May 8, 1999 ~ New Zealand
(Applause) Hello everyone!
Among those of us who are sitting here, some just saw me at the Sydney Fa Conference. While most of you are New Zealand students, there are also some who have come from other regions. In your cultivation process, you come to have many questions related to your cultivation. The main purpose of my coming here is to meet with all of you and, at the same time, to address some of your questions during this Fa Conference. This conference is to enable all of you to truly improve and attain Consummation. It will also allow you to find your shortcomings while gathered together, as you will see how others have cultivated and find your own inadequacies. I think that’s the goal our Fa Conference should achieve.
A person is bound to have all kinds of questions while cultivating. As a matter of fact, I can tell you that after studying the Fa for a long time many of you might have had the experience of no longer having that many questions. Why don’t you have as many questions? It seems as though even when you see me you can’t think of any questions to ask. Actually, the main reason is that through studying the Fa you have gradually improved your understanding of the Fa, and you are truly able to improve on the basis of the Fa. When you manage to understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa, everything will become clear to you. But since Dafa is still being spread in ordinary human society, there are still new people coming to learn, and so there is bound to be a lot of people constantly raising questions. You might have noticed that many of the questions raised at our Fa conferences are repetitive. That is, many of the questions raised at each event have already been asked at other Fa conferences. Why is that? It’s because there are always new students coming to learn, and new students raise questions that tend to represent things one encounters during the initial stages of studying the Fa. Of course, among the questions are also some from veteran students or from those who would like to know a bit more about certain subjects. Yet I think that as long as you read the book and study the Fa, you will come to know everything. As long as you read the book and study the Fa, you will come to know what you are supposed to know at different levels.
Of course, when you realize the inner meaning of a sentence during your cultivation, you are actually at that level already. It’s just that you still have ordinary human thoughts on your human side. What does “ordinary human thoughts” mean? It means that you still have the various emotions and desires of an ordinary human, you still have ordinary human attachments in various regards, and that you still have ordinary human emotions when you think about things—all of which are ordinary human thoughts—and then there are the concepts you have formed after birth, and karma is part of it, thought karma. Since you are in the process of cultivating, these things definitely exist; it’s just a matter of extent. But through cultivation these can become fewer and fewer. For someone who hasn’t cultivated that long, or who hasn’t been that diligent, the amount of ordinary human thoughts is going to be greater. That is to say, everyone has so many ordinary human thoughts that if you can’t evaluate things with higher standards of thinking, you are bound to have a lot of questions to ask. In fact, this is usually caused by having too many ordinary human concepts. You aren’t allowed to instantaneously comprehend numerous principles of the Fa at a certain level just as clearly as if you had achieved the Unlocking of Gong or Enlightenment. That’s because you have so many ordinary human thoughts, and a human mind is not allowed to know the things of Buddhas. The true principles of Fa and the actual situations in the realms of gods can’t be revealed to humans. While cultivating in the Fa at the surface level, when you understand a line or a paragraph of the Fa’s principles in Zhuan Falun, you are actually at that level already. The reason you aren’t allowed to know that much is that you have ordinary human thoughts. The part of your mind that has ordinary human thoughts and that hasn’t been fully cultivated is not allowed to learn the things of Buddhas. That’s the reason. But when you realize the true inner meaning of that line or reach different understandings of it at different levels, you are in fact at that level.
You still need to continue cultivating among everyday people and continue eliminating ordinary human attachments. Your ordinary human thoughts can’t be instantly removed while you are cultivating. If they were removed entirely, you wouldn’t be able to cultivate. I often say that if a person didn’t have any ordinary human thoughts, he would know everything that other people are thinking. Upon even just seeing a person’s gestures or eye movements he would know what the person is thinking, what a person wants, or how far something will end up going. Why aren’t you able to know these things yet? It’s because you still have ordinary human thoughts and you are still confusing yourself with everyday people. When you go beyond the realm of everyday people, you will find that things among everyday people can be seen clearly with a glance. But all of you are cultivating among everyday people. If you weren’t cultivating among everyday people, you couldn’t improve. If today you were to eliminate all of your ordinary human thoughts and bad factors, including your various ordinary human concepts, and become a completely pure and cleansed being, you would find that you are no longer able to cultivate. Why? As you know, a god can no longer cultivate after he Consummates, for illusions will have been shattered for him. If you didn’t have those ordinary human thoughts, you would no longer be in an ordinary human state and all illusions would be shattered. You would know your past and future, as well as those of others. That’s why it would be hard for you to still cultivate. But this doesn’t mean that as soon as you know your past and future you can no longer cultivate, for the things you know will have limitations. What I was referring to was reaching the state of complete Enlightenment—knowing everything, being omniscient. So there is a difference. In other words, when you are practicing Dafa among everyday people, it won’t work if you have no ordinary human thoughts left before you achieve Consummation. But, since you have ordinary human thoughts, you aren’t allowed to know the true picture of things at different levels. That’s how it works.
Since you have ordinary human thoughts, you are sure to look at Dafa with an ordinary human mindset and ideas whenever you are not vigilant in cultivation. These kinds of things will definitely happen. This is also to say that during your cultivation there will be conflicts and tests, and things such as not being able to let go of ordinary human thinking will appear. That’s cultivation. Human thoughts are eliminated layer by layer in Dafa cultivation. You know, it’s just like the layers of an onion being peeled off one by one until eventually the core is reached. In Dafa cultivation, a person can’t remove everything all at once. Were it done that way, you could no longer cultivate among everyday people, for your surface would not be that of an ordinary human being.
There is something else that will take place in your Dafa cultivation. Namely, sometimes in cultivation you will feel that you have done pretty well. When you encounter certain problems, your attachment is actually discarded at that moment or at that time, and you pass through without incident. Yet after a while you find that the same attachment emerges again, with the same situation and the same problem. You seem to discover then that it wasn’t eliminated at its root—it has resurfaced, after all. But that’s actually not true. Let me tell you that Dafa cultivation is divided into different levels, just like a staircase. Like the example that I gave with the onion, the layer that has been peeled off no longer exists, but there are still ones that haven’t been peeled away. In other words, they are removed layer by layer, and only when all of them are removed can it cease to exist.
Sometimes in cultivation you will find it really difficult to pass a test due to the fact that you don’t understand the Fa well enough. Although you know that you ought to act according to the principles of the Fa, you still can’t do well sometimes. Some people might think, “Why do I still have attachments after cultivating this hard? Does this mean I won’t be able to achieve Consummation?” There are lots of people who think that way. Actually, I would say that you shouldn’t be thinking that way. Whether you have passed a test well or not, or whether you have let go of all of your attachments or just a few, you are in fact cultivating as is. That’s cultivation. Since you didn’t pass the test well you will have regrets. “How come I didn’t pass it well? Next time I will try to do better.” That’s what cultivation is about. If you could pass every test, every ordeal, and every trial really well, I would say you don’t need to cultivate anymore and should have Consummated, as nothing could stop you. Only an enlightened person or someone who has attained Enlightenment can reach that state.
But you need to pay attention to something. Some people seem to have understood what they just heard, yet the attachments they harbor lead them to understand it in the opposite way: “It turns out that it’s cultivation regardless of whether we pass tests well. So I guess we don’t have to worry about it. Even if I don’t pass them well I won’t need to be concerned in the future.” That’s unacceptable. If you don’t cultivate yourself and you can’t manage to progress with diligence, then it’s no different from not cultivating. Those are the two sides of this matter. Our Fa principles, from the lower levels to the higher levels, provide a way to view things and understand the principles of the Fa across the various levels. Your understanding might be right at that level, but when you move to a different level or change your vantage point, you will discover that your understanding is not the same as before. That’s how you will progressively understand the Fa as you continue to improve and continue to cultivate.
What I just said was to tell you that it’s inevitable that you have a lot of questions as you cultivate. But I think that if all of you can truly improve on the basis of the Fa, and understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa, your improvement will probably be extremely fast. Besides, it might just be that all the questions you can’t figure out and all the questions you have raised can be resolved in the Fa. So the only way is to read the book more—don’t just focus on doing the exercises. Relatively more Caucasian students and students of other ethnic groups are of the opinion that qigong practice is just a matter of doing exercises. “What else is there to it? What’s the point of reading the book?” You folks tend to think like that. That is actually the single biggest flaw in your understanding. Have you ever thought about what the difference is between the movements in your qigong practice and doing calisthenics? On the surface, the difference is minimal. Then why is qigong practice able to elevate a person, to cure a person and make him healthy, while calisthenics isn’t? The reason is precisely that it is cultivation. The inner meaning of cultivation isn’t fully present in the exercises; also, the exercises are only a supplemental means in cultivation. The fundamental reason that you can truly improve and reach different realms is your understanding of the Fa; that is, you need to have the Fa guiding you if you are to ascend to that high of a place. That’s why I said that the height of one’s gong is the height of one’s xinxing. This is an absolute truth.
People in the past used to think, “If I’m going to cultivate the Dao or do qigong exercises, I just need to find some special skills and techniques or adopt some special movements and I’ll be able to advance in my cultivation, right?” People were allowed to know those sorts of things, but they were forbidden from knowing the real reasons for advancing in cultivation. If things were otherwise, everyone would have become deities. So this is to say that there were methods and theories to guide people, and there were ways that could enable a person to ascend through cultivation. Today we are articulating them more clearly: the Fa and its principles are here to guide you. Out of all the past methods for cultivating the Dao, most that were made public were worldly side-path practices.
Those considered to be great ways by ordinary people are the teachings of Lao Zi, Jesus, and Shakyamuni, with most everything else being just worldly side-path practices; those other things are even less profound, their movements are complicated, and they don’t know many of the Fa’s principles, so it’s really hard to cultivate with them. Those practices just focus on enduring hardships, and they cultivate through enduring prolonged hardships. Although enduring hardships can improve a person and eliminate some of his karma, he comes to understand the Fa’s principles very slowly, and that is why he progresses so slowly in his cultivation. But what I teach today is Dafa—the Law of the entire cosmos. With such an enormous Fa being taught so that people can improve, of course improvement will come about more rapidly. These principles of the Fa not only eliminate ignorance and misconceptions, and rectify all human thoughts, but also correct all abnormal states. So, as long as you study the Fa’s principles, as long as you keep reading, you are in the process of improving. For that reason it is extremely important to read the book, to study the Fa.
Some people say: “It doesn’t matter how well you read the book; it’s just gaining an understanding in your mind. Isn’t it separate from the gong we cultivate?” This brings up the subject of gong cultivation. We know that cultivation can first develop qi and then later gong, both of which are forms of matter. On the other hand, understanding seems to be mental and unrelated to material things. Actually, I can tell you that mind and matter are one and the same! Don’t you think that in cultivation they are the same thing? When your mind understands the Fa’s principles at a certain level, aren’t you already at that level? All of this has been taught in Zhuan Falun. I won’t go into detail here. You can go and read the book. So, reading the book is extremely important. This is always the first topic I discuss in each of my Fa lectures. All of you are students, and each of you wants to improve and to truly achieve Consummation—that’s why you have come here to learn this Fa. The key to your improving and achieving Consummation is the book, Zhuan Falun. Everyone, you must by all means read it often.
Several days ago a student told me: “I’ve read it over two hundred times, and I really can’t put it down. I’m still reading it.” That’s because the more he reads, the more things he finds. When you are at different levels reading the book, you will find that your understanding of a given line can be totally different depending on the circumstances or the number of times you’ve read it. Maybe before you interpreted it a certain way. After you improve, you might find that its meaning has changed and that it contains higher inner meanings. You will experience this throughout the course of your cultivation.
You know, with the Fa I have made public I’m not merely teaching you healing and fitness: I will purify your body until it’s in an illness-free state, and then enable you to raise your level until you achieve Consummation. If you didn’t have such a high-level Fa guiding you, you wouldn’t know how to cultivate at higher levels whatsoever. If you didn’t know the inner meaning of the Fa’s principles at those levels, you couldn’t go up there. So you must read the book. At the same time, you need to improve your realm while elevating your thoughts and your understanding. In ordinary people’s words, we are trying to be better people. In reality, it goes beyond that: you won’t just acquire a healthy body or some supernormal abilities in your cultivation, but reach Consummation and ascend to higher realms.
If you want to reach those realms, but you don’t know the principles of the Fa for those realms, how could you ascend there? As you are working towards those higher realms, you need to give up all sorts of human attachments as you genuinely go about cultivating. They are just like layers of locks or layers of gates blocking your path. As you understand the principles of the Fa, you have to do better on a daily basis in every setting of ordinary human society. At the very least, you need to conduct yourself like a cultivator, with a higher realm and a higher standard. In other words, no matter where you are, others should think that you are a good person. As your level and your realm of thought elevate, won’t your gong grow higher as your cultivation progresses? That’s why some people have long failed to go higher by practicing qigong. They have practiced many methods, yet they still haven’t managed to cultivate higher. They still have health problems even. Haven’t they cultivated in vain?
The real reason those people haven’t been able to go higher through cultivation is that they haven’t had the principles of the Fa guiding them. The Fa that I have taught you is comprehensive, systematic, and can truly enable you to reach Consummation—it is the very best. That’s why so many people cherish it. Newspapers have reported that we have over 100 million students. Why are there so many students? You all know that in a society like China, people, especially those who are a bit older, have experienced numerous movements, the most notable being the Cultural Revolution. They have had beliefs before and worshipped blindly, and they have made mistakes and been through that experience. After having gone through various movements, how could they possibly believe in anything blindly? It’s absolutely impossible! Moreover, why have so many well-established intellectuals, so many people with sound judgment, come to learn this Fa? It’s because this Fa can truly be responsible to people. What it articulates are general principles, principles of the Fa. It convinces people with reason.
Here in New Zealand there are so many students. I, Li Hongzhi, have never been here once or required you to do anything. I haven’t required you to behave in a certain way or monitored your learning, have I? Then why are all of you here so determined in your cultivation? It’s because you know that the Fa’s principles are good. What’s the purpose of human life? Shouldn’t a person be truly responsible to himself as he goes through life? That’s the most important question for a human life.
What I just said was mainly in hopes that you will take studying the Fa seriously. Make sure you take studying the Fa very seriously. Some people used to go all over the place looking for the Dao in order to cultivate, but they weren’t able to raise their levels. They couldn’t obtain the Dao. It wasn’t exercises that they could not obtain, it was the Fa—nobody taught the Fa’s principles for true cultivation. Think about it everyone, the Fa of the cosmos has created various levels of environments and ways of existence for lives at different levels. In other words, it is the foundation of the cosmos’s creation, as it is the Fa that has created all life and matter. Then, aren’t those minor Fa, minor paths, minor principles, and minor cultivation methods that people knew in the past just bits and pieces from this Fa of the cosmos? Those are just the little pieces at the Fa’s lowest level that could be revealed to humans. But what you have obtained today is the Dafa of the cosmos—truth that has never before been known. It’s truth that nobody throughout history has ever taught!
