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Qigong and Physical Exercises

At an ordinary level, people easily take qigong to be directly related to physical exercises. Of course, at a low level, qigong and physical exercises are the same with respect to attaining a healthy body. Yet its specific exercise methods and adopted means differ greatly from those of physical exercises. To obtain a healthy body through physical exercises, one must increase the amount of exercise and intensify physical training. Qigong practice, however, is just the opposite, as it does not require one to move. If there is any movement, it is gentle, slow, and curved. It is even motionless and still—this differs greatly from physical exercises in terms of form. From a high-level perspective, qigong is not limited to only healing and fitness, for it embodies something of higher levels and deeper content. Qigong is not this little smattering of things at the level of ordinary people. It is supernormal and has different manifestations at different levels. It is something that goes far beyond everyday people.

With regard to the nature of the exercises, they also differ tremendously. To get the body ready for this modern level of competition and to meet its criteria, an athlete, especially an athlete today, is required to increase the amount of exercise. Therefore, one must always keep the body in prime shape. To achieve this goal, one must increase the amount of exercise to make blood circulate adequately in the body, enhance one’s metabolism, and always keep the body in an improving state. Why should metabolism be enhanced? It is because an athlete’s body must be always improving and in its best condition for competition. The human body is composed of numerous cells. These all have the following sort of process: The newly divided cell’s life is very vigorous, and the cell manifests a state of growth. When it grows to the ultimate point, it cannot grow anymore and can only decline to its lowest point. A new cell will then replace it. For instance, let us use the twelve hours of daytime to describe it. A cell divides at 6 A.M. and manifests a state of growth. When it reaches 8 A.M., 9 A.M., or 10 A.M., these are all very good periods. By the time noon arrives, it can no longer move up, and can only go down hill. At this point, the cell still has the remaining half of its life, but this remaining half is unsuitable for an athlete’s competition condition.

What should be done, then? One must intensify the training and increase blood circulation, and then the newly divided cells can replace the old ones. It takes this path. That is to say, before the cell’s entire journey is over or when only half its life is through, it will be replaced. The body will thus always maintain strength and make improvements. Yet human cells cannot divide like this endlessly, as the number of cell divisions is finite. Suppose a cell can only divide one hundred times in one’s life. Actually, it can divide more than a million times. And suppose that when a cell divides a hundred times for a normal person, he can live one hundred years. But now this cell has only lived half of its life, so he can only live for fifty years. Yet we have not seen any major problems occurring for athletes, because athletes today have to retire before the age of thirty. In particular, now the competition level is very high, and the number of retired athletes is also large. An athlete can thus resume a normal life and will not appear very much affected. Theoretically, it is essentially this way. Physical exercise can enable one to keep a healthy body, but it will shorten one’s life. From the appearance, an athlete in his teens looks like one in his twenties, while one in his twenties looks like one in his thirties. An athlete usually appears to age early. If there is an advantage, there will be—from the dialectical perspective—a disadvantage. In actuality, it takes this path.

Qigong practice is just the opposite of physical exercises. It does not require strenuous movements. If there is any movement, it is gentle, slow, and curved. It is so gentle and slow that it becomes even motionless or still. You know that the cultivation method of sitting in trance requires the state of stillness. Everything, such as the heartbeat and blood circulation, will slow down. In India, there are many yoga masters who can sit in water or be buried in the earth for many days. They can make themselves completely still and even control their heartbeats. Suppose that one’s cells divide once a day. A practitioner can cause his body’s cells to divide once every two days, once every week, once every half month, or even once in a longer period of time. He has already extended his life, then. This only refers to those practices that just cultivate the mind without cultivating the body, as they can also achieve this and prolong one’s life. Someone may think: "Isn’t one’s life or lifetime pre-determined? How can one live longer without cultivating the body?" True. If a practitioner’s level reaches beyond the Three Realms, his life can be extended, but on the surface he will look very old.

A true practice that cultivates the body will constantly accumulate the collected high-energy matter in the cells of one’s body and constantly increase its density to gradually repress and slowly replace those everyday person’s cells. At this time there will be a qualitative change, and this person will stay young forever. Of course, the process of cultivation is a very slow and gradual one, and one must sacrifice quite a lot. It is not very easy for one to temper oneself physically and mentally. Can one remain calm in a xinxing conflict with others? Will one be unaffected when personal, vested interests are at stake? It is very difficult to do this, so it is not that as long as one wants to achieve this goal, one can achieve it. Only when one’s xinxing and de have been upgraded can one achieve this goal.

Many people have been taking qigong to be an ordinary physical exercise, when in fact the difference is extremely great; they are not the same thing at all. Only when practicing qi at the lowest level, which is for healing and fitness to ensure a healthy body, is this lowest-level goal similar to that of physical exercises. At a high level, however, they are entirely different things. The body purification in qigong also has its purpose and, furthermore, practitioners are required to comply with supernormal principles instead of everyday people’s principles. But physical exercises are only something for everyday people.


As to mind-intent, this refers to our human mind activities. In the community of cultivators, how are mind activities in the brain viewed? How does it look at different forms of human thinking (mind-intent)? And how do they manifest? Modern medicine still cannot solve many questions in its study of the human brain, because it is not as easy as studying the surface of our bodies. At deeper levels, different dimensions assume different forms. But it is also unlike what some qigong masters have said. Some qigong masters do not even know themselves what is going on, and neither can they explain it clearly. They think that once they use their minds and develop a thought, they will be able to do something. They claim that those things are done by their thoughts or their mind-intent. Actually, those things are not done by their mind-intent at all.

First of all, let us talk about the origin of one’s thoughts. In ancient China, there was the phrase "heart-thinking." Why was it called heart-thinking? Ancient Chinese science was very advanced since its research directly targeted things such as the human body, life, and the universe. Some people indeed feel that it is their hearts that think, while others feel that it is their brains that think. Why is there this situation? It is quite reasonable when some people talk about heart-thinking. This is because we have found that an everyday person’s Primordial Spirit is very small, and the actual messages from the human brain are not a function of the human brain itself—they are not generated by the brain, but by one’s Primordial Spirit. One’s Primordial Spirit does not stay only in the niwan palace. The niwan palace in the Tao School is the pineal body that our modern medicine has come to understand. If one’s Primordial Spirit is in the niwan palace, one will really feel that the brain is thinking about something or sending forth messages. If it is in one’s heart, one will really feel that the heart is thinking about something.

A human body is a small universe. Many living beings in a practitioner’s body might be able to exchange locations. When the Primordial Spirit changes its location, if it moves to one’s stomach, one will feel that the stomach is indeed thinking about something. If the Primordial Spirit moves to one’s calf or heel, one will actually feel that the calf or heel is thinking about something. It is guaranteed to be so, though it may sound quite inconceivable. When your cultivation level is not very high, you will find that this phenomenon exists. If a human body does not have the Primordial Spirit and things such as temperament, character, and personality, it is only a piece of meat and not a complete person with individuality. So what functions does the human brain have? As I see it, in the form of this physical dimension, the human brain is only a processing factory. The actual message is sent forth by the Primordial Spirit. What is transmitted, however, is not language, but a message of the universe that represents a certain meaning. Upon receiving such a command, our brains will process this into our present language or other such forms of expression; we express it through hand gesturing, eye contact, and complete movement. The brain has only this effect. The actual commands and thoughts come from one’s Primordial Spirit. People usually believe that they are direct and independent functions of the brain. In fact, the Primordial Spirit is sometimes in the heart, so some people can indeed feel their hearts thinking.

