How to Become A Millionaire
Spoken by Supreme Master Ching Hai New Zealand, April 27, 2000 (Originally in English)
When you practice spiritually, you have everything, for example, you have more friends now than you ever dreamed of, you have maybe more kids and work harder than before, and have more money, some of you, and better jobs. Or even if you have the same amount of money, you know how to manage it better, and so you have more than before. You travel more than you ever did before with the same money, because you know how to do things better, and therefore you're just happier. You have more than before, even though maybe your income is the same.
Quan Yin Practitioners are Gates to Heaven
I read an article in a magazine, "How to Become a Millionaire." Do you want to hear about it? (Yes!) It is very logical. We give a lot of money away, not a lot, but for us, it is a lot. Actually, it is also a lot. Millions of dollars is not a little bit of money in this world. Even though we can't compare ourselves to Bill Gates (founder and chairman of Microsoft Corp., one of the richest men in the world, who gives away a lot of money). We are different "gates", but we are also gates. (Laughter) "Quan Yin Fa Mun" means "the gate to heaven, the gate to the world of God." We also contribute a lot of money, for our capacity. Other people also think it's a lot! It's not a lot compared to many other people or the World Bank, but it's a lot for what we earn, for the ordinary actions of people. Most people don't give like that.
So I do give, and a lot of people think that I'm very rich. I am, also, but I'm not as rich as they think I am, which is good. But if they came to us, suppose if they were me and had that kind of money, they wouldn't look that rich; they wouldn't be able to give that much, not because they don't want to. It's just that they don't know how to manage so that it will just stretch out like that.
Spiritual Practice Brings Abundance
So when I read the article, I thought it was cool. I had done it all already -- "How to Become a Millionaire". I knew it all already. But when I read the article, it looked like I had written it myself. Because it's just natural -- some people have it naturally. But it is also because we are enlightened. We practice the enlightened way and the way of love, and we have very few wants in this world.
Just like the way you are now -- before, you had a lot, but you still thought that you didn't have enough, but now, however much you have, you can manage. You still can come to New Zealand, Thailand, or whatever retreat, provided that you have a holiday. You can always manage, and that's a wonder. And you feel that it's always enough. And you always feel loved. I'm only one person, but all of you feel that I love you alone, that I have enough love for everyone. It is because we practice the way of love.
We just know how to have enough, just like knowing how to save money to become richer. It's not necessarily because you earn more money, but you save more and you want less of the unnecessary things, and then you save more money! So when you save one dollar, it's just like you earn one more dollar. And it's even better than earning one more dollar, because when you save one dollar, you don't need to go to work for that. You just cut out some unnecessary things. Before, you went out to buy everything, but now you have to think carefully. Before, you went out and bought everything, but now you go straight to the tofu. You save money, time, and thinking.
Before, you cooked all kinds of things, but now just tofu and chop choy, and tomorrow, chop choy and tofu. It's a simple life. Before, you went everywhere, and maybe you needed to book a hotel for yourself and your husband, and spent a lot of money. And now, you just pack a tent and camp out there in the fresh air; it's natural. Oxygen -- there's a lot around you, because you camp under the trees and on the grass. You feel good, light, and economical, also.
We live together, and we're happy. We don't need to stay in a big hotel to be happy. In fact, we're happier than when we stay in a big hotel because we have common ideas and interests, we love each other, and we just feel so good. And the air, the food, and healthy atmosphere make us feel so good.
You don't have to earn more money; you just have to know how to live your life, because you have only one life, this life. Whether I speak the truth or not, whether you have heaven or not, or you have reincarnation or not, this life is all you know. If you don't manage well, you cannot live freely and you cannot feel happy about it. You have to do what you really want, and what is good for you.
Of course, you will tell me that then you can do anything you want, but it's not true. What's good for you is what you should do. A vegetarian diet is healthy, and meditation calms your nerves, makes you brighter, more clever and more loving. That's good for you. It's not that you just do anything you want. Of course, we can do anything we want. But what's good for us -- that's what the clever people do. Saving money is better than earning money. Anything you save is like you earn it, except that you don't have to go out and work for it, or even pay taxes on it. Anything you earn is yours. And you can do anything you want. You can give yourself something you like, or give to needy people. That's what we do all the time. I do it also. What I tell you, I do.
