March 27–28, 1999 ~ New York
This was intended to be a conference organized by U.S. Falun Dafa disciples on the East Coast for sharing understandings and insights from studying the Fa, but now it seems that many people sitting here are actually from other countries or regions. Many of you may have thought that Master might show up. Let me tell you here in advance that in the future when an experience-sharing conference is held in whatever region, I might not attend. I’m telling you this so you won’t waste a trip [looking for me]. Dafa conferences are held just about every week around the globe, and I’m not able to attend every single one of them. I wanted to tell you this ahead of time.
Additionally, this particular conference has been organized quite well. Many students have quietly put in a lot of effort and contributed greatly to this event. On behalf of all of you, I hereby thank these students for providing us with this environment. At the same time, we must make this conference a success. A Dafa conference mustn’t be just a formality. You must make it an event that truly enables you to improve and find your shortcomings, and that truly helps you progress toward Consummation. In that case, the efforts of the students who contributed to this conference will be worthwhile, and our conference will truly serve its purpose well. The same goes for conferences held in other regions—you must make conferences like this truly helpful for everyone’s cultivation and improvement, and not let them become a formality.
Cultivation should not be judged by the number of people practicing. I’ve said that it doesn’t matter to me how many or how few people practice. Even if only 1% of the people practiced cultivation, what I’ve done wouldn’t have been in vain, not to mention the fact that we have many cultivators. All of you are practicing cultivation, and you’re making substantial improvements—you’re all in the midst of improving rapidly, and I see that you’re very diligent as well. Now, more people from all over the world have come to understand Dafa better and better, and there are going to be more and more people learning Dafa. So, correspondingly, this will bring about some issues; that is, when you first started to study this Fa, you might have had a lot of questions or doubts, and many issues that you hadn’t gained enough understanding of surfaced. I think among all of the new students who are sitting here, no matter which nationality or ethnicity you are, in studying the Fa, you should keep reading the book. Only by doing so can the puzzling questions on your minds be answered. I talk about this at every conference: You should read the book repeatedly during cultivation. Why have I kept reiterating these words? Because every day there are newcomers joining in. Therefore, these words will have to be repeated again in the future. In other words, the purpose of my imparting this Fa is to enable people to cultivate and to enable people to improve—there’s no doubt about this, and reality has shown that this goal can be achieved.
Nevertheless, we all know that I have only this one flesh body in the human world. It would be really difficult for me to tell each individual student how to cultivate, because there are close to 100 million people learning this and there will be many, many more in the future. This Dafa has been made public and I can’t speak to and teach every one of you face-to-face in the human world, yet I do want you to improve—to truly have you improve, even reach Consummation. If I couldn’t achieve this, wouldn’t I be deceiving you? But, reality has shown that people have not only ascended through cultivation, they have also cultivated very well. So this proves that I can be responsible to everyone and that my words are not unfounded. What I’ve just been talking about is that given the large number of students, I’m unable to see every one of you or teach you personally, but as long as you read the book, Zhuan Falun, you will get everything you’re entitled to. (Applause) You all know that it is not an ordinary book. It is the Fa. Different laws, theories, and ideologies exist in our human society, but I’ll tell you, all of those are human things—they are human things and are at the level of ordinary human society. But what I’m teaching you today goes far beyond any theory in human society and any Fa at the ordinary human level. So, being what it is, it certainly has its majestic and unfathomable inner meanings. In other words, if you want to cultivate, this Fa can truly guide you to improve. On the surface, the book looks just like any other ordinary book, with black ink on white paper. But human eyes can only recognize things in the dimension of this ordinary human society, and anything that goes beyond this range is invisible to humans. At present, science hasn’t been able to develop to that level yet, and it can’t understand these things either. But in other dimensions, in higher and more profound realms that are still unknown to our humankind, there are different living environments and dimensions in which living beings exist. In other words, it appears to be a book in this human dimension, but it is not like this when viewed in a different dimension. It is the Law of Heaven. I’m not talking here about how great Li Hongzhi is. I often tell you that I’m just a human being and you don’t have to regard me as so great. This is because what I teach you is this Fa, which enables you to come together to practice cultivation, and enables you to improve and to gain understanding of this Fa.
Since many students aren’t able to see me, I have frequently said that you should “take the Fa as your teacher.” This Fa can provide guidance on everything in your cultivation. Behind the black ink that’s printed on white paper exist countless Buddhas, Daos, and Gods. When you read the book and want to improve yourself or reach a certain realm, the gods behind each character will let you understand the true meaning behind that character at different levels, if that level is where your realm should be. That is why when you study the book repeatedly, no matter how many times you’ve read it, every time you will have a different understanding of the same sentence. Those of you in the audience who have read the book more than a hundred times are no longer a small number. And among the almost 100 million Dafa students, those who have read the book more than a hundred times are no longer a small number. And you still keep reading it. You can’t set this Fa down now, because the more you read, the more things you find in it; the more you read, the more you understand, and you have gone far beyond what humankind can understand at present, including what modern science can understand. You can thus improve and ascend. Of course, the Fa can guide you to high levels and guide you in your cultivation. The Fa can also help you with many, many things. But I say to all of you that your own cultivation is most important. If a person doesn’t have the heart for cultivation, anything else is out of the question. You must have a heart firmly committed to cultivation. Through studying the Fa, you will gradually understand these principles and subsequently become more determined. Don’t be afraid of having questions. I’m pleased that you can recognize the questions you have. A lot of the questions that you don’t have answers to and that you want to ask can actually be answered by continuously reading the book while cultivating. As many veteran students already know, you will have many questions when you read the book for the first time: “Why? Why?” Many of the thoughts will even be at an elementary level, such as, “Is this for real?” You might have these kinds of thoughts. But, when you read it for the second time, all those questions or ideas that you had in mind will be answered. At the same time, new questions will come up when you read the book for the second time. Yet when you read the book for the third time, those questions will be answered. So it’s a progressive process like this. It looks simple, but in fact, I can tell you: This is how cultivation goes, because every time you read it through you’re improving yourself.
As you know, more than 100 million people have obtained the Fa. Throughout history there were never this many people when righteous Fa were taught. Of course, I want to save even more people. The veteran students among you know that I’ve taught a Fa this grand only because we’re in a special historical period right now. So you have to read the book a lot during your cultivation. This is crucial to your improvement—you must do that. Living in human society, everything people are in contact with are practical things of human society. If you don’t seize the time to read the book, your thoughts of and heart for cultivation might be weakened. You might become less diligent in your cultivation, even to the point of giving it up. That might happen. But I often contemplate: You have obtained the Fa, which wasn’t easy, so if you don’t cherish it, it will be such a pity because this has never been done in the thousands of years of history since the beginning of time. In the past, how could the true Fa of the cosmos have been revealed to human beings? It was absolutely impossible.
I’ve said that I am teaching this only because we are at a special time in history. The human society of the future will go through tremendous changes; many special phenomena will be displayed in the cosmos. Modern science has already discovered new celestial bodies continually forming and old ones exploding. Aren’t newspapers reporting that new galaxies are appearing where none were found before, and that many ancient celestial bodies are decomposing, with many new ones emerging? This is happening in very far and remote cosmic bodies. Slowly, it’s getting closer and closer to the dimension that’s visible to our human flesh eyes. These scenes will appear. Of course, the reason I mention these things is to tell you that I’m only teaching this Fa under these special historical circumstances. So you must cherish this Fa. If you don’t study the Fa, you definitely won’t be able to understand how precious the Fa is. If you can study the Fa, the more you study the more you will know how precious the Fa is.
The world’s religions have existed for around a millenia or more, and over the course of time, they have lost what’s most fundamental and essential to a religion. In other words, those religions can no longer accomplish the goal of returning people to heaven by elevating them so that they meet the standard for spiritual perfection. That is to say that in modern times they can no longer serve this purpose, and that people are going about their lives based on what they imagine to be true. That’s why I chose to teach Dafa now. You should know that when I taught the Fa, if the goal couldn’t have been reached, it would have resulted in a terrible problem. I’ve never mentioned this to you. Before I start talking about it, let me first touch on a social problem. As you know, in human society, particularly in the last one or two thousand years, all kinds of theories, be they good, evil, or neutral, have surfaced; so have various religious doctrines. In the beginning, the few major upright religions had the intention of turning human beings into good people. They effectively sustained the moral standards of human society, and at the same time, enabled those who had become better people to ascend, even to the point of returning back to their paradises. But over the extensive course of time, those doctrines have been diluted gradually by modern people’s thinking and notions. People are becoming more and more unable to accept those doctrines, and they believe less and less in them. They regard going to church on Sundays as a civil thing to do instead of genuinely trying to conduct themselves according to the teachings of Jesus, St. Mary, or Yahweh. You can’t go to heaven if you can’t do that. You can’t go to heaven without following a Buddha’s teachings. Some claim: “I am following his teachings.” In fact, you don’t even know how to follow his teachings. This is the fundamental reason why I say religions can no longer allow people to cultivate and return home.
But today I have imparted a Fa so grand that it can deeply stir everyone’s hearts. As long as you read the book, you will know that it’s good. As long as you read the book, you will understand the magnificence of the Fa. What I teach are the true principles of the cosmos, and everyone will be deeply stirred by this Fa. Those people who’ve become very corrupt and have completely gone against the nature of the cosmos will also be deeply stirred by this Fa. Why? Because they’ve become completely opposite to this Fa, they will be really scared, and will hate it. In other words, people like that are completely doomed! So, everyone will be stirred by this Fa—they will either agree with the Fa or oppose the Fa.
As I was saying, my imparting this Dafa could bring about a very serious problem. None of the doctrines from ancient times to this day can return people’s hearts to [the way they were in] the best time period anymore, yet reality has proven that this fundamental Fa of the cosmos that I’m teaching can enable people to reach Consummation. But if this Fa were not able to help you re-ascend, then there would be no other way—from humankind’s remote antiquity to modern times and even to the future—that would enable you to re-ascend, and humankind would have no more hope. That would be extremely dangerous! If this Fa couldn’t truly serve that purpose or if the Fa were damaged, there would be no other way to save humankind. (Applause) Because it is the most superior Fa of the cosmos, there’s no other Fa that could have the same power as the fundamental, Great Fa of the cosmos. But the truth is that I have guided you past that stage: I have truly enabled students to improve themselves and disciples to genuinely elevate in their cultivation, and I have enabled more people to understand this Fa. Although the morality of human society is quickly declining and it has become bad, I have found that even though people are committing bad deeds and wrong deeds out of ignorance, once people come to know this Fa they conduct themselves according to the Fa. This is to say, people still possess Buddha-nature and good thoughts, and their kind nature still exists—it’s just that they’ve done many wrong deeds out of ignorance.
I have brought you past that stage. This is something that has made me really pleased. (Applause) For our students and human society, this is the thing most worth rejoicing over, because you have truly passed through and stepped out of the most perilous situation. (Applause) As you know, in our history there have been many prophets, qigong masters, and people enlightened in religions who have made a lot of comments about different catastrophes that would take place in human society at the end of this century. They even mentioned that human beings would be destroyed. Of course, these aren’t my words—I’m just telling you what those prophets said.
I can give people a clear answer as to whether or not those things will happen. You know, it’s just like what I said, the illustration I used in Zhuan Falun. There is a rotten apple—in this enormous universe, Earth looks just like an apple—an apple which has become rotten inside and out. Just like every individual human being, every particle inside of this apple is rotten. Then shouldn’t this apple be destroyed, thrown away, or disposed of? If the morality of human society has degenerated to this level, in the eyes of gods, doesn’t it look like a rotten apple that should be destroyed? But being gods, as we all know—particularly those close to the level of humankind—they all have mercy on humans, so they want to save humans. But think about it, everyone: You want to save a rotten apple and don’t want to throw it away, so you leave it in the room, yet it becomes more and more rotten, with maggots crawling all over it. Now there’s a rotten apple with worms all over it in your spotless room—why would you leave it there? If you insisted on leaving it there, wouldn’t you be doing a bad thing? The same goes for this universe. The Earth has already become like that. Why not destroy it? If a god didn’t destroy it, wouldn’t he be doing a bad thing? Yet gods are different from people. They possess power that enables them to transform the apple into a fresh one, from its most original particles. They can turn the apple back into a fresh one; by changing its composition, the apple becomes good again. Then if anyone were to throw it away, wouldn’t he be committing a wrong deed? But that’s not something that average gods can do.
Today, there are 100 million people who are cultivating, changing their thinking, being good people and becoming more virtuous. They’re truly working toward being individuals who can measure up to the standards existing at different levels of the universe. So could the Earth be blown up? Could it be destroyed? Could the prophecies of those prophets be realized? They can no longer be realized. I’m saying that no prophecy is true anymore, because Dafa is being spread in human society today, and people’s hearts are elevating—elevating rapidly. Yesterday, a journalist asked me questions and mentioned that now 100 million people are learning this [practice]. Moreover, the trend is growing rapidly. There will be more people learning this. Right now, there are 100 million people improving their morality. If every one of these 100 million people tells one more person to come and learn, the number will become 200 million. The number will multiply very quickly into a large number. When everyone is returning to kindness, being a good human being and improving his own moral standards, human society will become what I just illustrated—an apple that has become fresh. Who could destroy it?
The development of human society and every situation in the universe have been arranged by gods. These things all follow certain patterns. Human society experiences bad situations, including wars, earthquakes, floods, epidemics, plagues etc., and there are many, many natural disasters. In fact, all of these have a purpose. They eliminate karma for mankind. Human beings’ thoughts are directed by gods. Human beings never think about where their thoughts come from. When they want to do something in a particular way, when their thoughts emerge, when so-called inspiration comes along, or when they suddenly remember something, they all think those are their own thoughts, when in fact many are not. Gods are keeping every aspect of human society under tight control. However, there is one thing. There’s a principle in this universe that says: When it comes to what a human being wants to do, what he wants to do as an individual entity, you still have to look at the person’s thoughts. If he wants to cultivate, great, I’ll help him cultivate; if he doesn’t want to be good, I’ll let him be, and he may become a very bad individual. But overall, human society is controlled by gods. So, when a person is good, he’ll have a bright future, and if he isn’t, he won’t, and he’ll have darkness and evil karma awaiting him.
What I talked about just now was brought about by the discussion of your cultivation and of my Fa. The purpose was to tell everyone to cherish it. Today, there are 100 million people studying the Fa. You have already rewritten history. Isn’t that worth celebrating? Isn’t that magnificent? (Applause) But, there are still a lot of bad people who are doing bad things. So even though mankind won’t have big catastrophes as the prophets had predicted, there will still be many adverse things happening in some regions, since they don’t have the Fa there.
Since today is the conference for sharing understandings and insights from studying the Fa, I don’t want to take up too much of your time. I just wanted to meet with you. The goal of our conference is that all of you make progress and gain further understanding from hearing other students’ speeches and sharing. Certainly you have a lot of questions. Every moment there are new students starting to learn this, and new students will have questions. Veteran students also have some questions. Let’s do this: I’ll answer your questions tomorrow afternoon. I just told you all that you need to cherish the Fa, and study it a lot. You have to read the book again and again, and by doing this you are improving. I have infused my powers into this Dafa. As long as you study it, you will undergo changes. As long as you study it, you will be improving. As long as you practice it to the end, you will be able to reach Consummation. (Applause)
I’ll address a few minor things in passing. For one, from now on, veteran students, as long as you haven’t reached Consummation, you have to come out and practice. I am mentioning this once again. Why do I say this? It’s because our cultivation environment, our Fa-study environment, and what the students discuss and say when they are together are noble and form a rare and most pure environment. This is very hard to find in human society, and is the most benevolent and most wonderful piece of pure land, so you mustn’t lose this environment. That’s because human society is continuing to decline, and it’s getting worse and worse. You all have jobs in this ordinary human society, and you have social activities—all of you have contact with everyday people and ordinary human society. Consequently, what you see and hear, whether you intend it or not, all has to do with everyday people’s things, which will interfere with your cultivation. So it’s beneficial for you to often study the Fa together and use this basin of fresh water to cleanse yourselves.
