June 6, 2009
Hello, everyone! (Disciples: “Hello, Master!”)
You have really been working hard. A long time has passed since I last taught you the Fa or saw you in person. I know, however, that the more I teach and the more I push you forward, the more numerous and more serious will be the ordeals that the old force factors create for Dafa disciples. But the Fa has been given to you. As long as you cultivate according to the book of Fa and study it, you will be able to resolve anything and gain everything. I have thus intentionally not spoken about things in more detail during this period of time. Many things really were left for you to think through and figure out. That’s why I have not come to speak with you for nearly a year.
Whatever the case, the progress of Fa-rectification is pushing ahead rapidly, and you can all sense this from how our situation and time itself have changed, for things are going so fast now—unfathomably fast. And, to mankind, what has taken place in the cosmos is likewise unfathomable. Regardless, Dafa disciples’ cultivation and all of what I am doing in Fa-rectification are as they are and the form is set, such that there won’t be much change to speak of. And the pace of Fa-rectification is extremely fast. Fa-rectification is approaching at the fastest speed in the cosmos, even without needing me to direct it. Judging from things at present, changes are rapidly unfolding in this world as well, with human society’s decline being especially notable. In today’s Chinese society, morality is declining at an almost inconceivable rate. Mankind was never so bad anytime before in human history. Never before at any time—such as the fall of a dynasty or on the eve of a catastrophe—did things get as bad as they have today, for before reaching this point man would have perished. If it were not for Fa-rectification, gods would have long since forbidden today’s people to exist. This is especially so for China. It is the hub of mankind’s divinely-bestowed culture, and for thousands of years its influence rippled throughout the world. Its culture even had a significant impact on other dimensions. In the past it never would have been allowed to degenerate to the degree it has, as gods would have destroyed it before it got there. At present, that [outcome] has been delayed because many Dafa disciples have yet to finish their paths of cultivation. I do know that cultivation really is tremendously difficult. And the event of Fa-rectification itself is hard. The fact that human society is so degenerate has had an enormous impact on the world’s people, including Dafa disciples. Dafa disciples are cultivating in the secular world and are faced with such complicated circumstances, with society’s degenerate side presenting such a strong attraction for people. Then what should be done about things? Right now we can’t say that it’s time for these people to be discarded, for there will be more chances to save them. This is one of the reasons for things being delayed again and again.
None of you realize what the people in today’s world once gave of themselves for this affair. Nor have you realized what magnificent beings they once were, plunging down headlong into such a dangerous place, braving the tremendous peril. That fact alone makes them worthy of your saving them and pulling them out. For them, the danger lies precisely in how attractive their surroundings are. During this great ordeal, Dafa disciples have indeed taken on some added hardships for them, for sentient beings, but whatever the case, what awaits Dafa disciples are the best of things. In light of this, all the more so should Dafa disciples realize how monumental their responsibility is, and shoulder it. You all speak often about “helping Master rectify the Fa” and, whatever the case, I feel that those are weighty words and hope that you can accomplish that—and do so to the best of your ability. I know that doing so is really hard. Though you may say those words, carrying that out perfectly well is truly not easy. You are saving sentient beings and shouldering this historic mission, but you are also cultivating yourselves at the same time, and sometimes when you run into a problem, you don’t handle it well or work together well. I have said that the stage of history was set for and has been given to Dafa disciples for the purpose of validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. With all that you have done, the future is going to be, no matter what, something glorious. I just hope that you will really be able to do better, cooperate better, and work with each other better.
Have you paused to consider: is there really anything that you cannot let go? In the course of history you tasted honor and glory, and you endured enormous ordeals. In those long, drawn-out years of waiting, you went through everything possible all so as to arrive at the present. And by all accounts you should be able to, at the end, finish the journey well. Whether your validating of the Fa goes well or not is often simply your own doing.
I’m saying that this current page of history is left for Dafa disciples [to write]. Don’t be fooled by the fact that all the various ethnicities and nations around the world, or the people of society’s various strata, are busy doing their own things. That is just mankind’s normal mode of life and necessary state of existence, and things have to be that way. It couldn’t be that people all suddenly took action directly for the Fa, for that would mean the spell of delusion was broken. All the same, people’s very existence is for the sake of this Fa. It might seem that neither who they are nor what they do is relevant to Dafa disciples, but in reality, all of it is. It might all appear random, but everything is, in reality, well ordered. All sentient beings are waiting to be saved, and I can tell you something certain. If Dafa disciples don’t act to save them, those people, no matter in what corner of the world they may be, will have no hope unless you go to save them. And that especially holds true for the Chinese people. I have spoken about this before, as you know. A lot of kings from the heavens, kings of different nationalities, and kings from different eras of history have reincarnated in that place. They are enduring the largest ordeals and pressure, because what they are achieving is not just completing themselves; rather, what they are achieving, shouldering, and putting in is in fact for the sake of their multitude of sentient beings. That is why they have such tremendous ordeals. What they choose amounts to the shared choice of sentient beings in enormous cosmic systems, and it is for this reason that their ordeals are so huge. The same holds true for you, because although you have, as Dafa disciples, assumed such a magnificent responsibility as a result of your predestined tie, the sacrifices you made in history are no less.
At this point I want to talk about a few specific things. As Dafa disciples now go about validating the Fa and saving sentient beings, the goal of their initiatives is clear, but those efforts themselves, as with how you carry things out, need to be understandable to people. I mean understandable to human beings, rather than gods. People look only at the surface of things, and they can understand things from only the surface, so the superficial form that your actions or activities take must conform to ordinary society. You shouldn’t overdo things, or else people won’t understand. But at the same time, if you don’t do enough you will not manage to save people. Failing to balance these two things well is the main problem our Dafa disciples’ projects are prone to. If you aren’t careful about what you say and do, it will cause ordinary people to fail to understand us, to mistakenly think that you are getting involved in politics, or to believe that you have ulterior motives—all of which would needlessly cause our Dafa disciples’ magnificent mission of validating the Fa and saving sentient beings to go unfulfilled. As Dafa disciples you are all plenty clear on this intellectually when I bring it up, but when you try to put it into action, you tend to lose sight of it and get confused. You need to pay attention to this and absolutely mustn’t make trouble for yourselves.
Don’t take the wicked CCP’s disintegration to be your goal. The CCP is nothing, and I have never seen it as cause for worry. It is just something that was created expressly for Fa-rectification. By its very nature it is antithetical to the cosmos, and so the forces of the entire cosmos have wanted to destroy it. This has led to there being an old force that is dedicated to its preservation. It has protected it for over a hundred years and saw to it that it gained experience that would allow it to, in the final stage, oppose Dafa disciples’ effort to save sentient beings; to act as a brutal ordeal when Dafa disciples were to succeed at cultivation; and to serve as a demon who brings chaos to the world when you were to save sentient beings. That’s all it is, so don’t give it so much weight or let your goals revolve around it. It’s not worthy. What you do is for saving sentient beings. The wicked CCP isn’t in fact capable of all that it has done. In reality, this has been a case of factors of forces from the old cosmos using it to do things. An obvious question would be to ask why use [the CCP] and not some other being instead. It was chosen because it is that bad, and it was created exactly like that. If Dafa disciples were to really focus what they do upon this entity itself, it would collapse, after which the factors of the old cosmos’s forces would then use something else to make trouble. The wicked CCP exists solely for this one purpose, and whether you go after it or not, it will fall apart. Once our Dafa disciples have completed the things that they are to do, it will fall apart for sure. But in the meantime, as good and evil collide, each life’s choice of where it stands, the path that each chooses, and the conduct of these sentient beings will determine where they head in the future. That’s how all this works.