At present, those people who conduct research on the human body believe that what the human brain transmits is something like an electric wave. We will not address at the outset what is actually transmitted, but they have acknowledged that it is a type of material existence. Thus, it is not superstitious. What effects does this material have? Some qigong masters claim: "I can use my mind-intent to perform teleportation, open your Celestial Eye, cure your illness, etc." Actually, as for some qigong masters, they do not even know, and neither are they clear about what supernormal abilities they possess. They only know that they can do whatever they want, as long as they think about it. In reality, it is their mind-intent at work: Supernormal abilities are directed by the brain’s mind-intent, and they carry out specific tasks under the command of mind-intent. Yet mind-intent cannot do anything itself. When a practitioner does something specific, it is his or her supernormal abilities that do the work.

Supernormal abilities are potential capabilities of the human body. With the development of our human society, the human mind has become increasingly complicated, attaching more importance to "reality" and becoming more dependent on so-called modern tools. Consequently, human inborn capabilities have gradually become atrophied. The Tao School teaches returning to the original, true self. In the course of cultivation practice, you must seek the truth, and in the end return to your original, true self and your inherent nature. Only then can you reveal these inborn abilities of yours. Nowadays, we call them "supernatural capabilities" when they are all actually human inborn capabilities. Human society appears to be progressing, but in fact it is regressing and moving further away from the characteristic of the universe. The other day I mentioned that Zhang Guolao rode backward on a donkey, but people might not have understood what this meant. He discovered that going forward is moving backward, and that humankind has been moving further away from the characteristic of the universe. In the universe’s course of evolution and especially after joining the big wave of the present commodity economy, many people have become very morally corrupt, and they are moving further away from Zhen-Shan-Ren, the characteristic of the universe. Those who drift along with the current of everyday people cannot realize the extent of humanity’s moral corruption. So some people even think things are good. Only those people whose xinxing has been upgraded through cultivation will realize, by looking back, that human moral values have decayed to this terrible extent.

Some qigong masters have claimed: "I can develop your supernormal abilities." What supernormal abilities can they develop? Without energy, one’s supernormal abilities will not work. How can you develop them without it? When one’s supernormal abilities are not formed and sustained by one’s own energy, how can you develop them? It is absolutely impossible. What they have said about developing supernormal abilities is nothing, but connecting your already formed supernormal abilities with your brain. They will perform at the command of your brain’s mind-intent. This is what they do in terms of developing supernormal abilities. Actually, they have not developed any of your supernormal abilities, but have just done this little bit of work.

For a practitioner, one’s mind-intent dictates supernormal abilities to do things. For an everyday person, one’s mind-intent directs the four limbs and the sensory organs to work, just like the production office in a factory: The director’s office issues orders to each department of specific functions to carry out duties. It is also like the military headquarters: The commander’s office gives the order and directs the entire army to carry out a mission. When I was out of town giving lectures, I frequently discussed this issue with administrators in local qigong societies. They were all very surprised: "We’ve been studying how much potential energy and consciousness the human mind has." In reality, it is not so. They were off track from the very beginning. I have said that to study the science of the human body one must revolutionize one’s thinking. To understand those supernormal things, one cannot apply everyday people’s deductive methods and their ways of understanding things.

Speaking of mind-intent, it has several forms. For example, some people bring up vague awareness, the subconscious, inspiration, dreams, etc. Speaking of dreams, no qigong master is willing to explain them. Because at birth you were also born simultaneously in many dimensions of the universe, these other selves of yours make up a complete, integrated entity with you and interrelate to one another, being mentally connected. Additionally, in the body you have your own Main Spirit, Assistant Spirit, and images of other different beings. As forms of existence in other dimensions, every cell and all internal organs carry your image’s message. Thus, it is extremely complex. In a dream, things may be this way one moment and some other way in another moment. Where do they come from, anyway? It is said in medical science that this is because one’s cerebral cortex has experienced changes. This is a reaction manifest in this physical form. In fact, it is the result of receiving messages from another dimension. Therefore, when you dream you feel muddle-headed. This has nothing to do with you, and you do not need to pay attention to it. There is one kind of dream that concerns you directly. We should not call such a dream a "dream." Your Main Consciousness or Main Spirit may have seen in a dream that a family member has come up to you, that you may indeed have experienced something, or that you may have seen or done something. In these cases, it is that your Main Spirit has actually done or seen something in another dimension, as your consciousness was clear and real. These things actually do exist, except that they occur in another physical dimension and they are done in another time-space. How can you call it a dream? It is not. Your physical body here is actually asleep, so you can only call it a dream. Only such dreams have something to do with you directly.

Speaking of human inspiration, the subconscious, vague awareness, and so on, I would say that these terms are not coined by scientists. They are terms crafted by writers and are based upon the conventions of everyday people—they are unscientific. What is the "vague awareness" that people refer to? It is difficult to explain clearly and it is very ambiguous, since various human messages are complex, and they appear to be some strands of cloudy memories. As for the subconscious that people refer to, we can explain it easily. According to the definition of the subconscious, it ordinarily refers to a person’s doing something without knowing. Other people will usually say that this person did this thing subconsciously, and not intentionally. This subconscious is exactly the same as the Assistant Consciousness that we have mentioned. When one’s Main Consciousness relaxes and does not control the brain, one does not have a clear consciousness, as if one has fallen asleep. Either in a dream or in an unconscious state, one will be easily controlled by the Assistant Consciousness or the Assistant Spirit. At that time, the Assistant Consciousness is able to do certain things, which is to say that you will be doing things without a clear mind. Yet these things often tend to be done pretty well, since the Assistant Consciousness can see from another dimension the nature of the matter and will not be misled by our ordinary human society. Therefore, after one realizes what one has done, one will look back: "How could I do it so badly? I wouldn’t do it this way with a clear mind." You may now say that it is not good, but when you look back ten days or half a month later, you will say: "Wow! It was done so well! How did I do it then?" These things often take place. Because the Assistant Consciousness does not care about the effect at that moment, it will, nonetheless, have a good effect in the future. There are also some things that do not have any future consequences and only have some effects at that moment. When the Assistant Consciousness does these things, it may do a very good job right then.

There is another form: Namely, those of you with very good inborn quality can easily be controlled by higher beings and do things. Of course, this is another issue, and it will not be addressed here. We mainly discuss thoughts that come from our own selves.

As for "inspiration," it too is a term coined by writers. It is generally believed that inspiration, as an accumulation of one’s lifelong knowledge, bursts out in a second like a shining spark. I would say that according to the perspective of materialism,1 the more knowledge one accumulates in life, the more one uses the mind, and the sharper it becomes. At the time when one uses it, it should come out continuously, and there should not be an issue of inspiration. All the so-called inspiration, when it comes, is not in this state. Usually when a person uses the brain, he keeps using it until he feels that his knowledge is exhausted and as though he is at his wit’s end. He will be unable to continue writing a paper, be short of ideas in composing a piece of music, or be unable to complete a scientific research project. At this point, a person is usually tired, with the brain wasted and cigarette butts scattered on the floor. He gets stuck, has a headache, and still cannot come up with any ideas. In the end, under what conditions does inspiration appear? If he is tired, he will think: "Forget it. I’ll take a break." Because the more his Main Consciousness controls his brain the less other lives can step in, with this break and the relaxation of his mind, all of a sudden he can unintentionally recall something from his brain. Most inspiration comes this way.