Follow Master's Perfect Example
I don't always do it so that it's written about in the News magazine. Most of the things I do are not written about in the magazine. It may be written about because certain people happen to be there and know about it, and write reports about it, or it is official, like a concert, and everyone has to know. That's how it is. Otherwise, I do it every day, all the time, every chance I get.
One time, one of the attendants laughed and said, "Master, how come McDonald's meals are so expensive? It's the most expensive restaurant that I have ever seen!" You know why? Because when we went there, we saw some homeless people looking for garbage, and I gave them about $500. So, that's why he said, "Oh, my God, just eating some french fries and two colas cost $500. [Laughter] We always share, whenever we can. Most of the time, we see homeless people hanging around there or looking for garbage, and I cannot bear it, so I give them something. I give them what I have on hand. So he makes jokes: "I didn't know McDonald's was the most expensive restaurant in town. He says, "We eat only two orders of french fries, and drink two medium colas, and we even have to serve ourselves and even stand in line, and it's so expensive." Because in a first class restaurant, you sit there, you have napkins and everything, and the waiter comes and serves you like a king. Then you pay maybe two, three or five hundred dollars, it depends. But for only two people, two or three hundred is already expensive. But he says he can't imagine that McDonald's is more expensive. He just makes jokes.
So these things we do because we love other people, because they are us, anyway. So there is nothing to talk about. But sometimes, of course, we write about it in the News magazine, because other disciples also need to learn from the example. Also, most of the things that I do are open, so people can know about them. It's just so that we know about the things we do, just like you tell me about what you do, and the News reports to you what I do. So, we keep in touch, like we know each other's ways of life. It's like knowing each other. It's not because we want to boast for everyone else to know.
If we wanted to boast so that everyone would know about it, we would put it in "Reuters," or another big news company, and not just write about it in our small magazine. But this is a way of life that we live all the time. It should be the way of life. Everyone should do it. I'm very proud of you that you do it all the time. I know you do it individually, and still you have enough money to spare to come here, to go to retreats, to come to see me whenever possible. You see, has your life become richer or not? (Yes!) [Applause]
I give all the time, and I still have a lot. I mean, for me it's a lot. What do I need? When I come to see you, of course, I wear this; this is my own design, so, it's just for fun. When I'm not with you, I just throw it off quickly, because it's heavy and I don't really like it. And I eat maybe once or twice a day, whatever is leftover or whatever is new. If it's new, I eat it. If it's leftover, I eat it. What do I need? That's why I still have a lot of money, because I don't spend, not because I earn more. Just like you, you earn just like before, and you might even have more kids now than before, but you still have more money. You still feel life is richer for you than before, and you feel more satisfied that you have more than enough, right? That's the trick.
Manage Wisely to Become a Millionaire
A lot of people are millionaires, and no one knows about it. Everyone thinks becoming a millionaire is difficult, but it's not. And especially people who are already millionaires, they keep themselves that way because they are very natural; they are frugal. They don't even drive expensive new cars. They just buy secondhand cars so they don't have to pay luxury taxes, for example. They just drive normal cars. Most millionaires don't drive expensive cars. They drive reasonable, safe cars, a Ford or Jeep even. So they drive anything that's safe. They don't really live the way we think millionaires should. Otherwise, your money goes fast even if you are a millionaire. So they save a lot! They look for ways to save, like they drive the kinds of cars that use less petrol, and they stay in neighborhoods and houses they can afford, so they don't drain their savings. In a lot of ways, they just save here and there, and then their money is always stable.
And some people who don't earn a lot but spend a lot and drive fast cars and all that really have a lot, but also a lot of credit, a lot of mortgages and debts. And the millionaire people drive normal cars, because they know how to organize their lives so that they don't go into debt. A lot of millionaires live next door to you, and you don't know it, because they don't flash their money around. They know what they are doing. They know the value of money. They don't overspend. They are just naturally that way. That's why they become rich. They are naturally rich; they naturally know how to handle money.
And sometimes they also win the lotto, of course. [Laughter] But they also invest money; for example, if they earn $40,000 per year, they put fifteen or twenty percent aside to invest in whatever bank. So perhaps in ten or twenty years' time, they will have hundreds of thousands of dollars out of just five or ten thousand dollars they invested each month, they put in the bank. They know how to organize their money. They don't spend all their earnings. They leave some for investment.
