Make Yourself the Perfect Picture of a Wonderful Yogi
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai, Videoconference with initiates from Toronto, Canada, August 4, 2002 (Originally in English) Videotape #746
At the time of this conference, an initiate who was staying at a meditation center was being forgetful and unmindful about trivial matters of daily life, which often caused trouble for the center. Master thus gave some suggestions to the initiate and to those with similar problems.
Everyone gets into difficult situations sometimes, and some people are more sloppy or forgetful than others. But anyway, that person also has to check out whether the things said by others are correct or not. If so, if he or she did do something wrong you should write a note and put it on his or her door, telling that person, "Next time, please do this." Don't say, "Don't do that." Just say, "Next time do this." For example, if he or she forgot to turn off the lights just say, "Next time, turn off the lights so that we can cut down on the amount of the electric bill." Tell him or her what you want them to do such as, "Clean up the yard," or "Please clean up your room" or "Wear your initiation card every time."
And if you're too forgetful, I suggest a very easy solution: Put a big note on your door before you go out the door. "Put on ID card right now!" And then when you open the door, you'll remember, come back, get your ID card, put it on your shirt and go out. If you're forgetful, you have to write a note reminding yourself. No one else is there to remind you all the time.
There are two ways to live with each other: the wrong way and the right way. And for me, there's only one way—the right way. But everyone is learning and everyone has a different mindset, different habits and different ways of expressing themselves. So you have to make your life better for yourself. You have to remind yourself; you have to know which way is the right one and do it. And don't rely on someone else to remind you.
You're mature; you're grown up; you're a responsible being. And you're even a good practitioner; I can tell. It's so little, this bad habit; you can change it. Don't make the bad habit become a bad reputation for you. Don't let the habit get you down and make you become like a fool in front of everyone. You have to earn respect. You have to let people know that you're a respectful, responsible person, not that you can do anything you want. Now make a list of what they're asking you to do and try to do it. It's easy! You can do it just like that.
This is the problem with some of us: We've not been taught. And I tell you; this little problem sometimes causes the break-up of marriages. It can cause the loss of a job or the heartache of losing a loved one. So be mindful of your own environment. Make it as clean as a first class hotel. If you don't know what a first class hotel looks like, go into one and look around. Then go home and make your home look like that. This isn't the same as decorating or anything; make it tip-top clean so that you could even eat off the floor. Make it as if I'm coming to visit you tomorrow, how about that? (Applause) Because I live where you live; I'm there. Have respect for me in my place: Save my money on the electric bill, keep my house clean, keep the window closed and keep everything in perfect condition because this is my house. Your house is my house. (Applause)
Cleanliness is Godliness. Try to look for that. If you were a God or a Buddha, how would you behave? Try to do that. Remind yourself, for example, by putting a note on the door. So the solution for all the forgetful people in the world, in every Center or private house, is this: Whatever your weakness is—for example, if you usually forget to close the window so the air conditioning or heat goes out and increases the electric bill—put a note on your door and before you open the door, you'll see it. Ask yourself, "Did I remember to close the window?" or say, "Remember to take out the garbage."
Just put the whole list there and every day when you go out check the list. "Did I do number one? Check. I did. And number two, did I close the window?" Go check it out and come back: "Check, I did it." Then, "Did I take the garbage out, number three? I did, check." And then you can go out. And even if you forgot at that time, at least when you come back you'll remember again.
This is better than if you never remember and make a mess of your house, with stinking and trouble for yourself and everyone. Make yourself a perfect picture of admiration, of respect, of a beautiful yogi because we're not in the Himalayas. We're here. We're with a lot of people, and that's good; it's nice; it's cool to have a big family. It's beautiful. We're always there for each other. There's no one else out there who will help us as much as we help each other. Remember that. So we're what we have. We're the family.