Why does inspiration come at this time? Because when one’s brain is controlled by the Main Consciousness, the more one uses the brain, the more control the Main Consciousness has, and the less the Assistant Consciousness can step in. When one is thinking, has a headache, and suffers, the Assistant Consciousness also suffers and has a very painful headache. As a part of this body and being born simultaneously from the same mother’s womb, it also controls a portion of this body. When one’s Main Consciousness relaxes, the Assistant Consciousness will project what it knows into the brain. Because it can see the nature of a matter in another dimension, the work will, accordingly, be done, a paper written, or the music composed.

Some people will say: "In that case, we should make use of the Assistant Consciousness." This is like what someone asked in a note just now: "How do we contact the Assistant Consciousness?" You cannot get in touch with it because your practice has just begun and you do not have any abilities. You are better off not making any contact, as your intention is bound to be an attachment. Some people may think: "Can we use the Assistant Consciousness to create for us more wealth and accelerate the development of human society?" No! Why not? It is because what your Assistant Consciousness knows is still very limited. With the complexity of dimensions and so many levels, the structure of the universe is quite complex. The Assistant Consciousness can only know what is in its dimension and will not know anything beyond its dimension. In addition, there are many different vertical levels and dimensions. The development of humankind can be controlled only by higher lives at a very lofty level, and it progresses according to the law of development.

Our ordinary human society progresses according to the law of history’s development. You may wish it to develop in a certain way and to achieve a certain goal, but those higher lives do not consider it this way. Did people in ancient times not think of today’s aircraft, trains, and bikes? I would say that it is unlikely that they did not. Because history did not evolve to that stage, they could not invent them. On the surface, or from the perspective of conventional theories and present human knowledge, it is because human science at that time had not yet reached this level and so they could not invent them. In fact, how human science should develop is also paced according to the arrangement of history. If you want to humanly realize a certain goal, it cannot be achieved. Of course, there are people whose Assistant Consciousness can easily play a role. One writer claims: "I can write tens of thousands of words a day for my book without getting tired at all. If I want, I can write it very quickly, and others will still find it really good once they read it." Why is it so? This is the result of joint efforts from his Main Consciousness and Assistant Consciousness, as his Assistant Consciousness can also assume half the job. But it is not so all the time. Most Assistant Consciousnesses do not get involved at all. It is not good if you want it to do something, for you will get the opposite results.

A Clear and Clean Mind

Many people cannot achieve a tranquil mind during practice, and they go everywhere to ask qigong masters: "Teacher, I can’t attain tranquility no matter how I practice. Once I settle down, I’ll think of everything, including odd thoughts and ideas." It is like overturning rivers and seas with everything surfacing, and one cannot attain tranquility whatsoever. Why is one unable to attain tranquility? Some people cannot understand it and believe that there must be some secret tricks. They will find well-known masters: "Please teach me some advanced tricks so that I can have a mind of tranquility." In my view, that is looking for external help. If you want to improve yourself, you should search your inner self and work hard on your heart—only then can you truly ascend and achieve tranquility in sitting meditation. The ability to achieve tranquility is gong, and the depth of ding indicates one’s level.

How can an everyday person attain tranquility at will? One cannot do it at all unless one has very good inborn quality. In other words, the fundamental reason for one’s being unable to achieve tranquility is not an issue of techniques, but that your mind and heart are not clean. In ordinary human society and in interpersonal conflicts, you compete and fight for personal gain, all kinds of human sentimentality, and your attachments to desires. If you do not let go of these things and take them lightly, how can you easily achieve tranquility? While practicing qigong, someone claims: "I just don’t believe it. I’ve got to calm down and stop thinking." As soon as that is said, all thoughts will pop up again, as it is your mind that is not clean. You are therefore unable to have a tranquil mind.

Some people might disagree with my stance: "Don’t some qigong masters teach people to use certain techniques? One can concentrate, visualize something, focus one’s mind on dantian, look internally at dantian, chant the Buddha’s name, and so on." These are types of techniques. Yet they are not merely techniques, but also reflections of one’s abilities. Accordingly, these abilities are directly related to our xinxing cultivation and the level of our improvement. Moreover, one cannot attain tranquility by using such techniques alone. If you do not believe it, you can give it a try. With different strong desires and attachments and without being able to give up everything, you may try and see if you can achieve tranquility. Some people say that it will work to chant the Buddha’s name. Can you attain tranquility by chanting the Buddha’s name? Someone claims: "It’s easy to practice Buddha Amitabha’s school of practice. It’ll work just by chanting the Buddha’s name." Why don’t you try chanting like that? I would call it an ability. You say that it is easy, but I say that it is not easy, as no school of practice is easy.

Everyone knows that Sakyamuni taught "samadhi." What did he teach prior to samadhi? He taught "precept" and abandoning all desires and addictions until nothing is left—then one can achieve samadhi. Isn’t it such a principle? But "samadhi" is also an ability, as you are unable to completely achieve "precept" all at once. With the gradual abandonment of all bad things, one’s ability to concentrate will also improve from shallow to deep. When one chants the Buddha’s name, one must do it single-mindedly with nothing else in mind until other portions of the brain become numb and one becomes unaware of anything, with one thought replacing thousands of others, or until each word of "Buddha Amitabha" shows up before one’s eyes. Isn’t this an ability? Can one do this at the very beginning? One cannot. If one cannot do it, one will certainly be unable to achieve tranquility. If you do not believe it, you can give it a try. While chanting the Buddha’s name repeatedly with one’s mouth, one’s mind thinks about everything: "Why does my boss in the workplace dislike me so much? My bonus for this month is so little." The more one thinks about it, the angrier one becomes, while one’s mouth is still chanting the Buddha’s name. Do you think this person can practice qigong? Isn’t this a matter of ability? Isn’t it an issue of your mind being unclean? Some people’s Celestial Eye are open, and they can look internally at dantian. As to the dan that accumulates in one’s lower abdominal area, the purer this energy matter is, the brighter it becomes. The less pure it is, the more opaque and more dark it is. Can one attain tranquility just by looking internally at that dan in the dantian? One cannot attain it. It is not up to the technique itself. The key is that one’s mind and thoughts are not clear and clean. When you look internally at dantian, the dan looks bright and pretty. In a second, this dan transforms into an apartment: "This room will be for my son when he gets married. That room is for my daughter. As an old couple, we’ll live in the other room, and the room in the center will be a living room. It’s just great! Will this apartment be assigned to me? I have to think of a way to get it. What should be done?" People are just attached to these things. Do you think that you can achieve tranquility this way? It has been said: "When I come to this ordinary human society, it’s just like checking into a hotel for a few days. Then I leave in a hurry." Some people are just obsessed with this place and have forgotten their own homes.

In genuine cultivation practice one must cultivate one’s own heart and inner self. One should search inside oneself rather than outside. Some schools of practice say that Buddha is in one’s heart, and this also has some truth. Some people have misunderstood this statement and say that there is Buddha in their hearts, as though they themselves are Buddhas, or as if there is a Buddha in their hearts—they have understood it in this way. Isn’t that wrong? How could it be understood like that? It means that you must cultivate your heart if you are to succeed in cultivation—it tells this principle. How can there be a Buddha in your body? You must practice cultivation to succeed.

The reason that you cannot achieve tranquility is that your mind is not empty and you have not reached that high a level, which can only be achieved step by step. It goes hand in hand with the level of your improvement. When you give up attachments, your level will be upgraded, and your ability to concentrate will also improve. If you want to achieve tranquility through some techniques or methods, I would call this searching for external help. In qigong practice, however, going awry and following an evil way simply refer to people searching for external help. With Buddhism in particular, if you search for external help, you are said to have taken a demonic way. In genuine cultivation practice one must cultivate the heart: Only when you upgrade your xinxing can you attain a clear and clean mind, and a state free of intention (wuwei). Only when your xinxing is upgraded can you assimilate to the characteristic of the universe and remove different human desires, attachments, and other bad things. Only then will you be able to abandon the bad things in yourself and ascend so that you will not be restricted by the characteristic of the universe. Then the substance of de can be transformed into gong. Don’t they go hand in hand? It’s just such a principle!

