Teachings at the Midwestern U.S. Conference

Hongzhi Li
June 26, 1999 ~ Chicago, U.S.A

Greetings, everyone! (Applause) Once again it has been a while since I last saw you. Some of the people here are new students, and for new students, Fa conferences like this are very hard to come by, and they are especially necessary for their improvement and helpful in speeding up their progress. That is why we hold Fa conferences. I feel it’s quite necessary that after this Fa conference here in Chicago we make Chicago the center for facilitating Fa study in the Midwest region. At the same time, I would like to use this opportunity to meet with you. I also want to hear, in your experience sharing, what improvements you have made as well as what kinds of insights you have gained during the recent period of cultivation. Yesterday a reporter asked me, “What has made you the happiest in your whole life?” Of course, my whole life has been devoted to this one thing. I said, as to matters of ordinary people, there’s nothing that would make me happiest, but when I hear or see students sharing their experiences, that is when I feel most gratified. (Applause) Every bit of improvement the students have made hasn’t been easy at all. They have endured a lot of hardships. In this society of practical interests and amid the emotions of the human world, it’s not enough to just talk about letting go of attachments and dealing with conflicts in a way that’s different from ordinary people. They have to put it into practice, and that is hard. Staying unaffected with these practical interests before them, dealing with all of it with a smile when faced with anger and hatred, and checking for one’s own faults in the middle of conflicts—these are things ordinary people can’t do. The fact is, when you’re going through these tests it is agonizing.

That is why when I read your experience sharing papers, or listen to you sharing your experiences, I can appreciate the entire journey you have undertaken. Every one of you could write a book about his cultivation process, some of which you know about and some of which you are not yet clear about or aware of, as there are other factors at work behind the scenes. After you have reached Consummation, you will see that every person’s cultivation process is a process in which one establishes his own mighty virtue. Only then is it possible to see a being’s magnificence. (Applause) How many people in history have cultivated to success? Very few. You may know of some of them from the stories about cultivators and legends that have been passed down in history. There are so many people in the world, so why can’t the majority of them cultivate, and why haven’t more people cultivated to success? Because people can’t let go of humanness. People always look at everything with human values, like the way that modern people understand science, or the way that people interpret miracles that appear in the world of cultivation, or the way people practice their religious faiths. Always using human standards and human realms, people look at all these things with an entrenched way of thinking that was developed postnatally; they will never come to the right conclusion. People have become more and more practical in the face of self-interest. People can’t let go of humanness, and that is why not many have managed to cultivate to success in the course of history. Of course, today I have revealed the true Fa of this cosmos to all of you, and the omnipotent side of the Fa has been displayed; and, now there are indeed a lot of people who can truly cultivate and truly advance in cultivation. So that is why there are so many Dafa disciples, so many people being diligent, and so many who will reach Consummation in the future. (Applause)

Reporters ask me all the time, “Why are there so many people learning [Dafa]?” It’s hard for them to imagine it. Many people in the world—not only reporters—read Dafa books with the mindset of searching for an answer to this. Even when they pick up Zhuan Falun, they’re still searching—“Why are there so many people studying this? What on earth is in here?” After flipping the pages back and forth, they don’t end up finding anything. (Laughter) And that is because that mentality in itself was a huge obstacle. Pursue nothing, gain naturally. In human society, anything can be gained through hard work and contention; only things beyond ordinary people can’t be gained through what people consider hard work and contention. So just the opposite, you have to give up the attachment of pursuit in order to gain the Fa-truths. This is completely the opposite of humans’ understanding. That is why when a lot of people look at everything with human understandings, they never see things clearly. Why do we have so many people coming to learn [Dafa]? It is because that many people have seen the Fa-truths of the cosmos. It’s that simple. Then, why are so many others unable to see the Fa-truths of the cosmos? It is actually an issue of people’s enlightenment quality. Some people size up everything here with human notions and human attachments. Yet some people don’t have any notions, so they can see the presence of the Fa, and they can see the true nature of the Fa. (Applause) Some people aren’t even able to get rid of their postnatally-acquired mindsets no matter how hard they try. They look at Dafa the same way as they look at everything else—with notions. Once they look at something, they size it up with notions they have developed among everyday people. But are their notions right? Or are they wrong? Are they the truth? The people don’t think about it carefully and sincerely. This is one reason so many people are unable to gain the Fa. Through the recent period of cultivation, many students have really improved a great deal, especially veteran students. They are able to understand the Fa from within the Fa, and have truly displayed the realm and behavior of a cultivator, which are different from those of an everyday person. They are really remarkable.

Some students have said to me repeatedly in their cultivation, “Why do so many bad, everyday-person thoughts still surface after I’ve cultivated for such a long time? Some of the thoughts that surface are awful.” I have talked about this subject many times with all of you. It’s very hard for cultivators to truly get rid of human attachments. But if you still have attachments during your cultivation it does not mean you haven’t cultivated well. The fact that you have sensed your attachments in itself shows improvement. And in fact, the attachments that cultivators exhibit are just what manifests after those have been reduced. Sometimes the thoughts that surface are very bad, and that is just because they are that bad. Those were developed among everyday people in the past, prior to cultivation practice. That’s how everyday people are. So everyday people aren’t able to detect that those are bad. As you continuously improve with cultivation, those will become fewer and fewer. But before they are completely eliminated, though they are fewer and fewer, they are still that bad when they show themselves. That is why some students—even after years of cultivation—still discover very bad attachments. That’s the reason.

