I don’t need to introduce myself, as all of you know me—I am Li Hongzhi. I have always wanted to meet with you, but owing to various reasons, I haven’t had the opportunity to do so. This time I came especially for the purpose of meeting with you. This is because I know that in the past here in Australia, there weren’t as many people as there are now who knew of this Way. Many of the people studying it did not emphasize studying the teachings, and their understanding of it was rather shallow. I felt that now that you understand what I am passing on, I can come meet with you. This is because many of the things that you want to know are written in the [Falun Dafa] books. I have a habit: I like it when others ask me about the things they don’t understand in cultivation. But when people who don’t yet know what this practice is ask me what it is, I just … how should I put it? If you have a very shallow understanding, it’s very difficult to have you understand things all at once. If you have been able to read from the books, study the Fa, and attain a certain level of understanding, and then ask me about some things that are meaningful to your improvement, then I feel that regardless of whether you are learning or [actually] cultivating, it will be beneficial to you. I feel that the predestined opportunity is now ripe, so I have come.
I know that among those sitting here, there is a group that has not studied [the teachings] yet, a group that still only does the exercises and has yet to emphasize studying the teachings, and a group of people who has studied better. Why do I require that all of you must study the teachings? It’s because the following relationship is involved: You know that in this land of China, qigong has been spread on a large scale in ordinary society for over twenty years now. Qigong began to peak in popularity in the middle to late period of the Cultural Revolution. Yet no one has ever explained what qigong really is. No one has explained what the supernormal abilities or the phenomena inexplicable to modern science that qigong has produced are really about. What is the purpose of qigong’s emergence? There are even fewer who can answer this. Qigong had never appeared throughout history, so why has it appeared now? Moreover, it is something cultivation-related being spread in society. Why would this happen? Very few people know why. Of course, when qigong began to become popularized in China, many excellent qigong masters came out to teach it. All they knew of the purpose of doing this was doing some good deeds by improving people’s health. They had just a simple thought process and understanding [of it].
Even though qigong has been popularized for a long time, for decades, no one knows its true, deeper meaning. Therefore, in this book Zhuan Falun I explain some phenomena observed in the qigong community, the reason why qigong was spread in ordinary society, and the ultimate purpose of qigong. So this book is a systematic work that can enable a person to cultivate. Many people have experienced a unique phenomenon when reading the book repeatedly: No matter how many times you read this book, you will still find it to be novel; no matter how many times you read this book, you will continue to gain new understandings of a particular passage; no matter how many times you read this book, you will still feel that there are many inner meanings within it that you have yet to discover. Why is it like this? It’s because I have explained the things that can enable a person to cultivate, how a person is to cultivate, the characteristic of the universe, and many other things that are seen as heavenly secrets; I have systematically organized these elements into this book. It can enable a cultivator to reach spiritual perfection, because historically no one has ever done anything like this before. Many people have read this book and feel that it contains many heavenly secrets—many of which are the most secret of secrets—that in the past mankind was never allowed to know. I have revealed all of these things in this book. Of course, I have my purpose for doing so. If a person were to casually and irresponsibly divulge heavenly secrets, casually explaining these high-level principles to ordinary people as if they were ordinary theories, he would be divulging heavenly secrets and committing wrongdoing, and he would certainly face retribution for it.
I have done this purposefully. One of my purposes is that, looking at things at a basic level, I saw that many people, through practicing qigong for so many years, came to know that qigong has very high-level inner meanings and can enable a person to cultivate to a very high-level realm, and even to reach spiritual perfection. Yet sadly, [despite all that] they could not find a genuine cultivation practice like this one. Ordinary qigong practices are for maintaining health and fitness and cannot be used for cultivation. So many people became lay Buddhists in temples and took monks as their masters. Of course, considering this point, I will bring up a statement by Shakyamuni, namely that his teachings would not be able to save people in the time of the Way’s End. That was said by Buddha Shakyamuni, and it’s because many factors have brought about this situation. So for many people, no matter how you try to cultivate, be it in a temple or through practicing qigong, you will feel like you didn’t gain anything or ascend, and you really didn’t elevate. Thus, I see everyone’s desire to elevate but also see that people suffer greatly because they, sadly, have not been able to find a way to do it—so I want to truly guide those who wish to obtain the teachings toward high levels. This is a major reason [for my doing this].
Yet when an upright practice is spread, it requires that people elevate their character and moral standards, and turn towards goodness. A cultivator, then, is required to surpass the moral standard of the average ordinary person. Thus, he will benefit society. Of course, there are many who won’t necessarily be able to cultivate after reading this book, but they will have understood the principles of how a person should act. From then on, these people may well become good people. Though they cannot cultivate, they will be good people, and they will benefit society. When an upright practice is spread, it will inevitably have this effect. Actually, the upright religions that have appeared in history, such as Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Judaism, are able to help people turn towards goodness and are also able to enable those who truly wish to elevate through cultivation to obtain the Way and reach spiritual perfection. They enable those who are unable to cultivate for the time being to be excellent people in society, and they create opportunities for [those people] to cultivate in the future—that’s the effect they have.
Though we are not a religion, I am spreading high-level qigong things, and thus it is not an ordinary qigong. To put it plainly, qigong is not something of ordinary people. What is qigong? Qigong is cultivation. But it is the lowest level of cultivation, the level that includes Tai Chi. Tai Chi, as you know, is very good, and was spreading widely in China as early as the 1950s. It’s something that Zhang Sanfeng began spreading in the Ming Dynasty. Yet what was passed down were only techniques and movements, and he didn’t spread the spiritual elements of the practice. That is, he didn’t leave people the teachings that would teach them how to cultivate and how to improve at every level. Thus Tai Chi remains within the realm of maintaining health and fitness, and it cannot be used to cultivate towards high levels. Though it is very good, its spiritual aspects were not spread. Those spiritual aspects were there in the past, but they were not passed down or kept for later generations. But the Way that we are imparting today has its spiritual elements incorporated systematically.
Of course, we have many new practitioners here, and some may feel that what I am saying is very high-level. As you all know, all types of religions have people turn towards goodness and lead them to heavenly kingdoms. In Buddhism, of course, the Paradise of Ultimate Bliss is also a heavenly kingdom. Throughout history, each great enlightened being or saint explained how to be a good person and that a person would have to reach the standard of a higher realm in order to go to a heavenly kingdom. Yet they didn’t explain the principles involved. This is because these great enlightened beings—be it Jesus, Buddha Shakyamuni, Lao Zi, and so on—all appeared about two thousand years ago. The people of that time period were different from the people of today; they were more single-minded, honest, simple, and kind, and their thoughts were not that complicated. Since people of that time period had a different state of mind than the people of today, the teachings that [those great enlightened beings] taught were effective for that time period. At that time, the things they taught were completely capable of enabling people to reach spiritual perfection. Due to the passage of time, the thoughts of today’s people have become increasingly complicated and their ways of thinking have changed. Thus, today’s people cannot understand the things these great enlightened beings spread at that time. So when today’s people read these scriptures, they feel like they cannot understand their true meaning. Although I am now spreading the practice in the form of qigong, you all know that I am spreading the Buddha Way. Some people think, “This Buddha Way that you are spreading is not like what Buddha Shakyamuni said.” If I were to explain things using Buddha Shakyamuni’s words, none of today’s people would understand. The language of Buddha Shakyamuni was the language of the people of that time period, so those people could understand it. So I now have to use today’s language to explain the Buddha Way in order to have you understand. Some people may also think, “What you are discussing isn’t from the Buddhist scriptures.” Was Buddha Shakyamuni teaching the same teachings taught by the Six Primeval Buddhas? If Maitreya descended to the world, would he repeat the things said by Buddha Shakyamuni? All of what the enlightened beings who save people teach are things that they have enlightened to, things they spread to man in order to save him.
I have written many things related to cultivation in this book. A person begins his cultivation at the level of ordinary people. From that point all the way until when you reach spiritual perfection, you will have the teachings to guide your cultivation. I have indeed done something unprecedented. I have disseminated the fundamental Great Way of the great universe, something that you will not find even if you read through all ancient, modern, Chinese and foreign books. The principles I have explained are the characteristics of the universe, the essence of the Buddha Way, and through my words they have been accurately articulated. After reading the book many people think, and some people say, “How much academic knowledge does Teacher Li have? He seems to have incorporated many fields, be they ancient, modern, Chinese, or foreign, such as astronomy, geography, history, chemistry, physics, astrophysics, high-energy physics, and philosophy.” People feel that my knowledge is profound, but I actually feel quite inadequate compared to the academic knowledge of ordinary people. Yet you won’t be able to learn these theories even if you read all of the books or learn all of the academic disciplines in the world. Even if you acquire all the academic knowledge in the world, you will still be an ordinary person. This is because you are simply a person at this level, having merely acquired more ordinary people’s knowledge than others, so you are still an ordinary person. Yet the principles and things I am explaining are not of the level of ordinary people; they are beyond it. Thus, these principles do not arise from the knowledge of everyday people. The Way encompasses the [entire] universe, all the way down to the knowledge of ordinary people’s society.
I have used the language of ordinary people in a simple and clear way, as well as the lowest form of cultivation—qigong—to show all of the principles of the universe, from the lowest to the highest. After reading the book for the first time, you will find that it teaches the principles of how to be a good person; if you read the book again, you will find that what it explains are not the principles of ordinary people, and that it is a book that goes beyond ordinary people’s knowledge; if you are able to read it a third time, you will find that it is a heavenly book; if you keep reading it you won’t be able to put it down. In China there are now people who have read the book over a hundred times and who are still reading it, and they are completely unable to put it down. The book has simply too many inner meanings in it, and the more you read, the more of them you will see. Why? Although I have divulged many heavenly secrets, non-cultivators will be unable to see them in the surface words. Only when a cultivator continually reads the book will he be able to detect its inner meanings. This is because a person is constantly ascending as he cultivates. When beginning [to read Zhuan Falun], why do you feel that the book is explaining the principles of how to be a good person? Why isn’t it like this the second time, when the reader has ascended? This is because if a person wants to cultivate, he must first begin cultivation from the starting point of an ordinary person. Gradually he improves his xinxing and reaches a higher standard. When you reach the standard of the first level, the teachings at that level will be there to guide you in cultivation; when you reach the second level, you will have the teachings of the second level to guide your cultivation in that realm. When you constantly ascend, this practice must be able to guide your cultivation in each realm. That is to say that regardless of which level you cultivate to, there need to be the teachings of that level to guide you to cultivate, all the way until spiritual perfection. My book has included all of these things, so when you want to truly cultivate, you will see these things, and [the book] will be able to guide you to ascend in cultivation. There are a vast amount of inner meanings in this book. Even if you read it ten thousand times, it will still be able to guide you to cultivate, all the way until you reach spiritual perfection.
Speaking of the issue of spiritual perfection, you know that Jesus said, “If you believe in me, you can go to the Kingdom of Heaven.” In Buddhism, it is said, “If a person cultivates Buddhahood, he can go to the Paradise of Ultimate Bliss.” Of course, the [enlightened beings] stated things in a simple manner, and did not emphasize that you can only go [to those paradises] by doing actual cultivation. But in reality, religions also involve cultivation. It’s just that both Buddha Shakyamuni and Jesus saw a situation: In our cultivation community there is a saying, “cultivation depends on the individual, and [the transformation of] gong depends on the master.” This is also something that ordinary people don’t know about. Ordinary people think, “Through doing the physical exercises I can develop great amounts of gong.” We find this notion to be laughable and simply impossible. Of course, if you want to cultivate, you will only be able to succeed if your master is responsible to you, installs many mechanisms in your body, and, as if sowing seeds, implants many things in you. Moreover, you will only be able to elevate while cultivating if the master watches over you, protects you, eliminates your karma and helps you to evolve gong. In religions they don’t mention cultivation. Why? Jesus knew that if you had faith in him, you could cultivate, and in doing so, elevate. The reason people can no longer cultivate through religions is because they no longer understand the true inner meanings of what [the enlightened beings] said. Many people think, “If I believe in Jesus, I can go to the Kingdom of Heaven after I die.” Think about it: If we want to go to a heavenly kingdom, how would we get there? While carrying an ordinary person’s heart, your six emotions and seven desires, your assortment of attachments, the attachment to battling with others, and the desire to show off, there are simply too many bad attachments of ordinary people. If you were sent up to where a Buddha is, you might start to argue and fight with the Buddha because your ordinary human attachments have not been eliminated. When you see how beautiful a Great Bodhisattva is, you might have wicked thoughts. Could this be allowed? Of course not. Thus, you can only ascend to this realm after you eliminate these attachment-filled, dirty, and bad mentalities while in ordinary human society. You can get there by cultivating, and through faith, but you can only go to a heavenly kingdom if, after you confess and repent, you do not make the same mistake again, and this way become better and better and reach a heavenly being’s standard.
Some people say, “As long as I have faith in Jesus, I can go to the Kingdom of Heaven.” I would say that you can’t go there. Why not? Today’s people no longer understand the genuine meaning of what Jesus said. Jesus is an enlightened being at the level of Tathagata and in the realm of Buddha. Ordinary people cannot understand the deeper meanings of what he said. You can only gradually come to experience and discover the deeper meanings of what he said if you constantly cultivate according to his methods. For instance, Jesus said, “Believe in me and you can go to the Kingdom of Heaven.” Actually, you are truly believing in Jesus only if you live by the principles that he taught about being a good person—only then can you go to the Kingdom of Heaven. Otherwise, what was the point of Jesus saying so many things?! When you are confessing and repenting, you feel that you have done very well and that your state of mind is very good. But when you exit the church doors, you act however you please and do even worse than ordinary people. How can you go to the Kingdom of Heaven? Your heart did not elevate in the least. This is because Jesus said, “If you believe in me, you can go to the Kingdom of Heaven.” That is, to have true faith in him you have to act in accordance with what he taught, right? The same principle also applies to other religions.
Generations that came after Buddha Shakyamuni assembled some of his statements and made them into scriptures. After that, people treated how much a person would read the scriptures or the amount of Buddhist knowledge a person had as cultivation. Actually, in Buddha Shakyamuni’s time there were no scriptures at all. Moreover, the scriptures were not systematically assembled until five hundred years after [Shakyamuni’s time] and became completely different from Buddha Shakyamuni’s original words. But in that period of time [that Buddha Shakyamuni was teaching], people were only allowed to know so much; too much would be unacceptable. This was inevitable. Late in life, at the end of his years, Buddha Shakyamuni said, “I have not taught any teachings in my lifetime.” This is because Buddha Shakyamuni indeed had not explained the Way of the universe, nor had he explained the manifestation of the characteristic of Zhen-Shan-Ren in ordinary society or at his level of Tathagata. He really hadn’t explained it! So what did the Tathagata Buddha teach, then? He taught about what he enlightened to previously during his cultivation in the human world, some cultivation situations and stories from his past reincarnations, and his understanding of some specific manifestations of the Way. The scriptures were compiled piecemeal and are thus unsystematic in nature. So why did later generations see Buddha Shakyamuni’s words as the Buddha Way? One reason is people’s understanding of [Shakyamuni’s words]; another reason is that Shakyamuni is a Buddha, so his words carry Buddha-nature. To humans, words with Buddha-nature are [expressing] a level of Buddha principles and are the Buddha Way. But [Buddha Shakyamuni] really did not systematically explain things such as the principles of cultivation, the characteristics of the universe, why people will improve and ascend, and the like. He really did not explain these things! That’s why I say that I have done something unprecedented. I have opened an enormous door and embarked on a greater task—I have explained all of the principles of cultivation and the factors related to reaching spiritual perfection. And I have explained them very systematically. This is why high-level gods have said, “You have left humans with a ladder to heaven—Zhuan Falun.”
I am not trying to say anything bad about Buddha Shakyamuni here. I don’t have that desire, I do not have ordinary people’s emotions, and I don’t have attachments to the fame and personal gain of the mortal world. Since I have made this [practice] public, I will be responsible to you, and I will clearly explain this principle to you. I seek nothing from you, and I won’t ask you for a penny, as I am only asking you to turn towards goodness. Some people have asked me, “Teacher, you have taught us so many things and given us so many things—what do you seek?” I said, “I seek nothing. I am just here to save you. I just want your heart, which seeks goodness, to be able to improve.” This is because we have seen that being human is not the purpose of human existence. Nowadays people are entranced by the false realities of ordinary society and think, “This is how people should act.” This is especially the case since the moral values of human society have drastically declined. Everyone is following the current, sliding downward, and society as a whole is declining. Thus, no individual can detect that he himself is declining. Some think that they are good people by virtue of being a little bit better than others. Actually, you are using the declined standard to judge yourself, and you are amongst people who are not good, merely a bit better than the others. If you were to cultivate and return to the spiritual realm that human society originally had, even if you hadn’t ascended to that high a level, when you then looked back at today’s society you would discover that it is terrifying! It’s really terrifying! You would find that today’s humanity has really committed all imaginable evils.