This is the reason on the individual’s part why he is unable to achieve tranquility, as he cannot meet a practitioner’s standard. In terms of external factors, there is presently a situation that seriously interferes with your practicing cultivation toward high levels, and it seriously affects practitioners. You know that with the reforms and openness, the economy has become flexible and policies are also less restrictive. Many new technologies have been introduced, and people’s living standard has improved. All everyday people think that it is a good thing. But things should be looked at dialectically, in both ways. With the reforms and openness, bad things of different forms have also been imported. If a piece of literary work is not written with some sexual content, the book seems unable to sell since the issue of sales quantity is involved. If movies and television programs do not show footage of bedroom scenes, in terms of the audience ratings no one seems to watch them. As for artwork, nobody can tell whether it is genuine art or something else. There were no such things in our ancient Chinese traditional arts. The traditions of our Chinese nationality were not invented or created by any one person. In addressing prehistoric culture, I mentioned that everything has its origin. Human moral values have been distorted and changed. The standards that measure good and bad have all changed. Those are matters of everyday people. Yet this universe’s characteristic, Zhen-Shan-Ren, remains unchanged as the sole criterion to differentiate good and bad persons. As a practitioner, if you want to rise above and beyond, you must use this criterion—not the standard of everyday people—to assess things. Thus, there is this external interference. There is more to it, such as homosexuality, sexual freedom, and drug abuse.

When human society has developed to this step today, think about it: What will happen if it goes on like this? Can it be allowed to exist like this forever? If humankind does not do something about it, heaven will. Whenever humankind experiences catastrophes, it is always under such conditions. With so many lectures, I have not brought up the issue of humankind’s great catastrophes. This hot topic has been discussed in religions and by many people. I am raising this question to everyone, so think about it, everyone: In our ordinary human society, the human moral standard has undergone such a change! Tensions among one another have reached such an extent! Don’t you think that it’s come to an extremely dangerous point? Therefore, this present, objectively existing environment seriously interferes with our practitioners’ cultivation toward high levels. Nude pictures are displayed right over there, hanging in the middle of the street. Once you look up, you will see them.

Lao Zi once made this statement: "When a wise person hears the Tao, this person will practice it diligently." When a wise person learns of the Tao, he thinks: "Finally I’ve obtained a righteous cultivation method. Why wait and not start to practice today?" The complex environment, in my view, is instead a good thing. The more complex it is, the greater the persons it will produce. If one can elevate oneself above and beyond it, one’s cultivation will be the most solid.

For a practitioner who is truly determined to practice cultivation, I would say that it turns out to be a good thing. Without conflicts arising or opportunities to improve your xinxing, you cannot make progress. If everyone is nice to one another, how do you practice cultivation? As for one who is an average practitioner, one is "an average person who hears the Tao," and one for whom it will be fine to either practice or not practice cultivation; it is most likely he will fail in cultivation. Some people who are here listening find what Teacher says reasonable. Upon returning to ordinary human society, they will still think that those immediate gains are more practical and real. They are real. Not only you, but also many Western millionaires and wealthy people have discovered that there is nothing left after death. Material wealth does not come with birth, and neither will it go with you after death—they are very hollow. Yet why is gong so precious? This is because it is attached to the body of your Primordial Spirit, and it comes with you at birth and goes with you after death. We have said that one’s Primordial Spirit does not become extinct, and this is not a superstition. After the cells in our physical bodies have come off, the particles smaller than cells in other physical dimensions have not become extinct. Only a shell has come off.

All of what I have just addressed belongs to the issue of one’s xinxing. Sakyamuni once made this statement, as did Boddhidarma: "This oriental land of China is a place where people of great virtues are produced." Throughout history, many monks and a lot of Chinese people have been very proud about this; it seems to suggest that they can cultivate high-level gong, and thus many people are pleased and feel flattered: "Alright us Chinese people! The land of China can produce people of great inborn quality and great virtue." In fact, many people have not understood the meaning behind it. Why does the land of China produce people of great virtues and high-level gong? Many people do not understand the genuine meaning of what those high-level people have said, and neither do they understand the realm or mindset of those people at high levels and in lofty realms. Of course, we have said that we will not point out what it means. Think about it, everyone: Only by being among the most complex group of people and in the most complex environment can one cultivate the high-level gong—it implies this.

Inborn Quality

One’s inborn quality is determined by the amount of the substance de in one’s body of another dimension. With less de and more black substance, one’s karmic field will be large. In that case, one is of poor inborn quality. With a lot of de or the white substance, one’s karmic field will be small. Accordingly, this person is of good inborn quality. One’s white substance and black substance can be converted into each other. How are they converted? Doing good deeds produces the white substance, as the white substance is obtained through enduring hardships, suffering miseries, or doing good deeds. The black substance is produced by doing wrong and bad deeds, and it is karma. It undergoes such a transformational process. Meanwhile, it also has a carry-over relationship. Because it follows one’s Primordial Spirit directly, it is not something from one lifetime, but is accumulated from a remote age. Therefore, people talk about accruing karma and accumulating de. In addition, they can be passed down from ancestors. Sometimes, I recall what ancient Chinese people or elderly people have said: "One’s ancestors have accumulated de. Accumulate de or lose de." That was said so correctly! It is very right, indeed.

A person’s good or poor inborn quality can determine whether his enlightenment quality is good or poor. A person’s poor inborn quality can also make his enlightenment quality very poor. Why is this? It is because one with good inborn quality has a lot of the white substance that is assimilated to our universe and to the characteristic Zhen-Shan-Ren without any barrier. The characteristic of the universe can manifest directly in your body and be in immediate contact with your body. But black substance is just the opposite. As it is obtained by doing wrong deeds, it goes the opposite way from our universe’s characteristic. Therefore, this black substance becomes separated from the characteristic of our universe. When this black substance accumulates to a great amount, it will form a field surrounding one’s body and wrap one up inside. The larger the field, the higher its density and thickness, and this will make one’s enlightenment quality become worse. This is because one is unable to receive the universe’s characteristic of Zhen-Shan-Ren, as one has acquired the black substance by doing wrong deeds. Usually, it is harder for such a person to believe in cultivation practice. The poorer his enlightenment quality, the greater the karmic resistance he will encounter. The more hardships he suffers, the less he will believe it and the harder it will be for him to practice cultivation.

It is easier for someone with a lot of the white substance to practice cultivation. This is because in the course of cultivation, as long as this person assimilates to the characteristic of the universe and his xinxing improves, his de will be transformed directly into gong. For someone with a lot of the black substance, however, there is an additional procedure. It is like a product that a factory makes: Others all come with ready-made material, while this person comes with raw material that needs to be processed. It has to go through this process. Therefore, he must first suffer hardships and eliminate karma, so as to transform it into the white substance, forming this substance of de. Only then can he develop the high-level gong. But such a person usually does not have good inborn enlightenment quality. If you ask him to suffer more, he will believe it less and it will be harder for him to endure it. Therefore, it is difficult for someone with a lot of the black substance to practice cultivation. Likewise, the Tao School or a school of practice that taught only one disciple used to require that the master search for a disciple instead of vice versa. This was determined by how much of these things this disciple’s body carried.