You can expose the wicked CCP in your media efforts, but it should be done for the purpose of clearing things up for sentient beings so that they may be saved. Today’s meeting is for Dafa disciples around the world who work with NTD. Most of you present here are thus involved in media work, and in some cases you assume multiple roles. As Dafa disciples who run media outlets, your thinking in regard to what you are doing needs to be clear. Of course, I needn’t say anything for you to be clear [on what you are doing], but when you are dealing with actual, real issues, you should not act rashly. The moment you lose your sense of calm, that’s when you are apt to go awry. At critical moments you need to remember that you do this work to save sentient beings.
It wasn’t easy for the station to develop as it has in just a few short years. Whenever I see the programming broadcast by NTD Television, I have a feeling of admiration for Dafa disciples. Dafa disciples are truly extraordinary. You have gone from not knowing anything to running a station and doing it so well, with such colorful programs. Everyone would watch this TV station and find it just outstanding, a remarkable venture, if it weren’t for the fact that they were deceived by the evil early on. Though it is right before their eyes, many people can’t see how great the station is at this time as a result of interference and evil factors that are controlling them. That’s all right, though. Things are changing rapidly as the Fa-rectification forges ahead and as Dafa disciples’ righteous thoughts grow stronger. The energy emitted by NTD is very strong, and the television sets tuned in to it receive powerful energy, which dismantles the evil’s factors. So from this perspective, the station doesn’t just need to be run well, but also be run in a more regular, standard manner. When you as Dafa disciples achieve Consummation, you will hand the station over to people from the period of Fa’s rectification of the human world, and it will become a part of the culture of the future mankind. So you need to do a good job with it.
Let me get a little more specific. If you want to run a media outlet well, you need to have a good footing in society. Ordinary things aren’t going to be magical, and old force factors are going to interfere with people’s salvation. Of course, work at the TV station is not itself Dafa cultivation, and it has no direct connection to Dafa. The station is run by Dafa disciples, and it is for the purpose of validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. That’s the connection. The station is not part of Dafa itself, but rather, it is a tool that is used by Dafa disciples to save sentient beings. Since it should get a foothold in society and become like an ordinary station, you have to, in terms of management, use normal approaches that are used in human society. The companies out in ordinary society have a lot of experience of this type. The management system they use does accord with the form of society, and that’s why it was able to gain a foothold in, and take shape in, human society. In other words, what man has done in this regard conforms to the principles at this level, and so you too should follow ordinary ways like these as much as possible when running your TV station. If you want to run it well, you really should figure out how to adopt standard management practices and get into a positive cycle, and put some thought into your business operation.
The fact is that the primary goal of ordinary TV stations is to make money. Your starting point is different. It is to save sentient beings. That’s simply magnificent, and something no human beings could accomplish. Since that’s the case, if the station is poorly managed and can’t continue due to lack of capital, you will lose a powerful medium for getting the facts out. You have all seen its effectiveness and influence in recent years, so, given that, why not run it well?
You know that the CCP is a regime that’s sustained by lies and that counts on the media to mislead people. From day one it has deceived the Chinese public and, to this very day, the end, it has used the media to lie to the Chinese people. It has buried the truth and kept up a façade of lies for so many years. People have been raised and grown up under its lies. Then wouldn’t you say that Chinese people who live their whole lives accustomed to that approach to things are worthy of pity? Many Chinese people don’t understand the outside world even after they leave China, since they grew up in the wicked CCP’s culture and even think that other countries are abnormal and foolish. It’s not that the outside world is abnormal. Rather, that is normal society, and the one that is warped is the wicked-Party-run Chinese society. For decades the wicked CCP has been quite pleased with itself, thinking that its deceptive propaganda has been a success. It has kept a firm grip on the media, ensuring that it churns out propaganda on its behalf so as to help it sustain power. I say this to tell you that propaganda can spur people to action, and it really can have an effect when people rely on it for information. Some people just don’t think for themselves, and believe whatever they are told.
Human thinking has a weakness, and you have discovered this over the years while clarifying the facts. Namely, that the first idea that’s accepted tends to stick. (Laughs) Once a person accepts a certain idea, he will then evaluate whatever comes afterward in light of it. This is a flaw in man’s design, but in this setting of inverted principles, it is actually helpful to people in terms of eliminating karma via ordeals and eventually arriving at the truth. Were it otherwise, it would be too easy for people to gain the Fa and return to the heavens. If it were the case that people used correct principles to seek and evaluate things no matter what others might say, then this human setting would never have been bad and it would not be human society. (Laughs) But correct principles were not to be found here in the human world previously. The emperor would rule the land, sending troops to conquer parts of the world; and the victor would become emperor, leaving the vanquished to become outlaws. Such are the principles that govern this human plane. Why did the Fa of Buddhas and Gods meet with such huge obstacles and why did so many ordeals, attacks, and rejections come about once it was disseminated here? Because those were the correct principles that were being disseminated, something that had not existed in this setting before.
Whatever the case, that is the history and the course that human culture has taken since the world’s formation. But things are different today. Today is the final, grand culmination of all that has transpired since the creation of the world. Since Dafa has been broadly spread here, this setting may well be preserved forever for mankind. That is the blessing that Dafa has brought to mankind as part of Dafa’s grand dissemination and part of the cosmos’s Fa-rectification: namely, the fact that the plane of this dimension may be preserved forever.
I don’t want to say too much. I believe you are here for a meeting, and must have a lot to discuss. I don’t want to keep you too long, but I would like to give you a little extra time. If you have some crucial, major questions, you can raise them now and I will answer them for you. Then the time that’s left can be used for your discussion. (Applause)
Student: Given that we are reporters, our coverage needs to be accurate. But sometimes we overstate things to persuade people of the truth. I feel that we should follow the standard set by Western media and report things accurately.
Master: I agree with this perspective. That’s how things should be done. Don’t be like the propaganda tools of the wicked Party. It’s not right to depart from the truth when you describe events in hopes of achieving some effect. Just let the piece achieve whatever effect it will achieve. Don’t knowingly bend the truth. You will lose credibility.
Student: I am a reporter who covers community events. From cultivation I know to do everything according to Zhen Shan Ren, and I know that our reporting is to tell people about things that are truthful, kind, and good. But there are some things that we are unable to decipher completely. For example, things are complicated in Chinatown. Some people are very pro-CCP, so we try not to report on activities that they sponsor or to report as little as we can. And when they push something that is not right, we know that we absolutely cannot report on it. But sometimes the connections they have are so subtle, and we’re concerned about not handling the reporting well and thereby helping bad people with publicity.
Master: I remember that after the persecution began, a person from mainland China wrote me a letter posing as a student. The letter talked about how a particular thing could be done better and so on, but I knew that this person was a special agent. So as to disguise himself, the point that he made was beneficial to us. So, I adopted the idea. Why do I bring this up, then? All that I do is for the sake of saving sentient beings, and no matter who you are, as long as you can contribute to the salvation of sentient beings, I will use [what you have to offer]. As long as an ordinary person is alive today, no matter how poorly he behaves—with the exception of the very worst ones—there might still be hope for him. When someone who passively did bad things in the persecution gets clearheaded, he will, if he can then play a positive role, have a chance to make up for what he did. If such people say some positive things, you can quote them, for instance, but definitely don’t use anything bad that they might say. If someone is bad, however, and what he says doesn’t have much bearing on saving sentient beings, then it’s better not to report [on his event or remarks], even if people might find it interesting. That’s because any coverage will build a person up and enhance his level of recognition. There’s no need to boost a bad person’s profile. If what he says helps to save sentient beings, then reporting on it will actually help him to accumulate virtue.