In addition, cultivators in the past did not truly eliminate their attachments. They only suppressed or restrained their bad intentions or thoughts. Only disciples who cultivate in Dafa are truly, completely eliminating all attachments, because only Dafa is able to achieve that.

Since the attachments and bad thoughts of cultivators are being continuously reduced, the manifestations of those attachments and bad thoughts become weaker and weaker, so the difference between the behavior of cultivators and that of everyday people grows greater and greater. For cultivators, your gong is as high as your xinxing. Because you are a cultivator, your attachments and bad thoughts have become fewer during your cultivation, you look at matters differently from everyday people, your realm of thought has risen, and so has your gong. If your realm of thought does not go up, neither will your gong. It’s not like what people think—that virtue is emphasized because of the fear of doing bad things after obtaining high-level gong, gaining divine powers, and attaining the Dao. That would suggest that it doesn’t affect anything if a cultivator doesn’t value virtue. That is not the case! If you don’t put emphasis on virtue you won’t be able to go up in cultivation at all. I have also talked about the subject of matter and mind being one and the same. Everything in the cosmos is created by the cosmos’s Fa-truth of Zhen, Shan, Ren. All matter and every factor of a living being are brought about by the characteristic Zhen, Shan, Ren. If you don’t conform to it you won’t be able to go up. Mind and matter are one and the same. I don’t want to talk too much today because there is only one day for the Fa conference, and many people are going to give speeches. So let’s go by our usual practice, where you speak in the morning, and those who don’t fit in the morning schedule can give their speeches as the conference continues in the afternoon. With the time that remains I will then answer the questions you have in your cultivation. You can pass up your question slips then. This is all I wanted to say for now. (Applause)

Students shared their experiences throughout the morning and for part of the afternoon. They spoke very well, and some of the students have very deep understandings of the Fa, which is great. In other words, this Fa conference of ours has reached its goal. Through talking about and sharing experiences with other students, more people are able to discover their deficiencies and where they fall short in their cultivation. Seeing how others cultivate, we should figure out how we can catch up. In fact, this is exactly the effect we want to achieve. We can’t let the self-cultivation [part of this] become a formality; instead, we should make it have the effect of truly allowing students to improve. I think this Fa conference of ours has gone very well. Now I will use this afternoon to answer your questions.

Student: Many people, like me, don’t know whether or not when we do the exercises, other than the second and fifth ones, we’re allowed to do the exercises however many times we want. Can we do them nine times?

Master: I don’t think that’s a problem. Under special circumstances when you have time you can do more. When you don’t, you can do a little bit less. But ordinarily you should do them the number of times that are currently required. That’s basically enough to keep pace with your cultivation. Particularly when in a group practice, it must be uniform. Of course, in the interest of your cultivation, it’s better if you have time and can do them a little longer. The major consideration is that the way Dafa is cultivated today is in the ordinary human society. Your cultivation needs to be integrated with how ordinary human society is. So, excessive demands for doing the exercises would affect your work and study, leaving you unable to balance these things. I have taken this into full consideration so that your cultivation may reach its goal. The goal can be reached if you do them the number of required times. But, it’s not a problem if you do more because, as I have said, if you really get too busy and do less, you can make up for it by doing more when you have a chance later on. So when it comes to doing the exercises, you can make adjustments according to your own schedule. However, with improving your xinxing and studying the Fa, you can’t cut corners. Even if you don’t have time, you have to make time to read the book. You really must be mindful of this.

Student: In other words, as for the five exercises, how many times should we do each of them?

Master: It will be enough to do them according to the number of times required in my book. And if you have time you can do more. It’s fine, though, just to do them according to the time on the tape; that will be adequate.

Student: At the conference in Canada, you said that the love a mother has for her child shouldn’t become a cultivator’s attachment. Thank you. I am that mother. I bought the book Falun Gong for my son.

Master: A mother loves her children dearly. The human world can’t do without maternal love. But as a cultivator, we should have this love become more noble and broader, we should allow more people to experience the compassion, we should have all children experience the compassion of Dafa disciples, and make our hearts expand so that we are compassionate to all. That would be even better. At the same time, you should all pay attention to a problem while cultivating. Dafa disciples should handle well their relationships with family, relatives, and friends. You should be kind, be compassionate, and not be purposely cold to people. That wouldn’t be right. You forcing yourselves to do that is completely different from a cultivator having truly achieved letting go of the attachment of feelings (qing). So improvements manifest in different ways during a gradual process. Then, during the cultivation process, you can take good loving care of your children and elders. That is not wrong. It’s not wrong even for a cultivator. The key is not to be overly attached, because attachments are exactly what cultivators shouldn’t have. If any one thread ties you up, you won’t be able to depart.

Student: This beautiful planet Earth is being severely harmed by people’s violence and industrial pollution. (1) How long can this fragile and sensitive Earth last?

