Commentary on Silent Tears
Spoken by Supreme Master
Taipei, Formosa, November 4, 1987, Audiotape # CE3A
and November 12, 1988, Audiotape # CG05 (Originally in Chinese)
Master Ching Hai has bestowed upon us a most precious treasure
in the book, Silent Tears. This beloved poetry collection
speaks to the heart of spiritual aspirants as it reveals Master’s
own experiences on Her path to the Truth. As She has said, “The
path you are walking now, I have already walked. I must walk
it. If not, how could I guide people?”* Originally
written in English, Master later orally translated the profound
verses into Chinese and then Aulacese. The combined three-language
edition of Silent Tears, with the English and Aulacese verses
written in Master’s own hand, was first published on February
*Quote was originally
In the following excerpts, Supreme
Master Ching Hai reveals Her own explanations for some of the
poems in Silent Tears. The term “Master”
in the poems refers to the inner Master, symbol of eternal Life,
and the most powerful and gracious of all Beings in the cosmos.
||O Master of heaven
Lord of infinite Love,
High above all sorrows and pleasures
You own my very heart!
Wouldn’t You accept me the way I am?
Your hard tests are difficult to pass!
You know well what it’s like
To live in this dark world without Your guide:
If You’re not there to hold my hands
I’d fail immediately!
There could be no doubt about that.
Don’t ever try!
You definitely must not ever try! (Master and everyone laugh)
was written by Master or an initiate?
I wrote it, I personally translated it [into Chinese].
Because it’s all our heartfelt feeling.
I wrote it for all of you.
Master understands us.
I was also once a student, a student of my Master. The path
you are walking on now, I have already walked. You have to reach
a certain level in your spiritual practice to understand. Otherwise,
the morning I sat alone
Yearning to meet Thee.
Thou didn’t show up.
All the afternoon I again sat alone
All the world know my urgency!
But Thou care not!
All the night I lay awake
In my darkest chamber
With a lonely candle,
Your Light never once shone through!
Master! Then go!
Go wherever You wish.
Have no more patience.
After all I’m only a frail mortal, You know it!
(P.S. till tomorrow).
is a student who had meditated for a long time, but
did not have many inner visions and did not see the
inner Master. It’s said that we should see the
inner Master and that we will have such-and-such good
experiences. He didn’t have them. He prayed a
long, long time, but he still didn’t have them.
So this poem represents his complaint.
When we practice, sometimes we have to go
through a very dry period where there is absolutely
nothing. It looks like our courage and motivation to
practice has disappeared, and it seems we are about
to fall. That period is called the dark night of the
have numerous disciples.
I have only You!
Who is the most faithful of us two?
I pity myself openly!
Does anyone hear me?
My Master wouldn’t care the least
That I gave away the world,
That I renounce all pleasures…
Food doesn’t even taste good anymore.
And at night, I could hardly sleep.
All because of HER!
You’d ask me if the Master cares about
Not at all!
The meaning is that the Master has numerous disciples and does
not care for him alone. Master said do not pity yourself, do
not complain so much, you should be patient…… etc.,
but that person was too tired, and could not bear it any more.
Even after several years of practicing, he felt he did not have
anything. He could not talk to the Master, so he talked to the
outside people. Maybe he used the microphone (Master and everyone
laugh) “Hey, people on the road, is there anyone who knows
my sorrowful situation?” Even though he’d been practicing
a long time, he could not see the inner Master. When he was
praying to the Master, Hes didn’t listen, Hes didn’t
hear, Hes didn’t see him. Some people who cannot find
the enlightened Master after a long time, also will understand
Don’t think that after you have followed Master
and practiced, you will be forever happy! Perhaps only after
initiation, you will feel happy. After a while, you will come
to that painful period, that very dry, very pitiful level. It
seems like the whole universe has run away, that Buddha and
the Saints have gone to the Western Paradise, that there is
no God. It seems like Master has no eyes and no ears. Hes cannot
hear, cannot see our yearnings! This level is very painful.
However, it is very necessary. If you practice without any sorrow
and do not have a truly longing heart, you won’t get anything.
Only when you get to that level and go beyond it, then you will
truly rise above any hindrances and will reach the carefree
state. But during this dry, dark period, it seems like nothing
can be explained. We don’t want to do anything –
we cannot eat, we cannot sleep, we cannot meditate well even
though we want to. But we cannot stop meditating. If we keep
practicing the Quan Yin Method of meditation for a long time
and get used to it, we cannot live without it.
The road to Your home
Is full of stones and thorns,
But I’ve walked halfway now,
To return would be even worse!
So we have no choice but to continue walking to reach the Master’s
level, to become a Master, to see the Master, to obtain Mastership.
What’s the meaning of “The road to Your home?”
We practice to reach the Master’s level. But before getting
there, we suffer a lot! This path is full of rocks and thorns.