I think all of you sitting here know that. Those who have only recently taken up this path, or those who haven’t taken up the path yet, or haven’t studied yet, may wonder if I am exaggerating. Actually, after you have read the book systematically, I think you will understand what I’m talking about. We have no form of management. You can learn it or drop it at will. Nobody oversees you. But if you have decided to learn, I will have to be responsible for you. The responsibility I will assume doesn’t show itself among ordinary people. It’s that kind of situation.
I just talked about how you need to take studying the Fa seriously. Next I will talk about some situations in society that have developed recently, particularly in China. Some students went to the Zhongnanhai [government compound] to report some problems to the leaders of the country, and I’m going to address the matter in passing. Right now, what the Hong Kong newspapers are publishing is trash, it’s a complete mess. Other countries’ Chinese newspapers have taken excerpts from those Hong Kong newspapers. The world probably knows that Hong Kong has a population of only 6 million, yet there are so many newspapers and so many magazines there, all of which are fighting for news to sell for a profit. So over time they have developed a habit of terribly irresponsible reporting. They can arbitrarily churn out rumors, carelessly invent stories, or casually speculate on things using their imaginations. And then they report it that way. So the least serious newspapers in the world are Hong Kong’s Chinese papers. They even dare to report hearsay and gossip as official news.
Here I would also like to share with you my own perspective. Our students’ going to Zhongnanhai to report things to the leaders of the country was neither a protest nor a sit-in. They did not sit-in. Some of the people there sat down because they were doing the meditation exercise. They didn’t have slogans or banners, nor did they take any aggressive action or use extreme language. All of them went with good intentions and wanted to tell the leaders of the country about what we were truly thinking. The situation is different from the rumors floating around that were made up by the Public Security Bureau. There are some people who harp on how our going to Zhongnanhai was this or that. Isn’t Zhongnanhai the seat of the people’s government? Can’t people go there? What did our students go there for? Was it to oppose the government? Didn’t they go there instead to report problems to the leaders of the country and ask them to uphold justice for the people? Why should there be gossip about it being organized? Shouldn’t the government be happy when people organize to support the workings of government?
Of course, think about it, why did so many people go there? In fact, I think the number of people who went there was too few! (Applause) Now I’m not encouraging everyone to go. What did I mean? There are over 100 million people learning this Dafa. So if you think about it, relatively speaking, wasn’t the number of people who went there small? And that’s because the number of students is so large, right? Then why did that many people go there? We knew that the police in Tianjin had arrested and beaten our students, and accused us of being a heretical cult. All of us are learning how to become better people. If we truly were bad people, we wouldn’t even care if you called us evil or anything else, right? However, we are in fact genuinely good people. By labeling us evil, aren’t you hurting our feelings? Since you couldn’t be reasoned with and we couldn’t explain the situation to you there well, we had to report it to the leaders of the Central Government. Doing that wasn’t wrong! (Applause) And that’s because we weren’t some kind of movement, nor were we attacking the government; we were simply stating that the Public Security Bureau had handled the situation the wrong way. So there was nothing wrong with our actions.
Some news reporters have been rather irresponsible. Once they see something they can sensationalize, they are likely to make up a story. Then we won’t let them take advantage of us, either. That’s why my position has been clear that we weren’t against the government; there was no protest or march, and we didn’t do anything radical. It was just to report the situation. This person wanted to go, and the next person wanted to go, and it all added up. Out of 100 million people, only slightly more than ten thousand went there—not even a fraction. Isn’t that extremely few? Had the situation been worse or more drastic, I think it wouldn’t have been just ten thousand, but probably many more. You can’t say it was wrong just because there were a large number of people who went to report the situation, can you? Reporting problems to the leaders of the country is the responsibility, duty, and right of every citizen. How could that be wrong? It isn’t. We aren’t against the government, nor are we interfering with politics; meanwhile, we are voluntarily upholding the laws of the country. Isn’t that so? We are good people no matter where we are. That’s what I think about that situation.
We all know that we are cultivating. Since it’s cultivation, nothing on our path of cultivation is coincidental. I often say this: there simultaneously exist those who are against it and those who support it; those who believe in it and those who don’t; those who are good people and those who are bad; those who are righteous and those who are evil. Such is humankind, and such is the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. If there are people who oppose something it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not good. You know that if there weren’t demons, you wouldn’t be able to cultivate. When they oppose you, doesn’t it give us a chance to see your heart, to see whether you are determined and whether you are able to cultivate? Since cultivation is serious, if an ordinary person is to reach the realm of Consummation, think about it, without any real tests, how could it count? So there will be tests like this and situations like this.
This isn’t to say that those who are doing evil things are actually helping us. They are really doing bad things. But I am making use of their wrongdoing to provide cultivators with opportunities for cultivation. Do you still cultivate when there are people who oppose it? Do you still consider it good when there are people who say it’s not? Isn’t this a test of your mind? So you all need to be clear that cultivation is serious and that absolutely nothing happens by chance.
Have you thought about this: through this incident the whole world has learned about the emergence of Dafa! (Applause) This is able to reach a much wider range of people and a much larger area than any activity to spread Dafa you could possibly do. (Applause) At the same time, it’s really a very serious test for students in mainland China. Of course, these words are meant for cultivators. In ordinary human society it’s going to manifest in an ordinary way. I explained my position just now—that’s what it is. We haven’t interfered with or disrupted any state leaders, governments, laws, etc., for we have been good people. We just went there to report the situation.
That’s all I have to say about it. Since this is a Fa conference, you have experiences to share, and through these you will examine yourselves to find where you fall short and truly improve. Today we will spend the full day sharing experiences. Tomorrow morning I will answer questions for you. This conference will last a day and a half. I hope that all of you will sit quietly when listening to other peoples’ presentations. To cherish others is to cherish yourself. This is because the Fa conference is holy and sacred, and you are cultivating the Dafa of the cosmos! All right, that is all I’m going to say. (Applause)
Throughout yesterday’s Fa conference I was watching and listening to your speeches in the room next door. I think this Fa conference has gone very well, and has been able to fulfill the true mission of a Fa conference. A conference enables you to benefit and truly improve yourselves, so it’s a very good thing. This morning I will focus on answering your questions. This has become part of our routine for our Fa conferences. You may ask any questions you have. I will do my best to answer all of your questions as long as time permits.
As for questions involving worldly things, I think it’s best you not raise them. And as for those things in your tests that you haven’t quite enlightened to, although you would like to ask me about them, those tests are actually for you to pass. If they are answered for you, it’s as if there is nothing left for you to enlighten to, right? Ask more questions that are related to our cultivation. You should ask few of those that aren’t related. It’s best not to ask any. Okay, let’s begin now.
Student: Since this is the first Fa conference in New Zealand, and we are all new students, we hoped Master would lecture more on Dafa to guide our cultivation.
Master: By answering your questions, I am actually teaching you the Fa, as most questions raised are related to our cultivation. I will make it as clear as possible for you when it comes to these things.
Student: I live in a rented house. The person in the other room has lots of qigong and religious books, and he might be possessed by a spirit. Please tell me, could I be affected?
Master: Let’s put it this way, what you are cultivating is Dafa, a true cultivation way. The only thing other qigong practices can do is be suppressed by the energy of your righteous cultivation. You cannot be interfered with by them. But there is one point I would like to make: if you fail to handle yourself well, and you mix them, reading everything and practicing everything, then you are likely to get into trouble. If you can guard your xinxing, though, you will not be affected in any surroundings. Actually, you can tell that many people practice bad things, but have you realized that today no human setting is pure? So, wherever our cultivators are, as long as you are vigilant with your mind and cultivate in an upright and dignified manner, you don’t need to worry about those things. You won’t have any problems. Since your worry itself is an attachment, as soon as you have that attachment it has to be eliminated. So although it might seem to be interference from others, it could actually be caused by your own mind.
Student: When you wrote “And assist Master as he journeys this human world” and “Come now, and help me turn the Falun” in your poetry, were you referring to the disciples or to Buddhas, Daos, and Gods?
Master: Both. Think about this: back when I was teaching the Fa I held classes. I was in fact nurturing the elite of Dafa. Today, it is you who are validating Dafa among everyday people—you are the ones doing this. Even our new students have become veteran students, and all are engaged in spreading the Fa and helping more people obtain the Fa. Your cultivation, as well as your determination in Dafa, are rock solid, and have strongly stabilized Dafa. At the same time, being able to help more people obtain the Fa in ordinary human society is itself assisting Master. Of course, all of that is done without intention; it’s an inevitable part of your cultivation. That’s just the way it is. Of course, those at higher levels have their situations, and that’s how it is there.
Student: How should I understand these two lines of your poetry: “Those who claim abundant wisdom, // Do wield their skills so dexterously, // but all is done in emotion.”
Master: Throughout history there have been many famous people, many are regarded as sages, and many are regarded as commendable figures by everyday people, including many of today’s renowned people. All of them are everyday people, though, and they haven’t risen above and beyond emotion. He feels that he’s had some accomplishments, and others then acclaim him as remarkable, smart, and possessing wisdom. In fact, from what I see, all of that’s done within the realm of emotion. That’s what it means. None of them have risen above and beyond emotion, and all are in the environment of everyday people. So they are still everyday people.
Student: My child is two years old, and he likes watching Teacher’s exercise-teaching video very much. But his father is very much against this.
Master: Cultivating Dafa to return to one’s true, original self is the real purpose of people coming to this world today. What I have told you is definitely the truth. Of all the people in the world today, in fact, none came here to be a human. Neither did all necessarily come to obtain the Fa, though. Since existing in human society isn’t our goal, as I just mentioned, not everyone necessarily came here to obtain the Fa, but all came here because of the Fa. Since our existence in human society is not the only goal of our lives, and the ultimate goal of one’s life and existence is to go back, then isn’t what we are doing the best thing? Perhaps by not allowing him to cultivate, the child’s father was helping both of you pass a test. There could be other factors, too, such as really trying to stop both of you from cultivating. So how should you look at these things? Whatever you feel is right, just do it that way. It’s up to you to gauge it.
Student: People have different personalities. Is it true that the higher the realm one cultivates to, the less [personality] one has?
Master: People have different personalities, but they aren’t the same as their original natures. People’s personalities, to a great extent, are the manifestation of the attachments they are unwilling to give up. Our original nature won’t become a barrier to our cultivation, since many people have very deep-rooted, fundamental qualities. Those are the different qualities of their beings. Some like to do things quickly and some like to do things slowly. Of course, those don’t include the postnatal habits one develops. Whether your being is fast-paced or slow-paced won’t hinder your cultivation.
Yet you must be diligent in studying the Fa, as there truly is limited time in one’s life. Though people in ordinary human society wish to obtain things that will last in their lives for eternity, in this human world, they can’t obtain anything except through cultivation. No matter how much money you have, how high your position is, or how comfortable your life is, you can’t take anything with you. You come here with nothing except for your body, and aren’t able to take anything away when you leave. The only thing that can be taken with you is what’s acquired through cultivation, as that is carried directly on a person’s True Body. So it’s most precious and most difficult to acquire. That’s why it deserves to be cherished more than anything. It determines what a person will gain eternally, and it determines what mode of existence and setting will be established for him at different levels. This human place is awful, yet a person can cultivate here; the heavens are very good, yet it’s not easy to cultivate there. It’s exactly because of the miseries in this human place that people can cultivate here.
Student: If a person is good-tempered to begin with, is it easier for him to cultivate? Is it harder for someone who is easily angered to cultivate?
Master: I just said that a person has the characteristics of his being. But with regard to becoming angry, that isn’t part of a person’s inborn nature. I can tell you that when a person becomes angry that is definitely caused by his demon nature. Why? Someone might think: “I had good intentions. I lost my temper in order to teach him to behave himself.” Or, “I lost my temper in order to make him do his job well.” That’s caused by demon nature, and it’s called “using the bad to fight the bad,” as you were using demon nature to make others do good things. If you treat him with kindness and tell him kindly that he should do a good job, I think he will be moved and will actually do a good job out of his own will instead of being forced by you. Then he will do even better. So in cultivation you need to gradually eliminate the shortcoming of losing your temper. You have always felt that it’s rather difficult to control your temper; actually it’s not difficult. In many cases you could have handled things better had you used reason. So you can’t lose your temper.
When you lost your temper with someone, you were giving him virtue. Losing your temper can indeed reduce the other party’s karma. That’s for sure. It’s because you acted as a demon to him, be it in daily life or in terms of cultivation, and it allowed him to reduce his karma. But what you received could be karma that was transferred over from him. So I think that as a cultivator you shouldn’t do that kind of thing. Let him do his own cultivation and transform his own karma.
Student: I have a lot of tribulations and troubles in my cultivation, so I have been focusing on my own salvation and have not been able to spread the Fa. Is it true that I can only cultivate to the status of an Arhat?
Master: That’s not the case. That’s the theory in Buddhism. Each Dafa student has a different cultivation state. It’s not like everyone has to spread the Fa. There are no regulations saying you have to do this or that. Actually, being able to think of spreading the Fa, and whether you carry it out when meeting people in daily life or do it in an organized way, are both manifestations of a student’s own cultivation, and it is a great thing. It’s just like the Fa conference we are having today: some people are able to speak about their experiences while others can’t, even though they too are cultivating. It’s just that everyone has his different state in cultivation. It’s related to that, and that’s not a problem.
Student: How do I understand hardships that I have brought upon myself? If they have been overcome, do they count as tests that are passed in cultivation?
Master: Let me tell you: you might be able to overcome hardships that you brought on yourself, but those are just hardships in your ordinary life. Why? Because they weren’t arranged for your cultivation path, and because every step is arranged systematically—the attachments that need to be eliminated, when you are to improve by overcoming certain challenges, the part of your body that should be enriched, which parts of a problem are to be solved, what kinds of things will emerge through cultivation, which realm you will reach… all these have been arranged systematically. So if you introduce something extra it is equivalent to disturbing this set of things that were systematically arranged for you.