Master: It’s better that I don’t talk about these things for the time being. Even if I revealed its true situation, people wouldn’t believe it for a while. As cultivators, we don’t need to concern ourselves with how long Earth can last, because how long it can last has nothing to do with your self-cultivation, for you will transcend everyday people and completely reach the state of being higher than an everyday person. As you return to your original, true self and as you go about cultivating, you are already slowly breaking away from the state of being an everyday person. No natural disasters or man-made catastrophes have anything to do with you. So it’s better not to concern yourselves with those things.

Student: (2) As a Falun Dafa cultivator, should I extend my compassion to Earth and to various living things?

Master: The compassion of a cultivator is broad. We can have compassion for all sentient beings because all sentient beings are in the midst of suffering. However, we absolutely can’t treat animals as equal to people. Why? I will tell you the truth of the matter. The abundance of the earth is created for the human race. All creatures, including plants and animals, exist for humans. That is why we absolutely cannot confuse them with humans. A person’s compassion and loving care for other creatures absolutely should not exceed the loving care people have for each other. You can recognize that all sentient beings are suffering and you can have mercy for them, but you absolutely can’t treat them equally.

Student: Can Earth protect itself through natural disasters such as diseases and volcanic eruptions?

Master: Nothing on Earth exists by chance. Nothing on this earth happens by chance. They each have reasons behind them. But, it’s not how you think it is. It is gods who are safeguarding the Fa-truths and the beings of this level. Natural disasters and disease, among other things, have human causes. In other words, they come about because the human race’s karma has grown enormous. If people’s hearts become terrible, the land will be impoverished, water will be scarce and natural disasters will abound, including volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. Because everything is created for humans, everything will be good when people become good; if people become bad, everything will go bad.

Student: How can humans become better inhabitants of the Earth?

Master: Improve morality. If humankind can bring its morality up to its best state, I think the natural disasters and various diseases that threaten people will for sure decrease, and the same goes with wars. If people’s morality doesn’t improve, anything can happen. As a matter of fact, everything has degenerated precisely because the human heart has degenerated. As I said a moment ago, this Earth was created and set up for people. So if people degenerate, everything else will degenerate accordingly.

Student: I have seen and heard strange and unique things happening to myself and others many times. I have known that all of these things happened before. I couldn’t recall the details, yet I was one-hundred-percent sure that I had seen or heard before what I saw or heard. I just couldn’t remember until they actually happened. Why is that?

Master: That’s a kind of sensory ability—you sensed and came to know about some things in the past or future. The universe’s composition does include the existence of different times and different spaces. I discuss this subject in Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun. In addition, everything in this dimension of ours is made up of molecules, such as the air, iron, and also this microphone, the human body, and the human eyes. So, what people can see is a world composed of molecules. Yet molecules aren’t the only particles in the universe; they are made up of even more microcosmic particles. Molecules make up this setting, which is visible to us human beings today and which humankind lives in. Then as for the world that is made up of particles smaller than the molecules visible to humans, human eyes aren’t able to see it. If people are to see that level, they must have the kind of eye that is composed of particles that microcosmic. The reason cultivators can see it is that their more microcosmic eye has been opened during cultivation. Microcosmic particles are actually made up of even more microcosmic ones. So, that eye has a form of existence at each layer of particles. Cultivators enable that eye to work and to be connected to this human side. That’s when you can see. Here I’m talking about the Third Eye from another angle.

Student: I gave a speech at the Toronto Fa Conference. Many people have asked me for copies of my written speech, saying it will help spread the Fa to Westerners. So can I distribute my written speech?

Master: It’s okay to do so if our students have a specific use for it in spreading the Fa. If you give it out, that’s fine. But after it is used, don’t turn it into study material or something that people circulate for reading. Don’t let it affect the Fa. Don’t distribute it in an organized way. If it’s needed in special Fa-spreading circumstances and you give it out, that is fine. That’s a different matter.

Student: We keep receiving sincere greetings for Teacher Li from many regions. Because there are so many, we have grouped them as follows. Notes from mainland China include the following areas: Huludao city of Liaoning province, Weihai, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Kunming, Zhengzhou, Chongqing, Ningbo, Panjin, Baoding, Shiyan, Nanjing, Harbin, Tianjin, Yingkou of Liaoning province, Pingdingshan, Zhongshan of Guangdong province, Qinhuangdao, Shijiazhuang, Beijing, Yantai, and Xiangtan. They all miss Master very much. They also would like to assure Master that no matter how sizeable the interference and tests that they encounter are, their determination and faith in practicing Dafa will not waver; they will pass the test to Master’s satisfaction. (Applause) Disciples from the United States’ Washington area, Michigan state, Houston, Florida, Woodland, California, Chicago, Singapore, Canada, Toronto, and Indonesia send Master their highest regards.

Master: Thank you all. (Applause)

Student: They have all expressed that they will cultivate Dafa steadfastly and diligently until they reach Consummation.

Master: Our students have done extremely well. They’re able to understand Dafa so well. In fact, only when one has a deep understanding of Dafa and a deep appreciation of cultivation itself over the course of cultivation can one achieve this.

Student: Master, please tell us, when Jesus was about to be crucified, what were all of his disciples doing? Master, please relay this to people around the world and in the heavens: We Dafa disciples will absolutely not allow such a thing to happen.

Master: (Warm applause) Thank you! Cultivators should not be affected by human thoughts, as you are cultivators. I thank you all for your heartfelt feelings about Dafa and Master. I know them all.