Inborn quality determines one’s enlightenment quality, but this is not absolute. Some people do not have very good inborn quality, but their home environment is very good; many family members practice cultivation. Some of them are also religious believers and believe very much in the matter of cultivation practice. In this environment, one can be made to believe in it, and this enables enlightenment quality to improve. So it is not absolute. Some people have very good inborn quality, but due to their being educated with that tiny bit of knowledge from our practical society, and especially because of the absolute methods in ideological education a few years ago, they have been made very narrow-minded and will not believe anything beyond their knowledge. This can seriously affect their enlightenment quality.

For example, I taught the Celestial Eye opening on the second day of a class. Right away, one person with good inborn quality had his Celestial Eye opened at a very high level. He saw numerous scenes that many other people could not see. He told others: "Wow, I saw Falun falling like snow flakes on the audience’s bodies throughout the whole auditorium. I saw what Teacher Li’s real body looks like, Teacher Li’s halo, what Falun looks like, and how many fashen there are." He saw that Teacher was giving lectures at different levels and how Falun were adjusting practitioners’ bodies. He also saw that during the lecture it was Teacher’s gongshen2  that was giving a lecture at each different level. In addition, he saw the heavenly beauties casting flowers about, and so on. He saw some things as wonderful as this, indicating that his inborn quality was quite good. As he went on and on, in the end he said: "I don’t believe these things." Some of these things have already been verified by science, and many things can also be explained by modern science; we have discussed some of them as well. This is because what qigong understands is indeed beyond the understanding of modern science—this is for sure. In this view, one’s inborn quality does not entirely determine one’s enlightenment quality.


What is "enlightenment?" "Enlightenment" is a term from religion. In Buddhism, it refers to a practitioner’s understanding of the Buddhist Dharma, the enlightenment in terms of understanding, and the ultimate enlightenment. It means the enlightenment of wisdom. Nevertheless, it is already applied to everyday people nowadays. It suggests that this person is very smart and can read what is on his boss’ mind. He can learn things quickly and know how to please his boss. People call that good enlightenment quality, and it is usually understood this way. Once you rise slightly higher above the level of everyday people, however, you will find that the principles at this level, as understood by everyday people, are usually wrong. This is not at all the enlightenment that we refer to. Instead, the enlightenment quality of a smart person is not good, because a person who is overly smart will only do superficial work in order to be appreciated by his boss or supervisor. In that case, won’t the actual work be done by somebody else? Accordingly, this person will owe others. Because he is smart and knows how to please others, he will gain more benefits while others will suffer more losses. Because he is smart, he will not suffer any losses, and neither will he easily lose anything. Consequently, others must suffer losses. The more he cares for this tiny bit of practical gain, the more narrow-minded he becomes, and the more he feels that material gains of everyday people are something he cannot let go. So he will then deem himself very practical, and he will not suffer any losses.

Some people even envy this person! I am telling you not to envy him. You do not know what a tiring life he leads: He cannot eat or sleep well; he fears losing self-interest even in dreams, and he will go all out for personal gain. Wouldn’t you say that he leads a tiring life, as his entire life is dedicated to that? We say that when you take a step back in a conflict, you will find the seas and the skies boundless, and it will certainly be another situation. A person like that will not give in, however, and leads the most tiring life. You should not learn from him. It is said in the community of cultivators: "Such a person is completely lost. He is totally lost among everyday people over material benefits." It will not be so easy to ask him to preserve de! If you ask him to practice cultivation, he will not believe you: "Practice cultivation? As practitioners, you won’t fight back when you’re beaten or sworn at. When others give you a hard time, in your mind, instead of treating it the same as they do, you even have to thank them. You’ve all become Ah Q! All of you are mentally ill!" As for such a person, there is no way for him to understand cultivation practice. He will say that you are inconceivable and foolish. Wouldn’t you say that he is difficult to save?

This is not the enlightenment that we refer to. Rather, it is what this person calls "foolish" in terms of self-interest, and that is the enlightenment we have talked about. Of course, such a person is not really foolish. We simply treat the issue of personal, vested interests with indifference, while in other areas we are very wise. In terms of conducting scientific research projects or carrying out assignments from our supervisors or other duties, we are very clear-minded and perform them very well. Only in terms of our personal benefits or our interpersonal conflicts will we care less. Who will call you foolish? Nobody will say that you are foolish—it’s guaranteed to be so.

Let us talk about a truly foolish person, for this principle is totally reversed at high levels. A foolish person is unlikely to do major wrongdoing among everyday people, and neither is he likely to compete and fight for self-interest. He does not seek fame or lose de, but others will give him de. Beating him up and swearing at him will both give de to him, and this substance is extremely valuable. In our universe, there is this principle: no loss, no gain. To gain, one must lose. When others see this very foolish person, they will all verbally abuse him: "You’re such a fool." With this verbal abuse, a piece of de will be thrown over there. By taking advantage of him, you are the gaining side, so you must lose something. If one walks over and kicks him: "You’re such a big idiot." Well, a big chunk of de will again be tossed to him. When someone bullies or kicks him, he will only smile: "Bring it on. You’re giving me de all the same, and I’m not going to reject a bit of it!" Then according to the principles at high levels, think about it, who’s smart? Isn’t this person smart? He is the smartest one, as he does not lose any de. When you toss de to this person, he does not reject a bit of it whatsoever. He will take all of it and accept it with a smile. He may be foolish in this life, but not in the next—his Primordial Spirit is not foolish. It is said in religion that with a lot of de, a person will become a high-ranking official or make a big fortune in the next lifetime; both of these are exchanged for one’s de.

We have said that de can be directly transformed into gong. Doesn’t the height of your cultivation level come from transforming this de? It can be transformed directly into gong. Isn’t the gong that determines one’s level and gong potency transformed with this substance? Wouldn’t you say that it’s very precious? It can come with birth and go with death. It is said in Buddhism that your cultivation level is your Fruit Status. However much you sacrifice is the amount you will gain—it is just such a principle. It is said in religion that with de one can become a high-ranking official or make a big fortune in the next life. With little de, one will have a hard time even begging for food because there is no de to exchange. No loss, no gain! Without any de, one would become extinct in terms of both body and soul; one would be really dead.

In the past, there was a qigong master whose level was very high when he first came to the public. This qigong master later became obsessed with fame and self-interest. His master took away his Assistant Spirit since he belonged to those people who cultivate the Assistant Spirit. When his Assistant Spirit was still around, he was controlled by his Assistant Spirit. For instance, one day his workplace gave out an apartment unit. The supervisor said: "All those in need of the apartment come here to describe your conditions and explain why each of you needs the apartment." Everyone provided their own reasons while this person did not say a word. In the end, the supervisor found that this person had a greater need for it than others, and that the apartment should be given to him. Other people claimed: "No, the apartment shouldn’t be given to him. It should be given to me because I need the apartment badly." This person said: "Then you can go ahead and take it." An everyday person would see him as foolish. Some people knew that he was a practitioner and asked him: "As a practitioner, you don’t want anything. What do you want?" He responded, "I’ll take whatever others don’t want." Actually, he was not foolish at all and was quite bright. Only in terms of personal, vested interests, would he be like this. He believed in following the course of nature. Others asked him again: "What doesn’t a person want these days?" He replied: "No one wants the pieces of stone on the ground that are kicked here and there. So I’ll pick that up." Everyday people find it inconceivable and cannot understand practitioners. They cannot understand it, as their planes of thinking are far apart and the gap between their levels is also too great. Of course, he was not about to pick up that stone. He told a principle that an everyday person cannot comprehend: "I won’t seek anything among everyday people." Let us talk about the stone. You know that it is written in Buddhist scriptures: "In the Paradise of Ultimate Bliss, the trees are made of gold, and so are the ground, birds, flowers, and houses. Even the Buddha-body is golden and shiny." One cannot find a piece of stone there. The currency used over there is said to be stones. He would not go there and carry a piece of stone, but he told this principle that an everyday person cannot comprehend. Indeed, practitioners will say: "Ordinary people have their pursuits, and we don’t seek them. As for what ordinary people have, we also aren’t interested. Yet what we have is something that ordinary people cannot obtain, even if they want to."