Also, I recently wrote two articles, which you call scriptures. The issues raised are intense and among the more prominent ones at present. That is, there are people that have reached semi-enlightenment at low levels, who, because their levels are not high, don’t have much understanding of the Fa, and aren’t able to completely grasp a lot of the things I’ve taught. Since they’re in a state of semi-enlightenment at low levels, they see some high-level beings who have degenerated and fled to the Three Realms from high-level dimensions (since Fa-rectification is taking place up there, the old cosmos is disintegrating, and the new one is being created, so in order to escape this reality, these beings have fled to this dimension of human beings—they have come to the human dimension to evade the disaster), or some low-level gods that existed originally in the Three Realms. Those beings can’t see the true picture of what is going on in this cosmos. Of course, they knew about it before they came here, but since arriving have no idea about what has happened. That is to say, they have been sealed in here completely.
Many of those beings resist the Fa-rectification and resist Dafa, but many of them don’t know the true situation. Even the gods who have originally been in this dimension haven’t come into contact with that reality, and as a result, they aren’t aware of the truth. So they too interfere with Dafa students. Some of them interfere intentionally, not knowing that they’re interfering with the Great Law of the cosmos and committing a serious crime—they can’t recognize this. Because the truth of the universe is concealed from them, they can see only the things within the Three Realms. Now Dafa has entered the Three Realms—the work in the Three Realms has started.
This creates quite significant interference for people whose Third Eye (tianmu) has opened at low levels. Some students, through their open Third Eye, see a magnificent and remarkable god who utters some words that slander Dafa. Of course, they’re all things that he made up. His aim is to confuse students and get them weeded out from Dafa. Some of them disguise themselves as my Law Bodies (fashen), and tell you what to do. Whoever tells a cultivating disciple explicitly what to do is definitely someone who has come to damage Dafa and students. Why are you being exploited? It’s only because you have strong attachments. You choose your own path, and your future position is where your being is supposed to be. Everyone, think about it: Before my undertaking has arrived at this dimension, it is under control.
Why are they allowed to do that? Because your cultivation can’t be smooth sailing all the way. In the future, when you will appear in the heavenly paradise as a magnificent god who has reached Consummation, all the gods will ask you: How did you cultivate up to this place? It’s critical whether you’ve undergone severe tests, whether you’ve experienced something in your cultivation where you really had to decide if you would continue to cultivate in this Fa, and whether you were steadfast during tribulations. Thus, we’ve used this interference to see your heart. Some people couldn’t pass these tests, and left the Fa. Some started wavering. These cases have become more and more severe. As a result, I raised this issue, giving those people who have left the Fa one last chance; otherwise, they would lose this opportunity. Think about it, everyone: During the Fa’s rectification of the cosmos, many high-level gods have become not so good and been cast down. They’ve even lost the opportunity to be human beings. A lot of them have even been cast down to places lower than human beings, and some have even been annihilated. So what about humans? If you lose this opportunity there will never be another one. Of course, you decide what you want. I wrote the article to tell you not to miss this opportunity.
The other article was about some people who were affiliated with religions and about people who used to practice other things. They too have come to learn Dafa because the truth of the cosmos is becoming more and more evident. After all, high-level beings have certain capabilities. They have realized that only this Dafa can truly enable people to return, and that no other cultivation way in human society is able to achieve that any longer. So they made their own people, or some who don’t have a complete understanding of this, come into our Dafa. Their goal is to use our Dafa to get back to the [celestial] positions they long for. They in fact can’t let go of their own things, and are just using Dafa and me instead of truly wanting to cultivate in Dafa. They can’t give up the “gods” they uphold in their minds, the things they are attached to, or even things that have already been weeded out and no longer exist.
They’re here in the human dimension, and they don’t know about these things at all. They want to use this Dafa, and that intention itself is a sin. I could very well ignore them and let them be, but I think that they have, after all, come to know this Fa. Even though their hearts and minds aren’t pure, they have read the book. So, I wanted to give them a chance by making this clear and pointing it out. If you still can’t turn around you will lose this chance forever. I can tell you, such an opportunity should not be missed, and the chance won’t come again. Dafa is solemn, and cultivation is a serious matter—it’s not child’s play. Do you think you could just obtain this whenever you want? Do you think you could just obtain it anytime at your convenience? It’s not up to you. If you lose it you will lose it forever.
I want to talk about one more thing. There are many young disciples among our practitioners. You should mind your personal lives. On the subject of intimacy, you mustn’t go along with the degenerate behavior of ordinary human society. You can have a wife or husband—that’s fine and proper. It isn’t a problem for you to cultivate while conforming to ordinary human society to the maximum extent. For you to live as husband and wife is fine, but if you aren’t husband and wife and have sexual relations, then you are doing the filthiest thing. That is something gods absolutely cannot accept—not a single god accepts it. So be very sure to pay attention to this. A person’s course of cultivation is that cultivator’s history. Innumerable, immeasurable, countless gods are watching Dafa disciples’ every thought and every act. As cultivators who are determined to reach Consummation, why can’t you pass this test? I’ll stop here for today. I hope this conference will be successful. Tomorrow afternoon I’ll answer questions for you. Now you can continue with the conference, and have students share their experiences. (Applause)
Judging from the last two days, this conference has indeed been very successful. There can never be too many conferences like this one—they can benefit our students, enable everyone to improve, help people learn from each other about where they fall short, and push people to continuously progress diligently. This is very good. This is exactly the goal of Fa conferences. They can assist you in your cultivation practice, which is the purpose of Dafa conferences. In addition, you may have already found that there is a notable characteristic of this conference: Western students’ understanding of the Fa is getting deeper. I think this time we’ve had the deepest discussion from them so far. (Applause) That is because they keep studying the Fa, they are more and more able to rationally understand this Fa, and they’re able to talk about themselves from the Fa. This is really excellent. This afternoon is primarily for answering your questions. Ok, I’ll start answering your questions now.
Student: The Dafa music, “Pudu”1 can move people to tears. Where did this moving music come from?
Master: This music has been played during the conference since yesterday. All of you have heard it, and it’s very solemn and moving. This is our Dafa’s own music. I figured that, since there would be more and more Dafa students, our exercise music should be made available to the public via publishing houses. That involved the issue of copyrights. I therefore took two approaches at the same time: For one, we discussed the issue of copyrights with the composer; secondly, I asked a musician practitioner to compose a piece to meet our need for exercise music. I personally spoke to the practitioner and told him how to do it, and very quickly, he finished composing the music. He composed two pieces—“Jishi”2 and “Pudu.” During the same period of time, the composer of the exercise music we were originally using was also studying the Fa, and he gave the music to Dafa unconditionally. (Applause) This is certainly something that brings boundless virtue. So I thought that was really wonderful. We should thus continue to use the original exercise music because all of us are already familiar with it.
We will stick with the original music when we do the exercises, since switching would affect everyone quite a bit. This way nothing needs to be altered, which is great. However, the new music was composed very well. Everyone felt the music was excellent after listening to it; the only thing is that it’s very solemn and moving. Being so solemn and moving, it easily moves people to tears and gets them stirred up and emotional inside, making it hard for them to enter into tranquility during the exercises. Therefore, I think these pieces of music can be played during conferences or other Dafa activities; in addition, they were composed by our Dafa student, so they’re music of our Dafa. Please note that we should still use the original music for doing the exercises, since this music has already had a very powerful effect on students.
Student: The time spent in meditation varies significantly among practitioners. Will corresponding differences still exist after Consummation has been reached?
Master: No. No matter how high you cultivate, your body after Consummation is no longer one that is constrained by this human dimension or time, or any elements of this dimension. So your body at that point won’t be affected at all as you meditate. You will be at ease whether you are sitting or lying down.
Student: The time for cultivation practice is limited. Many disciples are concerned that there may not be enough time.
Master: That thought is incorrect—that’s a type of attachment. You can have a sense of urgency, which can serve as a driving force for your faster improvement and prompt Consummation, but if you’re attached to these things, it will certainly become an obstacle. It will, instead, delay your progress and affect your cultivation. So don’t think about anything, and just go ahead and cultivate yourself. As long as you cultivate yourself, it’s guaranteed that you are moving towards Consummation. As long as you can come through those critical moments, Consummation will be ahead of you. In your cultivation, every one of you may encounter things that strike you at the core, and sometimes the feeling may even be quite strong. Some of those things may not directly manifest around you, on your body, or in the things you encounter. They might manifest in the things that other people go through, or when others criticize you, or during some other conflicts. All these will make you choose between studying Dafa or not studying Dafa, or whether you want this Fa. What you choose will be looked at. Everyone will encounter these situations.
Therefore, when you’ve encountered these things, it’s testing you to see if you can continue to cultivate, and if you can steadfastly cultivate in Dafa. This is most critical. You must be clear that during your cultivation process, at any moment you can be presented with an opportunity in which you are tested on whether or not you can reach Consummation. You might not pass it because you can’t be firm in Dafa, or you might pass it because you have firm faith in Dafa—then you will come through with determination. Whether you pass or fail, you might feel it was nothing afterwards, but when you’re in the middle of it you won’t think it’s nothing. All the same, that’s a test regarding whether or not you can move towards Consummation. This is most critical. Actually, certain attachments are very easy for us to get rid of for humans. Once it has been confirmed that this individual can reach Consummation, he can take his time to get rid of his remaining attachments. That’s why I tell all of you that on the path of cultivation, you might encounter these types of situations. Whether you can handle them well, whether you can pass them, all depends on you. No matter who it is that’s in the midst of different calamities, no matter who it is that’s being struck at the core, making him waver, so that he can’t deal with the matters at hand as calmly as usual—these are the moments that test people most.
Student: Is it all right to add simultaneous foreign language translation to the exercise music, while keeping Teacher’s voice?
Master: That’s fine. But it’s even better not to add simultaneous translation. It’s not wrong to add it, either, as it might be helpful to new students. However, my lecture tapes should have simultaneous translation added, and this is being done now. My voice has to be on there. As you know, my voice is not simply a voice. That’s why my voice has to be there along with the interpreter’s. That way, your process of listening to and obtaining the Fa will be the same as Chinese students’ listening to me in Chinese.
Student: When someone cultivates to the point of the Placement of the Mysterious Pass, will his Third Eye remain open?
Master: Some people’s Third Eye will remain open, some won’t. It depends on the individual and his particular circumstances. You can’t be attached to this. You just heard what one Western student said in his speech: “I can see nothing, but I firmly believe in this Dafa.” Leaving aside how well this person has cultivated, those words of his were truly remarkable. (Applause) Reaching Consummation just by way of spiritual realizations is truly remarkable. Of course, this isn’t to say that people who can see other dimensions are not remarkable. Everyone has his own cultivation situation. You will definitely be allowed to see what you should see. And it’s guaranteed that you won’t be allowed to see what you shouldn’t see. Some people want to see, and this is an attachment in itself. So, since they have that attachment, they won’t be allowed to see. Some people can return to their places only by coming to their own spiritual realizations through the Fa, yet they insist on seeing things. In order for them to reach Consummation, for the sake of their futures, we can’t let them see, and this is for their own benefit.
All the arrangements made for you as cultivators are for your benefit. They are absolutely not for me, your master. They are all arranged for your Consummation. (Applause) So I hope you get rid of all your attachments—don’t even keep a little bit of them. A person gains naturally without pursuit. When you have a desire, it’s an attachment. You can let go of everything that ordinary people pursue. What you want to attain are more wonderful things that everyday people cannot attain, and as you are all letting go of the things of everyday people, why do you still want to pursue those things? Aren’t you pursuing them to use them among everyday people? Put frankly, aren’t you still attached to these trivial things of everyday people? Of course, you may think, “How nice it would be if I could see things during my cultivation.” Behind “How nice it would be,” there may be an attachment. There are other reasons, and it’s not as simple as what appears on the surface. To be truly responsible to you I must get rid of the attachments that are deeply hidden inside of you.
Student: I’m from Europe. There’s an ordeal that frequently makes walking very difficult for me. Am I doing something wrong?
Master: Many Westerners enjoy jogging or going to the gym. Some people enjoy walking, and think that doing that can make them healthy. Are those things effective? They can, with the surface body, play a role in defending against minor and not-so-serious ailments. To put it more plainly and accurately, this kind of defense function serves to keep karma from returning to the surface. It makes karma stay over there. It can temporarily fend off illness-karma from reaching the surface body. That’s the type of defense function we mean. For cultivators, on the other hand, we probably need to make all of the illness karma you have accumulated surface—to push all of it out—and truly make you healthy on a fundamental level, make you free of karma, and make you clean and pure. So these [two approaches] might be in conflict. Perhaps it’s for this reason that we don’t tell you to do that. Cultivation is the only means for a being to become truly healthy. So if you want to achieve health through walking, frankly speaking, this says that you still don’t firmly believe in Dafa. You think that Dafa isn’t able to make you attain a healthy body like walking does. Or, perhaps you believe that you haven’t thought about it that deeply and that you just go for walks out of habit. Then perhaps this habit of yours has unwittingly become an attachment, and you need to eliminate that attachment. You might have treated the elimination of that attachment of yours as an ordeal or an obstacle. So, why can’t you look at it from another perspective and see whether it’s to eliminate some of your attachments? Wouldn’t it be better to spend the time you use jogging in the morning or evening doing the exercises instead? I think that when you encounter problems, if you can think about what’s wrong on your part, then you can improve the fastest. When you encounter difficulties, examine yourself, and you might find the problem.
Student: When we read, can the state in doing tranquil exercises arise, such as the disappearance of the body, leaving only the mind reading the book?
Master: It might happen. Because it is the Fa, it can bring forth any state. Any state can appear.
Student: I have mental obstacles to participating in Fa-spreading activities. What should I do?
Master: So you’re saying that you don’t want to do Fa-spreading (hong-fa) things. Then try to find the root cause of what’s stopping you. Actually, I can tell you all: It’s not that each of you has to participate in Fa-spreading activities, or that you have to do this and that. We don’t have stipulations like that. I don’t have such requirements for you. However, as students, when you’ve benefited from [Dafa] and find it good and want to tell your relatives, your friends, and more people about this good thing, that’s an act of great compassion. It comes from your heart—you want to do it yourself. If you don’t want to do it, don’t force yourself. So I hope that when you have the wish to do this you will then go ahead and do it, since we talk about being compassionate, and we all want to share good things with others. In this world, nothing you give others will last very long. If you give them money they will spend it in no time, right? No matter how nice the things you give others are, there’s no way they can keep them forever. When a person comes to this world, he comes with nothing, and when he leaves, he’s buried under the ground and everything of his decays. You won’t be able to take anything with you, so when you leave, you leave with nothing as well. What can last? Only Fa, which you give to others, lasts forever, and that’s why this is the most precious thing. So going back to what we were discussing, doing things to spread the Fa is most sacred. Of course, I’m not saying everyone has to do this—I’m saying you shouldn’t force yourself. If you want to do it, then do it; if you don’t want to do it, I won’t say you’re wrong.
Student: Is it better to tell Westerners to read Falun Gong or Zhuan Falun to help them obtain the Fa?