So you shouldn’t intentionally look for hardship, nor should you deliberately plan on something. Cultivate naturally. As long as you can pass well whatever you encounter, that will be very good. If when you encounter any trouble you can manage to look inside yourself and find your own attachments, then that is precisely cultivation. You know that there are people cultivating in the mountains. Actually, they are in the high mountains in this region, only people don’t know about them. There are cultivators in many of the world’s high mountains. Some of them have cultivated for several thousand years and are very slow at raising their levels. They are cultivating only through enduring hardship. Although hardship can indeed enable people to cultivate and eliminate some karma, if they don’t cultivate according to Fa principles their cultivation is bound to be slow. And because they don’t know the principles of the Fa at levels that high, they can’t advance to realms that high.
Why can you cultivate so quickly today? In your current state you can’t imagine how fast you are progressing. It has only been a brief few years since I taught the Fa, and already there are many people who can meet the standard for Consummation. That’s just incredible. It’s because they are learning Dafa, and it is very easy for the Dafa of the cosmos to assimilate a person. I remember giving this example: if a piece of sawdust or a wood chip is dropped into a furnace of molten steel, instantly you won’t see even a trace of it. A person is like that wood chip, and this Dafa of the cosmos is like that furnace of molten steel. To assimilate a person, to assimilate one person, is just so easy. But I can’t do it that way, I have to let you cultivate for yourself. If I did it that way it would be equivalent to creating a new being; you might have your original appearance and characteristics, but the end result might not be you anymore. That’s why I tell you to truly cultivate, to truly raise yourself and attain liberation.
Student: Is it all right to recite the exercise formulas every now and then while doing the exercises?
Master: Don’t do that. Doing the exercises is doing the exercises. Since the exercises require a serene state, a person should try his best not to think about anything. And studying the Fa is studying the Fa. So they have to be separate. Even the four lines at the beginning of each exercise should only be recited before doing the exercise, and not during it. This way it’s easier to reach a serene state.
Student: New students need to understand the principles of the practice, and even some veteran students do the movements inaccurately.
Master: Correct them if they aren’t accurate. As for not understanding the Fa, just have them study the Fa. It needs to be separate from doing the exercises. You’ve got to ask those people who don’t study the Fa to study the Fa; otherwise their exercises will be done in vain. Let me tell you, do you know what is the biggest pity? Those who have entered the Fa but missed it, or those who didn’t take it even when it was given to them—that’s what they will deeply regret forever and ever. They can’t imagine the painful regret they will feel forever! This is because many lives were destined to come here to obtain the Fa. Through the long ages, there are also lives who have lost their righteous thoughts, who have become less and less able to know what they are here for, and so they easily go astray. Once lost, that’s truly… Of course, it’s fortunate that the principles of the Fa can solve these problems. The only cause for concern is that you don’t read it; the only cause for concern is that you don’t learn it. I can awaken everything in you and can cleanse everything that has covered up your original nature.
Student: Can I sing the exercise music in my mind during the meditation?
Master: Don’t sing. Why does a person listen to the music when practicing? It’s because I have taken into account that [the conditions under which] today’s people cultivate are different from those of all other cultivators of the past. You have jobs, and you are busily working and studying in society, and this makes it hard for your minds to quiet down. The purpose of having you listen to the music is precisely so that you may enter a state of calm. It uses the one thought of listening to the music to prevent you from thinking about other things. It uses one thought to replace thousands of other thoughts. But listening to the music can itself easily become an attachment. Fortunately our music has been strengthened by energy, and it has our Dafa’s content. So it has been transformed into a way for you to benefit and improve yourself in cultivation. That’s the role the Dafa music plays. Don’t focus on the surface of the melody; in other words, don’t get attached.
Student: I saw the turning srivatsa 卍. Was it the mark imprinted by Master?
Master: Generally speaking, the mark is inscribed on one’s forehead. The ones you see that are in other states are just the srivatsa symbol, which is the sign of the Buddhist school.
Student: Buddha Shakyamuni endured a lot of hardship when he came down to save people. Is he still at the level of Tathagata?
Master: Buddha Shakyamuni is a Tathagata, and that is definitely true. But nobody talked about which level he was at. Buddhas and Fa Kings at different levels are all called Tathagata. Nobody has talked about that, and it isn’t supposed to be known.
Student: Why does the Daoist school also chant “Buddha Amitabha” and “Bodhisattva Guanyin”?
Master: The truly systematic Daoism didn’t take shape until the Ming Dynasty [1368–1644 ce]. Before that there was no religion in the Daoist school. It would simply take the form of a master guiding a group of disciples as they cultivate. Although there was a group of people, it hadn’t developed into a full-fledged form of religion. After the Ming Dynasty, its form basically became identical to the form of monasteries and religions. Since the Dao needs to be cultivated with a pure mind, cultivated in solitude and in tranquility, it doesn’t have the component of offering salvation to all sentient beings. What are the purposes of a religion after it has formed? One is to allow people to cultivate to Consummation; the other is that religions can lead people in society as a whole to better their hearts and minds. So Daoism started to do those things, too, conducting religious rituals for people and offering people salvation. Since a large number of people became followers, it had to offer salvation to them. Offering salvation to people means that it can’t just save one or two people—that wouldn’t be called “offering people salvation,” but rather “bringing up disciples.” So it too started to use titles such as Buddha, Bodhisattva, or even Arhat. [The religion] that I have just talked about is the common Dao—not the Great Dao. It came about in recent history.
Student: A possessing spirit got into my body because I practiced another qigong. It then entered my son’s body and taught him that qigong. Will his spirit possession be eliminated by me?
Master: If a person has simply gotten close to Dafa but not truly entered it—if he passed by it or has only been watching from the outside—that is the saddest thing! Everything I teach here is to tell you how to be a cultivator. If you can’t let go of your attachments, you will never become a cultivator. You can only be trapped in misery while attached to those miserable things of yours. I will settle those things for disciples who truly cultivate, but you must be a cultivator. Going forward, you have to even erase in your mind what I just said about settling your things. You absolutely shouldn’t even think about what Master can do for you—[just think that] I won’t do anything for you. You should just study the Fa and temper yourself in Dafa. As for things about your child, you shouldn’t think about them at all. You won’t be able to resolve them even if you are attached to them for your whole life. When you are no longer attached to them, I will take care of those things as fitting.
How could it be that when a person Consummates he still has so many troubles around him? How could that be allowed? I will resolve everything for you—not only the old scores that you have built up one lifetime after another, but also the predestined connections you formed. For a person to cultivate to Consummation is not an easy thing. The debts you owe from lifetime after lifetime and the scores you want settled from lifetime after lifetime—and there are so many of them—all of them need to be resolved for you. You truly have to be a pure Enlightened Being, from inside out, before you can Consummate. How could you Consummate if you don’t pay back the many things that you’ve dragged along, as well as the many, many debts and grievances that you need to settle? Yet you aren’t aware of those things, nor can you resolve them. You can only be painfully attached to them your whole life; you can’t resolve them. Now that you have encountered Dafa, why still be troubled by those things? Set your mind at ease. You still have at least one breath left, and you still have at least one righteous thought, right? Then just cultivate Dafa. Say that you really won’t be able to preserve the other parts of you: can’t you at least preserve the part with the righteous thought? Besides, when you do achieve Consummation in the future, how could those things not be taken care of? But if you are so strongly attached to those things, how should I handle things when it comes to you? Any thought is an attachment, and attachments aren’t formed in just one or two days. With that much time having passed, that many attachments, and that much fear, how could you be a cultivator? It’s good for you to hear these strong words.
Student: Some of my thoughts are caused by thought karma, and I know that it’s an opportunity for me to transform karma. Teacher, please talk about how to deal with this.
Master: Set aside that attachment, cultivate in an upright and dignified manner—that’s how! If any of you students here currently have certain things on your mind that you can’t let go of, at this moment you are able to let them go. I guarantee that when you walk out of the auditorium today, you will have a different way of thinking about those matters. Cultivation is a process of giving up human attachments to the greatest extent. Why do you care so much about that thing? It’s because the thing that lingers in your mind, that you are attached to and care so much about, is a wall—a wall that prevents you from leaving humanness behind. I ask that you have each of your thoughts gradually break away from humanness and enter a godly state. Yet every thought of yours is linked and tied down to this place of humans. It’s just like a ship that’s about to set sail, yet its ropes are tied to the dock. Many ropes are tied up, and you can’t leave unless you untie them.
Student: Some students have been in the state of eliminating sickness karma for a long period of time. Does it mean that they have stayed at the same level and aren’t able to advance further?
Master: They have indeed stayed at that level for too long, and in other words, the attachments have remained for too long. There are generally two situations among students. Some say they are attached to their health problems for too long. As you know, your cultivation isn’t just to reach one single goal. It has to eliminate your karma while you improve yourself. If you are attached to the karma, you won’t be able to improve yourself, and you won’t be able to improve your xinxing, in which case you won’t be able to pass the test. The ordeal will drag on for a long time. That is to say, you weren’t able to make progress in your cultivation, and have remained in that phase. If you were truly, diligently making progress and improving yourself, you would have passed that test long ago. But you still haven’t enlightened to it after such a long time. And on the contrary, you have developed an attachment to that health problem itself, which has shaken your firm belief in cultivating Dafa. As a result, before one ordeal is overcome, others pile on one after another, making the test overwhelming. Of course, we can’t rule out that some students just have a lot of karma. Cultivation is complicated. But I think most cases have been caused by climbing in levels too slowly, which prolongs that kind of state.
Student: Is it all right to show Fa lectures that you gave on select occasions, such as your meetings with individual students or when students were reporting situations and asking questions?
Master: That’s not good! Not good at all! In some private settings when I didn’t allow anyone to do recording or videotaping, some people have insisted on hiding a tape recorder in their pocket. The person tries to fool me, but he is in fact only fooling himself. That’s because your entire cultivation as well as your entire improvement is a process of cultivating yourself. Anything hidden is just like kids’ stuff. The things that I address in specific settings don’t apply to things in general. So won’t it interfere with others when you show things that lack general application? Let me tell you, the Fa’s principles are immense. I have been teaching the Fa from the vantage point of the macroscopic and whole, and I haven’t told you the specifics. If I had, it would be very hard for you to cultivate. You are one of those who cultivates in Dafa, and being responsible to Dafa is being responsible to yourself. If this Dafa were to take one step off track, you wouldn’t be able to return. If the Fa were not righteous, you could not cultivate to Consummation.
Student: I have learned to look inside myself and have been consciously eliminating the bad thoughts that are in my mind, but sometimes when I point out someone else’s bad thoughts, he gets upset with me. Did I generate karma?
Master: That’s not generating karma. It’s good that we are able to notice the attachments we have, but we shouldn’t be people that are overly concerned over every little thing.
As for pointing them out for others, if you did it with good intentions, that’s what you should have done. Shouldn’t you care about the well-being of others when you cultivate? You should think of others first. When you see someone else’s shortcomings, why not tell him, since he too is cultivating? No matter how he takes it, if it’s necessary to tell him, you should let him know. You had a kind intention and Master saw that, and it’s not necessary for you to show it to others. In the event that he doesn’t accept what you say, whether he accepts it or not, you have touched on the attachments he needs to eliminate, and I think it will serve as a catalyst for his improvement. He may not enlighten to it right then, but later on he might. If he then still doesn’t enlighten to it, I will use other people’s mouths to alert him to it. If he still doesn’t get it, he will hit his head and get a big bump on it. (Master laughs) Just joking! Actually, cultivating is to remove attachments. If you want to understand how to cultivate, you have to read the book Zhuan Falun, and read it over and over. It would be your problem if you discovered your own attachments but weren’t willing to eliminate them. If you aren’t able to discover them yourself, but others have pointed them out for you and then you are upset about it, then you can take a look at Zhuan Falun. You don’t have to read it with any purpose in mind, just pick up Zhuan Falun, and whether it’s in Chinese, English, or some other language, when you open it at random, it’s guaranteed that the section you open to will directly point to you. It’s guaranteed to be like that. But don’t do it as an experiment. The intention to experiment is extremely bad; it’s not being solemn about the Fa. So if you want to test it, it won’t work or help you.
Student: It’s been two years since I began studying the Fa, and my xinxing has been improving. But I haven’t experienced any big ordeals physically. Is Master still taking care of me?
Master: You have cultivated for two years. Think about it: if I didn’t take care of you, you would have left this cultivation way long ago. Actually, you shouldn’t compare yourself with others. You might think, “Others have met with big ordeals, like getting hit by a car. And even though the car was damaged, they didn’t get physically hurt. I should go through that kind of ordeal, too.” Everyone has a different situation in cultivation. I might not have arranged that for you, and I might have used other ways to help you eliminate karma. In fact, if all ordeals were the same, there wouldn’t be anything for you to cultivate—you would know it all as soon as you saw it coming. If whatever you ran into were just the same as the next person’s and you just followed suit, that wouldn’t be cultivation. So everyone’s situation varies a lot.
Student: My child is getting used to listening to tape recordings of Teacher’s Fa lectures. I also play them for him before putting him to bed. Will doing this cause him to feel sleepy as soon as he listens to the Fa when he grows up?
Master: It won’t. You have done well. The child enjoys listening to it because the side of his primordial, original nature understands it. Those primordial things are gradually reduced and buried after children reach three years of age. Children are still quite innocent after three and before six years old. They tend to form their concepts after six.
Student: How were the predestined connections for cultivation planted?
Master: Some were formed at different levels, and some were formed in this human place.
Student: In our region, Dafa materials still haven’t been publicly distributed in mass quantities in society. Is it due to some particular reason?
Master: You are all doing well in your cultivation. In terms of form, you have basically been cultivating according to the form of Dafa, and there is no problem there. As for the materials, some areas might have them and some might not. In mainland China there are areas where several dozen people have to share one book, where they are sorely lacking in materials. In the countryside in particular the books are in really short supply. The books are in extremely short supply. These problems will be resolved.
Student: How can we do better at understanding the Fa on the basis of the Fa?
Master: The biggest reason for failing to understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa is people’s looking at the Fa with ordinary human concepts, and speaking about Dafa using ordinary human terms, like an outsider. If one truly understands the Fa based on the Fa’s principles, what he says will be Fa, and his behavior will also be that of a Dafa disciple. That’s what diligent cultivation is. His speech is different. He talks about how to be even more diligent while diligently making progress in cultivation. Yet those who can’t talk about the Fa on the basis of the Fa are understanding it only perceptually, or holding onto the ordinary human mindset of merely feeling Dafa is good, and talk about the Fa in ordinary human terms. That’s how it usually is. The differences are quite significant.
Student: Recently I’ve been low in spirits, and can’t do things energetically. Is this laziness?
Master: Be diligent! Shape up! I can tell you that this is another manifestation of demon-nature, and it is caused by thought karma. It makes you get stuck in precisely that state and blocks your progress. If you understand the Fa based on the Fa’s principles and truly progress with diligence, you will break through it.
