September 5, 2010 ~ Manhattan
Good afternoon! (All the Dafa disciples reply, “Good afternoon, Master!” Enthusiastic applause.) You’ve really been working hard! (Disciples reply, “Master has worked hard!”) A grand gathering on this scale is rare, and this time a sizable number of students have come. I hear that two conference halls have been filled. Ten years have passed in the blink of an eye. Whatever persecution may have been perpetrated, it has merely served to temper our Dafa disciples to maturity. The disciples of Dafa underwent a so-called “trial” that was both evil and harsh, and have made it through. You have consistently worked to clarify the truth, save sentient beings, and validate the Fa regardless of how evil the persecution has been, being extremely clear in your minds about what you are doing. Our Dafa disciples have never gotten involved in ordinary people’s politics, and have no interest in political power. We are but a body of cultivators. The perpetrators, meanwhile, in order to persecute Falun Gong and those kind individuals who cultivate Zhen, Shan, Ren, have not hesitated to destroy human morality and propagate false, evil, violent, and pornographic things—the very worst things known to man—to oppose us. In other words, even though we have no political agenda; don’t wish to seize political power from anyone; and merely need surroundings that allow us to do our cultivation and to have the freedom to believe in Dafa—this would suffice—it’s not that the perpetrator has absolutely no idea what it’s doing in persecuting us. It is every bit aware that these people aspire to be good people. The wicked CCP regime is not an entity that encourages people to be good. From the very day it gained political power it has been gangsters building themselves up, and ever since, it has employed lies and falsehood to dupe the people, and violence to establish its dictatorship. These are traits that lie at the foundation of this regime. All along it has relied on relentless lies and violent suppression to get by, and virtually each time that it has spread propaganda and followed it up with violent suppression, these have been based on lies. Its political achievements are bogus, the heroes it has eulogized are bogus, the villains it strikes out against are bogus, the “enemy forces” it hypes up are bogus, the role models it has established are bogus, and its dignified appearance is bogus. But people everywhere, and especially in China, are coming to see its true face.
What this tells us, then, is that while going about its persecution of Falun Gong, it has, so as to persecute this group of people and bring down Falun Gong, connived at those evil things and harmful behavior so as to counteract the universal values of Zhen, Shan, Ren and inundate society with those bad things, to the point that they get out of control. Ironically, however, now that these bad things have gathered enough strength to become a force in their own right, they have ended up jeopardizing the regime’s power, and at this point the regime wouldn’t be able to rein them in even if it tried. So, the persecution of Falun Gong has backfired on the regime, and we’re now seeing the end of this process playing out. I said something at the outset, namely, that the disgraceful end that the wicked Party had in store would not be at the hands of the people, but rather, that its downfall would be a case of retribution for its evil—of reaping what it sowed. Then as for our Dafa disciples, you must remain extremely cognizant of all this and extremely clear about what it is that you’re doing. At no point on this journey have I ever changed the principles that are in place for you as cultivators, so those among us who are muddleheaded really mustn’t be, and should not let human attachments stir you to flights of fancy.
The Three Realms’ entire formation and the creation of the earth were for this final affair today. What’s displayed here among men is a group of good people saving the world’s people and leading society to change for the better, redeeming the world and mankind. But as seen from the cosmos, it is Fa-rectification taking place, and it involves measureless and countless sentient beings, gigantic universes, and immeasurable cosmic bodies. So those trifling things that are to be gained here among men, or political power, can in no way compare. But once a Dafa disciple is here among men for this affair, he must rely on Dafa if he is to tell right from wrong. One enters into illusion upon joining the world of mortals, and so no one can see the reality of things very clearly. Only from this Fa can you gain guidance on how to conduct yourselves. Thus, real experience over these years has born out that with good Fa-study a Dafa disciple can avoid losing his bearing, and no matter how complicated this society may be, or how much things may be in flux, he can, if he manages to truly align his cultivation with the Fa, not be led astray by the false appearances here—even as a range of human attachments, thoughts, temptations, and things that may stir up attachments as well as all sorts of superficial things, conspire to interfere with his cultivation.
My Dafa disciples, try to really take a sober look back at the path you traveled these years. While many things may have seemed to have no rhyme or reason, all, in fact, had an order about them and, for your benefit, served to extend, bit-by-bit, this final chapter of history meant for Fa-rectification. I recall that back before the persecution of Dafa disciples began, a large Fa conference was held here. Back then it was attended by many students, and now, aren’t you all back here again? The people of this world are increasingly seeing the evil for what it is. And similarly, the people everywhere will progressively come to understand just what exactly makes Dafa disciples and Falun Gong what they are. Who is righteous and who is wicked; who is good and who is evil; the groundless accusations; and the slander—the world’s people are going to see through all of these. That sinister regime of gangsters has always falsely accused whoever it wanted to bring down, and that has long been its approach. But such things are now being exposed one by one. In the CCP’s various campaigns, it has always adopted the very same, gangster-like tactics. Namely, it starts by making up rumors about the group it is going to persecute, and has its media collectively swarm to criticize the group and stirs up public sentiment against it, hoodwinking people into becoming part of its affair. It then proceeds to bring down whoever it has targeted. So that’s what it actually means by the term “mass campaign.” This time it won’t work. Indeed, in the Fa-rectification of the cosmos, all of the cosmos’s gods are watching attentively, and the multitude of Buddhas, Daos, and Gods are participating. Could a bunch of evil people still have their way at this time? [What is happening in the world] is but an instance of this wildly arrogant, evil party being utilized to test Dafa disciples and eliminate Dafa disciples’ attachments in the face of death, thus leading to their Consummation and meanwhile sifting out those who aren’t fit to be Dafa disciples. All it amounts to is just such a process. But, even then, as this plays out things are hard to see for what they are. Only by being amidst the illusion and going through that process can one get a taste of what “hardship” really means. What I just said is meant to tell you that Dafa disciples are outstanding, and you have come through the persecution. But, some people really shouldn’t have lost their direction the way they did. You need to be clear on what you are here for.
There is something else I would like to speak about. Namely, that over all these long years that our Dafa disciples have been persecuted, our efforts to constantly expose the persecution and get the world’s people to see that what’s said are just incriminating lies and trumped up charges have been, in fact, to save the world’s people. That is because the ones who are truly being persecuted are not Dafa disciples, but the world’s people. I said early on that Dafa disciples are, amidst all the enormous pressure, and amidst real tests of life and death, just going through a process of heading towards Consummation. Weren’t all the past persecutions of upright faiths doing the same? I’ve said before that mankind has failed time and again to draw positive lessons; people always manage to remember the negative ones. However hard things may get, Dafa disciples are saving the world’s people, and in each and every initiative you undertake, you are doing what I described. Dafa disciples have launched many initiatives for clarifying the truth and saving people, with the aim of being able to effectively save sentient beings and expose the evil’s persecution. Some are somewhat larger, and some, somewhat smaller; some are media entities; others seek to break the Internet blockade; and then there are efforts in all sorts of settings and at each rung of society that adopt many different forms in order to validate the Fa and save people. All of what you’ve done is extraordinary. All of these things were self-initiated and organized by Dafa disciples in hopes of having a greater impact; they are efforts that have been effective at saving people. On this matter, Master affirms you. As long as Master hasn’t said that you’ve done poorly or that what you’re doing isn’t necessary, then go do that thing, and do it well. As long as what you’re doing can save people, then do it. You needn’t have Master affirm each and every thing that you’re doing.
In the old days, as you know, cultivators took their own individual Consummation to be the primary goal. Could something as historically significant as Dafa’s widespread dissemination be trivial? When it is the Fa of the cosmos that is brought forth and imparted to people, could the person that cultivates it be just an average human being? What Shakyamuni imparted back when he was around was the Fa of Arhat. Mahayana Buddhism was something put together after Shakyamuni had left this world and, strictly speaking, it is a derivative of the original; meaning, it was no more capable of taking people’s cultivation past the level of Arhat than the original. Dafa disciples, by contrast, are kings who came from the heavens above in order to help Master rectify the Fa, and it is fundamentally on account of the fact that Fa-rectification of the cosmos was to take place that Dafa disciples, endowed with such a tremendous spiritual foundation (genji), came about. And neither are the sentient beings here in this world who are to be saved as simple as they may seem; an average being is not worthy of being saved by the Dafa of the cosmos or a Dafa disciple. The majority of the people in the world today are lives that descended here from the heavens, becoming human, and behind them, linked to them, are massive groups of lives. So, with things being this significant, [the things you are doing] are not things that an ordinary cultivator could do, and neither is the celestial rank [you will achieve] one that an average cultivator could reach. Things now are nowhere near as simple as people in the old days understood them to be.
As I have said, the religious practices, the many faiths, and the variety of cultivation methods of the past were merely establishing in the human realm a culture that would include cultivation and a knowledge of divine beings. If those persons and those enlightened beings had not come to establish this culture, people today wouldn’t understand what’s meant by “cultivation” or that divine beings reside in the heavens and what they are like. There are Buddhas, Daoist divinities, Gods known to man such as Jesus and Jehovah, and of course, many more deities of all types. They created the knowledge of divine beings that human culture has, and have allowed people throughout history to have a wealth of knowledge about the features of divine beings and how they go about things, as well as what cultivation is, its different forms, and what it takes to do cultivation. Since such things were established in human culture, it is that much easier for me to impart the Fa today. I don’t need to teach you any further what divine beings are, what cultivation is, and what’s involved in reaching divine realms. There is thus no need for me to explain so many of the most superficial things, which otherwise I would have to. In other words, people now understand, and know, for this part of human culture has been established. And that was the real reason why those enlightened beings came to this world. Today it’s a different story. Today, Dafa disciples are here at the same time as the Fa’s rectification of the cosmos, and it was precisely this phase we have arrived at that people once told of; that the prophecies described; and that was known somewhat to, or comprehended by, people with supernormal abilities. And this phase—the final, culminating affair—is precisely what Dafa disciples are carrying out.
Each Dafa disciple is remarkable. The planes from which they hail are by no means ordinary, and they established man’s culture throughout the course of human history. Many well-known historical figures are counted among our Dafa disciples, and no matter whether it was the guise of an enlightened being that he assumed or perhaps that of a famous cultural figure, a celebrated general, or the king of a nation: any person whose name has been left to posterity is extraordinary. And there are a great many more things done in the past that would seem extraordinary but which went unrecorded and that left not a trace. This was because gods didn’t wish for those things to be passed down. The average person isn’t worthy of having his name recorded for posterity, for human history was by its very nature formed in service of the Fa-rectification and validation of the Fa. What part of man’s culture, or intellectual heritage, gets to remain is no trivial thing. And humankind’s true history or reason of being is not simple, either. The cultivation that Dafa disciples do, and their saving of people, are inherently tied to the Fa-rectification of the cosmos.
As you know, from July 20 of 1999 up through the present we have witnessed society as well as people’s hearts changing, bit by bit, just as we have witnessed changes in people’s perceptions of and attitudes toward Dafa disciples and the wicked CCP. If you had not taken action in the face of those evil circumstances, nobody would have taken action on your behalf, for people have all been waiting for you to save them. The true victims of persecution are the world’s people, not you. While people have seen that Falun Gong is being persecuted, and Dafa disciples are working to resist it, our counteracting of the persecution is but the superficial appearance. The reality is that you are saving people, and it is to save people that you expose the evil. The wicked CCP doesn’t allow people to believe in the Divine, since the Party is antithetical to the Divine. Atheism itself is a heinous sin. When a person is divinely created yet he turns around and denies the Divine’s very existence, there is no other way but for him to be eliminated by the Divine. It is truly heartening for me to see Dafa disciples putting such enormous amounts of energy into all of their projects, trying to have a greater impact in saving people. What this means, then, is that while under persecution you are establishing the mighty virtue of enlightened beings. The persecutors are simply a manifestation of evil as Dafa disciples go through the Consummation process. The ones who are truly being persecuted are the world’s people.