Student: What should we do if we’re to run NTD well? In our area, the students that participate in sales say that The Epoch Times needs to be done well before NTD can be addressed.
Master: You don’t need to ask me about these things. If a person says that he is primarily working for The Epoch Times, then of course he should focus on The Epoch Times and help NTD afterwards. If someone says that he is primarily working for NTD, then he should focus on NTD, and help out the other media entities only after finishing his work. These all fall within the scope of your duties as Dafa disciples, so do as much as you can within your means. All of the media entities that you run have the effect of saving sentient beings, and the voices that come forth from these entities carry the mighty virtue of each of you who has participated, for sure.
Student: NTD is very much short of money, and in order to pull in advertisements—some are really hard to get—the marketing department sends reporters to shoot a lot of free infomercials, which sometimes go overboard. Is that the right approach?
Master: If it goes overboard, then it’s not right. At the beginning things probably weren’t handled well, since everyone is in the process of going from not knowing what to do to knowing. I hope that you will gradually come to do well, become ever more experienced, and handle problems more and more rationally, so that you can handle things entirely on your own.
Student: It has now been several months since NTD Television first broadcast in Canada, in 2008. However, as we tried to broaden the subscription base, we learned that the station’s approval rating in the communities was quite lacking.
Master: The history that is unfolding now is designated for Dafa disciples, but nobody is about to proactively invite you to do something, for people are under the spell of delusion. All of this was put in place for you—including all the things that are right and wrong, or good and evil—and all of it is mixed together. So it is indeed hard for you to do things. Even though that’s the case, no beings in this cosmos can compare to you. Gods especially designated for the task are handling what I just described, but only when you do well will things in this world change. Doing well, working together well, and being effective really come down to you, yourselves. You might ask, “Is there some kind of secret weapon we could use? Can we come up with some kind of special method?” What has been given to you is the most righteous of paths, but it is a narrow one. When your intention is wrong or there are issues with how you go about things, the path will be difficult. The path is very narrow, and it may look like it can’t be traveled. But in fact, you can do it.
Student: The rules for the nine competitions hosted by NTD have been changed again and again. I personally feel that it’s not very good in terms of how those who have registered for the competitions will perceive us, and it’s obviously not very professional. I’d like to ask Master if this is my own notion, or is it that we can do better than that?
Master: I know that there have been changes, and mostly it was due to inexperience and trying to better suit the needs of the competitions. Indeed, it’s not so good to have lots of changes. But actually, for the participants in the competitions, the clearer the rules are, the better. The coordinators lacked experience, so they were gaining experience each step of the way. When things are found to be incorrect, they should be corrected. I think things will be better in the future since they will have more experience then.
Student: I’m a journalist from Taiwan. Dafa disciples in Taiwan are doing a lot of news reporting in order to expose the bad things that the CCP is doing, and yet they find it challenging to collect first-hand evidence on the scene. May I ask how this problem should be solved? My second question is, the current government and some businessmen in Taiwan are becoming increasingly pro-communist. If we point out their mistakes in our reports, will we turn them against us?
Master: There are more than enough things published by the evil Party itself and other major online media that you can use. You can reprint any of those things. It would be even better if you could get first-hand news directly from the mainland, but only if you have connections there that are completely secure and safe.
As for how a certain government or so-and-so is doing, a cultivator doesn’t have to give this any thought whatsoever. Don’t give it any thought or concern. Just think, “I came to save sentient beings, and that’s that.” Someone might be in power today, and tomorrow it might be someone else, but whoever wants to be in power, so be it. It is arranged by gods, so it is what it is. If you focus your attention on this, it means that your thinking has gone off track. The moment you think like that, it’s a deviation. Don’t concern yourself with such things, and just do what you should. What usually happens is that the more attached to something you become, the greater the likelihood that problems will follow and form into something like a test of your xinxing. The more you ignore such things, the better. You have your path, while human beings have their affairs. You have things that you need to do. Don’t give any concern or attention to political things or what happens between parties. Of course, our media don’t really have a choice about reporting on it, since those are probably things that ordinary people are interested in. In that case you can just report as others do, and not write opinion pieces. You can just carry others’ reports. And we don’t write opinion pieces on inter-party squabbles. So that’s the approach you can take to news that’s of interest to people, until the persecution has ended and the media run by Dafa disciples have fully become a regular part of society.
Student: Master, please explain to disciples what impact the Han Couture Design Competition will have on how the world’s people dress, and please tell why Han clothing was lost for so long after the Ming dynasty.
Master: (Smiling) Today’s gathering is to discuss NTD’s work, not Han couture. Let’s leave this question for another time.
Student: I have a question about management. When everyone is talented and opinionated, I have found that if I, as a coordinator, give instructions or try to reconcile different opinions somehow, there will always be someone who tells me to look within. Of course, in the context of cultivation I can look within when I get home. But when it’s about dealing with a particular problem and deciding how to get something done, how should I handle it as a coordinator?
Master: I know what you mean. (Audience laughs) Usually Dafa disciples will readily forgo food and sleep in order to validate the Fa—“No matter how tired we are, we’ll do it.” But, as for managing things and doing them in a standard way; supervising one another; or trying to establish certain rules and procedures, you immediately refuse to comply. (Audience laughs) Have you considered that only that way will what you do be more powerful and methodical, and only then will you get a good footing in human society and play an even more powerful role? You set up a television station to validate the Fa. Your initial thought was for it to expose the evil, and that was the extent of it. But Master just told you that whatever you do, you should do well. And furthermore, what you are now doing is apt to be left for the culture of the future. If there aren’t even rules or regulations, however, then how could it be given to the future? What would people learn from in the future, then? Without any norms, what would they learn from?—just the zeal of Dafa disciples? (Master laughs) (Audience laughs) That’s why I say that regardless of what kingdom you once ruled or what project you are now involved in, whoever it is that’s supposed to supervise you, let him. Don’t think that people can’t supervise you. Don’t forget that human beings are in delusion, and the form of your cultivation has you practicing among ordinary people. Perhaps the Dafa disciple who supervises you came from a level that’s not as high as yours, or it may even be the case that he hasn’t cultivated as high as you. But that doesn’t matter. This is about cooperation that’s founded on righteous thoughts and that is meant to save sentient beings. Make sure that you work together well. Did I make myself clear? (Applause) Many students have actually brought this up with me. Today I had an opportunity to explain it clearly for you. (Audience laughs, applauds)
Student: I have two questions. The first question is, since many of the students doing media work assume multiple roles—and that’s especially the case when it’s time to promote Shen Yun’s performances—no one works on the ads that our salespeople bring in, or those in the sales division go off to sell tickets. How should we balance these things?
