Teaching the Fa at the Assistantsí Fa Conference in Changchun

Li Hongzhi
July 26, 1998

I havenít seen you for a long time. Many of you present here, a large proportion of you, have never seen me in person. Yet you have cultivated yourselves well, and I can say that no true cultivator has been left behind. Itís the same whether or not youíve seen me in person. You wonít be treated differently as long as you keep cultivating on this path of cultivation. (Applause)

Most of you present here are Assistants, and have made a lot of contributions for Dafa.* You think that the things you do seem pretty simple and are unlike an everyday personís supervisory job, which one gets paid for. You are doing things entirely out of your enthusiasm and your understanding of Dafa. Those things appear to be quite simple and seem to have nothing earth shattering about them. Yet I can tell you that the things that seem mundane on this ordinary human side might be truly dramatic in the realm of your cultivationóa realm that you canít see. (Applause) In other words, you shouldnít consider your [Dafa] work so simple. Since youíre doing this work you should do it well. High-level beings often tell me that they think your being able to contribute to Dafa here has laid an excellent foundation for your future lives for an incredibly long time in the later historical period. In other words, they envy you since they donít have the opportunity to do these things. The earth wouldnít be able to hold them if all of them were to come. So this work is not so ordinary. At present, not so many things are going to appear too extraordinary or to go too far beyond ordinary humans in the ordinary human society. Things just seem so mundane. Usually, in our cultivation practice, there arenít many dramatic things, and we temper our xinxing amidst the various kinds of problems that manifest among everyday people.

As a matter of fact, many of our veteran practitioners in Changchun know that it wasnít easy at all when we first began teaching this Fa* and our exercises in the early days. We went through a difficult period of trials and tribulations before we were able to spread this Fa far and wide and make it known to more people. So our work wasnít at all easy in the beginning. Nevertheless we made it through. And it was here in our Changchun that we took the first step of introducing this Fa to the public. What I taught back then wasnít as profound as what Iím teaching today. I was merely teaching things of a transitional period, one that went from qigong* to the true Fa. Later on, I gradually, truly unveiled this Fa and allowed more people to get to know it. It was done very systematically, but it didnít resemble the ways in which everyday peopleís planning and arranging of things in human society unfold. We didnít follow the administrative or managerial methods used in the society of everyday people, nor did we follow any other forms. It seems that everything has come about quite naturally. But it was arranged to be done from the simple to the profound, for imparting such an immense Fa is a serious matter.

Many of you in the audience are veteran practitioners. Think about it, everyone. In the time between when this Fa was first taught and today, youíve developed a deep understanding of the Fa through cultivating over this long stretch of time. And there are many people from all walks of life who are cultivating. The more a personís education, the more quickly he understands the Fa. This phenomenon isnít seen in ordinary qigong practices. Why not? Because our Fa is the true, righteous Fa. After a long period of cultivation, you have come to realize that this Fa is by no means some theory of the ordinary human society. Even if you searched through all human knowledgeóEastern and Western, ancient and modernóyou wouldnít find this. But to best allow you to understand it, weíve also related it to modern peopleís thinking and concepts. Thatís because everyone has a set of fixed notions that were formed after being in society over a long period of time; this has something to do with a personís work or profession. For example, some people are scientists, some are in the military, some work in the political arena, some are in business, and so on. Everyone has formed a set of fixed notions, whether itís in terms of his own achievements or his view of the world. You think that truth is supposed to be one way, while the next person believes truth is supposed to be another way. Everyone has his own set of fixed notions.

Many of you were hindered by these fixed notions when you first obtained the Fa, and have thus gone through a gradual process of understanding. Of course, those people who began studying the Fa at a later stage have progressed more quickly, and donít seem to have encountered many obstacles in understanding the Fa. From the very beginning up until a year or two ago, many of you were blocked by your postnatally acquired notions when you were obtaining the Fa. Some people used empirical science to evaluate this Fa; others used dialectical materialism[1] to evaluate this Fa and determine whether itís in agreement with materialist dialectics; and some people used the views that they formed in the business world to evaluate this Fa. In other words, people of different social backgrounds have their own obstacles. In order to break through those obstacles, when I teach this Fa I try my best to be in sync with modern peopleís concepts and the ways in which they think. Meanwhile, when Iím teaching the Fa, I am eliminating all the factors that prevent you from obtaining the Fa. As you know, when a lot of people read my books for the first time they think Iím talking about science. Thatís actually not the case. We are using manís current way of thinking to break through and eliminate your notions and allow you to understand. Iíve done many things along these lines. I arranged it like this, as I saw humankindís present situation. The aim has been to allow you to benefit and obtain the Fa while I teach the Fa, without being affected by your notions. As a result, more and more people have been made able to obtain the Fa during these several years of teaching the Fa.

Assistants and veteran students in the audience: You have done a great number of works that you donít realize are extraordinary, truly extraordinary. They appear to be very ordinary in the society of everyday people. This Fa has been brought forth to the public to allow more people, people from all walks of life, to understand it. If there were no one studying it and no one cultivating, it would amount to nothing. But our Fa has disclosed the truth of the universe, something unspoken since the beginning of heaven and earth. The approach weíve adopted in teaching the Fa is to use reasoning and concepts that humans can comprehend in order to break through and eliminate their barriers and to allow them to truly understand the universeís principles. So I knew back when I first brought this Fa to the public that there wouldnít be any problem with people learning it. Yet whether people could truly keep putting cultivation into action involves one question: Can we provide a true environment for real cultivation that enables students to steadily improve over the course of attaining the Fa and cultivating? Thatís extremely important.

It was only yesterday that I told those in charge of the Changchun assistance centers: ďYour most important task is to create for our students a stable cultivation environment thatís free of disturbances. This is your greatest responsibility.Ē The same goes for those of you present here: Your greatest responsibility is to ensure that your assistance centers and practice sites are free of disturbances and to lead others in cultivation. Of course, initially those things were done by me. Now you do them since youíre now a part of Dafa. With this many people itís impossible for me to go everywhere and do them personally. China has over two thousand counties, and each county and city has many practice sites. Itís impossible for me, one person, with this physical body, to visit them all. The Fa has been imparted to the public. With the Fa, all of you know what to do and youíve done really well. We have no rules or restrictions.

As you know, when Sakyamuni taught his Dharma, he established over one hundred precepts in order to prevent his disciples from having problems in cultivation. His intent was to have them follow those precepts in cultivation and avoid problems, ensuring that theyíd reach Consummation. But today we donít have any rules or restrictions. And why donít we? Because I donít want to use any external forms to control people, as no external forms, commands, or other means can change a personís heart. A person has to change his heart himself. If he himself doesnít want to change, nobody can do it. Laws, decrees, and regulations can only fix whatís on the surface, not whatís at the core. Thatís because if a personís heart is not at all touched or changed, he will still do things according to his own notions when no one sees him, for sure. So whatís most crucial is the change of a personís heart and the elevation of a personís morality. That is the only way to fundamentally change people, to have humankind become good again, and have cultivators reach Consummation. Thereís no other way.

Weíve all worked really hard and done a lot for this undertaking. Because youíre cultivators, I canít thank all of you as an everyday person would. Youíve integrated your [Dafa] work with your own elevation; your work is absolutely inseparable from your cultivation. The troubles, differing opinions, and intense conflicts that you encounter in your work are the best chance to improve your xinxing. You Assistants could not improve if you werenít given these opportunities. I think that if everyone went along with you and did whatever you told them, you might lead them astray without even knowing it, right? Of course, none of us will do anything like that. You will improve yourself in the process of your cultivation and your work. In other words, you should integrate your work with your cultivation. I wonít say any words of gratitude since you are my disciples. No master would say grateful words to his disciples, so neither will I. (Applause)

I am really delighted to see all of you. Iíve been meeting with some students intermittently, and I see great changes in you. Even those whoíve practiced for a short period of time have changed greatly. Some of you have undergone quite substantial changes. More than a year has gone by in a flash. Going back to my last talk on Fa in Changchun, itís been several years since I met with a lot of you. Coming back to my hometown this time, I really wanted to see you all. Weíve always had to be concerned over one thing: Once I show up somewhere, many, many practitioners come to that place. That puts pressure on society in many ways, especially as so many people are learning our Dafaóthe total number reaches 100 million if we count both those in China and abroad. Moreover, once people get to know Dafa they become firm about studying the Fa. Itís not like some other practices where people practice one day and quit the next.

Our practice is different. Weíre responsible to those who join us, and enable you to practice cultivation, improve, re-ascend, and reach Consummation. And you can see it. Also, weíre responsible to society, and our behavior is upright under all circumstances. [Our practice] is good for society, individuals, and even your domestic or other environments that you might live in. Thereís no need for me to say much about thisóyou all know it. Thatís why this Fa has had such an enormous impact on society, why its effect has been so substantial, and why so many people have come to learn it. If I make an appearance in a certain place, many people will come and it will create different pressures. Some students have asked me, ďTeacher, can you come to our town?Ē Itís difficult for me to answer them. If I agree to their requests then Iíll have to go there, so itís hard for me to say anything. If I agreed to go, well, local practitioners would spread the word, and before my arrival there would already be a huge gathering. Thatís likely to happen. And then, when the number of people is large, some departments of the government that donít know us well or donít understand us would probably deal us some setbacks. That would disrupt our studentsí cultivation environment, so I donít want to do that sort of thing.

Nonetheless, I [came here] today for the following two reasons. First, we havenít seen each other in over a year and this is my hometown, so letís make it an exception. Besides, Iím only meeting with Assistants. I can only meet with Assistants because thereís no place large enough to meet [all] our students. There isnít yet a place in Changchun big enough to hold tens of thousands of people, so we can only do it this way. Second, the fact that I primarily live overseas has probably averted trouble. Those are the two reasons. But no matter where I am, I know your cultivation situationóI know it for each and every one of you. I will look after you as long as you study the Fa and cultivate.

It isnít a problem even if youíve bought pirated copies of the books, and thatís certain. A book with black ink on white paper doesnít have any effect by itself. Whether itís Zhuan Falun or any of our other books, whatís really at work is the inner meaning and the true substantive reasons behind the words. Those arenít present in other books. Whatís more, it doesnít matter whether you have a hand-written copy or a pirated copy: The book will naturally have its inner meanings as long as you study the Fa and cultivate. Buddha Fa is boundless, and its manifest power is just enormous. And this is different from ordinary human conceptions of time and dimensionsócompletely different. But that said, donít buy those pirated copies in which the typesetting was rearranged. And if you find any, you should help the relevant governmental departments to investigate and track down their source. Itís alright if they are printed from photocopies of the original typesetting, as in that case there wonít be any content errors.

Today I mainly want to see you. And likewise, lots of people want to see me, so Iíll sit a little higher today. (Applause) Now that Iím here, Iíll take this opportunity to talk about a few things. Itís not easy for us to meet up. If any of you in the audience feel the need to ask me questions, you can write them down on slips of paper and pass them forward to me, and Iíll answer them. But be brief. You donít need to preface your questions by saying things like, ďTeacher, oh how I miss you,Ē or ďThis Dafa is so great.Ē Thereís no need for that. Just write down your questions and be to the point. That way I can read them quickly and not waste time while answering your questions.

Iíll start by addressing two issues. Iíve discussed certain issues on different occasions before. Yet sometimes theyíre more prominent in a few specific regions or in a few specific environments, so [discussing them again] is the same as repeating what was said before. But I can explain them to you again in detail.

The first issue concerns why our Dafa doesnít follow the conventions of grammar. This has become a strong obstacle for intellectuals and those with advanced schooling, especially those who work with writing or literature, or do Chinese language studies, etc., that is, people in those disciplines. Why canít we follow the conventions of ordinary human language when we teach the Fa? As you know, the meaning of a standardized term has been predefined: ďThis word means precisely XYZ.Ē Moreover, standardized language is limited and unable to describe the immense Fa. In this enormous cosmos, humankindís Earth isnít even a speck of dust in a speck of dust inside yet another speck of dust. Thatís how puny it is. How could it possibly hold such an immense Fa? How could the Fa of the cosmos possibly be confined by the conventions of human languages? How could It conform to the conventions of human languages? Thereís absolutely no way.

Our Fa merely employs human language. As to how this language is used to teach Dafa, itís good enough as long as it allows you to understandóthatís the purpose. Thatís why the language we use doesnít conform to conventions of grammar. In order to teach this Fa today, I donít have anything in my mind that was formed by fixed notions.

The other issue Iíd like to address is why terms from the Dao* system are in our Dafa. A few people with religious affiliations attack us, saying: ďHe mixes things from the Daoist school and the Buddhist school. And then he talks about science.Ē Actually, how could they know that whether itís science, the Dao system, or the Buddha system, theyíre all just a tiny bit of the tiny bit at the lowest level of this Dafa? Since Iím teaching the Fa to modern people, of course I have to incorporate modern peopleís concepts in my teachings. You wouldnít be able to understand it if I were to use the language and terms of the heavens, or if we were to invent a lot of new terms. So this is how I have to teach the Fa.

But why are there terms from the Dao system? Actually, Iíve talked about this on different occasions. Our Dafa goes far beyond the realm of the Buddha system. Iím teaching the Fa of the cosmos, with the Buddha system as the basis. No matter how vast this Dafa is, I am not within it, while all of you beings are within it. In other words, the Fa has created all beings, as well as the environment for your existence and the forms of your existence. So within the scope of this Dafaóthat is, within the entire cosmosóof course the Buddha system isnít the only system. Of course there are Buddhas and Daos, and then there are various kinds of Gods that you canít know about yet, all kinds of Gods.

The cosmos is so vast and the Fa Iím teaching is so immense, so of course things of the Dao system and things of Gods are part of it. You actually havenít realized that things of Western religions are also included. [Theyíre included] because the people I deal with today arenít just Chinese people or one single ethnicity, but many, many ethnicities. And I have to bring all deviated matter and lives up to the standards of their most primordial, most original and best stage. Thatís why I am doing things this way. In other words, although Iím teaching the Buddha Fa, I am in fact teaching the Fa of the cosmos from a Buddhaís perspective. Since the appearance Iíve created for myself is that of a Buddha, it isnít wrong for me to call It Buddha Fa.

I have to be responsible to you. I canít take all of you to the Falun Paradise of the Buddha system or to the paradises of other Buddhas. Youíre all thinking the same thing: ďTeacher, I only want to go to your paradise.Ē What youíre thinking isnít wrong. But I can tell you that I only look at your heart. If you use ordinary human concepts to think about Gods, or if you use ordinary human ways of thinking to understand Gods, you will never figure things out. If today you were to have the thinking of a God, all of your concepts would change. If in the past you had your own paradises, if you came here from different levels to obtain this Fa, if you were Daos or Gods, then you should return to your original places. I often tell you that you have no idea who you were or what you were about in the past. You should just focus on cultivation and should just assimilate yourself to this Dafa. In other words, no matter who you wereóbe it a Buddha, Dao, or Godóyou have to assimilate to this Dafa of the cosmos before you can return. I assure you that you will be completely satisfied with whatís in store for you in the future. Not only will you be perfectly satisfied, but also what youíll attain is more than you could imagine. I will give you a better environment, one thatís even better than the original one. These things are beyond your imagination. (Applause) The things Iíve said are to explain why weíve used terms from other religionsóthatís the reason.