The great enlightened beings in the heavens—be it the Buddhas, Daos, or Gods—no longer consider today’s people to be human. This statement seems a bit absolute, as of course there are still good people. But what they are referring to is the overall state of humanity, and on a large scale it really is like this. In the past, when people went to the temple or to church to confess, they felt that Jesus or beings from heavenly kingdoms were really listening to them, and they would hear echoes of responses in their heads, answering their questions. The people of today, however, do not experience this and those who worship Buddhas can no longer see the existence of Buddhas. Why? This is because humankind has become less and less able to enlighten to things and increasingly corrupt. Thus, gods no longer bother with humankind. Because modern people’s karma is enormous and they are less and less able to enlighten to things, when they receive retribution for doing something bad, they see it as a coincidence. I have seen that although humanity’s moral standard has drastically declined, people are unknowingly sliding down with the current. Some people’s Buddha-nature and original nature still exists, and through these years of spreading the practice [of Falun Dafa], many people have been able to ascend through cultivation, and to a very high level at that. Some have become fully enlightened, some are gradually enlightening, and some have cultivated to the level of Fruition. I am very happy about this, as I [can see that I] have not done this in vain. I am responsible to people and to society, and I have not divulged the secrets of Heaven in vain, as I have enabled people to ascend through cultivation.
The issue I just raised is that people do not actually live for the purpose of being human. When I bring up this topic, many people may have difficulty understanding it and feel that [it is fine for] people to just live this way. True—when you emerge from the womb, you are the same as everyone else, and you cannot see the existence of other dimensions, so you don’t believe in them. Moreover, today’s people believe too much in modern science, though modern science is unsatisfactory and imperfect. Its understanding of the universe is very shallow—that is to say, very low-level—and that’s the kind of thing it is. So believing too much in it creates an immense danger for people: It will completely destroy human morality. Those in higher worlds consider a person without moral values nonhuman! This is because humans are not the only ones with a human appearance: ghosts, monkeys, and orangutans all have a brain and four limbs. Humans are called human because while living in the mortal world, they must hold to human moral norms and standards as well as human ways of life. When humans depart from these, gods no longer consider them humans. Yet humans all think that they should live and develop in the way they want to. But human society is controlled by high-level beings, and humanity will never reach the realm of Buddhas through technology. Otherwise, a space war would really erupt! Thus, it is not allowed for human technology—which is imbued with the desire to compete with others, jealousy, and the six desires and seven emotions—to reach a higher standard.
Seventy-plus percent of the human brain goes unused, and modern medicine has come to understand this. Why? Human wisdom has been restricted. So why do Buddhas have great wisdom and divine powers? Why are they able to know everything and have such great wisdom? It’s due to the principle I just explained. Some people say my book, “touches on such a wide array of scientific knowledge!” They ask, “Teacher, is it that you have a lot of knowledge and have gone to many universities?” No, I haven’t. Then why is it like this? The difference between me and you is that my mind is completely open and your minds are not. People find fields like philosophy, astronomy, physics, chemistry, and human history to be very complicated, but they are actually very simple. They are just that tiny bit of human things that make up the lowest level of the Buddha Way. [Those fields] all follow the same concept; that is, they are created by the form of the universe’s characteristics and matter at this level—that’s all they are. Yet human wisdom cannot absorb it all because the human brain has been sealed off. What is one to do, then? Even if he wants to know more, his mind is unable to squeeze more in, so then you have to go and study physics, chemistry, astronomy, high-energy physics, philosophy, history, and other fields. In his lifetime, a person cannot master all of the knowledge of even one such academic field, so human knowledge is very pitiful.
I just mentioned that no matter how much knowledge you learn, and even if you are a professor or an advisor at a university and no matter how renowned you are, you are still just an ordinary person. This is because your knowledge has not gone beyond the level of ordinary people. Also, the empirical science of today’s humankind is imperfect. For instance, today’s science can verify neither the existence of gods nor [the existence] of other dimensions. It cannot detect the forms of life and matter in other dimensions; it does not know that morality physically manifests on human bodies; it also does not know that this matter called karma also surrounds human bodies. So people all believe in modern science, but modern science cannot verify any of these things. Moreover, once you start talking about morality, good and evil deeds, and other things outside the realm of science, these topics will be deemed superstitious. In reality, is this not brandishing the club of modern science to attack the most essential quality of humanity, its morality? Isn’t that what is happening? Since it won’t acknowledge and cannot verify the existence of virtue, it says that virtue is superstitious. If human moral values are really done away with this way, humans will no longer have a spiritual conscience to restrain them and will no longer have moral standards. They will be unafraid to do anything or to commit any wrongdoing, and this will push human morality into continual decline. This is the effect created by science’s greatest shortcoming.
I’ve mentioned before that an accomplished scientist would not have those kinds of stubborn views caused by substituting emotion for reason that so many others have. Those views have framed modern science into a rigid box, as people think that anything beyond empirical science is not science. Think about it: When we use scientific methods to come to understand something that humanity previously did not understand, isn’t that science? Of course that discovery would then be considered part of science. It’s because humanity is continually perfecting and rediscovering itself that science is able to develop and eventually come to genuinely understand the universe. The current way in which empirical science is developing is extremely clumsy and slow. It really is like a blind person trying to grasp what an elephant looks like by feel. It cannot see the material form of the overall universe nor the existence of the characteristics of the universe. So when it touches one part of the elephant, it thinks that that part is the entirety of it. It has merely touched the elephant’s leg, but says, “Oh, this is how science is. This is the science that truly understands life and matter.” It cannot see what the whole elephant looks like. It cannot see that the universe is constructed of countless different time-spaces, nor can it see other dimensions or other forms of life and matter, so then those simple-minded and obstinate people claim all of these things to be superstition. This is the most critical factor driving humanity’s moral decline. Many people brandish the club of science to attack the most ancient and fundamental virtues of humanity. This is dangerous! If humans lose virtue, gods will no longer consider them human. If heaven doesn’t consider humanity to be human, then humanity will be wiped out and will develop anew.
Some people think, “Humankind has been progressing. For us to develop from apes all the way to our present-day status is glorious!” But let me tell you something: throughout prehistoric times—be it 100,000 years ago, or even much, much earlier, even over 100 million years ago—high-level civilizations have always existed on Earth; it’s just that they were destroyed in different periods of time. Why were they destroyed? Though their material and technological development was very fast, their morality did not keep up or was ruined. They were no longer allowed to exist and were destroyed. From the understanding of modern science, the movement of matter follows laws. When matter gets to a certain state, a shift into another state will inevitably occur. For instance, it’s likely that the Earth was smashed into by another planet as it moved about in the universe. Regardless of the cause, scientists have in fact discovered the remnants of many different ancient civilizations, and these remnants date back to a long time before today, as some are from hundreds of thousands of years ago, millions of years ago, and even tens of millions of years ago. The remnants left behind by the different civilizations in each time period are all different and do not belong to the same time period, so some scientists are pondering this issue. Some scientists have proposed a hypothesis, saying, “There have existed prehistoric civilizations and prehistoric cultures.” That was put forth by scientists. Our cultivation community sees things even more clearly, as [we know that] many different human civilizations have indeed existed before this one. Since their moral values became corrupt—and we have, of course, seen that this is what happened—these civilizations ceased to exist. From the destroyed ancient Greek culture one can see traces of the corruption and degeneracy of humanity of that time.
Some people say, “We have evolved from apes.” Actually, I will tell you that humans did not evolve from apes in the least. Darwin’s theory stated that humans evolved from apes. When he first proposed this theory, he did so with much trepidation. His theory was full of holes and incomplete. Yet people have been accepting it all the way up to today. Consider this: You cannot find any evidence of the process of apes evolving into humans, over the course of millions of years, that he proposed—none at all. Why is there no intermediary species between ape and man? Other non-human species, such as the evolving animals he talked about, also have no intermediate process. Moreover, why are the species that exist in the continent of Australia different from those of other continents? He could not explain these things. Yet people have accepted this theory of evolution that is riddled with holes. That is what’s so strange!
Actually, we have seen that humans are not descended from apes in the least; it’s just that there are different species for each time period. The Earth and the continental plates, upon which humanity lives, are shifting and changing. Geologists consider the continents of Asia, Europe, America, South and North America to be continental plates. These continental plates often shift, and the civilizations on them then sink into the ocean. Then perhaps a continent in a different ocean will rise to the surface; things are constantly shifting this way. Nowadays people have discovered that the bottoms of the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and many other oceans have ancient, massive structures and have had civilizations. Yet these structures have been found to be hundreds of thousands of years old, millions of years old, or from even older epochs. At the very least, today’s humankind knows that the continental plates have not shifted for the last few hundreds of thousands of years. Then when did these structures sink into the ocean? They definitely sank a long time ago, hundreds of thousands of years ago or even earlier. So when different continental plates shift, the species on them will be different, but they didn’t become different through evolution. There are similarities between them, but they are not the same species. Absolutely not!
Of course, I am teaching the Buddha Way, so it will be different than the theories of ordinary people, as we have a higher understanding, and we genuinely understand humankind. I am telling all of you that humans did not evolve from apes; they were created from within the universe. You all know that China has the Daoist theory of Tai Chi. This Tai Chi theory talks about the two energies (qi) of Yin and Yang. Before the creation of Yin and Yang, things are in a state of chaos. They call this the state of Without Ultimate (wuji). From that emerges the Supreme Ultimate (taiji). The two energies of Yin and Yang appear, and then the Supreme Ultimate creates all things. This is the Daoist School theory. I think it has a lot of scientific merit. In reality, I’ve seen a situation—of course, I’m not the only one who has seen this—that the motion of enormous bodies of matter in the universe can produce life. We cannot see this matter, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. For instance, human eyes cannot see air, but does it not exist? It does exist. Is there matter more microscopic than air? Yes, there is a lot of it. There’s also plenty of matter that’s even more microscopic than that microscopic matter. Why can these enormous bodies of matter exist like this? Actually, they are lives. Any object has life; it’s just that [its life] doesn’t manifest in our ordinary people’s dimension, so you cannot see the existence of its life. In a moment I’ll explain why. Any object has life. These enormous bodies of matter produced life through their motion, and at higher levels, these lives are mostly formless; a minority take on the forms of humans, animals, objects, or plants.
Then why did things progress to the point of humans? In the beginning, it had not reached the point of humans. The lives created by the motion of matter in the universe are assimilated to the characteristics of the universe, that is, to the principles of the Way of the universe, and to Zhen, Shan, and Ren, since they were created from Zhen, Shan, and Ren. Then when many of these lives were created in high-level dimensions, their living environment became complex and they created social ways of life. It was just like our human society, where people live within their own social structure. Then after they began to have social structure, these lives gradually began to change and became complicated. Some developed selfish thoughts and began to deviate from the requirements that the characteristics of the universe had for lives at that level. They could then no longer remain in that realm, and thus they had no choice but to drop down to a lower level. Then when they became bad again at that lower level, they had no choice but to drop down again. This way, these lives gradually became worse and worse over an extremely long period of history; they gradually dropped down from one dimension to the next, until they dropped down to the human dimension. From that point on they lived a low-level, limited existence and used low-level means to procreate.
Yet originally, this human dimension did not exist. The enlightened beings and high-level lives wanted to create a dimension for humans, a dimension full of delusion, to see if the remaining bit of people’s original nature would remain or be lost, and whether or not people would be able to return to their origin. They thus created this dimension with these considerations in mind. At the time, [the creation of this dimension] was to give humans—to give lives—a final opportunity, and they didn’t take that many issues into consideration. But they later discovered that this dimension was simply unique: organisms in this dimension cannot see other dimensions or the lives in other dimensions, but [lives in] all other dimensions in the universe can see scenes from other dimensions. The lives in any other dimension can fly and float about in the air, and the lives in any other dimension can make their bodies become large or small. Today’s scientists think that human thoughts are matter, just like electric waves. You, of course, would acknowledge that electric waves are matter. But in other dimensions you would discover that [thoughts] are not so simple. Human thoughts can produce the things you are imagining, and the things you are thinking about can become reality. Because humans don’t have energy, after they produce a thought it dissipates shortly afterwards. But when great enlightened beings, heavenly beings, and high level lives, all of which have energy, think, the things they think about will have a concrete existence. Then, whatever you want will be produced when you think about it. Thus, people in the past said, “The Buddha gets anything he wants, and is completely free and at ease.” Those lives exist this way. But humans, having been pushed into this dimension, have come to exist [in the manner of this dimension].
Everyone came from his mother’s womb and feels pretty good about himself. Some people are successful businessmen; some are high officials; some live carefree lives, so they all feel that they are better off than others. Actually, you are also suffering! This is because you don’t know how you used to live before. For instance, religions state, “Human life is suffering.” Why? When you emerge from your mother’s womb, you have this material body that is made up of molecules. Those in other dimensions don’t have a body made up of molecules, as the most surface level of their body is made up of atoms. Yet the surface matter made up of molecules is what makes up this dimension. The human flesh body is also made up of molecules. You are born with such a flesh body, and you are given a pair of eyes composed of molecules and which cannot see other dimensions. Thus, you are in delusion. Thus, while in delusion you cannot see the truth of the universe. Wouldn’t you say that you live like someone trying to see the whole sky from the bottom of a well? Just this alone makes life very pitiful. In addition, with this body, you won’t be able to tolerate pain, cold, heat, thirst, fatigue from walking—one way or another, many things will bring you troubles and much suffering. Moreover, you will also have to deal with the cycle of birth, old age, illness, and death, and you will often have illnesses. You may think that you live a very carefree life, but actually it’s merely that amidst suffering you are a little bit better off than others, and suffer a little less than them, so you feel like things are very carefree. This is the way of existence for humans, so within this living environment people have gradually lost their original nature and believe in gods less and less. And with the addition of [the influence of] the imperfections of the empirical sciences, people have lost their human moral standards and have slid down into a most dangerous situation.
Yet the human world has an enormous advantage: because it is full of suffering, it can enable a person to cultivate. Why do Buddhas always remain in the same realm of Buddhahood? Why can’t they elevate even higher? Why are Bodhisattvas unable to cultivate into Buddhas? Even if you want to suffer a bit, there is no place to find suffering. This is because a person can only cultivate if he is able to strengthen his Buddha nature amidst delusion. [Up in Buddhas’ realms] there is no delusion and they can see everything. If you can see everything, then your cultivation doesn’t count. Thus, cultivation and enlightenment come first, and seeing comes after. Some people say, “If I see things I will cultivate, and if I can’t see things then I won’t cultivate.” If all of you were able to see things, ordinary society would no longer be a human society; it would be a society of gods. One hundred percent of the people, with no exceptions, would go cultivate, and even those who had committed all manner of heinous crimes and who are the very worst would go cultivate. Think about it: Would that still be a human society? That is, humans dropped down to this environment because they became bad. If you want to return, you must possess the following two factors: one is suffering, and the other is enlightenment. Speaking of enlightenment, Jesus used the term “faith,” whereas in the East they use the term “enlightenment.” If you lose these things you cannot cultivate. But why do people often feel that cultivating is very difficult? Actually, cultivation itself is not difficult; what makes it difficult is being unable to let go of ordinary people’s emotions. Throughout history, people were never told what the Buddha Way is. People take what Buddha Shakyamuni taught as the systematic Buddha Way. Think about it: this enormous universe is quite complete, perfect, and full of wisdom. Buddha Shakyamuni only taught a small portion of the Buddha principles, and he did not explain all of what he knew to people. He only taught people what they were supposed to know at that time. Thus, the Buddha Way that has been left to society today is just a tiny, tiny portion of the entire Buddha Way. I just mentioned that I have left society with many things and have done something unprecedented. The book that I wrote, Zhuan Falun, uses non-standard language because today’s standardized language cannot encompass higher-level, deeper meanings. Thus, I wrote it in a colloquial style.
I’ve covered a lot. Since there seems to be ample time today, I talked with you a bit more than usual. But there are some people here who might not be able to accept it if I were to speak at too high a level. For instance, some people haven’t yet studied [the teachings] at all, and want to just listen in because they feel good about them; some people might be here to obtain a little something or see me perform something. There are people who have come with many different mentalities. If I were to perform here today, you might chuckle in delight, like watching a magic act or some sort of trick, but you wouldn’t take me or the teachings seriously. It’s not allowed to spread the Buddha Way like that. I will only explain this Buddha Way to you, and whether you believe it or not is up to you. Yet its power is mighty, as I have melded the things that I want to give people, and the things I want to give them in order to enable them to cultivate, into the teachings. As long as you watch or listen to my videotapes, audiotapes, and this book that I wrote, you will sense it; as long as you read [the book], your body will be purified and you will be pushed to a state that is free of illness; as long as you cultivate, you will be able to see things that ordinary people are unable to see; as long as you cultivate, you will come to experience and enlighten to the things that ordinary people are unable to enlighten to. As your spiritual realm ascends, things will be more and more wondrous, and all of this is contained in the book. But if you don’t cultivate you won’t be able to see these things. You say that you want to be able to see things after one reading of the book, but that’s impossible! You will only be able to see things according to your spiritual realm and to the extent of your understanding. As long as you cultivate upward, and as long as you continuously go deeper into studying, cultivating, and reading, you will come to realize, see, and know more wondrous things.