In what sense have the world’s people been persecuted? After all, people seem to be leading rather comfortable, free, and unfettered lives when society’s moral values have sunken. But as you know, the majority of the people on this earth came here from the heavens, with many in fact having been sent down here as representatives of the cosmic body they hail from, of that universe’s sentient beings, with their purpose of coming being to ultimately gain salvation. Whether or not salvation will be gained rests on how this person responds, while in this world, once Dafa has been imparted. That is because a person’s actions here reflect the state of the sentient beings, during Fa-rectification, in the cosmic body that he represents and that lies behind him. A human being won’t have the same appearance as a divine being. After coming to this human realm and having his plane lowered, he can only assume the appearance of a human being. In this day, as Master imparts the Fa, Master cannot be like a divine being. He can merely use human language to teach, and a human appearance to be here with you. A lot of people fail to realize this. People think that it’s Falun Gong that is being persecuted, when in fact it is the world’s people who are the victims. I say that because they have been taken in by the lies during the persecution, and have hatred toward Falun Gong. Yet “Falun Gong” is the name that the Great Law of the cosmos assumes here in this world. What Dafa disciples are doing here is validating the Fa, and they are Disciples of Fa who are saving sentient beings, and have tremendous missions. Put another way, they are emissaries of the Divine. If an earthly person’s mind is full of negative thoughts about Dafa or Dafa disciples, or if this person has maligned or doesn’t identify with the fundamental truth of Fa that is Zhen, Shan, Ren, then this person is slated to be weeded out, to be eliminated, by divine forces. And this is particularly true for those who have been directly involved in persecuting Dafa disciples, said bad words against Dafa, or done bad things against it. So, when you consider that however severely Dafa disciples may be persecuted they are still walking the path to godhood, and that whether they depart early or late they are still bound for Consummation and will return, is it not in fact human beings who are the true victims of the persecution?
This cosmos has countless, immeasurable sentient beings in it as well as countless gods of different sorts. The immense cosmos is incomparably sacred, with the number of gods in the heavens whose levels are similar to that of Shakyamuni being too many to count. Shakyamuni used the expression “as innumerable as the sands of the Ganges” to describe how large the amount was, but in fact, if you added up the total of all the grains of sand on this earth, it would still be inadequate as a metaphor for the number of divine beings at that level. And what we’re discussing is but a metaphor for the number of divine beings at just one level. Then comparatively speaking, what does a human being amount to? He is hardly worth mentioning. However, though his level of existence may be low, behind him, connected, are lives at higher planes. Many people in this world are in fact the representatives of a group of such lives. But, while under the spell of delusion, people remain unaware of these things, and even less do they know who they themselves really are. Yet behind many of the world’s people, represented by them, are in fact countless and measureless lives of higher planes. In this light, then, would such a great Fa or such extraordinary Dafa disciples come simply to save an average, ordinary human being? Could that possibly happen? At present, the majority of the people in this world have deeper reasons within for being here. If a person is indeed the representative, dispatched to earth, of an enormous cosmic system, then what he represents is a world, a layer of the cosmos, or a layer of a cosmic body. Since a cosmic body is a circulatory entity, then each cosmic system, regardless of its size, has a system of its own, with there also being a system at higher, and still higher planes, that it belongs to. And the higher the plane, the larger it is; the greater the incalculable number of sentient beings; and the more massive the gods, with the numbers of sentient beings being even more inestimable. As a whole, the universe is massive to an extraordinary extent. When a Dafa disciple saves one person, it’s by no means simply one human being as we know it: an enormous body of lives will thus be saved. Put another way, how a person responds to Dafa and Dafa disciples is not simply a human act. And of course, if a person’s surface layer is not very awake and alert, it will pose an obstacle to the salvation of that person and the sentient beings who he represents, so it is for this reason that we need to clarify the truth.
What I just discussed was something very big. There are many people here today listening to the Fa. Hearing this Fa won’t be a problem for Dafa disciples, but perhaps there are some newer students or supporters of Falun Gong or family members here who may have trouble understanding it. But since it’s a Fa conference after all, I am teaching the Fa that’s for Dafa disciples to have, and there’s no other way but to teach like this. So, [the above] was the reason why the Great Law of the cosmos is being disseminated in the human world. Only beings such as [those I described] are worthy of being saved by Dafa disciples, and only such beings are worthy of having the Great Law of the cosmos be spread here in this world—it’s that monumental. So, although the human being here on a lower plane has an enormous body of lives behind him, while he is here on this earth he is going to be a regular person of this realm, this level. That’s how it works. Though the person is at the lowest plane, if he commits a sin against the Fa of the cosmos, or if he fails to identify with this Fa that created the cosmos and countless sentient beings, then where is he, after opposing such things, bound for? Death, as people conceive of it, involves going to a certain place. But where would such a person go? Even the matter in this universe that results from the ultimate death of something is created by this Fa, so if the person opposes the Fa, where is he to go? By way of illustration, in the Bible, Jehovah and Jesus both allude to how the lives of those who persecute the apostles face eternal damnation and torment, forever. It would hold true even through to when the new cosmos is created, and through its long years of history, with the sinner paying ceaselessly for his sinful karma. My goodness, how terrible! The suffering would simply know no end, for that’s how big the sinful karma is when someone has sinned against the cosmos’s Great Law. Though a human being is only human, he is in fact a representative of higher planes. Thus, when a human being commits a sin against Dafa, the body of lives behind him that he represents, from top to bottom, will see all of its countless gods and beings of every variety completely destroyed, because this is the Fa-rectification of the cosmos. Mercy is offered before the great disaster arrives, but the Fa-rectification is pitilessly strict.
My Fa is not taught to ordinary people, but to Dafa disciples. Dafa disciples all grasp what this is. What this means is that the ones who have truly been persecuted are human beings, and those who stand to be annihilated are human beings. The goal of the persecution was, in fact, to on the one hand test Dafa disciples, and on the other, weed out the old lives in the cosmos, of which man is one. The old forces were dead set on man not attaining salvation, for the old forces of the cosmos held that the cosmos was no good anymore, and nor were its sentient beings, and thus they should all be destroyed. Cultivators, meanwhile, would be put through harsh ordeals, with whichever Dafa disciples who failed to cultivate well getting weeded out. The people of the world and other sentient beings would not be kept. You have likely seen many prophecies to this effect, with some putting the survival rate at one in ten thousand, one in a thousand, or only one in ten households. Whatever the figure, they wanted to destroy sentient beings on a massive scale. The essential goal of Dafa’s vast spreading in the world, however, and saving of sentient beings, is to redeem everything—to save all sentient beings capable of being saved. And that is why we have done as much as we can, trying our best to save more.
By its very nature, the participation of the old forces of the cosmos in this Fa-rectification affair serves as a demon for Dafa and Fa-rectification. As you’re aware, here among man there is mutual generation and mutual inhibition at work, a positive for a negative. Such is human society. People inherently dwell in an environment where evil accompanies good, and the material substance of man has these two sides, good and evil. Thus, when a person loses his temper, gets irrational, cruel, evil, hateful, or carried away by joy, that is demon nature at work; whereas when he is rational, compassionate, or kind, that is Buddha nature, or his good nature, at work. And in this world there are good people, bad people, those who are kind, those who are wicked, just as in the heavens there are Buddhas—which are Fa Kings—as well as Demon Kings. All of these are matched up, of course, and the correspondence reaches all the way to very high planes, with a negative for a positive. Having a negative for a positive keeps everything in balance in the old cosmos. When the old forces of the cosmos saw that this Dafa that was spreading was completely positive, they promptly created many demons and ordeals. Precisely in this manner they formed what was, for the Fa-rectification, and for the cosmos’s Dafa, a demon. This is how things came about.
Then what we can say is, all that Dafa disciples have been doing these years has been meant to save people and clarify the truth. Even though many Dafa disciples have been persecuted to a severe degree, all of that took place on the path to godhood; whether the person departs early or late, each shall meet with Consummation. Whereas ordinary people, by contrast, don’t have any such opportunity. Then what makes the life of a Dafa disciple so special? Its foundation was being established ever since the earliest times in history, and it was in this manner that Dafa disciples made it through to the present. Counted among the ranks of Dafa disciples are Jesus’s disciples as well as those of Shakyamuni, as well as, of course, other divine beings who you don’t know of and their disciples. Of course, you are not truly their disciples. You are disciples of Dafa, and were merely waiting for this day. In other words, you accompanied those holy figures in creating a culture for mankind, and today, that culture is again being utilized to save people.
After the recent Washington, D.C., Fa conference in the capital of the United States, many students heard that Master would go to each project meeting and meet with them, and so, suddenly, tons of people came today. (Laughter) All of the projects sent me lots of invitations, as each, large or small, wanted Master to hold a meeting with them. (Laughter) Master wouldn’t be able to manage all that. What I just said was to tell you, in fact, that you have all done very well, and don’t need Master to affirm each and every thing you do or each and every one of you. By making it to the present, and by partaking in saving sentient beings, you are blazing a path for yourself, establishing your own mighty virtue, and fulfilling your historic mission. Many such things are obscured by illusion, and even if Master does teach something to you, he won’t spell it all out. (Master laughs) So I wanted to share with you that I couldn’t manage to attend [all of your meetings] even though you invited me to. (Everyone laughs) But, I don’t want to let down your hopes, either, now that I have come. I know you always want to share some things with Master. (Disciples applaud) But there are so many people here, so let’s have you send up question slips and I’ll answer them for you. If your questions are of an individual sort, however, or not related to saving sentient beings or the things that Dafa disciples need to do, then don’t pass them up. If the slips are too many, and everyone writes one, we still won’t be done even by this time tomorrow. (Everyone laughs) Those in the auxiliary hall can pass up question slips as well. Okay, bring them forward—go ahead and bring them forward.
Student: In Hong Yin II, what is meant by “The Four Great Elements have weathered away”?
Master: I can explain this, but I think this question doesn’t have much relevance to our present tasks that have to do with saving sentient beings. What Shakyamuni meant by “the Four Great Elements” was earth, water, fire, and wind—the fundamental cause of a universe’s generation in a certain realm within one cosmic body. I just made it clear that in a certain realm it was the Four Great Elements that were the fundamental cause behind the creation of that universe. But still, that was not the ultimate, truly fundamental cause. With the cosmic body progressing through the stages of formation, stasis, and degeneration over the long course of time and reaching the point of degeneration, things appear as if in a process of weathering away.
Student: Mainland Dafa disciples in Korea miss Master.
Master: Thank you all. You needn’t put such things on the question slips. I know that you all miss Master, and Master misses you! (All disciples applaud loudly)
Student: Beijing Dafa disciples miss Master ever more as the end draws nearer.
Master: I’m going to skip reading slips like this aloud. I’ll just select the ones with questions to read.