And then in no time, you become rich. For example, if you put away $10,000 today, ten years later, it becomes $50,000 after investing in some bank, but that is slow. Otherwise, the rich can start their own businesses. That's how they become rich more quickly. It's more risky, but that's life. Either you take risks or you just live an ordinary, very slow, day-to-day life, and earn not much money. But still, if you can manage well, you will be okay, because life is simpler now. Tofu is cheaper than beefsteak, just a little different, a piece of tofu instead of that piece of meat. We're healthy; we're okay. Look at me!
Looking Good on Both the Inside and Outside
All of you look good, too. I'm proud of you. You are proud of yourselves, and come out and say, "I'm vegetarian. Look at me." That's good. You are very beautiful. You just haven't put on makeup now, so you look less beautiful, but already you are too beautiful. If you put on makeup, everyone will die. [Laughter] All your husbands are dying already. You're getting too beautiful, and they don't want to leave you. That's why some of them are so afraid. You got initiation, and they got so afraid you might become a nun or something; they love you too much. You look so beautiful, more and more every day.
Some husband had already left his wife, and after she got initiation, he came back and said, "Wow, how come you're so beautiful?" and moved back in. It's the same with some wives, who had left their husbands already and didn't want them. But after initiation, they came back and said, "Oh, my God, he's changed! He's a new man," and they moved back in again, no problem. They left young boyfriends or new boyfriends, or whatever, and went back to their husbands because they are more spiritually beautiful now.
Once you are beautiful inside, people see you are beautiful outside as well. That is normally the case. So, try to fight off all these Romeos, but continue with your practice. Your life is getting better and better; I need not tell you. I'm just saying this so in case someone doesn't know it yet, they can verify it with you. Your life is an example of love and spiritual blessings. There is no need to even preach to anyone. They can just look at your life, the way you walk in your life, the way you present yourself to the world. That's better than thousands of books talking about spiritual issues. You are the book. You are the best example, the best doctrine, the best religious theory ever presented to anyone.
There was a story in Mexico about a Master, a long time ago. He was very famous -- Quetzalcoatl. He told this story to his disciples: There were two men in the same group, and one was very diligent; it looked like he was very religious. He went to church every Sunday and he was the first one in line at any holy activity, and the last one to leave. He never missed any opportunity to go to church, but he never did anything else. And another guy never went to church, but he went to work every day. He did whatever was his duty. And whatever he earned, he used to take care of his family, and also gave away to poor people. He even gave to the church, too, to repair the church.
So, Quetzalcoatl said that the man who never went to church was holy and was already a "church" himself. But the guy who went to church every day just went there. Everyone respected the guy who went to church very much, thinking he was very holy, and spoke lowly about the guy who never went to church. But actually, he was going out to take care of all the "churches" in his area. Whatever he could do, he did, sometimes working extra so that he could earn a little more money to give to whomever. That's what he did every day. So the Master said the first one who went to church was all right, but the second one was the church himself. So, we can be "churchgoers", or "churches" ourselves. It's up to us. I think all of you are churches. I have no need to build any churches.
Some people ask me why I don't have any churches or temples, and I say "I have no need; I have millions of them running around." [Applause] I say, "Nowadays is the modern time, with fast technology. Everything is mobile: mobile phones, mobile homes, mobile cars, mobile temples." You are my mobile temples. We can communicate anytime, go anywhere; we're very flexible. A brick building is only fixed in one place, but we run around; we are "run-around temples". That's very cool!
Talking, anyone can do, but living what you talk is harder. You can do all that; you can talk, and you can do, as well. That's what is great about you. I told you that I came to make you great. Whether I am great or not is of no consequence. I'm only one. A great Master, a great teacher, is not one who makes himself great, but one who makes everyone else great. If your students are good, it means you are good. Otherwise, it is no good. So, whether I am great or not doesn't matter. As long as you are great, that's fine. And by your grace, I'm also great. Then, "thank you very much". I like that, too. But to tell you honestly, if all the world were enlightened, no one would even want me. I'd be happy just being a private citizen.
Every time, it's very difficult to leave you. I want you to know that. I want you to know it, because you think only you don't want to leave. I also don't want to leave, but I have to do my work, and so I put my personal feelings aside. That's all. Otherwise, I could stay with you forever. Believe me, you are the best people. Where else should I go? You like to stay with good friends. Everyone does -- me too. But it's fine. We stay here [Master points to Her heart] together. Thank you. I love you.