Master: This depends on your local situation. There’s no uniform arrangement, nor is there any rule. If you think that having them read Falun Gong first can allow them to understand, go ahead and do that. If you feel that the students have fairly good inborn quality and have a deeper understanding, then it’s all right for you to have them read Zhuan Falun directly. That is, do things according to your own individual situation and circumstance. It’s very simple, there’s no rule.
Student: Venerable Teacher, how is the “nature” you mentioned in “Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature” related to the “inborn compassionate nature” mentioned in “Buddha Nature”?3
Master: The two are related, but in a way, they’re also unrelated. That is because your nature is a manifestation of the realm determined by your level. In other words, it’s a manifestation of the realm at your level, or, a manifestation or embodiment of Dafa’s standards at the realm and level you were originally born at. It can display itself during cultivation; or, as you constantly improve in your cultivation, the states that continually display as a result of your increasingly deeper understanding at different levels—that’s your nature. But the selfish characteristic is what you’ve been contaminated with gradually over the extremely long history of the universe. If the entire universe and cosmic bodies have deviated from the Fa, then similar phenomena will emerge everywhere, without anyone being aware of it among themselves. It’s just like being amidst the current of ordinary people: Even though human society has degenerated to such a terrifying degree, the beings here can’t feel it, and they still think that everything here is wonderful. It’s the same idea. So, in your cultivation, you not only need to reach levels in different realms and return to your nature, but you should also get rid of the things you’ve been contaminated with at different times, at different levels, and in different realms—you have to eliminate all of those things. What I want to give you is the ability to reach the purest realm since the creation of Heaven and Earth. (Applause)
Student: When doing the fifth exercise, we spend twenty minutes on each of the three strengthening gestures, so it differs from Master’s verbal instruction… [is this all right]?
Master: If you can do it for longer than the exercise music, in other words, if you’re able to continue the exercises after the exercise music is finished, you can go ahead and continue with the exercise. It’s the same whether you use the music or not. We listen to the music to have it replace your chaotic thoughts; otherwise you’d have all kinds of thoughts. You would be thinking about this, thinking about that… Besides, this music is our Dafa’s music. There’s inner meaning as well as the magnificent Buddha Fa behind the music. So, when you listen to the music, it’s as if you’re listening to Buddha music or a Buddha’s voice—it serves that sort of function. If you say that you can achieve tranquility and you don’t have stray thoughts, it will then be the same if you don’t listen to the music. If you can do the exercises for a longer time, it’s also fine to do so without listening to the music.
Student: How are entering into concentration (ding) and reaching tranquility (jing) related?
Master: Tranquility is achieved when you become serene and think of nothing when you do the exercises. Entering into concentration means that you’re able to become concentrated—entering the state of “forgetting form and forgetting self.” But you must be aware that you’re doing the exercise. “Forgetting form” is when you feel that even your body has disappeared. “Forgetting self” is when you don’t think about anything except that you’re doing the exercise. That’s a good state, and it’s called becoming concentrated, or entering into concentration.
Student: After a long while of conforming to the state of ordinary human society, it’s very easy to drift with the current, isn’t it?
Master: That’s true. That is why I’ve said all students should go to practice sites to exercise and attend group study regardless of whether you’re beginners or veterans. That environment will cleanse you, and constantly cleanse your speech, conduct, and notions that have been contaminated by everyday people.
Student: When it’s very quiet during the exercises, if there’s a sudden noise, I always get startled.
Master: That’s all right. There are many sayings in other practices, such as that people might get really startled and their qi won’t come down from the head, and so forth. We don’t have those problems. But everyone—it doesn’t matter who practices—will run into situations where noises disturb you. Horns from distant cars, the hubbub of your neighbors, and even sounds that suddenly appear in your home will disturb you, and no one can escape that. It’s because people have karma, and where there is karma there is tribulation. But it won’t last long. This phenomenon often happens during the initial stages of practice. Some time into your cultivation these kinds of phenomena will cease to exist.
Student: Could Master please tell us the origin of cultivation practice?
Master: Wow, what you want to know about is a big topic. Even the cosmic bodies [that exist] during this epoch are not primordial. You have no idea how enormous the concept of the cosmos I’m talking about is. The concept of the cosmos that you imagine, or that I tell you about—no matter how enormous it is—is still within a very small range. So if you wanted to trace back to the origin of cultivation, it would be unthinkable and unimaginable. Therefore, it wouldn’t be meaningful to you, and it has nothing to do with your cultivation.
Student: What Teacher imparts is the Fa of the cosmos. Then why is the Falun Paradise not at a high level?
Master: Why does the Falun Paradise have to be at a high level? As I’ve said, and I need to repeat it: I am sitting here as a human being, so regard me as a human being. Just like you, I need to eat and sleep. Of course, every being has his origin. I also have my origin. The last stop I made before I came here to do this was the Falun Paradise. So, beyond the Falun Paradise, I might have stayed at or created other paradises at even higher levels. Don’t worry about this—don’t put your mind on this.
Student: Gods at very high levels aren’t in the image of a human body. Then does the difference between Buddhas and Daos still exist among gods there?
Master: I recall that I wrote about this in one scripture: The cosmos is simply so vast. People’s concept of “Buddha” today, which is how you used to understand “Buddha,” is very limited. The concept of “Buddha” is in fact really broad. But even as broad as that is, it still doesn’t exceed a very big range in the cosmos. The concept of “Dao” can’t cover the vast cosmos either. So this is to say that they cease to exist beyond a certain level. Yet I chose to have the image of a Buddha; I didn’t have an image of a body before—this is telling you something at a very high level. I’ve mentioned to you before that I chose to have the image of a Buddha, and that I’m teaching the Fa of the cosmos from the standpoint of the Buddha School. In fact, I possess all images. I think that if you had read the book a lot, you would have known about this. I’ve talked about this before.
Student: We are your disciples. After we reach Consummation, will we be able to know that at the very, very highest level, there is our master?
Master: Some will, but that will be all that they know. Some won’t, because things above you will not be revealed to you—you won’t know any of those things. So in your concept there won’t be anything above. When you look at the levels beneath you you will know everything at a glance; everything will be displayed right in front of your eyes, yet there won’t be anything above your level. The state manifest at that realm isn’t something that you can understand now. Even though Fa-principles exist up there and I’ve discussed things at very high levels, I’m still using human language. At that time, the Fa-principles that you will know and hear will absolutely not be in the language I’m teaching you with now. All of your concepts will change, and it will seem to you that nothing exists above you. You will think there might be things existing at higher levels and that perhaps at least Master is up there, but that’s about it. And even those thoughts will be weak. The reason is, those things will be determined by your Attainment Status, determined by your level. When you’ve cultivated to that level, you will have complete power over the levels below you. But as for the levels above you, you will have no power over them at all.
Student: Is it absolutely necessary to display the large Falun emblem at health expos?
Master: Students attend health expos out of their deep love of Dafa, as they want to allow more people to obtain the Fa. As to whether we should display the Falun emblem, don’t think about it using human notions. Nevertheless, I have always suggested that we take the specific circumstances into consideration when doing these things. We shouldn’t go to extremes with anything. Because in our cultivation we’re making use of the forms of ordinary human society, we should conform to everyday people to the maximum extent in our cultivation. Your understanding of these words should not merely come across in the way you cultivate, but also in your Fa-spreading activities, your practice, and all of your conduct. Only then will more people be able to understand you, and only then will you help more people to obtain the Fa. Don’t make people think you’re doing religious or superstitious things and make them unable to understand you. If this becomes a factor that prevents people from obtaining the Fa, that’s not good. So we should do everything just right—we need to be rational when it comes to this.
Student: After the disciples reach Consummation, will they be able to see Master?
Master: You haven’t reached Consummation and you’re already thinking about the things after Consummation. So you need to focus your attention on cultivation now. I’ve told you about this before: I can manifest in any realm or level. I have complete body images of all levels, from top to bottom—this is not something you can understand—including the human level. I’ll come whenever I want to. I remember that I wrote a poem: “Infinitely distant is Heaven’s vault, But with just one thought // ‘tis right before the eye…” Regardless of how vast it may be, it’s impossible for the beings at different levels to go above their own levels. To go through levels beneath them, there are partitions formed by time intervals—that is, there’s time involved, it takes time. But for me, your master, no time concept can block me. Of course, this isn’t something you’re able to understand right now.
Student: Venerable Teacher, why did you have to reincarnate a few times on earth in order to save us?
Master: Because not all of the people sitting here are human beings, and not all of them came to the earth in the same time period. If I had reincarnated only once, then what about those who came after that, who would have had no way of establishing a predestined relationship with me? Many, many complicated factors were involved in the preparation of this event. Also, I’ve reincarnated in different countries and as different ethnicities. Many lives ago, I could have been your country’s emperor, king, general, a monk, a scholar, or a warrior. (Applause) Take this in jest. What I’m talking about are predestined relationships.
Student: Seawater is a teardrop of a Buddha. Please tell us why a Buddha’s teardrop would manifest in our dimension?
Master: It’s just like how gods in the heavens can drop to the earth and become human beings. You should be able to understand this. The seawater was one drop of a Buddha’s tears. If you were to take this seawater to heaven, that Buddha would never accept it, because it’s too dirty.
In other words, it has become a substance of this realm.
Student: I’m still a child. My parents don’t allow me to practice cultivation. What should I do?
Master: If you’re already grown-up enough to understand things, you should make the decision for yourself. Whether or not to cultivate is up to you. If you truly want to cultivate, I don’t think your parents will create the obstacles for you as if you were an adult. The key is whether you are determined. Every person will encounter tribulations at the beginning of his cultivation, and everyone will have obstacles. Yesterday a student mentioned that he wanted to attend a Fa conference, but the school wouldn’t open the door for him so he couldn’t get the address left there. That was his obstacle. Everyone will encounter roadblocks in obtaining the Fa, yet the manifestation of these obstacles is quite insignificant. It would be a problem if you can’t even overcome these small obstacles. The Fa isn’t something you can just obtain. Even though you’re all sitting here, you don’t know how much you may have sacrificed for this Fa in order to establish this predestined relationship, including in different periods in history—you don’t know how many tribulations you’ve gone through to obtain it. Some of them you know about, some of them you don’t know about. That moment when you encountered the Fa seemed quite natural to you, when in fact a great deal of effort had been expended arranging the time and location of your obtaining the Fa. You don’t know about those things.
Student: A [Dafa] student in Beijing has written a Chinese-English reference manual for the translation of Dafa books. What should we do about this?
Master: I have to put it this way: He wants to do a good thing for Dafa, but this book can absolutely not be published, because none of the terms in Dafa can be defined in ordinary human terms. As you know, all the books of Dafa are the Fa that I’ve taught—they are all my words. I personally edited all the books that have been published. Without my editing or consent, materials can’t be published, they aren’t my things, and they don’t belong to Dafa. No one can compile materials as they wish. I’ve talked about this before. Of course, this student’s intention was good. We need to take back those materials.
Student: The human body of this cycle is the best, and everyone wants it. Is this related to the arrangements for the Fa-Rectification?
Master: The human body of this cycle is not the best. You know, the human body of the middle ages of this cosmos was the best. I’m not referring to the Middle Ages of this human civilization. This isn’t something that you can conceptualize, so don’t think too much about these things.
Student: My thoughts are controlled by very bad things, and reading the books and studying the Fa don’t seem to help. Will Master still save me?
Master: I have to talk about this from two angles. If you are one of those people I mentioned in my recent scripture, who didn’t regard me as your master before, or if you’ve been controlled by those things all along, like how it’s described in the scripture—that is, you haven’t been practicing only one cultivation way—then you have to keep your Main Consciousness strong, and remain unmoved no matter what happens. Don’t worry about it if something is scurrying about, or if there’s pain somewhere, just go ahead and study and cultivate and be steadfast, and everything will change. As a cultivator, when you feel discomfort in your body, isn’t this in itself a good thing? If you didn’t cultivate, those bad things in your body wouldn’t be stirred. Writing and publishing the scripture was to give you another chance. If you still don’t want to change you will lose this chance. Why has your body changed that much? It’s because of you yourself. You will have to enlighten yourself out of this current state. You might think, “As soon as I start to regret it, Master will change everything for me right away.” That won’t do—it wouldn’t be cultivation.
Cultivation practice is serious. In your process of continually strengthening your determination, continually studying the Fa, and continually deepening your understanding, you will gradually turn around. Before, you didn’t truly cultivate in Dafa. Although you were reading the book, the purpose of your reading was to have your body adjusted or to get rid of what you considered tribulations. I have imparted the Fa to save people, to enable them to reach Consummation through cultivation. It’s not for solving some crises for people, curing people’s illnesses, or getting rid of things that people consider bad. So only when you truly want to cultivate and have a steadfast faith in Dafa will everything of yours change. If you’re studying Dafa just for those things, you will gain nothing. Why? It’s not that we don’t have compassion for people. It’s because what I look after are students and their cultivation, whereas people ultimately have to pay off the karma that they’ve created. (Applause)
Student: Master, please enlighten us to the reason behind the different responses to Dafa by beings at different levels in the cosmos?
Master: This has nothing to do with your cultivation at all. Neither can I reveal these secrets of heaven to you. Let me tell you: The entire cosmos has deviated from the Great Law of the cosmos over a very long period of time, and since everything has deviated, no one knows that he himself has deviated. He can only find out after he has been rectified. This is just like human beings, like the cultivators who are sitting here today: When you look back at those everyday people, you will see how bad they have become. Before you started cultivation, though, you didn’t sense that at all. It’s the same idea. Different kinds of illusions exist in different realms.
Student: From this day on and for the billions of years to come, is it true that all beings must keep in mind to look within all the time?
Master: That is the state of a cultivating human being. It is not the same with gods. Cultivation is not the purpose of a being’s existence, it’s only a method by which people elevate themselves. How could human thinking possibly be used to imagine things of gods? It’s absolutely not the same thing. Human beings… the reason why I’ve said that I cherish your human side is because you can cultivate—it’s not the human beings that I cherish. To gods, humans are filthy. Even to me, the human [realm] is no more than the lowest—though indispensable—level of the cosmos. That’s why [I say that] your thoughts are always confined to the human scope, thinking this and that about humans and using a human mindset to think about gods. That won’t work at all; it’s just like how gods don’t have any human thoughts.
Student: Why are people who don’t have pure intentions when they come to learn the Fa still able to have their illnesses cured and health improved? Why do they still receive good fortune?
Master: It’s because this is the manifestation of Dafa at the lowest level. It’s because the Fa of the cosmos isn’t intended for humans’ cultivation—it creates different living environments for beings at different levels. You’ve come into contact with the manifestation of the Fa at this level, in the lowest, human state, and in the human living environment. Of course, humans don’t cultivate, humans are just humans. The best condition for humans is to be free of illness, healthy and with good fortune. Since you’ve come into contact with the Fa, these are all things you can get.
Student: Master, you’ve said, “When Dafa reveals itself to mankind, these are not the only things that you will lose.”
Master: That’s correct. How vast this cosmos is! Even the gods at different levels and of different realms will be cast down if they violate the rules of Heaven. Over the long course of time, when they’ve turned bad and aren’t able to stay in their realms, they fall to lower realms. Some have turned particularly bad and will be cast down to the human level. Some have become even worse than humans, so they won’t even have the chance to be humans, and may even be destroyed. Then it’s even worse for human beings. In other words, “these are not the only things that you will lose”—that’s what it means. The Fa has manifested only this much in the human world—now you’re just cultivating—it has not yet arrived at the stage where it will reveal its power in the human world. When it truly manifests in the human world, that’s when it rectifies the Fa of the human world. At that time, there will be the issue of various degenerate people being weeded out. Where they will go will depend on where they position themselves.