Student: My three-year-old grandson likes to look at Master’s picture and the Falun emblem. He says things like, “Falun revolves in heaven and earth, to reach Consummation is to return home.” But the child’s father often interferes with his learning the Fa. There are certain things that I can’t directly intervene in.
Master: First you need to examine yourself for the causes. Since his father doesn’t understand it and won’t let him cultivate, don’t do it in his presence. Think about it: cultivation is the most correct thing to do. Since his father doesn’t understand it and you can’t explain clearly, you can talk to the child about it sometime later on. You know he is no ordinary child. He’s only three years old, but his words aren’t something ordinary people can say.
Student: Is there any similarity between ordinary people’s drive to succeed and the attachments you have talked about?
Master: The Dafa of the cosmos has created the environments for lives at different levels to exist in and has created lives at different levels. Humans are just in the lowest level of environments and are lives created by the Dafa of the cosmos. At this level it has created for humans the principles that they should know. As for similarities with Dafa, I can’t agree with you. The drive to succeed may be a good thing for humans. But that’s for everyday people. What I am talking about here are cultivators. Cultivators manage to do well at the work and studies that they ought to do, but they aren’t attached to it.
Student: Is it an attachment to study hard in school in order to become number one in your class?
Master: I have explained this matter very clearly. Many children have not only learned the Fa well, but are also ranked first or second in their studies at school. A lot are like that, there are a lot of them. It’s not that they are necessarily attached to academic achievements, but that through Dafa cultivation they have come to understand what they should do. They are able to balance school studies and the Fa well. Students should do well in their schoolwork. That comes from understanding the Fa; they know they should be good people wherever they are. They know that since they are students, they should study hard. Then naturally they do well. As long as they study hard and complete their tasks, they will be admitted to good schools or be accepted to college. It’s not achieved through being attached to good schools, or to high scores, or to college. I often say this: when people obsess about the thought of doing something or want to obtain something, the result is often quite the opposite; when you merely think about how to do well in something, it will naturally come about.
Student: If one spends extensive time and effort in his work and seeks perfection, is that an attachment?
Master: If you are fooling around at work and don’t do a good job, I think you won’t feel at peace when you receive your paycheck. That’s because a cultivator should be a good person wherever he is. It’s not about being a good person for the sake of being a good person. You are a cultivator, and you should be able to handle all of these things well. That’s how it should be.
Student: I’m worried that I won’t be able to succeed in cultivation. I have made up my mind that if I can’t succeed in this lifetime, I will continue my cultivation in the next lifetime.
Master: You seem to be quite determined, but actually you aren’t determined at all. What happens if your current state appears again in your next lifetime? Would you again go on cultivating in the lifetime after the next, then? You need to be determined not to miss this predestined opportunity, and then you will definitely be able to succeed in this lifetime.
Student: Now I have come to understand that Falun Dafa won’t be spread widely to the future mankind. Then it’s not necessary for me to continue cultivation in my next lifetime. Is this thinking correct?
Master: You were saying that you couldn’t succeed in this lifetime, and that you would keep on cultivating in your next lifetime, but that there will be no Falun Dafa in the next lifetime, so there’s no use in cultivating at that time. But since you’ve submitted the question, it means that you still have the will to cultivate. Be diligent. Let go of your attachments and truly cultivate. What is it that you can’t let go of? You know that not a single event in this cosmos happens by accident. Such a huge event has occurred in human society—could it be by chance? I can’t disclose things about the mankind of the future, since then you would come to learn out of attachment. That would be learning with an attachment. I think the reason you can’t be diligent is that you don’t have a sufficient understanding of the Fa yet. The way to solve this problem is to simply read the book more. It only takes a little of your time, and it doesn’t even cause you physical or mental hardship. Read the book more, try to solve your problems, and see whether you can progress diligently and whether you can persist in your cultivation.
Student: Greetings to Master from students in Hong Kong!
We feel deep sorrow for the distorted reporting on Master and Falun Dafa by the Hong Kong media. We have sent open letters to the media to correct their inaccurate and distorted reports. After listening to Master’s Fa lectures in Sydney and New Zealand, we disciples are even more determined to move forward on the path of Master’s Falun Dafa, truly cultivating and spreading the Fa.
Master: Thank you all! (Applause) It’s not possible for Falun Dafa to provide every person in the world with a copy of the book, and it’s not possible to provide a copy of the book to each of the billion-plus people in China and then judge which position they should be placed at. Humans have a side that is aware as well as a side that is not. Although on the surface they are not aware, in fact, they all have a side that is aware. When the words of Falun Dafa and Zhen, Shan, Ren are made known to people, some thoughts will come up in their minds. Depending on what he thinks at that moment, it might determine their future and determine their positions. So no matter how it was reported and how they handled it, as I said yesterday, people in almost every corner of the world have heard about what happened; everyone is apt to have his own thoughts about it. It’s not a simple thing. With such a serious Dafa, think about it: whatever the journalist wrote, he will have to bear responsibility for what he has done. And it’s not limited to this, as every single person in ordinary human society and every being will, in the future, have to bear responsibility for everything they have done. This is an absolute truth—it’s absolutely real. Attacking Dafa is itself no small thing, for human beings were created by this Fa. If a person opposes even this, where will he end up?
Student: I, your disciple, had tears running down my cheeks after reading the book Hong Yin, and I have greatly benefited from it. It’s another priceless book for our cultivation.
Master: In that book I mainly wrote about things in cultivation and things related to the Fa. I thought that reading it might help you improve, so we published it.
Student: With regards to the things that took place in Beijing, we should all endure it and be determined in Dafa.
Master: It’s of course right for people to manage to cultivate themselves. But if others are accusing you of being an evil way and you remain indifferent, I would say that’s not quite right. That is because each of our students is cultivating in Dafa, and he knows the preciousness of Dafa. To cherish Dafa is to cherish yourself. In the course of your learning Dafa, you will often encounter some tests, including tests in your dreams, in your daily work, or in your daily life. They are like quizzes conducted after a period of learning that check to see if you are solid and have learned well. And I can tell you that there will be tests at the time when you ultimately Consummate in Dafa.
Student: If the genes that cause genetic diseases were removed, would those who are affected by them—for example laboratory technicians and children conceived afterwards, including those in this dimension as well as other dimensions—have any gains or losses?
Master: How should I put it? You aren’t able to touch things in other dimensions. People are constantly exploring the field of human life sciences, but what they can know is merely the state of the most exterior surface of the human body, which is formed by molecules. Yet humans will never know what fundamentally makes up human life. Although people try to get to the bottom of human life and investigate what life really is, these things will forever remain a mystery to mankind. There is no way humans are allowed to know that information. As for whether people will be free of illness when the genes causing genetic diseases are removed, it doesn’t quite work that way. The human body has its own factors that cause illness. Also, pathologists have found that illnesses are not caused by those factors that were once alleged to cause illness. So it’s not possible for humans to be free of illness.
From a cultivation perspective, if a person never has health problems he is sure to go to hell after he dies. Why? If a person were to only generate karma and not pay off his karma, the karma he would accumulate would be too much. That’s why humans have health problems, miseries, troubles in life, tribulations, and hard times. All of that eliminates people’s karma, it reduces their karma. When a person has health problems, there is a fairly large amount of karma being eliminated. Then is having health problems a good thing? Of course not. If the person didn’t do those bad things, he would rarely have any ailments. So does this mean people don’t need to remove the causative genes? Actually, whatever people want to do, they can just go ahead and do it—those are human matters. I’m just telling you the principle. Humans always want to explore and always want to “advance.” Humans always have those warped thoughts, so they can go ahead and do that. Modern science has penetrated every domain of life and is in every little area. Everything seems to live and exist for it. Feel free to do that kind of research, as people today just live amidst this circumstance. That’s just your job. I think you should try your best to do it well. There’s no problem there.
As for the gains or losses you mentioned, they have nothing to do with cultivation. You are just doing your job. Your work and cultivation are separate, they aren’t the same thing. Your work can’t replace your cultivation. But your xinxing and your cultivation state will be reflected in your work and in the attitude you have toward everything around you.
Student: If the cosmos is an orderly system, and energy is unlimited, then how does the modern chaos theory fit into that design of the cosmos?
Master: Actually, no matter how chaotic it is here at the human level, no matter how many schools of thought there are out there—there were hundreds of schools of philosophy in ancient China, and there are also various theories in philosophy and religion in recent times—whatever they say or do, they are all things of this level. They don’t affect the cosmos. I will give you an example. It may sound like badmouthing others, but it actually isn’t. I’m simply giving an example: the garbage dumpster always emits various odors, and you can’t stop it. It’s just a manifestation of the chaos in this human place. So it has no direct connection with the cosmos. Through the chaos we can see people’s minds, and we can see who still has righteous thoughts.
Student: One time I actually sat in the lotus position for eight hours and twenty minutes. From then on I always walked with a limp. It’s much better now. Was I really wrong to do that?
Master: Eight hours or more isn’t something you just try. It’s a good thing to practice more within your ability. If it exceeds your limit and yet you insist on sitting in that position for that long, or insist on doing something a certain way, of course, that heart for cultivation is very good, but could that be another attachment? If you really have an attachment to sitting in the lotus position, it might produce a factor that will make you enlighten to that fact and realize it. So I think that in your cultivation you shouldn’t have any attachments, insisting on becoming number one in something, or trying to beat everyone in the length of meditation, or developing any other attachment. It’s guaranteed to end up the opposite. You are definitely not allowed to develop attachments in Dafa cultivation—you are only allowed to eliminate attachments.
In the event that, through long-term cultivation, you are able to naturally sit in the lotus position for that long, plus you have the time as there’s nothing much going on at home, and you can sit for that long, then I think that’s fine. But there’s one more thing. I have said that our Dafa doesn’t advocate cultivation in the state of long-term deep tranquility (ding). You need to read the book more, to study the Fa more. You need to cultivate your mind knowingly and improve in the Fa. The cultivation exercises are an auxiliary means for achieving Consummation. So if you spent those eight hours learning the Fa, I think you would have improved quite a lot. In fact, I’ve told you before that when we started teaching this Fa we had taken into consideration the question of how to have people in ordinary human society cultivate. Since their time is tight, many people who are busy with work definitely don’t have time to meditate for that long.
Actually, I have addressed this before. Even if you have only half an hour to do the meditation, I won’t let you fall behind. You won’t be left behind in terms of whatever should be resolved through doing the exercises—our form of cultivation is meant precisely to accommodate that situation. If everyone did it for eight hours every day, we wouldn’t be able to do our jobs in ordinary human society, and others wouldn’t understand us. That wouldn’t be right. What I’m talking about is a principle. It doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed to do this or that. If you have plenty of time and are naturally able to do the meditation for a very long time, I’m not against it. What I mean is that you shouldn’t do anything with attachments.
My way of thinking is mostly Eastern. Just now I was speaking in a way that addresses both sides of every issue the whole time. I’m not sure the Caucasian students could understand it. Did you understand? (Applause) Good. My way of thinking is often an Asian way when I teach the Fa, so I wanted to ask you.
Student: If a being was created in the Three Realms, is it very hard for it to cultivate beyond the Three Realms?
Master: Not necessarily. It was very hard in the cultivation ways of the past. You could say it was impossible. Although they said they were broadly offering salvation to all sentient beings, the fact is, salvation was offered to only those who came down from their own worlds. Just as with Buddha Shakyamuni and Jesus, who came to save people, they offered salvation to anyone within the boundaries of their own races. But there were still certain limitations. At present, all sentient beings of the cosmos are repositioning themselves. So there are likely to be opportunities along those lines [you brought up]. It all depends on how a being handles all of these things.
Student: Our Dafa includes Buddhist, Daoist, and Qimen principles. Can the Fa’s principles that are affirmed and enlightened to by other Tathagatas provide guidance for us?
Master: No. Dafa encompasses everything, but you cannot add in the principles of any side way, any side discipline, or of any Tathagata. Those can only take your understanding off track, as they can’t be positioned or mentioned in the same category with the Dafa of the cosmos. The Fa has created different levels of understanding and Attainment Status. Everything you have cultivated in Dafa also has elements in the Fa that you validate and enlighten to yourself. That’s the Attainment Status you yourselves have achieved.
Let me mention this in passing: Some of you here are newcomers who haven’t read my book yet, or you were brought here by our students or your families. It is probably due to a predestined connection that you are sitting here. Yet I need to tell you that I don’t have time to answer your questions. Why is that? It’s not that easy for me to be here, this is the first time [my students] have held a Fa conference after being here for several years, and they have a lot of questions in their cultivation for me to answer. So the time is extremely precious for cultivators. That’s why I can’t give time to you. Please understand. Why then? The questions you ask tend to be ordinary people’s questions, and I don’t handle things of human society. Someone just asked, “Since your Master is so capable, why doesn’t he boost the country’s economy?” Everyone knows that the development of human society occurs according to a set of laws. What will happen in a particular stage is determined by gods. Buddhas, Daos, and Gods are maintaining all these things. Fouling things up on a whim is absolutely not allowed. If all those gods were to go and do whatever they wanted, the world would have no semblance of order, much less a boosted economy.
But judging by the question he raised, first, he’s not one of our cultivators; second, it’s provocative; and third, he’s thinking about things from a human standpoint. Do gods have to do whatever humans want them to? Does heaven have to do whatever humans want? Are gods dictated by humans? You think it’s important to boost a country’s economy, but you should know that gods regard other things as more important! You know, humans lack blessings because their morals have declined and the human mind has degenerated so much. If people’s minds become good, they will have blessings and be prosperous. Do you understand these principles?! Humans have degenerated to this extent, yet you still want to get this or that. Who’s going to give it to you?! Here I’m not referring to any specific race or any specific country. I’m talking about a general principle of the Fa. That’s how it works. To get blessings humans have to reduce their karma. Only with immense virtue can people become prosperous and strong. First and foremost, people must have good hearts and less karma. Otherwise it’s not just the economy that will decline; there will be all kinds of natural disasters and human calamities constantly occurring. But as a human, he hasn’t come to understand this, and he doesn’t know that everything has its arrangement. He just thinks that whatever humans want to do, they can just go and do.
Student: Since bad people who are devoted to doing wrong are also predestined, can they be excused?
Master: No, they can’t. When we say that everything is predestined, we are referring to the fact that people’s lives are arranged with order. I’ve mentioned in the Fa that there are two situations in which a person’s destiny can be changed, in which the person’s arrangement can be changed. One is when a person has stepped onto the path of cultivation. You didn’t have cultivation planned in your life, so your whole life is rearranged. The other situation is that a person who does bad things can change his fate; endlessly doing bad things can change even the fate of his whole life. If someone doesn’t do bad things he won’t generate any karma. That’s why when a person does bad things it can change his fate, and change the original arrangement for him. But what awaits him is annihilation, layer after layer, to pay for everything he has done. Cultivation can indeed change a person’s life. There is no other way.