Student: When the karma of my body is being eliminated, the more uncomfortable it gets, the worse I feel for you. I don’t know how much Master has endured again.

Master: Don’t think too much about Master. Don’t think about these things.

Student: For someone who had a stroke, you were fed a bowl of poison. Then, what about a cancer patient? A person given a death sentence? How much do you have to endure for the close-to-one-hundred-million disciples?

Master: Let me tell all of you, because those of you sitting here are cultivators and you can sense some of Master’s situations: Things about me actually can’t be discussed casually. In addition, I feel more and more strongly that these things cannot be revealed in ordinary human society. People would be less and less able to accept them, and they would eventually no longer understand them. You will all know these things in the future as long as you reach Consummation. At that time, you will become aware of your own magnificence and that your master didn’t let you down. (Applause)

Student: My understanding of the situation with Dafa in China is that it is a major test on the path to Consummation for every cultivating disciple in China. However, disciples outside China still cultivate comfortably and in a pressure-free environment. Then how can we reach Consummation?

Master: You can’t look at things this way. Dafa disciples are one. Countries outside China have their own situations. Think about it, everyone, some of our students even have the problem of putting enough food on the table, yet they still cultivate Dafa steadfastly. They won’t give up even if they don’t have anything to eat. Many of the students in the U.S. that came from China have gone through times where they made ends meet by working in restaurants or even by doing very menial jobs. Sometimes the challenges are huge, even big enough to affect your prospects for the future. If in this situation your heart remains unaffected, that’s good enough. I’m not saying that everyone has to encounter the same problems. And actually, I think a tribulation this huge isn’t targeted entirely at the students themselves; rather, it is targeted at Dafa as a whole. Being able to take the right path in the face of such difficulty is absolutely crucial. The magnificence of the Fa can allow the magnificence of the cultivators to manifest because every member of Dafa is of utmost importance to the manifestation of Dafa in the human world being as solid as diamond. I can see that you have all made it through many trials. Dafa has made it through tests. (Applause)

Student: Some disciples have gone back to China to report the true situation to the authorities.

Master: Let’s not do these things as individuals. I think the Chinese government actually knows our situation very well. They are totally aware that these are good people. As to how they’re going to treat us in the future, you and I are watching. That’s the situation.

Student: Some of the disciples doing Dafa work are very busy. They have very little time for Fa study and exercises. It’s also hard for them to calm their minds. How should this be dealt with?

Master: No matter how busy you are, even if you are doing Dafa work, you must make Fa study your number one priority. That is the way it has to be. As students, everyone has his own job, family matters, social affairs, and in addition, each needs to study the Fa and do the exercises. It’s hard. Perhaps this hardship is in fact establishing your mighty virtue on the way to becoming an Enlightened Being. There’s another thing I want to talk about. It wasn’t easy for just about any Dafa disciple to gain the Fa initially. This isn’t to say that someone was blocking the door, watching and stopping you from entering. It often manifests as xinxing tests that examine how your mind reacts—that see how your mind reacts and handles itself on the matter of whether to gain the Fa. Some people are indeed able to overcome it. Before, many students knew that when I was giving classes in China, as soon as I ran a class at a given location, there was sure to be a class of sham qigong being held within one hundred meters. Evil doesn’t want people to gain the righteous Fa, it claims to “give people a test to see which door they go in.” That’s usually what happens. Back when Shakyamuni was teaching his Dharma (Fa), you know, at that time many evil, crooked systems tried to disrupt it. In the midst of that kind of disruption, it could be seen which system a person opted for. It’s a choice that only you can make. When Lao Zi was teaching his Way (Fa), many different masters and systems appeared. At that time, too, it was up to you and you alone which system you took up, and it was your own choice. During any time period, as long as there is a righteous Fa being spread, it is sure to be that way. When it’s just cultivation, it is fine for things to be arranged that way. However, when it comes to today’s Fa-rectification, that arrangement is in fact damaging the Fa-rectification, and it cannot be accepted. It must be completely rejected.

Student: I feel we should publish many of the open letters written by disciples in China in Western Chinese newspapers. But some students say they were written at too high a level with a very strong political orientation. How should we deal with this?

Master: The main local assistants should gauge it. Don’t get involved in politics. Others treat us this way, yet we can’t treat others the same way. We won’t get involved in politics under any circumstance.

Student: Looking at the composition ranging from microcosmic to macroscopic particles, the molecules of the human body are not the smallest, nor are they the largest. How can we understand the Fa-truth that human society is the Fa’s manifestation at the lowest level?

Master: It’s very simple. The middle of the universe can’t be the largest for sure. If it were the largest, it would become the outer shell of the universe. So, the middle of the universe is the middle particles that are exactly between the large and small particles, which go from the most microcosmic particles to the layer of largest particles that are the outer shell of the whole universe. So they’re in the middle of all the particles, and that’s how they can be at the middle position of this universe. Human bodies are made up of this layer of particles.

Student: Some disciples spend a great deal of time discussing their views with some lay Buddhists and answering their questions on the Internet. They hope doing this will enable these people to gain the Fa. Is that method effective?