If I speak at too high a level, it may be too difficult to understand for many people. I feel that it’s been two years since I systematically taught the teachings. This is because I have completely laid out the teachings that I was to leave to man. I do not even allow people to record my lectures. Why? Many people seek novelty, trying to figure out what new things Teacher has said. They seek these things and are not solidly cultivating. What I have given to people for cultivation is Zhuan Falun, and this book is the systematic teachings. Other things that I have said are merely explaining Zhuan Falun and are supplementary to it. A person who makes recordings and spreads them in society is interfering with those who solidly cultivate. Zhuan Falun is systematic from the low to the high, while what I am teaching now is merely directed at the current audience.
I also want to stress an issue: We cultivators emphasize sticking to one cultivation way. I will tell all of you that the phrase “taking the strong points from all different methods” is a saying of ordinary people, not a term of cultivators. When learning technical things, there’s no problem with learning from whoever’s technical skills are good. But the principles of high levels are the opposite of the principles of humankind. The things humankind thinks are good might be bad, as everything is reversed. You see that here it’s daytime, but over there it’s nighttime; what you think is right might be wrong. Why? I will explain a simple principle to all of you. You all know that when people are in pain, they think it’s bad, or if someone bullies you, you feel uncomfortable and you think that it’s bad. I’m telling you, when people suffer a little and endure a bit of hardship, it’s a good thing! So you see that what I teach you is different. Why? That’s because these principles are completely reversed once you reach high-level dimensions. Up there they think that being a human is not the purpose of human existence. If you endure a bit of hardship in the human world and repay the karmic debts you owe from a past life, you can return to a higher-level dimension, and you could even return to the place where your life was created, which is the most wonderful place. Even if you were unable to elevate, you would have fewer tribulations in your next life because you had less karma.
But if you don’t repay the karma that you owe, you will be unable to go to a high-level paradise. It’s just like the principle that I have described: If a bottle is filled with dirty things, no matter how tightly you seal the bottle, when you throw it into water, with a thud it will sink right down. If you pour out a bit of the dirty things, it will float up a little bit; pour out a little more and it will float up a little more; as you pour out even more, and after sealing it you try throwing it in the water again, even if you push down on it you won’t be able to make it sink, as it will float up on its own. This is just like when people cultivate. Over the many lifetimes that your body has gone through, perhaps in every lifetime you might have done things such as taking advantage of others, deceiving others, harming or killing others, or perhaps even worse things. Thus, you must repay the karma you owe because of these actions. There is a principle in this universe: You won’t gain anything without losing something, and if you gain something, you must lose something. You must repay the things that you owe, if not in this life then in the next life—that’s definitely how things are. Thus, nowadays when people experience painful situations, they think that it is a coincidence and that it was caused by others being unfair to them and being bad. I am telling all of you that none of those situations are coincidental and all of them are caused by the karma that you owe from the past. If you were to have no karma, everyone would smile at you as you walked down the street, and people you don’t even know would come up to do things for you. You would be utterly carefree! But this type of person would absolutely not live in the human dimension, as he should return to heaven. That’s how people are. Because people have karma, if they cannot purify their minds, they will never be able to elevate in cultivation. It’s just like the principle that I just mentioned.
It’s not, in fact, bad for people to suffer a little and endure a bit of hardship. If you endure a bit of hardship, you will repay your karma, and you really will go to a wondrous place where you will never again suffer. Regardless of how happy you think you are in the human world, how many millions you might have, or how high an official you have become, it will quickly pass, lasting only a few decades. Think about it: You came to this world with nothing, and you will leave this world with nothing. What can you take with you? Nothing. Who can you pass on [what you gained] to? You feel that you have given them to your descendants, but when you reincarnate into your next life, they won’t recognize you, and even if you go to work and sweep the floors for them, you may not even get as much as a kind look or an extra penny from them. That’s really how things are! People are just deluded by this.
We are talking about the essential principles of human life here. [These principles] especially hold true for cultivators. Think about it: As I see it, when you suffer, when others take advantage of you, cause trouble for you, or when you lose some material interests, it’s not necessarily a bad thing. That’s because there is a principle in this universe that those who don’t lose do not gain, and if you want to gain, you must lose. It also holds true that if you gain and don’t lose, you will be forced to lose—that is the nature of the universe. All of the substances in the enormous universe are lives, and all substances are formed from Zhen, Shan, Ren. Thus, all substances—including rocks, iron and steel, the air, any product created by humankind, and other substances—are, at their microscopic level, substances composed of this Zhen, Shan, Ren characteristic. Zhen, Shan, Ren forms everything in this enormous universe, and it is balancing everything in the universe. When a person hits, curses at, takes advantage of, or causes pain to another person, he feels happy as he is the party who has gained. An ordinary person would tell him, “You’re really powerful!” [This person] didn’t suffer any losses. But I think that he has suffered great losses. Why? When he commits bad deeds, he becomes the party that gains. When he takes advantage of others, it means that he has gained, and thus he must lose. Because the other party suffered and lost happiness, then that party should gain something. How does he gain something? When you hit or curse at him, depending on the strength of your words or your blow, a proportionally large chunk of a white substance called virtue that surrounds your body will leave you and land on him. But he is also human and perhaps he does not understand this principle. [He says,] “You hit me,” and he gets really upset. When he gets upset, he is in essence pushing back the virtue. When he turns around and returns a punch and a curse, then he is throwing back the virtue. Now, neither person has lost or gained, and neither one has gained something. The principles of the universe are fair.
If, as a cultivator, he can let go of the attachment and say: “Regardless of whether you hit or curse at me, my heart will remain steady and I won’t pay it any heed, because I am a cultivator. You are an ordinary person and I cannot look at things the same way as you do.” Then think about it: Hasn’t this person’s moral standard risen above that of an average person? When another person hits him, won’t it give him virtue? And this substance of virtue can evolve into gong. Your gong must be evolved from virtue together with some substances collected from the universe. Without virtue, you will be unable to produce gong in cultivation. So when he hits you, he gives you his virtue, you increase your virtue, and you can cultivate to a higher place—isn’t that how this principle works? The compensation you receive is much greater than the pain the ordinary person caused you, right? Then when he hits you, curses at you, or causes some trouble for you, you suffer because of it. While you suffer, a black substance on your body called karma that you owe from your past lives, will transform into an equal-sized portion of virtue, and he must also give you a piece of virtue that corresponds [to your amount of suffering]. Think about it: An ordinary person would think that you are getting two things in one shot—“You caused me a bit of pain, but I have gained two forms of compensation.”
Yet a cultivator will receive four forms of compensation. When you have suffered all of this, you didn’t look at things the same way as he did, and your heart was calm, that is, you did not fight back when hit or talk back when cursed at. Think about it: When your heart remained calm, didn’t your character improve through cultivation? How could you cultivate if he didn’t cause you trouble and pain? The idea that you could just sit there comfortably, drinking tea and watching television, and elevate in cultivation, rising as high as you want to, is absolutely impossible. You can only improve your character and reach a higher standard and spiritual realm by being in the midst of this complicated environment, and through being tempered and enduring hardships. Then, if your character is not the same as his, didn’t your character improve? And haven’t you gained three things in one shot? Then as a cultivator, don’t you want to improve your level and reach spiritual perfection as soon as possible? Then if your character improves, won’t your gong also rise? Definitely! There is a principle that states, “one’s gong is as high as one’s character.” If we say that a person had a character that he couldn’t improve, would he be able to increase his gong alone? That’s absolutely impossible! That kind of thing doesn’t exist and it happening is an absolute impossibility. Some people think that others’ characters aren’t as good as theirs, so why do those others have gong? They aren’t as good as you in one area, but they may have other areas in which they are better than you. Since cultivation is a process of removing one attachment after another, when attachments they have yet to remove appear, they may behave like ordinary people, but once those attachments are removed [the attachments] of course won’t manifest anymore. As a cultivator, when you suffer pain, you are gaining four things in one shot. To put it jokingly—where can you find a deal like this?
Some people get really upset and indignant when someone hits or curses at them. When someone takes advantage of them or cheats them out of their money, they just get so angry! People take these things very seriously and cannot give up even the slightest bit of personal gain. Think about it: how pitifully this person lives! When he gains a small benefit, he feels happy from the bottom of his heart, for just a tiny benefit. People are just like that nowadays. He doesn’t realize what he has really lost—it’s the most frightening thing to lose! Why is virtue so precious? All of you know that elderly people from the East say, “Only with virtue will one have blessings.” The idea of blessings includes many aspects: becoming a high-ranking official, making a great fortune, having a house and land, having happiness, and so on. All of these things are obtained by exchanging one’s virtue. A person carries it with him throughout his life. When a person dies, it follows his Original Spirit—when you reincarnate, it goes with you. It’s not only virtue—the black matter, karma, that I just mentioned will also follow you throughout your lives. These two substances both follow a person. In the past, elderly people would say, “He who commits wrongdoing will face retribution.” Who will administer the retribution? Who will keep such a ledger? Who would bother to deal with these matters of yours? Yet virtue is on your body and sticks tightly to it, and your next life is dependent on it. If you have a lot of karma, your life will have a lot of pain, illness, and disasters; with a lot of virtue, your life will have a lot of money, blessings, and placements as a high-ranking official. These [realities] are brought about by these [substances]. And for a cultivator, virtue is even more precious, for it can transform into gong—that’s the idea.
Modern science cannot see this issue because it cannot break through this dimension. What is the form of the dimension in which humankind resides? I will tell all of you that this dimension in which humankind resides exists between two types of particles of matter. Those of us who have studied physics know that molecules, atoms, atomic nuclei, quarks, and neutrinos are all levels of particles and they are the material elements that form larger particles. Amidst which level of particles do we humans reside? The largest thing we humans can see with the naked eye is a planet and the smallest we can see with a microscope is a molecule. Actually, we humans reside precisely within the dimension between planets and molecules. We think that it is broad, vast, and incomparably large. I’d say that modern science is not advanced; no matter how high a spaceship may fly, you can’t go beyond our material dimension; no matter how advanced a computer is, it cannot compete with the human brain, as the human brain still remains a mystery. Thus, human science is very shallow.
Try to imagine this, everyone: Our humankind resides in between planets and molecules. Since molecules are made up of atoms, what is the dimension between atoms and molecules like? Modern scientists have only been able to understand atoms as individual units, understanding their individual structures. Actually, the place where atoms reside is itself a plane of existence, and the material dimension formed by this plane is quite vast; it’s just that what you have discovered is restricted to a single point. Then how large is the dimension at the plane of this level [of atoms]? We always make our standards for measuring distance based on the perspective of humankind’s modern science. You need to step outside that framework and the concepts framed by empirical science. You need to conform to that dimension’s own form in order for you to enter it. Regarding the distance between atoms and molecules, science knows that it takes two million atoms lined up to reach the width of a molecule. That is, they’ve recognized that the distance is quite vast, so you can’t understand things from the framework and mindset of empirical science. Then try to imagine something: Isn’t [the space] between atoms and atomic nuclei a dimension? Then, how large is the dimensional distance between atomic nuclei and quarks? Then, what about the distance between quarks and neutrinos? Of course, today’s science can only detect up to neutrinos. They can’t actually see them; they can only use equipment to detect them and to learn of their existence. Actually, [what they have detected] is still simply so far away from what composes original matter!
What I just discussed is the simplest form of existence of dimensions. All of the substances on the human plane, including all of the substances in the air that you cannot see and everything you can see, such as iron, concrete, animals, plants, other substances, and the human body, are composed of molecules. Humans reside on the plane of molecules, as if in a three-dimensional painting. You are only able to reside on this plane and cannot leave it. Human science is restricted to things within this little dimension and cannot break out of it. And yet people say that science is so advanced and reject all other theories. Human technology cannot reach a higher understanding of the universe. If it could really break through this dimension, it could see the forms of lives and substances in other dimensions and the structures created by their time-spaces. Yet we cultivators are able to see these things, as Buddhas are the highest-level scientists.
I discussed this issue when talking about the Celestial Eye. When people see things without using human eyes, they use the Celestial Eye, forming a tunnel from either between a person’s eyebrows or from a spot at the base of one’s nose (that Daoists call the Base of the Mountain) to connect directly to the pineal body. In medical texts it is called the pineal body, whereas Daoist cultivators call it the Niwan Palace. That’s what they are referring to. Yet medical researchers have discovered that the front half of the pineal body contains the complete structure of the human eye. Modern medical scientists find this very strange: “Why is there an eye in here?” They think it’s a vestigial eye, as they still use the theory of evolution to explain these things. Actually, it is supposed to be like this and it isn’t a vestigial structure at all. When people look at things without using their flesh eyes … of course, when the flesh eyes have been cultivated well, they can also see through things and possess abilities [akin to those of the Celestial Eye], as the Buddha Way is boundless. Usually, when a person avoids using the human eyes, avoids using these eyes made up of molecules to look at things, he can see past this dimension and observe scenes in other dimensions. That’s the idea. Thus, cultivators can see what ordinary people are unable to see. Of course, at different points in their lives some ordinary people can vaguely see a few unclear phenomena, such as seeing a person in front of you who suddenly vanishes, or seeing or hearing one thing or another. It’s possible that the faint things you saw or heard were really things from other dimensions. That’s because those people whose Celestial Eyes or Ears are not sealed so tightly can occasionally hear or see things from other dimensions.
I just discussed the dimension in which man resides. Actually, the planet that we humans reside on is not the largest particle or substance. There are even larger substances beyond this planet! Thus, the eyes of Buddha Shakyamuni could, in terms of the extremely microscopic, see even quite microscopic substances; in terms of the macroscopic, he could see even quite large and macroscopic substances. But Buddha Shakyamuni still could not see how large the universe really was in the end, and thus he said, “It is so large that it has no exterior and so small that it has no interior.” How enormous this universe is! Think about how complex it is; it’s not like what humanity knows. Take this dimension of ours, and the form in which it exists—that alone is quite complex! In addition to this dimensional form, there are also horizontally-existing dimensional forms, and within these horizontal dimensions there are many different individual worlds—it’s very complex. The individual worlds I am referring to are heavenly kingdoms and so on. Each dimension also has a different time-space. Think about it: Could a dimension made up of atoms have the same time as our molecule-formed dimension? Its concept of space and its distances are different from those of ours, as everything changes. Why can alien beings’ UFOs appear and disappear without a trace, and why can they travel so quickly? They travel in other dimensions—it’s that simple. If humanity relies on the perspective of today’s science to understand inexplicable phenomena in the universe, or uses this method to research cultivation or religion, it will never be able to understand these things. It needs to change its way of thinking and look at things from a different perspective. In mankind’s history, science was not limited to the so-called empirical science discovered and invented by today’s Europeans, and this wasn’t the only path—there were other paths. The development processes of the ancient civilizations that were discovered to have existed on the Earth were different paths to understanding life, matter, and the universe. The ancient science of China took a different path. Of course, Chinese civilization involves aspects of very high levels, so because man’s morality is not up to par, [the transmission of ancient Chinese science] has been restricted. Thus, [ancient Chinese science] wasn’t passed down, and what was passed down was this lowest-level science of the West. So it is quite inadequate.
I just spoke about how man was not originally created in this material dimension and about the purpose of being human. If man continues to slide downward he faces elimination—complete elimination—which is called “the complete elimination of mind and body,” and it is a terrifying prospect! Thus, when Buddhas save man, it is to make you no longer have to face this dire peril and to deliver you from human suffering to a heavenly kingdom. This is truly, fundamentally resolving the issue of man’s suffering. Man’s starting point for believing in Buddhas is different now from what it was in ancient times. In the past, when man believed in Buddhas, he worshipped Buddhas, cultivated Buddhahood, and venerated Buddhas—there were no other thoughts involved. Today, man believes in Buddhas in order to seek things from Buddhas. Yet the attachment of seeking things is the dirtiest, filthiest attachment in the eyes of Buddhas. So think about it: Buddhas are trying to save you, and yet you seek comfort and happiness among ordinary people. If you were really made to be completely happy and comfortable among ordinary people, you really would not want to become a Buddha, as you would already be a Buddha. How could such a scenario be possible? Man owes karma from lifetime after lifetime and hasn’t paid for the bad deeds he has done, and now you’re only seeking happiness. How could you find it that way? Only one method works: Go cultivate and only then can you eliminate the karma you owe. Even if you say you don’t want to become a Buddha, you must be a good person and do more good deeds and fewer evil deeds. Only this way will you be happy in the future and will the lifetime of your true self be extended. Yet it’s possible that while reincarnating, a person will have his brain washed clean, and then reincarnate into a bad environment, following the current [of society] towards the brink of destruction.