Student: Dafa disciples send Master their greetings from Beijing Agricultural University, China University of Geosciences, Beihang University, Beijing Forestry University, and…
Master: Let’s not send up more greetings, as they take time to read out. Thank you all. (Disciples applaud)
Student: The entire body of Dafa disciples in Nanchang, Guangdong, Hunan, and Xi’ning send their greetings to their magnificent Master.
Master: I’m going to skip reading the greetings, and proceed to answer questions. I want to start with questions—answering questions.
Student: The entire body of Thailand students send their greetings to Master.
Master: Another greeting. Thank you all.
Student: Ziyang, Sichuan province, Chengdu… (Collective laughter)
Master: Another one.
Student: How can we remove as quickly as possible the notions and attachments formed by living among ordinary people?
Master: (Laughing) Amidst challenges, or when things can’t be resolved, people are always trying to think of some tactic to use. But there is no shortcut, in fact: you have to truly put cultivation into practice, and cultivate in line with the Great Law. If a person wants to move toward godhood, and yet he’s thinking, “Let’s see if we can find some special kind of shortcut” (laughing), could he possibly be progressing by really, solidly doing cultivation? That doesn’t work. You have to truly, solidly cultivate if you are to go higher.
Student: After Master taught the Fa last time at the Washington, D.C., Fa conference, many disciples in China realized that they too should cooperate with the coordinators unconditionally. They went so far as to seek out former site coordinators and assistants to ask them to serve as overall coordinators now, despite the fact that these former site coordinators and assistants in many cases have never truly stepped forward.
Master: Before, in China, those Dafa disciples who served in positions of responsibility at practice sites were not in those positions on account of having cultivated particularly well, but rather, because they had the ability to carry out such work and the desire to do so. It has to be cultivators who handle cultivators’ things. It’s not enough to consider only how good someone is at handling things; whether he is able to cultivate also needs to be looked at. This is something that can never, ever, be changed.
When I last taught the Fa, I expressly added a line about, “that pertains to Dafa disciples outside of China.” The circumstances in China are different, so I was not addressing the people there.
Student: The students in China who are diligent are busy clarifying the truth and saving people, and don’t have enough time to study the Fa or do the exercises, which leads to getting persecuted. Some students, on the other hand, invest the majority of their time in studying the Fa and exercising, and rarely clarify the truth. Many are like this. In this kind of situation, how long will it take before we are able to save enough people?
Master: Basically, you’re saying some just clarify the truth but don’t study the Fa, while others just study the Fa but don’t clarify the truth. (Everyone laughs) This is precisely an excuse that the old forces use to persecute Dafa disciples. [That’s what happens] if you fail to really balance these two things, as Dafa’s saving of people is not something an ordinary person can carry out. It has to be a cultivator. So, you must study the Fa, cultivate, and become a cultivator. It doesn’t count when an ordinary person does it, and he doesn’t gain that mighty virtue. Then if you, as a cultivator, fail to carry out this task and just study the Fa, have you not considered the purpose of studying the Fa? It is for your own success as well as to save sentient beings. By studying the Fa you gain the Fa yourself, but do you only want to gain—to gain the benefits of Dafa? In other words, if, while Dafa disciples are being persecuted and Dafa is being maligned, you won’t stand up and say a few words of support, are you worthy of gaining the Fa? That’s the idea.
Student: Some Western students in northern Europe ask that people adopt a calendar-based approach to studying Zhuan Falun, and…
Master: There should be no such thing. What’s best for you is to have a set time for studying the Fa. Studying the Fa together is the form that I have given to you. But, you must be diligent about studying the Fa, and study often, and only then can you not lose your bearings, can you walk your path correctly, and do well what you should do. Don’t alter the manner of studying the Fa. Simply read it straight through. Don’t go and start something different, trying to be novel. I think it’s human thinking that leads people to pick and choose which part of the Fa to study or to come up with a new approach to Fa-study.
Student: In our area there is a Shen Yun promotions coordinator who, for various reasons, doesn’t come out anymore and is rather depressed. Could Master say a few words?
Master: I’d rather not pass judgment. (Everyone laughs) As long as this affair has not ended, Dafa disciples are still in the midst of cultivating themselves and passing through trials, and whether or not the person has what it takes is being observed. I don’t want to block his path. Each person is arriving at his own insights, and each is cultivating. While what you see is that he doesn’t come out now, you should know that he’s going through some hard times, and in the midst of a trial. Everyone will go through that during their trials. The crucial thing is how the person handles himself.
Student: One fellow cultivator says that not trusting the top person in charge equates to not trusting Master. Is that right?
Master: I would like to talk to you all again about this. What I spoke about was the principal person in charge of a project, or the main person in charge of a region’s Dafa Association. This is very important. As for the persons in charge at levels below, or in charge of specific locales or certain departments within a given project, it’s not that critical. However, as our Dafa disciples, since Master asked that you change your state, then you should do as I’ve described and listen to your management, and follow their command, since after all how each department does things is ultimately coming from the directives of the main person in charge. Let me repeat how this works one more time: I am referring to the main persons in charge—the persons in charge of major projects and initiatives, and the top person in each Dafa Association—not the various departments under them, or the different practice-site and Fa-study coordinators under a given region’s Association. They’re not who I’m referring to. They don’t assume responsibility for the entire project. But with that said, you should still follow and do a good job carrying out what the persons in charge of various locales and the various departments or divisions within a project say, since many of them were asked to take the approaches they do by the top person in charge. If there really are serious problems, however, you can always report it as normal. But, over the years, you have formed a habit whereby you always think poorly of some people, and you have had a hard time putting an end to that attachment since you have become accustomed to looking outward. I want to undo this state, and eliminate that substance for you. You can’t go on like that. The time for that has passed.
So why did I not say anything before? Well, consider what your state would have been if you had done what I’m asking right from day one. If you were to just do whatever the person in charge said, you would not have walked your own paths. Moreover, if the person in charge had led you off-track, you wouldn’t have realized it. And if the person in charge didn’t himself have any ordeals to go through, he couldn’t have cultivated. Do you understand my point? That is why I taught you as I did in the preceding years, and didn’t raise this issue. Now, however, the people in charge have gone through ten years of ordeals, and that cultivation process, and passed through many trials and walked their own paths. The vast majority know how to handle things. We now need to change that state of yours. And with this, eliminate the attachment you have to habitually looking outward, searching outward, and looking at the person in charge any time problems arise. Before, you got in the habit of looking outward and always disapproving of the person in charge, and even up through today, you still don’t approve of him. (Everyone laughs) That’s no good. You have to accept him. Now, as to the people in charge, some really have done a poor job. While some have done poorly, the majority have done a good job. So, Master is still keeping an eye on things.
Student: Some fellow cultivators have pointed out that while I am working for one of our media, I also agree to do programs for fellow cultivators at other media. Does this mean I am not focusing on doing one thing well?
Master: Our Dafa disciples are shouldering many tasks at the same time. If you can do one thing well, while managing to do another thing well at the same time, then go for it. But if you can’t complete one thing, yet are taking on something else, then you won’t be doing either thing well. So you have to figure out how to balance these things. There’s an expression in northeastern China, which is: “A blind bear picking corn.” (Everyone laughs) By “blind bear” northeasterners mean a bear, so, how exactly does a bear go about picking corn? He breaks off one ear of corn and stuffs it under his arm, then tries to stuff another one under the same arm, then picks another one and tries to stuff this one under the same arm again, only to end up having one ear in the end. (Everyone laughs)
Student: Recently in China an excellent cultivator, who was a coordinator in a certain location, suddenly experienced what took the form of sickness karma, and he passed away, leaving many heartbroken. The cultivators who were close to him are reflecting on what part they had in it, or are there other reasons?
Master: After going through so much persecution, and traveling so far down your paths, you should all know how these things come about. You can ask your fellow cultivators, and get clear on things.
Many arrangements like this have been made by the old forces. Of course, when the arrangements were being made, the student was not aware that it was old forces doing so. At that time, Master had not yet designated them as old forces. So the student agreed to the arrangements, and they were cemented as such. At the time, some believed that it was just how things should be done, and so they signed on to certain things. And when the appointed time arrived, the old forces had a handle, so to speak, to grab on to and persecute him. There have been other scenarios as well. For instance, many people have done their cultivation by watching others and simply following suit instead of walking their own paths. The old forces thus make the person depart early, and use the occasion to see how people react and see if they keep cultivating. Since cultivation is something that you must do proactively, out of your own will, when you are tempted by profit and gain, or when you suffer the wrenching pain in connection to your reputation and emotions, you must really be able to readily let go of those things, and only then will things work out for you. So, when you all do well after seeing someone else do well, or don’t do well after seeing him not do well, and all of you are like this, then you are as good as thrusting that person into peril. In that case, your human attachments hasten his departure. The old forces thus seize upon this, and don’t let him live, for their stance is that he affected a great many people who looked to him and didn’t really cultivate. Were those people really making the grade? Could they really cultivate? Was their cultivation real or not? Only when a person does his own cultivation does it count. So, they really seize upon this handle, and it’s hard for Master to do anything about it. That’s because they have seized upon a principle, and say, “Look at all those people—who among them is really cultivating? We have to get this person out of the way.” This is why it’s imperative that you walk your own path in cultivation. You absolutely must cultivate yourself.
Of course, there are more than just these two scenarios. Some people have long harbored an attachment to illness, which is likewise dangerous. That’s because some people think that their illnesses will go away by practicing Dafa, and that they have a protective shield over them—“As long as I join the ranks of Dafa disciples, I won’t have illness, and won’t have anything to fear.” What a strong human attachment! But has that person carried out real cultivation, then? Or is he treating Dafa like a protective shield? Even if that wasn’t how the person was initially thinking, it’s still an attachment.
But, don’t we need to be free of all omissions if we are to cultivate to the point of Consummation? We cannot have any omissions in terms of human attachments. Any human attachment is a problem. All must go. Any of them can lead a student to encounter unfortunate things. I trust that many students are well aware of this, having gone through as many ordeals as they have. I don’t need to explain further. These issues are all things you have overcome on your paths.
Student: Some Dafa disciples in China won’t step forward after having been persecuted, but, having disciples who lag behind will drag out the Fa-rectification process. Could we ask Master to enlighten us on this?
Master: They won’t delay it, for time waits for no one, after all. It’s just that Master is continuing to provide opportunities, and we can wait for you during the process in between. However, the true, great, final moment cannot be delayed.
Student: At this point in Fa-rectification, how can Dafa disciples in China do better? They ask me to send greetings to our revered Master on their behalf.
Master: Save sentient beings, clarify the truth, do what Dafa disciples are supposed to do, and cultivate yourselves well. Don’t go looking for some kind of novel approach. Don’t mess around with those inferior means. Simply do the three things with confidence and dignity. Thank you for the greetings. (Applause)
Student: Could Master please explicitly instruct us again on the Fa principle of not collecting funds. For example, some projects outside of China need funds, and some students put in money and some contribute labor. Does that count as collecting funds?
Master: When I talk about collecting funds I am primarily targeting the situation in China, in fact. Problems are rare outside China, though in Taiwan there have been a few exceptional cases of people taking advantage of Dafa disciples’ gaps. But in China, the crooked people like that are many, and so I was mainly addressing the state of things there. In other places such problems are rather uncommon. Some Dafa disciples have come together and contributed funds so as to start a certain project, but that doesn’t count as collecting funds; they haven’t solicited funds from other people. So that doesn’t count. Of course, some Dafa disciples who are business owners and some who are financially very sound, have given some of their money to support Dafa projects, and this, again, is different from collecting funds. In these cases the person is proactively, out of his own heart, doing so, and it doesn’t impact anything since his finances are sound. So it doesn’t count as a problem. Don’t start up memberships, and don’t go around soliciting donations from our students. Whoever does this is doing wrong.
