English | Vietnamese


December 13, 1973, Thursday evening

On a Warning to Be More Careful

Ven. Master Hsuan Hua


I have some important news for everyone. The two monks who are doing Three Steps One Bow have encountered ghosts and been bullied by them. They’ve written a letter to Gold Mountain Monastery, and I’m going to read it to you now. Why is it that when they are so sincere in doing Three Steps One Bow, the Dharma protectors have failed to protect them and they have encountered ghosts? Everyone can speak up and explain the principle behind this. Didn’t we talk about the wisdom eye earlier? This is to see whether you have the wisdom eye, and whether you are a clear-eyed good advisor. There is a definite reason for this. You can’t just say that in cultivation one is bound to meet up with demons. That’s not the case. There’s a specific reason. Who can tell me the reason? Who knows?

I’m asking you this question in order to see how you look at each matter, to see whether you recognize the principle, whether you understand a little bit of true principle. That’s why I want you to give your opinions.

First of all, in a recent phone call with the monks, I said to one of them, “The most important thing is to stay away from women. Have you been in that situation recently?”

He thought for a moment and said, “Yes.”

“Well, what happened? Were you turned by the situation?”

He said he’d been turned a little bit mentally, but not physically.

I said, “That’s good. Be more careful in the future.” That very night, he caught a ghost and called on the phone. I told him not to be afraid, that I would help him through whatever state he encountered. He knew enough to ask for help when he encountered that state.

But the two of them have to behave. They didn’t have any samadhi. When they encountered that kind of state, they forgot about Three Steps One Bow, and when that happened, the Dharma-protecting gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division all took a rest, thinking it was pretty meaningless to protect a person who indulged in idle thinking. Once the Dharma-protecting spirits took a rest, the kumbhanda ghost came. It couldn’t find them directly, so it found his grandmother to lead the way so it could disturb them. This was just a warning that they should be more careful. On the phone I told them to be extra careful no matter what.

Today we are investigating this matter: Every cultivator should avoid indulging in idle thinking. Don’t let your samadhi power get dispersed. Once your samadhi scatters, you incorporate with the ghosts. You form a company with them. If you have samadhi, you open a company with Bodhisattvas. It’s an unlimited corporation, not a limited one. It’s not a fixed company. It depends on how you act. These are very important issues, so I wanted to discuss them before the sutra lecture today.


Timely Teachings, page 100 - 101