Just now I mentioned that Buddha Shakyamuni said that this universe is so large that it has no exterior and so small that it has no interior. It’s possible that some still don’t quite understand this statement. That is, what issue did Buddha Shakyamuni see? He spoke of the theory of three thousand limitless worlds. Buddha Shakyamuni said: Not only do people with material bodies like ours exist in other dimensions, but that there are three thousand worlds like our human world. There are three thousand planets like that in our Milky Way. He also said that a single grain of sand has three thousand limitless worlds within it. He said that a single grain of sand contains three thousand dimensions that have humans like us residing in them. But you cannot use concepts of understanding things that come from today’s science to understand the size ratios of humans over there, as they reside in the forms of different time-spaces.
Some people might think the statement I made just now is strange and cannot understand it. Try to imagine something: The Earth is revolving according to a regular pattern. So what difference is there between an electron orbiting an atom and the Earth orbiting the sun? It takes the same form. If you were to expand an electron so that it was as large as the Earth, would you find life on it? What kind of substances would exist on it? Buddha Shakyamuni said that the universe is endlessly small. How far did he see? He had seen very microscopic substances. He said that a grain of sand has three thousand limitless worlds—one small grain of sand has three thousand limitless worlds. Then try to imagine something: If what Buddha Shakyamuni said is true, then wouldn’t there be rivers, lakes, and seas in the worlds in that grain of sand? And wouldn’t there be sand in those rivers, lakes, and seas? And wouldn’t a grain of sand there also have three thousand limitless worlds? Then wouldn’t there be three thousand limitless worlds in the grain of sand in the grain of sand? Buddha Shakyamuni found after investigating further that this went on endlessly. Thus, he stated that this universe is so small that it has no interior. He hadn’t seen the furthest origin of matter. Of course, I have discussed the furthest origin of matter in the past. I won’t speak more on it today. Since I have spoken at such a high and deep level, and especially since a lot of people don’t understand Mandarin that well, I won’t speak more of these things. I think that’s all I’ll say for now. You can now bring up some questions that have arisen from cultivation and from studying the Fa, and I will answer them for you.
Disciple: We’ve read Zhuan Falun (Volumes I and II), and there is a phrase that I find hard to comprehend, because I used to be a disciple of Tantrism. There is a topic in there that seems to say that the levels of Boddhisattvas and Buddhas are currently facing calamity.
Master: This is a very high-level question. You will be able to see and to come to understand these things only after you cultivate to a higher level. Of course, I’m only able to discuss the broad outlines of this issue. The Way at this level of man no longer works because morals in society are in decline and because the moral values in man’s heart have been ruined. When people have no upright thoughts, the Way ceases to work. When the Way of human society no longer works, humanity drifts downward. If the Way stopped working in a place other than human society, and if deviation [from the Way] began to occur in very high-level dimensions, substances and lives would have begun to drop down. They would have become bad, so they would have dropped down. So if this problem begins to occur on a large scale, it wouldn’t be an issue confined only to the human world. For instance, the Way permeates downward from the top to everything below it, so if the levels above deviate a little then the levels below will become completely different. It’s just like when you shoot a gun, if your aim is off a little when you fire, the bullet will end up way off. Why do such great changes occur at lower levels? Society has become horrifying! Drug abuse, drug trafficking—people commit all kinds of evil deeds. A lot of people have committed numerous bad deeds, such as being in underground criminal rings, being homosexual, being promiscuous, and so on, that are below the standards for human beings. How do Buddhas view these issues? Your governments allow them, and the laws allow them, but that’s just humans allowing them—the principles of Heaven don’t allow them! In the past, humankind sought out beautiful and nice things. But now, when you look at the toys people sell and the paintings that people paint, they’re all a bunch of random smears, and these are now considered works of art. What do they depict? No one can say clearly. All of man’s values are heading in the opposite direction. A pile of garbage can be a master sculptor’s work of art. This is the trend throughout the entire society. Toys in the shape of excrement are even being sold in stores. In the past, people would only buy dolls if they were very pretty, but now skulls, vicious-looking people, demons, and goblins have been made into toys and they sell quite quickly, as people without kind thoughts are willing to buy them. What does this show? That man’s values have drastically declined! In the past, singers needed to have a beautiful voice, to have graduated from a music conservatory, and to carry themselves gracefully, because your music needed to give people a sense of beauty. Nowadays, people who you can’t tell if they are male or female, who have long hair and who scream “Aah! Aah!” become stars when television promotes them. Everything is being ruined and everything of humanity is in decline. There are many other situations that are just terrifying! You won’t notice them if you don’t cultivate. Man’s understanding of religion has also changed. He treats it as politics. Some people blaspheme Buddhas every time they open their mouths, and now menus are written with a dish called “Buddha Jumping Over a Wall.” That’s slandering Buddhas! What’s wrong with today’s society? You won’t know about these things if you don’t cultivate, but once you cultivate and look back at these things, you will be astonished! Think about it: For society to fall apart to this extent is not an isolated phenomenon. It’s because problems occurred with the Way in certain dimensions. It was caused by a number of substances and lives deviating from the Way. I can only explain it to you like this because if I go too deep into it, many of the people here won’t be able to understand it. I think that if I explain it this way you should be able to understand it.
Disciple: I originally felt embarrassed to ask this, but I would really miss this opportunity if I don’t seize it now. Many people have been unable to answer this question, so it’s such a precious opportunity to have Teacher here today. One night a few years ago, I was meditating in the Tantric style a little after midnight, as I used to cultivate Tantrism. But I started spiraling like an aircraft, indescribably quickly, and I rose into the air in this manner. I rose up this high and then exited the top of my head. When I exited the top of my head there was a bit of severe pain, and I rose even higher while in pain. I was quite scared. I thought that maybe my soul had left, and I couldn’t see my body. The second day, something strange happened: When I was sitting in my room in broad daylight, I saw a silver ring of light and silver light, but they disappeared five minutes later. On the third day, I saw a Falun. What was going on?
Master: Even though you used to practice Tantrism in the past, it didn’t do anything for you. Why were you able to see a Falun? It’s because we started taking care of you even before you started cultivating. It’s very easy for cultivators to float into the air; this is something that today’s science cannot explain. Actually, a person can rise into the air when all of the energy channels in his body have been opened up. Even if he doesn’t rise into the air, he will feel like he’s floating when he walks, hikes, or takes the stairs, and he won’t get tired. This is how things will be when the energy channels are opened. As for the issue of the master soul, it’s easy for some people’s master souls to leave the body and it’s difficult for others. Once you left your body, the Falun spurred your floating body into motion, and so you spun very quickly. As for you being afraid to go any higher than you were, that’s because your energy level was only that high at the time. You will be scared the first time you encounter something like this; it’s the same for anyone. Actually, many of us who practice Falun Dafa can float, and it’s quite normal. Once a person enters cultivation, his energy channels will begin to open up, and when the entire cosmic orbit is open, the person will be able to rise into the air.
As I discuss this I would like to stress to you that no one should have the following thought: “It would be so great if I could float!” As soon as you develop the notion of seeking it, you won’t be able to float even if you’re capable of it. This is because cultivation emphasizes emptiness and being free of intentions. You should have the desire to cultivate but not the desire to gain things; you should have the desire to cultivate but not the desire to gain gong. This is the kind of state you should be in when cultivating. If you are thinking all day about becoming a Buddha, that is a strong attachment. If you don’t remove this desire you will never make it, so cultivation is simply removing human desires. Anything that you are attached to among ordinary people is an attachment. Regardless of what you seek, the more you seek it the less you’ll be able to have it. You will only have it once you abandon this desire; you must keep this principle in mind. You can seek what you’d like to gain among ordinary people, and you can gain it after study and hard work, but you can only gain things that go beyond ordinary people once you abandon [the desire to have those things]. What is this [state] called? It’s called “gaining naturally without pursuit.”
When you talked about being scared, actually, there’s nothing to be scared about; if you float into the air, then just float. [You were scared] at the time because no one had told you about this [phenomenon], and because you didn’t have a master among ordinary people to teach you. Floating is a normal phenomenon and is controlled by a person’s intent. If you say, “I want to come down,” as soon as you have that thought, you will come down; if you say you want to rise up you will rise up. The more you fear, it becomes an attachment, and it’s easy for you to drop down, so make sure not to fear it. In the past, there was a person who cultivated to the point of becoming an Arhat, but as soon as he got excited he dropped down. Why? Human excitement is a manifestation of emotion and is an attachment. A cultivator would say, “I won’t be moved if you curse me or say unpleasant things about me; I also won’t be moved if you say I’m good; I also won’t take it to heart if you say I’m bad.” So once this person got excited he dropped down. Cultivating to the point of becoming an Arhat is difficult, but in the end, this person continued cultivating! After a few years, he cultivated to the point of being an Arhat again, but this time he thought, “I can’t get excited again. Otherwise, I’ll drop down again.” He was afraid of getting excited. But once he became afraid he dropped down again. This is because fear is also an attachment. Cultivating Buddhahood is very serious. It’s not a trivial matter! So you must pay attention to this issue.
Before people raise more questions, I must bring up another issue: We must commit to one discipline when we cultivate. I know that many people here studied Tantrism in the past; many believe in Buddhism; many others believe in Christianity or Catholicism. I think that in cultivation, you must commit to one discipline! Why must you commit to one discipline? This is an absolute, correct truth! [Not committing to one discipline] is a major reason why it’s impossible for people to succeed in cultivation in the time of the Way’s End. There are a few factors driving this: People cannot understand the teachings, and people mix things in cultivation. Mixing things in cultivation is a primary reason. Once you practice one discipline, you cannot practice other disciplines. Why do I explain things to you this way? It’s because “taking the best of all disciplines” is an argument made by ordinary people, and it’s how things work when seeking ordinary techniques and knowledge. The principle for cultivation, though, is committing to one discipline. In Buddhism they call it “no second discipline.” If you say, “I will cultivate both Buddhist and Daoist disciplines,” then you won’t succeed in either of them when you cultivate, and no one will give you gong. This is because “cultivation depends on the individual, while gong depends on the Master.” Think about it: Could you become a Buddha through cultivation just by doing some qigong training? If you practice Tantrism, could you become a Buddha by reciting a few incantations, adding a little thought activity, and performing a few mudras? Human intention counts for nothing—it’s just a wish. It’s the Master that truly makes things happen! Some people think, “We’ll recite the Buddha’s name, study Tantrism, and practice Buddhist qigong because [these practices] are all Buddhist. What’s wrong with this?” That’s the way humans think about it, but divine beings don’t think about it like that. Think about it: How does a Tathagata Buddha or Buddha Amitabha succeed in cultivation? They reached spiritual perfection by cultivating according to their own cultivation methods, and their gong came from their own way of evolving it. This is how they completed [creating] their paradises and succeeded in cultivating themselves. Everything of theirs was produced by the elements of their cultivation method [influencing them] as they cultivated.
Buddha Sakyamuni’s method of reaching spiritual perfection is called “precept, concentration, wisdom.” You have to practice the four types of meditation, the eight types of concentration, and cultivate according to his methods. In cultivating this discipline, you will only be able to make it to Buddha Sakyamuni’s level if your gong is the same as what he cultivated. If you want to cultivate in Tantrism, you will have to follow Tantrism’s requirement of “body, speech, and mind” if you want to go to the heavenly kingdom ruled by Vairocana. If you practice everything, you will gain nothing. If you cultivate Pure Land and recite “Buddha Amitabha” and then turn around and study Zen theories, you will gain nothing just the same. People have only one body, and transforming your body into a Buddha-body—the body of a Buddha, you know—is not such an easy task, and you won’t be able to do it yourself. A Buddha himself will have to do that, as transforming your body into a Buddha-body is an extremely complex task, something more complex than [what can be done with] the most precise instrument mankind has. He must install a set of things called “mechanisms” in your body and must plant many seeds that will develop various forms of Buddha Way divine powers in the field of your dantian. All of these things come from his cultivation discipline, and only with them can you cultivate in his discipline and be able to cultivate to the point when you can enter his Buddha paradise. If you don’t commit to one discipline, how could you, with just one body, successfully cultivate to [enter] two different Buddha paradises? When the Buddha sees you acting like this he won’t give you things and will think that your character is poor. To put it plainly, you are a human trying to sabotage the Buddha Way. It’s so arduous and difficult for a Tathagata Buddha to cultivate to his status! A Tathagata Buddha has to suffer so much to cultivate to his status! If you, as an ordinary person, try to change and mess up his things, mix two things together, and entangle the things that two Buddhas enlightened to, aren’t you sabotaging the Buddha Way?! It’s that serious! But today’s monks and today’s mankind don’t even know that they are damaging the Buddha Way. Of course, you can’t be fully blamed because you didn’t know, but even though you won’t be blamed, nothing will be given to you. No one will be allowed to so casually sabotage the Buddha Way. You would have sabotaged two Buddha Ways, the Ways of two Tathagata Buddhas. That absolutely will not happen! Thus, as long as you mix things in cultivation, it will be impossible for you to gain anything. It’s not like you can say, “I only cultivate Buddhist disciplines and not Daoist disciplines; it’s fine as long as they’re all Buddhist.” If you cultivate Buddhism’s Zen, and also Tantrism, Pure Land, Huayan, and Tiantai, then you are acting recklessly and causing mischief, and you won’t gain anything. You really won’t gain anything, so you must commit to one discipline when you cultivate if you want to be able to reach spiritual perfection.
What I am explaining here is a principle. It’s not to say that you have to study Li Hongzhi’s Falun Dafa. During a prehistoric period, our Falun Dafa once widely saved people in society, just like Sakyamuni’s Buddhism, but this hasn’t happened in this period of human civilization. This is the first time that it has been made public since the appearance of the current mankind, and it will perhaps be the last time that it will be made public, but it will last forever. Of course, we have the Falun Paradise, and disciples that achieve spiritual perfection can go there. But it’s not that you have to cultivate my teachings. You can cultivate any teachings. As long as it’s an upright practice, as long as you are able to gain its true teachings, and as long as you think you can reach spiritual perfection in that discipline, then go there to cultivate. But I urge you to remain committed to one discipline.
Let me also tell you that Buddhas cannot save you using their true appearances. If a Buddha were to sit here, grandly displaying his divine powers, and explain the teachings to you, that wouldn’t be saving people—it would be damaging the Way. Even people who had committed unpardonable sins would come to learn, and there wouldn’t be any [question of] enlightening. As soon as people saw that a real Buddha was here, who wouldn’t learn from him? All of mankind would come to learn. Isn’t that how it would be? Thus, only a master who has reincarnated among ordinary people can teach and save people. The issue of enlightenment is involved, as it’s up to you whether you believe or not. But you can deliberate about the teachings yourself. Anyway, I explain this principle to you in order to be responsible to you. I tell you these things because you want to cultivate. [If I don’t tell you,] I’m not being responsible to you. Since you have the predestined opportunity to be here, I will tell you these things. It’s very difficult to succeed in cultivation in any discipline now. No one is watching over them, the key reason being that people are cultivating recklessly. Of course, if you are able to handle things and cultivate on your own, and if you think that you can reach spiritual perfection through cultivation, then it’s fine regardless of which discipline you choose to cultivate in. That’s the idea. Since Buddhas do things for man’s benefit, I have to tell you that you must commit to a single discipline if you want to cultivate. Not only can you not practice other disciplines’ movements, you also cannot recite other disciplines’ scriptures, you cannot produce the things of other disciplines in your thoughts, and you must get rid of your intention. Since many things depend on your thoughts when you do the exercises, if your intention emerges, then you will be pursuing. If you want certain things, those things will come over [and enter you]. Then the gong in your body will be messed up, your Falun will become deformed and lose its effectiveness, and you will have cultivated in vain.
Let me tell you that this Falun is just so precious. Though I have given it to you, in the time before I started spreading this, a person couldn’t get one even if he cultivated for a thousand years. Once he got it, it could be said that this person had completed half of his cultivation. Your gong will be automatically developed by the Falun. So as long as you cultivate your heart, you will produce gong and elevate [your level]. [The Falun] is a high-level being, that is, it’s a level higher than that of your own life. Though I have given one to you, it’s because you want to cultivate, which is a display of your Buddha-nature. Once you have this thought, [I] will save you and do things this way [giving you a Falun], and what you will gain will be quite precious. Buddhahood cultivation is an extremely serious matter, and I won’t let you mess up or ruin [the Falun]. If you mix in other things as you cultivate, we will take [the Falun] back from you, as we can’t let you ruin this life, this high-level life. Some people think, “I studied other things, but since this Falun is so powerful, how come it didn’t protect me?” This is because there is a principle in this universe: You decide on your own what you want. If you, making your own decisions, want wicked things… Wicked things are simply everywhere, trying to burrow into you even if you don’t want them! If you do want them, they will come [into you] immediately, arriving in less than a second. So why doesn’t the Falun deal with them? It’s because you wanted those things. So you must pay special attention to this point. When a person cultivates it is an extremely, extremely serious matter.