Master: That is a problem. That’s why each time a Shen Yun tour begins, I want to let the world know about Shen Yun as quickly as possible. I require that the touring companies not stay in any one place for too long, because if they did, it would be really hard for the local practitioners and it would affect other projects. The problem [you’ve raised] actually occurred to me long ago. Back in the days when Shen Yun Performing Arts was being established, I made up my mind and decided to use young Dafa disciples for this, so that it would not affect Dafa disciples’ other projects. But there were still so many Dafa disciples involved in selling tickets and it was a lot of hard work for them, so other projects still ended up being affected. So what I thought was this: once we achieve a certain degree of renown or if Shen Yun quickly gets famous, we can have ordinary people book the full show and then there won’t be any need for you to work on ticket sales. As it turns out, Shen Yun already puts on the single best show in the entire world. Nobody is better. (Applause) But right now, the wicked CCP is interfering with the salvation of the world’s people. Shen Yun is hugely influential now, though it hasn’t developed as quickly as planned. Once its popularity spreads far and wide, there won’t be any need for you to expend so much effort over ticket sales. At that time we’ll just need to put out an ad saying that Shen Yun is here and will perform at such-and-such place, and that will do it—people will come. I think that Dafa disciples won’t have to spend so much energy and time on it then, and other projects won’t be affected. So that’s what I have been moving toward. In doing so, I specified that we ensure the quality of the program and that the performance is perfect, that we ensure the best results, and that there are no lapses or problems at any point along the way. When we truly achieve that, the show’s influence is sure to expand. I won’t guarantee anything, but I feel that the day is not far off. (Applause) At that time, all you will have to do is run an ad. (Audience laughs) Or perhaps your media will have gained the same kind of influence, so there wouldn’t even be a need for ads. It would be enough to just have you report on it. (Master laughs)
Student: Could Master please talk about the importance and responsibility of NTD Television’s multi-language programming in relation to saving sentient beings?
Master: For sure it would be better if there could be programs in more languages. And if the station could truly gain a solid footing in ordinary society, get into a positive cycle, and flourish and prosper, that would be great. Don’t stop at having programs in other languages, however. You will really be doing well when you have managed to produce programs in every language, with no ethnicity left out. That’s because who is before you and who you must save are all of the world’s people. But I know that in terms of human and material resources, or what we can bring to bear at present, we are really far off from doing that. But whatever the case, for now let’s start from the basics. If we do well, it will not only have a great impact, but also, talented and capable people will obtain the Fa one after another; and since the two are connected, they will come on board and fill the needs you have. It’s even possible that every facet of your enterprise would improve, including your financial means. But if your present state doesn’t change fundamentally, none of those changes will come about. So, you should really give a lot of thought to how to gain a footing in ordinary society and get into a positive cycle. Let’s work hard on this.
Student: Just now there was a Canadian student who asked a question about Canada. I’m pretty confused too, in fact. More than half a year has passed since last September, when NTD Television started its operations in Toronto, and still we don’t have enough viewers. I am thinking about how to make a breakthrough with the challenges we’re facing. Isn’t the success of a business a major responsibility that the management has?
Master: Whether or not you cooperate well isn’t in the hands of just one or two people. This time let’s have everyone think along the same lines and see if there’s a good solution. At a minimum, by doing so you can learn about how to go about things in the future and how to do things in a solid and steady way. If it still doesn’t work, then it probably means that conditions still aren’t ripe. If your efforts go well, though, and things work out, then it means that you have cooperated well.
Student: Pardon the interruption, but we noticed that there are people taking notes. Note-taking is strictly prohibited, and neither is recording allowed.
Master: It’s not that we are afraid of people taking notes. Rather, once you leave here with what you have written down, it won’t be the same as what I originally meant. And besides, you wouldn’t be able to get everything down, so what you jotted down would amount to quoting out of context. What you are doing is picking and choosing what you like and think is useful to tell others. You are not cultivating yourself, and instead want to use my words to fix up others. (Audience laughs) So you’d better not take notes. I told you long ago that it’s not allowed, wishing to see you walk your path correctly. You need to destroy the notes that you have taken.
Student: Shen Yun has performed all over the world, but not in Hong Kong.
Master: I know. Increasingly, the wicked CCP seems to be brazenly exercising full-blown control over Hong Kong. What happened to that “one country, two systems” thing? It looks to me as though [the CCP is] utterly without shame, and right now it fits that saying, “A dead pig is not afraid of boiling water.” (Audience laughs) It will stop at nothing, and the world’s disgust with it is deepening by the day. More and more it’s leading the world’s people to see it more clearly for what it is. It’s directly manipulating and controlling the government of Hong Kong, and the theaters there are all government property. But none of this matters, and there is no need for concern. You know what I’m thinking? I am preparing for Shen Yun to perform in mainland China. (Enthusiastic applause) I’m not just thinking out loud. The evil may think it’s powerful, but let’s see what history has in store. (Master laughs) It’s not up to them. Every dynasty was once full of bluster, only to be reduced to a whimper in the end. (Master laughs) (Audience applauds)
Student: I’m with the marketing department of NTD headquarters in New York. I wanted to ask about collaboration between the news teams and production teams. We’ve gone out to report on events, and have come back with lots of business cards each day. Many people are interested in us. One thing that concerns me is how time is now passing faster and faster every day, and I am anxious. Although I’m not doing this full-time, I hope that I can stay in touch with each and every one of those contacts. But there is only enough time to do very little each day.
Master: True, those who are really doing things will feel that there isn’t enough time. That’s why I hope that you will get more people involved in marketing, and thus you won’t feel so busy and will be able to blaze a trail and get into a positive cycle. (Applause) With marketing, you need to clarify the facts as you interact with people, and it too will be a way of saving sentient beings. And you are doing [marketing] to help the station as a whole do well, so it’s outstanding. Don’t think that only doing the more frontline types of work, like writing articles, amounts to saving people. That’s not true. Everyone is utilizing the reports from the station to save people.
Student: I have two questions. One is, NTD has been in existence for seven or eight years. Many students, however, have not improved their skills to a satisfactory extent. They themselves hold this to be the case. The second question is, many students are more enthusiastic about handing out flyers than working on NTD Television’s news reporting.
Master: (Master laughs) There are differences among you, but every link in the chain is critical. If you consider the case of those who are a bit older and who don’t have much schooling, or who don’t know how to do anything else, the most effective thing they can do is to pass out fliers. For those of you who are well educated and adept at writing, however, you can play to your strengths and do writing. The truth of course is that all of these are ultimately the same. Whatever form it may take, if what you are doing saves people it is magnificent. (Applause) (Master laughs)
Student: NTD has developed very quickly and its television programs are becoming more numerous, but we still have a shortage of manpower in each region. When we are overwhelmed by the work, some fellow cultivators say that we have to ensure a certain quantity and try to do more. Others meanwhile say that since we are so busy now, if the quality can’t be ensured we should do less. So while we are en route to becoming more professional, how should we handle this?
Master: I see that you’ve been working really hard, and everyone is trying their utmost to do better and do more. Of course, the better the quality and the more programs you do, the better. That’s what I think. But when I see all of you working so hard, I don’t want to say anything further. (Master laughs) (Audience laughs) That is what everyone wants, however. If you can work together better and add some more manpower, perhaps the situation will change dramatically. I see the immediate challenges that you face. There’s no special solution. (Master laughs) Master cannot give you some special method, for you need to walk your own path.
Student: Some talk shows need to invite guests. One perspective is that as long as they hold views that help to expose the CCP, we can invite them on our programs. But sometimes we haven’t looked into their backgrounds that well. Another perspective is that we should try our best to invite our own commentators.
