Supreme Master Ching Hai

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At first it was the name that made me suspect: “The Supreme Master Ching Hai.” What truly enlightened person would call their self a supreme master? I remembered, though, that Ramana Maharshi was called Bhagavan Sri Ramana Maharshi, which means something like the honorable, Lord, and great seer Ramana, so I couldn’t dismiss Ching Hai because of an ostentatious title.

Master Ching HaiNext, her pictures made me doubt. Ching Hai looks haughty: like someone used to having servants. A three-page spread of her hobnobbing with the Hollywood stars at an Oscar party did not help my impressions, either.

Still, what does The Supreme Master Ching Hai have to say? In her lecture “The Mystery of the World Beyond,” she speaks of hundreds of levels beyond this world where people gain abilities such as the power of eloquence. She also talks about why we should be vegetarians. Her philosophy has a patchwork feel about it, as this quote should demonstrate:

Of course, you go to the higher, the fourth. And the fourth world, this is already out of extraordinary [sic]. And we cannot just use the simple language to describe all these things to the lay person for fear of offending the lord of that world . . .. But with a master, with an experienced master, you can pass through; otherwise we cannot find the road in that kind of world.

Ching Hai’s mastership is based on a “divine transmission” received while in the Himalayas. It is a vague story reminiscent of spiritual tall tales of the 1930s and 1940s where the authors encountered secret societies in the Himalayas, were initiated, and returned to spread their newfound knowledge. These days, such stories often revolve around enlightened extra-terrestrials revealing the secrets of the universe to unsuspecting humans who later go on to write books. Ching Hai must be a traditionalist. Whatever the case, there is nothing more bullet-proof to argument than a source which cannot be cross-examined.

As I soon discovered in her booklet The Key of Immediate Enlightenment, Ching Hai offers to initiate people into the Quan Lin method of Inner Light and Inner Sound meditation.

To her credit, Ching Hai is evidently providing her services free of charge and donates to many charitable causes. I would not waste time looking deeper into her philosophy, though. If you must, here’s a link to the website:

6 thoughts on “Supreme Master Ching Hai”

  1. Hey can I have a dialogue with you?
    Im seeking knowledge, books, maybe even earthly things.
    Im not sure hence my question.
    Can I email you directly?

  2. Hello Shawn,
    As an Asian American, I can see how some peoples perception and interpretations can differ from the individuals intension/realityl. In Vietnamese and/or Chinese, the term “Su Phu” is translated to “master”. However in Chinese/Vietnamese, Su Phu, the core meaning is more like a Teacher, a very knowledgeable person in a certain expertise. For example, someone who is learning from Bruce lee, would called him, “Su Phu” or “master lee”. If you watch Chinese/vietnamese movies, many monks are called “su phu”. “Su” means specialized or person with knowledge in an area. Even lawyers in vietnamese is translater as “Luat SU”- a person specialized in the law. You can google translate the term “master” and it would be translated as “Su Phu”. Its a way to show respect to the person who is teaching. The word supreme in Chinese/Vietnamese is more like, a person of high being. Some Vietnamese/Chinese words simply do not really have the exact words in English and is chosen the closest words. In addition, Chinese/Vietnamese culture as a whole, when there is a very respected teacher or higher being in the house, people show respect by nodding or offering of foods. Not only to a “master” but even doctors or social workers, those who they feel have helped them in some way or is a higher educated/being than them, people show their respect and want this persons blessing for the “luck”, prayers, support, and good energy.

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