When I was spreading the practice in China, there were many people whose Celestial Eyes were opened at a pretty high level—but it’s also difficult to cultivate with an open Celestial Eye. You may see many huge immortals. Because they are beings in other dimensions, they can become very large. They wear yellow clothes, are enormous, and appear to humans as having great divine powers. They tell you: “I will take you as my disciple. Come learn from me.” The person’s desire emerges and he starts to learn from the immortal right away, and in that moment he is ruined. No matter how enormous [that immortal] appears, he hasn’t left the Three Realms and is of no real significance; it’s just that he isn’t in this dimension and can change his body at will. So you need to pay special attention to these issues. There are also demons who come to interfere with you, [saying] “Come learn from me. I’ll teach you a little something.” For some people—especially those who practice other disciplines—as soon as they sit down, they often invent exercises themselves, performing mudras that look quite pretty—but let me tell you that demons know how to do that kind of thing too. You don’t know who gave [those things] to you, so as soon as you follow along with those practices, they will add things onto your body, and your body will get messed up. I’ve seen that there are some people who seem to learn all sorts of things, and their bodies are horrible messes, full of all sorts of things—[these people] absolutely cannot cultivate. We emphasize predestined relationship. If you run into me, it’s because of your predestined relationship. If you truly want to cultivate, we must thoroughly clean you up. We will keep your good things and remove your bad things, setting your body in order, purifying it, and having you reach the Milky-White Body state. This is the only way that you can truly produce gong and elevate your level.
Disciple: You have many Law Bodies that can guide peoples’ cultivation, but we are in Australia. Who can come to guide us? Who should we take as our Master?
Master: This person has brought up a very important issue here. You know that when a person cultivates it’s an extremely serious issue. This is because people have karma from life after life and have committed bad deeds in their previous lives, so they will have enemies and creditors in other dimensions. If [those enemies and creditors] learn that you have begun to cultivate, then they will come to get revenge on you, so people just starting cultivation face mortal danger. Thus, I’ve mentioned that without a master it would be absolutely impossible for you to succeed in cultivation. You can only succeed in cultivation when a master comes to watch over you and protect you. You can only succeed in cultivation if he prevents any major issues from coming up. There used to be cultivators all over the world, and relatively more in China. Many Daoist cultivators take on disciples. Though Daoism has emerged with large numbers of disciples, [the way most Daoist cultivators] work is they each pass on the real teachings to only a single person, as that’s the only way they can guarantee that their disciples won’t run into problems. [A Daoist cultivator] is only capable of watching over a single person, because Daoist disciplines don’t have the wish to save all beings.
Why can I pass on [the practice to] and save so many people? In China there are now ten million people learning it and that doesn’t include people learning it overseas. Why has no one run into problems? We have someone here today who was hit by a car. The car was destroyed, but the person was in fact fine. He wasn’t in pain or afraid, and he wasn’t injured anywhere. Why can this happen? It’s because those creditors are coming to demand payment, but we can’t allow you to really face danger. Yet, this debt must be paid. Without Master protecting you, you would die right away. How could you cultivate if you were dead? I have countless Law Bodies that look the same as me. They are in other dimensions and can, of course, become large or small. They can become quite large and quite small. Their wisdom is completely unlocked, and their miraculous powers are the same as a Buddha’s. My main body is here with me, but [my Law Bodies] have the ability to act independently, and they will watch over you, protect you, help you to develop gong, and perform some tasks. Actually, they are the embodiment of my wisdom, and thus I am able to protect you. I don’t live in Australia, but the practice has been passed on to you, and you can take the Way as your Master.
Disciple: Can the Law Bodies guide our cultivation and protect us?
Master: When a cultivator is about to run into troubles, my Law Bodies will dispel these things and prevent them from occurring, and they will also give you hints. When you really can’t enlighten to something, but you’re cultivating quite well, [my Law Body] might appear before your eyes to tell you something or perhaps let you hear his presence. Because your cultivation level may not be high enough, he won’t have you see him, but he will let you hear his presence. Most of the time [my Law Body] will have you see him when you are asleep. This way it’s like you are dreaming, and you have to enlighten as to whether [what you’re seeing is] real or false, so most of the time when you will be able to see him, it will be in your dreams. If your ability of concentration is very strong, you may see him when you meditate. But if you always want to see me, it’s also a form of pursuit and an attachment, so you won’t be allowed to see [my Law Body]. When you stop thinking about it, you will definitely see him in the future, as long as you cultivate.
Disciple: Master, you protect me, but I have huge karmic obstacles, so how can you protect me?
Master: This is also a very important issue. Because people in today’s society have karma built upon karma, their karma is now quite sizable. It’s not just humans who have such large amounts of karma; since humans can reincarnate, they can reincarnate into animals, substances, plants, and organisms in high-level and low-level dimensions. Since there are six paths of reincarnation, a person can reincarnate into any of them. And people bring their virtue and karma along with them. Today’s people have small amounts of virtue and large amounts of karma. So it looks as if it’s not just humans who have karma; even concrete and soil have karma. You know, in the past, if a farmer in China cut his hand while working his land, he would grab a bit of soil and sprinkle it on the wound, and the wound would recover. The wound would recover simply from sprinkling a bit of dirt on it. Nowadays, would you dare to touch dirt? Even if you didn’t touch it you could still get tetanus! Karma is everywhere. There is karma on substances and plants, and animals and humans have karma all over, so seen from high-level dimensions, the human world is rolling in black waves. Why do epidemics happen? Serious epidemics are simply those black waves, which are high-density clusters of karma rolling to different places. Epidemics occur wherever they roll to. What can be done, now that the karma of today’s mankind is so enormous? Let me tell you that if you want to cultivate, it’s like I just mentioned: If you owed a few lives and you were to wait until you paid them off before starting cultivation, [by then] the opportunity might have disappeared, and you wouldn’t be able to run into me.
What can be done, then? The purpose of man’s existence in this universe is not to just be human; it’s to return through cultivation, to return to the place where you were actually created. Some people say, “I’m in ordinary society and I can’t let go of ordinary emotions. If I cultivate, what will happen to my wife, children, parents, and siblings? [Without emotions] my life would be pointless.” That’s your understanding from your human point of view; you’re thinking about things from your current starting point. When you elevate to a new starting point, after you elevate your level, you’ll be in a different realm and you won’t think this way. But let me tell you a principle: who are your true relatives? I’m not trying to interfere with your family relationships here; it’s because when a person goes through the six paths of reincarnation, you might be a human in this life, and in the next life you may be an animal or a plant, and through lifetime after lifetime, how many parents, wives, children, and siblings have you had? You’ve had countless numbers of them during the long flow of your existence. Some were human and some were not. Which of them are your real family members? Humans are simply too deep in delusion! Your true parents are at the place where your being was produced in the universe; only there can you find them. This is because beings have two types of origins: one is a being produced by the motion of enormous substances; another is when a tangible life formed by the motion of substances in the universe enters, on its own, a state similar to that of a human being pregnant, and produces life. This [second] kind of life has parents. So your true parents are watching you right now and waiting for you to return, but you don’t return and remain deluded here, still thinking that the people here are your family members.
The purpose of man’s existence is not just to be human; it’s to return to his true self. If a person has the thought of cultivating Buddhahood, though he doesn’t have a predestined opportunity to cultivate, he is planting the seed of cultivating Buddhahood. Why do I put things this way? It’s because this thought that he had is just so precious! In such a suffering and delusion-filled environment, he still has the desire to return, to cultivate Buddhahood, and to strive to be compassionate. So if you want to cultivate, everyone will try to find a way to give you the green light. When a person has this thought, it shakes the world of ten directions; it is as bright as gold, and everyone can see it. If this person wants to cultivate, that’s how it is, but with such a great amount of karma, what can be done? We must use a method to eliminate your karma. We can’t unconditionally eliminate your karma or eliminate all of it. To what extent can [your] karma be eliminated by another? I don’t look into these things, but in Buddhism they say that you cannot complete cultivation in one lifetime; it takes multiple reincarnations to succeed. That is, you can’t eliminate that much karma in one shot. But if you want to really cultivate, we can find a way to have you succeed in cultivation and achieve spiritual perfection in this lifetime. If you are really old, or if your remaining time in this life is very short and you don’t have enough time, then you will carry a Falun through death and into reincarnation. When you are reborn you will continue carrying it and continue the next phase of the predestined relationship.
When a person cultivates the upright Way, I will eliminate enough karma for you so that you will be able to cultivate and be able to endure it—I will eliminate your karma to this extent. It’s not acceptable to eliminate all of it for you and for you not to repay any of it at all. Then how will you pay back the remaining portion? We will place it on your path of cultivation, as it’s all your own karma. We place it on the different levels that you will need to elevate to in cultivation, and it will act as the tests and hardships used to help you elevate your character. When you need to elevate your level, you will run into some troubles, or you will feel pain somewhere in your body, and you will then need to enlighten to these things, to see whether or not you can treat yourself as a cultivator. It’s to see whether or not you will treat these issues like an ordinary person, or whether you can let them go and take them lightly. When you take each test and difficulty as an opportunity to elevate and let things go, you will be able to pass the test. Some people think that they face difficult hardships when they cultivate, but actually, the hardships aren’t that difficult. The more you think that it is difficult, the larger it actually becomes, and the smaller you become. If you pay it no heed and don’t take it to heart, thinking, “As long as the green mountains remain, I’ll always have enough firewood. With Master and the Way by my side, what is there to fear? I’ll just forget about it!” As soon as you let things go you’ll find that the hardship shrinks and you grow, and you will be able to cross it in one step. The hardship will become nothing, and it’s guaranteed that this is what will happen. When a person can’t get past a hardship, it’s because he’s unable to let go of the attachment or doesn’t believe in the Way. Most people have one desire or another that they can’t let go of, and it’s because of this that they can’t get past it. The person can’t get past it because he can’t take that step back from humanness.
Disciple: I have a question. I have been practicing Falun Dafa for a long time and voraciously read Teacher’s books and watch Teacher’s videotapes. But there’s a statement that I can’t understand: Teacher said, “You are unable to produce a Falun from your own practice, and the Teacher must personally install a Falun in you.” So, I was thinking of going to China to ask Teacher to install a Falun for me. This is one question. Another is, how can we verify that we actually have Falun? These are the two questions I have.
Master: Many people worry about an issue: “We want to learn this practice, but we haven’t attended your class, nor have we seen you in person. Can we get a Falun?” Some people can’t sense anything [and think], “Is Teacher not taking care of me?” A lot of people will have this question. Actually, I’ve written in the book that you will have Falun. Since I am here to save all beings, if I were to not be responsible to you, reading these [high level] things would bring danger to you—so I have to take care of you. If you truly cultivated and I didn’t take care of you, I would in essence be harming people and sending them to their deaths, and then I would face retribution, so I can’t do things that way. Since I am doing things [the way I am], I have to be responsible to you. Many people with good innate foundations have seen that every word in this book is a Falun. Since every dimension is different, when looking at it from an even deeper dimension, every word is my Law Body and the Buddha’s image, and even every component and radical of each character is an individual Buddha. Think about it: Even one Buddha has great power. Why can your illness be cured when you read this book? If you have bad eyes, why is it that when you read this book, the words get larger and larger the more you read and your eyes don’t get tired? Why do miraculous changes happen when you read this book? It’s because those words are formed out of the Way, and they can do anything for you and install Falun for you. I also have Law Bodies looking after you, and they can do any of these things, so you will gain these things even if you do not see me in person.
As to your senses, some people might be sensitive and sense [that something] in the lower abdomen is spinning. It’s not just one place that will have things spinning, as there will be things spinning all over the body. Some of us sitting here today have said erroneous things; please pay attention to this in the future. They say that our Falun Dafa cultivates nine Falun. Let me tell you that I only really install one Falun for you, and this Falun is incomparably powerful and can divide itself endlessly. In the early stages of your cultivation, I install many hundreds of Falun that spin in different places all over the outside of your body in order to adjust it. Some people say, “Things are spinning here, there—wow—they’re all over my entire body [and spinning everywhere].” This is because we need to purify and assimilate your body. I use the characteristic of the gong in our practice to adjust you, so you will sense that there are countless Falun spinning everywhere. You might sense that there are nine of them, so you go and say that there are nine of them. So I will use many external Falun to adjust your body. Some people are sensitive and some are not. Those who are not sensitive will not sense anything, and those who are sensitive will be able to sense [those Falun]. Regardless of whether you sense them or not, this happens at the beginning stages. For sensitive people, once your body is fully adjusted and once [the Falun] becomes a part of your body, you will no longer be able to sense it. Your heart is beating; can you always sense that it’s beating? You will be able to feel it when you put your hand over it. Your stomach is wriggling; can you sense it? Your blood is circulating; can you sense it? You won’t feel anything and won’t be able to sense it once it becomes a part of your body. Those without sensations at the early stages have one as well. A large majority of people can’t sense it in the early stages, but you will have many different sensations as you cultivate in the future. As long as you cultivate, I will be sure to take care of you.
The most obvious change is that your body will quickly be purified. In Mainland China many people know that cultivating Falun Dafa is just so miraculous! As soon as people practice, their illnesses go away. Why? Many people came without seeking to have their illnesses healed. They practiced because they thought that the Way was good! As a result, their illnesses were healed. But there are often those who don’t get good results from their practice. Why aren’t the results good? They heard that Falun Dafa can cure illnesses and they come to practice with the goal of healing their illnesses, so the illness can’t be removed, as “one gains naturally without pursuit.” Your wanting to heal your illness is seeking things. The human body should pay back karma and should have illnesses. You must have the desire to cultivate and remove the desire to have your illness healed. You will gain everything as long as you don’t think about having your illnesses removed, don’t pay heed to these [illness-related] matters, and just focus on doing the exercises. But if you hold onto your desire to have your illness healed, you won’t gain anything. In the past, we would always refuse to allow mentally ill people and those with critical illnesses to enter the classes; no matter how you tell a critically ill person to let go of [his illness], he can’t. His life is almost over; could he stop thinking about his illness? He can’t sleep at night because of his illness, so no matter how you tell him to let it go, he won’t be able to. Sometimes he will say that he let it go but his mind is still thinking strongly about it, so there’s nothing we can do in these cases. Why can’t we do anything? The reason is that there are requirements [to be met] when an upright practice is spread to save people, very strict requirements; otherwise, we would be spreading a wicked practice. You must change that thought and then we can do things for you. If you don’t change it, we can’t do anything for you. If you change that thought, you will no longer be an ordinary person, but if you can’t change it, you will remain an ordinary person—that’s where the demarcation lies. Thus, you can only gain naturally without pursuit. Some people come without any particular intentions; they think the practice is pretty good and want to try practicing it. They see others practicing the exercises and try practicing it without any particular reason, and in the end they have everything healed. Of course, we don’t require everyone to meet that high of a standard all at once, as there is a process of understanding, which is fine. But don’t come to cultivate with any desire to seek things.
Disciple: I am very sorry, Teacher, but I have three questions to ask. The first question is that I read in Zhuan Falun that in the Qimen discipline, the gong you develop will not be separated out from you, and in some disciplines, eight-tenths of your gong will be used in order to substantiate your paradise. In our Dafa, is the gong also separated out?
Teacher: Since a person’s cultivation is done among ordinary people, he must produce through his practice all the things that he will need to possess as a Buddha in the future. You know that Buddhas can have anything they want, have vast divine powers, and are blessed beyond compare. Where do these things come from? The amount of suffering he endures is equal to the amount of blessings he receives. Thus, he needs to increase his gong to quite a high level in order to succeed in cultivating Buddhahood. In the past, these things were only discussed among those in our cultivation community who had cultivated to a very high level and were not told to ordinary people. A cultivator really does need to cultivate to a very high level to be able to achieve spiritual perfection. Why? If you only have gong, when you go up there you won’t have any of what you want and you won’t have any blessings. That won’t do. You need to produce these things in the process of cultivation. The suffering you endure throughout the entire process of cultivation is your benevolent might. When you suffer or when your character improves, your gong increases. So when you cultivate to an extremely high level in the future, you will have to take eight-tenths of your gong down and use it to complete the boundless blessings you will have at your position of Fruition. When you fill out your own small paradise, all of that comes from what you produce when you suffer in cultivation. Even the character standard that you have produced through cultivation must be broken off and used to fill out the paradise; these things are in fact your blessings and come from your suffering. The remaining two-tenths will be your status of Fruition. If you reach the Bodhisattva’s standard, you will be a Bodhisattva; if you reach the Buddha’s standard, you will be a Buddha; if you reach the Arhat’s standard, you will be an Arhat; if you reach even higher realms, you will be an even greater Buddha. The Qimen discipline, on the other hand, is more complicated, but those who practice it must also use their gong to complete their blessings and virtue.
Disciple: I would like to ask my second question. My character is not good enough, so I get really angry inside when others curse at me or take advantage of me. According to what Teacher says, when others hit you, curse at you, or take advantage of you, they give you virtue, so you can’t get upset inside. If I get angry will I not increase gong?