Master: As for inviting commentators, of course it’s best to have those with the appropriate status. But if you have regular, strong commentators of your own who are popular, that’s good too, but that means your station would need its own experts. That said, sometimes there is a need to invite appropriate people from outside for a program. They speak from a third-party angle, as an expert or in a special capacity, and that too is needed. But it is hard to gauge the views some people have, so you might need to find out a bit beforehand. The theme of a program is usually clear, so [when you screen him] you can just have the conversation revolve around that topic. Tell the person your views, and if he agrees with you, then go ahead with it; if he doesn’t, then don’t. If the person is really someone from the CCP, then isn’t it still good if he publicly exposes the wicked CCP for what it is through his comments? (Audience laughs) (Master laughs) You should be broad-minded and tolerant. (Master laughs) (Applause) Things will go well if you are magnanimous.
Student: During interviews, some people from the mainland who understand things asked me to pass on their regards when I see you. (Master: Then I thank them.) (Audience applauds) Some rights advocates there are asking if they can work in China as NTD Television reporters.
Master: It’s too dangerous for them. You have to look out for their safety as much as possible. If they manage to provide information, you shouldn’t reveal your source’s identity; and you should be especially careful about their safety. Revealing their identity really would be detrimental to them. You should take these things into consideration.
Let me talk about another thing. In the mainland, some students have become confused during the persecution. However, once they become clear on things, or once they find themselves in a new setting, they are able to tell right from wrong. They definitely don’t side with the evil deliberately, for sure. When you evaluate someone, you often say, “So and so was ‘transformed’ in the mainland.” But, failing to pass tests is simply part of the cultivation process. Cultivation is not over after that, and the person is still cultivating. So, you shouldn’t regard him as really being no good anymore. Of course, some people did do bad things during that phase when they were supposedly “being transformed,” but, if they might still be able to make it up later on as they cultivate, they should be given chances. I hope, though, that these people will have the attitude of wanting to make a fresh start; when you act as if you don’t care about what happened, you will be looked down upon. Of course, the Dafa disciples who were not “transformed” and made it through despite the evil are indeed magnificent, and deserving of respect. (Applause)
My point is, you shouldn’t push your fellow cultivators away. They are fellow cultivators, and you should try your best to have them feel the warmth with which Dafa disciples interact with one another. If your concern is that you don’t know them well enough, then you can try to learn more about them from Dafa disciple contacts in China. If the person really is a Dafa disciple, then bring him on board [your project]. Or if nobody knows for sure about him, then wait for some time. If it doesn’t feel right, then tell him to go hand out fliers first. But if you determine that he really was a Dafa disciple in China, then I think there won’t be a problem. Even if he’s a special agent, consider that everyone can see that the CCP is about to fall. China’s high-ranking officials are moving their capital overseas in large quantities, preparing a way out for themselves and buying foreign passports, thinking of how to flee. Who’s actually dedicating himself to that regime? Yes, there are indeed some stupid people (everyone laughs), some brainless ones. Those people have been indoctrinated to the point that they really can’t tell right from wrong. You’ll recognize such people the moment you meet them, but they are the minority, after all. The world’s people are waiting for you to save them. You should open your hearts and not exclude your fellow cultivators. If you fail to do so, you are obstructing and stopping yourselves.
Student: I do interviews with the community in Flushing. Some people are, as ordinary people put it, just set on opposing Falun Gong. Should I allow them to be on camera? There are others who we usually don’t take footage of, and maybe only one of their hands or something would appear in the scene. But ordinary viewers have complained about this. Also, should we report on the activities that religious groups hold?
Master: You should make that judgment call yourselves. If you feel that you want to give the person another chance, then go ahead, do it. But if it’s a case of someone who is rotten to the core, and because of him many sentient beings might be eliminated later on or lose their chance, then let’s not allow him to appear on camera. It’s up to you to decide. If instead someone’s presence or words are good for saving sentient beings, then whoever it may be, it can be used. And if there is nothing beneficial, then don’t use it. Some news items are not important and have no connection to your efforts to save people, so don’t draw attention to those ones.
Student: Travel programs are a good way for us to get into and expand a new market, so I would like to create such a program. The ones that we currently air are all tapes that we obtained externally, whereas if we could produce our own we could market them later on. (Master: That would be good.) But, when I brought up the things needed for this with the management, they felt that right now we aren’t good enough and couldn’t produce something the same caliber as others. (Master: Well, maybe they’re right.) (Everyone laughs) When studying the Fa it occurred to me that I might be being too insistent, and since I’m a cultivator after all, I dropped the idea. (Everyone laughs) Yet some fellow cultivators believe that my idea was quite good, and they have encouraged me to carry it out. Right now I can’t figure out whether it’s really just that I have an attachment or whether it turns out we could currently produce a program as good as what ordinary people do. I personally feel confident that we could.
Master: Then you can explain to the station’s management in greater detail your thinking in regards to what steps you would take and how you would carry things out. If you are able to instill confidence in them by discussing this, then I think there will no longer be any issues. (Everyone laughs, applauds)
Student: I am currently involved in making music programs for the station. We’ve found that the technical skills needed for sound production are very high, and I’m not sure how much time I should allot for something like this. Do I need to make a special effort just to learn this, and perhaps make a study of it? I ask because it would be very time-consuming.
Master: Things need to be done well at the station, and that means there have to be standards, and professionalism. If you can’t do something, you will have to learn it. (Laughs) As for the specifics of how to do that, it’s up to you.
Student: Each time we hear Master teach the Fa, there are always students back home who really want us to tell them about it as soon as possible after we return. What happens next is this person recalls a little and that person recalls a little from memory. It doesn’t seem that right to me.
Master: When you discuss after going back, you’ll need to add, “What I’m sharing is just the general idea, and not Master’s original words.” If people are just trying to learn, it’s fine. But if, however, someone takes notes and reads from them, then that is a case of misrepresenting Master.
Student: I had previously asked the person in charge of planning as a whole about the overall planning for programming. He said that in many cases they found that when the station ordered that a program go forward, and for example told it what direction to go in, it proved to be very hard for practitioners to keep it up. By contrast, when instead those involved wanted of their own initiative to produce a program, they generally could follow through. One direct result of this has been that the station is really lacking in programs that have popular appeal. So I would like to ask how to better balance the ratio of popular type programs and truth-clarification ones.
Master: If you were working at an ordinary company and your boss told you to do something, would you tell him that you’re just going to do whatever you feel like doing? So, why can’t you cooperate well when you are validating the Fa? Why can’t you handle this well? Why can you do something well only if it appeals to you? These are precisely problems of coordination and cooperation. It was a shared aspiration that brought you together for this initiative, but when you each insist on your own views, and just do what pleases you, how could that amount to cooperation? If each of my five fingers here wants to be extended, a fist can’t be formed and there will be no punch to throw (laughs). It’s weak this way. So you need to work together well.
Student: At present there is a lot of engagement between Taiwan and China. If we are to report on it as regular media would do, it will be hard to avoid making the wicked CCP look better than it is.
Master: That’s indeed something to be careful about. As for the specifics of things, that is still something for you to figure out. But you should modify the content from the reports done by ordinary media if it contains things that would willfully make the wicked Party look good.
Student: If we are to avoid writing commentaries, then can we find ordinary people to do so?
Master: If you have ordinary people do it, it’s still your paper that’s running the commentary. Readers won’t make a distinction between whether the writer is part of your staff or not. Don’t get involved in ordinary affairs, and don’t partake in ordinary people’s politics. I have made this clear.
Student: I would like to ask a follow-up question. There is now a lot of engagement between Taiwan and China, and the CCP has used a lot of media, business, and economic means to make inroads in Taiwan. Should we look for one aspect of this to hone in on and expose?