Student: There’s a deadline for cultivation practice. If we haven’t completed cultivation by the deadline…
Master: What does thinking so much accomplish? Time and again I’ve stressed this point: Thinking about that is an attachment. Let it go and don’t think about it. The time given to you to cultivate will definitely be enough, but it won’t do if you don’t make the most of your time. If you say, “Then let me take my time cultivating. Will I have enough time?” No, you won’t, because the Fa is serious.
Student: The blood of a cultivator is very precious. How can it be allowed to be sucked away by mosquitoes?
Master: Do you know how dirty your blood is when that karma of yours is being expelled during your cultivation? Did you know that what mosquitoes suck out is something filthy? Of course, in our cultivation, when our bodies get healthier and healthier and become better and better than everyday people’s, it could still happen. Suppose that mosquito was a life that you once killed before this lifetime—wouldn’t you have to pay it back? Yet what’s sucked away will definitely not be something precious. Don’t always look at how you’ve been harmed. Why don’t you think about how to repay the karmic debts you owe? Some people killed many, many people in their previous lives, and they’ve done a lot of bad things. Now they want to cultivate today and not even allow mosquitoes to bite them? You want to just leave here as if nothing happened? How could that work? If you have cultivated really well or have very little karma, you will see that the mosquitoes won’t be able to get near you—they will bite those around you, but not you. That is because when you don’t have black karma in your body, mosquitoes don’t dare to enter into this type of purely positive (yang) environment. Mosquitoes are able to come when there’s a negative (yin) environment, which suits them, and they like it. Only when your blood meets their standard do they like to suck it. If your blood is pure, mosquitoes actually won’t like it. Isn’t that how it works? (Applause)
Student: Since all matter in other dimensions has a real existence, why would there be an issue of transformation with mind-intent?
Master: That’s right, but don’t dig yourself into a dead end. I’ve said that even people’s thoughts are substances. What you think can materialize and your words, what you say, have a form. It’s just that you can’t see it. Everything is of material existence. The way humans see matter is different than how gods see it. The forms of matter’s existence observed by humans aren’t real, and they aren’t fixed. That’s the reality of how the universe exists. Human thoughts have become so degenerate—what they think about are all things that are wicked, evil, unkind, selfish, filled with pursuit and emotion (qing), and so on. That’s why what they think up are all false appearances. You all always think very narrowly. Why is it said that a Buddha’s wisdom is immense? He thinks differently from you, his capacity is huge, and he doesn’t think about things just from one perspective.
Student: I’m a Western student. I feel that “love” seems to have lost its place in Zhuan Falun.
Master: Let me tell you, the love that Jesus, St. Mary, and Yahweh talked about is not the “love” understood by human beings—it is cibei.4 Because today’s humankind doesn’t have the word for cibei in the Western language, people of later generations used the word “love” in place of what gods said. That [ordinary] type of love, to gods, is filthy, while cibei is what’s sacred. Because of love, humans are immersed in sexual desire. Because of love, people are immersed in sinful, depraved sexual behavior. Because of love, humans do a lot of bad things and things that gods can’t tolerate. Love has a side that humankind considers good, which includes helping each other. At the same time, it has a bad, negative side. Cibei, on the other hand, is completely good. So the love Western gods talked about in the past, I’ll tell you again explicitly, is called cibei, and not the love that people talk about in this human world. That’s because there was no concept of cibei in your culture. Your ancestors used the word “love” to record the words of gods, that’s all.
Student: For Westerners, “spirit possession” is very strange and hard to understand. How can we clearly explain “spirit possession” to Westerners?
Master: Reincarnation is something that exists in the West, too. It’s something that man can’t escape. It’s just that Jesus talked only about hell and didn’t touch on reincarnation. Jesus pointed out that people had sins, but he didn’t reveal that the reason people were sinful was because they had karma. This is due to the differences in human cultures. As for spirit possession, it’s not that it doesn’t exist in Western culture. Do you recall that the New Testament includes stories of Jesus casting out the spirits that were possessing people? They are recorded in the Bible. Those spirits said, “This has nothing to do with you Jesus, it’s none of your business.” Yet Jesus insisted on casting them out. Judging from this, you don’t fully understand your own culture.
Student: “Don’t hit back when hit; don’t curse back when cursed at.” Can we say this: “What you’re doing isn’t right”?
Master: For cultivators, the act of “Don’t hit back when hit; don’t curse back when cursed at” reflects the most appropriate way of handling it. The reason is, when a person hits you or curses at you, it’s always the result of disputes or conflicts. If you tell him, “You shouldn’t hit me,” he might hit you a few more times. If you reason with him then you will get yourself into a conflict with him. Things will be over only if you don’t pay any attention to him. Therefore, “Don’t hit back when hit; don’t curse back when cursed at” states the most appropriate way. (Applause) We have some people who are able to do this. I’d say they are cultivating really well, not bad at all. Some people do know: “When you hit me, I won’t hit you back; when you yell at me, I won’t yell back.” Yet deep down they still feel unsettled and they still want to add a few words: “You shouldn’t hit me.” That’s because you still can’t let it go deep down, and you still don’t want to pay him the debts you owe, or even when you paid it back you are still unwilling to leave it at that in your heart. So you still want to add one more sentence to comfort yourself. Of course, what I say sounds somewhat dialectical. I want to ask: My Caucasian and Black students, when I talk this way can you understand? (Applause) Good, thank you.
Student: My profession is teaching philosophy and literature. I think that philosophy and literature are valuable to human society.
Master: I’m telling all of you, in our cultivation we should conform to the way of human society to the maximum extent. You should continue doing whatever work you’re supposed to do, and you aren’t wrong, because your work is separate from your cultivation, and it’s only that your xinxing will be reflected in how you do your job. Everyone will say that you’re good and that people who cultivate Dafa are so good, because you’ve acted well. As to how [philosophy and literature] will be positioned in the future, well, even the entire cosmos has deviated from the Fa, so where else does a piece of pure land exist besides the Dafa in human society? Where else is there a clean place? I don’t want to talk about things of the future. In any case, everything in human society has become degenerate. Perhaps those who can’t become good in the future will be eliminated, and this is not just limited to humans. For now you can just go ahead and continue to do your work, because the Fa-rectification hasn’t yet come to the stage of humankind. Now it’s just that the Fa is saving you.
Student: Things haven’t gone well in my family, which caused my parents to be disrespectful to Dafa. Am I creating karma?
Master: It shouldn’t be looked at this way. We should look at this from two angles. One possibility is that your own karma caused this. The other possibility is that you didn’t eliminate your attachments in your cultivation. Both reasons exist, but there are also different situations manifested by different people’s lack of understanding of Dafa.
Student: Some Christians don’t believe in the Sixfold Path of Reincarnation.
Master: Didn’t Jesus say that if people did bad things they would go to hell? I can only tell you the following. Some of you may have read the New Testament and the Old Testament. The New Testament, especially, was all written down by this person or that person, paragraph upon paragraph of recorded words—words that were recorded from memory. That is, those who listened to Jesus’ teachings wrote them down based on what they recalled. But could the words spoken by Jesus over the course of his life—think about it, everyone—be as few as what are contained in that book? That few? Jesus talked about many things. Many, many things were forgotten by people and not recorded as a result. So why didn’t they get recorded? Another reason was that human beings only deserved to know so much.
Since the Buddha Fa, even at the Tathagata level, cannot be completely made known to human beings, what Shakyamuni taught when he was in the human world was Arhat level Fa, and human beings could only know that much. What Jesus said was sufficient to allow those who followed his words to reach heaven—that was enough. So gods didn’t let too much of it remain here. In the East, even though there are many scriptures, all of them are fragmented and incomplete recordings from memory—that’s for sure. From a different perspective, some Caucasians reincarnated from Asians. So if you don’t have these things while in the West, could you have experienced them when you reincarnated as Asians? Moreover, many Asians and Westerners reincarnate in reciprocation, that is, they reincarnate into each other back and forth. Some people feel close to Asian culture, some to Western culture. It’s possible that this is caused by the traits left from their reincarnations in different periods of time. Yet even though you may be white, or you may be yellow or black, you could belong to any race.
Student: Due to poor eyesight, elderly people like listening to lectures on tape. Is this as effective as reading Dafa?
Master: It’s the same. If you study the Fa wholeheartedly, it’s possible that your eyes might undergo changes. Listening is the same as reading. Don’t talk about how old or young you are. That too could be your own attachment and obstacle. In Dafa age makes no difference, just go ahead and cultivate. I remember how, back in the years when I taught the Fa in Beijing, students liked calling me “great master.” Later, an older man in the audience, who was probably in his seventies or eighties, submitted a question to me, saying: “Why do you call yourself ‘a great master?’ As old as I am, I don’t even call myself ‘great master.’” (Laughter) So I told him, “I don’t call myself ‘great master.’ People call me that out of respect. They came up with the term ‘great master.’” Actually, you can call me anything. You can call me by my name, or you can call me “Teacher” or “Mister,” anything is fine. I don’t care about these things, and I don’t care about any formality. Actually, human ages don’t apply to cultivators because one’s Master Soul (yuanshen) could be any age, and that is your true self. Speaking in that sense, I’m the oldest in this universe. None of you are older than me. (Applause)
Student: “Lunyu” encompasses the entire content of Zhuan Falun. Please kindly tell us why it is called “Lunyu.”
Master: You know, it seems Confucius has a “Lunyu,”5 too, but its concepts and content are completely different. I’m discussing (lun) this Buddha Fa using human language (yu), so I call it Lunyu. (Applause) That’s the idea. The human language is to be used by the Fa, so however I use it is fine. As long as things can be explained clearly, as long as I can save you, and as long as the Fa can be taught clearly, that’s how I will use it. So the modern, standardized language and vocabulary don’t restrict me.
Student: A Dafa disciple working at a cancer hospital plans to spread the Fa there. Is this appropriate?
Master: That depends on what the intention is. Suppose that you want to use Dafa to cure illnesses for people. Dafa can rectify any abnormal condition. It’s abnormal when people contract illnesses, yet Dafa is not meant for rectifying people’s abnormal conditions. The purpose of teaching the Fa to people is to save them. It’s this majestic Law of Heaven that has created different living environments for different beings in the universe. (Applause) If you want to use it to cure illnesses for human beings, if that is your intention, then it’s not correct, right? “Oh, Dafa can cure cancer. Let’s go to hospitals to treat people’s cancer.” That’s not saving people, but using Dafa to treat illness—that’s not right.
It’s not that we’re not compassionate. I’ve told you that, regardless of whether it’s Jesus, St. Mary, Yahweh (whose ability exceeds that of even the previous two), or the Buddhas in Eastern religions, with a wave of the hand there wouldn’t be one single sick person on this tiny Earth. Why aren’t they being compassionate and doing that for people? Because people themselves are doing bad things. If I did that for you today, you would still be doing bad things tomorrow. Of course, this isn’t to punish people—it’s the principle of the universe evaluating all beings. Since humans have done bad things, they have to pay for them themselves. Suppose you killed someone, and a Buddha eliminated the karma for you. Then, would it mean that you’re allowed to kill people as you please? How could it be acceptable for a Buddha to eliminate your diseases as soon as you had killed people and generated karma? When people do bad things they have to pay for it and bear the responsibility. But when people have done bad things, the most obvious manifestation of it in the human body is sickness, which is used to punish people. I’m not the only one saying this—Jesus also said that people have sins. Why do people have sins? It’s exactly because people have karma in their bodies. Western culture doesn’t have the word “karma”—there’s no such word in Western culture. So Jesus used the word “sin” to illustrate the general point. In fact, isn’t having karma the same as having sins? Without sins, how could there be karma? It’s the same idea.
Student: After Consummation, when we arrive at our own levels, will our bodies carry the markings from our venerable Teacher?
Master: There’s no issue of markings on your body after you’ve reached Consummation. The markings are for people in the maze; you’re only marked after you’ve fallen down here. After Consummation you will be an independent entity, a magnificent god who can make decisions on his own. What I’m giving you aren’t restrictions, but [the chance to become] a magnificent god. (Applause)
Student: People who don’t practice Falun Dafa enjoy listening to the music, “Pudu” and “Jishi.” Master, please tell us, can we let them listen to it?
Master: Yes, it’s music. Of course, when they hear our Dafa music, it’s definitely good for them.
Student: In today’s society, the concept of equality between men and women prevails. As female disciples, how can we be gentle and tender while progressing diligently in cultivation?
Master: People are saying nowadays that women are becoming more and more liberal and their personalities are getting stronger. In fact, you aren’t being driven by your kind (Shan) side. I don’t think strength is necessarily reflected in a person’s outward expression. If in your daily life you’re like a gentle, true woman, your competence will let you have everything you deserve all the same. You don’t necessarily have to express yourself in tough and manly ways to obtain those things. Do you understand what I’m getting at? (Applause) In other words, if you’re a woman, you must act like one, and be kind and gentle. Only then can you gain respect and love from men. If you aren’t kind and gentle, men will be afraid of you when they see you, (laughter) and you won’t be able to have the love or even the family affection that you’re supposed to have. Conversely, let’s not just talk about women—we men, likewise, should behave like men. But all societies on the earth have become bad nowadays, so I can only ask my disciples to behave this way—it is not achievable by the society. I remember that in the West before the fifties, men were very gentlemanly, and they treated women with respect. And because women acted like women, men loved to help them, respect them, and care for them. At the same time, in a womanly way, women cherished their husbands. That was human behavior. Yet today you have corrupted it all.
In Asian society, women have become overly strong, causing the men to become like women. I can tell you that in your bones you want your men to be strong, yet in your minds you want to overpower them. Isn’t this contradictory? If the way of the society becomes like this, will men still be able to walk around with confidence and self-respect? Will they have their manhood? Two people can’t be the head of one household, just as there can’t be two kings of the same castle. So when two tigers fight, one has to get hurt, (laughter) and the family is bound to be disharmonious. How is it going to work if two kings live under the same roof? There has to be one head of the household. That’s why there are divorces and discord in families. You always say something: Men say that women aren’t like women at all, and women say that men aren’t like men at all.
It’s even more blatant in Western society where when they marry each other, they’ve already divided up their property: “When we divorce in the future, this belongs to me and that belongs to you.” It’s even more blatant. The sense of a woman relying on her man when they’re married is simply nonexistent. And men aren’t thinking that once women marry them, they have entrusted them with their whole life and so they need to be responsible to them—they no longer think that way at all. Self-interest and personal liberty have taken over everything. Where then do you find the warmth of a family? People vie with and try to overcome each other—no one is willing to concede. I’m telling you, that is not how human beings should be! (Applause) When even couples don’t dare to trust each other, and there’s no place that can give you a sense of security, warmth, and affection, aren’t you living a distressing life? In your mind you think to yourselves: “It shouldn’t be like this. We should have a warm and affectionate place.” But your outward behavior is destroying all this, and your selfish traits are making such a place impossible to have. When everyone behaves this way the wonderful relationships among humans are lost. Of course, I can only say these things to my disciples, to you, and tell you that these aren’t right. There’s no cure for mankind anymore and it would be impossible to turn everything around. Today the discussions in society and the tendency of the media are all about personal liberty and are indulging individuality. I can tell you, this indulged individuality might make you appear to be free, but actually, you will never be able to enjoy warmth and affection anymore! And you will never ever have someone you can trust! (Applause)
Student: Will there be Dafa disciples who cultivate to the worlds of Buddhas to become ordinary beings? (Laughter)
Master: Don’t laugh. This is a conceptual question. Cultivators have Attainment Status, so they definitely won’t be just ordinary folks. They all have Attainment Status after reaching Consummation.
Student: Dafa can change the surface me as well as the me at different levels in different dimensions. Is this understanding correct?