Now about religion, I think itís a human concept and is named as such by humans. The concept of religion is rather ambiguous, as it doesnít have a fixed definition. When Sakyamuni was teaching his Fa, he didnít say his was a religion. Nor did Jesus say his was Christianity, or St. Mary that hers was Catholicism. Actually, they had their own ways of referring to themselves, and they had their own names for referring to their disciples, but those absolutely werenít the concepts used by humans. Gods donít acknowledge religions. Thatís why nowadays many religious people canít succeed in cultivation in their religions. In fact, they might not truly want to cultivate, and merely feel that [the religion] is good. What they safeguard are their religions, not Buddhas. Buddhas only look at oneís heart, just as Gods only look at oneís heart. If you canít truly cultivate yourself in a religion, then it amounts to nothing. The most we can say is that youíve converted to a religion or that youíve become a monk or nun, but it doesnít mean you are Buddhaís disciple. Buddha only looks at oneís heart. Becoming a monk or a nun is only a form through which you express your reverence towards Buddha. Only by fundamentally transforming yourself can you become a true follower of Buddha. If your heart doesnít become that of a monk or nun, or if your heart isnít converted to the religion, then itís useless. Of course, you might say, ďBut my heart is really devoutÖĒ What youíre devoted to is the religion and your intention-filled formalities, not cultivation. That wonít achieve anything.

So about this issue, what Iím mainly saying is that this Fa is so immense it encompasses all cultivation ways and all beings in the cosmos. The number of Daoist terms Iíve mentioned is actually quite few. Not many upright religions have been passed down on Earth, so I can only talk about these few. In fact, there are many, many cultivation ways in the cosmos, though only several exist in human society.

Since I just wanted to meet with you, I didnít intend to talk more. As far as things related to cultivation are concerned, it doesnít matter whether or not you see me: You are able to cultivate just the sameóitís not a problem. But you always want to see me, so Iíve used this opportunity to meet with you. I didnít prepare anything more to discuss with you. I feel that itís not easy for us to meet. As I said earlier, you can pass your questions up to me on slips of paper. You can begin passing up the questions now. Iíll answer the ones that need to be answered.

Question: In regards to the two articles ďDigging Out the RootsĒ and ďFor Whom do You Exist,Ē there are two different interpretations at our practice site. One is that it is correct to take action to safeguard Dafa; the other is that we should focus on cultivation, since practitionersí elevating themselves in cultivation is the ultimate act of safeguarding the Fa.

Teacher: Let me tell you the following. After I wrote those two essays, some people were able to read them with the mind of a cultivator, while some read them with an ordinary human mind. Some people had done wrong but wouldnít admit it. Even after reading what I wrote, they still wouldnít admit it and tried to use ordinary human thinking[2] to defend themselves. We also have students who look in the Fa for certain words of mine to help them argue when they have a dispute among themselves. You are all taking Dafa out of context by using an ordinary human mind. You havenít tried to understand the Fa from the perspective of the Fa. If you had changed the angle you were viewing it from you wouldnít have acted like that. Any problem you encounter is related to your own mind. The essay ďDigging Out the RootsĒ was written because of the incident in Beijing. Many of you probably know about that. I donít want to talk about the incident itself.

Question: Since Sakyamuni came from the sixth-layer universe, why wasnít he able to see the boundary of the small universe?

Teacher: That isnít something you can comprehend with the logic of ordinary human thinking. In fact, Sakyamuni didnít just come from the sixth-layer universe. Instead, he came from an extraordinarily high realm. If he had come to the human world with things at a level that high, it would have been impossible. And since people at that time could only comprehend limited principles of the Fa, Sakyamuni taught Arhat Fa. Whatís left today is no more than that. But at that time, he did teach many Fa principles at higher levels, although none of them have been passed down. During a forty-plus year period of teaching the Fa he did teach the Fa within ďThe Big Four.Ē These things have nothing to do with your cultivation. Let me tell you, donít worry about who a person is or where he came from. Some of you in the audience came from very high levels too, but you canít see anything, not even things beyond humans. For cultivators, as well as individuals who teach the Fa, it has to be this way, and there have to be restrictions in order for them to stay on this earth. Let me tell you that if my mind didnít contain any ordinary human thoughts, I couldnít stay here either. Before beginning this undertaking, I pieced together a human mind so that I could stay among humans to teach you the Fa this way. Many things are beyond your comprehension.

Question: Does a speech impediment affect the work of an Assistant?

Teacher: A speech impediment might be major or minor. If you stutter slightly or your tongue has a minor disability, or even if your ability to express yourself is somewhat weak, none of these things affect your work. But as more and more people are learning Dafa today, the social status of those in society we come into contact with is higher and higher. Then in my opinion, it wouldnít be appropriate if all of us spoke in a garrulous manner. And people with more education or knowledge would indeed be affected when they first started learning the Fa. So Iíd like to suggest that if an Assistant has an impediment, he should find someone who has a deep understanding of the Fa and more learning (though being more learned doesnít equate to a deep understanding of the Fa) to assist him. That person should have a high-level understanding of the Fa and have studied the Fa for at least some time; and he should have passed some tests and be unwavering. You could ask such a person to be your helper, or you could swap places with him since your being an Assistant isnít for the purpose of merely doing such work; rather, itís for cultivation. If someone says that he has to be an Assistant and that no one can remove him from that position, then I think that attachment has to be eliminated sooner or later. It will happen eventually. You should remember that you didnít come here to be an Assistant. You came here to do cultivation. I donít think a minor speech impediment is a problem.

Question: When we return through cultivation, will we be able to go beyond our original levels?

Teacher: You are again thinking with your human mind about divine things. In the future, when you become aware of everything, youíll feel ashamed of the question youíre asking. Donít worry about those things. Dafa has created the best of everything for you. You should just focus on cultivation. Actually, more of you are concerned about getting home, rather than being far away from home. To Gods these things are totally different from your concepts. Itís not like what you think.

Question: Besides the Falun Paradise, how many paradises are there at higher levels?

Teacher: Your thinking should focus on cultivation! I can tell you that there are too many to count. Can you count the total number of molecules in your body? All bodies within the Three Realms are called ďhuman bodies.Ē The human body is made up of microscopic particles that constitute a plane of larger particles, and then the larger plane of particles forms yet another plane of even larger particles. ďHuman bodyĒ is a general term used within the Three Realms. You donít even know how many particles there are in the Three Realms alone! Theyíre countless. No matter which level you reach in cultivation, not one of you in the audience will ever know how many paradises there are in the cosmos. Thatís absolutely true.

Question: Iíve been practicing for a few years. I often fall asleep during the meditation. This has always bothered me.

Teacher: You all know about enduring hardship. Yet you havenít realized that your sleepiness, too, is a demon tormenting you and trying to stop you from cultivating! Isnít this when your willpower should take control? I donít believe that if you keep your eyes open youíll still fall asleep! Open your eyes during the exercises if you canít control it. You have to pass this hurdle.

Question: If a child refuses to listen when being disciplined, and if he continues to be stubborn, is it correct to let him have his way?

Teacher: Not exactly. Parents are committing a crime when they indulge their children. You canít say the degree of depravity todayís human society has sunk to has nothing to do with you, generation after generation. Let me tell you that you have to discipline your children. Iíve noticed that the society in the United States has been so restricted by its laws that people canít discipline their children; disciplining children is almost like breaking the law. Children are thus being indulged and spoiled. Those children donít even know the most basic things about human behavior, let alone manners. What bunch of humans are being shaped for the future?! But let me tell you this: China has the kind of tradition where you must discipline and educate your children. You canít indulge them. You may spank or scold them. We say that cultivators shouldnít get angry, but you can discipline children. If youíre in a good mood and you spank them with a smile, theyíll still feel the pain. The purpose is to teach the child a lesson, to tell him not to do bad things. Educating children isnít wrong. You can just think about it this way: ďIím not doing this because Iím attached to my own things; itís doing a good deed for society and for the future humankind.Ē But if youíre overly attached to it youíll go to the other extreme. What I mean is that itís not a problem to discipline children, but you should do so sensibly.

Question: Do we exist for the truth of Buddha Fa?

Teacher: The subject of this question is quite profound. During cultivation, some of the thoughts people have are correct. To be exact, Buddha Fa has created living environments for living beings and has given human beings life. Thatís the relationship. Living beings can only exist for the way of living in their realms. If youíre a Great Enlightened Being whoís capable of taking care of many things below your level, then perhaps you exist for more beings. Thatís the relationship.

Question: As soon as I start reading Zhuan Falun I feel sleepyÖ

Teacher: If this question is raised by one of our Assistants, then I think you should stop serving as an Assistant and let other people do the job for now. It would be better for you to study the Fa and make more progress before resuming your assistance work. Since you feel sleepy as soon as you start reading Zhuan Falun, you might not have finished reading the book even once. How could you do your assistance work? ďAssistingĒ means you are supposed to assistóbut how can you assist others? What weíre imparting here is the Fa. The exercises are an auxiliary means for reaching Consummation. No matter how accurate your movements are, you canít succeed at cultivation without the Fa. The Fa is the most crucial thing. Becoming sleepy when reading is the same as getting sleepy during the meditation, which I talked about earlier.

Question: Why is some peopleís thought karma always so strong? And why does it always recur after a period of time?

Teacher: This is a common phenomenon. Let me tell you, I see that youíre truly doing well in cultivation, especially the veteran practitioners, Iím really happy to see you. But you may have the same problems, and from time to time some bad things might still come up in your thoughts. Occasionally your thoughts may even have awful things, and those bad things might get worse and worse. Iíll tell you why that is. During your cultivation, as you know, weíre transforming you from the microscopic level, from the formation of your existence. So the part of you thatís been transformed has reached the standard and canít be called human anymore. Then that part canít follow when your human part does something. If it did, it would be the same as a God doing something bad, and it would be the same as his having fallen. That absolutely wouldnít be allowed. Thatís why as you continually cultivate, the parts of you that constantly get assimilated to the Fa are being separated. Similar to the annual rings of a tree, in cultivation you are expanding ring-by-ring, outward towards the bark. The tree bark is your outer surface. So you cultivate yourself from the part thatís been fully cultivated and expand outward until the surface is finally reached. The part that youíve fully cultivated is divine, and the part yet to be fully cultivated is human.

I start from the microscopic level of your existence; that is, I start transforming you from the innermost part of your being. The changes on the surface are thus pretty insignificant. But to cultivate, you have to restrain yourself all the way to the end. However, until changes take place on the surface, ordinary human thoughts will continue to occur in your mind, and at times they might be quite bad. But you can suppress them. That is your self-restraining part thatís taking effect, whereas in the past you couldnít suppress them. They exist at very deep levels, so you couldnít suppress them. Although you now find bad thoughts popping up in your mind, you can suppress them and control your behavior and thoughts in cultivation. This is a state only in Dafa cultivation.

To ensure that you can cultivate free of that interference, the part thatís been fully cultivated has to be separated. But to ensure that you can cultivate among everyday people, things on the surface will only weaken more and more. For example, letís say the part of you thatís been fully cultivated consists of one hundred layers: then only one layer can be changed at the surface. This is just to illustrate the point that in proportion, the change on the surface is very small. The purpose is to allow you to cultivate among everyday people. If everything were removed and you didnít have any ordinary human notions or thoughts, you would no longer be an ordinary human on the surface, and you couldnít cultivate among everyday people.

Iíd like to tell you this: If you didnít have an ordinary human mind, you would know what others were thinking, and various sorts of things would disturb you. Thereís a motive behind what people contemplate, as well as behind their every move, every expression, and most subtle actions. Also, some people have really awful thoughts, and contemplate how to get others. Some people think about all kinds of bad things, like thievesí and whoresí acts. Thereís no way you could stay in this world. Thatís how badly messed up it has gotten. Weíve adopted this form of cultivation practice, which is the fastest, so that you can cultivate here. We donít allow the part of you thatís been fully cultivated to be touched; we separate it. As you continually cultivate, keep reading the book, and constantly improve your perception and understanding, itís being continually expanded. In other words, itís getting closer and closer to the surface. You will Consummate once the surface layer is transformed. So donít be intimidated by still having bad thoughts in your mind. But beware: If you think, ďNow that Teacher has explained it, I understand. Itís to ensure that I can cultivate among everyday people. Okay, Iíll let them be,Ē then your indulging them is the same as not cultivating. Thatís how it works.

Question: Teacher, would you please explain what ďsupernatural techniquesĒ are?

Teacher: Supernatural techniques vary from religion to religion and from one cultivation form to another. And there are different supernatural techniques at different levels. Generally speaking, they are different methods used in cultivation practices or for demonstrations. Theyíre just that kind of thing. They include healing, subduing demons, etc. What do you want to learn those for? What youíve learned already encompasses everything; itís only that it canít be revealed to you. Whatís most important for you at present is to make yourself ascend and return quickly.

Question: Can the Three Realms be understood as the realms of Gods, humans, and ghosts?

Teacher: Iíve talked about the Three Realms on various occasions. Weíve also covered this in our books. The Three Realms is the domain composed of these three main parts: the Desire Realm, the Form Realm, and the Formless Realm. Beings within the Three Realms arenít allowed to leave at will. Beings outside the Three Realms, no matter how powerful they are, arenít allowed to enter at will. This is the place where all substances related to humans exist. Of course, humans in the world, gods, and ghosts are also in it. Although these beings are there, itís not like what you think. The Three Realms is a domain designated by the heavens. Beings that fall into the Three Realms arenít allowed to return to the heavens, and canít leave the Three Realms again; the exception, of course, is those who do cultivation. Not everyone who does cultivation is able to leave. Many cultivators arenít able to get out, and can only stay on the earth or stay at various levels within the Three Realms. Beings outside the Three Realms arenít allowed to enter at will. Thatís how this place is. Itís an unusual place. As Gods see it, this is the filthiest place.

Question: While studying the Fa, some people always feel sleepy.

Teacher: You fall asleep while studying the Fa, you fall asleep while reading the book, you also fall asleep while doing the exercises. You havenít even broken through the beginning stage yet. Itís about willpower! As you know, during your cultivation, not only will all elements that constitute your humanness try to stop you from breaking away from being a human, but also everything that constitutes the human environment wonít let you leave. You have to break through everything and overcome all kinds of ordeals. The biggest manifestation is the suffering they create for you. Suffering comes in different forms, and sleepiness is one of them. Those people who arenít able to cultivate or who arenít diligent donít realize that this is a form of hardship. You are unable to attain the Faóit doesnít let you study the Faóand yet you arenít even aware that itís an ordeal. Unless your heart isnít with the Fa or you donít want to cultivate, why not overcome it? Strengthen your willpower. If a person could become a Buddha simply by overcoming sleepiness, Iíd say it would be too easy. How will you cultivate yourself if you canít even pass a small hurdle like this one?

Question: Time for cultivation is very limited. If from now on I go all out to be diligent, will I still be able to return home with you?

Teacher: Donít worry about that. And donít think about it. As long as you still have time for cultivation, you should cultivate yourself diligently and with vigor. As for whether or not you can return home, you do have the opportunity; at least youíre sitting here today and have seen me in person, right? You still have an opportunity. (Enthusiastic applause) You still have a chance as long as this undertaking as a whole hasnít concluded. Seize the day. How to make the best use of your time is what you should think about.

Question: Are there any disciples who Consummate without taking their benti*?

Teacher: Of course there are those who Consummate without taking their benti. I just said that not everyone will go to the Falun Paradise. Those who are going to the Falun Paradise will take their bodies with them. In this cosmos, 99.9 percent of the numerous cultivation ways in the past and heavenly paradises in different cosmic bodies didnít need bodies. Not everyone thinks so favorably about having a flesh body. Many heavenly paradises absolutely will not let you bring a body when you return there. If you took your body along, you would be disrupting the Fa there, youíd be disrupting the Fa at that level, the Fa that youíve understood and enlightened to within the Dafa of the cosmos.  Sakyamuniís teaching of ďPrecept, Samadhi, Wisdom,Ē for example, is a manifestation that comes from the Dafa of the cosmos. Itís a self-contained systemóPrecept, Samadhi, Wisdomóenlightened to by Sakyamuni. Not everyone will need to take a flesh body along. Only those who go to the Falun Paradise need to take bodies with them.