Master: You need to consider whether or not these things help to save sentient beings. If not, then don’t do it. If so, then reveal the truth. But don’t pay any regard to whether or not [the CCP] has made inroads. The more you think about that, the more it will make inroads, with the point being to see what you’ll do. Don’t pay it any mind. When saving sentient beings, you want to direct your efforts at people—not how things are shaping up in society. Focus on people’s hearts and minds, and not on a certain social class or an organization or institution.
Student: When reporting on happenings outside of China, I’ve found that sometimes what is reported in mainland China is news that has already been published abroad, and that what we report on can serve as a strong counterpoint to the CCP; for example, we could compare how democratic governments in the free world handle a certain thing with how the CCP does. I’d like to ask whether, when we broadcast news of happenings outside China, it’s important for us to look at the news reported by China as a reference and expose the CCP by depicting the contrary.
Master: No, it’s not. There is no set tactic. Just do things sensibly. No matter how the CCP tries to seal things off, no matter how it tries to control information about its persecution of Falun Gong, what it is doing will nevertheless be revealed to society; people will find out in the end and that information will be reported internationally. You can reprint reports from elsewhere and, simultaneously, find out through your channels what exactly has happened, and report it afterwards. So there is no need to take the [wicked Party’s] stuff and report the opposite. Of course, things are different for media that are reporting from special angles; they specialize in dissecting the wicked Party. (Everyone laughs)
Student: I’m a disciple from Los Angeles, and I would like to ask about strategies for promoting Shen Yun. We had eight performances this year in January, but, because our initial marketing plan wasn’t very effective, we didn’t do a good job early on moving tickets. Later, we were hoping to capitalize on the Thanksgiving holiday to make up for lost time and set a plan, only to have it fall through when the practitioners couldn’t agree on things and big arguments ensued. Then, in the end, the worst-case scenario happened: when the performances were about to start, we gave out discount vouchers.
Master: The problems you experience selling Shen Yun tickets are in fact a reflection of the cultivation state of the students in that locale. That’s extremely clear to me. No matter which student or which place it is, however your state is will definitely be mirrored in how your ticket sales go. I’m not saying that you haven’t cultivated well, but rather, that it is a manifestation of how successfully you cooperate. That is very apparent in how your Shen Yun ticket sales go. In some places students worked together extremely well, and in some places there were just a handful of students working on things, yet what they did, despite having few people, was highly effective.
I’ve observed that in San Francisco there are some students who for quite some time haven’t stepped forward. I don’t want to lose them. I’d like to see this group come out and do some simple things as a start, having them first of all step forward, and secondly have a chance to establish a certain amount of mighty virtue. Otherwise, what will happen to them in the future? Other Dafa disciples are very busy, and don’t have any extra energy to take on more things. It’s true that some of the students who didn’t come out before have managed to come out, and that’s great.
Student: NTD Television Europe has a set television program that runs once every two weeks, called “Across Europe.” It’s a struggle even to fill up the fifteen minutes we have. I’m really concerned seeing NTD Television Europe like this. What will it take for NTD Television Europe to do better? There seem to be quite a few people involved in it.
Master: (Sighing) You’re basically asking me how to cultivate better (everyone laughs) and cooperate better. When things don’t go well, everyone bears some of the responsibility, for sure. You wanted to take this path, to come on board and be part of this project so as to help Master rectify the Fa. Then we should ask, have you helped Master rectify the Fa? Or is it that you are just satisfying your attachments in the process? That’s the problem as I see it. I’m not referring to just the difficulty producing those fifteen minutes that you described. If you can’t work together well, how are all of those programs that the station needs to produce going to be made? You need to realize what your responsibility is. What Dafa disciples shoulder is a great, historic responsibility. Tens or hundreds of millions of years, or two Earths, have passed, all of which was for this very affair at the end. How could you not do well at the very end? Yes, it is a deluding place here, but how come some people do manage to do well? Why is it that others can manage to cooperate well? In cultivation, hardship is not the greatest challenge. Hardship passes after a brief spell, and if it’s not handled well one will nevertheless be clear about things afterwards. What is hardest is to remain consistently disciplined when there is seemingly no hope—that’s the most difficult. Dafa disciples, after thousands—or tens of thousands—of years, what you have sought to do has arrived. If you don’t do well at it, how will you stand before all of this one day?
Have you heard about the Great Judgment? At one time the god(s) of a very high plane arranged for there to be a major judgment at the end of Fa-rectification. The plan was to include all who had passed away as well as all who had gone to hell, as they would be brought back to life for judgment; the living would undergo judgment too; as would all gods of the entire universe. All would be judged one by one. The idea of the Great Judgment has been passed down in the West, in fact. It would not just be those who had done wrongful things who would be judged, but also those people and gods who had played a good role, including Dafa disciples—they too would be subjected to judgment. Each life would be made to bear responsibility for each and every one of its actions in history. And this would be especially true for during the time of the universe’s Fa-rectification, where one would be held accountable for everything—be it one’s motives, what one did, or even the little things; and it was set that gods, those who had played both a negative and positive part in the Fa-rectification, as well as demons and even tiny life forms, would all be subjected to judgment. Even those who had a positive effect would be judged just the same, in which case it would be asked how many sentient beings could not be saved on account of your failing to do well in the course of what you were doing? And in the case of a Dafa disciple, it would be asked how many of your vows went unfulfilled? Failing to make good on them would be just one aspect of it, for when you do not do something, or do it well, there are consequences of varying sizes, and you would be held accountable for all of these. Would it work if you weren’t held accountable for the shame that your actions might have caused Dafa or for your having deceived the Lord? I haven’t talked about any of this before. I didn’t want to mention these things. But you really, truly should sober up. Don’t you know what time it is yet?
Student: Shen Yun will one day go to the mainland to perform. What are the future prospects for NTD in the mainland?
Master: (Laughing) (Everyone laughs) Well, it’s no joking matter. As you’ve seen, here, during this critical moment in history, NTD has managed to play an overwhelmingly positive role in helping Master rectify the Fa and save sentient beings. That mouthpiece of the wicked CCP, that disaster of a television station (laughter), is in fact a den of fiends. It’s a band of hooligans that rigs up lies and falsehoods, it is solely an instrument of the wicked Party that works to dupe the people. In the future, will there still be a place for it to utter so much as even a sound? There won’t, you can be sure. Now of course, NTD has been responsible to society, it gives voice to the people, and what would be wrong with moving it to a different place? (Everyone laughs, applauds) Having said that, Falun Gong doesn’t seek to gain anything of what ordinary people have, but, the fact is that NTD is a company that’s established in ordinary human society. Mark my words: the magnificence of your saving sentient beings is such that the people of the future will really hold you in high esteem, and they will carry forward all of what our Dafa disciples have undertaken. (Applause)
Student: [Putting on] a performance by Shen Yun indeed takes up a lot of students, which affects many projects. But, disciples in Taiwan know very well that Shen Yun is a matter of Master rectifying the Fa, so everyone is on precisely the same page. As to the NTD competitions, however, people have different understandings.
