THE MOST VENERABLE MASTER CHIN KUNG
Way back over 14 centuries ago, Muslims were already commanded to seek knowledge, even if we have to go to China. I have been fortunate because GOD has sent many masters from China to me! Readers may remember that my first qigong master, Master Yusuf Yang Huaxiang, hails from Ningxia in northern China. Since that meeting over 15 years ago, I have met and learned from several other qigong masters who came from the mainland.
The Most Venerable Master Chin Kung is a world-renowned Buddhist monk and scholar from the Mahayana tradition. Born in China, he is now based in Taiwan, and since the 70’s, has been traveling and teaching wisdom in many countries. He now has thousands of students and followers all over the world, including Malaysia. I was also impressed by the number of youths who follow his wise teachings.
Recently, I had the privilege of being a speaker at an interfaith forum graced by his presence. I also had the opportunity to listen to two of his many dharma talks, and I was thoroughly touched by his friendliness, humility, brilliance and wisdom. The learned monk, who also holds professorial posts in many universities, has touched the lives of many people through the numerous projects he has initiated across the globe, from China, to Australia, to Indonesia, and beyond.
In Indonesia, he is much loved and respected by the Muslim ulama (scholars), and I can see why. Some people talk about love and kindness, but real masters walk the talk. They are embodiments of what they teach. Most Venerable Master Chin Kung’s consistent message is that of loving kindness, and indeed love and kindness glow in his smiling face, his words and his character. We all have much to learn from him.
THE MOST VENERABLE CHIEF DHAMMARATANA
I was also invited to attend the welcome reception given to him by the Theraveda Buddhist community, at the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields. There, my spiritual brother, the Most Venerable Dhammaratana, Chief Priest of Malaysia and Singapore ( who succeeded his late uncle and my spiritual father , the Most Venerable Dr Dhammananda ) with all humility sat beside Most Venerable Master Chin Kung as the latter delivered his dharma talk in his ( the former’s) home ground. Among masters, there is no ego, only love and respect. If only we all can imbibe and inculcate their teachings and their examples into our lives!
Most Venerable Chief Dhammaratana was personally selected by his late uncle and brought from Sri Lanka as young novice monk to Malaysia to become his understudy. Over the years he proved himself worthy of the trust, and the job ahead. He is much loved by his community, and he also loves his community immensely. The Ti Ratana charitable organization that he founded has grown into one of the most active and successful charities, giving shelter, education and other forms of assistance to orphans, poor children, the elderly and the distraught in the community. He works tirelessly to improve the spiritual and physical lives of those around him.
His community work transcends religious boundaries. Every year, in commemoration of our Independence ( Merdeka ), the Buddhist Vihara gives out money and gifts to orphans and children from poor families, including many Muslim children.
When I visited the late Chief and it was time for my Muslim prayer, he would invite me to pray in his private bedroom. My brother the present Chief has also extended that privilege to me. There are no barriers between brothers (and sisters) of different faiths, if we love and respect one another.
I have always felt at peace with the learned monks who have devoted their lives to simple living and service to the community, and I am most privileged to have been close to several of the best among them.
THE SUFI MASTERS
This weekend I will be involved in a Spiritual Transformation & Healing workshop conducted by two Sufi teachers.
Professor Alan Godlas is from the Department of Religion at the University of Georgia, USA. He is a scholar of Arabic, Islam, Sufism and comparative religion. He embraced Islam in 1974 and entered the Sufi spiritual path soon after, and is now the co-moderator of the most comprehensive websites on Sufism. He has written many papers on Islam and Sufism, and is the preferred expert by many governments and organizations when they need advice or inputs on Islam. He will be teaching us spiritual transformation in our daily lives by means of gratitude, remembrance and love.
Dr Suriyakhatun Osman is a medical colleague who has also ventured beyond the restrictive borders of medical science. She is a Reiki master, a homoeopathic practitioner and a Sufi-healing teacher, among other things. Seeing some similarities in the energy concepts of Reiki and Sufi-healing, she and several other Sufis who also practice Reiki have blended the two into Sufi-Reiki. She is an authorized teacher of the Sufi Healing Order, a branch of the Sufi Order of North America which was started by Pir Inayat Khan, a well-known and well-respected Sufi shaykh who was entrusted to bring Sufism to America.
Perhaps the most famous Sufi-healing master is Shaykh Moinuddin Chishti, author of The Book of Sufi Healing. He is a friend of my shaykhs, and, like many other Sufi masters, is based in USA.
It is apparent that the Sufis are all over USA, and Sufism is partly responsible for the rise of Islam there. For example, through my Naqshbandi Order shaykh, Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani Al-Haqqani, more than 10,000 Americans have embraced Islam after accepting the Sufi teaching of love, compassion and gratitude. It is no wonder that even presidential-hopeful Hillary Clinton acknowledges that Islam is the fastest growing religion in USA.
If Islam is the misunderstood religion, then Sufis are the misunderstood Muslims. All Sufi masters preach love, compassion and gratitude as healing for the soul, but the physical body cannot be ignored even by those who seek only spiritual fulfillment. To have a healthy body is a spiritual requirement, because much of the religious and spiritual duties require a healthy body for them to be executed to the best possible level. To serve is better than to be served. A healthy body means you can help others. A sick body means you need help.
My grandshaykh is Shaykh Muhammad Nazim Al-Haqqani, the grandmufti of Northern Cyprus, and father-in-law of Shaykh Muhammad Hisham. He was the one who decribed the qi or life-force that I was gifted with when I had my first audience with him over 15 years ago. And his description matched what my wife could see ( she is gifted with the ability to see energy and auras ), and that of the aura photograph taken of me by Reiki Master Yongi ( a Malaysian based in Australia ). All the other aura photographs taken at crystal shops were not accurate.
Here is the teaching of Shaykh Muhammad Nazim about healing:
“In the name of GOD, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate.
“Real healing is to be able to send rays of power through your hands to the body of the patients who must be ready to receive the healing. Most people are closed and it is impossible even for prophets to reach them. A closed socket cannot transport electricity. On a patient like that you must try to crack open a weak point of their shell where you can enter.
“Since the beginning of time people have been in need of healing, physically and spiritually. Authorized healers will always be on earth. Many of them are totally hidden and you would never imagine them having such powers. If someone is seriously looking for them, they will find. It is not something you will find in books…..” [ Shaykh Muhammad Nazim al-Haqqani an-Naqshbandiyya ]
The healing of the soul and the healing of the body are very much intertwined. Thus it is common to see many natural healers becoming inclined to spiritual practices. Conversely, many seekers on the spiritual path find that they are given the gift of healing for the physical body.
In both, the most important organ is the heart. On the physical plane, heart disease is the most common chronic, debilitating disease ( even though cancer is gradually taking over as the top killer because of poor success in treatment, while heart disease can be managed by modern medicine ).
On the spiritual plane, the diseases of the spiritual heart are what rob us of inner peace, which in turns translates to fear, worry, uncertainty, pride, greed, ingratitude, apathy and stressful living.
So to those of you who are not yet on the healing path, of spirituality or physical health, I would encourage you to consider starting the journey, so that you may start healing yourselves, and hopefully help heal the world too. May your lives be filled with inner peace, happiness and good health.