Another point is that some people say that they want to take their flesh bodies along. This is no more than an ordinary human thought that conveys ordinary humansí fear of death, ďWouldnít it be wonderful to take everything with me and not die!Ē Regardless of whether youíll take your body or not, weíll let you see at the end that youíve reached Consummationóa magnificent scene. (Enthusiastic Applause) When our Dafa finishes this undertaking, [the glory] wonít have been matched by that of any religion at its height. But donít just be excitedóyou have to cultivate to the point of Consummation.

Question: Is the inability to sit in the full-lotus position related to the personís xinxing* level? Can such a person reach Consummation?

Teacher: I know that many people who werenít even able to sit in the half-lotus position eventually managed to sit in the full-lotus position. But Iím not saying that you have to sit in the full-lotus position right after you leave today. As long as you put your heart into doing it, itís fine. Yet itís also possible that some people have more karma in this respect, but it will all be eliminated and transformed. Nothing in this world is more serious than cultivation. Youíre willing to endure so much hardship to make money, youíre willing to endure so much hardship for other mattersócanít you endure a little hardship for your cultivation? If you, a person with a body full of karma, want to become a Buddha and reach Consummation through cultivationóis there anything more serious than that? With what kind of mindset should you approach it? Isnít this the issue? As for how you manage to [sit full-lotus] during cultivation, we arenít demanding that you do that right from the outset. You can do it graduallyóthatís not a problem.

Question: Some students say that the essay ďDigging Out the RootsĒ refers to digging out the roots of oneís notions, and that ďFor Whom do You Exist?Ē is saying that we exist for the Fa. Are they right?

Teacher: Donít dig into the semantics of it. What I want you to understand is the inner meaning and the things that you can comprehend in cultivation. You shouldnít dig into the surface meaning of the words. I was just saying that if there were no inner meaning behind the words, then this book would be no different from other books that have only words in black ink on white paper. Because there is Fa in the book, if you set aside your attachments and read the book without any notions, your understandingóno matter how much or how little it isóis sure to be correct. If you read the book while holding on to any notions that you canít let go of, or while looking for excuses or justification to cover up where youíre wrong, if you read the book with that mindset, then youíll see nothing. If you let go of your specific aims when you read the book, you will understand everything. No matter how much or how little you understand, your understanding wonít be off-track. But if you read the book with any attachments that you canít let go of, then youíll see nothing at all, and you will only be able to delve into the surface meaning of the words and argue with each other. Read with a calm mind; I guarantee you will become aware of what youíre supposed to know.

The things I wrote in the recent period were written vaguely. I purposely wrote them that way. I didnít want to create greater obstacles in your cultivation. The more explicitly I expound, the bigger the troubles and obstacles you will encounter. Thus, certain things are meant for you to enlighten to yourselves. Itís never the case that my explaining things explicitly makes your journey of cultivation a smooth one. While the challenges you have in enlightening to things become smaller, the tests you encounter and have a hard time passing become bigger. Donít think that hearing more is a good thing. The Fa has actually been left to you in its entirety. What remains to be seen is in what state of mind you cultivate in.

Question: What should I do to make the assistance center become an environment for true cultivation?

Teacher: There are no special stipulations for this. We donít have any rules or restrictions. But as far as assistance centers are concerned, I have expressed some of my opinions about the qualities of Assistants in some of my short essays (what you call ďscripturesĒ), so you may read those as references. If you want to improve the environment of your assistance center so that it reaches a certain level, it wonít do if the students canít keep up. And you canít restrict what they do with any rules or constraints. Superficial restrictions canít change peopleís heartsóthatís all fake. Since we have new students joining us every day, your siteís overall realm will never reach a godly state. Your assistance centers will always be a place where humans are cultivating. But at the same time youíre different from humans. This is because the part of you thatís been fully cultivatedóthe part that has become a Godóhas been separated. Thatís why your work is really tough, and the minds of the people youíre confronted with are complicated. This is for sure. Thatís why you can cultivate. Do things according to the Fa and search inside yourselves first when problems arise, and then look at the cause of the problem. I think youíll be able to handle things well that way.

Question: How can we elevate our understanding from a perceptual one to a rational one?

Teacher: There are no forms manifest among everyday people for doing so. Itís unlike the way you learn some other theory. When you elevate your understanding to a rational one, youíll find that youíve come to that understanding without knowing it. But before long your understanding will fade away. Thatís because the part of you that understands has reached that standard and is separated once you develop that understanding. Then, immediately afterwards, you feel that you no longer understand. Thatís why you have to study the Fa often, to study the Fa constantly. Some of you are able to memorize the Fa. Why is it that after some time you forget even the parts youíd memorized really well? Because the part of you that memorized the book really well became fully cultivated and was moved over. Whatís left is the part that still doesnít understand, so you still need to keep studying the Fa.

Question: Do practitioners whose Chinese isnít very good have to study the Chinese version of Zhuan Falun in order to improve?

Teacher: That is no longer a problem. We now have translations in many languages. If a person could only improve by studying the Chinese version, we wouldnít have needed to translate the book into English, Italian, Russian, Korean, etc. In other words, you can improve just the same reading non-Chinese versions, and Consummate just the same. And, thereís no difference at all if you put just as much heart into it. No difference. Whatís translated is only words on the surface, whereas what makes the difference is the meaning behind the words.

Question: Iím determined to succeed in cultivation. Does this count as an attachment?

Teacher: If youíre determined to cultivate to Consummation, that doesnít count as an attachment. What has emerged is your original nature at its best. But if youíre thinking about it every dayóďI want to achieve ConsummationĒóand thinking about it with whatever you do, then Iíd say it is an attachment. As long as you have that wish, thatís enough. Whatís left is for you to buckle down and cultivate! If your mind is preoccupied by the thought of Consummation, how much will that take away from the things you would have cultivated? Wouldnít that be an attachment?

Question: Having read your scripture ďA Dialogue with Time,Ē some students have become obsessed with time. How should we view this tendency?

Teacher: From the questions raised just now, I can tell that if some students really saw a deity-like figure coming to lead them away to cultivate, they would indeed follow him. Isnít that dangerous? Is that a minor problem? Let me tell you that any enormous matter in the cosmic body is a god. Humankind thinks that time is a concept. The sun rises, night falls, day breaks, the clock ticks, matter transforms, fruit rots quickly in hot weather, rice spoils, crops grow, the four seasons alternate, and everything seems to be an expression of time. People think itís a concept. But in fact, I can tell you that the occurrence of all those things is controlled by Time himself. He is a God. Even things such as sunrise, sunset, and the speed of Earth orbiting the sun are products of Time. But Time is extremely complex. Different dimensions have different times. A larger environment has the time of a larger environment, and in even larger environments there are also various independent times of smaller scales. In other words, there are extremely complicated factors. We normally refer to this as space-time. The concept of time varies in different dimensions.

What I said about a planet being 150 thousand light-years away, as todayís people and scientists believe, is only a human concept that I used to explain something to you. In fact, those things people say are all wrong. Different planets have their own fields surrounding them and have their own times. And there are different environments in the space between different planets and our Earth. Time also varies in different environments. In this dimension in which Earth and other visible planets exist, if you calculate [the distance] by using our current measurement of time, itís not accurate at all. Moving from one planet to another, the speed of travel doesnít remain constant. Rather, different expanses have different time fields, or space-times, as they can be called. The initial speed it travels at is very high, ďswoosh.Ē But it becomes slower and slower as it approaches Earth. Thatís how it works. And when it enters different time fields, it might suddenly become fast or slow, continually changing speeds as it goes. Todayís science canít comprehend a lot of things. Time controls a lot of things. Isnít he a God?

 Question: During group study, the Assistants and students of some study groups talk about things that seem irrelevant.      

Teacher: When we study the Fa, we should focus on Fa-study. Donít comment on the Fa Itselfóthat would be the same as your letting our students define the Fa. You can talk about your own shortcomings from the perspective of the Fa. Or you can say, ďOh, Iíve realized how I fare with something.Ē Thatís fine. But I need to point out that I donít encourage you to do that sort of thing too often. What Iíd most like to see is that you frequently read Zhuan Falun or any other Dafa book, and read from cover to cover. Go read the books, and if thereís a word you donít understand, someone can explain the surface meaning of the word. As for the meanings behind the words, you arenít able to explain those. Everyone will have his own understanding. You might understand it one way, while he might understand it another. And maybe you then start to quarrel with each other. Please make sure you donít do that kind of thing.

My writings usually contain many inner meanings at numerous and grand levels, and they have a broad scope. So you couldnít possibly explain them. You can explain what you understand, but others might not agree. They can explain what theyíve understood at their levels, but you might disagree. Everyone has his own understanding, and understandings differ from person to person due to differences in levels. As long as you keep your mind calm, and read the book and study the Fa without any notions, even if you feel that you donít understand, itís guaranteed your understanding wonít be off track. However much you understand and however much you know is actually the way itís supposed to be. Itís unrealistic to ask a new student to understand everything in Dafa as soon as he begins to practice.

Question: In your essay ďFor Whom do You Exist?Ē do you mean that we exist for the truth of the cosmos or for the original nature of purity and innocence?

Teacher: Youíre digging into words again. Iím telling you that you should exist for yourself! (Applause) If you donít want to cultivate or Consummate, does it matter for whom you exist? Your cultivation and your Consummationóarenít those for your own liberation? Actually, what I was saying was to tell you that being steadfast and not affected by any interference during the course of cultivation is being responsible to yourself, right? You should be responsible to yourself! Donít be driven by or live for those who interfere with you. Thatís what I meant.

Question: When weíre doing the standing exercises at the practice site to Teacherís exercise music tape, some people do the meditation. Is that alright?

Teacher: I think itís best we all perform the same exercise together. Since you exercise as a group, itís best you all do the same exercise together. If you say you want to do the meditation by yourself because youíve already done the standing ones, thatís fine, too. Weíre not so strict that you have to do it a certain way. However, since youíre all doing the exercises together, I think itís best that you all do the same exercises together. Youíll see that the more synchronized your movements are, the bigger the field and the stronger the power, and your hands will float right along.

Question: When we study the Fa, does it have the same effect whether we read aloud or silently?

Teacher: Thereís no big difference. Thereís only a difference in terms of what people are accustomed to. Some people feel that they canít remember the content if they read it aloud. Others say that only by reading aloud can they remember well. Itís only a difference in what theyíre used to. Either way should work depending on your situation.

Question: Some people think that reading from cover to cover means everyone reading aloud together. Is that understanding limited?

Teacher: Reading from cover to cover doesnít mean reading aloud. And it doesnít mean reading in a low voice. Nor does it mean reading silently. You can do it any way you like, whatever way you feel comfortable with. You can go by whatever youíre comfortable with when you read the book.

Question: Are atoms the coarsest particles at the surface of a Buddha-body?

Teacher: Iíve used human terms in teaching the Fa. Are those exactly the same atoms as ours? No. What it requires isnít the tangible surface matter of any substance from our dimension, but rather, the equivalent matter in their dimensions, which is much more powerful.

Question: When a person dies, the layer of the largest molecules is shed. Then are the bodies in other dimensions still composed of molecules, but not the largest ones?          

Teacher: Since human beings go through transmigration and reincarnation in the Three Realms, all bodies inside the Three Realms are called human bodies, and all molecules inside the Three Realms are called molecules, only they have different sizes and thus form different dimensions. But that isnít entirely the case.

Question: Where there are Buddhas, there are demons. Is that still true at extremely high levels?

Teacher: There are no more demons at extremely high levels. But there still exist the antitheses of different kinds of lives. This universe is so vast that itís beyond your imagination. And itís not something you can picture with a human mind.

Question: To get rid of jealousy, is it necessary to change a personís introverted character?

Teacher: Being introverted is a matter of personality, whereas jealousy has no direct relation to personality. ďIím an introverted person. I donít really like to talk, and I donít get jealous of othersĒóarenít there a lot of people like that?

Question: We donít organize any activities so as to not affect studentsí cultivation, spreading the Fa, and Fa-study. Is that out of fear?

Teacher: Itís best if all of our students can cultivate solidly. But sometimes, the group activities we put together, the group exercise sessions, or the Fa conferences, theyíre arranged to be part of your cultivation. Itís not wrong if the fundamental consideration is to protect the cultivation environment of Dafa from being harmed. If whatís in your mind is indeed fear, then it has to do with your xinxing.

Question: Will a single-armed person have any negative impact on Dafa if he does the exercises at the practice site?

Teacher: No, he wonít. It shouldnít matter.

Question: My colleagues compete to pursue degrees, and it consumes too much time. I donít want to pursue a graduate degree.

Teacher: Iíd say your thinking is a little too extreme, for Iíve told you to maximally conform in your cultivation to the way of everyday people. Whether itís a degree or your effort to accomplish something, thatís apt to help you understand the Fa better. It might also benefit you in terms of spreading the Fa and understanding the Fa in the future. And it has bearing on your personal life down the road. As long as our cultivation hasnít ended, you should maximally conform to the way of everyday people while you cultivateóit isnít wrong for you to do that. As a matter of fact, your graduate study or your studying for a certain degree wonít be affected because you study the Fa. Pursuing a graduate degree absolutely wonít affect your studying the Fa. It depends on how you balance the two. There shouldnít be a problem. Many of you have handled these things this way, and a lot of students in school have done it this way. In fact, many of our practitioners who have advanced knowledge understand the Fa quickly and are relatively open-minded, because Iím accommodating modern peopleís thinking in teaching the Fa. I do see a difference in people whose education level is slightly lower. If none of you went to graduate school, people would say that Falun Dafa was stifling talent in the society of everyday people. You donít want to bring any losses to our Fa, do you? Donít do things that way; there are various reasons for this. Do things like I tell you to. As long as you havenít Consummated, keep doing what youíre supposed to do.

Question: What does the more microscopic matter you mentioned in ďA Dialogue with TimeĒ refer to?

Teacher: What I was referring to is something youíre not capable of knowing at present. I was referring to different and greater Gods. This cosmos is so vast. Itís impossible to describe the enormous matter using human concepts. How do you talk about it if, after exhausting all of what human language is capable of, you still canít describe it? Even when youíve cultivated to Consummation, youíll still be unable to know anything beyond your level. The greatness of the Attainment Status you enlighten to will determine the greatness of your wisdom. Thatís what you will have attained through cultivation, and itís determined by your level.

Question: What will the future be for people who donít practice Falun Buddha Fa but who have good xinxing in daily life?

Teacher: Theyíll continue reincarnating on the sixfold-path of reincarnation. Would you say something different could happen? However good their xinxing may be, thatís only relative to ordinary human standards, isnít it? When compared to the Faís criteria it might not be good.

Question: I sometimes see both good and bad things through my Third Eye (tianmu). Iím not able to attend group study or exercises. Iím very distressed for not being able to pass this hurdle.

Teacher: Donít let your mind be affected when you see things, whether they be good or badóyour mind is affected, after all. Itís alright to see what you see, but donít think about it and donít follow those things. Treat it just like watching a movie. Would it affect your practice, then? I donít think so. If anything is to affect your practice, it will be because your mind is affected as you try to distinguish the good ones so that you can follow them and try to distinguish the bad ones so that you donít follow them. Itís not good for you to follow anyone. No matter how good they are, itís still not good for you to follow them. None of them can guide you to Consummation. Let me tell you: In this world there is no God saving people here. When such an immense Fa is being spread here, whoever comes to interfere will fall, as itís the same as disrupting the Dafa of the cosmos. No matter how mighty a God, Buddha, or Dao they are, they will have to drop down.