Student: Recently, in some places students have had rather severe bouts of sickness karma. Some students have raised the idea of having everyone send righteous thoughts and reaching a benevolent solution with the being that’s causing the sickness karma. Is this interpretation of “benevolent solution” and this approach to it correct?
Master: Dafa disciples are compassionate, and Master’s law bodies are benevolently resolving your many positive and negative karmic bonds. This kind of thinking isn’t wrong, but one needs to consider whether the situation is indeed how you see it, or whether you are doing it for lack of a better choice and with inadequate righteous thoughts.
Some people who used to have illness did recover as soon as they started cultivating Dafa, and they really were cured. But, in order to remove your attachments and test whether or not you have what it takes, the old forces cause you to have pain wherever the focal point of your former illness was, or have a relapse, with the symptoms even being the same, all to see whether you believe in Dafa. How are you to handle it when that happens? Human or divine—the difference lies in one thought. If what arises is a righteous thought, and you take the position that all of this is false, that it’s the old forces meddling, and you remind yourself of how long you’ve cultivated Dafa for and that no such thing is possible, if that thought truly comes from within, instantly the problem will vanish. But this isn’t just something you say and then are able to achieve. That kind of unwavering righteous thought comes from within you, and it is not superficial or just lip service. Suppose some people think, “Oh, Master told us what to say, so that’s what I’ll say,” yet your heart is unsteady, or you are just doing it for Master to see, and have not reached that realm yet. In that case, when that thought of yours does come forth, it will not be able to budge them and have the strength to defeat the old forces’ things. So it won’t work. Only with a righteous thought produced by cultivation will it turn out well.
Precisely so that you can handle such things well, I have never stopped telling you to sincerely study the Fa and do real cultivation, for once the righteous thoughts are strong, you will truly have the god-like might to split a mountain in half—split it with but one thought. Just see if the old forces dare to meddle then. When your righteous thoughts arise, nothing can block your path. It is thus primarily students who haven’t been very diligent, who don’t study the Fa frequently, or whose minds are elsewhere while studying the Fa who have been interfered with the most and persecuted the worst. That’s always the case. The Dafa disciples who have cultivated well, however, truly cannot be interfered with—not even in the least. Moreover, their righteous thoughts are strong, and they are helping others at the same time. They are truly helping Master rectify the Fa.
Student: Many students in China regard protective charms emblazoned with “Falun Dafa Hao” on them to be essential materials for clarifying the truth, and the first thing they do upon meeting someone is to pass these out. Yet they don’t clarify the truth in depth.
Master: That’s of course not right to do. You are passing those out not knowing what that person is up to—“Here you go, take one!” (Audience laughs) Maybe that person you gave it to was just persecuting Dafa disciples in a labor camp a minute ago, so why would you give him one? What are you protecting him for? To keep him safe, so that he can carry on with persecuting Dafa disciples? What you need to do is to clarify the truth to him, to get him to understand, and cease doing bad things. Once you have truly saved him, then give him a protective charm. This needs to be done in depth and in earnest. Saving people is not the same as passing out flyers, whereby every flyer given out counts.
Student: When students in China see family or friends experiencing serious illness, they tell the person to recite “Falun Dafa Hao” and assure him that he will be healed.
Master: Speaking in terms of the present circumstances in China, if the person [who is told that] really has the courage to, in that evil setting, recite it—and even recite it aloud—then he will be healed. (Audience applauds) But, there is no guarantee that it will work if a person recites it in a less oppressive setting. The reason is, when one has the courage to come forth and speak well of Dafa in [a setting] where there is pressure from the evil, it is different from just going around and saying the same thing in America. If you go out in public here and yell, “Falun Dafa Hao!”, even the police might follow your lead and give a wave of support (audience laughs) since there’s no pressure. But that said, if when the person says “Dafa Hao” it comes from his heart, then it will have an effect. Thus, the kind of outcome it has depends on the person’s intent and what he is thinking, as well as the surrounding environment. If circumstances are good, things are relaxed, and there’s no pressure, then it depends on the situation. This is where a person’s heart is the determining factor.
Student: Some mainland Chinese who have never practiced Falun Gong leave China, hoping to obtain some form of resident status. They come to our practice sites to learn the exercises, and at all sorts of activities take pictures. They lie to the government when applying for refugee status. Also, some of our Dafa disciples have provided reference letters for their family members [to apply for asylum]. Does doing this accord with the Fa’s requirements?
Master: Dafa disciples debated about these things a lot when the persecution first began. Here’s how I see it. [Figuring out] whether the person is genuine is the government’s business, and as Dafa disciples we have no administrative authority in the matter. If the person wants to learn, and wants to do the exercises, would you refuse to teach him? You still have to teach him. What’s key is that along the way you clarify the truth to him. Helping him get clear on things is key.
In general Dafa disciples are kind, so, if that person wants to have pictures taken, let him, and same for if he wants to learn. Indeed, though, if in that case he uses Falun Gong to gain political asylum, then he is indebted to Falun Gong, and from that day forth he must not do anything bad to Falun Gong. If he does, he will immediately suffer retribution. He will have to pay back the debt, and pay it off in equal measure. He made it out of China and to the U.S. by using Falun Gong, and so he will have to repay that much in kind. Perhaps he will break some law and be repatriated, or receive retribution of an equal magnitude. At present, some lawyers are holding classes for learning Falun Gong, and even tell people to study Zhuan Falun to improve their chances of getting refugee status. Whatever the lawyer’s motive, he incurs a massive debt to Falun Gong. But, looked at from another angle, getting people to learn Dafa isn’t doing a bad thing. Though these [asylum seekers] left China to make money or earn a living, and profiting is their top priority, even then, in the course of [doing those deceptive things] they are sure to come to some understanding of Falun Gong, and for this reason we generally aren’t too concerned. It’s the government’s role to concern itself with such things, after all, not ours. So do your best not to get involved and form negative karmic bonds with those people.
Student: Master, I’d like to ask, when we share together about promoting Shen Yun, should we broach the subject of improving xinxing rather than just discussing work?
Master: Right. With whatever work it may be, if Dafa disciples can manage to have somewhat stronger righteous thoughts, things will go better. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to ignore pressing work and focus solely on Fa-study. It would be a problem if you did that and, by the time you finished studying, the person you needed to get ahold of was gone and the business at hand couldn’t get done. You shouldn’t be too dogmatic about anything. The Fa is something you definitely need to study, in the right setting and at the right time, and it’s something that you need to give due treatment.
Student: Are the thoughts and personality that were formed in us over the course of time old-force arrangements? If it creates significant interference for one’s Fa-study, how is one to fully break free?
Master: The thoughts and ideas, or the various notions that form in your brain, were all formed over time in the course of your interactions and encounters out in the world. And the older one is, the more one has amassed. In China, there are more and more bad phenomena, and they are increasingly apparent. People have noted that mainland Chinese kids are startlingly different from kids elsewhere. Kids from China know about everything and are very crafty. Indeed, bad things of every sort are coming about in that society, and there is no moral baseline for anything—be it the newspapers, the media, people’s conduct, or the things people say. The little kids’ heads there are inundated with a lot of inappropriate things, more than kids who live outside of China, and they are thus a lot more like adults in that sense.
Whatever enters a person’s mind stays there. Human beings have memory. While we call it “memory,” and it sounds like something conceptual, it is in fact something really, truly material. When people say things, or when someone explains something to you, or tries to convince you of something, “yap, yap, yap”—a steady stream [of things] pours into your head. Real substances are actually being hurled toward you. When some people get really upset and keep raising objections, they are in fact repelling all those things. Of course, what Dafa disciples do is good for people, and our speech stems from righteous thoughts, so what comes forth from our mouths when we speak are lotus flowers. By contrast, none of what forms inside ordinary people amidst society at large is very good, and upon entering one’s body those things will in fact dominate a person. People may say that it doesn’t matter what they see with their eyes, and that they can just stop looking at something if they no longer want to see it. But that’s not true. When your vision makes contact with something, that thing has entered. That’s because any thing can replicate itself in other dimensions, so the longer you look at something, the more it enters. No matter what it is, be it on television or on a computer, it enters once you look at it. As more of these bad things are loaded up in your brain and body, they end up dominating your actions. Your speech, your mode of thinking, your perspective on things—all of it will be affected.
People are the product of their environment. This is true without exception. And this is something that not just cultivators understand, as the older generation of ordinary people realized this, too, at one time. The things that have accumulated are gradually removed as you cultivate. But if you want to remove it all in one shot upon starting to cultivate, generally speaking that’s not possible. The reason is, it takes more than one cold night to form ice three feet thick: the things that have formed are hard to purge in one shot, for you haven’t sufficient heat and haven’t reached the point of being able to melt it. So you have to make many attempts on it before you can melt it away. If you cultivate well today, that much will thaw; cultivate well tomorrow, and that much more will be melted away; cultivate well the following day, and that much more will melt. And it will continue, little by little, till the point that your righteous thoughts are truly sufficient. At that point the amount of heat you generate will have increased, and you will be able to fully melt it away.
Then how is it that bad thoughts seem to recur in a person after he had apparently purged all such things? And what’s more, every day he is sending righteous thoughts to clear those things out, yet they keep surfacing—how come they never get eliminated? Indeed, that stuff didn’t enter in just one day (Master laughs), and nor was it formed in an instant. That’s why. Some people may figure that in that case, perhaps if they ask Master for help, Master will just remove it all for them. But wouldn’t you then be asking Master to cultivate on your behalf? In the end, it wouldn’t count as your cultivation. And whatever is not counted as your cultivation means that you didn’t cultivate it, so there would thus be omissions in your cultivation. So upon your return to the heavens, how would the multitude of gods react after looking over your cultivation? In many cases, if you don’t handle something through your own cultivation, if you don’t gain that mighty virtue, and if you haven’t suffered the hardship [that accompanies cultivation], with Master clearing things out for you every step of the way, then the heavens won’t receive you. It’s unacceptable if you still have debts that aren’t paid. What is owed must be paid—it’s a law of this cosmos. Master can pay back a portion for you, and he can clear out from your mind what should be cleared out, but, you yourself must cultivate that part which you are supposed to in the cultivation process, and endure the little bit that you are supposed to endure. It will not pose any danger to you, but you must grasp what cultivation is and how to go about it. Only when you come to new insights and improve does it count as cultivation.
Student: May I ask Master to please talk about the importance of The Art of Truth, Compassion, Tolerance exhibit?
Master: The exhibit’s importance is the same as that of other projects, as all are efforts by Dafa disciples to clarify the truth and save people. That being the case, it’s the same as other projects.
Student: Venerable Master, I, your disciple, do media work. My question has to do with the specifics of our planning. For example, when doing television packaging design, many things are not done in a traditional manner and feel highly commercialized. They aren’t things that existed in ancient times. How are we to reconcile the need to walk the path of Dafa disciples with the need to be professional?