Master: This understanding is not wrong. I’ve said this before: Without a human body, it’s impossible to practice cultivation, and it’s impossible to improve oneself. Then how could your bodies in other dimensions possibly be changed? You can’t cultivate without this human body, so you have to cultivate here, at this human place, to change yourself. Sometimes, when you’re studying a Dafa book, you’re not concentrating, and your lips finish reading a passage yet your mind isn’t there. That’s because your subordinate consciousness (fu yishi) or other factors were at work. Your attention is present occasionally, only to disappear shortly after. If you have this problem often, then it’s the same as your giving up all these things and giving this Fa away to someone else. You can’t do that, and I don’t allow you to cultivate that way.
Student: How should we understand the difference between love and attachment?
Master: They’re two different concepts. Love can breed attachments, it can cause attachments during cultivation, but among everyday people and in society, it’s still something essential. Without love, human beings would be even more likely to do bad things, and their demon-nature would be even stronger. So humans can’t live without love or emotion. That’s because emotion is a human thing—it’s a necessary element of the living environment provided to human beings, but it’s not for gods. As cultivators, you have to rise above it, and cultivate away the attachments that result from love and emotion. That’s the relationship among these things. If you want to be able to love without getting attached, that’s impossible. But in your process of cultivation, you can’t possibly take everything lightly, let go of everything, and not be so attached right away. So in your current phase, whatever state you’re in, you can just be in that state.
Don’t force yourself: “Deep inside I do love, I do love my family members, but I’ll force myself to stop loving them.” That would be wrong, because your realm hasn’t risen and you’re only trying to do it forcibly. If you do that, it will actually cause people to misunderstand Dafa, and damage the image of Dafa. As love is diminished in your cultivation, it will be replaced by the compassion (cibei) that emerges. You know, I’m sitting here and—using your words—loving and caring for every one of you. Actually, it’s a type of compassion (applause), but it’s totally different from the kind of personal feelings of yours. I’m sure you can differentiate the love among yourselves and that which I have. (Applause)
Student: During group practice, when someone makes a lot of noise in coming late and leaving early, which makes it difficult for others to enter tranquility, should we bring this to his attention?
Master: This question reminds me of another thought of mine. Let me tell you, prior to the Cultural Revolution, Chinese people were known around the world to be people of propriety, and they were very particular about being civilized, about hygiene, and about things displayed on the surface. The cultures of China’s neighboring countries were all brought by Chinese people—they learned from China. (Applause) But did you know that after the Cultural Revolution, those were discarded as “the four olds”? Instead, having dirt all over one’s body and having thick calluses on one’s hands were things to be proud of, and lice were even called “revolutionary bugs.” People regarded filth as something good. That kind of concept continued, and right now, even though people’s living conditions have improved and they’re more attentive to things, these concepts left over from the Cultural Revolution have yet to be shattered. Even though you’ve arrived in Western societies, people in Western societies feel that it’s really quite hard to tolerate you in this sense.
You don’t mind the details of etiquette, don’t groom yourselves, look sloppy, talk loudly without taking into consideration the circumstances or location, and don’t pay attention to hygiene. Of course, I’ve said that you need to conform to everyday people to the maximum extent while you cultivate. As cultivating disciples, you have to achieve that. This should be a non-issue, and it’s not something I wanted to discuss. But did you know that because of your behavior, some Western students are reluctant to join in when you spread the Fa? You have to pay attention to this now! This isn’t just a behavioral issue. You really need to pay attention to things in this regard. I’m not asking you to get into dressing fashionably. You need to be aware of surface-level, human civility. I can tell you that the meaning of Dafa actually encompasses what’s at the lowest level, too. I think that you will be able to do everything well if you can always think of others. (Applause)
Student: A student said he had asked and gotten Teacher’s approval on certain things. But others feel that his demeanor, words, and conduct are not like those of a cultivator.
Master: When two people debate and can’t reach an agreement, many of them quote me and say, “Teacher said this” to defend their own attachments and cover up the attachments they should get rid of. That’s awful. But conversely, you can’t say he’s not a student or he hasn’t cultivated well just because you see that some of his words and his behavior don’t conform to Dafa. In fact, he has eliminated many of his attachments already, and he’s so much better than everyday people. Only the attachments he hasn’t removed can manifest. So when you see them, it’s hard for you as a cultivator to accept that. This means that we shouldn’t judge a person by how he acts. I discussed it from both angles just now.
Student: Some veteran students’ faces are dark and have many liver spots, and some are very thin. Are these phenomena normal?
Master: Cultivation is complicated. If you care about these things a lot, you will be purposefully made to witness them to see if you will still cultivate. On the other hand, when those individuals do develop such conditions, we really need to look at whether they are in fact cultivating diligently. They may be reading the books and doing the exercises, but in essence, how are they really doing? Some people are reading the books, but it’s been over a year and they still haven’t finished reading Zhuan Falun even though they’re always reading, they do the exercises diligently, and they even encourage others to practice this. Cultivation practice is serious. Nothing in this world is more serious than cultivation. We must be able to truly meet the requirements.
Student: If someone doesn’t participate in the group morning exercises, and hasn’t been tested by blustery winds, baking sun, the harsh cold of winter or intense heat of summer, will it affect his Consummation?
Master: Those are not really the factors. Haven’t I mentioned that the purpose of going through hardships is to eliminate your attachments and improve? It doesn’t mean anything when people simply endure hardship—no matter how much hardship they go through. The key is that the environment of group practice can temper and refine people. At a person’s outermost surface, he deals with non-cultivators in ordinary human society all the time. Who would you rather be influenced by—by them or by Dafa disciples while in Dafa? That’s what I’m talking about.
Student: Which created the universe, Fa or gods? I’ve heard of gods creating the universe, but have rarely heard that Buddhas or Daos created the universe.
Master: Then who created the gods you heard about? You should study the Fa more. But your words bring something to mind. Perhaps a lot of people have heard that Western religions claim their Lord created the world, and Buddhism in the East teaches it was Buddha’s karma that created the universe. Their concept of karma is that doing anything is karma, or a result of karma. In Eastern myths and ancient legends, we hear that Pangu6 created Heaven and Earth. Let’s talk about the story of Pangu creating Heaven and Earth. You may have heard in the story that Pangu, in the end, instantly turned his body into Heaven, Earth, mountains, rivers, and stars in the sky. Regardless of how it was told, I can tell everyone that at different levels, no matter which level god you are, it’s impossible for you to know about things above you. Over the long passage of history [beings] deviated from the Fa long ago, and many beings don’t even know about the Fa anymore; they’ve forgotten it. Why have they forgotten it? Of all the beings of the current cycle of civilization, regardless of how high their levels are or were, most were created during the ninth cycle. As to what the Fa was like before the ninth cycle, people don’t know. And when it comes to the ninth cycle, they know even less about what the Fa is, and only know that at different levels there are different standards. In other words, primordial beings are almost non-existent now, and that’s why [beings] don’t know how the universe came about.
When catastrophes occur at different levels of the universe, it is actually different cosmic bodies dissolving. In your words, they are exploding. After the explosion, a higher-level god wouldn’t come down and let the gods of the lowest level see him creating the universe. The higher-level god would create a lower-level god and have him create a universe at the next level, so at that level new gods would be born. I’ve said that beings can be created at all the different levels. A god born at a particular level must have the ability to create the universe of that layer. As to whether there are gods in the higher levels of the universe, he has no idea.
What I’ve just explained is actually a principle: That is, Buddhas, Daos, and Gods at different levels all have the ability to create everything in the universe at or below their own levels. But since it’s within his range, he thinks that he himself has created the universe. This is the case with the relatively primordial ones. Suppose a god creates a vaster universe, and then later a god is born at a certain level and during a certain period of that universe. If after an extremely long time, problems arise in the universe that is in the realm where this god was born, it’s dissolved by gods above him, and explosions will take place. Then, when he reconstructs everything afterwards he thinks he has re-created the universe. He doesn’t know that there are larger universes above this universe. So by the same token, such things can also take place at layers smaller than his. At layers much smaller than his, the creation of universes at different levels happens as well. Do you understand what I’m talking about? (Applause) I explained this in lecture five of Zhuan Falun: Different gods created universes with different characteristics. Many of you had questions [about that], didn’t you? That is exactly the situation I just discussed. The cosmos is so vast. Changes taking place at different levels are merely tiny particles in the extremely vast cosmic bodies, and this, even to gods, is inconceivable.
Student: Are the gods mentioned in ancient Greek and Chinese myths imagined or did they really exist?
Master: I can tell you, driven by the current science, people in today’s society are digging deeper and deeper into “reality.” Yet this reality is false, and the genuine and magnificent truth of the universe has been increasingly covered up by this false reality. This is caused by humans themselves. It’s they themselves who have come to believe in these superficial things more and more. Many of the ancient myths are true, yet people regard them as stories made up by others. Today I’m teaching the Great Law of the cosmos. Everything that it brings about and everything that will happen in the future will shock all beings. In the future, events that are even more spectacular will unfold, because the Fa will arrive here in the human world. Everything that people don’t believe in will occur, and it will be so shocking that people will be rendered speechless. But regardless of how strong a reaction that event will cause or how long it will last, after thousands or tens of thousands of years, people will regard it as a myth, and after more years go by, people might regard it as something made up by others just the same. That’s how limited human beings are. Aren’t there people who deny Jesus’ appearance? They say people made it up. Aren’t there also those who say that Shakyamuni’s appearance in the East was made up?
Student: My parents have cultivated in Buddhism for many years. They’re among those who, as described in Master’s two recent pieces, are lost in illusion. How can I get them to practice the righteous cultivation way?
Master: Show them the pieces I’ve written—that’s all you can do. No one can do anything on behalf of anyone else. We can only advise people to do what’s good, and can’t coerce others into anything. We cannot force them. What people want to obtain is their own business. It doesn’t count if they’re coerced into doing something; it only counts if they do it themselves and if they cultivate themselves.
Student: If someone’s living conditions were once pretty good, but now he intentionally lives a frugal life, is that considered an attachment?
Master: Perhaps it’s because Chinese people went through a very difficult period of time that they’re so afraid of being poor, and that might cause people to be overly frugal. When someone goes overboard, it’s not good. Live normally. Being thrifty isn’t a bad thing, but if anything goes too far, it becomes a bad thing. A cultivator shouldn’t have any preconceived notions. But there’s nothing wrong with being thrifty.
Student: Is the same Law Body of yours looking after a student when he practices cultivation in China or travels to Europe?
Master: The same Law Body, different Law Bodies… is there a difference among Law Bodies? I can tell you that they are all looked after by the same wisdom of mine. There’s no difference at all. In fact, Law Bodies are me. Law Bodies think whatever I think.
Student: Could you please tell us what a “True Body” is and what a “Gong Body” is?
Master: There is a difference. In the eyes of gods, everything here at this human place is considered unreal, and only the body of a Buddha or God is real, so they call a body of that level or higher a “True Body.” A “Gong Body” is something only I have. No other beings in the cosmos have it. It is my immense gong that can at the same time form into my image. (Applause)
Student: When I do the exercises, I always hear Teacher talking.
Master: If it’s about the Fa, and is the same as what is discussed in the books, it isn’t a concern. That’s a way in which your supernormal abilities manifest—it’s a manifestation of your supernormal abilities. If it’s not something that is in the Fa, then it must be interference.
Student: When teaching children the practice, besides telling them to be good people, do we need to read scriptures to them?
Master: When you tell them to be good people, you are only telling them to be good persons among everyday people. Only the Fa can make people ascend. Isn’t that how it is? Children can do the five exercises to the extent that they’re able. If they can’t do them it’s okay for them to do the exercises after they’ve grown a little older.
Student: Would it be appropriate to explain Dafa’s principles to children in words they understand?
Master: I don’t think that’s a problem. Since you are a cultivator you won’t explain it the wrong way. Use reasoning to explain it to children. I don’t think that will be a problem.
Student: I had a test but I lost my determination. I want to start over in cultivation.
Master: Just now a student asked me whether he could still cultivate. In other words, there might have been things in which he didn’t do well or where he felt that he didn’t measure up to the standards for a disciple. After you’ve made mistakes, can you still do cultivation? Whether or not you can cultivate all depends on you. You’ve already heard the Fa and obtained the Fa. Of course, you didn’t do well and didn’t pass that test—that was a huge loss indeed. You can cultivate all over again, calm your mind, be determined, and start over. Since you are already determined to cultivate in Dafa and you’ve already realized that you were wrong, why don’t you steel your will and start catching up? As long as you have that thought and want to do so, you don’t need to tell me or anyone else—just go ahead and cultivate, and I think you will be all right. Actually, didn’t all of you begin your cultivation just because you wanted to cultivate, and thus you obtained Dafa? But you can’t keep missing your chances and making mistakes. Cultivation is serious, so if you continue making mistakes, I’m afraid that in the future you won’t have any more opportunities like this to enter this Fa. Since you’ve had the opportunity to enter the Fa, don’t miss it again.
Student: Quite a few disciples residing in North America cohabit with their partners without being married. Some have even had children. Should they obtain a marriage certificate retroactively?
Master: Yes. I’ve told you to maximally conform to the way of ordinary human society in your cultivation. Let’s talk about it another way. In China, when people got married in the past, they needed the approval of both Heaven and Earth, and that was why there was “bowing to Heaven and Earth.” They needed approval of their parents, so they had to bow before their parents. In Western societies, people needed it to be acknowledged by their Lord or God, and that’s why they would go to church and pledge to the Lord, and the Lord or God would be their witness and testify to their union. In today’s Western societies these things have been broken and many people don’t go through any formalities anymore. Two people just get together without any restrictions; when they’re happy together, they stay together, and when they are not, they just find another partner. That is unacceptable. As students of Dafa, you should at least know these basic principles. Promiscuity in the West has created a tremendous amount of karma. It appears to me that people from the East are even worse. You should pay attention to these things. We say that human beings have degenerated, and yet when a cultivator conducts himself even worse than an ordinary person, isn’t that a problem? Of course, you may think, “Even though we didn’t do the paperwork, in our minds and conduct it’s just like we are married. And now that we’ve had children together, separating isn’t very doable for us at this point.” But you didn’t go through the proper procedures. If you feel you can be responsible to each other, I would say that’s pretty good, but why don’t you go through the procedures? At the very least, allow ordinary human society to consider you a legally wed husband and wife. Isn’t that how it should be? In other words, you shouldn’t be too casual when it comes to these things. I won’t spend more time on this subject. Regardless of what you’ve done in the past, let bygones be bygones. Move forward and do it right.
Student: How can we determine whether a vision is the result of the Master Soul leaving the body or a result of reaching Enlightenment?
Master: This has been discussed before. You know, I have clearly explained this in the scripture entitled “Why One Cannot See.” Why can’t you see? Even when you do see, it won’t be clear. In other words, even when you are able to see things it won’t be that clear. If it is clear, it will encompass a limited area. [Your vision] definitely won’t be unlimited, like that of a god, where you know everything and see everything just as if you were watching a movie. Of course, there are those who have special circumstances. I’m illustrating the general situation.
Student: I went to attend a Fa conference in a big snowstorm and my car broke down on the road. My family didn’t understand my risky behavior.
Master: Nothing can be made to fit into a simple formula, where everything can be done according to that formula. In cultivation, the situations that every person encounters are complicated, and the cause of something can be one thing or another. For example, some people have problems because they didn’t pass a xinxing test, or it might have been because other things were more important. It might also have been because the tribulation was supposed to happen, and therefore you ran into difficulties and met with obstacles. So cultivation is extremely complicated, and it’s not as simple as you think. It could also have been that your car’s breaking down prevented you from getting involved in a car accident several miles ahead. Any of various reasons could have been at work. In cultivation, everything you experience is a good thing, and you are establishing your own mighty virtue.
