As a holistic personal trainer, I'm always talking about the positive side of fitness, nutrition, habits, and more. I prefer this viewpoint because I believe and have experienced both with myself and with most of my clients, that inspiration (excitement from within) is more effective than motivation (from outside sources) in beginning and sustaining habit changes.
That being said, it's true, also, that there will be some days where you just don't feel like doing what you need to do for your health, fitness, and wellness goals. Some days are challenging.
There is a balance to be found within acting from inspiration and acting out of motivation or discipline. This is why planning and following a plan is so important. The plan in itself is an accountability tool.
For example: I'm training for the Richmond Marathon that is now less than a month away. I created a plan (I am a certified run coach) back in April. I've been running consistently 4 days a week since then. I had progression and recovery built into it, also, so my boyfriend, who is also running it as his first marathon, and I both would not get injured.
There were many mornings, especially in the beginning, where I did not feel like getting up early to go running. With our schedules, we would have to get up at 4:00 am to run at 5:00 am. But we did it anyway. And as I got up earlier, I finally got to the point where I was consistently getting to bed earlier, too. That made everything easier.
Still yet, with a conservative training plan over the course of the past 6 months, we had a very tough 20 mile run the other Sunday. The weather was not great for running - 74 degrees (in the morning) and 95% humidity. (You never want a run to go poorly or feel awful, but especially when it's a LONG one, haha). So we laced up our shoes and went out to get it in. It was the most difficult run we have had all season. And it was not our first time running 20 miles, either. This was our second go at it. But miles 16
*******SupremeMasterTV**** – Legends of a Taoist: The Beginning. Episode: 1732, Air Date: 12 June 2011.
Summoning wind and rain, travelling through Heaven and hell, casting magic spells – these things seem only exist in novels and tales. But in reality, even in our modern time, real Taoists do have the ability to perform these magical arts to help others.
Today, we are honored to present part 1 of the 2-part series featuring a legendary Taoist of our time, Taoist Hu, from the Kunlun School of Taoism in Formosa (Taiwan), who is also our Association member practicing the Quan Yin Method. Taoist Hu was born into an extraordinary family. His father and grandfather were both famous Taoists. They were experts in feng shui (geomancy), and in drawing mystic symbols and reciting mantras in order to dispel negative spirits.
My father and grandfather were good at everything. My grandpa was a famous doctor in Xi Luo, and my father was a doctor who specialized in injuries. He was also a Chinese teacher.
Hu was given the Taoist training since he was very young. His heavenly eye was opened at that time, thus enabling him to see the invisible worlds and communicate with invisible beings. In 1940, when Patriarch Liu Pei-zhong of the Kunlun School in Taoism came to Formosa from mainland China, Hu was among the first group of several dozen disciples.
He was only 19 years old then. Master Liu was an expert in astrology, geomancy, martial arts, Taoist sorcery, medicine, and a special method of foretelling. He was compassionate and helped all people regardless of their social status. He also trained his disciples very strictly.
When Taoist Hu was still 19 years old, Master Liu once foretold his disciples about the coming of an extraordinary female Master. He said that they may learn from that female Master if they have affinity with her, and recited a riddle-like poem:
He said: “The lotus grows out of the water. Its radiance showers upon all realms. The one passes by our door all the time, yet no one recognizes the true Being, the true God.” “The lotus grows out of the water” means there will be a highly achieved Buddhist practitioner coming out to deliver the sentient beings. “The one passes by our door all the time” means that the Master is right in front of you, but you won’t know how powerful she is.
Taoist Hu followed and studied with master Liu for about a year. He was then sent out to establish a new temple and help those in need with the Taoist skills he had learned. His modest Min Hu Temple was built on a mountain, overlooking the Min Hu Lake that flows with crystal clear water. At that time, the Taoist as well as the other villagers used to catch fish in the lake to earn a living. However, one afternoon when he was resting at home, the Manjusri Bodhisattva suddenly appeared and told him to give up fishing.
I didn’t know how to cast a fishing net but I used to fish. My neighbors all knew that I could catch fish even when other people couldn’t, because I had the help of the water ghosts. One day, before I fell asleep, Manjusri Bodhisattva and Samantabhadra Bodhisattva said to me, “The time has come for you to practice Buddhism.
You should practice both Taoism and Buddhism.” Manjusri Bodhisattva and Samantabhadra Bodhisattva told me, “Don’t fish anymore!” I could earn three to four thousand NT dollars a day, while doing other work would only earn me a few hundred a day. That’s why I fished. They told me, “If you don’t listen, you will become blind.”
However, the Taoist didn’t believe it because his eyes were in perfect condition.
I said, “How can such a thing happen? My eyes will lose their sight? You are lying.” I didn’t listen to them. One night, when I came back home after fishing and was about to go to bed, I saw something dark. You won’t believe it. Normally, whenever bad things comes to me, I know it and have ways to deal with them. I felt as if someone had thrown a handful of sand into my eyes. The next morning people asked me, “Hey, aren’t you going to fish in the river?” I said, “I can’t see very well.” I went to see Dr. Lin in the city of Wushe.
Dr. Lin said, “Your eyes are fine. Why do you ask for medicine?” I said, “But I can hardly see anything!” So I told my wife, “Maybe I should go to Puli to see Dr. Tsai, the ophthalmologist.” I told the doctor that I couldn’t see very well. The doctor cleansed my eyes with some medicine. I asked for medicine that would last for three days. He said, “There is nothing wrong with your eyes. Why do you need medicine?” I knew at heart that the blindness was caused by my bad karma. He said, “Your eyes are fine.” So I went back home.