Master: I don’t think there is anything really wrong with it. But we must make sure that we exercise good control and don’t debate with others. Buddhas save people who are predestined. If they don’t want to gain it, there is nothing that can be done. You can only tell them the Fa-truths, and the most you can do is urge them to be kind. Don’t debate with them. This includes situations where they might even hurl insults at people, in which case students shouldn’t act the same as they do. They are human beings. Monks and nuns who don’t gain the righteous Fa are everyday people, too.

Student: Because of their desire to help lay Buddhists gain the Fa, disciples have less time to read the book and do the exercises. Is this demonic or karmic interference?

Master: In that case, the loss probably outweighs the gain. It’s a good thing to have people gain the Fa. It’s not a problem to go online for a while if you have finished doing the exercises and are taking a break from Fa study. [But] if that is done specifically for them and your cultivation is impaired as a result, the loss would outweigh the gain. So if that is the case, don’t do that.

Student: The Daoist school cultivates with an emphasis on “Zhen,” while the Buddhist school cultivates with an emphasis on “Shan.” Is there a school that cultivates with an emphasis on “Ren”?

Master: Suffering can have the effect of eliminating karma. But, enduring lots of hardship does not necessarily eliminate lots of karma, because it’s very hard to eliminate a large amount of karma if people try to do so without cultivating. They aren’t able to endure much. In the past, in Shakyamuni’s era, there were people cultivating by intentionally suffering. They deliberately endured hardship. There have always been people like that. They subject themselves to the cold in the midst of ice and snow, whip themselves, and cut themselves with knives. That kind of cultivation has always been regarded as a minor path or as a crooked path. From what I can see, those who don’t gain the righteous Fa and take the main road never achieve Righteous Attainment status in the end. So it’s very hard for them to cultivate out of the Three Realms. And it is easy for an attachment to develop: Eliminating karma for the sake of eliminating karma.

Student: I firmly believe in Dafa. My wife is an everyday person and she insists on having an abortion. This puts me in a difficult position.

Master: There are really so many of these complicated things nowadays. [In your case,] you can only urge her not to do that because it’s a sin for a human being to have an abortion. As you all know, all matter is alive once it is created, including machinery or products manufactured in factories. As long as an object is produced, once the item appears, an intelligent being is put into it in other dimensions. That’s why everything is alive. The fetus in the womb is clearly a person. Aborting it is the same as taking a life, as killing a person. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t born yet. Abortion is in fact murder. People think that getting rid of it amounts to nothing since it’s still inside the womb and not born yet. That’s how modern people with degenerate notions look at it. Gods and all high-level beings that are beyond everyday people don’t look at it that way. As you all know, when a life is reincarnating, he needs to find a womb. After he gets into a womb, his life enters into the cycle of reincarnation in the human world. So the Gods have already made arrangements for his future. Yet now he’s killed before he is even born. At that moment, think about it everyone, where does he go? Maybe he has to wait out the few decades that were previously arranged for before his life ends—like how people are supposed to live until seventy or eighty years of age—and then he will be able to enter into the next reincarnation from the beginning. Only at that time will there be gods looking after him again. He’s so tiny. Not only is he killed, he is also placed in an extremely painful situation, yet he is such a tiny living thing. It couldn’t be any more pitiful. Isn’t that right?

Student: On page 1171 of Zhuan Falun, it says, “This is the last time we will teach a righteous way in the Period of Dharma’s End.” Please tell us, Master, can we understand this as meaning that in the future history, such a great Fa will never be taught again?

Master: As we are talking about this here, let me first explain what “Period of Dharma’s End” is. I will tell you what “Period of Dharma’s End” means. Some everyday people and reporters don’t understand it, yet they pretend that they do. Once they hear talk about “Period of Dharma’s End,” they say, “Oh no, that Falun Gong is talking about the apocalypse.” They really don’t understand things. The talk of “Period of Dharma’s End” came from Shakyamuni. What does it mean? Shakyamuni said, “When I am alive and during the next five hundred years after I am gone, people can cultivate according to my Dharma and attain salvation. After those five hundred years, the Dharma I taught will reach the Period of Dharma’s End.” “Dharma’s End” means that the Dharma has reached its end, a time when the Dharma is no longer effective. That’s the meaning. It can no longer save people. It’s the Dharma’s end, so how could an ending Dharma save people? He was talking about the final period of that Dharma, and that was what he meant; it had no connection at all with some catastrophe at the cosmic level. Keep in mind, too, that right now is the final ending period of the Period of Dharma’s End. Shakyamuni has been gone for over two thousand five hundred years, exceeding the period by four times, so even the final ending period of the Period of Dharma’s End has passed. However, since people still have respect for and belief in Buddhas, after all, they have still maintained the rituals of Buddhism, but it is very hard for them to succeed at cultivation. Perhaps in the future something like the spreading of the Great Fa of the cosmos will never happen again. Perhaps I will never come back again.

Student: Master, please tell us whether people who obtain the Fa before the cultivation cut-off date will have a chance to achieve Consummation?