Student: When I read Zhuan Falun, I often forget about many of its profound principles soon after I finish reading it. After I have listened to the tape recordings of a Fa lecture, I don’t retain anything afterwards.
Master: That’s normal. On the one hand, it’s because there are too many bad things in your mind at the beginning. On the other hand, the side of you that has acquired the Fa remembers it. That’s the part of you that has been successfully cultivated. As you constantly progress in cultivation, the quicker your improvement, the quicker that part of you that has completed cultivation will be separated. It gets separated as soon as it meets the standard. Once it is separated, it can’t communicate with the surface part of you, which hasn’t completed cultivation yet. That’s why you feel that you have forgotten everything. It means that part of you is gone. That’s because once it is qualified, fits the standard, and has met the Fa’s requirements, it ascends. The part that has ascended is a god, and it definitely can’t be mixed together with humans. Of course, that’s not absolute. Those who cultivated in the remote mountains and forests in the past weren’t like that, because they weren’t in contact with ordinary human society. Yet Dafa disciples are cultivating right in ordinary human society. If the god part were doing the same things as a human, that would definitely be forbidden, so it has to be separated. Whether you do well or poorly at this side, the side that has been successfully cultivated remains inactive and doesn’t participate in human affairs. This guarantees that the part of you that has been successfully cultivated won’t drop down and can only improve constantly. That’s the best way.
That’s why sometimes you feel that you have forgotten it again, or why some time after passing a test you feel that somehow an attachment has returned. It’s just that the part of you that has been successfully cultivated, the part that has met the standard, has been separated. That is the reason. But it’s not completely like that. When you are continually doing true cultivation, the changes to your most surface human part become greater and greater, and you will be able to remember more and more of the Fa. So that is what will occur during a certain period of time, and it’s normal.
Student: I’m less and less inclined to speak nowadays, and take whatever I do quite lightly. I also tend to forget things. Is this type of state normal?
Master: There is another scenario that involves forgetting things. In your life among everyday people, especially in China, a lot of people put all of their thought into mind games and angling to get an edge on other people. So their thoughts and ways of thinking are pretty bad, and totally at odds with the thoughts of cultivators. People have grown used to it. Whenever you think over a problem, your mind will go there and turn to bad thoughts. What can we do about it, then? I first turn off that part of your thoughts so that it’s not so active, thus enabling your good thoughts to become more active. That’s why during that period of time you will find yourself forgetting things easily. It’s for your benefit. It absolutely would not do to have you coming up with bad ideas each time you started thinking. Of course, this isn’t saying that it was just that awful, but that way of thinking just isn’t right. As soon as you think, you are in that mode of thinking, so it needs to be changed. For a certain period of time you will tend to be forgetful. That’s done for your cultivation. But it won’t affect your work or study. In the case of your discovering that something you have done doesn’t feel right, then it probably has something to do with you improving. That happens because the Fa’s principles constantly elevate. You will find that what you currently take to be correct may not be absolutely correct after you improve. And when you improve further, you will find that what you just came to understand again isn’t quite right. That might be the state you experience. Thus the higher you cultivate to, the more correct it will be.
Student: Cultivation starts from the origin of one’s being, and it continues up until Consummation; meanwhile, the gong column grows from the top of the head until one reaches Consummation. What’s the relationship between these two processes?
Master: Transformation of the body by high-energy matter is the transformation of your innate body. Great enlightened beings possess huge amounts of energy. That energy manifests as a gong column in cultivation, and that is the part of a cultivator’s Fa that manifests visibly. Their existence takes on two different forms. Everything needed in cultivation, including the change of his body’s molecules, has to rely on that energy. It can change everything. Dafa cultivation starts from the most microscopic level of life. But since he is a cultivator, his outer body changes too; it’s just that the proportion is very small. The ratio is roughly one per cent.
Student: Cultivation is accomplished by the body on the human side. I find the principles of the Fa have become clearer, and I am obtaining things naturally without pursuing them. Is this understanding and feeling correct?
Master: Yes! That’s a very good state. When you reach that state, you feel at ease and that your life is fulfilled. As you continue to make progress, as you become clearer and clearer about the principles of the Fa, you will find that cultivation becomes simpler and simpler. Many things won’t seem as complicated as when they were viewed from a human’s perspective. Everything will be clear at a glance. When everyday people get into a disagreement, they argue and can’t convince each other. Yet when you are not involved in their argument, when you look at them calmly as an outsider, you can judge who is right. If you aren’t part of everyday people at all and you then look at their argument, you won’t need to hear much and you will understand it all. You would feel that there’s nothing worth arguing about. Everything will be clear at a glance.
Student: Due to my old age, my joints are stiff and it’s quite difficult for me to do the meditation. It’s even impossible for me to do the half-lotus position. I can only practice with my legs loosely crossed.
Master: Cultivation shouldn’t be a problem for people of any age. Old age isn’t itself contributing to the cultivation challenges, as one’s age is irrelevant to cultivation. Whether you are old or young, you can all understand the Fa. As for sitting in the lotus position, of course I will treat it differently for people of older ages. If you have never sat in the lotus position in your life, and your joints and tendons have never been stretched that far, what can you do? Work on it gradually, don’t worry, and I think in the end you will be able to do it. Even people who are in their eighties or approaching ninety and who have never sat in the lotus position can do it. Give it a try and have full confidence in yourself. In the past, quite often cultivators weren’t able to obtain the Dao until they were in their eighties or nineties, or even until they were over one hundred years old.
Student: People in the future won’t know about this Fa, yet it says in “Stability of the Fa,” “The future generations for thousands of years to come must follow in their cultivation the way I have personally left if they are to reach Consummation.”
Master: When I speak to you I can only use human language. This Fa will never be changed at any realm or any level of the cosmos. It can never be changed again. So this Dafa of the cosmos will forever remain invincible. Moreover, it has the ability to self-repair, constantly harmonizing and perfecting itself to make it forever incorruptible. You know that humans don’t deserve to listen to such an immense Fa. It’s not that Buddha Shakyamuni didn’t teach the true Fa, or that Jesus didn’t want to explain it thoroughly to people. It’s that humans are allowed to hear only so much, or else they would know the truths of Buddhas and Gods, and that’s not allowed. Today I have told you so many of heaven’s secrets. If you reach Consummation, what I have lectured on will all have been to Gods and not humans.
The memories of those who can’t achieve Consummation will be erased in the future—they aren’t allowed to know any of this. In this Dafa there are in fact people who will go to the Falun Paradise, and it encompasses the inner meanings specific to this cultivation way. So whether those things will be given to people or not will be determined in the future. But humankind in the future will not know about the Dafa itself or me. People will pass it down as a legend for many years to come, just like the fairy tales that people tell for ages. They will also remember the serious lessons that are left to humans when the beings at this level are finally repositioned.
Student: Falun Gong teaches Zhen, Shan, Ren. So should Ren have been practiced when the unjust incident happened to Falun Gong disciples in Tianjin?
Master: This question has been addressed, so I won’t talk more about it. Ren is manifested in all of a cultivator’s conduct, but it doesn’t mean taking no action. Shouldn’t we go to express our opinions when people are arbitrarily damaging such an immense Fa? Let me tell you again: the students who went to Beijing weren’t there to demonstrate or march; there was no shouting, no slogans, and no ill intentions. They all went there with the good intention of presenting the real situation to the leaders of the country. I think those things should be done. They did that because they felt that the injustices done to Dafa disciples were just like injustices to themselves. [They felt,] “When you accuse it of being evil, it’s the same as accusing me of being evil.” They all thought this way. They all wanted to restore the reputation of Dafa and present the situation to the leaders of the country. It was done precisely because of that thought. That was not wrong! Did too many people go there? I would say not that many went. Since there are 100 million people practicing, if everyone went there it would have been unimaginable—Beijing couldn’t even hold that many people. Out of 100 million in the whole nation, only about ten thousand people went there. How is that too many? If they really were to brand it a heretical cult, I think it wouldn’t be a matter of just ten thousand people. Is there anything wrong with presenting the true situation to the central government? There’s nothing wrong with that! (Applause)
We have said that we don’t oppose the government and we don’t go in for politics. They are all trying to be good people. Is there anything wrong with that? Should [the authorities] still insist on accusing them of being evil? If they all did the same things as everyday people, one could say anything about them and they probably wouldn’t mind. But they are truly trying to be good people, yet they are still accused of being evil—how could they not feel distressed?
Student: Is how good-hearted a person is determined by the level of his primordial being?
Master: Good-heartedness is actually one’s primordial nature. In this secular world, it can only be called a reflection of a person’s innate goodness. It’s completely different from that of human beings who were completely incarnated from animals or other creatures. As human beings, everybody has some good-heartedness since every living being met the criteria of a certain level when it was formed in that realm. It’s just that people form various concepts after birth in order to get a foothold in ordinary human society. They constantly protect themselves, protect their petty interests, and constantly hurt others. So their good-heartedness diminishes further and further.
Student: Buddhas are at the highest level and mankind is at the lowest level. How many levels are there between Buddhas and humans?
Master: It seems that you haven’t studied the Fa. I have already lectured many times to my students on the structure of the cosmos. You can look it up in my books. Since this subject is very broad, it takes time to address and it isn’t something that can be fully answered at this moment. Unlike what you imagine, Buddhas aren’t the highest. In the past, the God at the highest levels was formless, he didn’t have a body. From the perspective of the entire cosmos, the Gods with bodies are all at the middle or lower levels. From the higher levels on up, the gigantic Gods are all formless. They are like formless floating matter, but they do have thoughts and lives. The higher their levels, the more energy they have and the more powerful they are; the higher their levels, the more immense their wisdom.
Student: I have only practiced for half a year, and I haven’t had any reactions or cultivation states from our practice. Is it because Master isn’t taking care of me? Sometimes I think that I might be a person with great inborn quality. Is it all right to have these kinds of thoughts?
Master: You might have this or that kind of thought, and that’s quite alright. But don’t let those thoughts become your attachments. Let them go. Everyone’s cultivation path has certain arrangements, so just go ahead and cultivate. Dafa is available to all sentient beings. If as a disciple you aren’t taken care of by me, that’s a problem with me. In fact, you are able to see the principles of the Fa and to cultivate in it, though you can’t feel your changes. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t cultivating. Some people truly are very sensitive, while others are not. So people’s cultivation states are different. It might be that the person is of great inborn quality, or it might not be. So it could be any scenario.
Student: If someone has only cultivated to the level of heavenly beings, does he have to wait until his physical body dies before he gets to his rightful position?
Master: As for a heavenly being within the Three Realms, he doesn’t have the body composed of the largest layer of molecular particles. His body is composed of more microscopic particles than this level of human particles. So, he can’t take a body of this layer. But I have said that there is no such thing as a person reaching Consummation within the Three Realms. Without transcending the Three Realms, nobody can be counted as having achieved Consummation. Actually there are some people who have done relatively better than others—that is, they are good persons among everyday people and they have less karma, or, they have done a lot of good deeds throughout their lifetimes. Even without cultivating they ascend to different levels within the Three Realms to become heavenly beings. That doesn’t require cultivation. But they still have to go down and reincarnate many years later. As for side-path cultivation ways, there are other reasons why they can’t transcend the Three Realms. That’s their business, and we don’t pay attention to their business.
Student: Since I lack my own point of view in dealing with things, I am easily influenced by other people. Is this state caused by my lack of diligence?
Master: It’s a problem of rationality. As a cultivator, your viewpoint when you do things should be governed by righteous thoughts.
Student: Is doing a good job related to cultivation?
Master: When you are doing things among everyday people, if it’s merely a technical issue of how to do it well and it doesn’t involve your xinxing, I think that has nothing to do with your cultivation. If the problem you are facing does have to do with xinxing, that is, if the thing you are doing could lead to something good or bad, I think you will have done the right thing as long as you follow the standards of a cultivator as best you can.
Student: Is the part of the body that has been transformed or partially transformed by high-energy matter still restrained by the laws in the material dimension?
Master: After being completely transformed it won’t be. As long as the part hasn’t been transformed, it might be affected by the human dimension, it might be restrained by this dimension.
Student: Eating hot food will lead to excessive internal heat, which leads to colds and coughs, and excessive eating will lead to weight gain.
Master: This seems to be a question raised by an everyday person—it has nothing to do with a cultivator. As a cultivator, the energy released from your own body can change the state of your body whether you intend it to or not. You are different from everyday people, after all. If a cultivator is concerned about eating hot food, fearing that it leads to excessive internal heat, that’s an attachment. Plus it’s not quite like that, anyway. As a cultivator, you have to understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa and think about yourself with higher principles. If you are still using everyday people’s principles to think about yourself, I would say that’s not quite right. Isn’t that true? That is a xinxing problem. It’s everyday people who are afraid of catching cold or coughing. I know you haven’t started cultivating yet. As cultivators, your bodies will eventually become Pure-White Bodies, will transcend the Three Realms, and will become bodies made of high-energy matter. Don’t we have to hold ourselves to higher standards during our cultivation? If you argue, “Before I get there I can still use human concepts to think about myself and set requirements for myself,” then you will forever be human. And you won’t even know whether you have met the standard or not. You should always hold yourself to high standards.
If you want to cultivate you can give it a try. Some students dared not drink cold water in the past, and now they don’t have any problems with doing that. They used to be afraid of this or that, and now none of them have any problems. The things people believe are just human concepts. Yesterday, I gave the example of a student who told me that he had been hit by a car. His shoulders, the bones in his body, and his pelvis were all broken. He was sent to the hospital while he was unconscious. The hospital said that it would be difficult for him to recover, that he was in such bad shape, and that it was time to start arranging his funeral. But on the second day he got up from his bed by himself and walked away. The hospital staff couldn’t make sense of it. The doctors asked, “How could that guy survive?” And he went home. Later on, the hospital wanted to find out how the person was doing and asked, “Is he still walking?” They meant, “Can he still walk?” The doctor was told that he no longer walked. The doctor commented, “See, I told you he wouldn’t be able to.” But then the doctor was immediately told, “Now he can run.” (Applause) Of course, you can’t comprehend this with human concepts. That is to say, as a cultivator, you need to know what it is you are doing. You shouldn’t always confuse yourself with everyday people.
Student: In offering people salvation, Master has opened such a wide door. Why has that affected so many gods in various dimensions?