Humankind started to become warped a long time ago. Humankindís behavior, humankindís science, and everything of todayís humankind isnít what humans are supposed to have. If this Fa werenít being taught, perhaps todayís human beings would have disappeared long ago. There is formation, settlement, and destruction in the cosmos. You might not accept that there are catastrophes, but everyone, including todayís scientists, has seen the explosion of numerous planets in the universe. Canít the earth explode too? Why would it have to be only other planets that explode? Of course, this sort of thing absolutely wonít happen to our earth. Iím simply explaining this principle.

Question: In the arrangement order of atoms to form molecules as mentioned in Lectures in the United States and Lecture in Sydney, are there 200 thousand or 2 million atoms? Which is correct?

Teacher: Both are correct. Even 20 million still isnít wrong. Human thinking tends to look at things one-dimensionally. There are numerous layers of molecules. Since the things that modern science has come to understand are in a general sense, Iíve used modern scienceís terms when discussing them. If you have to pin down a number, you can take 200 thousand. Yet itís not accurate. Molecules alone have many layers, and the particles are of various sizes.

Question: Regarding the matter of displaying and worshipping Buddha statues, some people say that the statues have Masterís Law Bodies (fashen) on them, while others say that they have the Law Body of the Buddha of the statue.

Teacher: I just said that not a single Buddha is saving people here. What could the statues have? Some Buddha statues are seen to have the Law Bodies of the original Buddhas, but thatís extremely rare. Moreover, itís only the statues in the ancient temples that can have the Law Bodies of the original Buddhas. In going about this undertaking, I completed my work up there before coming back to handle this dimension of humankind and the Three Realms. As a result, while Iím doing this, those who are confined here canít get out. Those who arenít confined here donít have any Law Bodies. But the ones confined here donít get involved in things, and they donít do anything. When they see that you have cultivated well, perhaps they canít help saying a few words to you. But they absolutely wonít get involved in any of your business.

Question: Some people have said that the great Buddha Statue of the Heavenly Altar has Masterís Law Body on it and therefore it represents Master.

Teacher: When I first went to Hong Kong, I found that there was no Buddha on that Buddha statue and that the objective of consecration (kaiguang) hadnít been achieved. However, it did have some messy things residing on it, so I cleaned them out. Since I cleaned up the statue, my Law Body then took over. Thatís what happened. So many people worship itóhow could their worshipping those messy things be tolerated?! Besides, the statue is in the image of a Buddha. Thatís why I took care of it.

Question: Upon reaching Beyond-Triple-World-Law, does oneís body still have the symptoms of sickness karma?

Teacher: No. But the bodies of our cultivators today are quite messed up internally. Yet theyíre all being adjusted. In any righteous cultivation way, once a person goes beyond the Three Realms, the condition of having sickness karma no longer appears in his bodyóabsolutely not. But before he achieves his Attainment Status he will still have conflicts with others and xinxing frictions in the ordinary human society, all the way until he Consummates.

Question: In the incident in Beijing and other similar ones, what about those steadfast cultivators who did actual cultivation?

Teacher: ďWhat about those steadfast cultivators who did actual cultivation?Ē What do you mean by that? It seems that none of us understand what you mean. Do you mean that you didnít participate in it, and that you ďsteadfastly did actual cultivationĒ? It sounds like youíre trying to find excuses and justifications for missing an opportunity to reach Consummation. Youíre being crafty even with me. I couldnít have explained the principles any more clearly. Every incident, every occurrence of such magnitude, is the best test and best opportunity for students to make that best step toward Consummation. Some of us were able to step forward. Some felt that they [did the right thing by] not making a move for the sake of actual cultivation. If Consummation is at hand and you still wonít move, I wonder what you would move for. You donít really want to achieve Consummation and only want to cultivate. What are you cultivating for? Arenít you cultivating for Consummation? Youíre actually looking for excuses for yourself, trying to find excuses for another attachment of yours. Thatís not doing actual cultivation and remaining unaffected. In all the situations of your everyday life, are you truly performing as someone who does actual cultivation and remaining so unaffected?

Question: I saw you in a park and you looked very serious at that time. I still feel unsettled inside. Iím afraid to see you and yet I want to see you very much.

Teacher: I donít think I appear serious often. When I was in Germany, France, and at the experience-sharing conference in Europe, I made a point of saying this: ďAs long as you can learn and cultivate, no matter what mistakes youíve made, I will save you.Ē I said that I had opened a huge door. Actually, the door Iíve opened is so wide that thereís no longer a door. I only look at peopleís hearts and minds. Donít think too much. Iíll never have a feeling of gratitude or resentment toward any human. Whether you say Iím good or bad, it wonít affect my mindóthatís why I can know your minds. If you want to cultivate and you really can, I will be responsible to you.

Question: What does it take for a new student to count as having a history of mental disorder or a family history of mental disorder?

Teacher: Hasnít the hospital given a diagnosis regarding this? [It involves] abnormal behavior, muddle-headedness, and not knowing who one is. Our Fa is given to a person to save his Main Spirit (zhu yuanshen). If a person doesnít even know who he is, who would I be giving the Fa to? For exactly this reason thereís no way to save him.

Question: While studying the Fa and performing the exercises, I have things in my mind that resist the Fa. Theyíre postnatally acquired notions. Will they affect me in the future?

Teacher: Will they affect you in the future? Arenít they already affecting you? You have realized that those are postnatally acquired notions and are not you. You yourself know that the Fa is good; why doesnít your mind fend off those notions? You yourself want to do the exercises and meditate, yet they insist on preventing you from becoming tranquil and from doing the exercises. How could you still acknowledge them? Every part of your human body is yourself because it is you. Your mouth opens however you want it to and makes whatever sound you want it to; that mouth is yours. Your hands move however you want them to because they are you. Your arms and legs are the same. Then why donít your thoughts quiet down when you want them to while youíre doing the meditation? Itís because they are not you. If you canít distinguish these things, if you regard them as yourself, we wonít save you. Isnít that so? If you accept that those bad things are you, we wonít be able to save you. What we save are humans, not demons, not those things, which arenít even demons. Theyíre just a chaotic mess thatís unable to form any independent being. They function by attaching to your thoughts. Could we possibly consider them something to be saved to attain Buddhahood? Thatís impossible. Eliminate them in the process of cultivation and they wonít affect you later on.

Question: Thereís no punctuation in Masterís article ďFirmament.Ē What inner meaning is implied by that?

Teacher: When I write in classical Chinese I think I donít normally use any punctuation. ďFirmament,Ē or ďfirmament of heavenĒ means ďuniverse.Ē When you formed boundaries in your conception about the term ďuniverse,Ē I switched to another term so as to broaden your boundaries. Iíve also used words such as ďcosmic body.Ē Thatís all there is in human language, thereís nothing else to use. There are no more words to describe anything larger, itís beyond description.

Question: I have fear in cultivation. Upon reaching which level will I become calm and unmoved?

Teacher: I think thereís a big problem behind your fear. If youíve truly reached a very high level in cultivation you wonít be fearful. How could you have more fear when youíre doing better in cultivation? When some people were just beginning to learn, they were afraid of walking at night and used to be timid. Once they began the practice they became brave. If you say that you become afraid as you continue to practice, you should find out what your problems are. Itís definitely not a matter of levels. Itís not you who fearsóeven you yourself donít know how you become fearful. Some people have been cultivating in Dafa for a long time, but itís no good if their hearts are not in the Fa. If they donít do actual cultivation, and donít change the fundamental thingsóif they donít change the fundamental things of humansóthey will attain nothing, and all kinds of problems might occur. Oneís accomplishment in cultivation is measured by the improvement of oneís xinxing, not by the length of time.

Question: There are several places where The Great Consummation Way is different from Teacherís exercise instruction videotape. Which one should we go by?

Teacher: The Great Consummation Way is different from the videotape? The movement demonstrations were all performed by me. Theyíre the same. There might be some changes in the wording [of the instructions]. Arenít you paying too much attention to trivial things? You should focus on whatís important in your practice. Donít go delving into those petty details.

Question: Veteran students and new students donít share the same viewpoints, and do things differently, although both are diligently making progress. Can we group them into separate practice sites?

Teacher: No, you canít. The things veteran students say are helpful to new students. Thatís always true. If a veteran student has cultivated very well, itís truly hard for him to listen to things said by new students. Thatís because new students talk about a lot of ordinary human things at the beginning, and comprehend the Fa from an ordinary human perspective. He canít stand it, and he canít be blamed for that. So I havenít raised any objections when some veteran students go home to practice or practice alone. However, if your understanding hasnít reached that high, you canít force this. Some individuals arenít in this situation; when undoubtedly they are able to listen to new students, they insist on saying that they canít and stay away from the others. Iíd say thatís the attachment of showing off, because those veteran practitionersí feelings are a natural development.

Question: Matter over there all comes from here. I donít understand this very well.

Teacher: True, itís hard for you to understand. And it isnít the concept that youíve understood. As you know, if you want to go to a heavenly paradise, you have to do so through cultivation and getting rid of the bad things in your body. If you want to take this body with you, you have to assimilate it to the things over there, transforming it into a Buddha-body before you can take it along. Itís a matter of elevation. If substances this filthy were to be placed in a Buddhaís paradise, wouldnít that be terrible? Thatís absolutely not allowed. Whatís over there is elevated matter. All substances have to go through a process of elevation before they can go over there.

Question: Whatís meant by ďclergyĒ?

Teacher: Clergy refers to the priests, pastors, monks, and so forth in Western religions. Theyíre called ďclergy.Ē People in the East donít have this concept and donít have this term.

Question: During group study, some students do the double-leg crossing. Will this affect their Fa-study?

Teacher: When you meditate, you practice sitting cross-legged. If you know that you canít sit cross-legged for long, and it becomes so painful that you have to grimace, you wonít be able to study the Fa well. Studying the Fa is extremely crucial. Donít do anything that affects Fa-study. If you say that youíre able to keep sitting cross-legged, thatís of course great! Feel free to do so while listening; itís better to sit cross-legged while studying the Fa. Some people arenít able to keep sitting like that. If it becomes totally unbearable for you to sit cross-legged, then you should free up your legs. Donít wait until they become numb before freeing them up. By then you wouldnít be able to hear anything. Youíd only be thinking about not letting others bump you. You should focus on studying the Fa when you study the Fa.

Question: Are notions mixed in with emotion (qing)?

Teacher: Your concept isnít correct. Any living being, as long as it exists in the environment of the Three Realms, is permeated with emotion. This permeation is different from a person being submerged in water, where only his skin makes contact with the water. Everything in the cells of his entire body, as long as theyíre at the level of molecules, is permeated with emotion.

Question: Which comes first among everyday people: emotion or notions?

Teacher: As soon as you are born youíre amidst emotion. Even before you were born you were amidst emotion. When you were in your motherís womb you were already amidst emotion, only you didnít know it. But you knew that mommy was dear. Notions are acquired postnatally. Theyíre formed gradually as a person ages. A four- or five-year-old child doesnít have any notions. He hasnít formed any notions yet.

Question: We should carry out the tasks as assigned by the assistance centers. But some people say that Assistants are also cultivators, and that we should take the Fa as our teacher and follow our own discretion based on our understanding.

Teacher: Let me tell you first that we should cooperate with the assistance centers in everything we do. You canít just do whatever you want to on your own. Secondly, I also want to tell you that the things done by the assistance centers are all approved by the Dafa Association in Beijing while Iím not around. Many assistance centers have done a lot of work and have done it rather well. Mistakes are bound to happen since they too are people who are cultivating. Youíre correct on that point. The activities they organize are inseparable from their cultivation. This is something for me to devote some attention to. You shouldnít each go your own way. Thatís why none of you should dwell on this. If they really do make a mistake you can kindly tell them. I think that if you are indeed correct they wonít refuse to accept it.

You are all cultivators. I often say this: If you speak to others out of your kindheartedness, entirely without any selfishness or your own self-interest, and completely for the sake of others, your words will move others to tears. But if what you say is self-centered and every word you say is intended to please everyone, ďOh, heíd better not misunderstand me as meaning this or that,Ē or ďIíd better watch what I say so others wonít use it to criticize me later,Ē and has all kinds of things, then the messages carried by the words active in your mind and emitted from your mind will be very bad. If you are truly kindhearted and without any of your own motives, what you say will be nothing but pure and kind.

In the past, ancient people did things very quickly. They could walk a hundred li[3] a day, and horses could travel one thousand li. They didnít lie. Their thoughts were relatively simple and focused. They would follow one path when doing something and give their all to do it well. They meant what they said. If they promised something they would fulfill it for sure. Thatís how human beings should be. Nowadays people donít keep their promises. They do things while trying to please everyone. In the past, peopleís thoughts emerged from their minds like a roadóa straight lineóon which they moved very fast, whereas nowadays people try to please everyone. They worry about this, concern themselves with that, and the thoughts coming from their minds travel horizontally. Thatís why their minds react quickly but their actions are slow. Some people open their mouths and struggle for quite a while before saying a word. Thatís why people today move slowly and can only walk twenty li before night falls. Humans will become hopeless if they go on like this. The more complicated they become, the worse they become. Everyone knows this.

Yet some people may say, ďIf Iím not complex others will take advantage of me.Ē Yet Iíve also told you that whoever is bad will bear the consequences of everything heís done. Precisely because of the way humans are, because you humans all want to protect yourselves in this way, human society has been pushed to this stage and is sliding downward. So everyone has his share of the blame. Even if you havenít done anything wrong in this lifetime, you did in your previous lives. Actually, your words and deeds are all conforming to modern trends. Itís the same as drifting with the current.

Question: I feel a sense of urgency, and I havenít done well in cultivation. Iím afraid there isnít enough time left.

Teacher: There are all kinds of attachments, even ones like this. Even on the day youíre to go beyond the Three Realms, if you become fearful you will drop down. So you shouldnít be afraid of anything. Whatís this fear of not cultivating well? A single fear like this might prevent you from succeeding in cultivation. Just let go of your worries and cultivate yourself, let go of all your concerns. Now that youíve obtained the Fa, whatís there to fear? There was a saying in the past: ďHaving heard the Dao in the morning, a person can die at dusk.Ē No one understands its real meaning. Whatís meant by, ďHaving heard the Dao in the morning, a person can die at duskĒ? Does it mean that if someone hears the Dao in the morning, heíll die in the evening? No. What it means is, if he heard the Dao in the morning, he wouldnít be afraid even if he were to die in the evening. Thatís its true meaning. Think about it, everyone: ďHaving heard the DaoĒówho has heard the Dao? Itís you who has attained the Dao. Isnít it the Fa thatís filled your head? Whatís filled your head is Fa! The Fa thatís filled your head has melted into your mind, for sure. Otherwise you wouldnít remember it. How could the part of you thatís attained the Fa go to hell or reenter the six-fold path of reincarnation if you really did die? This is a part that has attained the Fa and been assimilated to the Fa. Youíve learned such an immense Fa today and have been reading the book over and over again. Why do you still think about those things? Just focus on cultivation. All fears are attachments, and all attachments are obstacles.

Question: Having studied the scripture ďA Dialogue with Time,Ē students have different understandings of Time.