Master: It’s a little too early to talk about this. The disciples now cultivating Dafa are different from future cultivators. It is Fa-rectification now. You have obtained the Fa at the lowest level of the Fa-rectification, and you are part of the embodiment of Dafa in the human world. In other words, your current cultivation is connected to this entire Fa-rectification affair. So this is where the true magnificence lies. It is most magnificent to be able to assist Teacher in validating the Fa in this world. That’s why obtaining the Fa wasn’t as hard for you as it was [for a person] to obtain the Fa in other cultivation schools in the past. Also, you will manage to steady your minds and stabilize Dafa in the future, which is truly remarkable. This is not limited to evaluating the issue of your individual xinxing, for you will have made contributions to the Fa at the same time. This is where the true magnificence lies. It will be different for people cultivating in the future. They will only be cultivators, practicing only personal cultivation. Of course, people in the future will also cultivate using the Dafa I have taught. So there will be many people, a large group of people, attaining salvation. That’s how it will be in the future, yet it will be limited to a certain period in history. After that, this Fa will no longer be left to people. This Fa can’t be left behind as a culture for the future people. That would be completely unacceptable.

Student: Is the paradise of a Tathagata Buddha transformed from his Mysterious Pass or created by himself?

Master: What is called a Tathagata? “Tathagata” in itself means coming to the human world with Fa-truths to do as one aspires; it means coming with perfect, indestructible, and real Fa-truths to do as one aspires. You can translate it that way since it isn’t a Chinese term. It’s ancient Sanskrit. In heaven, a Tathagata is called King of Fa. Each Tathagata has his own paradise, so he needs to manage his own paradise. But the way he manages is to completely use benevolence, that kind of mercy, to benevolently transform sentient beings. This is unlike those human administrative methods, it’s not like them. Then where does his paradise come from? There are two main scenarios. One scenario is that the majority of Buddhas, Daos, Gods, and sentient beings are lives created right in their own respective realms. The other scenario is that it’s established during their cultivation process together with their mighty virtue; to put it more specifically, it includes the part that is cultivated through the method of the Mysterious Pass at the beginning stages of cultivation. Describing the affairs of Buddhas and Gods with human language just doesn’t sound so good. When it is in the process of being cultivated, you can call it the Mysterious Pass. But when that magnificent Buddha achieving Consummation together with his paradise becomes a reality, you can no longer use this metaphor. It would be disrespectful. All of the magnificent things he has are the solemn, magnificent manifestations of a Buddha and a Buddha’s paradise.

Student: After reading Master’s scripture “Some Thoughts of Mine,” some students felt very heavy in their hearts, and they sent letters everywhere trying to stop it from happening.

Master: Regarding the alleged extradition, the Chinese government has said that it was a rumor. Regardless of who started the rumor, they have said that it was one, that is, that there was no such thing. There was no such thing, but it must have originated somewhere. I know it wasn’t done on behalf of the Chinese government. Perhaps it was done by people with ulterior motives who wanted to use Falun Gong to advance themselves, or was done by those who wanted to set Falun Gong against the Chinese government.

Student: Regarding all that has happened recently in China, besides testing whether disciples in China could achieve Consummation, was there also an element of Dafa itself being targeted and harmed?

Master: Let’s not be concerned with these things. Since the Chinese government has issued Document No. 27, let’s let bygones be bygones. You are cultivators after all and are not attached to human affairs. As for what ordinary people have done, whether it was right or wrong we don’t take it to heart, as if nothing had happened. And as for how they treat us, that’s their issue. You should just concern yourselves with cultivating. As your Master, I am also observing things. Don’t mention these things anymore for now. But if it does happen that students in mainland China are persecuted for doing cultivation, I and the students outside of China will definitely be very concerned. That’s for sure.

Then, looking from higher dimensions, there are old forces using bad beings of lower dimensions to do harm.

Student: Teacher, you have said, “If you can’t love your enemies, you won’t be able to achieve Consummation.” I feel that I can never love those who attack Teacher and Dafa no matter what.

Master: (Laughter) You might recall something I’ve said. I said, “You are all cultivators, while I am not. I am the one who teaches the Fa to you.” Think about it, everyone, the cosmos’s Fa-principles have created environments for the existence of beings at different levels as well as for different forms of beings in the cosmos, and they have created beings of different levels. So, if a person can oppose even this Fa of the cosmos, where in this cosmos will he go to? There is no place for him. Such a person is so bad that he is outside the scope of the Fa. Isn’t he a bad person? You should never mention in the same breath those who do harm to the Fa-truths and those who are your personal enemies. What does “you should love your enemies” mean? Because every one of you is cultivating, you must be compassionate and shouldn’t limit yourselves to, “If you treat me well, I will be compassionate toward you; if you don’t, I won’t be compassionate toward you.” Would that be any different from what’s found among everyday people, namely, “If you treat me well, I will treat you well.” There would be no difference. You are cultivators, so you have to go beyond the realm of everyday people and transcend that realm. With everyday people being that low and you being that high, should you regard those who are so much lower than you as enemies? When you regard that person as your enemy, haven’t you sunken that low yourself—to where ordinary people are? Right? Gods have thus never treated human beings as enemies; human beings are not worthy. And also from the perspective of being compassionate, they can’t regard human beings as enemies.

But it’s different in the case of doing harm to the Fa and Fa-rectification. This isn’t acceptable even if a person goes along with it out of ignorance. No matter what people do, they must be held accountable for it. And all of you cultivators sitting here: Whatever you did in the past, you too have had to bear. People are held accountable for everything they do. Don’t think that [it doesn’t count] because you were passive or were just talking irresponsibly, or that you merely said or did something under pressure, or that you were controlled by evil—it doesn’t matter. None of that can be an excuse.