Master: As a practitioner, when you get angry with ordinary people you become the same as them. When you get angry you are pushing the virtue away; it’s just that you haven’t pushed it back to the other party. It didn’t return to the other party because you indeed lost something, but as long as you deal with it the same way as he does, you will push it back to him. Some people think, “This jerk really took advantage of me and conned me out of a lot of money, and I have to happily thank him. You beat me up and I still have to let you curse at me. Not only can I not curse back, I need to thank him.” People will say, “Isn’t this being like Ah Q? Isn’t it being too weak and cowardly?” No, it’s not. Think about it: You won’t be able to do that without really good character. That’s a display of a cultivator’s firm will; could an ordinary person do that? That person won’t be able to do it without a firm enough will, and it’s not being weak and cowardly. Of course, you should be happy. Think about it: If he didn’t take advantage of you, you wouldn’t get an extra piece of virtue, and when you get an extra piece of virtue, through cultivation you can convert it into a piece of gong. When he takes advantage of you, your karma is also being eliminated! Can you become a Buddha while carrying karma? You need to eliminate it all. When he takes advantage of you, he gives you virtue, and you also eliminate karma. You don’t deal with it like he does and you are very calm inside, and your character standard improves. There is a measuring stick on top of your head that measures character, and the higher the measuring stick, the greater your gong. Your character improved, your gong increased, your karma transformed into virtue, and he also has to give you virtue, so you gained four things in one shot. Shouldn’t you thank him? You should really thank him from the bottom of your heart. I just mentioned now that society’s principles of good and bad are reversed. Once you arrive at a high level you will find that all of the things people are attached to are bad.
Disciple: My third question is about the issue of killing mentioned in the book. Killing is an enormous sin, so is it considered a sin if a person commits suicide?
Master: It is considered a sin. Today’s society is bad and all sorts of strange things have appeared. People advocate for “euthanasia,” in which a person receives an injection and dies. Think about it: Why would a person take an injection to die? It’s because he thinks that he is in pain. But we think that his pain is eliminating his karma, so when he reincarnates into his next life, his body will be light and free of karma, and he will have great happiness and other things waiting for him. It’s of course really uncomfortable when eliminating karma through pain, but when you don’t let him eliminate his karma and kill him, isn’t that homicide? He leaves [the world] carrying karma, which he will have to pay off in the next life. Which way would you say is the correct one? There is another sin when you commit suicide. Human lives are arranged, and so you will have damaged higher beings’ overall, grand scheme of things, which involves your duties to society and the interpersonal relationships you form. If you die, won’t it mess up higher beings’ arrangements for the overall sequence of things? If you mess up those things, they won’t let you off the hook, so suicide is sinful.
Disciple: The Buddha can do whatever he wants, but aren’t Buddhas free of emotions and desires? Would they still be able to enjoy things?
Master: Some people say that Buddhas don’t eat and don’t have human bodies. This statement makes it seem like people all think that Buddhas are like that. Let me tell you that you can’t use ordinary people’s ways of thinking to understand the statements made by people in the cultivation community. Buddhas don’t have human bodies. They don’t have the filthy human body made up of molecular-level substances. Their coarsest particles at the surface are atoms, and their most microscopic particles are more microscopic substances in the universe. The more microscopic their substances, the greater the radiant energy those substances have, as the Buddha’s light illuminates everything. Some people say that Buddhas don’t eat food. They don’t eat human food; they eat substances at their levels. Those substances are not referred to as the human term “food.” So if you don’t understand the deeper linguistic meanings at the Buddhas’ levels, you won’t be able to understand [those who make these statements]. Humans will always understand things with a human mindset.
Some ordinary people say, “Being a Buddha would be so pointless. You have nothing and you just sit there like a log.” Let me tell you that a Buddha is the King of his heavenly paradise. The title “Tathagata” that we use for him is based on the manifestation of the level of his character standard. In reality, he is the King of that heavenly kingdom. He is managing countless beings in that paradise. Of course, he doesn’t manage like ordinary people do, forcefully executing laws; he manages entirely with mercy and kindness. Everyone there is at the standard of that realm, which is incomparably wonderful. He doesn’t have ordinary people’s emotions. He instead has mercy, a higher state of being, and purer things, and nothing of the things that ordinary people have. He has things that come from a correspondingly higher realm and that are more wonderful, as this is what a high-level being is. There are beings that are at levels that are much, much, much higher. If it were all pointless then it would be better to just die and end it all. [The state of Buddhahood] is more wonderful, and only when you get to that paradise will you know what happiness is. [The state of Buddhahood] is more wonderful, but if you don’t let go of and remove these things of ordinary people you won’t be able to gain access to it.
Disciple: Why don’t practitioners of the Qimen discipline separate out [a portion of] their gong?
Master: Who said that the Qimen discipline doesn’t separate it out? Everyone has to use the gong they develop in their cultivation to perfect their Fruition. There is more than one form of Qimen cultivation, which is quite strange, varied, and peculiar. In some cases, the [Qimen] cultivator will, during his cultivation, complete these things [he uses gong for] while cultivating at the same time, but the amount of effort put in is the same [as if he were finished cultivating]. He doesn’t increase it [after finishing cultivation], so he doesn’t separate out [a portion of it]. Those who separate out their gong increase it more quickly. [The Qimen cultivator] doesn’t separate it out, as he completes his blessings and virtue as he cultivates, so he increases [gong] quite slowly. The effort he puts in is the same.
Disciple: I have two questions. The first question is the first day I meditated, I saw Master’s Law Body next to me on my left, but he wore black clothes and was all smiles. Later, I read materials that talked about this. Since I saw this my first time meditating, I would like to ask for guidance about this. It wasn’t in the color of the films on TV.
Master: This is because there is variation among dimensions. For instance, what is the color that Daoists like? Purple, so they say that the purple qi comes from the east, and they think that purple is the highest color. Buddhist disciplines like the color yellow, golden yellow, but it’s all actually one color. It’s purple in this dimension, and golden yellow in another dimension. So when we see black things in our dimension, they are white in other dimensions; when you see things that are really white here, they are really black over there; things that are green here are red in other dimensions. All colors have different manifestations in different dimensions, so when you are in a certain state you will see a certain kind of color. Everyone should pay attention to this, because sometimes demons are really skilled at interfering with people. Most of the time my Law Bodies wear the Buddhist kasaya, and have curly hair that’s very blue, bright blue. It’s only in extremely special situations that you see my Law Bodies wearing what I am now, in extremely special situations, and it’s very rare. So you have to differentiate among these things. If it is me, you will sense that it’s me and feel very confident; if it’s not me, you will have a question mark in your mind.
Disciple: I have been studying this practice for two months now, and in these two months, the illnesses that I have had for decades are all gone. This is because my purpose in studying the teachings is to eliminate my karmic obstacles. In these two months, it’s been amazingly comfortable, and I haven’t taken even a bit of medicine. That’s one point. The other point is that I would like to ask Master as to whether or not what I saw in meditation was Falun. I see something constantly spinning in a spiral. But it was an earth-like color similar to mud. The entirety of it was spinning and it was simply wondrous, but I couldn’t see its inner structure.
Master: Though the Falun’s symbols don’t change color, its base color will. Red, orange, yellow, green, greenish blue, blue, purple, colored, and colorless—it will alternate colors, so the Falun won’t necessarily be in this color. Also, when the Falun adjusts your body it spins extremely fast and it looks like the wheel of an electric fan or like a tornado. Sometimes it spins slowly and you can see its inner structure clearly. When it spins quickly the structure is hard to see. When it adjusts your body as you begin cultivating, it knows at what speed and how to spin, so none of [what you see] is an issue and it’s all normal.
Disciple: Can we perform the Great Lotus Mudra?
Master: The Great Lotus Mudra is a set mudra. This is the Great Lotus Mudra. (Master gestures.) We don’t need to perform that when we do the exercises. You can do it when you ask Master to consecrate a Buddha statue or a statue of the Daoist Laozi or the Original Master of Heaven that you have at home. It’s best if you hold [Zhuan Falun]—doesn’t it have my photo?—and as if you are talking to me directly, say, “Teacher, please perform consecration for me.” Hold this book while performing the Great Lotus Mudra, and the consecration will be done in three seconds. My Law Body will have a Law Body that’s the same type of god as the one on the Buddha statue stay on it. If you were to have me consecrate a statue of Buddha Amitabha, my Law Body would have a Buddha Amitabha Law Body go onto the Buddha statue—this is true consecration. Those monks in today’s religions who don’t really cultivate and the many fake Qigong masters out there cannot perform consecration. They don’t have the benevolent might to ask a Buddha to come. This is a Buddha we’re talking about; he won’t come over for just anyone. Of course, some people hold a mirror to reflect light on the Buddha statue and say that they have performed consecration, and there are others who paint cinnabar ink on the eyes of the Buddha statue until its eyes are red all over and also claim that they have performed consecration. All of this is just making a mess of things!
Disciple: Just now [Teacher] said that humans have dropped down from different heavenly kingdoms and levels. Then naturally, on principle they should return to the heavenly kingdom from which they dropped down. But it seems that on this level of humans, they don’t know which heavenly kingdom they dropped down from. So when they cultivate, the method that they choose might be different, just like they might have the predestined opportunity to study Falun Dafa.
Master: You are hoping to return to the paradise where you came from, the place where your life was created, so your wish is good. The first problem you must resolve now is how you are to return. You must return through cultivation—this is the most critical point. There are no other options. It’s not like everything is laid out for you, with the Buddhas sitting there, and you can choose which one [of the Buddhas’ paradises] you want. As for elevating in cultivation, if you really cultivate to a high place and are able to return to your original position, in that paradise you can see your relatives there and walk around to take a look at things. It doesn’t matter which paradise you are in; whether you live in Sydney or Melbourne doesn’t matter.
Disciple: What is the situation with the Heavenly Dao discipline that is spreading so widely in Southeast Asia?
Master: Let me tell you that it’s now the time of the Final Havoc, what Buddha Sakyamuni called the time of Way’s End, when a myriad of demons come to the world. When Buddha Sakyamuni was in this world, a demon told him, “Right now I can’t throw your Way into chaos, but when your Way enters the time of Way’s End, I will send my disciples and their disciples to become monks and enter your temples. Let’s see what you can do about it!” Buddha Sakyamuni shed tears upon hearing that. Buddha Sakyamuni of course had no way to deal with that, and so things did become chaotic at the time of Way’s End. The time of Way’s End that he referred to does not involve merely humans, and not just temples, there are people all over society doing things that damage the cause of humankind. Evil religions have swept across the land! On the surface, they also tell people to act kindly, but in their bones, that’s not what they are here for. They’re either for fame, money, or some dark influence—those things. So look: What do they seek? The Buddha Fa is passed on to man to save him. If you use it to make money, that is an enormous, evil sin! Of course, demons don’t care about that. They use the guise of religion or of telling people to act kindly in order to destroy humankind, destroy the human heart, and destroy man’s spiritual conscience. This is most vicious. So I think ... of course, I don’t want to say certain things. You’re able to differentiate between the upright and the wicked, so just differentiate between them yourselves. I don’t want to say who’s wicked and who’s not.
But I can only tell you that if someone wants to save people in ordinary society, it’s an enormous undertaking, and it requires all the gods in the universe to nod their heads in agreement. This is because it involves many different aspects of things, involves how each ethnic group interacts with what it corresponds to in the [Heavens] above, and it involves many, many issues, so it’s not something that someone can just do on a whim. I know why Jesus was nailed to a crucifix. Why did Buddha Sakyamuni have to take the path of nirvana?! It’s difficult to spread an upright practice, but no one bothers you if you spread a wicked practice. It’s not that no one bothers with it; when an upright practice is being spread, there are more wicked practices—[they’re there] to see which door you enter. If there were just one door and everything being passed on was upright practices, and if the world had no wicked practices, as they had all been taken care of, then it would be too easy for a person to cultivate. How would people obtain the Way? Everyone would cultivate your way, as yours would be the only available way, so how could you test your disciples on their firmness in following your teachings? So usually when an upright practice is spread, wicked practices are also spread, to see which door people enter. In order to judge your ability to enlighten, as you cultivate there will be people who come find you and say, “Hey, come practice this with me! Come practice that with me! Hey, I’m now doing this great practice,” and so on. They will try to drag you there and test you, guaranteed. Situations where people try to drag you away will occur from the beginning of your cultivation process to the end. Why don’t we step in when these things happen? The Law Bodies can deal with anything. Why don’t they do anything? It’s because they are using the demons to test the person’s heart, to see whether or not you are fundamentally firm in this practice, as cultivating Buddhahood is just that serious. So this kind of thing will happen.
Anyway, I’ve explained what’s good and what’s bad. Nowadays, it’s very difficult for upright religions to save people, let alone wicked religions! Some of those people dress themselves up like models and are carried around by people, asking for money wherever they go, and people still believe in them. People are so confused! When people haven’t obtained the Way, it’s very easy for them to get deceived.
Disciple: How does thought karma work?
Master: Some people’s brains imperceptibly create bad thoughts. We are cultivating the upright Way—I am doing this following the principle of being responsible to society, to humanity, and to people. That person knows that [Falun Dafa] is good, but his mind curses at me and also tells him not to believe in Dafa and that [Dafa] is fake. Why does this happen? In addition to the karma on his body, man also has thought karma. Any object is alive, and thus thought karma is alive. If you want to cultivate, you have to purify your thoughts, and you have to eliminate the thoughts of cursing at others, the notions you’ve formed, and the various types of karma that you’ve formed over many lifetimes. Your original nature will only emerge once you eliminate them. When you start to cultivate and try to eliminate these thoughts and notions of cursing at people, those thoughts will fight it—could they accept dying? They will react in your mind: “All of this is fake,” cursing at it, cursing at people, and the more you practice the more they curse, producing filthy curse words in your brain. Actually, let me tell you that those thoughts are not you; they are karma, thought karma. You have to reject them. This set of exercises refines you, yourself. If you’re not clear in your mind, as soon as the curse words come out and once you’re not firm, your main consciousness will go along with them, and you’ll stop practicing and not stay firm. Then we won’t take care of you anymore. Because it’s you that we save, if you don’t make the grade we won’t save you.
This situation happened a lot in the past. In China, some people’s minds reacted very strongly. [One man’s] mind cursed very strongly and he couldn’t repel the thoughts. In the end, he said, “I’m letting Teacher down! I’m even cursing Teacher. I’ve created too much karma, I don’t want to live anymore,” and with this, he took a knife and tried to slit his throat. Of course, don’t try this yourself. Try as he might, he couldn’t slit his throat; it didn’t hurt or bleed. He got upset and ran outside to find a [Falun Dafa] assistant to ask him about this. He said, “My mind keeps cursing Teacher. What should I do?” When the assistant saw what was going on, he began to recite the teachings to this man, and the man felt that that worked quite well [in resolving the issue]. Later, this man asked me about this situation and I told him: It’s actually your karma that is cursing, not you yourself. You shouldn’t carry any mental burden, because it’s the karma, not you, that is cursing me. But your main consciousness must be clear and must repel it; try to repel it and keep it from cursing. If you repel and restrain it my Law Body will know what you are doing. It knows what you are doing and knows that [the karma will curse] even before it curses. This is a test for you, a test to see if your main consciousness is firm or not. If you are firm, my Law Body will eliminate this karma after a period of time. I eliminate this thought karma because it directly interferes with your cultivation and affects your ability to enlighten to things. Pay attention to this issue and know how to differentiate [between karma and your own thoughts] when it comes up.
Disciple: I would like to raise an issue that involves the exercises and the relationship between the movements and a person’s character. Can doing the exercises more help to elevate one’s character further?
Master: There’s no direct relationship, though the movements are a key aspect of spiritual perfection and are fundamental. Our discipline is one in which the practice refines the practitioner. The practice is refining you even when you are not practicing, whether you are sleeping, working, or eating. It is constantly refining you twenty-four hours a day, and this shortens the amount of time in your life that practicing the exercises will take up, allowing you to reach spiritual perfection as soon as possible. Otherwise, how could I claim that I will have you reach spiritual perfection in this lifetime? This needs to happen. Yet the exercises in our practice are not like those in other practices, in which you only increase gong when you practice them, and as soon as you stop, your gong stops increasing. Our exercises strengthen all of the mechanisms placed in you. You are strengthening mechanisms both inside and outside your body. Why do I say that we don’t put our hands in the position of “filling up the head,” and why don’t our hands “send out” or “release,” but instead move along the body with palms facing inward? This is because when you guide yourself using the qi mechanisms that I installed inside and outside your body, your hands will have great amounts of energy when you do the exercises, and it strengthens the qi mechanisms; that is, the mechanisms. When your hands overlap over the lower abdomen they strengthen the mechanisms in the dantian, and when you perform the stretching movements you strengthen the mechanisms that are in motion. Thus, our exercises are strengthening the continuously operating mechanisms that allow you to be refined long-term, twenty-four hours a day, and so practicing the exercises is the means to achieve spiritual perfection. But it’s not absolute, as the exercises are a supplementary means to achieve spiritual perfection. Yet practicing the exercises is still fundamental. Keeping the things you produce through cultivation in this discipline from going off track is directly related to this set of things and to your movements. This is because we also have technical things, things that transform life and allow a person to extend his life for cultivation, that strengthen supernormal abilities, and so on, so the exercises definitely have an effect. Cultivation comes first and practicing the exercises comes second. Cultivation is primary and practicing the exercises is secondary. But if you want to reach spiritual perfection in this discipline you must both cultivate and practice.
