White-robed Goddess Sings in
The classically romantic atmosphere adds a special note to Mother's Day and Master's Birthday celebration.
The retreat ended
at noon on May 10. When the Transfer of Merit verses were sung, Master
inched Her way through the crowd blessing everyone. "It's not easy
climbing Mount Sinai," She said humorously of the strenuous walk
around the meditation hall that is set on a steep slope. That afternoon,
initiates donned their best clothes while numerous ceremonially dressed
guests arrived to partake in the Buddha's Birthday and Mother's Day celebrations.
With a red flower tucked behind Her ear, Master appeared in a crimson,
royal Korean costume with black vest and golden brocade on the front.
Greeted by thunderous applause, She was escorted into the venue by two
ladies wearing ceremonial Korean costumes. On the VIP seats on either
side of the platform, Korean monastic practitioners who had come in admiration
of Master formed a most striking group with their tidily shaved scalps
and gray monk robes. In addition, a group of the members of Korean Woman
Entrepreneurs Federation; Mr. Kwak Seong, the conductor of Pusan Philharmonic
Orchestra, the representative of Mr. Kim Geun-Soo, Mayor of Sang Ju city,
the representative of Mr. Kim Jae-Yeol, the chief magistrate of the district,
and Mr. Kim Woon-Sik, the village headman also participated in the celebration.
Plaques of appreciation, presented to (from left to right) Mayor Kim Geun-Soo of Sangju City, received on his behalf by Mr.Lee Soo-Boo, director of the New Community Development Department, Chief Magistrate Kim Jae-Yeol of the District, received by his representative, and village Headman, Kim Woon-sik.
Fellow initiates presented an excellent program which explored the "profound" meaning of life and had Master often bursting into hearty laughter. The performance opened with the powerful rhythmic "Five-Drum Dance" by the Korean hosts. A group of young initiates presented the "Spring Flowers" dance reminding the children of God of the good times they had when they were little. A sister initiate from Switzerland sang a folk song while guiding the audience in exercises with her. Singaporean initiates presented the "Quan Yin Dance" featuring the thousand-hand and thousand-eyed Quan Yin Bodhisattva and Her Golden Boy and Jade Girl. A brother initiate from South Africa sang a self-composed ode to Master. Other outstanding programs included traditional Thai musical instruments, a modern dance from Formosa, and a folk song sung by a New Zealand sister. A unique comedy about six pugilist hermits from the United States earned showers of blessed candies from Master. The program ended with "The Buddha's Dream" drama performed by English initiates and a musical drama by Korean disciples depicting a fallen princess searching for enlightenment and the way Home. The Mother's Day and Buddha's Birthday celebrations formally ended as did the successful five-day retreat after Master cut the birthday cake for everyone.
On the evening of May 12, Master received departing disciples, allowing them to sit around Her and distributing gifts to each. She remarked that it was on this day, years ago, that She was born in Au Lac. No special arrangements had been made for the occasion since it had already been celebrated on Mother's Day. Nonetheless, Master requested the kitchen to prepare hot tea and snacks for a delightful gathering with disciples in the meditation hall. On this birthday of an Enlightened Master, many fellow disciples, like children trying to please their mother, competed with each other, sharing jokes, and singing ditties and songs to the accompaniment of the guitar. Led by Master, everyone sang and had a great time at this very special, relaxed and unforgettable evening on the birthday of our beloved Master.
As during retreat time, over the next few days, Master came every day to meditate and chant the Holy Names with fellow initiates and to meet with the new arrivals. Fellow practitioners and guests from around the world congregated Sunday, May 17 to hear Master deliver Her final discourse for this event. She remarked that Scientific discovery shows us that everything impossible today is possible tomorrow. We can do anything if we know how. Similarly, to tune into the Universal Power to get whatever we want from this great reservoir of energy and possibilities, we just have to know how. So, we have to tune into the vast reservoir of energy in order to nourish ourselves. As great human beings as we are, we have to bloom in full, spiritually, with the mind power, and with the body. Missing any of that, we are not fully developed human beings.
Master asked initiates to pray for Her so that She could continue Her work saving sentient beings. She requested that we always remain alert to help Her physically when She is working for our benefit. As an example, She cited an incident that occurred at the opening ceremony when She almost tripped over Her long skirt, but no one offered a helping hand. To emphasize Her point, Master recounted a story from ancient Thailand at a time when everyone was strictly forbidden to touch the queen. One day, the queen, in the later stages of pregnancy, was sailing in a boat when she fell into the water. Being forbidden to touch her, the people were afraid to save the queen and so they stood by and watched her drown. Master stressed that laws are made to protect us, and not the other way round. Even if we have to die to save others, we should do it. And as long as we are pure at heart, we should help Master without hesitation.
Master also requested that we relay a message to our fellow initiates. She asked everyone to refrain from demanding that Master visit any particular country or town since these requests add to Her pain and pull Her in different directions. The best way is to go where Master is available in order to see Her, but not to pray that She visit our place. Since Her comings and goings are in compliance with God's will, demands from initiates place added burdens and stress on Her and make Her feel as if She is being torn apart.
|A 96 years old grandmother from Mainland China made this pair of insoles for Master's shoes, hoping that Her feet would be more comfortable as She walks around on the Earth in Her endeavor to save people.|
When Master was
bidding us farewell, we could feel and somewhat understand the pressures
that She suffers from the prayers of sentient beings. Internally, Master
was in agony, undecided as to what She should do -- go or stay. She yearns
for the free and easy lifestyle that we have, instead, She is constantly
being dragged along by the karma and demands of sentient beings. Master
was very sad when She said goodbye. As She tearfully looked back at us
from the departing car, we could not stop the tears from rolling down
~ Dear brothers and sisters,
for Master always ~