Master: NTD’s competition series has already had a pretty big impact and made an impression on people. The competitions serve to restore human culture. For one thing, they can increase the station’s name recognition and have the effect of distinguishing NTD. If the programming is made lively, it can attract viewers from different segments of society. That’s looking at it on the surface, at least. In reality, though, it is a matter of saving people through the work of television. But that said, after the competitions are over, wait until next year before doing things again; don’t keep hyping them up in the interim. If you promote them any further, it will amount to merely promoting ordinary human things. A Dafa disciple’s priority is to save people, so you need to keep things in proper perspective. The competitions can help to distinguish the station, and they help to recover the proper cultural heritage of man. But when they are done, they’re done, and you can’t exclusively go on promoting human culture at the expense of saving sentient beings, which is your primary responsibility. Your top priority right now is to save sentient beings.
Student: We have encountered some challenges while working on the business operations of NTD. One is that among our students there are not that many who do sales. Another is that people feel that doing sales for The Epoch Times is relatively easy, whereas with NTD it’s hard, and they lack confidence. There really are issues that we face producing ads, as the requirements are high. How should we look at these difficulties?
Master: What I think is, [these two media] are interfacing with different kinds of businesses. If a business is rather large, it will definitely be interested in doing television advertising. But if it is smaller, it’s possible it will only be interested in doing advertising in print media. This should be quite clear. If a restaurant were to use television advertising, for instance, they might feel it’s like bringing out the heavy artillery to kill a mosquito. (Everyone laughs) Whereas larger enterprises have a wider business scope, and the effect that television advertising has befits them. So, when doing advertising you need to think a bit about what kind of commercial entity is suited to your medium.
Student: I coordinate the reporting on Shen Yun for multiple languages. I have noticed that sometimes when people are preparing Chinese language reports they are a bit sloppy handling the names of Western interviewees, yet a person’s name is very important in journalism. Another thing is, there was a Shen Yun television ad that was to be translated into several languages, but the quality of its editing wasn’t that good. I thought that it would only take half a day to perfect it, but one of my supervisors said that it would take too long and we should just quickly roll it out. I feel that the approach wasn’t right. Could I have a discussion with him about this?
Master: You certainly could, but that doesn’t mean you should just change it as you wish and drag it out for days or even longer. Quality is important in journalism. If there are indeed the problems you mentioned of people’s names being written wrong or typos, then you all need to pay more attention to such things going forward.
Let me say a few words in passing about promotional video clips. There are a lot of opinions being tossed around about the Shen Yun promotional video(s). I’ll speak about this from two angles. On the one hand, it’s possible that indeed the footage and the creative aspects didn’t meet your expectations. Everyone is still learning, and for sure there will be shortcomings in people’s work. But each is trying his or her best. And with time, each will do better and better. That’s something I require of them, and those involved will work hard on it. There is another element to it, though. As you know, ordinary people are not the same as cultivators, and when they size up whether something is beautiful or good, what’s to their liking is not going to accord with the true, traditional standards for these things as set forth by divinely imparted culture, for they have lost that standard. The wide array of notions that people form in the world after birth determine their thoughts and actions, and that’s why you have some people saying one thing is good and others saying something else is, or one person saying something you’ve done is a problem while the next finds it okay.
Many productions in Western society, as you might know, don’t use a lot of advertising—with some even using no television advertising at all. They don’t give a clear explanation in their ad copy about what the performance involves, and even just write a few words, maybe adding on some vague picture, and it’s effective even though it’s that kind of ad. Then compared to that, Shen Yun’s ads actually reveal too much, isn’t that right? That’s true, as you well know. No other productions use such detailed and precise representations, and yet some of our students still think it’s not enough; some even think that you need to depict in an ad the entire production for it to work. That’s not possible, though. And this holds true for ads for movies as well. If you make it too detailed, people won’t come see it, for they will think that they know the whole thing already. With many people, they will only have a new, fresh experience if they go into it not knowing anything about it, and only then is it interesting, and only then are they mesmerized by it. So if your ads are too detailed it will in fact have a bad effect. It’s the opposite of what you think—that people will come to see it only if you portray it in all its glory. If people know about all of it already, they won’t in fact come to see it.
Then what accounts for all the difficulty you have selling tickets? It’s not just a matter of your promotional materials. Then what is the issue? It has to do with the longstanding cultural foundations that people have, as well as their degree of familiarity with another culture. Take any ballet company in the U.S., or the ballet company of any place in the West, or whatever performance company, and the majority of Americans will know it, with many even knowing who the principal performers are. They even know who will be performing on a given occasion. All they have to do is put out a simple ad and people will come—just a simple ad. That’s not something Shen Yun can do at present, as many people still don’t know who Shen Yun is. We know that our performances are the best, but ordinary people don’t. On top of that, the wicked CCP has long been systematically destroying Chinese culture, and pretty much every company that’s come to the West from mainland China to perform has been one big hodgepodge. Mainlanders, with their broken culture, mistakenly think that Westerners will only want to watch you perform if you serve up a big mix of everything. What Chinese people don’t understand, having been inundated with the culture of the CCP, is that the evil specter of the CCP is purposefully controlling the Chinese people and causing them to destroy their own culture, using Chinese people to ruin the image of the Chinese internationally. What they put forth is thus really poor. For example, in their dance they mix together all kinds of things, such as ballet, Chinese dance, modern dance, and contemporary dance, making for one big motley mix. In Western society people really have little tolerance for such things. And then there’s the fact that they learn some modern expressive techniques that were produced by modernist thought in the West, and yet they can’t measure up to the performances or to the causes that those abnormal artists in the West have. And these artists who try to be in vogue by going “modern,” they don’t know that those modernist things are not mainstream in Western society. This has caused Westerners to never have a good impression of Chinese performances, and this creates an obstacle for Shen Yun.
So it’s not that you haven’t given out or put out enough promotional materials. Consider that last year in the New York metropolitan area, people, including those nearby in New Jersey and Connecticut, saw your ads or materials at least five times each. How come more people didn’t come to watch the performances, then? People didn’t know what you were performing. They knew your company was coming, and they knew about the show, but, they didn’t know what you would perform or how the quality was. Then there is only one solution, namely, for us to break into the market by offering a show that is high in quality and with content that only gets better every year. Actually, the performances have already had an impact on society, and interest has been constantly brewing; after someone sees it and likes it, he tells people everywhere about it. In these few years Shen Yun’s performances have already managed to achieve that. But, because Shen Yun only came about recently, and because what’s before us is a world with billions of people, if we want to extend that impact more broadly, it will take a process. Nevertheless, the power of Shen Yun’s brilliant performances is already substantial, and the impact is huge. One day things will be easier, and one day we won’t need to put much effort into advertising or producing video clips. At that time it will just take a few words—“Shen Yun is coming”—and people will come. (Everyone laughs, applauds) It will definitely be like that. But, while we are still in the process of reaching that point, you cannot neglect quality in your materials and advertisements. Don’t neglect it—be it a promotional video, your writing, etc. A new venture is always hard. No matter what it is, the first steps are always hard. Make sure you walk them well together.
Student: As for our media outlets reporting things that have broad appeal, is what you have in mind the kinds of things that go along with ordinary people’s attachments and appeal to people whose moral values have slid down? Or were you referring to the kinds of things that they really should enjoy…?