Actually, the enlightenment we just addressed is still referring to the type of enlightenment during the course of cultivation practice, and this is exactly the opposite of that of everyday people. The enlightenment that we actually refer to is a matter of whether in the course of cultivation practice one can enlighten to and accept the Fa taught by the master or the Tao taught by the Taoist master, whether one can treat oneself as a practitioner upon encountering tribulations, and whether one can adhere to the Fa while practicing cultivation. As for some people, no matter how you tell them about it, they still will not believe and will think that it is more practical to be everyday persons. They will hold on to their stubborn beliefs rather than relinquish them, and this renders them unable to believe. Some people only want to heal illnesses. Once I mention here that qigong is not used to heal illnesses whatsoever, their minds will react negatively and, therefore, they will not believe what is taught later.

Some people just cannot improve their enlightenment quality. They casually make marks in my book. Those of our practitioners with the Celestial Eye open can each see that this book looks very colorful, golden, and shiny. Each word bears the image of my fashen. If I tell lies, I will be deceiving everyone. That mark you made looks very dark. How do you dare to casually make marks in it? What are we doing here? Aren’t we guiding you to practice cultivation toward high levels? There are things you should also think about. This book can guide your cultivation practice. Don’t you think it’s precious? Can you truly practice cultivation by worshipping the Buddha? You are very reverent and dare not even lightly touch that Buddha statue for which you burn incense daily, yet you dare to ruin the Dafa that can truly guide your cultivation practice.

Speaking of the issue of one’s enlightenment quality, this refers to the depth of your understanding of something that occurs at different levels in the course of cultivation practice, or of a certain Fa that the master has taught. Yet this still is not the fundamental enlightenment that we refer to. The fundamental enlightenment that we talk about refers to this: In one’s lifetime, from the outset of cultivation practice one will constantly move up and let go of human attachments and various desires, and one’s gong will also constantly grow until the final step in cultivation practice. When this de substance has completely transformed into gong and this person’s cultivation journey designed by the master has come to an end, "Boom!" all locks will be exploded open at that very second. His Celestial Eye will reach the highest point of his level, and he can see at his level the truth of different dimensions, the forms of existence for different lives and matter in different time-spaces, and the truth of our universe. All of his divine powers will emerge, and he will be able to contact different kinds of lives. By this time, isn’t this person a great enlightened person or a person enlightened through cultivation practice? When translated into ancient Indian language, he is a Buddha.

The enlightenment that we refer to is this fundamental enlightenment that belongs to the sudden enlightenment form. Sudden enlightenment means that a person is locked during his lifelong cultivation, and he does not know how high his gong level is or in what form his cultivated gong appears. He does not feel anything at all, and all the cells in his body are even locked. The gong that he has cultivated is locked until the final step, and only then can it be released. Only someone with great inborn quality can do it, as this cultivation practice is quite painful. One must begin by being a good person. One should always improve xinxing, always suffer hardships, ascend constantly in cultivation, and always seek to upgrade xinxing, even though one cannot see one’s own gong. Cultivating is most difficult for such a person, and he or she must be someone with great inborn quality. This person will practice cultivation for many years without knowing anything.

There is another form of enlightenment called gradual enlightenment. From the very beginning, many people have felt the rotation of Falun. At the same time, I have also opened everyone’s Celestial Eye. For various reasons, some people will be able to see things in the future, if not now. They will be able to go from seeing things vaguely to seeing more clearly, and they will go from having been unable to use it to knowing how to use it. One’s level will constantly rise. As your xinxing improves and different attachments are abandoned, various supernormal abilities are being developed. The entire transformation process of cultivation practice and the transformation process of the body will all occur under the circumstance that you can see or feel them. The changes will continue until the final step when you can fully understand the truth of the universe, and when you have reached the highest expected point in cultivation. The transformation of benti and the reinforcement of supernormal abilities will have each reached a certain degree and will gradually achieve this goal. This is gradual enlightenment. This cultivation method of gradual enlightenment also is not easy. With supernormal abilities, some people cannot give up their attachments and will likely show off or do some bad deeds. You will thus lose gong, and your cultivation practice will be in vain and end up in ruins. Some people can observe and see the manifestation of different lives at different levels. One may ask you to do this or that. That person may ask you to practice his things and take you as his disciple, but he cannot help you achieve Right Fruit since he, too, has not attained Right Fruit.

Additionally, all beings in higher dimensions are immortals who can become very large and fully display their supernatural powers. If your mind is not upright, won’t you follow them? Once you follow them, your cultivation practice will end up in vain. Even if that being is a genuine Buddha or a genuine Tao, you still must start cultivation practice all over again. Aren’t they still immortals no matter from which levels of heaven they come? Only when one reaches a very high level of cultivation and achieves the goal can one completely rise above and beyond. To an ordinary person, however, an immortal can surely appear tall, giant, and very capable. Yet that being might not have attained Right Fruit, either. With the interference of various messages and the distraction of various scenes, can you remain undisturbed? Therefore, it is also difficult to practice cultivation with the Celestial Eye open, and it is harder to control your xinxing well. Fortunately, however, many of our practitioners will have their supernormal abilities unlocked half-way through their cultivation process, and they will then reach the state of gradual enlightenment. Everyone’s Celestial Eye will be opened, but many people’s supernormal abilities are not allowed to come forth. When your xinxing gradually reaches a certain level and you can conduct yourself well with a steady mind, they will be exploded open all at once. At a certain level, you will enter the state of gradual enlightenment, and at this time it will be easier for you to conduct yourself well. Different supernormal abilities will all come forth. You will move up in cultivation on your own until, in the end, all of them are unlocked. You will be allowed to have them half-way through your cultivation practice. Many of our practitioners belong to this group, so you should not be anxious to see things.

Everyone may have heard that Zen Buddhism also speaks of the differences between sudden enlightenment and gradual enlightenment. Huineng, the sixth patriarch in Zen Buddhism, taught sudden enlightenment while Shenxiu3  from the Northern School of Zen Buddhism taught gradual enlightenment. The dispute between the two on Buddhist studies has lasted a very long time in history. I call it meaningless. Why? It is because what they referred to was only the understanding of a principle in the process of cultivation practice. As to this principle, some may understand it all at once, while others may enlighten to it and understand it gradually. Does it matter how one enlightens? It is better if one can understand it all at once, but it is also fine if one gradually enlightens to it. Aren’t both cases enlightenment? Both are enlightenment, so neither is wrong.

People with Great Inborn Quality

What is a person with "great inborn quality?" There are still differences between somebody with great inborn quality and somebody with good or poor inborn quality. It is extremely difficult to find someone with great inborn quality, as it will take a very long historical period for such a person to be born. Of course, a person with great inborn quality must first have a great amount of de and a very large field of this white substance—this is certain. Meanwhile, this person should also be able to endure the toughest hardships of all. He must have a mind of great forbearance, too, and be able to sacrifice. He must be able to preserve de as well, have good enlightenment quality, and so on.