Disciple: When I practice the exercises I’m unable to see any [special] phenomena. All I can see is white light, and I can see Teacher’s image when I want to. Is that an illusion?
Master: I will separate this into two topics. For those whose Celestial Eyes cannot see, this may be caused by factors pushing them to break through to even higher levels. This is because for people with a great ability to enlighten and who have the ability to cultivate to high places, the less they are allowed to see, the faster they can cultivate. Because they are enlightening amidst suffering and delusion, the same amount of suffering will enable them to elevate twice as fast. This [not being able to see] makes a difference, so perhaps it’s for cultivating to high places.
Another point is that even though you say that you didn’t see anything, you actually have seen something. Without paying particular attention to it, you saw a white light covering your body. Also, sometimes you see things when you want to, and you actually really see it, but you think it’s an illusion. A lot of people, when they’re able to see things, think that they are imagining things. Let me tell you that when you see things with the human eyes, you’re used to [seeing things that way], as you think that it’s your eyes that are viewing [those things]. But consider this: Whatever you see is an image transmitted to your brain through your optic nerve, and the objects you see are [actually] reflections in your mind. Your eyes are only like the lens of a camera; they cannot analyze and reflect things themselves, as it is the brain that really reflects things. Since it is the brain that reflects images, what the Celestial Eye sees and what people imagine are both reflections in the brain. When you think something, it’s the brain that is thinking, and when you see something, it’s the brain producing the image. So when some people are able to see things, they think that they are imagining things. But it’s different, as when you imagine something it won’t seem as real and it won’t move, as it is a fixed image. When you truly see things, on the other hand, they will be moving. When you get used to [seeing] these things, you will slowly see more things this way, and as you slowly get used to it over a period of time, you will gradually find that you’ve really seen things, and you’ll likely be able to use [this ability] better.
In the past, when some Daoists trained their disciples, they would specifically have them imagine things because they understood this relationship and could train their disciples’ supernormal abilities this way. There is no apple in front of you, but you are to imagine that there is an apple in front of you, and the master will tell you what kind of apple it is. Actually, there is no apple, but they will train you to be able to smell it; then you imagine the sight of this apple, how it looks—that’s how they train their disciples. Because these images are formed in the brain, some people cannot explain this issue clearly. Anyway, when you’re imagining something, it doesn’t move, and when you see something it moves.
Disciple: One time when I was dreaming at night, I saw something scary, but I didn’t think of you; what I thought of was Tantrism. But I am a very devout Falun Dafa disciple. So will something happen one day, and then I’ll be finished, and even my main spirit will be gone?
Master: It’s because you hardly read the book. Though you cultivate the Great Way now, you still have Tantric things in your mind, so what you thought of in your dream was Tantrism and not the Great Way. Some people have asked me what they should do if they encounter mortal danger. I said that you won’t run into anything unrelated to your cultivation, guaranteed. You may run into things that are related to your cultivation. If you really lost your life today, that would show that no cultivation discipline was taking care of you and that you didn’t cultivate in the least. Religions advocate for repaying lives, saying that it’s impossible to complete cultivation in one lifetime. After you repay a life, you can continue cultivating in the next life—that’s what they advocate. But we don’t advocate that here. We emphasize here that you won’t be made to experience these issues, as my true disciples will absolutely not be made to face mortal danger.
Disciple: I didn’t realize at that time that it was a dream.
Master: At that time you were practicing Tantrism but weren’t truly cultivating, so it didn’t have any effect; thus, no one was taking care of you. Some people say that when they dream they can see money on the ground and they pick it up. Actually, these dreams are tests for people to see whether or not your character is sound. Some cultivators say that they do very well during the daytime but can’t handle themselves well in their dreams. That happens because they aren’t sound in the deepest recesses of their thinking, and they are tested in dreams as to whether or not they are sound, so this issue will occur. Don’t feel pained if you do poorly when it happens. If you take it seriously, you can definitely do well with it and you will be fine in the future.
Disciple: Teacher Li installed Falun for all attendees of the [Falun Dafa] classes in China. Will you install Falun for those of us here listening to your lecture today? Another question is, we don’t accept mentally abnormal people as cultivators; are there any methods for dealing with slight brain issues?
Master: I will first talk about the first question. I’ve mentioned that each word in this book has my Law Body on it and has the image of my Law Body. Every word has the Buddha’s image. I have countless Law Bodies; there are so many that numbers cannot be used to count them. You know that Sakyamuni mentioned that Buddha Amitabha has two million Law Bodies. My Law Bodies are so many that you cannot count them with numbers—they are countless. I can look after as many people as needed; I can even look after the entire human race. Of course, we only play [such] a role for cultivators. I don’t get involved with non-cultivators or with societal affairs. So when you cultivate, as soon as you have a thought, my Law Body will know about it. There is another issue. You see that this body of mine now is an ordinary flesh body and just this big. But if you go into the next dimension, you’ll find that my body there is many times taller than this one. My body is respectively taller and larger in each respective dimension, and my largest body is indescribably large. Many students have, suddenly, seen my very large body. They say, “Teacher, when I stood under your toe, I couldn’t see the top of your toe.” So it’s that big of a body. Think about it: With the entire earth being here, I can look after you wherever you are. Would I have to be standing right in front of someone to be able to install the Falun for them? I can install it just the same when I’m not right in front of a person. Even when I’m not where you are, I’m with you.
The second issue you raised is about schizophrenia. Whether it’s minor or severe, we have a clear rule for that: We don’t recommend such people to join the practice. This discipline is different from others. We save the person himself, and if we can’t do that, we won’t give [our things] to anyone else. Our gong is installed only on the body of the person himself, and we only save your main spirit; we only save you, yourself. This is unprecedented in history. Throughout history, whether you practiced Tantrism or other religions, they all saved your assistant spirit. I have revealed one of the secrets of the ages here. When this secret was revealed, there really was a lot of resistance to [revealing it]. But when the earth becomes wonderful in the future, many Buddhas will come down to the world again to save people. When that happens, it won’t be just me saving man’s main spirit, as they will also do so. I changed and turned around the situation around [the issue of saving the main spirit] because saving man’s main spirit has direct benefits in terms of the stability of society’s morality. When you save a person’s assistant spirit, the person himself is unable to cultivate, and all [the person] did was to join a religion, and society remains the same—this doesn’t have a big impact on society. So when you save a person’s main spirit, whether he cultivates or not, he will be a good person in society and will benefit society. Mentally ill people do not have clear consciousness, and so we cannot save them. We save those with clear consciousness; if we gave things to a person without a clear consciousness, those things would be taken by someone else the next day. Such people would not be firm in practicing, and even less could they follow our rules, stay committed to a single discipline, and not practice this and that. Since cultivating Buddhahood is a serious issue, we can’t save him if he can’t do these things. Some people insist on having him practice, but you are responsible if something goes wrong. If he practices for a while and then something goes wrong, when it happens he will say that the problems came from practicing Falun Dafa. We don’t teach mentally ill people at all, this is for sure. Because he is an ordinary person, he will get illnesses and run into problems. Something might go wrong with him when he is at the practice site trying to do the exercises, but that wouldn’t be because of his practice. That would happen because it was time for his illness to relapse.
Disciple: Every member of the human race is the same, but there is a large difference between the Buddhism spread by Easterners and the Christianity spread by Westerners. Buddhism is very weak in the West. Are they two different systems?
Master: Why does the West practice Christianity and the East practice Buddhism? Why are there large differences between Eastern religions and Western religions? Actually, Christianity lies within the boundary of the Buddhist system. It’s just that differences in ethnicity, culture, and celestial culture created differences in different ethnicities’ physical features and ways of thinking. That is, people have different standards and characteristics. This creates differences in their methods of cultivating Buddhahood and in the way in which they understand the divine beings at high levels. But with the differences in culture, concepts of thought, and appearance, they don’t call them Buddhas, though Buddha is the term used in the East. Of course, with the differences in appearances, the people in Jesus’s heavenly kingdom wear white robes. Those in Buddhas’ paradises, on the other hand, wear yellow robes. Their hair is also different, and the biggest difference among different groups is their hair. Daoists tie their hair into a bun, Buddhist Arhats have shaved heads, and Boddhisattvas have their hair in the style of ancient Chinese women. Why? The clothing worn in ancient China is the same as that worn by heavenly people. Actually, it’s the same style of dress employed by those in heavenly kingdoms and paradises. It’s the same with Westerners, as that’s how they dress in their heavenly kingdoms. That’s how people are. Of course, the current fashions are all new styles. Actually, the clothes that modern people wear are the worst and the ugliest.
Why doesn’t Buddhism exist in the white race’s world? And why doesn’t Christianity exist in the Easterners’ world? Strictly speaking, they don’t exist in those places. I remember that in the Bible or a similar book, Yahweh and Jesus both said something to the effect of: “Don’t go east.” There was more, but I just remember this line, “Don’t go east,” telling his disciples not to spread the teachings east. His disciples didn’t listen and traveled east with expeditionary forces. There is an issue that comes up here. It’s prohibited for the earth’s races to mix. Now that the races have mixed it has brought about an extremely serious issue. After the races mixed they no longer had corresponding connections with those [of their race] above, and they lost their roots. Mixed races have lost their roots; it’s as if those in the heavenly kingdoms and paradises don’t look after them—they belong nowhere and no one wants them. So you can see that in the past, there was a desert in the area connecting the mainland areas of Europe and Asia. It was an uninhabited area, and in the times when transportation was not so advanced, it was hard to cross. With the progress of modernized tools, this [barrier] has been broken through, so the races have become increasingly mixed, and this will bring about serious consequences. Of course, I don’t emphasize these things; it’s just to say that those above don’t recognize these races.
The issue I just brought up is that there is a corresponding relationship between the races and those above. The white race above, in this world and in this universe, makes up a very small percentage of this universe—that’s their heavenly kingdom. The paradises of the yellow race and of Buddhas and Daos, on the other hand, are extremely numerous, and they almost fill up the entire universe. Tathagata Buddhas are as numerous as grains of sand in the Ganges river—they are so numerous and large. There are a huge number of people with the appearance of the yellow race in this universe, so the races above and below correspond to one another. Jesus’ point in saying “don’t spread the teachings east” was [to let his followers know] that “they don’t belong to us.” Jesus said not to spread the teachings east, and I’ve found that there are no Easterners in Jesus’ heavenly kingdom. It’s very sad! Coming to contemporary times, people no longer listen to the words of their Lord, and Easterners no longer listen to the words of Buddha, so people have made a mess of these things. I’ve also found that Buddhas’ paradises did not have white people in the past. But as for what I am passing on today, why do I pass it on to Westerners? That’s because I am spreading the principles of the entire universe. When any of the white people who make it through cultivation in my Way succeed in cultivation in the future, the appearances of their bodies and the forms of their cultivation will be the same as those of people in Jesus’ heavenly Kingdom. That’s how they will be when they succeed in cultivation. Those of the yellow race will be in the image of a Buddha when they succeed in cultivation. So I can save both types of people. Since this practice that I am spreading is quite great, let me also tell you … no door this large has ever been opened before, but this is for a reason.
Disciple: Teacher, what is the situation with the mixed race children all about?
Master: Just now I talked about the situation with mixed race children. That was to tell humanity a heavenly secret, and not because we are going to do something about it. I mentioned that I have undertaken a greater mission, and I can also save people of mixed races, though it’s only for this period of time that I can save them. Although both Easterners and Westerners reside on earth, there is something separating the two sides that people don’t know about. You know that Easterners emphasize things like the number nine (jiu); this sound is good, as it refers to things being long-lasting (chijiu); the number eight (ba) has the same sound as fa, as in making a fortune (facai), and it can really have a bit of an effect. That is, Feng Shui, geomancy, and other things that Easterners use don’t work when brought to the West, and they don’t have an effect on white people. The astrology, omens, and so on that white people emphasize don’t work on Easterners. Some people think that it works on them, but that’s just you thinking that, as it actually doesn’t work on you. Why? The biosphere of white people has the special material elements that make up their dimension, and the biosphere of Easterners has the special materials that make up their beings. These things permeate the structure of a human being, so the two types are different. After people mix races, when you look at the child they bear, it’s a child of mixed race. Yet there is a partition in the middle of this child’s being, and since there is a separation his physical being and wisdom will be incomplete; his body will be incomplete. Even modern science knows that each generation is worse than the previous one, and [mixing races] will create this state. Of course, if this person cultivates, I can make it work and I can take care of it. These things cannot be casually taken care of for non-cultivating ordinary people.
Disciple: When I do the third exercise, I feel like my palms are radiating heat. I don’t think this happens in any other discipline. When I am practicing, I feel as if I am a Boddhisattva and that I am superior to all. Is this correct?
Master: Don’t add any thoughts when you practice the exercises. This is how Tantrism cultivates: [The cultivator thinks] “I am a Buddha.” He wasn’t to begin with. So did his flesh body change? No, it did not. Who will change when he succeeds in cultivation? The assistant spirit. When passing on this practice I have told you that I save the main spirit. Then if your assistant spirit succeeds in cultivation, you still have to enter the six paths of reincarnation, and once the two beings separate, you won’t know of anything [that has happened]. It’s normal for the palms to radiate heat.
Disciple: Can we not add even a few thoughts when cultivating the Way?
Master: There are no thought activities, and all added thoughts are attachments.
Disciple: Two questions: One is about the issue of Easterners and Westerners that Teacher just mentioned. If, for example, there are many people who were originally Easterners but who reincarnated as Westerners, what should be done about them?
Master: That’s not a problem. There are two situations with this: If this person didn’t come with a purpose, then we will change this person as his body changes; if he came with a purpose, then that’s a different situation and should be regarded as a different matter.
Also, let me tell you that you need to pay attention to your methods when you spread this practice. If someone becomes interested and comes to learn, then you have accumulated merit, and this is something that brings boundless merit. But there is a point to be made: If the person doesn’t want to learn, but you insist on him learning and drag him over to learn, I say that that’s no good. This is because if he doesn’t want to cultivate Buddhahood, there’s nothing a Buddha can do about it. People are in charge of what they want to gain and to seek. We ask people to be good, so you can tell them about [the practice], but you can’t forcefully drag others in. On this point, let me tell you that we don’t force anyone to come learn. Also, in the future, our assistants or persons of responsibility should not use administrative methods when doing work. You are all cultivators, so you should convince people with the teachings. You are all studying the teachings, so when an assistant has done something poorly or incorrectly, when students see it, they will say that his character has an issue in that area. So the others won’t go and do the thing that he did incorrectly. Why? This is because everyone is studying the teachings and they don’t do things based on their own notions; they do things according to the requirements of the teachings. Of course, we also treat you this way. Learn it if you want, and if you don’t want to learn it, then you can leave, and we won’t harm anyone [because of that]. If you say that you don’t want to learn it, then that’s fine, but if you want to learn it and to cultivate, then we will be responsible to you, and it’s guaranteed that we can accomplish that. We aren’t strict in terms of formalities, but cultivating Buddhahood is serious. This is because we cannot allow any bit of deviation to occur with such a great and serious practice. Never in history has something this great been spread to the public. You sit here now, thinking, “I came here quite naturally, as if I came as soon as someone mentioned it to me.” Let me tell you that it’s quite possible that you have a predestined relationship, and this predestined opportunity was probably created at some point. It’s rare to have someone come with no reason or without predestination. I think that if you all keep asking questions there won’t be much more to ask about. You can find answers in the teachings to all of the things you want to ask about.
Disciple: On the issue of no second discipline in cultivation, I think that if some people learn Falun Dafa, they might also mix in other things that they are learning, and there are also some other traditional technique-type things …
Master: Cultivation of Buddhahood is a serious issue. It’s not that you can’t research Zhou Yi or the Eight Triagrams. As I see it, the time for cultivation is limited, so if you can use that time to fully research and understand this Falun [Dafa], that would be just terrific, as nothing is greater than it. That is, the principles of the Eight Triagrams that today’s society knows, as well as many technique-type things, do not go beyond the Milky Way. This universe, on the other hand, is large beyond your imagination. Three thousand universes like the one we are in constitute a larger universe. Three thousand of the larger-boundary universes constitute a universe with an even larger boundary, and there are countless Gods and Buddhas within. What can the Milky Way account for? It’s very small. For those learning the practice, think about it: Such an enormous practice has been passed on to you, so I really don’t think it’s necessary for cultivators to waste their energy [on studying those other things]. But if you study this as a profession, then I don’t oppose that, because it’s a field of study among ordinary people, and so just go and study it. If you say that it’s an amateur hobby of yours, then I think that it’s best if you exercise some self-restraint! I must be responsible to you, as cultivation of Buddhahood is serious. Thus, it’s best if you use your energy to research this practice. You will reap boundless benefits, as no field of study can compare with this.