We thought they might disappear after walking for a while. But
it turns out that the farther we go, the harder it gets, and
the more stones and thorns there are. However, since we have
already gone halfway, wouldn’t it be even worse if we
returned? Therefore, we suffer very much in this dilemma.
Has anyone reached this level in your spiritual practice? Whoever
has practiced to this level will put down everything. He or
she does not care anymore, not about becoming a Buddha or a
Saint. At that time, the Buddha and Saints will appear! Anyone
could see the sorrow of the bare-hearted one. Have you ever
seen a bare-hearted person? They have existed among our Quan
Yin practitioners for a long time. After four or five years
of practicing, you will experience this level. At that time,
I should congratulate you! (Master and everyone laugh) Come
quickly then to read my poetry collection Silent Tears,
and you’ll say it seems that Master is describing
the feeling that I have today. I have walked this path. It’s
full of suffering.
took refuge in You. |
And You have promised life eternal
and everlasting happiness.
This I believe. Indeed I do!
But merciful Master, hasten to make it come true.
For I’m dying in this prison of the Prince of darkness.
He’s dying down there, so why not “go up”?
There are only two ways: staying down there to die or coming
up to live.
can move heaven and earth.
You can change demons into the Angels of Love.
O Greatest of all Magicians,
Didn’t You change this monkey mind?!
Every day, the mind fights with us, does not let us meditate,
does not let us follow the Guidelines, does not let us relax.
It is said that the Master can move Heaven and Earth! Hes can
change the whole universe, the whole world, but Hes forgets
to change our minds and lets us suffer every day. This Master
seems to be difficult, but you still like Hirm. (Master and
everyone laugh) It’s because we have already gone halfway;
to go back would be even worse.
If You ever turn away
I wouldn’t know what to do with God!
O my One and Only,
Do give in abundance Your Light of Mercy.
Without which I cannot live!
This poor soul’s possession
Contains only You.
Originally we practice to attain Godhood, to attain that Supreme
Perfect Enlightenment- Anuttara samyak-sambodhi.
“If You ever turn away from me, I wouldn’t know
what to do with God!” For this person, his Master is more
important, indeed! If our Master does not love us or is angry
with us, at that time, wouldn’t you even lose interest
in spiritual practice? When you have practiced to that stage,
nothing will be of meaning to you except your Master. At that
time, you will become Master soon! Because you will be One with
the Master. The Master represents the whole of Creation, the
Truth, so if we think of Hirm all the time to that degree, it
means our level is high enough, almost One with the Creation,
almost One with the Truth. Only when we are really longing for
this inner Master, longing to reach the Truth -- to the extent
that we cannot sleep, cannot eat -- then we are able to write
I have already walked this way. I wrote it down for
you so you might also recognize it; so you might realize that
Master understands your heart. How can I not understand? The
path you are walking now, I have already walked. I must walk
it. If not, how could I guide people?
suspect that You’ve lost Your heart somewhere
While ascending the heavenly abodes!
Or else You’d recognize my feeling
As my heart is forever hanging
On my sleeves,
Dying to make itself an offering
In the case that You’ve lost the human heart,
Please take mine.
So that You may know and sympathize
All my fellow beings who are on the same boat.
Who long for Nirvana,
But all they know is samsara.
The Master seems to have lost Hiers human heart. Maybe Hes has
a saintly heart. With a saintly heart, Hes probably can only
understand the Saints. Missing a human heart, Hes probably can’t
understand my suffering human heart.
Did you get one or two drops [of the life-saving
nectar]? Didn’t you receive some at the time of initiation?
You did have some at the time of initiation! You just lost it
after a while. You had some, but you longed for more. At that
time, you seemed unable to go beyond this stage, and you were
stuck there! The Sound you heard was getting smaller, and the
Light you saw was so dim that it might disappear. It was so
dark. You suffered so much at that time. It seemed that no one
could hear you when you prayed, that Buddha and the Saints all
went to the Western Paradise. It seemed to be useless to tell
your Master as well. Hes just listened when you talked, but
Hes didn’t help you. Hes didn’t seem to be concerned
about you and let you suffer. This is how our body, speech and
thoughts get purified. This is how our desire to seek the Truth
gets strengthened and intensified. Going through this stage
is very necessary. That’s why sometimes even though the
Master knows that the students suffer a lot and cannot go beyond
this stage, Hes still lets them suffer. Hes does it out of the
If my husband leaves me
I could hardly live.
If my children desert me
I would surely cry.
If the whole world forsakes me
I would indeed feel miserable.
But if You ever neglect me, dearest Master!
Master: “Master” means
our inner power. If the inner Master power leaves us, doesn’t
love us, we’ll really die! When we die, we have no
more energy or power. Is that right? In our spiritual practice,
not everything always goes smoothly every day. Some people
can only see a dim Light after practicing for a long time;
some hear the same Sound for a long time, and the Sound
even gets smaller at times. It can be very difficult to
practice. However, if we get anything too easily, we won’t
value it. That’s why since ancient times the great
practitioners have worked very hard for spiritual attainment.