What is the toughest hardship of all? It is believed in Buddhism that to be human is to suffer—as long as you are human beings, you must suffer. It believes that lives in all other dimensions do not have our ordinary human bodies. They therefore will not become ill, and neither will there be the problems of birth, old age, illness, and death. There would not be such suffering to begin with. People in other dimensions can levitate, as they are weightless and very wonderful. Because of this body, everyday people will encounter this problem: They cannot stand being cold, hot, thirsty, hungry, or tired, and yet they will still have birth, old age, illness, and death. In any case, one will not be comfortable.

I read in a newspaper that at the time of the earthquake in Tangshan,4  many people died from the earthquake, but some were rescued. A special society survey was conducted with this group of people. They were asked: "How did you feel in the state of death?" Surprisingly, these people all spoke in agreement of the same unique situation. Namely, at the very moment of death they did not feel scared; on the contrary, they suddenly felt a sense of relief, with some sort of subconscious excitement. Some people felt free from the bondage of the body and could levitate very lightly and wonderfully; they were also able to see their own bodies. Some people could also see lives in other dimensions, and still others had gone somewhere else. All of them mentioned a sense of relief at that very moment, and of some sort of subconscious excitement without any feeling of suffering. This suggests that with this human physical body, one will suffer, but since everyone comes from the mother’s womb this way, nobody knows this is suffering.

I have mentioned that one must suffer the toughest hardships of all. The other day I said that humankind’s time-space concept is different from that in another, larger time-space. Here, one shichen is two hours, which is a year in that space. If a person practices cultivation in this harsh condition, he will be considered truly remarkable. When this person develops the heart for the Tao and wants to practice cultivation, he is just simply great. With such hardships, he still has not lost his original nature and wants to return to the origin through cultivation practice. Why can practitioners be helped unconditionally? It is just because of this. When this person sits in meditation for one night in this dimension of everyday people, upon seeing this, others will say that he is really remarkable as he has already sat there for six years. This is because one shichen of ours equals one year over there. Our humankind’s dimension is an extremely unique one.

How does one endure the toughest hardships of all? For instance, one day a person goes to work and the workplace is not doing well. This situation can no longer continue as people are not doing their jobs. The workplace will be reformed and use contract workers. Surplus staff will be laid off, and this person is one of those whose rice bowls are suddenly taken away. How will he feel? There are no other places to earn an income. How can he make a living? He does not have any other skills, so he sadly goes home. As soon as he arrives home, an elderly parent at home is ill and in serious condition. Getting worried, he will hurry to take the elderly parent to a hospital. He will go through a lot of trouble to borrow money for the hospitalization. He will then return home to prepare something for the elderly parent. As soon as he comes home, a school teacher will come knocking at the door: "Your child has injured someone in a fight, and you should hurry up and take a look." Soon after he takes care of that matter and comes back home, just as he is sitting down, a phone call will come, telling him: "Your spouse is having an affair with someone." Of course, you will not run into such a scenario. An ordinary person cannot stand suffering such hardships and will think: "What am I living for? Why don’t I find a rope to hang myself and put an end to everything?" I am just saying that one must be able to suffer the toughest hardships of all. Of course, they might not assume this form. Nevertheless, conflicts among one another, frictions that temper your xinxing, and competition for personal gain are things no easier than those problems. Many people just live to prove their point or save face and will hang themselves when they cannot deal with things anymore. So we must practice cultivation in this complex environment and be able to endure the toughest hardships of all. Meanwhile, we must have a heart of great forbearance.

What is a "heart of great forbearance?" As a practitioner, the first thing you should be able to do is to not fight back when you are beaten or sworn at—you must be tolerant. Otherwise, what kind of practitioner will you be? Someone says: "It’s really hard to be tolerant, and I’ve got a bad temper." If your temper is not good, you should change it, for a practitioner must be tolerant. Some people will lose their temper in disciplining children and yell at them, making quite a scene. You should not be that way in disciplining children, and neither should you, yourselves get really upset. You should educate children with reason so that you can really teach them well. If you cannot even get over a trifle and lose your temper easily, how can you expect to increase your gong? Someone says: "If someone kicks me while I’m walking down the street and no one around knows me, I can tolerate it." I say that this is not good enough. Perhaps in the future you may be slapped in the face twice, and you will lose face in front of someone whom you least want to see it. It is to see how you will deal with this issue and whether you can endure it. If you can tolerate it and yet it preys on your mind, it is still not good enough. As you know, when a person reaches the Arhat level, in his heart he is not concerned about anything. He does not care at all in his heart for any ordinary human matter, and he will always be smiling and in good spirits. No matter how much loss he suffers, he will still be smiling and in good spirits without any concern. If you can really do this, you have already reached the entry-level Fruit Status of Arhatship.

Someone has said, "If tolerance is practiced to such an extent, everyday people will say that we are too cowardly and too easily taken advantage of." I do not call it being cowardly. Think about it, everyone: Even among everyday people, the middle-aged or older people and those with high-level education also exercise self-restraint and refrain from disputing with others, not to mention our practitioners. How can it be taken as being cowardly? I say that it is a reflection of great forbearance and an expression of strong will. Only a practitioner can have this heart of great forbearance. There is this saying, "When an average person is humiliated, he’ll draw his sword to fight." For an everyday person, it is only natural that if you swear at me I will swear at you, and that if you hit me I will hit you back as well. That is an everyday person. Can he be called a practitioner? As a practitioner, without a strong will and self-restraint, you will not be able to do this.

You know that in ancient times there was a man called Han Xin,5  who was said to be very capable as a senior general for Liu Bang6  and the backbone of the country. Why did he have those great achievements? It was said that Han Xin was an exceptional person, even at a young age. There is a story about Han Xin, which says that he endured the humiliation of crawling between someone’s legs. Han Xin liked to practice martial arts in his youth, and a martial artist would usually carry a sword. One day as he was walking down the street, a local ruffian blocked his way with his hands on his waist: "What do you carry that sword for? Do you dare to kill someone? If you do, cut off my head." As he was talking, he stuck out his head. Han Xin thought: "Why should I cut off your head?" In that time, too, killing someone would be reported to the government and one would have to repay the life. How could one kill somebody at will? When the ruffian saw that Han Xin did not dare to kill him, he said: "If you don’t dare to kill me, you’ll have to crawl between my legs." Han Xin indeed crawled between his two legs. This showed that Han Xin had a heart of great forbearance. Because he was different from everyday people, he could accomplish those great achievements. It is an ordinary person’s motto that one should live to prove one’s point or save face. Think about it, everyone: Living to prove one’s point or to save face—isn’t it tiring? Isn’t it painful? Is it worthwhile? Han Xin was an everyday person after all. As practitioners, we should be much better than he. Our goal is to rise above and beyond the level of ordinary people and to strive toward high levels. We will not run into that situation. Yet the humiliation and embarrassment that a practitioner endures among everyday people are not necessarily easier than that. I would say that friction among one another that tempers your xinxing is not any easier than that and can be even worse—it is also quite tough.

Meanwhile, a practitioner should also be able to make sacrifices, abandoning different attachments and desires of everyday people. It is impossible to be able to do it all at once, so we can make it gradually. If you could make it today, you would now be a Buddha. Cultivation practice takes time, but you should not slack off. You may say: "Teacher has said that cultivation practice takes time—let’s do it slowly." That will not do! You must be strict with yourself. In cultivation of the Buddha Fa, you should strive forward vigorously.