Student: Only now have I realized how hard it is for Teacher to use the most merciful method to rectify the Fa in the human world. Is Fa-rectification more difficult up there than down here? Can Master reveal a few things to us?

Master: (Laughing) Actually, beings up there are not like humans, who have so many bad thoughts. They don’t have human thinking. But they too can guard their own notions very stubbornly. While every living being was degenerating from the time of the very good period, none of them felt it at all. No sentient being was aware that they would degenerate, and they all liked to compare themselves to beings who weren’t as good as they. They would still regard themselves as better than others. They were all evaluating themselves in that way. In fact, they were making comparisons to degenerate people, rather than to the standards the cosmos has for beings. Even though gods don’t possess human thoughts, they no longer meet the original standards for their realms. During the Fa-rectification they have grown into a force and an obstacle over the course of protecting themselves. This interferes with Fa-rectification and has become so serious that it harms the Fa-rectification. The cosmos’s Fa-truths are the same: Everyone has to pay for what he has done.

Student: I deeply feel that Teacher and Dafa have given us so very much, while we have given too little back. Particularly when Dafa and disciples in China are facing such a severe test, what else should we do besides cultivating solidly with determination?

Master: You should simply go ahead and cultivate solidly with diligence. As long as there is no one interfering with your practice, all sentient beings in the heavens and on earth can be saved; whoever interferes with Fa-rectification will be weeded out. In fact, Dafa disciples just wanted to do their cultivation, and weren’t asking for too much. A handful of people don’t understand us. We will give them time to come to know us, then. You can curse and you can attack, but we won’t treat you the same way. It’s more than enough if we keep on cultivating our own thing. People have to pay for whatever they do. This is absolutely certain.

Student: Disciples from Dalian send Master their greetings.

Master: Thank you all. (Applause)

Student: A while ago, some assistants and even heads of district assistance centers hid their pictures of Teacher and Dafa books. They asked other students to do the same, saying it was for protecting the Fa and Dafa books.

Master: Let’s not raise this question. It’s not that wrong for some people to resort to human ways to get by when seeing Dafa being harmed and losses being incurred. You should do your best to protect Dafa books. It’s good to do that. If it is done out of fear, though, it does not meet the requirements for Dafa disciples.

Student: All Dafa disciples from Korla, Xinjiang send Master their greetings.

Master: Thank you all!

There are so many… I will read them together.

Student: Disciples from Mudanjiang send greetings to Master. All disciples at Rending Lake Park of Beijing, tens of thousands of disciples in Daqing, all disciples at the August First Park of Nanchang, disciples of the Aerospace Ministry and Sixth Division, Taiwan students miss Master, all Dafa students at Austin, Texas, Dafa students in Qinhuangdao, Dafa disciples at Number One Military Medical University, disciples in Shenzhen send their greetings to revered Master.

Master: Thank you all! Truly good! These disciples are truly good!

Student: Disciples from Hebei province, Shanhaiguan, Chaoyang, Qianjiang of Hubei province, and the Midwestern U.S. send their greetings to Master!

Master: Thank you all!

Student: I have studied Dafa for quite a few years. I also study the Fa every day. But when the situation and problems I am encountering right now get slightly complicated, I am at a loss for what to do. What others are saying all makes sense to me, yet I am unable to apply what the Fa teaches myself, and even go to the extent of trying to avoid key issues. I have resorted to simplified and mechanical “forbearance,” with an intention deep inside to guard against making any mistakes. How do I get rid of the underlying attachments?

Master: It’s not a big deal, actually. It is only a question of determination. I think the best way is to study the Fa more. Once righteous thoughts firm up, attachments become easy to remove. Use the Fa to evaluate what’s right and wrong. As a matter of fact, studying the Fa more will in and of itself remove bad things.

Student: On page 77 of Teachings at the Conference of Changchun Assistants, Teacher has a passage that reads, “Always glorify the dead but not the living.” Teacher, please elaborate on this.

Master: It means that in the old days, people always liked to establish a dead person as a role model. However great he was when alive, people only venerated him after he died. They wouldn’t venerate him when he was alive. They couldn’t do that with the living, as they thought that the living person might make a mistake someday, and it would be awkward to take him down after raising him up. That is why they usually glorified the dead instead of the living. But these are human matters! Actually, when you say someone is good, you don’t necessarily have to describe him as good in every regard. How could an everyday person not make mistakes? So if you don’t [describe someone as perfect in every way], and you just say that he has achievements in a particular area, then you don’t have to worry about it. People will make mistakes or repeat the same mistake. Human wisdom is awfully limited when it comes to these things.

Question: When deciding whether to hold activities, is endorsement needed from the person in charge of the assistance center or the person in charge of the general assistance center? If so, what’s to guarantee they have the correct understanding?