As for ordinary people’s practices of rousing spirits and ghosts, I’d say that you should stay even further away from those. That’s because those low-level things are all ghosts. If you seek out these things, it’s just so far off from our Buddha Way! In addition, those are wicked and demonic things. Also, I’ve talked in detail in the book about fortune telling. If you want to cultivate, it’s a serious issue. Once a person gains energy, his words can fix a situation in place. Since ordinary peoples’ situations are unstable, things may not necessarily be a certain way, but when you tell someone that his situation is like that, as soon as you say that, you will have made it reality, and you will have done a bad deed. So cultivators must measure themselves with a higher standard. If you do a bad deed, that’s not just an ordinary matter. I clean out your body; we do it as soon as we see that you want to cultivate. If you want to cultivate, you should let go of these things, as cultivating in a pure and clean way is the best.
Disciple: I have a mental burden. I have such a great predestined relationship to be able to learn Falun Dafa. I read that in Zhuan Falun Volume II it says that those who cannot complete cultivation in this life can make a vow to continue cultivation in the next life. But the real purpose is to cultivate to spiritual perfection. But I am old now, so what can I do?
Master: This issue does exist for elderly people. That is, although our discipline refines a person very quickly, will this person’s remaining lifetime be enough for cultivation? Strictly speaking, it’s enough for anyone, regardless of how old they are. But there is one point: Most of us cannot handle things well. You say that you can handle things well, but you actually can’t, because you haven’t reached that high of a realm in cultivation, and your heart has not reached that high of a standard, so you can’t handle things well. Our discipline refines both mind and body, so you can cultivate and change your body at the same time, thus extending your life. With dual cultivation of mind and body, you can extend your life as you practice, so in principle, no matter how old you are, strictly speaking, you have enough time. But there is an issue: Any extensions to your lifetime are one hundred percent for cultivation and are not for living among ordinary people. Then if the person doesn’t know that his life has been extended and can’t handle things well, and cannot do things one hundred percent according to the requirements for cultivators, then he will constantly face the risk of passing away—this is the issue that elderly people face.
But if he really didn’t succeed in cultivation and wasn’t diligent, then he only has three choices. One is to continue cultivating in the next life. My Law Body will watch over him, even when he reincarnates, and he will reincarnate into a family where he can obtain the Way. All of this will need to be arranged. Another choice is that if you don’t want to cultivate and think that humankind is too full of suffering, you will go to wherever you have cultivated to. So if you leave the Three Realms, you will be a sentient being at that level outside of the Three Realms; if you didn’t make it out of the Three Realms, you will remain as a heavenly being at that level of the Three Realms. But within the Three Realms, you still have to reincarnate every three or five hundred years or so; it’s just that you can enjoy a few hundred years of happiness. That’s one issue. Another choice is for some people who have actually cultivated quite well, although they still didn’t reach the standard. Because of their understanding of the teachings or because they made special contributions, they can go to the Falun Paradise to be sentient beings there, and since they are beyond the Three Realms, they will not go through reincarnation. That’s good, of course, although this is a rather uncommon situation, as the requirements are rather strict. But they are not Buddhas, Arhats, or Boddhisattvas—they are just commoners in the Falun Paradise. So that’s how things are. Actually, since you have obtained the Way, the seed of your cultivating Buddhahood has been planted.
Disciple: I have a question: How can people’s levels be differentiated?
Master: I have said this: I said that when a superior man hears the Dao, he follows it diligently, and I was using a statement by Laozi. When an average man hears the Dao, he practices it on and off, and when an inferior man hears the Dao, he laughs at it loudly. What does that mean? “When a superior man hears the Dao” means that when this person hears about cultivation, he immediately wants to cultivate, and he believes in it. This kind of person is hard to find. He starts cultivation right away and cultivates to the end—that’s a superior man. When a superior man hears the Dao, he follows it diligently. What does the phrase “when an average man hears the Dao, he practices it on and off” mean? He sees everybody else coming to learn it and so he goes along with them. Anyway, he thinks it’s pretty good. Perhaps as soon as he gets busy or runs into the vexing issues that one finds among ordinary people, he forgets about it. Anyway, he sees that others have stopped learning it and he stops too. He’s fine with either learning it or not—that’s an average man hearing the Dao, and he practices it on and off. He might succeed in cultivating but he also might not. He decides whether or not he will succeed in cultivation. When an inferior man hears the Dao, he laughs at it loudly. As soon as the inferior man hears the Dao, he says, “What kind of stupid thing is cultivation?” He laughs, saying, “It’s all superstition, and I don’t believe in it.” Of course, he’s even less able to cultivate; that’s how things are. As for how high each person can cultivate, I think it depends on how much each person’s mind can bear. [For some people], when you run into a bit of hardship, once you’ve left this hall you won’t be able to bear it. As I lecture here, all of you think that this is good. Since it’s cultivation of an upright practice, the energy I carry is compassionate and kind, so you all feel comfortable here and are happy to listen to me lecture. Of course, the same thing will happen when you cultivate, since it’s cultivation of an upright practice. But if you completely change once you leave here, and all of the attachments to ordinary people’s things surge strongly in your mind, and you just lose interest in cultivation and forget about it, that won’t do.
Disciple: Can you talk more about the situation facing the mixed race children?
I have talked about the mixed race children, and I only talked about this phenomenon that’s emerged in the time of Way’s End. It’s of course not your fault if you are of a mixed race, and it’s also not the fault of your parents—anyway, it’s a messy situation that humankind created that led to this state. Yellow, white, and black people all have corresponding ethnicities in the heavens. It is true that [those in the heavens] indeed do not look after those who aren’t of their ethnicity, those who don’t belong to them. This is not something I’m just saying—I am telling all of you a heavenly secret. Mixed races came about at the time of Way’s End, but people can’t be blamed. Everyone has drifted along with the current, and since no one knows the truth, they’ve just drifted along this way. If you want to cultivate, I can take care of it. As for which heavenly kingdom you will go to, we will have to judge based on your situation. I will assimilate you to wherever the largest portion of you corresponds to. Anyway, these things are happening, but just focus on cultivation and don’t focus on these things. What are you afraid of now that you’ve obtained the Way? I didn’t discuss this in the past when I lectured on the teachings, but this situation needed to be addressed sooner or later.
Disciple: Wouldn’t it be great if humankind ate only vegetables?
Master: That wouldn’t work. That’s how you see things, but heaven has set the standards for human life, and one must meet these standards to be considered a human. [That wouldn’t work] because meat can help the body replenish thermal energy better than vegetables can, to be sure. But cultivation is a different matter.
Disciple: Is there a specific standard for how calm the mind should be when we do the sitting meditation? If, while cultivating the Way, a person’s main spirit is always thinking about itself, will that affect the person’s ability to enter tranquility?
Master: The main spirit and your entering a state of tranquility are two separate things. It’s impossible for a person to calm their mind at the beginning. Why is he unable to calm his mind? It’s because people have so many attachments: your business, your studies, your job, interpersonal conflicts, your children have illnesses, no one is taking care of your parents, affairs in the human world—there’s nothing that you won’t think of, and all of these things will take up a large part of your mind. Think about it: Could you claim that you can calm your mind? You sit down and say that you’re not going to think about those things, but they pop up on their own, so there’s no method that will enable you to calm your mind. It’s just like what I wrote in the book—you say that you can calm your mind if you recite the Buddha’s name, observe your mind, or count numbers, but none of these methods will work. They are methods, but don’t have a guaranteed effect. The only thing that works is gradually taking your attachments among ordinary people more lightly. When you take them more lightly, you will naturally be able to calm your mind. When you can really calm your mind, you will have reached a very high realm. But there is one point: Once you cultivate Falun Dafa, will you be like a monk, wanting nothing and having no material possessions? No. We conform to [the society of] ordinary people to the best of our ability as we cultivate, because when you are in ordinary society, you can’t act like you’re special, and on the surface you are just a normal person. So we must conform to ordinary people to the best of our ability while we cultivate. If you’re supposed to marry, young people should marry, and if you’re supposed to do some business or serve as an official, [that’s fine], none of these will have a negative impact. We are explaining a principle. There are conflicts between people in every social class in ordinary society. We disregard the limiting frameworks of religions. Daoist disciplines are unable to go beyond their taiji, and Buddhist practices are unable to go beyond their principles. So we disregard the tenets of religions, as we are explaining the principles of the entire universe.
We’ve found that regardless of what social class you belong to, what you do, and what your job is, you can cultivate. Why? Your average worker, in order to have shelter and to be able to put food on the table, will have conflicts with others both personally and in his workplace. Then it’s a question of how he can be a good person when facing these conflicts. Your average white collar worker, a professional, faces the issue of how to be a good person in his own social class, as people struggle amongst themselves for material interests. He faces the issue of how to be a good person when facing conflicts in all different aspects of his life. Company bosses face the issue of how to be good people when doing business in their social class and how to deal with frictions between other company bosses and other people. They also face their own types of conflicts. It’s the same for presidents of nations: As presidents, they have to work hard for the country, they have things that go the way they want and those that don’t, things that succeed and things that fail, and there are conflicts between nations, so they have things that they worry about. That’s how life as a human is, so regardless of your situation, you cannot avoid dealing with the mortal world, people, and society, so you will face conflicts. When facing these conflicts you face the issue of how to be a good person, and if you can be a good person you will have surpassed the ordinary person.
This is the principle that we are explaining: It’s not about getting rid of anything materially. Instead, it’s about getting rid of attachments. It’s fine if you do big business, and it won’t affect your cultivation. The bigger the business you do, the more money you will make, of course, but you won’t see money as all-important. You won’t be like those who get extremely attached to tiny amounts of material interests. Even if your house was built out of gold, in your mind you wouldn’t be attached to it and you would take it very lightly. This is the standard required of our cultivators. If you were an important official, you could do good things for the people; this is the standard that we require of cultivators. That’s how it is, right? We go beyond religions when explaining this and we explain [this principle’s] essence. You can cultivate in any environment. But there is one point: Cultivating among ordinary people directly tempers a person’s heart. So why do I say that I am truly saving you? It’s because you yourself are truly improving and are truly bearing the pressures of society. Since you yourself are truly improving, you should be given gong, so we save you.
The assistant spirit can also gain gong, but it will always be your divine guardian, and it can also succeed in cultivation and follow you [wherever you go after finishing cultivation]. Though I have brought up this issue today, you’re still unable to understand things at such a high level. Let me tell you that some people are still discussing other cultivation ways, talking about what other disciplines are like, and it’s because you aren’t able to realize the real meaning of what I just said! All cultivation ways throughout history have saved your assistant spirit, not you—they don’t save you! I’ve revealed a secret of the ages! I went through a lot of difficulties to be allowed to talk about this issue. In the past, you yourself wouldn’t be saved no matter how you cultivated, so who were you cultivating for? After a lifetime of cultivation, you would still have to enter the six paths of reincarnation, unaware of what you would reincarnate into in the next life. Wouldn’t you pity yourself? Why [was that the case]? Because in the past, neither religions nor other cultivation ways saved your main spirit. That’s because they felt that the main spirit was too hard to save and too deluded. You may think that you understand what I’m explaining here, but once a person leaves here he might still do whatever he wants, throwing himself into and struggling over the practical interests of ordinary people; such a person will be like that, guaranteed. This is why divine beings consider humans to be too difficult to save. But I am saving you. Your assistant spirit has the same name as you, was born at the same time as you, and controls the same body—it’s just that you don’t know about his existence. Others save him; it looks like they are talking to you, but they’re actually talking to him. Sometimes you will, wittingly or unwittingly, say something, but it didn’t come from your own mind. A lot of people completely lose consciousness when they meditate and sit for multiple hours. “Wow,” they say, excited when they finish the meditation, “Look how well I’ve practiced. I stayed sitting in tranquility for multiple hours.” It’s so sad! Did you actually practice? Do you know?—It’s entirely another person that’s doing the practice.
In the past, some Daoist disciplines would tell you to drink alcohol in order to numb your main spirit so that your assistant spirit could cultivate. People in many Daoist disciplines drink until they’re numb, become unconscious, and fall sound asleep, while others lead their assistant spirits in cultivation. I am explaining a secret of the ages, though it may seem that I am saying it so casually here. Regardless of which discipline you talk about, [the respective higher beings] have all deemed humans unable to succeed in cultivation, and perhaps out of the kindness of their hearts, they want to have someone from your body succeed in cultivation, which would count as you having accumulated virtue and suffered, since your youth was, after all, spent in religion. So what happens next? Would you reincarnate into an assistant spirit in your next life? That’s possible. But as I see it, there is but a remote possibility of having this opportunity. So then would you be made to cultivate again? [Being allowed that] situation is also quite rare. But some people will be blessed. How? They will become high-ranking officials, make big fortunes, or do big business—that’s what will be done for them when they enter their next life. That’s because they did, after all, accumulate virtue and blessings throughout their lifetime. I don’t think anyone here wants this outcome. Each time after I finish discussing this issue, people come and ask me about various disciplines and religions. I think that their ability to enlighten is just so poor. You can read about the characteristics of Falun Dafa, which cover everything [that I’ve just said], but people don’t pay attention to this and just gloss over it as an ordinary phrase. That is the rule of the universe, and that’s how things were in the past.
It’s possible that when you leave this hall, your body will feel very comfortable, but there is one point: As you cultivate, there will still be times when your body feels unwell. Why? It’s because you have karma accumulated from your various lifetimes. The karma from a single lifetime cannot be pushed out all at once, or a person would die. So we discharge the karma from the body gradually; therefore, after a period of time your body will be in pain, and you’ll wonder, “Have I gotten sick?!” Let me tell you that it isn’t an illness. But when it comes it will be very painful, and sometimes it will be quite serious—it will appear quite serious. But some people understand, and they get excited when they feel the pain come, saying, “Teacher is taking care of me and removing my illness and my karma.” Some people, on the other hand, who aren’t in pain and don’t have any sensations in their body, get really worried: “Teacher’s not taking care of me. How come my karma isn’t being eliminated?” But oftentimes there are some new students that, as soon as their bodies feel unwell, think that they’re sick and take medicine, as they think that it’s even better to both practice the exercises and take medicine. We’ve seen a principle: Hospitals cannot eliminate people’s karma since doctors are not cultivators. They don’t have benevolent might and are just technicians among ordinary people. They can only remove your surface pain, leaving it in the deeper layers [of your body]. Taking medicine pushes the illness deeper inside the body, essentially storing it up. The pain on the surface will be gone, but it will have been stored at deeper layers of the body. Surgery is the same. For instance, if you have a tumor, they will excise the tumor, but they are merely excising the surface matter. Yet the true cause of the illness is in other dimensions, and that they cannot touch. So a severe karmic illness will recur. In some cases it seems like the illness was cured and it won’t recur in this life, but it will find you in the next life, because it was pushed down to a deeper layer, and it will eventually come back out. A person eventually must pay off their karma—that’s the principle. What we are doing here is, starting from the origin of your being, pushing the dirty things out of your body. But no one else does this because it can only be done through cultivation. We can do this for you. But you must maintain good character, and you can’t say, “Oh no, I’m sick again,” as soon as your body feels unwell. If you think that you’re sick again and you take medicine, we won’t stop you, because cultivation depends on enlightenment, and there are no hard rules for anything. We’ve never said that you shouldn’t take medicine if you feel unwell. We’ve never said that.
Some people fail to act as cultivators should. They only practice the exercises, they don’t study the teachings, and they do whatever they want to. Though they practice the exercises, my Law Bodies don’t take care of them. Without being taken care of, they are just ordinary people, and they will get sick. If we set a rule that forbid you to take medicine, and if you weren’t able to act according to the standards of a cultivator, then you would still be an ordinary person, and you would still get sick when the time came, but then you would say that Li Hongzhi didn’t allow you to take medicine. So I don’t tell you whether you should take medicine or not; you decide on your own. This is a test for you anyway, and if you fail to act as a cultivator should, you will still get sick—that’s the principle. We’re only discussing the principle, so let me tell you that if you want to cultivate, from now on, when your body starts feeling unwell, it’s quite possible that the karma from your previous lives is being pushed out. I’ve seen that some people have reincarnated dozens or even over a hundred times, and they’ve accumulated many different illnesses over those many lifetimes; we will need to push all of this out of you, and one way or another we will have to remove it for you. We will remove more of it through other dimensions, and we must remove a portion of it. But we cannot remove all of it through other dimensions, because you must suffer a little pain. If you don’t bear anything, you essentially have committed bad deeds without paying for them. [If that’s the case], when you succeed in cultivation and are placed in a Buddha’s position, you’ll feel like you don’t deserve to be there. Others will also wonder: “How did he get up here?” Right? So you have to bear a portion of the pain. And as you bear it you will also improve your ability to enlighten. Will you see it as an illness? Or will you see it as a cultivator eliminating karma?