Master: With ordinary tasks, just concern yourself with carrying them out. The way things operate in society now is bound to reflect our times. But if you decide to create things that are completely ancient in character since back then there was nothing modern in society, then you will find that nobody buys your things. (Audience laughs) You don’t have the circumstances for it, after all. Today’s society is what it is. Just go about things in a normal fashion, and it won’t count as your fault. There is no need for Dafa disciples to actively promote [ancient things]. It will suffice for you to just play a positive role. You can cultivate in any setting, remember, and what you cultivate is yourself. When you are tempted by profit and gain, when you are faced with choosing between good and evil, or a choice of right and wrong, and when faced with deciding between what you should and shouldn’t do, there is always the question of where you place yourself. Just concern yourself with making good on your practice, and cultivate. Having read the book and studied the Fa, and having kept on cultivating and reading the Fa without letup, it is now a matter of whether you can handle yourselves well out in society.
What is studied in today’s schools are such things, and these are the same things one does in the setting of the workplace. So there is no issue. This society is what it is, so all you can do is go about things as best as possible. Otherwise, if you don’t work and support your family, then what? What if mere survival becomes an issue? Imagine if I told you to all now go and start wearing ancient clothes and doing things the ancient way. (Audience laughs) That’s not something I would ask you to do. The times are what they are. In the future, mankind will return to what it traditionally was, for sure, absolutely. But right now that wouldn’t work. And that especially holds true when saving people. You have to fit in with society in order to save people, or you will fail in that endeavor. If you’re taking some peculiar approach, people see you as weird, and if nobody understands what you say, how will you save people?
Student: What do we need to do in order to make Shen Yun become more popular in higher-end society, and have better results?
Master: You need to try and see for yourselves what works as you carry out the actual work. Each region’s situation is different, and each ethnic group is different. Some are former communist countries, some have always been normal societies, some are regions with a thriving economy, and some have poor economies. Also, each group of people forms different culturally-conditioned notions while living in society. Thus, the Dafa disciples in each locale have to handle things themselves. Bringing Shen Yun to perform is not something that I’ve made mandatory for you, for this too is but one project for saving people. Dafa disciples’ resources are limited, and so if this is something you want to do, you definitely need to do it well—otherwise don’t do it. I’m not asking every city the world over to put on Shen Yun. What I’m saying is, if this is something you really want to do, then you must do it well. Otherwise, don’t do it.
Some people think we did pretty well with Shen Yun this year since we didn’t lose money. They’re all happy about it, but Shen Yun ended up losing money. Do you know where the millions of dollars that it takes to run Shen Yun each year come from? Dafa disciples all know that bringing Shen Yun can save people, that it can achieve this, but if you don’t act responsibly towards Shen Yun, then it’s a problem. Shen Yun brings about a change in conditions for the Dafa disciples in each region it goes to, and advances the cause of saving people, but you, in turn, have to provide Shen Yun with the conditions that it needs. If you decide to bring Shen Yun, then really ensure that you do it well. And since it is Master who is personally guiding Shen Yun, if your area doesn’t do well it will very quickly get back to me.
Student: At present, the children of many Dafa disciples are caught up in ordinary things. What are we to do?
Master: Indeed, human society is one big dye vat. Society is contesting with Dafa disciples for people. And this even applies to Dafa disciples’ kids, who live in this setting too: bad things are trying to drag them down. If the child does not cultivate, or doesn’t have a good environment, then he really won’t be able to ward those things off. Yet a Dafa disciple’s responsibilities are enormous, and so we must not only save the world’s people but also those close to us.
Student: Could Master please talk about Sound of Hope’s relationship with our other media.
Master: There’s nothing special about the relationship, as in every case it’s a matter of Dafa disciples running a project and working to reach a common goal—to save sentient beings. Do it wholeheartedly. If you are going to do it, do it well. Otherwise, don’t do it. If you do it poorly, the evil will laugh at you, Dafa disciples’ reputations will be hurt, and it will have undesirable consequences. So, whatever it is you do, you really must do it with all due seriousness.
All the paths that you cover as you validate the Fa, each and every thing, are recorded in the book of history. The things that you accomplish are being given a final appraisal by gods and by Master’s law bodies. And the quintessential things among those are precisely what constitute your path, and they are your mighty virtue, what you have used to establish your paradise. What Shakyamuni enlightened to, by exploring and verifying, was “precept, concentration, wisdom.” As you know, that was his way of cultivation, and it encompasses what he arrived at over the course of his disseminating the Dharma for forty-nine years. Every god has his own things that he enlightens to by exploring and verifying, which he arrives at from the Great Law of the cosmos, and it is through them that he perfects himself and creates his own paradise. All of what each Dafa disciple does is being looked after by gods, and each has gods giving him a final appraisal.
Student: The advertising sales people at NTD’s head office require that reporters do free commercial and industrial news features for certain companies.
Master: [So this is about] doing news features for free. If you want to build a good relationship, or if there is some sort of commercial deal that is mutually beneficial, then it’s fine to do that. But if that’s not the case, then there is no value in doing it free of charge. If in the course of doing this [free] news feature people are saved, then I don’t object. Why do it otherwise, if it can’t achieve that? Since the question slip worded it in that manner, I have to respond along these lines.
Student: Your disciple can’t figure it out. Won’t this compromise NTD’s brand image, or should reporters just cooperate as best they can regardless and help the sales team to use this approach to engage potential clients? Should the sales team try to raise their professional standard as quickly as possible, such that they could be independent in selling advertising?
Master: There are really a lot of things that NTD needs to do better with. Look at how things are handled in Shen Yun, and you can see that people can’t just do whatever they want. It’s a problem if your meetings can’t resolve the real issues. But I’d really rather not have anything to do with these kinds of specific issues, as these are things on your cultivation path that you need to handle well. If you don’t handle them well, however, it truly will have a big, negative impact on Dafa disciples’ saving of sentient beings.
Student: The project my team works on has never inquired with Master. Our project is currently at a critical juncture, but the coordinators cannot come to an agreement, and the conflicts are large, causing the project to get stuck.
Master: Then just do things according to the wishes of the top person in charge. I’ve seen this problem many times before, with you stumbling along in this manner and taking one fall after another. But what I hope is that after taking a fall, you will all learn something good from it. Don’t always take away bad things from your experiences. When you learn bad things, you are in fact using human thinking to consider things, and becoming more cunning, and sly, which means you are becoming worse. I have spoken with you before about what a bad person is: he is someone who is cunning. Whereas someone who is kind-hearted and whose thinking is not that complicated is a good person. You need to think about things in a constructive manner, and when you stumble look for the reason as a cultivator would, asking, “Where did I go wrong?” Only by evaluating things with the Fa will you be able to learn good things from your experiences. If you can really manage to do this, things will definitely go well. And if all of you can do so, I don’t believe your project can go wrong. It’s just that you haven’t looked inward, or learned good things. Or in other words, you haven’t talked things over in the manner that Dafa disciples should.
Student: When choosing Dafa projects, is it considered wrong to take into consideration which would allow one to put to use what one has learned well or which would be most beneficial to one’s improvement, as opposed to being persuaded [to join a project] by that project’s leader? I ask because they want to find capable disciples to work full-time, whereas I believe that the best way to interact with mainstream society and its influential, ordinary people is by having an ordinary job. Would Master please help provide clarity on this?
Master: Seen in light of the objective task of saving people, it’s not a problem to “take into consideration which would allow one to put to use what one has learned well… in choosing Dafa projects.” Supposing your expertise is computers, and you go out there to solicit advertisements [for our media]. Of course, if you know that it is something you are also capable of doing, then that’s fine. In other words, anything that we’ve learned and put to use which can play a significant role in saving people is of course excellent. If you conclude, however, that while at an ordinary job you can have a greater impact saving people, then of course there’s nothing wrong with thinking that way. These matters are simple, actually. Whatever you decide to do, do it well. The persons in charge of some projects really go all out to recruit people since they have a severe shortage of manpower. “Who cares what you’re good at, as long as you can come on board, great!” (Audience laughs) Your paths are for you to walk. I’ll refrain from speaking up even when you stumble. It will be great when you truly know for yourself what to do.
Student: Because of the shortage in manpower, various projects compete with one another for and fight over the limited staff, instead of improving the cooperation among them.
Master: When you badly need to find someone suitable, but cannot, you tend to make haste to recruit someone to start on the work. I realize that this is a challenge you’re now encountering. I am observing these conflicts.
Student: May I ask our revered Master, given the current political regime in Vietnam, should [those of us living there] still work on clarifying the truth to China?
Master: When Dafa disciples live under exceptional political circumstances, it will suffice for them to do a good job with local things. When the right circumstances and conditions aren’t in place, don’t force things. Of course, I’ve said that many of the people in China are quite remarkable, since the kings of the various nations from different eras of the past, along with lives from high planes that came to form predestined ties, have reincarnated there. Despite the fact that today’s Chinese people have been ruined beyond recognition by the evil Party—with their behavior, thinking, and way of doing things all being terribly indecent—their origins are by no means humble, and it’s quite possible the kings of each ethnicity among you are living there. And the Dafa disciples in China are using all their strength to work on these things. If you believe that you have the conditions needed to work on them too, then that’s fine. If you do not, then don’t worry. All of the world’s Dafa disciples, including Dafa disciples in every region throughout China, are working on them.
Student: Which project would be best suited for saving the sentient beings of Africa? Shen Yun? New Tang Dynasty TV? Or Epoch Times?
Master: (Laughing) Use whichever one has matured. If you feel that NTD has matured, then use that approach. But if you don’t have the right conditions, then it won’t work out. If it is The Epoch Times that has matured, then launch an Epoch Times there. It is not about which project fits better. Rather, you have to consider firstly whether or not there are the right conditions for it, and secondly, as Dafa disciples you need to think things through in practical terms for the sake of sentient beings.
Student: Dafa’s resources are precious. How should we get the whole body of Dafa disciples to cherish Dafa’s resources?
Master: Indeed. There are many students who are incapable of earning money, but who have no problem at all spending it. (Audience laughs) However much it may be, they won’t hesitate to spend it, and they burn through it quickly with no thought about the results this will have, about where it came from, or what our situation will be later on [after the money has been spent]. They have no sense of responsibility. The gods are all watching angrily those who act this way. Wasting Dafa disciples’ resources is equivalent to interfering with and damaging Dafa. You have wasted the limited resources that we have, leaving nothing for when it comes time to really save people.
Student: The Fa-rectification has already reached the end, but countries in Southeast Asia still haven’t managed to host a Shen Yun performance. We’re very anxious about this. I’d like to ask Master to please strengthen us so that we may stay hopeful.
Master: Actually, Shen Yun doesn’t necessarily have to go there. If our media such as The Epoch Times and NTD are run well [there], the impact of their truth clarification will be the same. And that of other projects can be great, too. All Dafa disciples should be able to play the role they are supposed to, for I think it has to do with you doing things well. It’s not as if you can only save sentient beings if Shen Yun comes. Shen Yun is just one initiative. It’s merely that I am handling it since the professional requirements are high and it wouldn’t work if an international performing arts company such as this failed to achieve a world-class artistic standard.
Student: In China, people of both the lower and upper classes have a decent understanding of Falun Gong, yet the middle class often avoids it and turns a blind eye. How should we reach these people?
Master: What’s currently thought of as the “middle class” in China is in no way society’s mainstream; rather, it’s merely a privileged class. Back before the persecution of Falun Gong began, over half of the true upper-middle class of mainstream Chinese society had taken up Falun Gong. The wicked Party then drove these people, the mainstream, to the other side, and has since created a corrupt class that serves as society’s nucleus. And it is thus that Chinese society has become corrupt beyond redemption. Of course, the individual people who make up that class can still be saved. What’s critical is that they be willing to listen to the truth.