Student: We have only two days to hold a seminar to introduce Dafa. Is this okay?
Master: If you have only two days to hold a seminar to introduce Falun Dafa, the time is too short. If someone can’t read Zhuan Falun all the way through without being sidetracked, it will be difficult for him to pick up the book again. Why is that so? It’s because people have thought karma. It’s the notions in one’s mind that cause karma. When you read the book, the karma in your mind is being eliminated. The karma is alive, and knows that you’re eliminating it, so it starts trying to not let you touch the book. Even when you have time, it will make you forget to read the book. It will do its best to not let you have time to read the book. That is why many people no longer have time to continue reading the book if they can’t finish it the first time. The same goes with watching the tapes. If you can’t complete the whole set, it will seem hard to find time to watch more of them. Demons are interfering. They don’t let you have the time and they use all kinds of methods to not let you touch it again. That’s why this problem exists. On the other hand, you don’t have much time to spread the Fa. With regard to this issue, you can only handle it according to your own situation.
Student: If someone accepts well-intentioned gifts from a fellow practitioner over a long period of time, will he be losing his virtue endlessly?
Master: I’ll give you an example. A student’s family all of sudden gets into financial difficulties. For a cultivator, this hardship is very possibly the result of his owing this kind of debt in the past. During the karma elimination process, he must bear something like this, but it won’t last long. I’m saying that might be the case. Then, some students think that since he’s having such a hard time, “We should help him out.” How to help him? Everyone contributes some money, gives him money, and provides for his family. Well, he stops doing anything from then on. Other than studying the Fa, he just stays at home and lives on their money. A little later, he stops studying the Fa, too: “Just bring me the money and I’ll just live like this now.” Think about it, everyone. You do have compassion, but you can’t handle these things that way. Everyone has his own tribulations. You can assist him out of compassion by helping him find a job or by temporarily attending to some emergencies, but you absolutely can’t do that over a long period of time. You would be disrupting the path I arranged for him, and it would become impossible for him to cultivate. In the end, he would stop cultivating. He would stop looking for a job, and he wouldn’t want to solve the problem since he had money to spend, and he’d say, “Just bring me money every month.” Then, I’d say, what are the students really doing?
Gift giving? What’s gift giving? Someone gives someone else something? Why should someone you don’t know give you things? Okay, so you know each other and you’re all students. But, should a student casually give another student expensive things? Why would you do that? There needs to be a reason! Even if those aren’t expensive things, why do they keep supplying them for such a long time? Why? And why do you accept them? Is it because you can’t abandon your attachment to greed? Or are there other reasons? Why don’t you try to find these? That is unacceptable. This Dafa of ours doesn’t involve money or material possessions, and we don’t accumulate money or material possessions. You have come to practice cultivation, and with all of you sitting here, I don’t ask a penny from you. Why is it that when other people give you things, you can’t let it go? Here I’ll make a point about a particular issue: All those who work for Dafa, and all those who work for Master, you absolutely cannot accept anything from students, regardless of the reason. Things that are to be forwarded to Master must be given to Master to handle. Don’t take the liberty of handling those things on your own, don’t keep them for yourselves, hold onto them, or open letters or other things that are intended for Master.
Student: Is the degeneration of a being a result of the Master Soul being contaminated with attachments or the nature of the Master Soul having changed?
Master: I don’t look at things that way. A person’s being is one entity, and you can’t say that your Master Soul, your Subordinate Soul (fu yuanshen), or your body has become this way or that way. If someone is wrong, he’s wrong. That is because every single thought of yours involves all the you’s of various levels. When someone corrects his mistakes, then he’s a good person. If someone is able to cultivate himself, he can progress higher.
Student: In the small universe of a human body, are all of the beings at the same level as the Master Soul that controls that human body?
Master: They are not at the same level. You are higher than all the beings in your body. At the same time, there is a unified, thought-driven system for controlling all of your cells.
Student: I’m thirteen years old and I was born in Japan. Due to the language barrier, I have no idea how to cultivate.
Master: The adults [around him] should help solve this problem. Having been born in Japan, he doesn’t understand Chinese. Being so young, he can’t completely comprehend some of the things in Japanese either, and he doesn’t recognize all the characters, so he might have difficulties. When you don’t understand certain parts, just ask the adults, and gradually you will understand everything. Children are quite swift after all. You know, in China there are older people who never went to school, but they read Zhuan Falun, and after reading it over and over they were able to read the whole book. There are quite a few people like that among Dafa disciples. A few decades or even most of their lives had gone by, and they never imagined they could recognize characters. Yet, through studying Dafa, they were able to read Zhuan Falun in a very short period of time, and they even became quite familiar with the text through reading. That’s truly a miracle! It is the Fa, after all, so these things can happen. Of course, children might not have the perseverance of adults, but I’ll take that into consideration. Children are, after all, children. If you put forth some effort and the adults help some, the problem can be solved.
Student: What kind of predestined relationships do Subordinate Souls have among themselves?
Master: They might have predestined relationships or they might not. There isn’t a formula. Everyone had his own, unique situations in his prior lives, and those are predestined relationships of humans that have nothing to do with your cultivation. It’s enough that the Master Soul obtains the Fa here with full awareness. Other Subordinate Souls will naturally follow as you cultivate.
Student: Can we promote the Fa in a martial arts school?
Master: I don’t think there’s a problem with helping people obtain the Fa in any setting. But there is one thing: Some martial arts are Daoist martial arts, which belong to the category of qigong. Other martial arts won’t cause any interference. Many people who practice Dafa are also practicing martial arts, and none of those affect us.
Student: After Master revealed what science truly is and the various inadequacies of human society, my mind got very confused when it came to judging things, and I can’t resolve it.
Master: Let me reiterate this: You should conform to the way of ordinary society to the maximum extent in your cultivation. I’ll tell you: I’ve revealed the real factors behind science, but I’m not against science. Let me repeat this again: I’ve revealed what science really is, but I’m not against science because it is, after all, something that one form of beings, among all the beings in the cosmos, possesses. I’ve pointed out here that humankind shouldn’t be in this state, as well as the reason why humankind has degenerated. I don’t oppose science. Go ahead and do whatever work you do. It’s just that compared to the Buddha Fa it’s very limited. You will gradually understand this as you cultivate more.
Student: I was extremely excited when I obtained the Fa initially, but because I was lost too deeply in illusion, I did some very bad things. Am I finished?
Master: Cultivation in Dafa is still going on, and students are still continually making diligent progress. You managed to pass this note up here, and I even read it for you, so your predestined relationship is pretty strong. Seize the day. (Applause)
Student: I’m from Lebanon. The rest of my family is religious. I am not, but I’m worried that I might be affected.
Master: You won’t be affected. You study yours and they can believe in theirs. It won’t affect you. That’s because what they believe in is not looked after by gods, and since no gods are looking after it, it’s even less the case that it would have any influence.
Student: A few big tests of my xinxing have occurred right before I’ve attended Fa-Conferences. Were they arranged by your Law Bodies?
Master: As long as you’re a student, I’ll be responsible to you. As to whether I was having you go through xinxing tests or whether it was due to some other specific reasons, being your Master, I’m absolutely responsible to you on these things. Anything that happens to a cultivator is good. Just go ahead and cultivate yourself. You may not have noticed that yesterday morning when a student spoke about his experience, he mentioned that [at one point,] no matter how hard he cultivated, he didn’t feel he was making any further progress. And then one day, all of sudden he realized, “It’s time for me to change in this area.” Then as he cultivated more, that wall was broken through immediately, and a different realm was instantly right before his eyes. I think you should put more thought into that student’s speech.
Student: Falun Dafa saved people in a prehistoric period. Why have all the beings forgotten the Fa?
Master: Are you referring to humans or gods? Those saved by Dafa all went to heavens. Then how do you know the beings have forgotten the Fa? I can tell you, when a person has reached Consummation through cultivation, everything of his is forged by the Fa, and everything is assimilated to the Fa. When you’re in Dafa, you are a part of Dafa. In fact, all the beings in the entire cosmos are part of Dafa. It’s just that they have gradually deviated from the Fa. When one being has deviated, he falls and goes to whichever level he belongs. When all beings have deviated, though, then that segment has to be dissolved, and new beings are re-created afterwards.
Student: To cultivate is to deepen one’s understanding and memory of Dafa. Can it be put this way?
Master: That’s not how it is. What you memorize now is just the lowest form in which the Fa is expressed—the one that I teach among everyday people. But the Fa that you will come to know when you achieve Consummation in various realms will be different, except for the inner meanings, from the Fa I’m teaching you now—not even a single word will be the same. Can you understand what I’m saying? (Applause) So you still can’t help thinking about things of gods with human notions.
Student: I’ve found that I’ve come this far by breaking through attachments, and the attachments aren’t about being right or wrong on the surface; rather, the inner meaning is different.
Master: That’s true, because when Dafa guides you through cultivation at various levels, you’re only able to understand it in your mind, but can’t express it with words. It becomes distorted as soon as it gets into everyday people’s linguistic thinking—before you even utter the words, once it gets into the editing process of everyday people’s linguistic thoughts, it’s already different. That’s why once you talk about it, it’s no longer the real meaning of that realm. You might have realized this as well. So you can only understand it in your mind but not express it with words. But why are you able to talk about your experiences and understanding? That’s because what you talk about are things of the lowest level and on the outermost surface, or things from your past. Of course, what new students talk about are their current experiences, because what new students talk about are bound to be things at the surface.
Student: Master has given me hints quite a few times, but I don’t want to think too highly of myself. Is there an attachment behind this thought?
Master: Not necessarily, because sometimes a person is afraid of developing the attachment of zealotry, so he tries to control himself and prevent himself from becoming zealous or thinking too highly of himself. I think that’s good, but don’t be too attached to doing that, or it may become another attachment. Just cultivate in a confident and dignified manner.
Student: Some people criticize others, saying “This is an attachment of yours,” and “That’s an attachment of yours.” But aren’t those people attached themselves?
Master: Both are possible. The question raised is quite interesting, but it’s possible that the person who raised the question is attached to something. When some of you say that others are attached, is it because your own attachments are being hit upon, so you turn around and cover up your own attachments by saying that others are attached? (Applause) And those who’ve been told they are attached: Are you, instead of abandoning your attachments, saying that those who said you’re attached are attached because you can’t abandon your attachments?
Student: If a person in a position of responsibility gives up his position to someone who is more capable, isn’t he contributing to the establishment of Dafa?
Master: Looking at the surface of your words, everyone would agree that you’re right. This is a non-issue. When someone who not only cultivates himself well but is also very capable doesn’t do the job, it will be a loss for Dafa. If you are able to look at it from this perspective, from the standpoint of what’s good for the Fa, I’d say that’s really excellent. Of course, from another perspective, though, if you have other deeply hidden thoughts and don’t even dare to consider that they might be attachments, and if every time your thoughts touch upon them you cover them up and let them slip, then that’s not right.
Student: I often tell myself to use my heart and everything I have to provide for Master.
Master: I understand everyone’s feeling. Let me tell you, that is a legacy of religions. Shakyamuni indeed said—since his disciples needed to beg for alms—that giving food to monks was something that would bring boundless merit. But he never said that providing for him or giving him money would bring boundless merit. Religions are no longer able to follow the requirements of Buddhas. That’s why some monks are very greedy nowadays. They want lots and lots of money, so they promote this idea: “Only if you provide for me will you have boundless merit.” Then how are you supposed to provide for them? Supposedly the more you give them, the better. They even think that it’s great if you provide for them to the extent of exhausting all your financial resources. Think about it, that is extremely selfish. Those selfish thoughts, even to the extent of taking all of others’ possessions and still not feeling satisfied, are even worse than evil demons. How could they possibly be cultivators?
Dafa cannot be measured by money. You, too, are a cultivator, so why should someone else provide for you? Why do you accept others’ money? (Applause) From another perspective, the person that you want to provide for you is also cultivating Buddhahood. Otherwise, why would he provide for you? He might have cultivated better than you! What gives you the right to be provided for by him? You should provide for him! Of course, nowadays people are accustomed to seeing religions going after money and power, and getting involved in politics, so they no longer find it surprising. Lies may seem to be true after they’re repeated three times, so the more people hear them, the more acceptable they become, and people stop thinking about whether they are correct. Of course, some students are concerned with Master’s living conditions, and often think about helping to resolve some of the issues concerning Master’s living. You don’t need to think about that. I know how you feel.
Student: The sole purpose of life is to assimilate to Zhen-Shan-Ren. If I deviate from that, I will request that both my body and soul be destroyed.
Master: You already have a very deep understanding of the Fa, and your determination to reach Consummation is rock-solid. I think that’s really good. And I think that only a person who has a very solid foundation cultivating in the Fa can write those words.
Student: In the future, will anyone carry on after Master to continue spreading Dafa?
Master: After this is done it will be over. You are at the juncture of a transition in the cosmos. After the Fa-rectification is over, the future humankind will develop anew. They won’t know about Dafa, but they will know that something like this occurred in history. As to the principles of this Dafa, they won’t see a single word of them. When their new civilization has been established, there will be new Buddhas, Daos, or Gods coming down to the human world to save people, so the beings in the future will also hear the Buddha Fa. Perhaps at that time in the Western society a God like Jesus will again come to the human world. Those things will happen in the new era, and have nothing to do with you.
Student: Do Zhuan Falun and the other books Teacher has published have the same power of the Fa?
Master: That’s right. Anything, as long as it belongs to Dafa, has the same boundless inner meaning. [But] I’ll tell you that if you want to cultivate in a systematic way, you have to focus on one book, Zhuan Falun. All other books are only for your reference. The supplementary books have different supplementary value at different levels, since different inner meanings exist at different levels. Yet if you want to cultivate systematically, go by Zhuan Falun. That’s why you should read Zhuan Falun repeatedly.
Student: Is it true that all disciples that reach Consummation will be taken to extremely high levels; otherwise, they wouldn’t need a Fa that immense?
Master: In other words, you’re saying: “Teacher has taught us such a profound, high-level Great Law. If, though you’ve taught us things that high, we can’t reach a level that high, then have you taught us those things in vain?” Let me tell you—and some students may have seen it—at every Fa conference, those who are listening to the Fa are not limited to you human beings. Of course, the inner meanings of the same sentence that they hear from me are different from what you hear and what cultivators at this level understand.
Student: When another student said in his speech, “I wish to return to my home,” for some reason I couldn’t help crying from the bottom of my heart.
Master: Perhaps it touched your most fundamental part, your most microscopic part.
Student: The srivatsa 卍 is the symbol of a Buddha’s level. So is there a symbol for a Dao’s level?
Master: You can’t apply a formula to things in the heavens—that’s not how it is. Actually, the manifestations of different gods don’t lie in what kinds of symbols they have or how many symbols they have. The srivatsa 卍 is only one manifestation of a Buddha—it represents a Buddha. Of course, that’s how a Buddha manifests; Buddhas have this symbol that reflects their level. In fact, you can tell at a glance the levels of gods in the heavens—with one look you will know their levels.
Student: In the past, in all cultivation ways, it was the Subordinate Souls that obtained the gong. Then in the cultivation ways of Western religions, who obtained the gong?
Master: Is there any question about that? In the Western cultivation ways, isn’t it the same—that the Subordinate Soul takes off after the physical body dies? There can’t be one person missing on the Earth. So the person’s Master Soul continues to reincarnate.
Student: Westerners think God is the only Creator of this universe. How can we break this barrier?