Teacher: Itís alright to have different understandings. Once you hear something novel, you then develop another attachment. I can tell you thatóand little would you imagineómany, many things are gods; you even speak about some of them frequently without realizing what they are. This universe is so vast. There are many things humans arenít allowed to know. Donít you get sleepy? Donít you feel sleepy as soon as you read the book, or become drowsy once you study the Fa? Let me tell you that those are gods at a level in this human dimension. If you canít break through them, you remain a human. They arenít intentionally doing anything to youóthey treat everyone like that. Thatís why people feel tired and sleepy. If you want to break away from being a human, you have to break through everything before you can make it. If you go along with them theyíll think you are just a human.

Question: In Lecture in Sydney and Lectures in the U.S., Teacher talks about the composition of dimensions in the cosmos and the origin of life. How is this related to our cultivation?

Teacher: The composition of the cosmos and the origin of life have very much to do with your cultivation. And I talked about them for a reason. If you havenít studied the Fa well enough to reach there and your realm of mind hasnít reached that level, you will feel itís irrelevant. But my Lectures in the U.S. were aimed at over three thousand highly educated individuals in the audiences. Half of those Dafa students had degrees, including Ph.D.ís and Masters degrees. Some had obtained three to five degrees. Those present were the Chinese elite; I was addressing them. Those students specialized in a wide variety of fields. Their minds were quite broad and open. Everyone has a knot when it comes to studying the Fa. Knots that arenít unraveled are obstacles. It was because I had to do away with their knots based on their specific situations that I discussed those things. That was one of the reasons. Of course, there are more profound inner meanings.

Question: For the ďFalun Standing StanceĒ exercise, can we do only one of the ďholding the wheelĒ positions? In the ďPenetrating the Two Cosmic ExtremesĒ exercise, should the upper arms drive the forearms or should the forearms drive the upper arms?        

Teacher: Our way of doing the exercises is very flexible. Itís alright if you perform any one of the movements separately. Itís designed to be flexible like this so as to suit the needs of working people and allow them to do cultivation with their busy schedules. Weíve provided this convenient cultivation way. You can cultivate under any circumstances. When you have more time, do more. When youíre busy, you can do less. (Make it up later when you have time.) But itís best you do all the exercises. Thatís how it works.

While doing the ďPenetrating the Two Cosmic ExtremesĒ exercise, the forearms donít drive the upper arms, nor do the upper arms drive the forearms. I think the entire arm is moving as a whole. But in the fifth exercise the forearms do drive the upper arms. When doing the ďPenetrating the Two Cosmic ExtremesĒ exercise, if you put your force in your forearms your movements may look somewhat more graceful. What Iím saying here is that you shouldnít dig into those trivial details. You should concentrate on the important things and go study the Fa!

Question: A person began to resent me because I stopped him from selling counterfeit books. He pulled some of our students away to practice separately. How should I treat him?

Teacher: If heís making money by selling counterfeit books, Iíll tell you clearly here: He is not my disciple. If he buys counterfeit books and sells them at purchase price to students, then heís buying books for others and we canít say heís damaging the Fa. If the text in the books is altered and he doesnít know it, then you should tell him not to do that anymore. The problem should be handled that way, and the discord shouldnít have gotten so intense. If later on he begins to separate practitioners to form his own group, then thatís absolutely not the behavior of our Dafa disciples.

Question: In my dreams I often encounter ghost-like things controlling my body. As soon as this happens, I remember that Iím a disciple practicing a righteous Fa.

Teacher: Donít be afraid when you see bad things. Those horrible scenes might be seen often by new practitioners, or those whoíve been practicing for some time but who arenít diligent, who are making very slow progress, and whoíve remained at the same level for a long time. Why is that? Itís because in another dimension, in a place everyday people call ďthe netherworld,Ē there are as many lives as in our world. At night when we go to sleep it is daytime over there. When itís nighttime for us here, it is daytime for them; when itís our daytime, it is nighttime over there. When youíre asleep at night itís the time for them to come out. Older people used to say, ďDonít go out at night!Ē They had their reasons. Thatís because more of those things are out at night. They rest during our daytime.

When you first start doing cultivation (you start from the ordinary human level), if your Third Eye is opened at that realm you will see them. Thatís because you start at a very low level, [a level] of everyday people. They know you can see them, so theyíll come to contact you, or some phenomena that interfere with your cultivation might occur. All of those things are possible. Regardless, you should control yourself well and ignore them, and only focus on studying the Fa and cultivating. Then you will break through that level very soon; upon improving, you wonít see them anymore because your level will have elevated and they will no longer be able to reach you. Although youíll still be cultivating among humans, the space and time of the field surrounding your body will have changed. Those things will have become very small. As a result, you will no longer be able to see them, and they wonít be able to bother you anymore. Iíve discussed these things in Explaining the Fa of Zhuan Falun and Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa. 

Question: Does the essay ďFor Whom do You Exist?Ē tell us to completely get rid of the human side and cast off this human shell?

Teacher: Yes. Many of our people think at the very beginning that the Fa is good because they think this Fa is beneficial for humankind. They think, ďBeing a cultivator doesnít disturb the society of everyday people and is quite beneficial for it. I should learn it.Ē The basis of their thinking is human. Some people have continued to evaluate everything of our Dafa with human criteria for a long time. If they think that anything slightly disagrees with modern peopleís notions or with human societyís ways, they wonít like it or accept it. In fact, what they protect are human things; they donít want to break away from being human. Thatís the reason. The ultimate goal for you cultivators is to Consummate and break free of humanness. You absolutely arenít allowed to cling to human notions and not let them go.

Question: I can forbear (ren) when it comes to ordinary emotions. But if I hear someone making negative remarks about me, I find it a bit hard to forbear.

Teacher: Your forbearance actually isnít even up to ordinary standards. Your sitting there and thinking you can forbear amounts to nothing but wishful thinking. If you can forbear when you really encounter problems, thatís true forbearance. So as for this, I think that if you come to understand the Fa through reading, you will be able to do it. When you encounter conflicts or when problems suddenly arise, how much you can forbear at that instant is the most critical. Some people arenít able to forbear at all, even when they understand the principles. You canít call that forbearance. Some others say they can endure, but still canít handle themselves well when problems suddenly arise. Then itís not really that good. If you can forbear when a problem suddenly arises, and can hold your ground even in dreams, then you are solid. Dreaming isnít cultivation per se, but itís true that it can test whether your xinxing is solid. Those who say bad things about you are everyday people, not Gods and Buddhas. Why would a cultivator be affected by that?

Question: Sometimes, when Iím trying to understand the Faís principles or am passing xinxing tests, I talk to Master in my mind. Is that an attachment?

Teacher: Thatís not an attachment. It canít be called an attachment. Although you can talk to me, you should not, however, expect any answers or favors in return, nor should you expect me to give you some good things or leniency. None of that would do. Itís alright for you to talk to me. So anyway, you can talk to me. You might talk with an intention, but I wonít pay attention to that when I listen. Pursue nothing and you will gain naturally. Anything done intentionally wonít work; you shouldnít talk to me with any intention. Some people say: ďI just want to look at Teacher, since Teacher has told us that a person can tell whether something is good or bad by looking at Teacherís facial expression. So every morning after I get up, I look at the Teacherís picture to see if today is going to be a good day. Every day whenever I do anything, I look at Teacherís picture.Ē Then your attachment has grown quite strong. When some cultivators indeed feel uncertain after doing something, and they really donít know if theyíve done right or wrong, they take a look at my picture and truly get clued in. Cultivation is about cultivating your heart and mind. Yet instead of trying to get rid of that attachment, you put it all before me.

Let me tell you why people arenít able to do cultivation in Buddhism today. One of the most crucial reasons is that they arenít cultivating, but pursuing. Yet they donít realize they are pursuing. What are they thinking when they worship Buddha? ďSo and so in my family is sick; I beg you, Buddha, to bless him because I believe in you.Ē What they mean is: ďIím believing in Buddha, Iím burning incense.Ē So theyíre bargaining with a Buddha. While worshipping the Buddha some people are thinkingÖ they donít have a specific motive in mind when worshipping Buddha and burning incense, but every day when they do this, they think: ďDoing this means Iím paying respect to the Buddha and cultivating Buddhahood. Buddha, look at how pious I am to the Buddha.Ē Theyíre thinking to themselves, ďIím so devout in front of the Buddha. Buddha must be seeing this.Ē The Buddha wonít accept any thinking of the sort. Heíll think that the person is no good at all.

I often say that people in Buddhism donít know how to cultivate anymore. This is what I mean. They donít realize it at all; their intentions are deeply concealed. Nowadays people have become very crafty. People today know how to hide their attachments. And then they hide the hiding of their attachments. When I look at this kind of person I know itís really hard to save him. When I give him a hint about it, he himself doesnít even realize this concealment of the thing he uses to hide his hiding. Whatís more, when I point out his real problemówhen my Law Bodies point out his real problemóhe tries to deceive my Law Bodies, as if he were dealing with ordinary humans. He fakes it and says, ďOh, I was wrong.Ē Then he again finds another cover to hide what heís hiddenóhe uses another cover. Howís someone like that to be saved?! Now, you still have your Master teaching you and guiding his disciples here. But in those temples where no one is looking after them, how could they cultivate? Humans have come to this stage. What would you say can be done?

Question: I see many students taking notes. Master, would you please address this?

Teacher: Every one of you whoís taking notes, youíd better stop. Why? Let me tell you, you wonít be able to hear everything I say because youíre focusing your attention on taking more notes. So no matter how hard you try, you wonít be able to take everything down in full. If you take incomplete notes and share them with others, youíll be quoting me out of context. And besides, you wonít have heard the speech well yourself. The disruption is that significant. Though you canít remember everything, with each point you come to understand in my speech, you are making progress and being assimilated to the Fa. That is true improvement. When you walk out of here you will all have undergone a change. Itís possible those whoíve been taking notes wonít undergo any changes at all. Thatís how huge the disruption is. Weíve addressed this problem before. Donít take notes.

Question: Please elaborate further on the inner meaning of [the article,] "Expounding on the Fa.Ē

Teacher: If I wanted to make it explicit to you I would have written it explicitly. Itís for you to enlighten to. However much you can realize from it is fine. If you try to understand it without any notions, you wonít be off track regardless of how little you can enlighten to; itíll only be that what you enlighten to is limited and what you come to know isnít much. But it wonít be off track. If I could tell you explicitly I wouldnít have written it that way.

Question: Whatís the relationship between notions and attachments?

Teacher: Those things that you think are good and that you always hold on to and donít let go of are attachments. To make it more explicit, anything that you canít let go of is an attachment. Itís very simple. Many of you havenít studied the Fa well enough. The reason you havenít studied the Fa well enough is not that you havenít studied or that you donít spend enough time on studyingóitís that you study with an ordinary human mindset. You pick out those parts that meet your psychological needs. You think those are good and you selectively read them. If you skip those parts that you think donít meet your needs, have nothing to do with you, or even donít agree with your own notions, and you read selectively, then you will never be able to ascend in cultivation. Although some matters that I discussed in Zhuan Falun might not seem to have anything to do with your cultivation or your xinxing, the book covers things at different levels and in different forms. Even when it appears as though Iím talking about gong,* to tell you the truth, what Iím discussing includes things related to xinxing. The book is systematic. It wonít work if you skip even one chapter. If you canít change that mindset of yours it will truly impede your improvement, impede your Consummation.

Question: Every now and then I feel as if something is pressing on my head, but I canít figure out what itís related to.

Teacher: Just ignore it. Donít worry about anything. As long as youíre a disciple in cultivation, you should regard all the states you experience as good phenomena. Iíve talked about ďThree Flowers Gathering Atop the Head.Ē Three Flowers Gathering Atop the Head occurs only at a very minor level and is a manifestation in the In-Triple-World-Law. When one reaches a higher level there will be manifestations at higher levels and many types of forms occurring over oneís head, and the pressure felt on the top of the head will be great. Once I mention the specific manifestations youíre likely to develop an attachment or get elated. Youíve probably seen that Buddha statues have bodies of different variations, some of which have four heads, and some of which have one head stacked atop another head, which is stacked atop another and anotherÖ All of this will occur during your cultivation. That is the magnificence of the Buddha Fa. Or thatís a partial manifestation of the magnificence of Buddha Fa, at least. Whatís more, itís only one phenomenon. Thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of millions of different manifestations of gong as well as manifestations of the Fa will appear. How could you not feel anything on your head? As your gong column (gongzhu) grows taller it presses down on you, making you feel pressure on your head. All kinds of things will happen. If you take things this good to be bad things, where have you placed your xinxing? Does it measure up to the level youíve reached? Thatís why I often tell you that it doesnít matter if you canít see. You have to take it as a good thing. It would be impossible for me to thoroughly tell every one of you about the minute details of all phenomena at every level. If I did, you would become just way too overjoyed. If you focused on those changes every day, you couldnít cultivate anymore. Thatís why I donít discuss those things with you. You should only work hard on your heart and mindótrue improvement depends completely on your heart and mind. If your heart and mind donít ascend, everything else is for nothing.

Question: When I canít pass a test, I express my regret in front of Teacherís picture. Is it alright to do that?

Teacher: Itís alright to express it. That isnít wrong, but you need to correct your behavior afterward. If after you express it today, you walk out the door and become your old self again, then what good would it do if you came back to express your regret again? When you tell Teacher that you regret something, you should have the resolve to correct it.

Question: Please explain the meaning of ďThis is a great, imminent dangerĒ in the essay ďPacifying the External by Cultivating the Internal.Ē

Teacher: I wrote that essay because some students raised questions related to that. They asked: ďIíve practiced Falun Gong. Itís good and it helps the morality of people in society to become good again. Yet if everyone becomes so kind (shan), what if foreigners attack us? What if a war breaks out?Ē I wrote the essay to address that question.

Wars donít break out simply because people want to make war. Everything is determined by heaven and driven by the cosmic climate. No matter how hard human beings strategize, think hard, or try, there are times when they just canít succeed. Sometimes when they do succeed, they then think itís the result of their own effort. But in reality, the efforts and activities in their lives are inevitable. Thatís how it is. So if human beings donít do a thing, good things wonít just land in their laps. The reason being, thatís how human beings live their lives, and they will never live like Gods. Even if you tell them this, they wonít believe it, and theyíll keep on competing and fighting with others. Thatís a human being for you. Consequently, competing and fighting become inevitable actions, become human behavior, and are simply human. So the state of human society comes from the state of human beings.

Question: When we improve our xinxing, our own karma is eliminated. Is it transferred to those people who help us improve our xinxing?

Teacher: No, itís not. It seems youíre quite attached and are afraid of losing your stuff. (Laughter) Let me tell you that it isnít at all like youíve imagined. Iíve eliminated many, many things for you. The fact is, I am bearing them for you. Itís impossible for anyone to not pay for the crimes and wrong he has doneóitís absolutely prohibited. This is a law of heaven. The amount of karma you need to eliminate is left for you at the right amount so that it allows you to cultivate; itís proportionate to your xinxing and endurable. If it were a bit more, you would fall and couldnít cultivate. Itís not that because Iíve borne [karma] for you Iíll want something from you. Everything is mine, and I need nothing. Some bad things are directly destroyed, and thatís something no one but I can do.

