Date: Saturday, November 24, 2018
Album: Saturday Chan Class
Title: The Most Effective Way to Disconnect From External Stimuli
You want to get up and walk a little bit to restore blood circulation. It is getting cold so please pay attention to make sure that your legs are warm when you meditate. Be careful and make sure your legs are warm to avoid arthritis in the future.
CHILDREN’S MEDITATION CLASS
We also have some children's meditation classes on Saturday morning as well. It is a very good thing for them to do. Not only do they learn some meditation skills, but they also learn to connect, to relate with the other children. They are acquiring social skills as well and that is a very important thing. Especially, in the Asian culture, they do not emphasize enough of that.
Caucasians, the western culture is much more advanced than the Asian culture as far as interpersonal relationships. They develop it at a very, very early age. A large part of their success in the future has a lot more to do with how you are able to relate to others than technical skills.
So, it is very good for children. We make an effort to spend time to with your children to babysit them for you, as well as to teach them the right habits. Actually, it is very good.
I am very pleased that you bring your children to the temple, to places like this. Because, this environment has a positive energy. The people in this temple, I am proud to say that, most of us, are here with good intentions, non-seeking.
A MATTER OF SURVIVAL
I am very proud of the fact that my monks and nuns are not after anything from you. Not after your money. Not after your adoration. They are barely surviving with our training program. The last thing they are worried about is your attention.
Our training program is very, very tough. It does not look like that on the surface. For them, it is a matter of survival. Many of them did not make it. They were rejected very, very early already. Our rejection rate is pretty high at an early, early stage.
Once they survive, after a few years, they know it is a matter of survival. Their survival depends on not being distracted by you. That is part of the training. We take care of all their needs so that they only concentrate on surviving the training program. It is very tough. Our program is one of the toughest, I assure you, that I know of.
A MINDSET OF HELPING OTHERS
So, for you to bring your children to an environment like this is very good exposure for them. They come in contact with people who are really decent. Because, the mindset I train my student is that, the community service. They are creating blessings in order for themselves by helping others. So that is why, the spirit and the energy is very, very positive. It is nothing negative. They are not scheming. I assure you. If they scheme, they will not survive. It is not possible for them to survive if they are scheming against you. I ask all of you trainees look at the people who were rejected very early. Because they do not fit in to our profile. We create the group of people who are intent on helping others, not themselves.
Your children. The children are exposed to such good energy that it really has a profound influence on them for the rest of their lives.
GROWING UP IN AN UNHEALTHY ENVIRONMENT
You see, I grew up and my environment has never been that positive. The family is screwed up if you will. Very bad up here. I became very angry and very mean. Because my own family members are very mean. We beat up on each other. Gang up on each other. So if you make a mistake, they would gang up and beat up on you. They rotate. Whoever makes a mistake … So naturally, I became very, very mean and selfish.
EXPOSING CHILDREN TO GOOD ENERGY
And now, you know, the children. I see how the children being exposed to this good energy at the temple affects them in a very, very good way; I noticed that. I noticed in some of my children who have been here for years, how they have evolved. They are much, much better children.
I encourage you to let them go and mix with the others. Let them swim. Do not be protective. Let them interact with the others. They need rebalance themselves from your confused energy.
A VERY SHORT VIDEO
I was introduced to this very short video of one of my students. It is very short. Only 1 minute and 29 seconds. It was kind of interesting so I thought I would share it with you.
Ah, L.Z. is back from uh, from her travels again. If you can notice right away.
This video was taken in a hallway here and you see it is very, very clean.
Master YongHua > Can you guess where, which country this is? Can you guess?
Disciple > Japan?
Master YongHua > Japan! Excellent. Uh huh. Good guess.
Japan is a very, very clean country. Look at how clean and how tidy everything is. Orderly.
Master YongHua > What's another country besides Japan that's like this? Yes
Disciple > Korea
Master YongHua > Korea? Oh, good guess.
Very similar cultures by the way. The Japanese probably is a little more eccentric than the Koreans. So, let's continue this.