Student: Is the current state of affairs in Taiwan something that Dafa disciples’ attachments brought about, or is it an old force arrangement?
Master: Here’s how I’d put it. The old forces indeed have their arrangements at work there, but if Dafa disciples fail to do well, then it becomes an issue of cultivation for you as individuals. And if a region’s Dafa disciples fail to do well, then that region will experience problems that were brought about by human attachments—problems born from the attachments found among our students. So, if still more Taiwanese Dafa disciples haven’t done well in regards to a certain issue, then it will indeed impact the state of affairs in that place. Of course, I’m not saying that Taiwan’s Dafa disciples haven’t done well; some things are old force interference. For example, if our Dafa disciples didn’t previously have human attachments that caused them to think divisively along Blue-Green political party lines, the situation would be better today. I brought this up repeatedly, right from the start, since I saw what the consequences would be. But, some students give more weight to political affiliations than to cultivation. Human attachments are indeed hard to remove.
Student: I would like to ask Master to help enlighten us on the following: recently, many Dafa activities in Malaysia have met with all sorts of interference. Is it because there are omissions in our cultivation, because we haven’t cooperated well, or is it due to other issues?
Master: There are external reasons, namely, interference from the CCP gang. You can be sure of it. In the case of North America, though, it can no longer interfere with Shen Yun’s performances, since the theaters keep one another abreast of things. When it tries to interfere, our students go to help them become clear on things. And the theater will itself place a call to the preceding theater [on the tour], and ask how the performances there were, and how the program was. The previous theater then tells them that these were terrific, and describes the program to them. They will ask how come an official from the Chinese consulate called them and tried to intervene. And they will want to know why they received emails faking this or that name and anonymous phone calls, along with letters, saying all sorts of negative things. They will then find out that the previous theater received the same stuff. In this manner, the previous theaters as well as the current one all come to know about the CCP’s secret agents and the deeds of the Chinese consulate.
As for other regions [apart from North America], then, I have to ask whether our Dafa disciples there who are hosting Shen Yun have really put a lot of effort into it? And this especially holds for Europe. Each year you have a hard time breaking even financially, and I’m now contemplating whether the company should keep going there. You can’t go on like that. You have to seriously deal with this situation. Huge amounts of human, material, and financial resources are being consumed, so why don’t you do this well? If you can’t do it well, perhaps you should stop and do other projects instead, which won’t be as demanding.
Student: After Shen Yun performs, the number of ordinary people who wish to learn Falun Gong swells. Should we be organizing more outdoor practice sessions and more activities to spread the Fa?
Master: If people are coming to learn it, then organize those activities. Isn’t what Dafa disciples are doing all to save people?
Student: In our locale, one time after a truth-clarification film was played, one of the coordinators passed around a collection box and prodded students one by one to offer financial support.
Master: Whoever that person was that you were referring to, whoever took up the collection and prodded people one by one for help, needs to return that money.
Student: Some students felt that this approach violated Master’s Fa teachings about collecting funds, and refused to donate. But, there were quite a few students who contributed, and allegedly they collected over four thousand dollars right on the spot. But even after this, students are still debating the matter at length and have a hard time drawing a conclusion about it. I sincerely ask Master to shed light on this.
Master: Here’s my answer for you: whoever collected it needs to return it.
Student: In order to promote Shen Yun, the Sydney Dafa Association, on one of its online group Fa study sessions that spans all of Australia, asked everyone to contribute money so as to help reimburse the travel expenses of Taiwan students who were coming to Australia to conduct training. Was that appropriate?
Master: If Master doesn’t do such things, you shouldn’t either. There are a lot of things you really need to pause to consider.
Student: Some judges outside of China ruled in favor of justice, but then were persecuted by the evil, which led to a negative outcome. Does this relate to certain attachments found among disciples? How can we do better?
Master: The Dafa disciples did what they were supposed to. The old forces saw the impact was becoming enormous, and the impact that this had on the evil was such that the scales were tipping in your favor, so they proceeded to make trouble. But, many things aren’t so simple. When Dafa disciples are filled with righteous thoughts, or we are doing something that we are truly called to do, then gods will be participating and giving support. Both scenarios exist.
Student: How have the divisions among fellow cultivators come about? And what can be done to dissolve them?
Master: When human attachments collide, and people refuse to look within, with each viewing things with human thinking and looking down on the other, divisions will form over the course of time. And just like ordinary people, they will cease to get along. Instead, look at things with righteous thoughts, and if both parties can manage to search for their own shortcomings, and truly each do better, then you will see the other party change and that person will be looking for his own shortcomings. If you can do that, there won’t be any divisions coming about. Dissolving the divisions is no different. You both cultivate the same Fa, and you both have the same predestination. So if there’s something you simply can’t get over, then have a heart-to-heart discussion with the other person and really be willing to acknowledge any shortcomings of yours that he may point out. Won’t the problem be resolved, then?
Student: I would like to ask Master: between promoting media entities such as NTD and The Epoch Times, and clarifying the truth about Falun Gong, how should we best balance the two?
Master: Promoting The Epoch Times and NTD itself serves as clarifying the truth, and those you encounter while promoting the media are precisely people to clarify the truth to. That is, you can clarify the truth to people in your interactions with them. As for how to handle these things in particular circumstances, you will gain experience in the course of your work. Just talk with the person and adjust your approach according to whatever you think suits that person.
Student: There are only two or three practitioners in our area. While discussing whether to host Shen Yun, we came to believe that we had far too little manpower, and therefore had concerns. I’d like to ask if this is a case of us not having enough righteous thoughts?
Master: If you only have two or three practitioners, then of course you don’t have enough manpower; although, people can make things happen. Thinking that you have too few people isn’t a problem of righteous thoughts. However, in some places there were as few as two practitioners, yet they held two performances in a theater that seats over two thousand, and filled all the seats. And there really have been a good number of stories like this these years. In some situations it all depends on how you go about things. If you really are going to do it, and want to do it, then do it with utmost sincerity. In some other cases, people felt that they didn’t have enough people, and so they sought out help from ordinary people or found an ordinary company to serve as an agent for them. That’s a problem. Those who did that experienced failure with that approach, and suffered financial losses. The reason is, validating the Fa and clarifying the truth are things that Dafa disciples are to do, and are not the tasks of ordinary people. They don’t have such mighty virtue, and it still won’t work no matter how big the company is. If you’re not sure how to do things, you can ask these companies to provide you with some professional advice, or to do some advertising. That’s fine. Things will only work out when you are the ones playing the lead role.
Student: When interacting with fellow cultivators who tend to send righteous thoughts less or who are going through ordeals, my body feels discomfort, and sometimes my state becomes not so good.
Master: Some sensations might not in fact be real. For instance, a Dafa disciple may have cultivated extremely well, but, no matter how well he cultivates, it is still a human being who cultivates, and as long as he has yet to achieve Consummation he will be composed of whatever makes up a human body at all levels, and karma will exist on his body. If you happen upon him when he is in the process of elevating or shedding karma, and shedding these things, you might think, “wow, his body is full of cold qi” or “black qi” and that “he’s really cultivated poorly.” But that’s not the case. When a cultivator sheds karma, it is being transformed, and all that an observer can sense is [the karma’s] field. It doesn’t have any adverse effect on others, however. The person who is shedding karma is in the process of elevating, and moreover, it is happening precisely because he has cultivated well.
At present, all of what some people can see are the things of extremely low levels. Nobody can see the true picture of things, or see how well a person may have cultivated. All that can be seen is the side that has not fully gone through Fa-rectification or completed cultivation. It’s similar to what I just discussed a moment ago. What Shakyamuni perceived to be the highest form of the cosmos was the Four Great Elements—namely, earth, water, fire, and wind. But what composes the Four Great Elements? And what is the ultimate basis of earth, water, fire, and wind? The universe was no longer good in any regard, and had begun to degenerate, and erode. What was seen was not in fact what is fundamental to the larger cosmos, but rather, only what was fundamental to a small, singular, cosmic system at a certain small level. Yet the cosmos is so enormous as to be incomparable, and there are countless systems like this. Who could know what would be the ultimate fate of the largest cosmos? Who could know what will be the outcome of all of what Dafa disciples are doing? Who could know the true, yet concealed, states of Dafa disciples who have cultivated well? Even when Master eliminates karma for sentient beings he suffers, and his body will be all out of sorts. Then are those people whose levels are severely limited, and who cannot see the true picture of things, also going to think that Master has problems? And at those times I am bearing sin-karma for sentient beings, among whom are those who cannot see the true picture of things, even though they have the ability to see.
Some people’s third eyes are open, but this has actually made their cultivation more difficult. The old forces arrange hardships and tests for them when their tianmu is in an open state. And that’s especially true for those who have allowed themselves to be interfered with by lesser paths, and think they’re something special. They are nothing of the sort, however. They get totally taken in and are mired in them, behaving irrationally and eccentrically. Yet the true state of things is something that cultivators are definitely forbidden from seeing. And in particular there’s the case of those who cultivate in an unlocked state. They are only allowed to see the things that they are supposed to and that were arranged on their behalf; they are not allowed to see things that aren’t meant for their eyes, since they are still cultivating. If the cultivator truly stops cultivating, then it is another scenario altogether.
Time and again I have explained that nobody can see the true state of things, for it does not resemble what manifests here in this old cosmos while it is still amidst the course of history. None of that exists anymore. As you know, in the past, any universe that had gone wrong—regardless of what plane it was on—as long as it wasn’t good enough anymore, would be weeded out, with major and minor catastrophes befalling it. But all such happenings were part of the old cosmos, for at the time of this cosmos’s creation, things were established from beginning to end at one and the same time, with it all being brought into existence simultaneously, leaving sentient beings to live it out within its scope. A life is to walk a path, which has already been created, from beginning to end. Just like the script of a play, it has it all, with people merely playing their parts from the beginning on through to the end. It’s only that in the massive cosmic body there are different times and different dimensions. When someone whose body is in a slow dimension is able to see the life, and lifetime, of a being in a fast dimension, all it takes is a split second—and even the entire course of that [fast dimension’s] universe’s existence might be seen, for it simultaneously exists over in that space. All of it exists at the same time. It is time that has divided it into different time-spaces and time-environs. At present, however, things are no longer the same. That is because the cosmos is going through Fa-rectification. Nothing whatsoever in the cosmos is up to par, all of it is done for. What was good in the past has been harmonized and restructured, while what was bad has been dismantled. As for the old cosmos and its lives, everything that is brand new has absolutely no linkage with them. The lives in the old cosmos that won’t become lives in the new cosmos will never know what the new cosmos is like. In other words, as long as you are in the old cosmos, you will never come to know what the new cosmos looks like. No matter how high the level of a divinity in today’s world is, as long as he has not been through Fa-rectification, he will not know [the new cosmos]. No one is worthy of knowing it, other than he who rectifies it, for even the highest gods in the cosmos are facing Fa-rectification and are being tested as to whether they can make it and stay on. Seen in this light, then, those who are cultivating at low levels but have their tianmu open are really nothing. Human attachments, once active, will lead people to behave irrationally and forget who they are.
Student: May I ask, is the Divine Land Marching Band important in Europe?
Master: As long as it’s needed for saving people, then it’s important. When it’s not needed, it is not important. The Divine Land Marching Band is important when needed for playing a role in the process of saving people. Don’t go to extremes in your thinking, though. If you go and just practice trumpet all day every day now that you’ve heard Master say that the Band is important for saving people, then that’s no good. My Dafa disciples, when things are needed, go do them. When they’re not, and other projects are in need, then go work on those other projects. That’s how I would look at it.