You must also be able to preserve de, maintain your xinxing, and not do things at will. You should not casually do whatever you want, and you must be able to maintain your xinxing. Among everyday people, this statement is often heard: "Doing good deeds accumulates de." A practitioner does not practice to accumulate de, as we believe in preserving de. Why do we believe in preserving de? It is because we have seen this situation: Accumulating de is what everyday people believe in, as they want to accumulate de and do good deeds so that they can live well in the next life. But we do not have this issue. If you succeed in cultivation practice, you will attain the Tao and there will not be the issue of your next life. When we talk about preserving de here, it has another shade of meaning. Namely, these two substances carried in our bodies are not accumulated in one lifetime—they are inherited from a remote age. Though you could ride a bike all over the city, you might not run into some good deeds to perform. Though you could go about things this way everyday, you might not encounter such opportunities.

It carries still another shade of meaning: In trying to accumulate de, you may think that something is a good deed, but if you do it, it may turn out to be a wrong deed. If you interfere with something that you regard as a bad thing, it may turn out to have been a good thing. Why? It is because you cannot see its karmic relationship. Laws regulate the affairs of everyday people, which is not a problem. Being a practitioner is supernormal, so as a supernormal person, you must conduct yourself with supernormal principles instead of measuring yourself with those of everyday people. If you do not know the karmic relationship of a matter, you are likely to handle it incorrectly. Therefore, we teach wuwei, and you should not do something just because you want to. Some people say: "I just want to discipline bad people." I would say that you are best off becoming a policeman. But we are not asking you to stay out of things when you encounter a murder or arson. I am telling everyone that when an interpersonal conflict occurs or when one kicks or hits someone else, it is likely that these people owed each other in the past, and they are clearing the debt. If you step in to stop it, they will not be able to clear the debt and must wait to do it again the next time. This means that if you cannot see the karmic relationship, you can easily do bad deeds and lose de as a consequence.

It does not matter if an everyday person gets involved in the affairs of everyday people, as he or she will apply the principles of everyday people to size things up. You must use the supernormal principles to look at things. It is a xinxing issue if you do not help stop a murder or arson when you see it. How will you otherwise demonstrate that you are a good person? If you do not help stop a murder or arson, what would you get involved with? Yet there is one point to be made: These things really do not have anything to do with our practitioners. They might not be arranged for you to run into. We have said that preserving de enables you to avoid making mistakes. Perhaps if you do a little of something, you may do a bad deed, and then you will lose de. Once you lose de, how can you upgrade your level? How can you achieve your ultimate goal? It involves such issues. In addition, one must have good enlightenment quality. Good inborn quality can make one have good enlightenment quality. The impact of environment can also have an effect.

We have also said that if every one of us cultivates his inner self, examines his own xinxing to look for the causes of wrongdoing so as to do better next time, and considers others first when taking any action, human society would become better and ethical standards would again rise. The spiritual civilization7 would also become better, and so would public security. Perhaps there would not be any police. No one would need to be governed, as everyone would discipline him or herself and search their inner self. Wouldn’t you say this would be great? You know that laws are becoming more comprehensive and impeccable. Yet why are there people who still do bad deeds? Why don’t they comply with the laws? It is because you cannot govern their hearts. When they are not seen, they will still do bad deeds. If everyone cultivates the inner self, it will be totally different. There will be no need for you to ensure justice.

This Fa can only be taught to this level. It is up to your own cultivation to attain what is at high levels. The questions raised by some people have become more specific. If I explain all the questions in your life, what will be left for you to cultivate? You must practice cultivation and become enlightened on your own. If I tell you everything, nothing will remain for you to cultivate. Fortunately, Dafa has already been made public, and you can do things according to Dafa.

* * *

I think that my time for teaching the Fa has virtually come to a close. Therefore, I want to leave genuine things for everyone so that there is Fa to guide everyone in future cultivation practice. Throughout the entire course of teaching this Fa, I have intended to do things according to the principle of being responsible to everyone and society. In actuality, we have followed this principle. As for the result, I will not make any comment. It is up to the public to judge. My intention is to make this Dafa public and have more of our people benefited, enabling those who truly want to practice cultivation to advance in their cultivation practice by following the Fa. At the same time as teaching the Fa, we have also explained the principles of being a human being, and hope that if after the class you cannot follow this Dafa to practice cultivation, you will at least be a good person. This will benefit our society. In fact, you already know how to be a good person. After the class, you will be a good person.

In the course of teaching the Fa, there have also been things that have not gone smoothly, and different kinds of interference have been quite enormous. Because of the great support from the hosting organization, administrators in different professions, and the efforts from staff members, our classes have been quite a success.

All of what I have addressed in the lectures is for guiding everyone to practice cultivation toward high levels. In the past, no one taught these things in their instruction. What we have taught is very explicit and has incorporated modern science and contemporary science of the human body. In addition, what has been taught is at a very high level. It is primarily intended to enable everyone to truly obtain the Fa in the future and ascend through cultivation practice—this is my intention. In the course of teaching the Fa and gong, many people have found the Fa very good, but very difficult to follow. Actually, I think it depends on the person as to whether it is difficult or not. For an everyday person who does not want to practice cultivation, he will find cultivation practice simply too difficult, inconceivable, or impossible. As an everyday person, he does not want to practice cultivation and will find it very difficult. Lao Zi said: "When a wise person hears the Tao, this person will practice it diligently. When an average person hears it, this person will practice it on and off. When a foolish person hears it, this person will laugh at it loudly. If this person doesn’t laugh at it loudly, it’s not the Tao." To a genuine practitioner, I would say that it is very easy and not something too high to reach. In fact, many veteran practitioners sitting here or who are not present have already reached very high levels in their cultivation practice. I had not told you so, lest you develop some attachment or become complacent. That would affect the development of your gong potency. As a truly-determined practitioner, one is able to endure everything and give up or care less for any attachment in the face of various self-interests. As long as one can do this, it will not be difficult. Those people find it difficult because they cannot let go of these things. Cultivation practice itself is not difficult, and neither is upgrading one’s level itself difficult. It is because they cannot give up the human mind that they call it difficult. This is because it is very difficult to relinquish something in the face of practical gain. The benefits are right here, so how can you abandon these attachments? It is actually because of this that one will find it difficult. When an interpersonal conflict occurs, if you cannot practice forbearance or treat yourself as a practitioner in dealing with it, I would say this is unacceptable. When I practiced cultivation in the past, many great masters told me these words, and they said: "When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it." In fact, that is how it is. Why don’t you give it a try when you return home. When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: "After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!"

Because I have talked so much, it will be very difficult for everyone to remember with so many things mentioned. I will mainly make a few requirements: I hope that all of you will treat yourselves as practitioners in future cultivation practice and truly continue your cultivation practice. I hope that both veteran and new practitioners will be able to practice cultivation in Dafa and succeed in it! I hope that after going home everyone will make the best use of his or her time for genuine cultivation practice.

1 materialism—a philosophical theory holding that physical matter in its actions and movements is the only reality; everything in the universe, including emotions and thoughts, can be explained by physical laws.
2 gongshen (gong-shuhn)—a body made of gong.
3 Shenxiu (shuhn-shyo)—founder of the Northern School of Zen Buddhism in the Tang Dynasty.
4 Tangshan (tahng-shahn)—a city in Hebei Province.
5 Han Xin (hahn-sheen)—the leading general for Liu Bang.
6 Liu Bang (leo bahng)—the emperor and founder of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-23 A.D.).
7 spiritual civilization—this is a popular term in contemporary China that refers to the uplifting of people’s minds and morality. In China, this term is contrasted with “material civilization.”