Did you notice, there's a dog, dog hole here. This is each room, here. We call it a dog hole in the country. I do not know what they call in, in Korea. South Korean prison, in case you cannot hear it.
Ah, sorry. This is free video so we have to bear with the commercials. These students are isolated for 24 hours. They imprison themselves. This is voluntary self-imprisonment. This lady here is 28 years old. She says, "Amazingly, I feel so much freer in this prison." They all are even wearing prison clothing.
South Koreans, just in case, in case you did not hear, they work over 2000 hours a day, a year.
Master YongHua > Is that a day or a year?
Master YongHua > Well, you get the idea.
And, it ranks #3 in longest hours, professional hours in the whole world. They work twice as long as here, as us, in the US. Look at these people. All young people. So this lady founded this. Probably some kind of Buddhist or Hindu, I do not know, but you can tell by the, the palms together. Namaste. Something like that. I am not horribly worried about Buddhist or non-Buddhist as long as it is good for people.
Look at these people. I do not know why they keep on bowing. That is really strange. These people are not normal. You can tell. Modern day people bowing? That is very, very anti-individualistic. You know, bowing reduces the ego. The practice of bowing reduces the ego, minimizes the ego.
EGOTISTICAL PEOPLE HATE BOWING
That's why when I first started, I hated bowing. I refused to bow. My Master’s training program requires us to bow like two hours a day. I refused. Unless I was punished, I refused to bow. I found ways to skip bowing. Once I bow, one bow and it last two hours. You know, when the boss, when my supervisor monk was not in town.
He says, “you bow, okay?”
I say, "yes, sir."
And I bow, I said one bow and I slept for the two hours and I got up.
IMPROVING YOUR HEALTH AND INCREASING YOUR STAMINA
So bowing is really, very good for reducing the ego. That is why the people who are very egotistical hate bowing. And I don't know why these, how they got these young people to bow. That is very, very weird. Maybe the Koreans, South Koreans are, are like that; they are not very egocentric.
Master YongHua > #NoD, you can help us?
Disciple > Just generally, you do not have to be a Buddhist. I have seen people bowing just for exercise reasons; to make them healthy.
It is true. Bowing is one of the better exercises that you can have. It improves your health and your stamina.
The Korean culture has these built in things that are very good for them.
So, now they bow. They are bowing here. They also work, by the way, 100 hours per week. That is murder. That is too much. Basically, you work; you have nothing else. Cause it takes time for you to prepare to work and then after work, it takes time for you to wind down. So basically, you have nothing left.
So they work like this. They even have dog tags, notice that. It is so demeaning to me, mean wearing something like that. OMG. The South Korean are, you know, is too much for me.
So this lady here says, they return to life, to the daily life, but they changed. And so the South Korean government even officially reduced the work hours to 52 hours a week. Which is still a lot. But, it’s not quite enforced. So these, these young people, that is what they do. They, they work all their lives.
THE DISTURBANCES OF CELLPHONES
So, they walk into this program, here, maybe, 15 of them. What did they do, first thing?
Master YongHua > First thing they do is what?
They gave up their Samsung. I think they get to keep their iPhone. The iPhone people have much better, more self-control. So they gave up their cellphones, because?
What does it mean?
What does it tell you?
First thing they did is that they put in that cell in the room here. Arrange themselves. They submit their cellphone.
What does it mean? What does it tell you?
Master YongHua > Yes, sir?
Disciple > They do not want to be bothered.
That's right. That's right.
And the cellphone to the South Koreans are a constant source of disturbances.
I was meditating and look, look I have, uh, text messages.
[ding, ding, ding] How can I concentrate? Look at this. Okay. Maybe I should give up my iPhone as well.
ONE WAY TO REDUCE EXPOSURE
It is nuts. This is our lifestyle. We allow ourselves to be bombarded by disruptions, constantly. To these people, this is a real indicator right there. That the first thing, that in order for you to learn, to deal with stress in your life.
Is to reduce exposure. Reduce exposure to external stimuli. In particular, the cellphone is a big culprit. It is a source. A big source of the stress. The stress in our lives.