Do you know why Jesus was crucified? Do you know why Sakyamuni had to choose Nirvana? Many people have gone to Famen Temple to see Sakyamuniís finger bones; they are indeed Sakyamuniís finger bones. If his finger bones are like that, how could his body have decayed? Couldnít he have taken his body along with him? It had completely transformed into high-energy matter and was no longer human flesh. Why did he still choose Nirvana? You donít know that in the process of your cultivation, the debts you owe arenít just the sins committed among human beings; the debts you owe in different cosmic bodies, at different levels, and in different environments are just so numerous. Those are things human beings canít settle by any means. Even Gods at lower levels have no way of settling them. But if someone wants to save a person and if that person has the desire to cultivate, how could you not have mercy on him? A Buddha is merciful, and so will try to save him. But what about all the things he owes? You have to resolve that for him, which actually means that the knots of his debts are then brought onto the Buddha himself. When a Buddha comes to save people he needs to have a flesh body. What are the knots tied to? Theyíre tied to his flesh body. In the end, neither Buddha nor Jesus could free their flesh bodies because they just couldnít extricate themselves from the debts owed by the disciples they were saving, and those included different kinds of karmic debts owed at different levels and in different time periods, and it was because it involved lots and lots of different things in the cosmos. They werenít able to free themselves whatsoever. So they chose this kind of path: to eliminate the flesh body or have the body cremated, and let that one ending end it all; everything was resolved, and they thought they paid their debts.

In order to pay the debts as much as he could and to dispel the resentment towards him coming from different realms, Jesus accepted his own crucifixion and underwent that suffering. And yet there are still people who send me notes like, ďTeacher, you should save me this wayĒ or ďYou should save me that way.Ē I say, ďDo you think Buddhas are obligated to save you, that they have nothing to do and have to save you, that theyíre addicted to saving you?Ē Sakyamuni said that the number of Buddhas and Tathagatas is like the number of grains of sand in the Ganges River. How many grains of sand are there along the banks of the Ganges River? He said that Tathagatas were as numerous as the grains of sand in the Ganges. There are so many Tathagatas. Thatís what Sakyamuni said from the level he was at in those days. Then why donít tons of Buddhas come here to look after human affairs? Actually, a Buddha up there doesnít need to come down: it just takes a wave of his hand to wipe out all of humankindís illnesses, and a wave of the hand to eliminate the karma of all human beings and save them. Yet no one can do it that way.

Human beings must themselves pay everything they owe, and what they owe isnít limited solely to the plane of human beings. If you want to save them, you have to change their hearts from the core. Only that way does it count as true salvation. If you paid their debts for them and cleansed them completely, but their realms of mind werenít elevated, sure, theyíd look polished on the outside, but it would all be fake! Why do I say that the innermost part of your mind has to change? Some people have said: ďI came to learn the Fa because I was ill. I didnít know at first, but later I understood that Teacher says this isnít about getting healed.Ē Then the person doesnít mention getting well. ďOkay, Iím not going to ask to be healed.Ē He says to himself in his mind, ďI wonít ask to be healed. Iíll just read the book and do the exercises. Teacher is sure to take care of my illness at some point.Ē Heís still thinking that way. Heís polished on the outside, yet he hasnít changed at the core. Itís meant to fool people, even his master. How could that work? In actuality heís only fooling himself.

This means that if you want to change, you have to change yourselves from deep down within, from your very nature. Only that is true elevation and true transformation. If the nature of your xinxing doesnít change, when you encounter a problem [your attachment] will come right upóit will swell up and display itself. Wouldnít it be terrible if Buddhas were like that? Changes have to come from oneís very nature. Thatís why Iíve said that cultivation is a very serious thing. Itís useless if you donít truly change yourselves from your very nature. When people try to be good and become role models or heroes in the society of everyday peopleóand it doesnít matter the motive, maybe itís born of a good wishóthey always have, however, an intention or a motive. Thus, that personís good conduct wonít last long, and heíll make mistakes again in the future. Wasnít there a saying in the past, ďAlways glorify the dead but not the livingĒ? That was because people have discovered it for themselves: ďWhat if one day he makes a mistake again?Ē No laws or regulations, not even any campaign, will ever change peopleís nature or their hearts. A person needs to be truly moved before he can be changed.

Be it Sakyamuniís Nirvana or Jesusí crucifixion, which I just mentioned, they endured such enormous pain for human beings and suffered so horrendously for them! How should humans treat themselves? To whom should they be responsible? For whom should they live? If you are to be responsible to yourself, donít you want to live clearheadedly? If everyone could search inside for his own shortcomings, the civility of human society would certainly improve. Our Dafa can bring that about. But it definitely isnít for those things of ordinary human society that Iíve imparted Dafa. Our objective is to enable cultivators to improve, yet as more and more people learn It, they will form an environment that will stimulate the improvement of human society as a whole. Thatís how theyíre related. But let me make this clear: I am absolutely not trying to do something for society, for certain people, or to accomplish something in human society. The point is for you to achieve Consummation.

Question: When my body goes through karma purging right after I do something wrong, is this ďretribution in the same lifetime,Ē as Teacher has described?         

Teacher: The phenomenon of retribution in the same lifetime existed before and will continue to exist in the future. Minor misbehavior may result in retribution in the same lifetime. After a person does something bad, he falls hard when he walks out the door, or is hit by something when he steps outside. Although the degree of severity can vary, heís still being punished. People usually donít believe in the existence of high-level beings in other dimensions, so they think that what happened was accidental. They recognize only humans as intelligent beings. How absurd people have become! There are lives everywhere in this universe. People commit bad deeds and do things as they please; when someone becomes like that, retribution in the same lifetime becomes less frequent. So what will happen? Heíll accumulate karma, and accrue more and more of it. When there gets to be too much karma, his life will be shortened. The more karma he has, the more his life will be shortened, and additional karma will shorten his life further. For example, for people whoíve done too many bad things and have become ďevil beyond forgiveness,Ē although they die in this world, they will continue to be exterminated in other dimensions until theyíve paid off all of their karmaóthere are numerous ways of being exterminated. In other words, they have to pay for everything. Thatís really horrifying. For our cultivators, though, things arenít like how they are for everyday people. In most cases, you are transforming your karma as you improve, and you are being prompted with hints.

Question: If I cultivate at home, does Teacher transform less gong for me than if I were to do the exercises at a practice site?

Teacher: If you cultivate at home, truly conduct yourself as a practitioner, and cultivate solidly and steadily, then you arenít worse off than cultivating outside. But human beings usually have laziness in themóyou canít deny itóbecause your thoughts havenít yet elevated to that level. When you stay away from the group practice environment, itís as if you wonít be spurred on, and you lose an external condition that drives you in cultivation. For example, when we do the meditation, if other people are enduring the unbearable pain yet no one takes down his legs, youíll feel embarrassed to take yours down. This compels you to increase your exercise time. That is, an environment like that pushes you forward in many respects. Without that environment, if you donít handle yourself well, you wonít be spurred on by that external factor, you might slack off, and you wonít manage to be diligent. Although youíre still practicing, your progress might be much slower. Thatís the relationship. If youíre really able to handle yourself well, then it makes no difference where you practice. The only concern is that you might not handle yourself well. Even though some people may say, ďI can be self-disciplined,Ē I believe some people, but not some others, because I see it very clearly: They havenít broken through to reach that level yet.

Question: Someone who does damage to the Fa wrote many derogatory comments in a copy of Zhuan Falun (Volume II). What should I do with that book?

Teacher: You can burn the book. Thatís how depraved some people have become. So there are all kinds of people, even those who dare to blaspheme Buddhas. As soon as the blasphemous words come out of his mouth, his Spirit (yuanshen) falls downward. Whatís left is a half-dead person who goes about things among humans with this body. That kind of person is the easiest target for spirit possession; a possessing spirit comes over immediately afterward. Without a Spirit, his body is no more than an empty shell, and a possessing spirit then takes over. There are lots of cases of this. And there are a lot of sham qigong masters of this sort. Those people are truly the worst people.

Question: Most kindhearted Russians are Christians. How can we help them to obtain the Fa?

Teacher: If circumstances allow, you can go talk to them. If they want to learn, they can learn; if they arenít interested, let them be. Also, Dafa is serious and solemnówe donít force anyone to learn. It makes no difference what nationality you are. We spread Dafa simply to let those who donít know about the Fa know, and itís so that we donít leave them behind. Whether a person wants to learn is his own business. The same goes for both foreigners and Chinese people. People judge whether a person is kindhearted using todayís human standards. Everyone has a good side and a bad side. Besides, the entire human society is sliding downwards. Relatively speaking, there are some good people who still have the good intention of becoming virtuous again. Thatís most precious. But as for how good they are among everyday people, I donít think itís that important. Only their wish to become virtuous again is most precious. Without that itís very hard for them to be saved.

Question: An everyday person wanted to destroy a Dafa book, and a student got into a fight with him in order to protect the book. Did he do well in terms of forbearing? Did he accrue karma?

Teacher: We canít say that this student did wrong. When we run into problems, however, we need to think them over: Why did that person destroy the book in front of you? Could it be that you had some attachments? Or perhaps there was something wrong with you yourself? If you had adjusted your thinking at that moment, he might have immediately stopped destroying the book. Itís very likely that would have happened. Iíve often said that whenever you come across a problem, you should take a look at yourself first. Even if a problem has nothing to do with you, when you see it, you should still search inside yourself. Iíd say that then nothing can stop you from advancing on your path.

Question: I study Falun Dafa, but my husband studies The Book of Changes. I burned some of his books without telling him. Was that a bad thing to do?       

Teacher: No, it wasnít a bad thing to do. Our Fa has inner meanings behind the words. But the books written by those sham qigong masters have things behind their words, too. They donít have that profound of meaning, but instead some shallow things that canít go beyond the Three Realms. And those things are evil. Their images are those of animals, foxes, demons, ghosts, and those kinds of filthy and messed up things. Theyíre all black, harmful to people, and ďyinĒ in nature. So itís indeed bad to have those things in your home. Your husband accepted those things out of ignorance, and those things hurt him. So if you burned them, you burned them. But if he gets upset and argues, quarrels, or fights with you, then donít bother doing it anymore. If he doesnít mind, then it was alright to burn them. You should [still] take a look at yourself: ďDo I have some kind of attachment?Ē I think that probably a lot of things happen for a reason. Those things wonít affect you, however, since you practice cultivation and have a shield around your body. You all have shields; otherwise, not only would others interfere with you, you would affect others.

Question: What is ďthe evolution of the universeĒ?

Teacher: You all know that ďuniverseĒ is defined by humans. Exactly how large is the universe? Humans canít explain exactly. The universe we usually refer to is only the cosmic expanse that we see. The largest expanse that modern scientists can observe using telescopes doesnít exceed this small universe of ours. So put simply, this is what ďuniverseĒ refers to. Yet this small universe of ours is not even one trillionth of the great cosmos. Itís within this tiny, tiny realm, which is one trillionth of one trillionth of the great cosmos. Itís only a speck of dust within a speck of dust, which is another speck of dust within a speck of dustóthatís how miniscule it is. The entire great cosmos is in motion, and the cosmic bodies of a great expanse are in motion. Wouldnít you say that the universe is in motion? This motion brings about lives and creates species. Cultivators call this motion ďevolution.Ē The human mind canít comprehend things at that high a level. This cosmos is so vast that even when you reach the highest level of your cultivation at the time of Consummation, youíll still find it incredibly vast and will exclaim with awe.

Question: Master said, ďConcern for reputation is a huge obstacle that prevents you from reaching Consummation.Ē What if someone isnít attached to his reputation in the society of everyday people but seeks to get gong and to be well known for his Dafa work?

Teacher: Then his attachment has been revealed and so it has to be removed. Sometimes some of our students, including veteran students, demonstrate very bad attachments that are totally unfitting a cultivator. Nevertheless, we canít say that the person isnít good. Thatís because you can no longer see the attachments that he has eliminated, and only the attachments that he hasnít eliminated show themselves. In other words, many attachments are not evident in him because he has cultivated himself quite well; only the ones he hasnít yet eliminated can manifest. So maybe the attachments that havenít been eliminated will manifest. You canít say that the person isnít goodóyou can only say that the attachment of his isnít good.

No matter how a person cultivates, he canít conceal the attachments that havenít been eliminated. No matter how he cultivates, I use all kinds of methods to expose his most stubborn attachmentsóeven when he thinks heís doing the most sacred work. Even when youíre doing Dafa work I will still have them manifest. Itís no good if the work itself doesnít help him to improve; the improvement of his xinxing is the number one priority, his elevation is whatís most important. Only if his heart is pure and clean, and if he can realize his problems, then when he goes to do the work again the work will be more sacred. So the reason many of our students canít achieve success in their work is that they do the work while holding on to a lot of attachmentsóthey canít let go of this or that attachment. Whether theyíre attached to their own affairs or develop an attachment while doing work for the Fa, as long as they have an attachment, it will be exposed in the midst of their work. And especially when their intention isnít good, thatís when they are less likely to be allowed success. So theyíll have great obstacles then. Thatís because they arenít permitted to do work of a sacred nature with an impure heart. If they can do sacred work with a pure heart, only then is their work truly sacred.

Question: During the meditation, one of the studentsí legs shake and he vomits. He canít control it. Would Master please explain this?

Teacher: Everyoneís situation is different. Since Iím speaking in a setting like this, I have to discuss it in a way that has universal application. If a person canít be pure and clean while he practices, if he still practices other things or canít become focused on one cultivation way, or if he mixes in his mind things of other qigongs, then all kinds of situations like this can appear. Another possibility is that those who have a great deal of karma might react strongly when karma is being eliminated. That too could cause this kind of situation.

Question: We need to act upon what we have enlightened to, right?

Teacher: Yes, you should. You might not be able to handle yourselves completely well; there is a certain degree of difficulty in being able to always handle yourselves well. But cultivators should hold themselves to this kind of standard.

Question: Is it true that the more that gets separated, the higher one has reached in cultivation?

Teacher: Itís not that as more gets separated one reaches higher in cultivation. Only that which has met the criteria can be separated.

Question: When Master discussed ďseparation,Ē did you mean that our whole self will go with you, and does that mean that the more we can take with us the better?

Teacher: In fact, you donít know that: Now that you have obtained the Fa, and as long as your mind is steadfast, youíre on your way to Consummation. Thatís certain.

Question: Is it true that the greater oneís compassion, the greater his capacity to endure?

Teacher: No, thatís not true. Compassion emerges after that portion of emotion is eliminated. Oneís capacity to endure is an ability that results from a combination of many factors.

Question: Can I ask Master to increase my tribulations so that I can pay for my karma earlier and return to my original, true self sooner?      

Teacher: No. No matter what you yourself conceive of, it wonít work. Even less should you intentionally seek tribulations and suffering. Thatís wrong. In fact, all arrangements are systematic. Thereís no need to think much about these things.

Question: I think I should simply do things according to the three words ďZhen, Shan, and Ren.Ē Is it right to think this way?

Teacher: Yes. As long as your mind is steadfast, you should go ahead and do things that way and follow the requirements. But you need to study the Fa a lot. Otherwise you wonít know the inner meanings of Zhen, Shan, Ren at different levels, and then you wonít be able to truly practice Zhen, Shan, Ren in your conduct.

Question: There are things that Iím unable to enlighten to. Why does it seem that I just canít understand things completely?

Teacher: It doesnít matter if you donít understand them. Itís not that you have to comprehend everything Iíve written in a short period of time. As your Fa-study becomes deeper and deeper, you will understand those things.

Question: Sometimes as soon as I see your picture I become afraid. I wonder why this is.

Teacher: It isnít you who fearsóit is your thought karma.

Question: Is it alright if we rent a place for group study so that everyone can go there and study?

Teacher: If the conditions are good and it becomes too comfortable, then I think youíre cultivating too comfortably. That isnít so good. If you have the conditions, that is, if you have a place like that and can provide it without spending any money, then Iím not against it. You could at least go there when it rains, snows in winter, etc. If you have to spend money to create a better environment, thatís not good, regardless of how much or how little money was involved.