Master: Because I’m rectifying the Fa! They are all being rectified. (Applause) All beings are repositioning their lives for the future.
Student: Some articles have excerpts of Master’s original words in them. How should we dispose of them?
Master: Just burning them is fine. Since you are a cultivating disciple, you don’t intend to be disrespectful, and you might not have a place to keep them. With hand-written copies of the book, specifically, some people have asked what to do with those that have mistakes in them. They can all be burned, that’s not a problem. The Fa is in the other dimensions of the letters, and the fire in the human world can’t touch it. What is destroyed is just paper and surface ink, which are formed by the largest layer of particles.
Student: During the meditation it’s better not to move. If the body’s posture inadvertently changes and no longer fits the requirements, is it okay for us to adjust it so that it’s in the right position?
Master: That’s fine, and nothing will be affected. When something that’s not right is detected it has to be corrected. Otherwise, if you get used to it the mechanisms will get distorted, so it has to be corrected. But that’s not to say that there can’t be any slight differences in each person’s movements. It’s not possible that everybody’s movements be exactly the same, as if they came out of the same mold. That’s definitely not possible. As long as everyone’s movements can basically meet the requirements it’s fine. Try your best to do the exercises together. When you do the exercises the movements should be in unison.
Student: If I do two hours of meditation, can I allocate the time as half an hour each for spherical strengthening and cylindrical strengthening by alternating the two palms, and then half an hour for tranquil meditation?
Master: If you don’t have any interference, or if you have a lot of time and the ability to sit for that long, I’m not against it. But don’t let it affect your normal life, and don’t let it affect your work or studies. At the same time, you need to give top priority to Fa-study. You can work these things out on your own. You can’t be said to be wrong. Everyone has different schedules. But be sure to give top priority to Fa-study.
Student: I’m fifty-seven years old and have been cultivating in Dafa for over two years. But I still haven’t got my period back.
Master: Everybody’s situation is different, and it won’t necessarily be like you expect. But in general people will have the situation I talked about. I can’t talk about individual cases. If I talked about it today it would turn into a generality again. Each person has a different situation, and as a cultivator you shouldn’t consider it that important. If you keep thinking about that it will become an attachment. Maybe you are supposed to have it, but it’s possible that it won’t come. Even if you have it, you might not be allowed to see it, as it could be transformed inside your body. So don’t consider it a big deal. It’s fine either way. After all, each person’s situation is different. It’s not that you can cultivate if you have it, and you can’t if you don’t. That’s not the idea.
Student: Living in New Zealand, I find it hard to survive without accepting a government subsidy. Will this cause me to lose virtue? Should I go back to mainland China to cultivate?
Master: Wherever you cultivate is the same. I don’t care about that. As for problems making a living, it’s best if you can resolve them yourself. If you don’t have the ability to resolve them, then [accepting a subsidy] doesn’t count as wrong on your part because this country has welfare benefits, after all. But I think whether you can resolve them or not, or wherever you are cultivating, if the situation is like yours, you shouldn’t consider it a big deal. You can reach Consummation while cultivating anywhere. I’ve said that you should cultivate while conforming to the way of everyday people as much as possible, and the implication of this is pretty broad. If you think that at present it’s better to cultivate here, then just do so. But I think if you are healthy and strong you should do your best to resolve this problem. If you are old you don’t need to consider it a big deal. There are many things that aren’t what they seem on the surface, and special cases will be treated specially. Since this situation isn’t a widespread phenomenon, I don’t want to talk too much about it.
Student: In your article “Perfect Harmony,” what specifically does “complete sacrifice” refer to?
Master: It’s to completely get rid of all your attachments. As long as you have an attachment, it will be like a lock, like a gate blocking a passage, or like a rope that keeps you from sailing off. You have to break through all of them. Of course, I have addressed how to cultivate yourself and how to leave behind attachments during cultivation. To give up attachments doesn’t mean to give up all material things and become beggars. That’s not the meaning. I won’t repeat this again. The new students among you who still aren’t clear can read the book.
Student: During the Fa-rectification period, originally some sentient beings at high levels intended to do some good deeds by assisting Dafa, but they have instead become hindrances and now they too are among those to be eliminated.
Master: Let me tell everyone, the Fa is being rectified because all sentient beings have deviated from Dafa. Then think about it: even though he was trying to help do a good thing, doesn’t he still have his old concepts? Then aren’t his criteria still the old ones? So it’s better for him not to do anything; otherwise it could add trouble. If he insists on doing so, it will do harm. That’s the reason behind it, so nobody can help him. But if they strictly follow what I ask them to do, that won’t be a problem—it will be the most magnificent thing.
Student: In the book Hong Yin, Teacher says, “Spanning the Ten Directions, tiny to vast // the Firmament meets the eye.” Can I interpret that as Teacher observing cosmic bodies at the extreme microscopic level?
Master: Yes, that’s the meaning. The “vast” in “tiny to vast” refers to the largest particle, which far surpasses the particles that you understand. In fact, put simply, isn’t even a universe of a large expanse a big sphere? It is a particle. The way I look at the cosmos’s sentient beings and states of being is different from the way humans look at objects—they aren’t looked at in the same way. “Tiny,” on the other hand, refers to the extremely microscopic; there is another layer of meaning in “tiny to vast,” which refers to the most microscopic. “Vast” itself also represents hugeness. “Stretching the Ten Directions, tiny to vast” means that one needs to see both the largest and the smallest, and at the same time he has to see the broadest expanse. The Buddhist school’s concept of a ten-directional world means up and down, plus all eight horizontal directions—so that’s ten directions. That’s the meaning. Everywhere can be seen with a single glance. “Spanning the Ten Directions, tiny to vast // the Firmament meets the eye” means that if you want to clearly see the cosmic body, that’s how you should look at it. Of course, however much you can understand is however much you can understand. I won’t explain further.
Student: When someone was spreading the Fa to his colleagues at work, they said that they would learn Dafa if he could prove that his illness had been cured. So the person went to the hospital for a check-up, but the results weren’t so good. He’s quite puzzled.
Master: You need to examine your xinxing for the reason. Judging from this question, I can tell that as of now you haven’t done enough Fa-study. The question you have asked seems simple on the surface—he’s practiced for so long, and he was originally trying to do a good thing, so why wasn’t he able to validate the Fa for others? It’s not that simple. In cultivation your improvement and the elimination of your attachments are of primary importance. As for your having others obtain the Fa, that is other people’s business and is secondary. Your improvement is primary. No matter what you do, it can’t be separated from your own improvement. So when you encounter these things you need to take a look at your xinxing. You don’t have the symptoms of illness, you haven’t taken medicine for so many years, and you have felt pretty healthy right along. So what would have been the situation if you were ill? Illness would have affected your work, your life, and your studies, and you wouldn’t feel good most of the time. Isn’t that having an illness? If you have been unsure about your health, or if you hold a strong attachment in doing something, you are likely to get a false diagnosis. That could well be the case. Cultivation is truly very serious—it is the most serious thing. From another perspective, those people would only come to learn if they saw that your illness was cured. What kind of motive would they have for learning Dafa? What we want are people who come to learn Dafa to cultivate.
Student: I’m thinking about teaching Falun Dafa to the children who are learning Chinese from me, yet on the other hand I’m concerned there might be some danger.
Master: There won’t be any danger at all, and it can only do them good. Children won’t have karma problems or things like going through tests as adults do. Children have their own situations, and there absolutely won’t be any danger.
Student: Can a cultivator have his teeth filled or crowns put on them?
Master: That’s just fine. Before these parts of your surface body are changed, if you feel that bad teeth don’t look good you can just have them filled. There’s no problem with that. It’s like choosing what clothes to wear and trying to dress rather neatly—it’s the same idea.
Student: Honorable Teacher, how do we draw the line between youwei (with intention) and wuwei (without intention)?
Master: I’ve talked about this before. In our Dafa cultivation youwei and wuwei are different from cultivation ways in the past. In the past all behavior was taken as youwei. People even took eating and walking as youwei, so they would enter a state of trance, stop moving for long periods of time, and just sit there and meditate. They thought that was wuwei. The wuwei I teach is the way of today’s Dafa cultivation. You all live in ordinary human society, and it’s not feasible to do nothing at all. So we have said that the way to improve the most is by improving our minds—that’s the most fundamental thing. Actually, no matter whether it was wuwei or the cultivation through hardships that they practiced, their ultimate goal was to improve the human mind. But today I’m directly targeting the human mind, enabling you to improve your mind directly, so cultivation in Dafa is the fastest way.
The wuwei in Dafa is about not intentionally arranging hardships for yourself or arranging on your own how you will cultivate, and about not insisting on doing certain things that you consider good or looking for hardship for yourself, about not insisting on doing this or that. All such things are youwei. With those things you should try your best to maintain a state of wuwei and cultivate naturally. When you should work, work; when you should read the book, read the book; and when you should do the exercises, do the exercises. With any problems that surface, you need to know that they manifest in your cultivation for the sake of your improvement. Constantly improve yourself and constantly read the book—that’s how to move forward diligently in cultivation. Everything else you have sought that you think is good, beneficial, or whatnot could very well be a hindrance. So on these matters I think that as a Dafa cultivator, practicing wuwei is to not say or do things that you shouldn’t do.
Student: While studying the Fa, sometimes I can enlighten to why Teacher teaches in the way that he does. Is this reaction normal?
Master: Something like that is a normal state in cultivation, and those things do happen for most. There’s something particular I do when I teach the Fa. That is, when I answer questions that I feel are not directly related to the majority of people and related to only a few individuals, or that aren’t important, my answers usually don’t address the question. As I am in fact teaching the Fa, I can’t speak about things that aren’t useful. What I speak about will be left for people, and all sentient beings are to listen to it. That’s why I can’t dwell on a question that people have already understood. So I talk about other things while leading into them with the person’s question, things that need to be known by more people and more beings. What’s more, when I am teaching the Fa, once I find that you grasped it while I was answering the previous questions, even though I haven’t finished reading the questions in your notes, I won’t finish reading them since you have already understood. I then use that question as a segue into other topics. That’s usually how I do it. So the way I teach the Fa is different from how everyday people do things when they answer questions.
Student: Sometimes I have experienced and enlightened to the principles of existence and the laws of motion for matter and lives in the cosmos. What are the fundamental differences between these understandings and the Attainment Status that I am to achieve in the future?
Master: That’s a phenomenon that manifests in one’s mind, and it happens often. Many students have come to realize the different principles of the Fa as manifested by the Fa at different levels while studying the Fa. Yet such understandings are hard to articulate. Once they are described with words they are no longer that magnificent—they seem to become just ordinary human principles. That’s because the Fa at high levels can’t be expressed by human language. I only teach you in a general sense, while the true display of the Fa’s principles is different. So sometimes when you can truly enlighten to that level of the Fa’s principles, and everything suddenly becomes so clear to you, that is your real improvement, understanding, and ascension.
A lot of things that you have enlightened to in the Fa’s principles are right. What you enlighten to without holding onto attachments is right. There are also cases when you hold onto your attachments and insist on finding the principles that fit your attachments. In those cases it’s very likely that your attachments will lead your thought karma to conjure up and manifest phony things. But those aren’t manifestations of the Fa’s principles, so they are phony. Only when you don’t hold onto any attachments or concepts are you able to see the true principles of the Fa. For example, when you are trying to judge Dafa with attachments, thinking this is right, that’s wrong, or when you agree with this part and have problems with that part, you won’t be able to see anything. It’s because the Fa is solemn. Humans are not allowed to judge the Fa’s principles or Buddhas’ principles. That’s why you aren’t able to see anything. As for those specific things or things that you have enlightened to, they could very well be related to the states you have experienced at different levels, which are still short of your final Attainment Status. If that weren’t the case you wouldn’t be asking questions today, as you would have understood them all. So what you have come to know are just the specific manifestations of the Fa’s principles in different realms and at different levels.
Student: May I ask Teacher why the new practice music was produced? Caucasian students find it a little hard to adjust to.
Master: It’s because the original tape of the original music production was worn out, and it had to be redone. The quality of the tapes would have been affected since all of the original tapes wore out after many dubbings. By the time it got to you the quality might have gotten worse and worse. That’s the problem we faced, so we did a new production.
If some people aren’t quite used to the new tape, I think you can still listen to the old tapes. There’s no problem with that. It’s also fine if you want to use the new tapes. But students have felt that the new tapes seem clearer, as it was newly recorded. Since the original tape is clear this time, the sound quality is definitely going to be better. That’s the situation. When you do the exercises there won’t be any actual difference in cultivation, other than the difference you sense.
Student: Master, please expound on “super matter.”
Master: That can’t be talked about. If I told you about it, humankind might in the future be able to open up that dimension. Humans aren’t allowed to open that dimension; humans are not allowed to know about it.
Student: Since I don’t know Chinese, I’m not sure if the translations are accurate.
Master: If you don’t know Chinese, you can ask students who know Chinese about the meaning. But that would be really difficult, since with nine lectures it would be really hard to have other people translate all of them for you. Fortunately, recordings of my lectures with simultaneous interpretation have been made available in the United States, and that solves the problem.
Student: I’m working in a hospital and dealing with patients every day. Does their karma have any effect on me?
Master: When a patient’s karma manifests pretty strongly in a certain area, the patient might display illness in that area of his body. Actually, many people have a lot of karma, only it doesn’t manifest as illness. It manifests as unhappiness and discomfort in their daily lives. That’s pretty common. In other words, karma is in fact everywhere. That doesn’t affect your cultivation, though, and your work setting in the hospital won’t affect you. Since what you cultivate is gong, that type of karma can’t interfere with you.
I remember there was a student in the U.S., someone who seemed to specialize in analysis of pathogens, doing testing and cultivating of germs. He found that the germs on the glass slides that his hands touched all died. In other words, the energy that his hands emitted killed the germs. That type of state can appear. Since our energy is gong and it is obtained through your cultivation and carries your own image and thoughts, you only need to think in your mind that you are doing experiments and don’t wish to kill them, and the gong won’t do that. Some students have generated other thoughts. You shouldn’t think every day, “Viruses, as soon as you come I will kill you.” Definitely don’t think that, or an attachment will form. Leave it alone. It naturally knows how to protect you, since it is a product of your cultivation.
Student: Normally I can adhere to the standards of a practitioner for the most part, but in dreams I often do things with poor xinxing and quarrel with other people.