Several years ago when I first started teaching, I refused to have a cellphone because it cost $40 bucks per month. That is too much for me. In addition to buying a cellphone, $40 bucks a month, that is too much overhead. Now I use my cellphone more than even my computers. When I do not have a cellphone, I panic. This is the stress in my life.
Cause now people call me from all over. From, this man here, last week, is from China. Some airport somewhere in China on the way to Thailand and so forth. It was like 9:00 plus, past 9:00 at night. So now, there is no more rest time if you will.
In modern society, the stress level is only increasing, more and more. The stress level increases. It does not decrease at all for us.
Yes or No?
It happens to me.
Every year I found my stress level becoming higher and higher to the point my student said, Master, you have changed. You are so short-tempered and so forth.
THE CONVENIENCES OF A CELLPHONE
Disciple > Master, I just read some background information about that video.
Master YongHua > Uh huh. In Korean?
Disciple > Yeah.
Master YongHua > Oh okay. You have some background information in Korean.
Disciple > The conveniences of a cellphone.
Master YongHua > What? The conveniences of a cellphone. The necessity of having a cellphone right here. Is it Samsung or iPhone?
Disciple > iPhone.
Master YongHua > iPhone. Yeah, of course.
TRANSLATION TO ENGLISH: REFERENCING A KOREAN WEBSITE
Disciple > This person was actually an attorney. He worked for the Inspector of General Office.
Master YongHua > The lady, right? Is an attorney?
Disciple > Yes. Actually, they're showing husband and wife.
Disciple > So this person worked for like 100 hours per week and that repeated for several months. He felt tremendous stress. So, this person was staying alone at night. One day while he was alone at night.
Master YongHua > Which person are we talking about?
Disciple > The person who established the …
Master YongHua > Oh, the husband of the lawyer?
Disciple > The lawyer person.
Master YongHua > The lawyer person.
Disciple > Couldn't identify if it was husband or wife … But this person was under tremendous stress and one night he was staying alone and working. He then had some type of stomach pain from bleeding ulcer. So he was thinking, “Am I dying with this condition. If I die, what will happen to my life?”
The next morning when he wakes up, he has to do, repeat the same thing again. So he wished he was in a prison, a, a solitary room for a week. So that's how he started this place in the end.
WORKING 100 HOUR WEEKS DESTROYS THE BODY
Master YongHua > Anyone ever worked for 100 hours a week?
Master YongHua > Anyone ever … raise your hand, please.
Master YongHua > Ever worked 100 hours a week?
Master YongHua > How long?
Disciple > A year?
Master YongHua > That would kill you.
Master YongHua > In our audience, there's a person who worked for 100 hours a week for a year. You know, he is very tough. Normally, it would kill you. The stress destroys your body.
I remember I used to work 100 hours a week for years.
NOT A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
The boy is saying hello to me.
It’s unsustainable. Your bodily functions are really handicapped. The stress is way too much. Physically, you are not able to do a lot of things. Not only physically, but the mind at 100 hours per week. Your mind is always thinking work. That is not healthy lifestyle.
You have no time for anyone.
So, the society we live in is ... getting to the point where it's a matter of survival.
The pressure is way too much for us.
The pressure to perform.
So, you know the one thing that is inescapable is ... we get stressed out because it's a matter of survival.
So, unless, unless, unless we learn how to deal with stress, we won't make it.
And I feel, I really feel, and maybe Mary-Jo can, can give us her professional opinion as well.
I really feel that meditation is one of the most effective ways to deal with stress.
Disciple MJ > The most effective way.
Master YongHua > The most effective way.
Master YongHua > Why is that?
Disciple MJ > It is the only method that allows you to completely disconnect from what is going on in your mind.
Master YongHua > That is right.
Master YongHua > She says that is the only method that allows you to completely disconnect what is going on in your mind.
Master YongHua > That's at the lower level.
Master YongHua > At all levels.