Master: There is no set standard for what people like. When anything is done well, people like it. It comes down to quality. Some people like things spicy, some bitter, some sweet, and some sour, as they have different tastes. When people live in society for a long time, they develop their own views on things and what they like, and everyone has different tastes. But don’t let this fact affect you. You know that what comprises a Shen Yun performance is really crucial, so people say to me, “Why don’t you include xiaopin [skits]?” “Why don’t you have xiangsheng [comedy dialogue]?” “Why don’t you include popular songs?” “Why don’t you have acrobatics?” “Why don’t you have this, why don’t you have that...?” There is one thing I am extremely clear on, and that is, whatever it is you do, if you do it well, people will like it. When you choose what to use, you take into consideration your audience and ask whether a given artistic form is classy or whether it’s unrefined. Why have I chosen song and dance? Because song and dance have no language barrier, and no cultural or ethnic barriers, and anyone can follow it. Then supposing we were to do a xiaopin skit, what would all those groups out there who don’t understand Chinese be hearing? Many kinds of arts are by nature limited in their appeal. Only song and dance are something everyone can accept and find accessible.
Sometimes I can’t help but observe how every day there are people around me airing their views, expressing this, then that, then this… At those times I’m thinking: I am probably the only one who could handle all of this, I know what I am doing as well as what the future holds (everyone laughs), and if anyone were to take my place it would be a mess, as they couldn’t handle all this. (Everyone laughs, applauds)
That reminds me of the media that Dafa disciples are running. When Dafa disciples are doing something, for sure there are always yet more people at ear’s length who air their views, unloading a whole pile of suggestions—“do it this and that way, that and this way…” (Master laughs, everyone else laughs) Those who are involved in the [media] projects always think that the management has problems, while those involved in the management always think that the others aren’t being very cooperative. But actually, Dafa disciples should first be considerate of others no matter what the occasion, and put themselves in the other person’s shoes, and look at the whole picture. Then you will know what to do. Think about where the other person might be coming from, see if you can look at the whole picture, and then you will know what to do.
Student: Could Shen Yun’s performance be played in Hong Kong as one would a movie? Also, in Taiwan could NTD Television work on becoming a public station?
Master: No, Shen Yun’s performance cannot be played as a movie. It wouldn’t be striking the way it is on stage, nor would it be as effective saving people. As for the question of what the station should do, that’s still left to you yourselves to determine. I was really happy when I heard that Taiwan’s Dafa disciples had started up a station and that the resources are better than over here in the U.S. But then, later on, I heard that you didn’t want to do it anymore. Since it’s you validating the Fa though, after all, it’s left to you to do if you want to, and if you don’t want to, you don’t have to. It was something you had wanted to do originally, after all. But I think that you shouldn’t be so lacking in resolve. What makes you think you can’t do well or cooperate well? Why can’t you work hard to ensure that financially the station is sound enough to keep running? In Western society our Chinese Dafa disciples are culturally disadvantaged [and yet still get things done], so how could it be that you can’t do well in your own backyard? Ordinary people can run a station well, but you think you can’t? The things you broadcast appeal to ordinary people, are what others aren’t brave enough to report, and are liked by those who watch them, so what’s not good about it? Don’t veer off course when you look for solutions. When you have thought things through and concluded that you want to do something, then go ahead and do it. And if you really can’t pull it off, then try a different approach. That’s fine. I think that when Dafa disciples do something they should carry it through to the end. If you spend half of your strength, or walk half of your path of cultivation, and then turn around and start all over again, then it was really a waste. Time is limited.
Student: There are a lot of young disciples among those doing media work. Because they haven’t figured out the appropriate degree of intimacy between men and women, it has made their own cultivation and things around them highly unstable.
Master: This is really something to watch out for. If Dafa disciples don’t do well in this regard, if they can’t pass this test, or if they have not walked their own path well, then they have disgraced both themselves and Dafa disciples as a whole. I don’t want to say much about this; I already said more than enough before. Pay attention to it. The media in mainland China like to publicize this sort of scandalous thing, as the evil wants to corrupt the Chinese people and make them unsavable. The evil’s goal is plenty clear: to see whether gods will still bother to save such people. Then how are you, as Dafa disciples, to get other people to do well if you yourselves aren’t managing to do well? How are you to save them?
Student: Many of us who are involved in media work have to attend to an ordinary job as well, which makes it hard for us to put all of our effort into the media’s operations.
Master: That’s the situation for pretty much everyone sitting here. Everyone’s doing it that way. It’s just a matter of using your time well, of managing it well. That’s the situation before us, unless you have a way to resolve the problem of making a living or to get full-time employees. I’ve in fact told the station that those who work full-time on selling ads can have a regular wage. That is, we do it by treating it as a formal job, allowing people to take on this work without those worries—we have to make this path into a reality. Other initiatives can do the same if conditions permit. But if they do not, then you can’t do that.
You all know the effect that Shen Yun Performing Arts now has, and you have seen it; even if it is thousands who attend, when they leave, they have changed. That kind of instant result isn’t something that our other efforts to clarify the truth can achieve under normal circumstances; at least at present they haven’t reached that kind of level, let alone with an audience of Shen Yun’s size. But a show put on by a performing arts company can. A performing arts company can have that big of an impact, but, of course, for that to happen many things first need to be done well. This has led some people to conclude that we should just focus on starting up more new companies then—“let’s all work on this.” But that won’t work. As you can imagine, that would cause problems in terms of financial, material, and human resources. The [Shen Yun] performers you see, those young adults, have ample conditions for this, and their artistic skills improve at an incredible rate. The students at Fei Tian have done really well in their academic courses too—their scores on standardized tests were among the top in their upstate New York area. (Applause) And it’s not just their academic studies in which they’ve excelled. They train extremely hard at their art, and their skills have improved very fast; at present theirs are better than those of your average professionals. And they’ve accomplished that in a short span of time. So, what accounts for that? For one thing, they are Dafa disciples. And secondly, they have excellent teachers—be it the academic teachers, the dance teachers, or music teachers. These teachers have completely withdrawn from their other jobs just to work there, and every day they teach all day long. If these Dafa disciples carry on like this for a long time, it won’t work out, since they have families and careers. Other projects, as you know, are done in one’s spare time, with one being able to fulfill duties on the home front and at the same time carry out Dafa activities, and nothing is affected. But that’s not the case for these people. So, they need to receive a formal salary. If we include the adult performers in the picture, the expenses are huge. With the costs of each performance being what they are, and with the people involved now totaling in the hundreds, if we were to try to pay salaries we wouldn’t have the means. So we would like to get outside support, and to this effect have set up a Shen Yun Office that can specifically reach out to government institutions and corporations for support, since that’s what other performance companies do. It’s really not easy to accomplish. Don’t think anything of the fact that people are seeing a little bit of profit. It’s still far, far from enough.
Student: There was an ordinary person who, after seeing Shen Yun perform, brought the company’s promotional materials back with him to mainland China. A couple of days ago he returned from China and said that he had passed out more than forty items about Falun Gong. He asked me to pass on his regards to Master.
Master: As the evil factors are increasingly cleared out, people are increasingly becoming freed. People will analyze things for themselves after waking up, and they will see the persecution and the wicked Party for what they are. They will immediately be able to tell which is good and which is bad. However badly people’s moral values might have sunk, they still have powers of reason after all, and they are still able to discern good from bad. Gradually people will wake up.
Student: It has already been set forth that The Epoch Times has to break even financially. So in terms of the business side of NTD, how should Dafa disciples at the station go about drawing up goals?
Master: The specifics are still things that you need to work out for yourselves. Don’t ask Master things that are so specific. Cooperate together well. I have also spoken with the coordinators, so they will know what should be done.
I think that I won’t say anything more. I would like to leave you time for discussion. After all, today is not a Fa conference. (Everyone laughs) I’m just here to resolve some of the pressing questions you might have. That’s all I will say. Thank you all! (Enthusiastic applause)
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