Student: Could we have the Divine Land Marching Band travel to a city in advance of a Shen Yun performance, so that the people there will learn about Falun Gong?
Master: You needn’t do that in Western society. I am presenting Shen Yun as an independent, world-class performing arts company, so you absolutely must not go and turn it into some kind of cheap product that people would hawk at a marketplace. I don’t need you to advance to the front lines ahead of the show, as I will handle the things in other dimensions myself. (Applause)
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with your wanting to raise awareness about Falun Gong in that locale, but, you can’t do what you described. You needn’t insist on telling people that Shen Yun has ties to Falun Gong and make a big fanfare out of it. I don’t hide the connection, but I don’t intentionally delve into it either. You know, looking back three to five decades ago, some eighty percent or more of the world’s population held religious beliefs, with pretty much all of some performance companies’ members being persons of Catholic or Christian faith. Yet, you never heard them announcing prior to their performances, “we’re Christians who have come to perform” or “we’re Catholics who have come to perform.” Did anyone say such things? Even the performance troupes that operate on behalf of the demonic, wicked Party’s regime, which the entire world knows them to be doing, don’t disclose their party affiliation before performing. Then why must we feel so compelled to do so? Isn’t that imposing a double standard [on ourselves]? True, there is the problem of Falun Gong being persecuted. But while I don’t avoid the issue, at the same time I don’t actively talk about it either. Don’t let yourselves be swayed by people who the old forces control. The way I handle things is nothing like how you do, being so easily swayed.
Student: How exactly should we handle the relationship between our three main media and the Dafa Association? And how should we handle this appropriately as we go about our work?
Master: If you’re with one of the three main media, or on any other project, as long as you are a student in that Dafa Association’s locale, you need to have a good cooperative relationship with the Association. If the Association holds an event, a large group study, or whatever it may be, and asks you to be part of it, then you should go and take part as long as you’re not busy. If you believe that you really are too busy, then that’s understandable of course, and not an issue. But, as a student of Dafa, you are a student from that area after all. Our media were launched at our students’ own initiative, and even I can’t say that they must fall under the Association’s jurisdiction, for the Association only oversees cultivation. Now as for you on an individual basis, you are a cultivator, and so inevitably you are subject to the coordination of the Dafa Association in your locale. It’s analogous to my relationship with you: could it be said that since each Dafa disciple has a project that he’s tied to, that he belongs to that project, and that there’s no need for me, his master, to look after him anymore? No, that’s not how it is. You’re still cultivating, and so Master still has to look after you. That’s how these things are related.
Student: Dafa students in Taiwan refer to group Fa study as a “reading assembly.” Is that appropriate?
Master: No, it’s not very appropriate. You need to approach Dafa cultivation with all due seriousness. Don’t try to be different and come up with new terms like that. Don’t just mix into the Fa terms that were not used by me, especially things from past religions or other ordinary people. Neither should you wantonly bring into Dafa things drawn from other forms of cultivation. Some things still carry messages, and these can easily be exploited by bad things.
Student: After Master spoke about cooperating with the coordinator, some students took this to mean that they should only take action according to the coordinator’s plans, and think that all’s well if they just wait for the coordinator to organize things. And when nothing is organized for them to do, they don’t actively look for things they can do and are not proactive about saving sentient beings.
Master: Coordinators only arrange things as needed. They cannot plan things for you each and every day. Of course you should proactively, of your own accord, do the things Dafa disciples do to save sentient beings when there aren’t any group activities arranged. Those are not things you can wait for a coordinator to set up. I’m just speaking to the relationship between the coordinator and our students.
Student: I’m a student who clarifies the truth in Chicago’s Chinatown. I would like to ask our venerable Master, is it inappropriate to distribute The Epoch Times newspaper at sites where we clarify the truth and encourage people to quit the Party?
Master: Some [of our] media give no thought to what they’re doing and always put Falun Gong out front, “the Falun Gong Epoch Times,” “the Falun Gong NTD,” the Falun Gong this, Falun Gong that. Some students just insist on doing that, when in fact they don’t need to. And actually, even if you didn’t say that, people would still know. Many people know that The Epoch Times is run by Falun Gong students. But do you realize, all that talk about people supposedly saying that if you don’t put Falun Gong out front you will have this and that issue, was in fact something that was spurred by secret agents of the wicked Party? Yet how come you’re always citing those words? Have you not yet thought it over? Looking back a few decades ago, many media organizations, from the person at the top on down to the staff, were composed entirely of Christians. Yet nobody was prompting them to always begin by disclosing that “we’re Christians” this and that, “we’re Catholics” and have such-and-such kind of newspaper. (Audience laughs) Would they ever do that? Wouldn’t that be strange? Why don’t you find it strange?
Of course, I’m not talking about the student who asked the question. What I am saying is, our manpower is limited right now, so when you want to give this person a newspaper along with another [set of materials], and at the same time encourage people to quit the Party, and clarify the truth, this presents a problem. I can’t say whether it is alright or not to do so, but I can encourage you to try to handle this well. It’s usually more appropriate if you leave the newspapers at a supermarket, and then only take truth-clarification materials with you when you go to promote withdrawal from the Party. The students who run these media need to think about how to better cement the position of our Dafa-disciple-run media as part of society and become regular media in ordinary society. If the media that our Dafa disciples run become very credible in people’s eyes, these will have much more power in clarifying the truth. If you always use unsuitable approaches, however, it’s possible you will give people the impression that you’re unprofessional. By its very nature the newspaper assumes a different approach to clarifying the truth, and it’s not the same as directly clarifying the truth. So, you need to handle this well.
Student: Ordinary friends have told me that, since coming to the U.S., they’ve run into Dafa disciples who they encounter on the street, who try to clarify the truth to them and launch right into saying “Heaven is going to eliminate the CCP” and the like. It’s not only hard for them to accept, but also evokes negative feelings in them. Afterwards, when the truth is presented to them, this serves as an obstacle. I’m wondering whether our people could change their approach, and do things incrementally, rather than doing things without thinking them through?
Master: You’re right. Dafa disciples need to pay attention to the approach they take when clarifying the truth, since the people out there have all sorts of different frames of mind. And this is especially important with Chinese people, who have had their heads infused with the wicked-Party-culture’s mode of thought, vocabulary, and conduct, and who are trapped within the confines of the wicked Party’s culture. Even when some Chinese people curse the wicked Party, they do so in its own context, without ever having truly understood the wicked Party for what it is. So, I would say that you need to rationally go about things, and not just do things superficially. If you want to save people, then you have to put more into it and not just do things superficially.
The saying, “Heaven is going to eliminate the CCP,” is the final outcome that cultivators have come to see. Don’t make it your opening line when you clarify the truth. If you have really explained things to people, however, and then you get into how evil the Party is and that Heaven is going to eliminate it, then that’s okay. But when you have yet to clarify the truth to that person and you launch into “Heaven is going to eliminate the CCP,” and the person really hasn’t come to understand things, then they will think that you’re “getting political.”
Student: Fei Tian Academy of the Arts is establishing a branch in Taiwan. Some students believe that the children of Dafa disciples should be who we target with our recruiting. I would like to ask our revered Master what is the goal of establishing a branch of Fei Tian Academy of the Arts in Taiwan?
Master: Having one school in the U.S. that’s meant for Dafa disciples is plenty; there’s no need to have more schools meant for Dafa disciples. Actually, you don’t need to use the name “Fei Tian.” Since it is entirely disciples doing it, why not target ordinary society, admit the sons and daughters of ordinary people and clarify the truth to them, and save them, opening up more channels [for people to receive the truth]. That way, it won’t consume Dafa’s resources. So, my hope is that whichever area opens a school will establish it squarely in ordinary society, thus making for more interaction with ordinary society and allowing us to save more people. Let’s not start up schools for Dafa disciples.
Student: In our area, there are endless disagreements among the cultivators about how to balance the need to promote Shen Yun more professionally with the need to have righteous thoughts. May I ask Master to again clarify how these two should be regarded in light of one another?
Master: There’s no conflict between the two. It’s about cultivators needing to become more professional, and not about having ordinary people do the work of Dafa disciples for them. What’s key is the attitude you have when you do things—what leads you to do them. Whoever is always nitpicking about this and that when you discuss things is delaying your work, and has problems. And I’m not just referring to Shen Yun promotions. The same holds true with other things. What’s there to be nitpicking about? Just go and do it—really, truly get down to doing things. As a Dafa disciple, if you spot something that hasn’t been done well, then be proactive about making things go better. When you’re discussing things in meetings, whoever is always locking horns with others, questioning the soundness of people’s ideas, or not looking at the whole picture, which then causes the whole project to end up fruitless—that person has a problem. Not everything needs to be discussed to the point of perfection. Sometimes you just need to take action, and just do things well in the process. Even if you think your idea is great, and can save a hundred people, if you don’t carry it out it is useless. Meanwhile, if something can save just one person, then whoever carries it out gains that much mighty virtue for it.
Student: I would like to ask Master, at present, when our media are in need of funds, could we solicit donations in small amounts from ordinary people to support our business activities?
Master: There’s no problem with soliciting contributions for a media company, since it is not Dafa disciples or the Dafa Association doing the soliciting, and neither is it being used for cultivation things. Cultivation, as you know, doesn’t entail any costs. But a media entity is a company that’s by nature planted in ordinary human society. The media companies that you run are not media set up by Dafa. That’s something I told you about long ago. They are media established by Dafa disciples, and meant to take root in ordinary society. Dafa has no media; Dafa is simply cultivation. Since these are media of ordinary society, and the form they take is the same as ordinary companies, then what problem is there [with soliciting donations]? There is none, and you can try your best with this. Just as ordinary businesses may need help, you can solicit support just the same. There’s nothing wrong with doing so. But you cannot solicit support among our students.
Student: Shen Yun performed in three cities in the San Francisco Bay Area, and only in San Francisco was the financial outcome quite poor. Next time when the tour comes to San Francisco, and the financial pressure becomes rather large, our understanding is that we should prioritize the success of the performances in San Francisco and temporarily set aside our work on the neighboring cities. I would like to ask our revered Master, is this understanding correct?
Master: Specific things such as these are for you to reflect on. Master isn’t opposed to having performances at any certain locale, as long as there is no financial loss. Some people say, “Since we now target higher-end society, let’s spend more on advertising.” When ticket prices go up, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your advertising expenses should rise in proportion. That’s not the idea. You shouldn’t spend extravagantly in order to match a certain percentage of the ticket value or total revenue. Just do as before and that should be fine. The percentage-based approach that ordinary people use doesn’t work for us. What we’re doing is saving people, and gods are participating, so the cultivation states of Dafa disciples are very important. Putting on [Shen Yun] performances is also cultivation, and you need to cooperate with one another well. You should clarify the truth to the people you interact with, as all sentient beings are waiting to be saved.
Student: Right now, the Divine Land Marching Band in New York is studying a lot of music theory, with people even having to take exams. Is this a waste of time?
Master: You’re saying there’s a lot of music theory that they are being required to study? Is that really the case? At present it’s not feasible to try to become professionals. There are many things that need to be done to validate the Fa. As long as you are clear [on how to play the music], that’s good enough; you don’t need to become a professional caliber member of the Divine Land Marching Band. Dafa disciples are shouldering so many duties at the same time. It’s understandable if you all want to do each of the things that you’re doing somewhat better, but you really need to weigh your priorities carefully.