Master: On ordinary occasions when we are clearheaded we can discipline ourselves and do well. Yet such discipline doesn’t mean that you have completely passed your xinxing tests. You could have done it well because you were trying to save face, or because your reasoning determined that you should do it that way, but in reality your mind might not have reached that point. The superficial reason enabled you to restrain yourself rationally. But you haven’t truly become that solid in your behavior, and that’s why you will have tests in your dreams at this point. Actually, it’s also a clear indication to you that you need to work on it more. That’s all it means. Dreams aren’t cultivation, but they are tests for you and a kind of examination of your cultivation.
Student: People always say that believing in Buddhas, Daos, Gods, and ghosts is “superstitious.” How should we explain these things to them when spreading the Fa?
Master: There’s no need at all for you to tell them about those things. And that’s because you are spreading the Fa in order to have people obtain the Fa, and not to push them away. You know, when you speak at such a high level it is the same as pushing people away. When you first started to cultivate, you too began with an understanding of principles at the Fa’s lowest levels. Since Dafa definitely starts from teaching people how to be good persons, that’s where you should start talking from, too. This Fa is able to heal people and keep them fit, and it can turn a person into someone with high moral values. You can just start by talking about the principles, and that person will naturally understand the rest as he improves. If you talk about things that are too lofty right away, he will find it hard to accept and he won’t learn the practice as a result.
Student: Is being unable to carry out what one has enlightened to “knowingly doing wrong”?
Master: It happens because one hasn’t regarded oneself as a cultivator. A lot of people fail to have a good understanding of what was happening when they are going through a test, but after they calm down they figure things out. That too counts as your coming to an understanding, only you weren’t able to figure it out at that time. If after you have understood it you still can’t act accordingly, that means your cultivation is not solid. If you can act on it when the problem happens again, it will count as your passing it. If you still can’t pass it even after you have realized everything, though, then you need to truly make solid efforts to improve.
Student: I’ve cultivated for four to five years. How do I find out which stage I’m at in cultivation?
Master: There are people who can’t feel anything at all. The key is to treat yourself as a practitioner. Don’t think that you have many years left in your life and that you can take your time and cultivate slowly. Although you are cultivating and you can’t leave Dafa, you haven’t really devoted yourself. In other words, you are not advancing with diligence. That’s not going to work! Since Dafa is solemn, you can’t look at it with that kind of mindset. A person shouldn’t treat even minor Fa and minor paths like that. Since this is Dafa you should know to cherish it. What it gives you are things that minor paths could never give you, so you should in turn treat it with due care.
Student: My demon-nature is quite strong, and the setting around me isn’t good. How should I deal with this?
Master: I think both of those things are related to your cultivation. It’s either to help you eliminate karma or to help you improve your xinxing. So you have to look at them in the right way. Some people are in terribly difficult situations, but those are guaranteed to be good for you, since you are cultivators. The reason you think they aren’t good for you is that you haven’t shed your human side. You feel that you are being treated unfairly, and you think that this person shouldn’t treat you like this, and instead he should treat you better. Yet from a practitioner’s perspective, if everyone treated you so well, how would you cultivate? How would your attachments be exposed? How would you improve? How would you eliminate karma? Isn’t that the question? So you shouldn’t have a resentful or resistant attitude when you encounter challenges like these. You have to look at them in the right way since you are a cultivator. I am different from you; if anyone treats me like that, or anyone treats Dafa like that, that is evil doing harm to the Fa-rectification.
Student: When my husband was going through an ordeal eliminating karma in June of 1997, he had symptoms a little like those of a stroke. He kept watching the videotapes of the Fa lectures. After twenty-one days, he was able to get out of bed to listen to the Fa lectures. In early 1998 he was able to overcome physical challenges and join Fa-study and group practice at the practice site.
Master: Those things happened because he wasn’t diligent when he was learning the Fa. But, since he did take up cultivation I had to treat him as a cultivator. Even though he wasn’t diligent enough, as his Master, I treated him as a cultivator. After all, he was learning and cultivating. The condition that a stroke leaves you in is usually very serious, and a lot of people end up half paralyzed. Yet his symptoms were pretty mild. If he had managed to think about himself with righteous thoughts rather than thinking about himself as someone who has a health problem, I think it wouldn’t have gone that way. If he could have done that, his situation would have been even better. On the other hand, it’s quite possible that he had a lot of karma in that respect and that it was necessary to eliminate it that way. In addition, these things happen in order to see if you are still resolute in that situation. So that could have also been the problem. Different situations cause different cultivation states, and everyone is different. But my biggest worry is whether you can conduct yourself as a cultivator or not. Through this situation we can see that he still seems to be learning and cultivating, and that there are still attachments that he should eliminate.
Another thing is that if his family members are also disciples, and they treat those things as a big deal, that is an attachment, and that too will prolong them. Since cultivation takes into consideration your Consummation and is responsible for your improvement, not only is it responsible for him and eliminates his karma, but it also has to remove your attachments. You have to be a true cultivator, truly be diligent, and be able to let go of anything. Then see what happens. If you hold on to certain things too much it will become a big attachment, and it will in turn affect other people. You need to pay attention to these things. Of course, all of these things that I’ve talked about might not apply to your case; your situation could be different. That is, you shouldn’t get attached [to what I said]. What I have talked about are principles of the Fa. That is, you shouldn’t get attached, for what I have said are principles of the Fa.
Student: During cultivation, how can I get myself to meet the different requirements Dafa has set for us at different levels?
Master: A lot of students have the same thought. It’s hard for you to completely meet the requirements for you in a particular state of being, or to meet the standard of that realm. And that’s because your being human is something I am leaving for you so that you can continue to cultivate among everyday people. We start from the worst attachments and eliminate them one by one. Certain things are eliminated gradually, layer by layer. After one layer is eliminated there is another layer, on and on until it reaches the surface layer. When everything is eliminated you will have reached Consummation. Before everything is eliminated you will still have human behaviors and human states. That’s the only and best approach that I can provide, where you are able to live among everyday people and to cultivate among them. Does it mean that since you still have ordinary human things you can be lax with yourselves from now on? No, it doesn’t! What I’ve told you is the principle of it, but you should constantly be diligent and set a strict standard for yourself—that’s what cultivation is. If you slack off, it won’t count as your cultivating. Or at the very least, you won’t be moving forward diligently. That’s how it works. In order for each layer of ordinary human things to be eliminated, you have to cultivate and make an effort yourself.
Student: When we are spreading the Fa, what should we do so as not to add human things to Dafa?
Master: As long as you have human attachments, they might manifest themselves. What’s key is how you eliminate an attachment or a human concept upon realizing that you have one. That’s the most important thing. If you find that there is a problem, and you manage to eliminate it, only that way are the things you do the best and the most sacred.
Student: After lives are created in the cosmos, which level of the cosmos do those who don’t fall down belong to? Which heavenly kingdom do they belong to?
Master: The cosmos is so immense, and the Fa covers all of it, the Fa created all worlds. There are many more of them than the specks of dust or grains of sand that we can see, immeasurably and incalculably more than that. There are countless numbers of them even in a grain of sand. Every cosmic body can create lives—the creation of life is not subject to the level or the heavenly kingdom. What I mentioned about lives dropping down is a rare situation that happens to less than one out of 100 billion, and what’s more, it is something that happens over an immensely long period of time. There are countless lives in the heavens, yet how many lives are there on Earth? It’s not something that can be conceived of with human thoughts.
Student: As long as there are Buddhas, there are demons. One can cultivate Buddhahood only when there are demons. Will a person who incarnates after being a demon be annihilated even if he doesn’t do anything evil?
Master: In this cosmos, there are Kings of Demons as well as Kings of Fa. A King of Fa is a Tathagata. So, in certain levels they coexist in the manner of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. But there actually aren’t that many demons. Righteous gods are everywhere. And that’s because the negative can’t conquer the positive, though the negative does exist. So, demons are products of the cosmos, and without demons you really wouldn’t be able to cultivate. You know, in your cultivation among ordinary people, people can bring you a lot of trouble with their demon natures, and you constantly improve and forge ahead. When you reach higher levels human beings are no longer able to make any trouble for you. That’s because as soon as humans see you, their little, trivial human things won’t be effective anymore, since they are quite weak and you will have been cultivating at a certain level. Those who will interfere with you will seem to be humans, yet they are controlled by demons. There will be demons at different levels who will control humans in order to create obstacles in your cultivation and keep you from cultivating. But it is the obstacles intended to keep you from cultivating that present the best opportunity for you to eliminate karma and improve. That’s how we look at it.
As for their reincarnating in the universe and still doing all sorts of evil things, you might know that in Lama Tantric cultivation there are elements of cultivating demonhood. Why is cultivation required for one to become a demon? To cultivate into a Demon King, they too need to get rid of the different ordinary human emotions, various attachments, and human attachments in cultivation; only then can they reach that realm. Why do they become demons, then? They don’t cultivate Shan, so they are Demon Kings. They have met that standard and reached that realm, but they are Demon Kings. If someone does all sorts of evil things among everyday people, it doesn’t matter if he was originally a god or a demon—he faces annihilation. That’s the situation. If a demon reincarnates as a human but he doesn’t harm humankind, he can’t be annihilated. If he is able to obtain the Fa, he can cultivate just the same and even achieve Consummation.
Student: “One can no longer cultivate once the state of Unlocking Gong is reached.” Does that mean that one no longer needs to do the exercises or improve xinxing?
Master: That happens because you have validated and enlightened to your Attainment Status. Once you achieve Enlightenment you won’t have human thoughts anymore. Instead, you will have a totally different way of thinking and a different state of being. You will be able to see everything that’s below the realm you are in; you will be able to see each of those levels. That’s completely different from what you can imagine now as a human being. Once you have validated and enlightened to your Attainment Status the cultivation process ends. A being doesn’t forever exist in a state of cultivation. It’s a process of returning from this place of humans to one’s original position, and not an eternal process that a being goes through.
Student: After reaching the Unlocking of Gong at a low level, how can a person maintain that level, and can he still cultivate to higher levels in that same lifetime?
Master: Why would you reach the Unlocking of Gong at a low level? There’s utterly no Attainment Status within the Three Realms. But I want all of you to truly Consummate, so even though a lot of you have reached a state of Enlightenment, I haven’t unlocked any of you, and that is because I have a comprehensive plan for this. The arrangements for your cultivation are basically done systematically and according to what you can bear and what you have brought with you. It’s quite precise, and it’s not something that can be understood with human thoughts. If you are a piece of steel, I definitely won’t have you be a piece of iron.
Student: Did the Sixth Patriarch of Zen Buddhism reach Boddhisattvahood? Was his contention with Shenxiu his attachment?
Master: He’s an Arhat of Initial Attainment. This has nothing to do with our cultivation. What I teach you is the great Fa, the great Dao, but you insist on asking things about minor paths. Since Boddhidarma himself wasn’t a Buddha but an Arhat with Righteous Attainment, the highest his disciples could reach was of course just Arhat. Since he wasn’t a Buddha, how could the principles he taught be the principles of a Buddha? Of course they couldn’t. Actually, be it Boddhidarma or the five Patriarchs after him, they were all looked after by Buddhas. If that weren’t the case he wouldn’t even have been able to reach Arhatship. What Boddhidarma taught was not Buddha Fa, but only the principles of Arhat Attainment that he enlightened to in his realm.
As for the contention with Shenxiu, that was a manifestation of human attachments in their cultivation. I think that gradual enlightenment or sudden enlightenment—either approach to cultivation is fine. I think that was just due to the state of mind they had. To put it plainly, isn’t it just a matter of whether you come to understand everything suddenly or gradually? So as for immediate Consummation versus gradual Consummation, as long as you can cultivate to Consummation, whichever way you do upright cultivation is fine. Isn’t this the same idea? It was just a dispute over the approach to cultivation. It’s just like people upholding religions: it’s correct when looked at from a human perspective, but when looked at from the perspective of a God or Buddha, it’s all attachment. Would upholding a religion itself allow a person’s cultivation to achieve Consummation? Which of your attachments can be eliminated by doing that? Not one. To the contrary, it adds on another attachment—the attachment to upholding that thing itself. That’s why Shakyamuni said that all ways with intention are as illusory as bubbles, since they have intention. Your upholding a religion doesn’t mean that you have upheld a Buddha. It’s definitely not that kind of idea. That’s something human beings have come up with using human thinking.
Student: Have any of us reached the state of Semi-Unlocking of Gong?
Master: Yes, there are those who are in a state of gradual enlightenment, and that actually belongs to Semi-Unlocking of Gong. It’s just that the degree varies. There are plenty of people in that state.
Student: I’m a person who knows very little about Falun Dafa. If I’m doing cultivation with the wish to become a Buddha in the future, is that an attachment?
Master: Of course it’s an attachment. A student’s duty is to study. As long as you study well you will naturally have good grades and naturally be able to go to college. If you do well in your work you will naturally have accomplishments. Your wish to cultivate can’t be considered wrong in and of itself. The wish to become a Buddha itself means wanting to return to one’s original, true self, which is the final destiny of a life in the cosmos. How could that be wrong? It’s just like people wanting to go home—how could that be wrong? That’s not wrong. But if in your mind you are always thinking: “I want to cultivate into a Buddha. When can I cultivate into a Buddha? I just have to cultivate into a Buddha.” Having thoughts that strong is an attachment.
In Buddhism people don’t know about a lot of things now. The older Buddhist monks have passed away, and the newer monks, who returned to secular lives for so long during the Cultural Revolution, went back to become monks and abbots after the Cultural Revolution. There’s been a huge gap, and they don’t know everything about the true cultivation that was done in the past. And especially since Buddhism experienced several Fa ordeals, the most original things are completely lost or aren’t understood. Actually, each generation of Zen Buddhism is considered to be going down a dead end, and Boddhidarma even acknowledged that there would be only six generations—that there would be no Fa afterwards. His Fa couldn’t be passed down further, and it wouldn’t be effective for people either. Yet people today still stubbornly hold on to it. It has been almost one thousand years since the Sixth Patriarch Huineng reached Quietude, and thereafter it hasn’t been acknowledged, even though it has been passed on further. Now sixty generations have passed, and people still stubbornly cling to it. What Boddhidarma taught was Arhat Fa. Arhat Fa is the closest to the Three Realms, so it is the lowest. The lowest principles of the Fa are closest to human theories of philosophy, so it’s easy for human beings to accept. That’s why a lot of people think they have gained the highest truths of philosophy, and they approach and understand it like they would ordinary people’s principles. That’s the current situation.
Student: Why are sentient beings allowed to know the fundamental Dafa of the cosmos?