Question: Disciples in the countryside donít know much about the modern scientific terms mentioned in your books.

Teacher: Those are things that can be explained to them. Explain the original meaning of the terms, that is, explain the original wordsóthe surface meanings of the words. But you need to read the Fa, and should read the book in the order itís written and with the context of whatís being read in mind.

Question: If I donít understand the surface meaning of some words, can I look them up in dictionaries?

Teacher: Yes, that shouldnít be a problem. Dictionaries only explain the surface meanings of words. But often the words I use arenít in dictionaries.

Question: Thereís a Christian who lives near us. He always asks me to do calligraphy for him. I feel uncomfortable saying no, but Iím afraid of incurring interference by saying yes.

Teacher: If youíve done so, then youíve done so. We can only bring benefit to others. Itís not like those things can affect us. In fact, be it Christianity or Catholicism, I only consider it a job. I donít regard it as cultivation. Itís simply a job.

Question: There are things that I want to let go of. Why am I not able to?

Teacher: That means theyíve become formed notions. Even if you canít forget those things, you should find a way to repel them. Then they will gradually weaken and eventually be eliminated.

Question: Is it better to have everyone ďfollow the mechanisms downwardĒ at the same pace [in Exercise Four]? Sometimes the differences are huge.

Teacher: Thatís rightóthe more synchronized your movements, the better it will feel. Thatís because when you are doing the exercises, you are strengthening the mechanisms outside your body. Your practice relies on the constant rotation of those mechanisms; they cultivate you automatically and at all times. When you do the exercises you are strengthening those mechanisms. So when your movements are synchronized and everyone does them together, the energy is stronger and you can strengthen the mechanisms better.

Question: In winter when the temperature is around -22įF (-30įC), is it alright if we do the exercises indoors?

Teacher: Just try your best to do the exercises outside, since weíve been doing them like this for many years. The students in Changchun and Harbin have been exercising outdoors. Youíll be all right if you put on more clothes. But if itís too cold to bear you can perform the exercises indoors, and when itís not so cold, you can come out again to do the exercises.

Question: A student rented a classroom with his own money. Does that count as involving money?

Teacher: That isnít something your assistance center did, nor was it done by your practice site. The student himself wanted to do that, so it was his own individual act. He wanted to do a good deed to support you, thatís how it is. He was simply doing a good deed as an individual. But we should also consider something: the studentís capacity to support this, meaning, whether he has the financial means. Thatís one thing. Secondly, has this student done cultivation for a long time? If he were to change his mind, he might think that heís lost out, and that could cause trouble later on. All of these things should be considered. But I think itís best we try to do the exercises outdoors.

Question: Near our practice site there are people doing quite a few other qigongs. Some of our students are worried about being interfered with and affected.

Teacher: You wonít be affected. They definitely canít interfere with us. But you shouldnít have the thought, ďAre they going to interfere with us?Ē You mustnít be swayed. Your minds shouldnít be attached.

Question: My thought karma has been particularly strong of late. I even fear that Iím a demon who came here by arrangement. Is this the thought karma, not me?

Teacher: Donít worryóthat isnít you yourself. It is karma. But Iíll tell you, since the amount that everyone has of that thing is different, some people may have more, so itís stronger. People who have more may need to endure more. Maybe previously you did more wrongdoing of this sort, so you have to do everything in your power to suppress it and defy it. As long as you can tell it apart from yourself, the rest is easy to deal with.

Question: I feel that I havenít done well in cultivation and that I have too much filthy stuff. At home, I even dare not look at [pictures of] Master.

Teacher: Itís okay, Master knows what the situation is. I know, youíve made mistakes before. Start anew today. So put your worries aside and cultivate.

Question: My daughter has a low IQ. But she has been persistent in studying the Fa and doing the exercises for three years. Yet she doesnít understand Dafa well. Will she be able to reach Consummation?

Teacher: I donít think a lower IQ is a problem when it comes to learning the Fa. She has studied for three years, and her effort will definitely not be in vain. Arenít you a little too concerned? It might not be that bad. Oftentimes some of our children have extraordinary backgrounds. Since she saw clearly from above (those above are high-level beings) at what point in her life she could obtain the Fa and what she would do when, upon seeing that this family could obtain the Fa later on, she wanted to reincarnate into the family. Thereís an especially large number of cases like this. So some of our children are really prodigies, while some may be a little less so. You shouldnít think too much about it.

Question: How should we view the differences in the levels of Fa-study and cultivation among different regions?

Teacher: Thereís no difference. Each region has those who are very diligent as well as those who arenít diligent. There are wise persons, average persons, and foolish persons in every region. Some regions obtained the Fa later on and may be a little behind in terms of progress, for sure. But there are also latecomers whoíve surpassed veteran practitioners. Many of those who obtained the Fa later on havenít seen me in person, yet they have a very profound understanding of the Fa. And they progress rapidly and donít have mental obstacles. Before, new students had a transitional process through which they came to understand the Fa. Back then, when I taught the Fa in Guangzhou, during the first two classes students didnít seem to know what I was talking about. They just knew it was good, but they didnít know what I was talking about. That is, the minds of the people in Guangzhou were preoccupied with making money, especially with it being after the economic reforms and opening up. It wasnít until the third and fourth classes that they were jolted and suddenly realized what I was talking about. Only then did large numbers of students begin to catch up. Nowadays those who obtain the Fa later on often progress very fast. Maybe thatís because the environment has been formed and conditions in every respect have become ripe; that is, the external conditions are there.

Question: Some people think that during group study, reading through the book means reading the book over and over again, that discussion is unnecessary, that one should understand the Fa on oneís own, and that we should read one chapter a day. Is this helpful for Fa-study?

Teacher: Reading through the book simply means reading through cover to coveróthereís nothing unclear about that. It means reading it over and over againóreading the book through. We study the Fa together after all, so we can share our understandings and have a discussion with each other: ďI suddenly realized this meaning in these words of Teacher,Ē or ďIím still not doing well enough in this regard.Ē You might miss that when you read at home. Correct this shortcoming from now on. In other words, itís necessary to share understandings and to discuss among yourselves. Yet reading the book through should be your focus. We shouldnít study a passage, stop, start a discussion, and then study another passage, and discuss moreóthatís no good. You need to read it cover to cover a lot. The time spent on talking about yourselves or your understandings shouldnít be more than the time spent on reading the Fa. Studying the Fa is the most crucial thing.

Question: Could you tell us about the origin of the Great Law (Dafa) of the cosmos, namely, Zhen-Shan-Ren?

Teacher: Let me tell you, you will never know how vast this cosmos is, so itís even less possible to talk about its origin. Besides, thereís no such language. In this cosmos, even languages of the Gods at very high levels are incapable of explaining what the cosmos ultimately is, not to mention human languages. The cosmos will forever remain an enigma to humans, they will never know what it is. Turn your attachments into Fa-study!

Question: Are notions the most fundamental things of humans? What would people be like if they didnít have any notions?

Teacher: A person without any notions is very innocent and kind. But he definitely isnít like a childóheís an adult and is rational. Children donít have notions, and are naÔve and kind. They do things without a purpose. But adults arenít like that; even when you are freed of those notions you still wonít be like that. Thatís because when you no longer have any notions, you are already in the process of ascending and your level has already risen up there. So during your cultivation notions are gradually reduced and weakened. Thatís how things are until they are completely gone in the end.

Question: Sometimes I do well at group study, sometimes I donít. How should I understand this kind of unstable state of mind?

Teacher: Those are your own states in cultivation. No one can persistently do that well in all kinds of environments and always absorb what heís reading without interference from various thoughts. But I also want to tell you that with every one of your tests, your passing them well, not passing them well, being able to pass them, or not being able to pass themóthatís cultivation. If you could pass every test youíd be a God! And you wouldnít need to cultivate anymore, right? But you shouldnít let yourself slack off. You should be diligent in cultivation.

Question: After a coordinator at an assistance center was replaced, in an act to try to establish himself on his own, he pulled away a group of students and set up a separate study group.

Teacher: If that coordinator indeed had problems and was thus replaced, then I think it was necessary. Those who make money, those who mislead practitioners to do wrong things, those who canít conduct themselves well, those who cause problemsÖ in my opinion, they not only damage the reputation of our Fa, but cause harm to society. Those kinds of coordinators should be replaced.

Either the students or the coordinator himself will gradually realize their mistakes. But during that period of time you absolutely shouldnít treat that coordinator as an everyday person. You canít do that. He has things that heís failed to overcome, but he might still be a cultivator. But if in his actions he really does damage the Fa, then thatís a different matter. If he attacks the Fa, damages the Fa, or his action is different from the Fa, then he has developed demons in his mind, has totally deviated from the Fa, and is out of control. We definitely wouldnít acknowledge him. Thatís how we should deal with it if this kind of problem occurs. I wouldnít acknowledge him [as my disciple].

As for those who followed himóthink about it, everyoneóthat wasnít accidental. Cultivation is like a great tide sifting the sand. Some people arenít sincerely studying Dafa, and perhaps theyíll leave that way. We donít need those who fool around and try to pass themselves off as practitioners. That could be one of the reasons. Students may temporarily have an incorrect understanding or be temporarily confused, but theyíll come back once they realize their mistakes. Some people are just plain confused, thoughówhy donít you think about whether youíve come here to study the Fa or to follow someone around?

Question: Master said that itís time for them to become clearheaded and have them become real Gods. Many students find this hard to understand.

Teacher: Weíre gradually doing that right now, including what Iím talking about today. Many things are discussed surrounding this matter in order to have all of you become increasingly clearheaded.

Question: Does the test of breaking away from humanness happen frequently or only once?

Teacher: Opportunities like that certainly donít come around often. Perhaps in the future there will be other formsóperhaps there will be, perhaps there wonít. This is all unknown. But if you donít change yourself fundamentally you wonít pass them regardless of how many chances there are. Thatís just how cultivation is. Youíll never be told clearly whether something will happen or not. If everything were made known to you, you would pass them, but that wouldnít be a true test. Itís only when you arenít aware of it that you will be tested at the critical moment to see if you are solid and can make that step forward. Or, when youíre judging whether something is right or wrong youíll be tested to see how you deal with it. Thatís how it is.

Question: While studying Zhuan Falun, is it good if we take information from Zhuan Falun (Volume II) and other Dafa books thatís relevant to certain parts of Zhuan Falun and study them together?

Teacher: No, itís not good. Just focus on studying. When you read one book you should concentrate on it; thatís how you should read it, and read it in order. You shouldnít look for something with your own goals or do something with your own goals. That wonít work. And let me tell you that when you reach a certain point and itís time for you to reach the next level, youíll be allowed to move up, and when itís time for you to understand the Fa principles at a particular level, youíll be allowed to know them. Suppose you did something today and you arenít sure whether it was right or wrong: If you pick up Zhuan Falun and turn to a page randomly, without any intention of opening it to a specific page, I guarantee that the page you open to will be relevant to the thing you did today. (Applause) Of course, if you want to give it a try when you get home, then with that attachment you wonít find anything. Cultivation is serious business: Youíll never be allowed to try this as if it were kidís stuff, that wouldnít work. In other words, you shouldnít do anything with your own motives.

The Dafa book Zhuan Falun is for systematic cultivation. Go read it. As for the other books such as Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa, Zhuan Falun (Volume II), etc., theyíre only supplementary materials to be read for reference. The objective of Essentials for Further Advancement is to correct common problems and incorrect situations that have appeared in your cultivation as a whole.

Question: Some people say that the power of Dafa is boundless, so Dafa disciples donít need to safeguard the Fa. Is what theyíre saying correct?

Teacher: No, itís not. Itís true that the power of Dafa is boundless. Today we are all practicing cultivation in the environment of this ordinary human society. If corrupt high-level beings came to do bad things, the Fa Itself would send our Fa-Safeguarding Gods or other high-level beings to destroy them; if our disciples were doing bad things, and Gods came and killed them, everyone would acknowledge that the power of this Fa is truly great and wouldnít dare cause any more trouble for the Fa. Then you couldnít cultivate anymore. Gods canít come here to kill ordinary people that casually, nor can they damage this environment in which you cultivate. In our cultivation, if we can do well defending Dafa in different situations when society and various people create all kinds of troubles for us, isnít that safeguarding the Fa?

As for bad people or those who do bad things, if theyíre savable, we can try to persuade them and maybe theyíll be saved. If theyíre bent on doing things their own way and continue doing such thingsódoing them hystericallyóthen weíll deal with them when the time comes. Itís also possible they are being used for the time being to test our students. Once our cultivation ends, theyíll have to pay for everything theyíve done, for sure.

Question: As for those who wonít be able to become Gods, why canít they even remain as humans?

Teacher: The entire cosmos is being renewed. In regard to humans, when this cultivation ends, this environment wonít be needed anymore. The humans that are left over will be vile human beings who are even more putrid and even worse; when humans arenít good they are eliminated. Think about it, everyone: Can they continue to exist like this? Human beings really are created by Gods. I explained it before, but let me explain it further. As you know, we human beings live in the dimension composed of molecules. But did you know that everything around us is composed of molecules, even the air? What you eat, what you drink, each thing you come into contact with, everything around you, and all of the things that you canít see are composed of molecules. So if one looks from the outsideóif one looks at the Three Realms from outside the environment of our universeóarenít human beings amidst mounds of molecules? You are living right amidst mounds of molecules; even the air you breathe is molecules. Then to the high-level beings who look at the human dimension from outside of the Three Realms, what are molecules? Gods generally call these molecules ďsoilĒ or ďmud.Ē Youíre amidst mud, human beings are crawling around in mudóthatís what Gods see. Gods see everything [here] that way. Also, there are more superior substances at different levels. After I explain it this way, I think itís not that hard for you to understand what Jesus said about how Yahweh created man from mud![4] Itís not the mud and soil that you seeóeverything here is mud. Even your flesh is regarded by them as soil, as mud. Thatís because in the eyes of Gods, the plane of molecules, and especially the plane of the coarsest molecules, is the filthiest and worst mud. Thatís how they see it.

Question: Some peopleís bodies tilt to the left or right when they do the exercises. This looks a little askew to others.

Teacher: Everyone has his own situation. Some people have more matter on this side of their bodies and less on the other. There are cases like that. That was caused by you yourselves in different environments and under different circumstances in the past. All the same, you only need to concentrate on cultivation, and I will take care of those things for you. You canít handle them yourselves. So you only need to focus on cultivation. Your having one more attachment is useless. If you keep thinking about it, it will become a burden, an obstacle, and an attachment. Didnít I just mention that Iíve opened things up so much that thereís no door anymore, and that I only look at peopleís hearts? If even under these circumstances you still donít cultivate yourselves and I donít look at your hearts, how could I save you? Right?

Question: How can we remove all postnatally-acquired notions as quickly as possible?

Teacher: The only way is to be determined in studying Dafa, and when a wrong thought pops up, to remember that youíre a cultivator and suppress it with right thoughts. My Law Bodies see your mental activities very clearly. If you can make a distinction and not regard it as you yourself, then naturally it wonít be you and will be eliminated. But it wonít be eliminated for you all at once. It will be divided into different levels and reduced gradually, since we need to leave [some of it] so that you can understand the Fa on your own and cultivate. But weíll get rid of a few extremely bad ones all at once. Thatís how it is.

Question: A student was falling asleep during group study. After others pointed it out to him, he didnít like it and stopped coming to group study.