When Taoist Hu returned home, he prayed to the deities worshipped in the Taoist temple to restore the vision to his eyes and he would consider giving up fishing.
That night I said to my wife, “I am not good at writing. Please write down what I say for me on a piece of talisman paper and burn it in the incense burner. Please write: “If the time has come for me to stop fishing, please appear to me tonight.” It was written down and burned and it came true. I was told, “Your time has come. You should practice Buddhism.”
Taoist Hu then burned his fishing equipment and ended his fishing career.
So I came out clean. I stopped hunting as well.
Taoist Hu had a strong sense of justice since he was young and helped out anyone being treated unfairly. Once, a friend of his friend asked the Taoist to inspect the grave of his father. The reason was that soon after the cremated ashes of this friend’s father had been buried, something disturbing started to happen in his family. He had consulted a very famous geomancer; however, even after re-burial, the mishaps in the family still continued. Arriving at the burial place, the Taoist took a look and said, “There is a nest of ants in the cinerary urn.”
Sure enough, upon opening the urn, it was full of ants. Taoist Hu then explained that when the deceased father was alive, during his marriage he had an affair with a woman. She had two children. The father and mother’s actions toward the woman caused her to feel bitterly wronged…
“The woman eventually took her life by jumping into the sea along with her two children. The animosity of their ghosts had not dissolved. Where did the present wealth of your family come from? Didn't your husband get it from that woman? At first, she was assured that she could enter the family; so the money was taken. But later she was abandoned. You were also aware of this incident. Losing both her money and her lover, in anger she jumped into the sea. Therefore, her ghost always troubles you. This is why your two brothers are mentally ill.”
When Taoist Hu revealed this explanation, the friend’s mother denied it at first, but finally admitted it.
“Now I know that I was wrong. What should I do now?”
“You must do good deeds and compassionately adopt a vegetarian diet. Only then can you correct your mistake and dissolve the resentment.”
The mother listened to Taoist Hu, and her sons recovered soon after. In this manner, Taoist Hu helped many people to solve all kinds of problems.
After master Liu passed away, Taoist Hu tried to find other enlightened masters to advance in spiritual practice. He had visited over 20 teachers, and each time he returned, disappointed. Finally, he decided not to waste any more money and energy searching. He retreated into the mountains.
After 15 years of practice, one afternoon when Taoist Hu was meditating in his temple facing east, he suddenly saw a sun appear in the east. “How strange,” he thought, “the sun should be in the west at this hour. Why is there another sun in the east?” Even more astoundingly, myriad rays of brilliant light emanated out of this large sun, and from each ray of light, there appeared a Buddha, or enlightened being. The appearance of these Buddhas in the center of the sun kept changing and transforming into other Buddhas.
He kept watching the transforming Buddhas in the center of the sun, and then two words appeared – “Ching Hai.” The sun continued to emanate brilliant golden light, and the images of the Buddhas in the center continued to change. Finally, an image of an enlightened being sitting appeared, although he had never met her or heard of her. He sincerely asked this transcendental image to let him know where she had come from and which Buddha she was. She told him that she would come to visit him in three days. He was very puzzled, since he was always in retreat in the mountains and seldom ventured into the outside world.
He could not imagine how this Master, who had never seen him before, would be able to find him. But as it turned out, on the third day, Supreme Master Ching Hai and a few disciples came to the village and visited Taoist Hu! As she arrived at the remote small temple, Taoist Hu welcomed Supreme Master Ching Hai by beating the big drum and ringing the big temple bell in a gesture of highest respect. The meeting marked the beginning of a strong renewed affinity and many remarkable supernatural events for Taoist Hu.
Master asked me, “What do you practice?” I told her, “I have practiced a lot of different methods, but I don’t have a master right now. I am only studying the Kunlun Taoism.” Later, Master told me, “Be diligent in your practice.” She added, “The Hsihu Center has opened. Come to visit some time.”
When Taoist Hu visited the Hsihu Center, he also received initiation into the Quan Yin Method. At the initiation session, when he was sitting with others waiting for Supreme Master Ching Hai to arrive, he closed his eyes and meditated. Suddenly he had a vision of a scene that made him shed agonized tears. In the vision, he saw the debtors of the new initiates appear to collect what was owed to them according to the law of karma. He also saw Supreme Master Ching Hai’s transcendental form giving people initiation – and paying off their bad bitter karma for them.
I said to her, “Master, these people have heavy karma.” Do you know what Master said to me? “We should be compassionate. Even though they have heavy karma, I should still deliver them.” I said to Master, “In Formosa (Taiwan), there is no other spiritual practitioner as compassionate as you.” Master said frankly, “It’s worthwhile. This is what I should do.”
During a 1991 lecture at Harvard University in the United States, Supreme Master Ching Hai explained the suffering and sacrifice of true Masters for humankind.
Because whenever a living Master is on Earth, the Master takes on some of the karma of the people, especially those who believe in the Master and especially those who are disciples of the Master. And that karma has to be worked out. Therefore, the Master suffers for the disciples and for mankind at large.
Kind-hearted viewers, we enjoyed your presence today. Coming up next is Our Noble Lineage, after Noteworthy News, here on Supreme Master Television. May your days be filled with Divine love and light.