HAVING AN ADVERSE NEGATIVE REACTION TO OUR INABILITY TO PROCESS INFORMATION
You see how vocal the boy is. He is stressed out by the external environment, already. At his age, he is growing. Oh my god, there are so many people here. What happens is the nature of the stress is that the mind is overwhelmed. They cannot handle the overload of external stimuli.
First thing: That is why he is overwhelmed by the stimuli that is being brought in to be processed. We cannot process it. We are overwhelmed.
Moreover, not only are we unable to process all the external stimuli, we are also, feel incapable of … we have adverse negative reaction to our inability to process them. It is your negative reaction to your inability to process. That is what creates the stress.
You get so afflicted by that. You are negatively affected by that. It is called an affliction.
It is self-inflicted. Not from the outside.
It is self-inflicted. Remember that.
It is not your boss. Your boss has a large part, but 100% of your stress is you decide to take it personally.
You could say that it comes from your boss, come from your wife, I mean your husband, but actually, it is you who decide to be deeply afflicted by that.
Yes, the pressure of life is there. The explosion of stimuli will continue to increase, but that is just life. It is your nature. In Buddhism, it is the nature of your retribution. This is where we live. This is our times.
What people do not realize is that they accept the fact that it is ok to have a negative reaction to the pressure, external pressure. It is a personal choice. To dwell on the negative reaction on being afflicted. Did you realize that? What people do not realize is that they choose to be afflicted.
Why is that? Because you see, on two different people: The people who are stressed out are the ones under the same amount of pressure from the boss. One person cracks up because he or she is more afflicted than the other person is. That is all.
Same thing as my training program, by the way. As soon as they come in that program, they see I am very nice and gentle when you are outside. When you come in, you realize Master's true face surfaces, is revealed. My mean nature is revealed immediately. Some of them are so scared they run away. They could not weasel their way out of it. They chose to be stressed out to the point they cannot handle it.
So, why are we that cruel? Because at the same time we teach them how to meditate.
I assure you. You are not willing to learn to meditate, develop meditation skills unless you have the need to.
MEDITATION ENABLES YOU TO LEARN TO GET RID YOUR MIND OF NEGATIVE REACTIONS TO EXTERNAL STIMULI
Oh no, he is kissing girls again. He likes older woman, clearly. Oh, it is Thanksgiving. Now it is Thanksgiving, I guess. Where was I? I got distracted. Sorry.
So, it turns out that this is ... I don't mind revealing to you my secret of our training program. We put so much stress on our trainees. In order for them to survive, they need to improve their meditation skills. Because that is the best way to survive.
If your meditation enables you to learn to get rid your mind of negative reactions to external stimuli. That is the first thing that happens when you meditate. You shield yourself from external stimuli. The reason why their meditation skills progress quicker than in the other programs is because they are under much greater stress from yours truly.
I create so much stress on them. Therefore, in order for them to survive, they have to improve.
Anyway, that tells you the extreme, the extreme training program we have. It is very difficult to survive in our program. For us to help you overcome your stress level is nowhere near the stress level I put on my students. That goes to prove that meditation is necessary for you to survive the stress in this society.
Okay. Do you have any questions or comments?
I feel that is why I am very proud of the fact that if you bring me your students, we train them how to meditate. That is a very good preparation for them to confront life down the road.
Uh, that is the best way to deal with stress. That is it.
All right. Any questions or comments?
For us adults, meditation allows you to disconnect from external stimuli. As you develop your meditation skills, you are much better and adept at coping with the stress from outside. Meditation not only helps you disconnect, but it goes a lot further than that.
It helps you more effectively deal with external stress. That is why I want to stress again, meditation is a very important part of our daily life. It gives you balance in your life. It is a necessity for our modern times.
I think you are more impressed by the kids bowing than my advanced topic of stress management.
So be it.
I won’t be stressed out by that. So much competition from these cute kids. It is much more entertaining to look at them, to watch them than listen to my advanced dharma talks.
All right. Do you have any questions?
If you have no questions. Thank you for coming. Happy Thanksgiving and let us go to lunch.