Teacher: Then you donít need to ask him to come to study. He didnít come to study the Fa, he came to sleep. So why ask him to come? Is that right? Coming to sleep? We donít need people coming to sleep.

Donít worry about having a small number of people. Even if thereís only one true cultivator at one of our practice sites, Iíd say thatís not bad. Donít worry about having a small number of people. If you had a big pile of peopleósay, one thousand peopleóbut not even one of them was a true cultivator, what would be the use? It would even damage the Fa.

Question: Sometimes our work assisting others isnít good enough because weíre afraid of making the mistake of interpreting the Fa.

Teacher: Iíve discussed many times the topic of assisting others. For example, you can speak in this way: ďI understand this meaning of the Fa at the level Iím atóthis is what I understand at my level. Of course, the Fa has meanings that are more profound!Ē Itís not a problem to say, ďI havenít met the requirements of the Fa in a certain area,Ē or ďI think the Fa discusses certain things at this particular realm. However, the Fa has other inner meaningsĒóthat should be stated clearly. In other words, you shouldnít confine yourselves.

Question: Practitioners still hold jobs in society. Do they need to apply the principles of ordinary human society in handling [job-related] problems?

Teacher: Work is work. Cultivation is cultivation. But your xinxing improvement through cultivation will be reflected in [your handling of] specific issues at work. Also, if your boss insists that you do something, you can be a little more accommodating, since itís not you who wants it done. If you donít do it, he wonít understand you. But you wonít make big mistakes. If something is wrong, when you do it youíll try your best to do it right and handle it your own way. It all depends on how you handle it. I think you can handle all those things well, I donít think thereís a problem. Thereís another thing: Some of us are so concerned about our own image we donít let others know that weíre practicing Dafa. They donít let others know how good they are. I think much of this is caused by people themselves. I can tell you that there are now 100 million people learning Dafa. Thatís no small number. You arenít an isolated phenomenon and you wonít be laughed at. And in this setting of Changchun especially, when Falun Dafa practitioners are mentioned everyone knows theyíre good people.

In many regions, when our laid-off workers look for a new job, people say, ďIíll hire any Falun Dafa practitioner.Ē Donít think that yours is an isolated case or that you stand out, thatís not the case. We have established this environment. Moreover, this kind of environment has been forming across the whole country.

Question: Thereís another qigong group that does their exercises next to us and plays their tape loudly. Should weÖ?

Teacher: It doesnít matter. Isnít that too testing our minds to see if weíre affected? When they play their things, doesnít it affect your mind? At those times you are being tested to see if youíre disturbed by it, or if you get angry. So we must look within for the cause, and not even flinch when thunder sounds. Let them play their music. When youíre truly not affected it will disappear naturally. Thatís guaranteed. If they do it on purpose, if you really canít handle it well, or if there are a lot of new students, then in that case we can find a new location. They think that place is good, so let them have it. Wherever we practice Falun Gong will become a good place. Weíre remaking the environment, not selecting the environment.

Question: How should cultivators do their jobs as leaders well?

Teacher: Nowadays there are so many vexing things at work for people with leadership positions. If all the people in society practiced Falun Gong, I think you could do your work very well without many worries. If everyone were to think in the interest of the public, if nobody were to think in the interest of himself, if nobody were going after things that benefit himself, and if everyone were to think in terms of othersí welfare, think about it, what would society be like? Of course, we donít mean to ask everyone to become an everyday person after they obtain the Fa. Iím just illustrating a point here. As for how you should handle things, those are specific matters that you should decide for yourself. You should handle them yourselves according to what you think a practitioner should do. You can be more accommodating and more tolerant with certain things. With yourselves, you should be stricter.

Question: How should we deal with the unhealthy phenomena in society that are encountered at work?

Teacher: Donít think that much about things beyond your control. If youíre a leader and corrupt practices prevail in your organization, then you are responsible for it. But if theyíre not something that happens at your workplace, or if youíre not in a position in society with certain responsibilities for others, then you shouldnít make it your business. You should just make sure that you conduct yourself well. What we require is that we act well, starting with ourselves. If everyone made sure that he conducted himself well, then everything in society would be good. Whereas if everybody tries to police others, then the more people try, the worse things will get, and more and more friction will arise. If people donít conduct themselves well but instead police others, then theyíll bicker among themselves about how ďyouíre not good,Ē ďsheís not good,Ē or ďheís not good.Ē Tensions among people will get more and more intense. Itís bound to be that way.

Question: Why do some people always misunderstand the Fa or understand the Fa in an extreme way?

Teacher: Itís actually very simple. Itís nothing but a question of what the starting point of a personís thinking is. That is, when you want to understand the Fa, whatís the basis of your thinking and whatís your vantage point? When you hold on to your own attachments and want to search for answers or for something that protects the things you canít let go of, of course youíll misunderstand the Fa. If you donít think about anything as you read the Fa, what the Fa tells you will be correct. Donít try to search in the Fa for what you think is right. Donít try to search in the Fa for things that provide excuses for yourselves, and donít take things out of context to protect yourselves. Thatís unacceptable, and the more you read, the more confused youíll be. It just depends on what your starting point is.

Question: At present, whatís the quickest way to reach Consummation?

Teacher: Iíve created for people the quickest and best cultivation way. Weíre in this most complicated crowd of people, and this complex environment enables you to improve quickly. At the same time, a Fa this immense has been imparted today. This Fa allows people to improve quickly. How much faster do you still want it to be? Nothing can save people any faster than Dafa. A person full of karma should first of all think about how to pay off his karma. You have no business choosing [a preferable method].

Question: I always think that copying the book by hand is a waste of time.

Teacher: Then your thinking is a bit too extreme.

Question: In order to overcome thought karma, other than using strong willpower to repel it, are there any other good ways?                   

Teacher: No. Even if you used your hands to grab it you couldnít pull it out. Thereís no other way. Your improvement and the removal of your thought karma come with the raising of your level. Cultivation is a serious thing, it doesnít go however you want it to. Every aspect of it has been carefully arranged for you. Wishful thinking doesnít work.

Question: After the layer of the largest cells of the human body sloughs off, in what form do the bodies in other dimensions exist?

Teacher: Iíve said that human beings donít die following the death of the human life. Iíve talked about this matter in the Fa and have explained it clearly. When a person dies, only the layer of the largest moleculesóthe human shell or this layer of molecules on the surfaceódies and falls away from this dimension. How could your real body thatís composed of microscopic matter die? The fire in an incinerator canít burn away your more microscopic matter, it canít reach it. Let me tell you that this isnít because human fire canít burn them or human fire isnít hot enough to burn the nuclei. Itís because thereís a difference in dimensions between the fire here and the substances there. Thatís why the fire canít reach them.

Question: In the section ďPracticing in an Evil Way,Ē you said that the Great Enlightened Beings constructed new universes based on their own characteristics. Then the original characteristics and the new universesÖ

Teacher: This cosmos is extremely vast, and what you brought up has happened in universes at multiple levels, but whatís discussed in the book arenít matters in that large a cosmic body. Thatís not how it is.

There are numerous universes in the cosmic body. Looking at them from the enormous cosmic body, theyíre all like specks of dust. At different levels of the Fa, different universes understand the Fa at different levels. For example, the true Fa of a certain level of the Fa wonít be disclosed to beings. But the characteristics of the Fa that manifest can be known by beings. By the same token, what Iíve told you today is only a generalized discussion of what youíll understand upon elevating to that level. You wonít know the true revelation of that level. Thus, if the beings at a certain level have reached there through cultivating from below (Dafa practitioners are an exception), they would have assimilated to the Fa at that level in the process of raising their levels in cultivation, and would have developed their own things that theyíve cultivated. For example, Sakyamuni had ďPrecept, Samadhi, Wisdom.Ē His Precept, Samadhi, Wisdom conforms to the principles of the Fa at his level and to the Fa of the cosmos at that level. He had thus risen to that level. [His] entire universe is constituted by the principles of his Faóconstituted by Precept, Samadhi, Wisdom. At the same time, his Fa is also the evolutionary principle for all of their Righteous Attainments (zhengguo). All matter and forms change along with those things of his. In other words, he doesnít know that itís the fundamental Fa that is truly reflected there, yet he can know its manifestation. Having enlightened to things at that level, he can thus exist at that level. And he then attained something of his own: Righteous Enlightenment Status.

There are other Buddhas and Gods at that same level. Similarly, they enlightened to other understandings of the principles of the Fa at that level. They, too, conform to the principles of the Fa at that level and thus have enlightened to their own Attainment Statuses (guowei). The same goes for other Buddhas: They, too, have established their paradises there and have enlightened to their Attainments of Righteous Enlightenment at that level of the Dafa of the cosmos. But they are each different from one another, and yet theyíve all met the standards of that same level. After I explain it this way, you now understand, right? Then in this enormous cosmos, phenomena like thisóthe phenomena like this at different levelsóare extremely many. So in a universe such as this, periods of formation, stasis, and deterioration cycle through frequently. Yet the Fa of our entire cosmic body will never change. This will forever be the Fa, which will never change, and never has changed.

Question: Between those students whoíve attended Masterís seminars teaching Fa and those who havenít, other than having a different predestined relationship with Master, are they different in any other way?

Teacher: Actually, let me tell you: You arenít at all different in your cultivation. Many people who have a strong predestined relationship with me didnít attend the seminars back then. That was caused by their own circumstances, situations, and many, many other factors.

All the questions have been answered, with some repetitive ones filtered out. Some others were raised by everyday people and donít need to be answered, so they were filtered out too. Iíve talked for five hours now. Since it is the Fa youíre listening to, everyone likes to listen, and if we went on for another five hours you probably wouldnít feel it was long. No matter how much I say, itís only for one purpose: to enable you to improve as quickly as possible and to rise through cultivation as quickly as possible. Most of you in the audience are Assistants, and the goal is for you to do your job well. As for the many, many questions you have and the situations in your cultivation, if I were to answer all of them for you, you wouldnít be able to cultivate. Or even if you could, Iím afraid it wouldnít count. So you yourselves need to enlighten to many questions, and you yourselves need to cultivate. Only that is cultivation. I often use this example: Letís say you Consummated and you went up there and saw mighty, great Buddhas sitting there; the mighty virtue every Buddha has established is magnificent. You would ask yourself how you got up there. Youíd find yourself trembling with anxiety, and even you would know that you didnít belong there, and youíd go down on your own. Youíd feel unworthy! So in cultivation, each one of you has to reach his own realm, and you have to reach every level solidly. Cultivation is serious! After you leave today, donít use my words to target others, because I said them targeting your situation. And donít quote my words out of context. Nor should you elatedly tell others, ďI heard Teacher Li say such and such.Ē The moment that attachment of yours emerges, you become an everyday person. I want to see you cultivate smoothly and steadily, so I donít want these problems to recur.

This environment todayÖ It really hasnít been easy for me to rectify, amidst the trials and difficulties, the overall cultivation environment so that weíre free of problems and stay on such an upright course. As a matter of fact, Iím able to do thatówe donít have any tangible form of organization, nor do we keep money or property. The good things you see are that we havenít engaged in building some sphere of influence in the society of everyday people, and that we donít disturb society or the governmentóthatís what you see. The truth is, I can tell you, itís because we have the Faówe have such an immense Faóthat I can be hands-off. Whether or not you learn it is your own businessÖ We donít have any rosters, nor do we keep track of anyoneís personal information. As long as you cultivate I will be responsible to you. Yet this kind of being responsible to you doesnít show in ordinary human society. As long as you cultivate, you can improve, and if you keep on cultivating, you can reach Consummation. But none of this manifests in ordinary human society.

The reason we do things this way is to complement this Fa. This Fa is so immense, so it has a high requirement for the way itís spread in ordinary human society. That is, the form it takes among everyday people must conform to the requirements of Dafa. Then what kind of form conforms to this enormous Faís requirement that It be spread in ordinary human society without being tarnished? Thereís only one: ďa great way without form.Ē We really have managed to do that. No formówe donít have any of the forms of ordinary human society. Yet we can enable people to truly cultivate and truly improve. That is how weíve walked our path, and that is how weíve done it, and itís the best way. Nobody can find fault with us. Even when someone tries to nit-pick, he wonít find anything, and thatís because we have the Fa. I donít set any rules or restrictions. All of you know for yourselves how to handle things.

As for you Assistants, those who we call ďAssistantsĒ are simply charitable people who donít become well-known or gain from it personallyóyou donít get anything personal out of it. Out of your charitable nature you bring a tape player to the practice sites to assist others. Thatís how all of you areóyouíre doing this out of your charitable nature and itís your own action. Experience has shown that this environment is the best for our cultivation. None of the saviors in the past dared to take this approach, because they didnít have a Fa this immense. They all had to gather their disciples together to cultivate by following rules and precepts. Since we have such an immense Fa today, we can be open and we donít need to have those rules. Anything with a form cannot match this Dafa. No rules or restrictions can change peopleís heartsóonly Fa can. Thatís why weíve taken this approach.

At the same time, the form of our assistance centers is necessary. This kind of assistance center doesnít assume a form like that of a business enterprise or a government agency. An Assistant simply uses his home and gets together with others to help them when they have questions or to have a discussion. It takes a grassroots form. I think itís really good. I think itís great that you talk together about what people want to do, or about doing some things to spread the Fa.

Fa conferences are another thing unique to our Dafa. After reaching a certain point, we get together to have a Fa conference and have those whoíve learned well share their experiences and understanding, which will inspire others and help them improve. That is excellent. Itís something unique to us.

Overall, youíve all made many contributions to this Fa. Of course, I wonít follow protocol and praise you, and thatís not what you want, anyway. What you seek is merit and virtue, and the raising of your realms and levels. So I wonít say those things. Your working for Dafa is the same as working for yourself, because you are a part of Dafa. Whether youíre responsible to Dafa and whether youíre responsible to yourself are the same thing. So thereís no need for me to say much. Iím merely taking care of you in your cultivation, at your different levels, and in the process of your improvement.

As for how to handle things among everyday people, I think you all know how. I hope that from now on you have a better start and do your work even better. In the meantime, I hope that todayís meeting, which can be called a Fa conference, helps you to improve considerably and spurs you on greatly. Here, I might be pushing you ahead, but you yourself need to hurry up in studying the Fa, and best utilize your time to study the Fa and keep up. Only that is solid progress. I hope everyone continues to cultivate diligently and vigorously. Donít just watch others achieve Consummationóyou too should strive to achieve Consummation as soon as possible.

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Glossary (provided by the translators)                                   

benti                ďinnate body,Ē ďoriginal body,Ē or ďtrue being.Ē

Dao                  1. Also known as ďTao,Ē a Daoist term for ďthe Way of nature and the universeĒ; 2. An Enlightened being who has attained the Dao

Dafa                 ďThe Great Law,Ē or ďThe Great WayĒ; short for the practiceís full name, Falun Dafa, ďThe Great Way of the Law WheelĒ

Fa                    ďLawĒ or ďWayĒ

gong                ďcultivation energyĒ

qigong             A general name for certain Chinese practices that cultivate the human body. Qigong has been immensely popular in China in recent decades.

xinxing            ďmind-natureĒ  (lit.), ďthought,Ē or ďcharacterĒ   

[1] Translatorís note: a reference to the Marxist system of thought that posits matter over mind, and that forms the theoretical basis of Communism.

[2] Translatorís note: the Chinese term here (and in some other places), xin, could also be translated as ďattachments,Ē ďthoughts,Ē ďintentions,Ē ďfeelings,Ē etc. 

[3] Translatorís note: li is a Chinese unit of distance equal to 1/3 mile or 1/2 km.

[4] Translatorís note: this term could also be translated as ďclay.Ē