. This demonstrates that “pretending” to be happy can have benefits.
If joy cannot arise during practice, reflect on what obstacles prevent your ability to develop happiness within yourself. Does it have anything to do with not being able to release past memories? Is it about someone we can’t forgive? Do you have a sense of remorse? Does it have to do with wounds that need to be cleansed and healed? Many times, knots in our hearts can be disentangled by taking a different perspective. Learn to say “thank you”.
An American, Raymon Grace, took lessons from American Indian masters. He liked to help people, and applied what he had learned to relieve the sufferings he experienced in terms of health, life, and financial situation. He also taught others how to use principles of the universe to change their lives and fate. He found that every event and every phenomenon have their own frequencies. Changing these frequencies will lead to changes in these events and phenomena. For example, polluted water has its own frequency. When we are in a relaxed state, we can use our mental power to disrupt the frequency of polluted water, and then mentally transmit the frequency of clean water to this water. Drops of water that has been purified by Raymon Grace can be added and used to purify other polluted water from wells, rivers, sea, and swimming pools. This is because he had programmed all water to be purified if they come into contact with charged water. There was a well that had been polluted by arsenic. After his treatment, laboratory examination indicated that the arsenic level continually decreased, even so after six months. Water purified by Raymon Grace also has therapeutic properties. His friends invited neighbours to swim in a swimming pool Raymon had treated, and they found that their bodily aches disappeared after swimming. In the book “Messages from water”, the author uses microscope to show that the crystal formation of water can be changed by human thoughts. A lake that was originally polluted was purified through the prayers of 300 people. This shows that Raymon Grace’s ability is possessed by everyone. His book “The Future is Yours” and “Techniques that Work for Me” are in the process of being translated, and will be available in Chinese at the end of the year. Raymon Grace is particularly concerned about water cleanliness because the supply of clean water on earth is diminishing while our demand for clean water is increasing. Thus, learning how to purify water is the way to solve this problem. He found that other than environmental pollution, water supplies can be polluted by man’s greed.
If water can be transformed using our thoughts, it is not difficult to imagine that the entire material world can be influenced by us. This is because water covers a major part of the earth. Water comprises 70% of the earth’s surface as well as 70% of the human body. On December 26, 2004, the biggest damage caused by the earthquake on the seabed off Indonesia was the tsunami, which led to wide scale devastation. If a single person like Raymon Grace can purify water, and 300 people can purify a lake, then perhaps if millions and billions of people on earth unite in their efforts, they can moderate the earth’s erratic weather conditions, strengthen the earth’s fragile surface, and tame the furious oceans?
Many years ago when I was living in Houston, my teacher (who is now approaching 90 years of age) taught us how to tame an impending hurricane. She placed a bowl of water in the classroom to represent the ocean, and asked us to visualize sky blue light and send loving kindness to the hurricane. She said that hurricanes are attracted by human anger, but that loving kindness is an antidote that can transform anger. Maybe it was a coincidence, but the hurricane did not land on that occasion. I have also heard that on many occasions, Taiwan avoided the assault of impending hurricanes through the prayers of members of some organizations.
Since ancient times, Chinese people knows that heaven and earth that exist outside us are one and inseparable from our own internal heaven, earth, and mental thoughts. Our thoughts and emotions have enormous power, and can influence the occurrence of natural phenomena such as rain and wind, the growth of plants, and the purification of water supplies. Bob Cannard, a farmer, frequently emphasizes that the most important job of a good farmer is to send friendly messages and love to his plants and farm. During convalescence, it is useful to send love and friendly messages to our cells. In the Chinese language, there is a phrase that juxtaposes natural disasters with human misfortunes. The reason is that natural disasters occur after humans have erred and caused misfortunes on themselves. The human mind influences heaven and earth. The tsunami tragedy has shown us the devastating power and effects when nature strikes back. Human life is fragile and we can die anytime. Some people live a life where they scheme and engage in pettiness to get the upper hand. But then, what matters at death? It is a gift to be alive, and we have to learn to say “thank you”. This is because when we are happy and appreciative, we can plant immeasurable seeds of joy, improve ourselves and people around us, and create happiness for ourselves and all beings around us.
Extracted from Lapis Lazuli Light Magazine 2005 Feb Issue
Translated by Lapis Lazuli Light Singapore