Master: Some people do think that way. You can reason with them, or give them the book to read. Besides these there’s no other approach. You can’t force them to believe this. If they themselves don’t believe it, there’s no other way right now. I’ve said that for Gods of different levels in the cosmos, regardless of how high their levels are or which levels they belong to, they have no idea what exists above them. Today, in the principles of the Fa I teach, I tell you that those high realms exist, and you’re just listening to all these principles while amidst human delusion. Yet when you really melt into the Fa, you will be a part of that level of the Fa, and at that time, when someone tells you about higher realms you won’t believe it, either. It’s because right before your eyes you will truly see everything at and beneath your level without any omission, and in that state, you absolutely won’t believe in the existence of anything you can’t see. Now you’re thinking, “Since Teacher has told us this, I will believe it in the future.” Let me tell you, at that time neither the linguistic style nor the form of the Fa I’m teaching you now will be what they are now.
Student: Do gods have Master Souls?
Master: You can’t compare gods with humans because humans are in delusion. Gods don’t have Master Souls, Subordinate Souls, or other forms of existence—gods are just themselves. But gods have gods’ bodies, although the way that body exists is unlike how a human being’s Master Soul relates to his human body—that’s not how the relationship is, because they are one. And they know about all these things crystal clear, whereas humans don’t know anything.
Student: I’m a newcomer. I can’t really believe in the existence of gods and heavens. If I study the Fa diligently, cultivate my mind, and practice the exercises, can I be your disciple?
Master: Yes, you can. All of you can. Just go ahead and cultivate. There are plenty of people whose thinking was more rigid than yours, and yet eventually they have all raised their levels through cultivation. Don’t worry about it and just cultivate. In fact, from your words [I can tell that] you have begun to have the thought of learning Dafa, which is just a beginning. Given the current foundation of your thinking, it’s not realistic to change everything, so through studying the Fa you will gradually come to know things in the Fa’s principles, and will eventually elevate to the point of sensing, coming into contact with, and seeing things.
Student: I see that many people have coexisting images. Have these people succeeded in cultivating a True Body?
Master: Because Dafa changes people at an incredible speed, you saw the images of their bodies that exist in other dimensions.
Student: I like to listen to the audio recordings of Master’s lectures before I go to sleep, but I often fall asleep before they end. Is this being disrespectful to Master?
Master: Here’s what I think: If you want to practice diligently you must treat Fa-study seriously. If you can’t fall asleep and can only go to sleep while listening to this Fa, then you’re using the Fa to help you fall asleep. Where are you coming from? All the same, some people indeed fall asleep when listening to the Fa. Why does that happen? How could you not treat what makes you fall asleep and not hear the Fa as a demon? And if it is, why don’t you defeat it?
Student: A fellow practitioner’s shoulders shake violently when he does the exercises, and the condition remains even when he keeps his eyes open.
Master: Ask him to spend more time studying the Fa and reading the books, and to truly improve himself based on the Fa. When a person can’t focus on one cultivation way, this type of thing will happen. Or, if in cultivation a person has problems with his shoulders, his shoulders might shake like that when the illnesses are being cured. If this persists for a long time, it means that he’s still at the initial illness-curing stage and has not made any progress. Cultivate with a pure mind. When he truly improves in his understanding of the Fa, this will pass quickly, and he’ll transcend that level. When you feel physical discomfort during your cultivation and it doesn’t go away for a long time, why don’t you let go of your attachments and really cultivate yourself in Dafa? When you only want to become illness-free via the exercises, or if you want to cultivate but don’t read the books, how could you transform yourself? And how could you not get stuck there and remain in that state?
Student: In my daily life I don’t care about many things. Does that also cause me to be unconcerned with the tests during my cultivation?
Master: If during your cultivation Dafa can’t stir you and it seems to be no different than all other ordinary things, then I think it really is a problem. In that case you should spend more time focusing on reading the Fa, and overcome this hurdle. When it’s like an iron wall and can’t be broken through, and it seriously impedes your enlightenment quality and your understanding of the Fa, why don’t you break through it and open it?
Student: I did something terrible. Can I still cultivate?
Master: You really shouldn’t keep making mistakes over and over again like that once you’ve obtained the Fa! The attachments you haven’t been able to let go of make you knowingly do wrong. If you don’t learn your lessons and turn them into inspiration to change yourself fundamentally and begin anew, you will miss this opportunity.
Student: I often have new understandings from the Fa-truths. Are these only at the theoretical level?
Master: When you have new understandings you’re improving. You feel a big difference, and when you feel a difference, you’re making progress. Everyday people don’t see anything wrong with themselves. The understanding you enlighten to in that state is not just at the theoretical level—it’s not. Because microscopic transformations can’t manifest in ordinary human society, you can only understand it or feel it from the perceptions reflected from the Fa-truths. That’s how it is.
Student: “If jealousy isn’t eliminated, all the thoughts you’ve cultivated become fragile.” What kind of “thoughts” (xin) does this refer to?
Master: The “xin” mentioned here of course refers to all the righteous thoughts during your cultivation. Righteous thoughts are actually also righteous understandings. It means that the part of you that’s been fully cultivated becomes vulnerable.
This reminds me of something. The new book, Teachings at the Conference of Changchun Assistants, published in Hong Kong, has the words “the Fa of mankind” in the third line on the twelfth page. Change “mankind” to “cosmos” so it reads “the Fa of the cosmos.” For the book that was published in Mainland China, this is probably on the fourteenth page.
Student: The group study and individual study at home of the book Zhuan Falun proceed at a different pace. Will this hinder cultivation?
Master: If you study attentively it won’t affect you. I’ll tell you, when you read Zhuan Falun, read from the beginning to the end. If you can’t finish today, pick up where you left off tomorrow; if again you don’t finish it, next time continue to read from the point where you stopped previously. Read in this way, and don’t be selective in your reading. What’s worst is when people read Zhuan Falun for the first time and evaluate the Fa with their human notions: “Oh, it makes good sense here. I have doubts about the things mentioned there.” Then he’ll have read the entire book for nothing—he’ll gain nothing, what a pity! It’s because this Fa is a solemn Law of Heaven. A human being has no idea how much karma he has, or where his thoughts come from. Because he evaluates a Fa like this with a human mind, he won’t be able to see anything. Read the book without any preconceptions. You can judge the book after you’ve finished reading it. Don’t evaluate it during the process of your reading.
Student: In winter, we have to wear very heavy clothes when doing the exercises outdoors, and it’s very easy for our hands to touch our clothes. Will this interfere with the energy mechanisms?
Master: When your hands touch the heavy clothes worn for cold weather, it won’t affect your practice. When it gets too cold, you should wear gloves for the exercises, and don’t freeze yourselves. Actually, practitioners won’t get frostbite, yet some people have while doing the exercises. Why did that happen? Think about it: In Dafa no one is forced to do cultivation—the person himself has to want to do it. During Dafa cultivation many new students come to learn the Fa. They don’t have such good or high enlightenment quality, or such high levels yet, and they haven’t been tested yet, so we can’t yet say that they have come here to cultivate. In other words, if they get frostbite before we can treat them as truly cultivating disciples, it will be very harmful to our practice, won’t it? Since they are just at the beginning level and have just joined, it hasn’t been determined yet that they are cultivators. What a huge impact it would have if they got frostbite while just trying out the practice. There will always be new students coming to take up cultivation, so you can’t do it that way. Some students have gotten frostbite since they insisted on doing that. It does, in a sense, help them to eliminate karma in fact; and in another sense, it’s a way of helping them to realize this.
Student: Some people’s movements are very inaccurate. Will that affect the energy mechanisms and the Falun?
Master: It’s a problem if the movements are very inaccurate. If the deviation is insignificant, we can’t expect everyone to be exactly the same as if they came out of the same mold. As they aren’t exactly the same like they were produced by machines, there are bound to be differences among them. Even if there were no differences, wouldn’t there still be variations if you’re bigger than the next person? This is to say that it’s impossible for everything to be the same, right? But if your movements deviate too much, that’s a problem. We should make our movements as accurate as possible.
Student: Is karma eliminated faster when we do the exercises outdoors in the cold of winter or the heat of summer than when we do them indoors?
Master: Just like I said a moment ago, it’s certainly good to do the exercises outdoors, but you can’t intentionally seek hardship. If you live in the North and the winter gets very cold, you must wear coats and gloves. To be honest, frostbite doesn’t eliminate much karma. The elevation of your xinxing is what’s critical to your improvement. (Applause)
Student: We aren’t able to see Master in China. Fellow disciples in my area repeatedly asked me to pass on their regards to Master.
Master: Thank you all. (Applause) I understand very well how the students in China feel. As you can see, it’s quite easy to hold an experience sharing conference outside China. We just had one in Los Angeles, and not long after that we’re seeing each other again here. It’s rather hard for the disciples in China. There are tens of millions, almost 100 million disciples in China, and it’s indeed become very hard for them to see me. Once they found out where I was going to be or where I’d be staying, it seems that all the students would want to go there. The airplanes and trains would be packed beyond capacity, the streets would be jammed, and the government would find it unacceptable. So in order to maintain a stable environment for them, allow them to cultivate without interference, and not disturb society or bring inconvenience to the government, I can’t meet with them like this.
Student: Will Master have a chance to visit Belgium? During our Fa-spreading activities, we’ve encountered situations in which other people charge fees for organizing classes or seminars.
Master: I’ll have an opportunity to visit Belgium. (Applause) Whoever collects fees for holding classes or seminars is not a Dafa disciple—that’s indisputable. (Applause) Since he’s exchanging Dafa for money, it’s not a minor problem. But if students volunteer to help out to have a place for holding an activity, then I’m not against it. Other than that, it’s unacceptable.
Student: Lately I’ve felt that time is flying by even faster this year than last year. What does this mean?
Master: Of course, I’ve talked about this before. It may be hard for people to believe what I say, as it has to be discussed at a high level, and yet you keep asking about these things... I have in fact transcended all times in doing this. Otherwise—think about it—when a being enters a time field, he’s restrained by that time; when he enters another time field, he’s then restrained by that time field. Exhausting my lifetime, or ten, a hundred, a thousand, or tens of thousands of my lives wouldn’t be enough to finish this task. Since I have transcended all times in doing this, I’m not restrained by any time. In order to expedite this, I’ve had to speed up the time of the entire cosmos. So the largest Falun is still accelerating its spinning and propelling from the very top. The entire cosmos is connected together as a whole, from top to bottom, so time is getting faster and faster. How fast has it become, roughly? Beings in different space-times don’t feel it’s fast because no matter how fast it gets, everything in their dimensions speeds up along with it. Are you able to understand what I mean? There are still twenty-four hours in a day and people go about their business all the same. Time in this entire dimension has been pushed forward so much faster, yet the clock is still ticking according to the scale of twenty-four hours a day, so people don’t feel that it is fast. And people see the rising and setting of the sun repeat just the same as usual.
When everything is accelerating, everything here is also accelerating—your metabolism, your every gesture, every glance, and your way of thinking are all going faster along with it. Similarly, the environments that different beings inhabit are accelerating as well. Everything is accelerating, thus no one feels the acceleration. So how fast has it become? Today what is approximately one day’s time is one second. Actually, come to think of it, human beings are quite pitiful, yet they are still really engrossed in doing human things and still find themselves marvelous. Mankind still wants to further its development. Human beings are just human beings. They don’t even realize it when they’re destroying themselves out of ignorance. The day they have really cloned a person is the day aliens formally start to replace human beings. Gods won’t arrange for a cloned human being to have a soul, so the person that’s produced will be just like a corpse. Without a soul it’s dead at birth. What happens, then? Aliens will take advantage of this by entering into those bodies, and they will become their souls.
Student: Can we still study Zhuan Falun after we reach Consummation?
Master: Gods in the heavens are also learning Dafa, but the words aren’t like these. Instead, they are manifestations of the Fa at their levels.
Student: Master arranged our paths of cultivation. If we willfully change our working and living environments, will it affect our cultivation?
Master: I don’t want you to seek out hardships in a willful manner. But there is one thing: If conditions permit and are favorable, and you want to find a better job, I welcome your doing so. If conditions are ripe and other factors are also favorable, I don’t think finding another place to live will affect anything, and perhaps that’s also part of your cultivation. But of course, if you insist on doing things that are impossible to achieve or even insist on seeking hardships, then you might be ruining things. When you try to enlighten from the Fa-truths in Dafa, you do need to think things over and not go against the course of nature.
Student: Master said we shouldn’t comment on or analyze the Fa. Some people think that we can’t talk about our understandings and comprehension of the Fa, either.
Master: How could that be right? It’s wrong for us to sit here today and discuss things, then? You can’t understand it that way. If you can’t even talk about your own understandings and experiences like we’re doing at today’s conference, then I would say that’s wrong. On the other hand, if you want to give a speech on things you’re attached to and haven’t been able to let go, and the attachment causes certain misunderstandings of the Fa or has a problematic impact on the direction of [things related to] Dafa, then you should think about why others don’t let you speak. If you don’t have these problems, then the other party is wrong. If at this sacred conference you want to use my mouth to criticize someone you won’t succeed, because I can see where your thoughts are coming from.
Student: One day, I suddenly realized that the word “Master” has been given entirely new meanings. It is the most sacred word.
Master: Then that’s because the meaning behind the word has been unveiled to you. Don’t underestimate any word in Dafa. Buddhas exist behind every single word, and every single word is Fa. That’s why when some people say, “I read the Fa selectively” and they skip one part or another, or they say they can understand one part but disagree with another paragraph, they won’t be able to get anything out of it.
Student: You have created different paradises at many different levels. What are the names of these paradises?
Master: Human beings are only allowed to know about Tathagatas at the level of Shakyamuni. You aren’t allowed to know anything about the gods at higher levels. I’ve talked about this many times before—I discussed this even in the early days. Human beings are not allowed to know. Humans aren’t allowed to know the names of the gods at the higher levels. Humans aren’t allowed to say their names, as that would equate to blasphemy. That’s because to them, human beings are just too inferior. I can tell you, gods never consider humans to be their kin. Even though they have pity on humans and have mercy on them, what they have mercy on is the human life form. They nevertheless consider man an animal (which is, however, not the same concept as defined in the theory of evolution).
Student: Falun Dafa saved people on a large scale in a prehistoric period. In this cycle of mankind, this is the first time such a high-level Fa is being taught. Was the Fa taught in the past the same as the Dafa being taught now?
Master: First of all, who was the first one ever, since the most primordial times, to teach this Fa of the cosmos? Secondly, if later on in history I taught a part of this Great Fa of the cosmos, wasn’t I teaching this Fa? When I teach Fa to human beings, is it necessary for me to talk about Fa at that high a level? No. If in history I didn’t come to rectify the Fa and only taught the part of the Fa that could save people, then was that not the Fa of the cosmos? I only taught at the level human beings were entitled to know, not higher. Wasn’t that also the same Fa? It was the same Fa.
Student: Why are beings produced in the cosmos?
Master: Just as microorganisms cannot use their ways of thinking to understand human beings, the human mind will never be able to figure out the way gods exist and think. Human beings don’t even understand the cosmos, and they have no idea what it’s like, so how could they ask about things in the cosmos? This question amounts to asking, “Why should the universe exist?” Let’s not concern ourselves with why there’s a cosmos or why there’s life, because these aren’t things you can or should know. Even when you’ve cultivated to a high level, no matter how high it is, these are not things you will know. Of course, it would be meaningless to create an empty cosmos without life or anything in it, wouldn’t it? Using human words, it was the Lord (King of Kings), or, the Venerable Lord of all Buddhas, Daos, and Gods in oneness, who wanted it this way.