Student: Fa conferences and small meetings aren’t to be recorded, yet students from Sydney who were working on Shen Yun still made recordings, and repeatedly gave them to other practitioners.
Master: Nobody was asked to do recording at the meeting sessions that I led. Whoever did such recording was doing something that undermines the Fa. How could you do something like that? Weren’t these things already addressed long ago? Whoever did that needs to hand their recording(s) over to the local Dafa Association.
Student: Dafa disciples in Indonesia haven’t cooperated with each other very well. I would like to ask Master to give us guidance.
Master: I think that many things have been done well, in fact. Although the cooperation might not have been good in some instances, I believe that in the course of cultivation you will gradually come to cooperate well.
Student: I would like to ask our revered Master, as we cover ordinary news and get polluted by it daily, is it necessary for us to try to expel that pollution each day using our thoughts? Will that minimize the pollution?
Master: No, you don’t need to do that. Whatever you lay your eyes upon is polluting. You just need to increase your Fa-study and it will be fine. And along with that, you should do the exercises with a normal length of time every day, and when studying the Fa, you need to make sure your mind is focused. Any problem can be resolved if you truly make good on your cultivation.
Student: When some people tell Dafa disciples that they agree to withdraw from the Party and its organizations, it’s just something said casually and without much thought, in order to avoid anyone looking bad, and it doesn’t come from their truly seeing the wicked Party for what it is. In such cases has the person indeed been saved?
Master: When the person’s thought comes from within, then he can be saved. When people say something casually just to avoid looking bad, then it depends on the situation. By having the courage to say [they withdraw], at least it means they don’t harbor bad thoughts about Dafa, and by having the courage to withdraw, at least it means they don’t have good feelings about the wicked Party. Of course, it’s a whole other matter if they are saying one thing while having antagonistic thoughts inside. Gods can see such things. But as Dafa disciples, one thing is, you need to do things more solidly. Don’t just do things superficially. You shouldn’t try to get people to agree by making them feel embarrassed [not to withdraw]. But, I do know that in the vast majority of cases where people have withdrawn, it’s not that they did it just to save face. And moreover, looking at the state of Fa-rectification and the changes in mankind at present, [it can be said that] major transformations have occurred. The changes in the people in China have been greater than the changes in overseas Chinese, as those outside actually fear the Chinese consulate and have really been intimidated by those puny secret agents. People in China make a big show of cursing the wicked CCP, and have no fear in doing so. It’s one thing to fear the wicked Party when it’s controlling people as they live in China, but to still fear it when living abroad, outside its control… Don’t these people have any guts at all? Isn’t their mentality a bit odd?
Student: Recently, Master has repeatedly asked everyone to learn from the management practices of ordinary people and draw on their experiences running companies. At present, the management is considering whether to implement certain management approaches, yet some of our fellow cultivators are still reluctant about this, and make remarks like, “To govern by doing nothing is the highest realm.” (Audience laughs)
Master: There’s no excuse some people won’t think up. (Audience laughs) What company “governs by doing nothing”? If you’re saying that the companies run by Dafa disciples are different, and can “govern by doing nothing,” then I don’t believe you. If you don’t have any human attachments, then you are a god. But aren’t you still human beings cultivating? Then, while it’s still humans cultivating, isn’t the human part of you that hasn’t completed cultivation the same as an ordinary human being? You still have attachments that have yet to be removed, only you, as a cultivator, are a good person and your plane is higher. If you didn’t have conflicts with the management, attachments that lead you to fight with them for the lead role, or instances of bad cooperation, and you truly all manage to look within, and search inside yourselves, then indeed you will have an approach to management better than that of ordinary media, and your productivity will be outstanding. However, you are not able to achieve that right now, and that is caused precisely by those human attachments of yours. Your productivity has proved to be low, instead.
Student: Dafa disciples in China, Dafa disciples in each region outside China, and the Dafa disciples on each of the many truth-clarification projects outside China all wish to take the opportunity of this conference to give their regards to our compassionate, magnificent, and esteemed Master.
Master: Thank you all. (Applause) I didn’t read many of the slips that are sending regards to Master, and there were many more that were taken out by the conference organizers and didn’t make it to me. But in any case, Master knows what’s in your hearts, and Master misses greatly the Dafa disciples in China as well as those in each region around the globe. (The disciples applaud) The Fa-rectification will definitely succeed. This is already an indisputable fact. (The disciples applaud) When I first began this undertaking, gods said to me, “In the future, mankind will be able to see all of what you have been doing.” I asked how so. They replied that people would see the disintegration of the stars as well as the changes in the celestial bodies, and people would see that these things were connected to you. These changes will draw ever closer, bit by bit. The celestial bodies never displayed such dramatic changes before. Now, however, they are pressing forward toward this place, and even with an ordinary telescope one can make out the changes that the celestial bodies are undergoing. And mankind’s state is changing as well. People’s perception of Dafa is changing too, almost as if people’s minds are gradually clearing up. The change is like ice thawing. In the near future, people will really come to see Falun Gong and Dafa disciples in a whole new light, and the truth of affairs will be laid out right before man’s eyes. At that point people will realize that Dafa disciples are their sole hope of salvation. So, Dafa disciples simply must do well. You truly shoulder a mission, and you really do bear such a great historic responsibility. And that is why I say you must do well.
As you know, there is always the question of why there have been so few new Dafa disciples since the persecution started. It is precisely because the old forces locked up the entrance, and thus nobody could enter unless they had an exceptional circumstance or I specifically needed them. That is because, based on the old forces’ logic, the test has already reached its end, and the harshest period has passed; and, having arrived at the persecution’s final stages, the most sinister and treacherous environment posed by the test has already passed, and many of the evil people who were put in place have died. With that sort of evil environment being no more, those who recently entered [Dafa] will have a hard time establishing the mighty virtue that a Dafa disciple is supposed to have, and thus [the old forces] do their utmost to control [who enters]. You know, in the previous phase, when the persecution was severe, people couldn’t enter on account of being fearful or having misunderstandings about Dafa. So how come now, when the persecution has been exposed far and wide and the truth is well-known, and when the atmosphere is less tense, it’s still hard for people to enter? Now you know why.
The task of saving sentient beings has to be carried out by you. And not only must it be done, but it must be done well. It is not done for Master, however. Though we call it “saving sentient beings,” it is not done entirely for them either. It’s also done for your sake. That is because the sentient beings that you save, which includes the people that you clarify the truth to, shall very likely one day be a portion of the sentient beings in your enormous cosmos. You are perfecting and completing yourself, through your successes you are achieving what you shall become, and without these, you could not serve as King there nor complete your mission and establish the magnificent mighty virtue that’s needed. That is how things work, and thus you absolutely must do a good job of it. Don’t allow yourselves to get stuck in a state where you constantly argue endlessly, but instead, be more like a Dafa disciple and earnestly, humbly, and solidly make efforts to carry out well what you are supposed to do. With any project or any task, if you decide not to do it, then don’t do it; and if you do decide to do it, then you definitely have to do it well and carry it through to the end. If you do otherwise, how shall the time you wasted go down in the annals of history? Whatever is not brought to completion amounts to a failure. That is not to say, however, that a certain task has to be carried out according to your own ideas and only if it succeeds will you build up mighty virtue. Rather, it is in the act of your cooperating and the thoughts that follow, and in how you go about things in the process of collaborating, that count as the cultivation process. If in your work your thoughts can be righteous and you can keep in mind that you are a cultivator, never forgetting your mission and responsibility, and bring to completion that portion of things that you are supposed to handle, then you are establishing mighty virtue, that is your process of cultivation, and that is your process of fulfilling your historic mission as a Dafa disciple. Many things have been brought to completion by Dafa disciples cooperating together, and many have been completed by Dafa disciples working independently. Nothing that you encounter is by chance, and quite possibly each and every thing was arranged as it is in history. So, don’t underestimate what you do or work on. Everything may seem completely ordinary, and not seem to have any special significance, but, in other dimensions, it is bringing about enormous transformations.
But, precisely because you are in this place of delusion, and cannot see the reality of things, nor the holiness of all that you have done, and since you each have a human side, it is hard to establish such righteous thoughts and you thus don’t experience a sense of excitement, and must manage to do well amidst hard times. Only by coming through under these conditions does it count as extraordinary. If people could know the magnificence, or extraordinariness of what they are doing, nobody would hesitate to do these things. If everyone could see a divine being right before them, in full, living color, then nothing else would matter and they would put everything on the line in order to follow whatever that divine being said. Everyone would do the same, and there would be no mighty virtue to be had, for it would not be cultivation. The spell of delusion would have been broken, and so nothing would count. But, precisely because one is amidst the setting of delusion, one cannot perceive the truth of things, and thus it can be seen whether you can manage to cultivate, whether you can manage to make it through to the finish, and whether you can succeed at cultivation. It is immensely difficult for a human being on this earth to become a divine being, and it is every bit as difficult for him to ascend to the heavens.
Although many people in history have done cultivation, none in fact succeeded in their practice. As I have explained before, it was always the subordinate soul [that succeeded], whereas the true master soul of the person continued on in the human realm, reincarnating. And this holds true for the human body of Shakyamuni, Lao Zi, and Jesus, all of whom are now among Dafa disciples. The mighty virtue that they accumulated would suffice for them to achieve Consummation, and the same is true for other Dafa disciples—it’s plenty enough for them to achieve Consummation—and it is thus that I’ve said your Consummation is not a question. What is a question is [your fulfilling] the enormous mission of saving sentient beings. It’s only this question, of your managing to fulfill this mission, that counts as critical. Your own completion is not the goal. You already established that mighty virtue in the past, and it is on those grounds that you are worthy of being a Dafa disciple.
Master doesn’t wish to say more. I realize that my tone was a bit strong while discussing some problems, but in such cases it’s always that I wish for you to recognize them. Though the tone was a bit heavy, I know that you haven’t just taken up Dafa after all and are on more solid footing than that, so, speaking a bit more strongly may help you with some of the specific challenges that you face. Of course, there may be many other questions that weren’t raised. With so many people, only a certain amount of question slips can be passed up. If the opportunity presents itself, I’ll talk more later on. That’s all for today. (All disciples applaud warmly)
I’ve covered so much ground today, I am not sure how well you’ve absorbed it. And there were many things I probably didn’t address so comprehensively. Many of those who’ve participated in this experience sharing conference have really cultivated quite well, and you all would do well to really hone in and look at how others have cultivated, where the gap between you and them lies, and how you can use this grand conference to spur yourself to improve, turning it into a motivational force. Our Fa conferences mustn’t be held in vain. As you may know, the cost of flights exceeds 10 million dollars when so many Dafa disciples gather here like this from around the world. We don’t have that kind of money to wantonly waste, so it is imperative that this Fa conference be fruitful for us. You need to really, truly put some effort into cultivation, and not lapse into just doing it superficially; you shouldn’t have so many human attachments. As Master sees it, your each and every thought, and your every single action, reveals to me what your heart is like. What I least like are those who are all talk and no action. Nor do I like those who are cunning. What I like are those who are honest and simple, sincere and down-to-earth. I also hope that you can all, after so many years of cultivating, positively grow in wisdom and not grow so much in terms of knowing how to deal with worldly matters or how to conduct yourself as a human being leading a worldly life.
Thank you all. That’s all for today. (All the disciples applaud warmly)
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