Master: Because they will all become gods after Consummation. Those who can’t Consummate will all have to be repositioned, renewed, or eliminated by history prior to the new history. Let me tell you, although I have told you so many of heaven’s secrets and have taught you such an immense Fa, in fact, I was only speaking in a general sense using human language, and the essence of the true principles of the Fa is still unknown to you. What you are aware of and do know about—those are that part of you that has been successfully cultivated. It’s also the portion of the Fa’s principles that you should know at your level. It’s not that absolutely everything at that level is shown to you. That’s because people in this world aren’t allowed to know the truth. It’s been like this throughout the history of the cosmos. So they can only know what they should know.
Student: When a life drops down, is it because it hasn’t met the criteria of that level in its cultivation?
Master: No, that’s not the case. If you can’t cultivate to that Attainment Status, you won’t be able to reach there at all. Lives created directly in that realm naturally meet the criteria of that realm. If a life has generated certain thoughts or has done certain things that he isn’t supposed to at his level, that might be what causes him to drop. It’s not that simple, though. Human thoughts are very active and may generate all kinds of ideas. And that’s because the mess of concepts formed after your birth and all kinds of karma are exerting influences. Without those things you would find the human mind clear and pure. Upon reaching a Buddha’s realm, a person won’t have such low things; they will all be noble instead. He will know everything, including the thoughts of oxen or horses. But those things won’t affect him, and he won’t want to even think about them. He will know everything without needing to even generate a thought.
Student: How do I know if I’ve stopped at a certain level, and if I have, how am I to break through that?
Master: Actually, the reason that your cultivation has slowed down is mainly that you haven’t put very much effort into studying the Fa, and you haven’t been very strict with yourself. That’s usually the reason. You can’t lessen your diligence in cultivation. Remember that! Make sure to cultivate to the end! With such an immense Fa to empower people to cultivate, it absolutely won’t drag on too long. So you must progress with diligence.
Student: Since Falun Gong is higher than Buddha Fa, why is it called Falun Buddha Fa?
Master: I know what your situation is. Actually, you don’t understand. I have explained it very clearly. “Higher than Buddha Fa”—what is Buddha Fa? The Fa taught by Shakyamuni is Buddha Fa. And Buddha Shakyamuni said that there were six primeval Buddhas before him, so was the Fa taught by the six primeval Buddhas Buddha Fa? Are the Fa taught by the Future Buddha, Buddha Maitreya, Buddha Fa? Then is the Fa taught by Tathagatas, who are as many as the grains of sand in the Ganges River, Buddha Fa? What is Buddha Fa after all? Can Buddha Shakyamuni represent all Tathagatas? No, he can’t. Can Buddha Shakyamuni represent the entire Buddha Fa? No, he can’t. The person who submitted this note doesn’t have a clear understanding of this to begin with.
Why is it called “Falun Buddha Fa,” which is also known as “Falun Dafa”? Calling it Falun Buddha Fa makes it easier to distinguish from today’s Buddhism. It’s just a name for distinction. Actually, these names—including Falun Dafa—are all names among everyday people, they are just names shown to humans in ordinary human society. Falun Buddha Fa is in fact the foundation of the cosmos. It is the foundation that creates all sentient beings as well as all things and matter in the cosmos.
Student: There are many disciplines in Buddha Fa cultivation. Are there different disciplines for different people?
Master: There’s no such concept. You mean they have to create different disciplines specifically for different individuals? Do you mean to say that the Buddha Fa is that trivial? Buddha Fa wasn’t created for human beings or to save people. Buddhas save people since they are merciful. Even Buddha Shakyamuni said that Tathagatas are as many as the grains of sand in the Ganges River, yet Buddha Shakyamuni was the only one who came. Do you think that if a Buddha doesn’t save you he will feel uneasy or suffer from withdrawal? Buddhas aren’t created for humans. That’s not the case.
Student: Can a single Falun Gong book enable all cultivators to reach Consummation?
Master: I know what you have come here for, but I will explain it to you anyway. When Buddha Shakyamuni was teaching the Fa in this world there weren’t any scriptures. Later, after Buddha Shakyamuni was no longer in this world, people compiled scriptures from memory according to what Buddha Shakyamuni taught. The disparity between them was huge—they no longer had the particularity of the time, place, and circumstances of back then. Despite that, there have been many people who have succeeded in cultivation by following such scriptures. Who could deny that? All they had were those scriptures. How else do you think human beings can cultivate?
Student: Falun Dafa is the Great Law of the cosmos, so why is Dafa also one of the eighty-four thousand disciplines?
Master: That is as much as humans can understand. If you tell them higher-level things they won’t understand it anyway. Actually, have you thought about this: with all the Buddha Fa in the entire cosmos, it can’t be just a total of eighty-four thousand cultivation ways. Tathagatas are as many as the grains of sand in the Ganges River, and each Tathagata has his own Fa principles that he has validated and enlightened to. But they all belong to the same realm. Eighty-four thousand—could it be limited to that number? Even 840 million isn’t an adequate number—there are so many of them! There are so many cultivation ways. Then aren’t all of those ways different cultivation ways created by our Dafa—the great Fa of the cosmos—for the sentient beings at those levels, which enable them to validate and enlighten to a part of the Fa from within Dafa at different realms? Then wouldn’t that include the part I’m telling people today, which is just the part of the Fa that people can understand at their level? Isn’t that so? I can only use the ways and the concepts that human beings can understand to tell them things. Actually, there are more than eighty-four thousand, or 8 billion, or 80 billion, or even 8 trillion disciplines. There are a great many of them, yet all of them are validated and enlightened to from the Dafa. Our Dafa also has its manifestation at the lowest level for everyday people. So aren’t all of these included? I’m just using the concept of eighty-four thousand disciplines—which was left behind for people by Buddha Shakyamuni and which the people of the world are likely to know—to get across a principle that humans can understand, and doing so in order to awaken people’s correct thoughts.
Student: After this Fa-rectification, will deviation happen again in the cosmos?
Master: Those aren’t things that you should ask about or can conceive of using human thinking. I can only tell you that this time Dafa is equipped with the ability to perfect, harmonize, and repair everything. So this is a non-degenerating Fa. (Applause)
Student: I often feel my mind is blank and don’t know what others are talking about. What is this exactly?
Master: That’s actually a very good state. Sometimes when we are among everyday people our minds become quite calculating. When others offend you slightly or say things you don’t like even a little bit, you immediately become alert and search for things in your mind to protect yourself and to use as a counter-attack. That’s entirely not the state of a cultivator. What can be done about it, then? Those thoughts of yours need to be corrected during the course of your cultivation. During that correction period, you are no longer allowed to use your usual thoughts to protect yourself and to hurt others. So when that thought is used in that way again, you will find that it no longer exists, and your mind is blank. That’s how it tends to go. So it’s beneficial for the cultivator. It is to strengthen your upright thoughts so that you can handle yourself well. It’s a good phenomenon in cultivation.
Student: Annihilation has taken place many times in the cosmos. What are annihilated high-level beings and sentient beings like? What is complete annihilation of body and soul like?
Master: What concept of the cosmos are you talking about? Your mind can’t fathom just how big the cosmos really is, so you wouldn’t know how immense the cosmos you are referring to is. That is to say, no matter how you expand your mind, the immenseness that you can imagine will still be extremely microscopic. But no matter how big it is, if annihilation takes place within a certain scope of the cosmos, all lives at that level will be annihilated, and nothing will be left. That situation is different from degenerate lives being annihilated individually. The lives annihilated individually are annihilated layer by layer to pay for their karma. So even when they die, they have to pay for their karma, to pay what they owe. But the explosion in the cosmos is such that in an instant, everything disintegrates, and nothing is left. That’s of course terrifying. It’s extremely terrifying.
Student: How can I ensure that every thought I have is rooted in the Fa, and, at the same time, takes a middle way without going to extremes?
Master: Actually, I would like to tell you that you shouldn’t understand it that way. As long as you are able to find your own shortcomings as you cultivate or when you encounter problems or troubles in daily life, then you are in fact cultivating. Being able to identify your own shortcomings and then do better later on—that’s cultivation. As for how you can make sure what you say conforms to the Fa, and how to ensure that every word and action of yours meets the standards of the Fa, those things will naturally come about as you improve yourself. The level of your xinxing will naturally be reflected in your words and actions. If you don’t pay attention to Fa-study and try to do it intentionally, you won’t be able to achieve that.
I’m just telling you that whenever you do something, whatever you think or do, you should be able to cultivate yourself and to do better when a conflict arises or when you have seen your own problem. That is what I ask you to do, and it is the most fundamental cultivation method for Dafa cultivators. Work is not cultivation, yet everything that is displayed among ordinary people is a reflection of the cultivator’s mind—one’s cultivation behavior will be reflected in one’s work. In other words, your life isn’t cultivation, yet your cultivation state will be reflected in your words, actions, and how you live. As for taking the middle way, when I have taught the Fa principles that is what I have required of you under special circumstances. For example, when we say it’s not good to do something since it damages Dafa, some people will immediately go to the other extreme. You tell them that’s not right either, and they then go to the other extreme. I was referring to that situation.
Student: Sometimes I have made some suggestions to assistants, but they refused to accept them, making all kinds of excuses.
Master: There could be two reasons. One is that he thinks he’s right. The other is that he could be blocked by things that he is attached to. But you can’t say he is no good just because of that. It’s likely that he has eliminated many attachments, only he is still cultivating and still has everyday people’s attachments left, so he will have attachments and ordinary human concepts. That’s why when he does things, even when he does Dafa things, he might display human attachments—that’s a given. That’s why I have said that their work for Dafa is also cultivation, and they need to integrate their Dafa work with their cultivation since they, too, are still cultivating. On the other hand, you shouldn’t form any concepts either. Whatever anyone does, it can be done well as long as it is in the interest of Dafa. Also, you need to look first to see if you have any attachments. When your suggestion wasn’t accepted, did you first think of the problems with others or did you first look at yourself?
Student: What are the three religions mentioned in Hong Yin?
Master: In China, it generally refers to Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism. It mainly refers to the environment in China.
Student: If every disciple is to achieve Consummation, bringing along a Falun, then how should we understand the phenomenon of different Buddhas’ and Gods’ worlds all over the entire cosmos having Falun?
Master: I discussed this question a long time ago. It’s just that this student hasn’t read or heard about it. A lot of people aren’t meant to go to the Falun World. The Falun I have given you is only to assimilate all of your primordial things to what is best in the cosmos. After Fa-rectification you will go back to wherever you came from, and you will return to whoever you were—be it a Buddha, Dao, or God. The number who will go to the Falun World is quite small. Everything I have done is to assimilate you to the Fa of the cosmos.
Question: Religions think they are right, but there is no evidence for it. Falun Gong doesn’t have evidence to prove you are right either, yet you ask people to believe in your teaching and not that of others.
Master: That’s not true. Although you are not my student, I’m not against your asking a question like this. That’s because everyone has different thoughts when they don’t understand the Fa. As a matter of fact, I’m not saying that people have to believe in me. What I have taught people are principles of the Fa and principles in general. You can do whatever you want when you walk out the door today, and no one will stop you. It’s not that I’m forcing anyone to learn it. I’m simply telling people the real picture of true cultivation. As for who wants to cultivate in which discipline, that is a person’s own business. I’m just afraid that you didn’t even take a look at the principles of this Fa; an opportunity like this is hard to come by, even in thousands or tens of thousands of years. In the past no one taught [what I have told you]; heaven’s secrets weren’t allowed to be told to humans before. So I’m just letting people know about it. Whatever you want to cultivate is your own business. At the same time, I have told people that no religion has a god looking after things. In the past when a person was in confession, he could truly feel that God was listening to him, and some could even furnish the person’s mind with an answer. Now there are none there. So I hope that whoever asked the question will read the book and try to understand what it’s about. We human beings all have thoughts, and you are all knowledgeable. After reading the book you will know if it’s right or wrong.
Student: Should I assist in teaching the exercises, or should I focus on my own Fa-study and practice? Or should I do both?
Master: Your improvement and your cultivation are the most important things. Of course, if you have time, you may help others obtain the Fa—that’s a most wonderful thing. People don’t realize how terrible this current stage that humankind had reached. I would say it’s not a bad thing to let others know about this and help them become good people; even if they don’t cultivate, they won’t reach the point of being eliminated. Of course, it’s even better if they can cultivate, for that is the ultimate purpose of being a human.
Student: Isn’t it true that the simpler and purer one’s mind is, the easier it is for one to break this shell? And the further one is from the nature of the cosmos, the harder it is to break the human shell?
Master: That’s right. I have found that a lot of Caucasians are very pure, especially those in remote rural areas. They are really pure and simple. They don’t have this or that concept. Or even if they do, they are very few, and so their obstacles to obtaining the Fa are small. That’s why many Caucasians’ Third Eyes open once they start to cultivate.
Student: Sometimes I really don’t know what’s the point of staying in this human world.
Master: You need to cherish your cultivation in this human world and make constant and diligent progress in understanding the Fa’s principles. The fact that nothing in ordinary society is attractive to cultivators is because a cultivator’s realm is higher than that of an ordinary person. You might feel that you don’t want to stay here in this human place and think that it’s meaningless—that might happen. If you realize that this time is such a precious opportunity for cultivation and for going back up, and give more weight to Dafa cultivation, then you won’t have that feeling.
That’s all the questions I will answer. Originally the conference was supposed to last for a day and a half. They added some time in the afternoon so that I could answer a few more questions for you. I feel the conference was quite successful overall. Through this conference all of you have definitely improved in different respects, and you will be able to use it as momentum after the conference to be even more diligent and to do better. That’s the purpose of this Fa conference—helping everyone to improve is the true purpose of this conference of ours. Otherwise it’s just a formality. We definitely won’t allow ourselves to fall into formalities. No formality can enable a person to cultivate or improve his mind.
Through studying the Fa with one another, all of you can find your own shortcomings and see how others are cultivating compared to you. It’s my hope that you will be more diligent with this momentum and achieve Consummation more quickly.
Since all the questions that I’ve answered here are related to cultivation at various levels, they are pretty high for an ordinary person to hear. Of course, your comprehension is limited as well. There are certain things that you may not be able to completely accept. But no matter what, the fact that you have come to this conference might very well be because of a predestined connection. It won’t hurt for you to take a look at the book. If you read it without holding on to any concepts, you may be able to see and understand many, many things. Why are there so many people cultivating? Just based on that alone you ought to take a look at it and find out what the real reason is. People have minds and the ability to reason. Today’s people are even quite knowledgeable. You can take a look and analyze it, and find out for yourself whether it’s good or bad, true or false. No one directed or forced any of the cultivators sitting here to come learn. They all cultivate of their own will and are able to truly cultivate in Dafa. That’s why our Fa conference was able to take place today. I think this Fa conference was quite a success and I hope you will be more diligent after you go back. Thank you all! (Applause)
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