Student: What’s the ultimate meaning of a being’s existence?
Master: You’re using a human way of thinking to think about the universe and the meaning of life—it’s not what humans understand it to be at all. Let’s talk about humans: If humans were bored of living, there would be no need for me to come to teach the Fa. It’s because everyone wants to live. I’m talking to you about humans in general. In fact, you have no idea about the inner meaning of what I teach that’s higher than what you’re able to know. Beings at different levels all have their meanings of existence and all have their own true understandings of their existence. The true understandings at their levels are completely different from your understanding. That is because human beings’ understandings are reversed, they can’t see the truth, they can’t see their future, they aren’t able to thoroughly understand things, and they can’t see through things. No matter how advanced science has become, it’s still crawling in this dimension. That’s why you have so many strange thoughts. If you could evaluate things without any preconceived notions, you would be an incredibly extraordinary god. But it’s impossible for human beings to do so.
You might say: “I can do that. You see, what I say is all for the benefit of others, without any other thoughts, yet others don’t like it.” Is it really true that your words don’t contain any other thoughts? Do you realize the effect of the mixture of your notions formed after birth, your notions formed over different time periods, and your thought karma that comes into play when you speak? Human thoughts will never be pure. Some such thoughts can be revealed to you, so you know; some aren’t, so you don’t know. Some people don’t even realize when these thoughts have manifested. So the factors in what you say include too many complicated things. The words of gods, to humans, are absolutely pure. You say you’re merciful (cibei), but in fact your mercy has many factors of human notions formed during different time periods mixed in. Your thinking is human thinking, and it contains everything. The thoughts emitted by your mind contain anything and everything. It is precisely to eliminate everything that’s impure and deficient that a person cultivates himself.
Student: Crying should be a state in a given time period, but why can’t I get over that state after a year has gone by?
Master: That could be interference. Why can’t you get through it after a long time? It would be wrong if you cry so much that you can’t even hear the Fa. Of course, I’m not referring to this student. If when it comes to certain things—provided that it doesn’t interfere with your cultivation—you experience this state, then it’s possible there are other reasons. [For example,] you made mistakes in the past, you see how you’ve been changed—all the changes that have taken place that are beyond your wildest imagination—or [you see that] you have been scooped up from hell, cleansed, and even given all these magnificent things. How could you not cry?
Or, perhaps you were related to me in a certain lifetime or any number of possibilities. Those could be the reason.
Student: Say, for example, when beings that are produced in a world of 18-karat gold are no longer pure, for them to return to a world of 24-karat gold after the Fa has been rectified, they can only reach Consummation by holding themselves to high standards. Is that correct?
Master: That is correct. But it’s not something that can be achieved instantly; rather, it’s achieved gradually through the continuous process of cultivation. Upon reaching that point, everything will be very smooth and natural, and you won’t be forced to do anything. Speaking of this, I recall something that happened when I was taking care of some things for you in the early years. After I finished handling everything at the most microcosmic layer of your existence, I felt that something was still not right. In the even more deeply-hidden places where your existence was formed I found that even that fundamental matter had degenerated, and that it had stubbornly formed all the things that couldn’t be changed. At that point, in other gods’ eyes even the fundamental nature of beings was no longer good enough and it was impossible to keep this universe any longer. But I reversed all of that for you. (Applause) That was a really difficult thing to do. Any deviation or not doing it well in the slightest sense would have affected every aspect of your future. It was extremely difficult to do. In the end I remembered that when I had just begun to work on the Fa-rectification, it was really difficult. What I’m talking about is the phenomenon of your existence here, but don’t the same and yet much more microcosmic situations exist at higher levels? So it was a very difficult thing to do, but I did it, met the standards, and surpassed the best standards that ever existed.
I also found that mankind’s degeneration was caused by matter at very high levels having degenerated. And those warped things are very stubborn. The way it manifests directly here among human beings can be seen in the outward behavior of today’s youth, who are irresponsible, undisciplined, and lack self-control. They shout and scream, dance bizarrely to music, and play video games. In short, their minds are filled with those things of the so-called modern lifestyle.
Student: I meditate in the half-lotus position. The sharp pain I experience in my legs is continuous, not intermittent.
Master: Of course, the intermittent pain I refer to is when the person is able to get into the double-lotus position—then intermittent pain surfaces. When you have just managed to cross your legs the pain will be constant, and that’s because you have never double-crossed your legs before. Or, if you have just managed to cross your legs, the pain will be truly non-stop, as if it’s not bearable for even a second and you have to uncross your legs right away. That’s the feeling you have inside. You tremble in pain, which is hard to bear and pierces and disturbs your heart. I understand deeply everything that you go through. If we are to talk about this situation, then we will talk about it from two angles: Perhaps you’ve never double-crossed your legs before and so the bones of your legs are rigid and the tendons are inflexible; or, it might be the result of karma. Both are possible.
Student: I always feel that I fall short of the requirements of Dafa, and I always feel that I don’t have enough time. Is that an attachment?
Master: The latter part is an attachment. The first part was correctly stated. Don’t worry at all about [whether or not there’s going to be enough] time. As long as you continue to cultivate you are moving towards Consummation. But there’s one thing: You have to be diligent! If you say, “I’ll take my time, ten years, eight years, or twenty years—I’ll do it little by little,” then I won’t wait for you.
Student: Do the beings who will be saved and brought into the paradises of those who have succeeded in cultivation have predestined relationships with the cultivators?
Master: All beings in your paradise may have had predestined relationships with you in the human world. What I look at is your heart. When you reach Consummation, what about the debts you owe? While you cultivate, I am consummating your world. Some of the beings you owe will become ordinary beings in your paradise, and then of course they will be happy about that. That’s a reflection of your mercy and your mighty-virtue, and at the same time you’ve saved them, turning it into a good thing. (Applause)
Student: Is it correct to say that enlightening to the Fa during cultivation is for the purpose of enlightening to the specific inner meaning of Zhen-Shan-Ren, which is at the highest level?
Master: That’s not the case. The enlightenment that I talk about refers to whether you’re able to handle everything with righteous thoughts during your cultivation. The sentence I just said precisely describes the kind of enlightening that’s to take place during cultivation in Dafa. It’s not about your sitting here thinking with intention, or trying to dig any meaning out of a certain word. It’s not like that. Some people are slow in realizing these things. When they feel a little bit of discomfort, they ask me why they are not feeling well: “Teacher, how come I’m not feeling well?” Or, they may ask someone else, “What’s happening to me today?” The next day when they encounter upsetting things, [they will say,] “Why are upsetting things always happening to me?” We would then say that these people have poor enlightenment quality. Actually, when they have physical discomfort, that’s when their illnesses are being purged, or it’s a manifestation of their gong being developed. Yet they take it to be a bad thing. When they encounter tribulations, that’s an opportunity for them to improve their xinxing. They need to cultivate themselves. Without such conditions, how could they accomplish that? How could they cultivate if they can’t take this, and can’t bear that? It would be impossible for them to cultivate. This shows that the enlightenment quality of these people is just so poor. That’s the kind of enlightening I’m referring to.
Student: There are many people who don’t practice cultivation in China and in the world. Teacher, please tell them a few most important words.
Master: All the Fa I talk about has a meaning and purpose. Human beings are just human beings. What are you asking me to tell human beings? Let me tell you… I can tell you that I don’t regard you as human beings, because you are people who are doing cultivation, and are god-like. (Applause)
Student: The assistance center only allows [Dafa] students to do the exercises in their own neighborhood, and doesn’t allow for group activities to spread the Fa or do the exercises.
Master: The situation you described might be your own misunderstanding; it also could be impropriety in the work of the coordinator of that assistance center. Both are possible. I can’t comment specifically on this for you. But you need to remember one thing I’ve said: When two people have a conflict and a third person sees it, even that third person should think about whether there are any problems on his part—“Why did I happen to see it?” This is all the more so for the two people involved in the conflict. They should examine themselves even more, since they need to cultivate themselves internally. So when you find that you don’t agree with something, is it that it’s not consistent with your notions, or that it’s not consistent with Dafa? You should examine that, too. If you’re right, then out of being responsible to Dafa, you can raise your reasonable and correct view with the coordinator. I think that since he’s a cultivator he’ll take it into consideration. That’s how it should work.
Student: In the scripture “Determination,” Teacher says that interference from other dimensions is using various means to approach students and cause damage.
Master: Let me put it this way: You can’t do anything you’re told to do if it’s inconsistent with Dafa, you can’t learn any movements that are taught to you if those aren’t the movements of Dafa, and you can’t follow them to do anything that is not what we should do in Dafa. [As long as you do that] it’s good enough. Some wicked things pretend to be my Law Bodies. Handle yourself well and evaluate things with Dafa. If someone relies on Law Bodies to tell him what to do, that is attracting demons.
Student: Master, could you tell us some of the things you did when you were imparting the Fa?
Master: What I can tell you is this Fa, and how to cultivate upward. Just focus your attention on that. All the other things you want to know have been deferred until after Consummation. Don’t spend your time fantasizing now.
Student: There’s deeper meaning to Master’s bestowing Falun on disciples, which is that after we reach Consummation and return to our original positions, we will never again drop down.
Master: That is what I intend to do. (Applause)
Student: Teacher Li, can you bring your radiance to Africa?
Master: Certain things aren’t like what you imagine. As a matter of fact, some Chinese students were black people in their previous lives; some of our Caucasian students were probably black also. That is to say, something this huge isn’t as simple as the superficial form you imagine it as. I won’t leave behind anyone who’s supposed to be saved. (Applause) I hope you read the books and study the Fa a lot, and continually improve yourselves.
Student: Please kindly explain how we can prevent Falun Dafa from becoming a religion when you stop teaching the Fa.
Master: You don’t need to worry about that. I’ll be here along with this Dafa all the way until I finish everything in this human world. (Applause)
Student: When I’m having fun doing certain things, I have a sense of guilt. Why is that?
Master: I’ll tell you this: Many enjoyable things aren’t necessarily good. Why? It’s because nowadays people have adapted themselves to the trends of the times, and are unable to recognize the existence of the negative side of things. If you’re able to judge things with the ancient values of people in the past, you will find that [many of today’s things] are wrong. If you evaluate them with Dafa, you will find they are even more wrong, and inconsistent with the Fa. Moreover, a strong desire to have fun is an attachment that will affect your cultivating Dafa.
Student: Sometimes, a scene of my xinxing improving flashes across my mind, making me feel as if it really happened.
Master: A delightful scene of your xinxing improving is certainly a good thing, and it’s real. At present, what you feel can only be sensed this way from your comprehension and cannot yet manifest in the reality of everyday people. It’s because you are still cultivating, still cultivating with a human body. And there are a lot of bad things that exist in human bodies, so you can’t appear like gods while having them. By the way, I’ll mention something again. Recently, many people, including both new and veteran students, have developed strong attachments to the Third Eye. Let me tell you about something that’s very true, and a major reason behind all this: You have many bad thoughts and notions in your mind, and if the Wisdom Eye of your Third Eye were to see scenes beyond the human dimension, those things would be seeing those scenes, too. But those bad things aren’t allowed to see how gods truly are. Do you understand? That’s why many people can’t see for the time being.
Student: I am aware of the state of my xinxing, and at the same time, I sense that I have demon nature. How should I eliminate my demon nature?
Master: That’s actually an excellent state. In other words, you’re able to sense the bad side of yourself, so you should repel it, resist it and reject it. You should repel it from your mind, not follow those thoughts, and stop doing those bad things. Then you are cultivating and improving—that’s called cultivation.
Student: In group practice, is it better to just listen to the formula said out loud by you before each exercise, or to say it out loud together?
Master: Reciting it in your mind is enough—we always recite those formulas in our minds, don’t we? But I don’t oppose your reciting them out loud. Of course, if you recite them out loud, it’s better to do it simultaneously during group practice. This is up to you. I’m not concerned with forms. But when you’re more in unison and orderly during group practice, it will leave people with a good impression, right? Do it according to your own situation. I won’t oppose it, and I can’t impose any rules on you. Do it according to your own circumstances—do whatever you think is good.
Student: Master, please say a few words to all the disciples in China. It would be invaluable for our studying the Fa and being diligent in our progress.
Master: Actually, everything I just talked about was intended for the disciples in China as well, because I know the video and audio recordings you’ve taped will be passed on in China. (Applause)
Student: You mentioned eliminating the attachment of emotion. Then why would gods shed tears?
Master: Those are tears of mercy. And a god’s feelings and realizations are absolutely different from those of humans. They’re absolutely not on the same level, nor are they the same concept. Furthermore, gods at even higher and higher levels won’t shed tears for human beings. They would only shed tears for the beings below them, since in their eyes, humans are just humans.
Student: In my mind, I don’t want to do anything. After reading Teacher’s scriptures, I feel shocked and a sense of urgency, yet I can’t get my mind up to speed.
Master: That’s because laziness has started to wear you down, so you have to break through it. Everyone will encounter this. Sometimes it manifests quite strongly; other times it seems relatively mild. That’s what prevents you from doing the exercises or being diligent in your cultivation. Break through it! Smash through it. Maybe its hinge, or the crux of this barrier, is your attachment, and if you unlock that you might overcome and break through it instantly. (Applause)
Student: The universe of the future needs original beings, so Teacher came. Is it because there are many such original beings on Earth?
Master: I didn’t come here to save some “original beings.” That idea is not right. When I teach the Fa at this human place, all other dimensions can hear the Fa as well, so I came here to teach the Fa. Otherwise, if I were to teach the Fa at another level, beings below that level wouldn’t be able to hear it, including human beings. Of course, at all levels there are original beings.
Student: China is engaging in some Buddhist-related things in a big way. What’s that about?
Master: Let’s not concern ourselves with these things—they’re all everyday people’s matters. The purpose of their doing Buddhist-related things is to get blessings or to make money off of it. They build temples to make money or for tourism. Human beings are just doing human things. We don’t concern ourselves with that. Since Buddhism has become part of human beings, whatever human beings do, just let them be.
Student: All of the disciples who are attending this conference from nineteen different provinces, cities, or districts, and thirty-three regions in China, give their best regards to Master on behalf of the disciples in their respective regions.
Master: I thank all of you. (Applause)
Student: All of the Dafa disciples who’ve attended this conference from other countries give their best regards to Master on behalf of the disciples in their respective countries or regions.
Master: I thank all of you. (Applause)
Some students have asked me to do the Grand Hand Signs. So you really want me to? (Applause)
All right, I’ll do a set of Grand Hand Signs for you. Then our conference will conclude.
This Fa conference will end shortly. It’s been really successful. I know that through this conference the students have all improved to a certain extent, found where they fall short, and realized that they should cultivate more diligently. (Applause) The conference has served its purpose well. This is excellent. In addition to veteran students, there are also some people in the audience who came here to listen to the Fa for the first time. I hope that everyone who has come into this conference hall can get a copy of Zhuan Falun, take a look at what this Dafa is all about, and gain some understanding of it, since, I can tell you, there are more than 100 million people practicing it. (Applause) It’s my wish that this Fa conference will serve as an impetus to make you cultivate more diligently and ascend more quickly, and that makes those who have lagged behind hurry and catch up and those who’ve gone down a wrong path hurry up and turn around! (Applause) You’d better not miss this opportunity, as the moment won’t come again. You can’t let opportunities slip away again and again. I know this conference will serve as a driving force for the east coast, the entire U.S., and other regions. There will be more people coming to join Dafa cultivation, becoming good people in the world, becoming even better people, all the way until they become good people in even higher realms. (Applause) I’ll stop here. That’s all I’ll say. Thank you, everyone. I hope that everyone will reach Consummation as soon as possible. (Applause)
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