Master: I know what you are getting at. People always use human thinking to evaluate cultivators, and they will never truly understand. I will just make it clear by saying this today: You will never be able to figure things out or gain a good understanding by analyzing, with your human notions, the people of Falun Dafa and myself. Some ask, “Why were those students who went to Zhongnanhai so organized and disciplined?” Every student of ours finds it funny since putting it that way is humorous. Even now, ordinary human society still doesn’t understand and continues to use words like those, for they will never understand cultivators. We don’t need any orders or mobilization. When alone or with others, everyone conducts himself very well, be it knowingly or unconsciously. A cultivator knows how to conduct himself. A cultivator knows that he should not do bad things, just good things. A cultivator knows to make sure that he is a good person under any circumstances. Everyone knows that those who went to Zhongnanhai were silent and didn’t shout any slogans. Some people then think, “Why didn’t anyone shout? How could they be so organized? Everyone was just standing there motionless. Even soldiers would have had to go through training to achieve that.” But ordinary people in today’s human society don’t know that the fundamental reason humankind has become degenerate is the corruption of people’s hearts, thinking, and morality. If the human heart becomes upright, and the level of thinking and morality ascends, you will see that they don’t need you to organize them. They know that whatever they do, they must do it well. As many know, before we start to do the exercises, everyone is talking or milling about, doing all kinds of things. Once the music starts—swoosh—it’s suddenly orderly. No one mobilizes these people or shouts out commands. People stand up straight, more orderly than soldiers. (Applause) It’s because cultivators know that they should do well wherever they are, and all the more so in the midst of Dafa. This is what people don’t understand. Students [gathered at Zhongnanhai] picked up the cigarette butts left by police, leaving the ground spotless, without a scrap of paper, after they left. (Applause) People dwell even more on why we are so disciplined. In fact, it’s really not easy for everyday people to understand these cultivators. The thoughts of everyday people are just so different from those of people who cultivate Dafa. They are everyday people, and they will always use the self-centered thoughts of human beings to evaluate things. And human thoughts are very complicated. Some people are involved in politics, some in finance, some work as reporters, some as police officers—and they all use various postnatally acquired notions to view this world and every affair. Yet cultivators transcend the ordinary person, and thus when people look through the lens of ordinary human notions they can’t appreciate or understand cultivators very well. Dafa students do well wherever they are. It’s truly like what some have said—that Falun Gong does much good and no harm to any government or nation in the world. (Applause)

Student: Is it true that the First Qin Emperor didn’t acquire any karma, no matter how many people he killed, because it was the result of cosmic developments?

Master: No, that’s not true. With some people it has to do with their own conduct, while with others it might be caused by cosmic phenomena. The unification of China by the First Qin Emperor was a historical inevitability; it was the result of cosmic phenomena. The same goes for a change of regime. That move on the chessboard was already made by gods in the heavens, so that’s how it was going to be. But when it comes to how one chooses to treat people in this process, it’s up to that person. That’s why when an everyday person has power and status, how he conducts himself and how he does throughout his life are up to him. Some people might well utilize their favorable conditions to do many good deeds, in which case they will be rewarded with good fortune in their next life. If one lifetime isn’t enough to receive all of the good fortune, it will carry over into the following life, or they may become high-ranking officials several lives in a row. Anyway, the good fortune may be so great that they can’t enjoy it all or use it all up in just one lifetime. Then there are those who might well use their power to do many bad things. If the person is not very moral and has little tolerance on top of that, he will do many bad things. If he does too many such things, his lifespan will be shortened, and he will face retribution in the form of misfortune in his next life. Of course, the retribution of misfortune may mean—think about it everyone—that he is poor, powerless, and that he has to beg for food and suffer. If the misfortune is so great that one lifetime isn’t enough to receive all of it, it’s possible he will keep on receiving it for multiple lifetimes. When elderly people see catastrophe about to befall someone, they often say, “He didn’t do good things in his previous life.” (Master laughs) They really say it correctly.

Student: Karmic connections (yuanfen) are material, right? How are we to understand karmic connections?

Master: You’re concerning yourself with trivialities. Of course, I wouldn’t rule out that there are material elements to it. I have explained clearly what a karmic connection is. It is a phenomenon, and at the same time it is an actual association. Yet this actual association doesn’t manifest in ordinary human ways, such as you and I being tied by a string, and the two of us being pulled along together wherever we go. That’s not what it means. It manifests in other dimensions, and it is invisible to people. That’s why people cannot really explain it, and so they give it a name: “karmic connection,” “having a karmic connection,” or “being predestined.” Of course, everything in this universe is in fact material. I have said that mind is matter and matter is mind.

Student: It seems that all righteous Fa say that men are higher than women. Buddhism seems to say that one has to accumulate a lot of virtue in order to reincarnate in a male body. And Buddhas are only in the male image. The female image seems to have no real significance. Teacher chose a male body. I don’t seem to have heard of female Buddhas.

Master: I have talked about this subject in many of my lectures. Both male and female Buddhas exist. Both male and female Tathagatas exist. If one reaches Arhat Attainment Status during his cultivation, he has left the Three Realms. There’s more than one Attainment Status within Arhat, and it includes Arhat of Initial Attainment, Arhat of True Attainment, and Great Arhat. When reaching Arhat Attainment Status, regardless of whether it’s a man or a woman, Consummation at that level results in a male body. The Arhat Attainment Status is the first Attainment Status beyond the Three Realms. When you reach Bodhisattva Attainment Status, whether it be a Great Bodhisattva or minor one, and regardless of whether you cultivated your way up as a man or a woman, you will manifest in a female body. If the body you have cultivated achieves Consummation in the realm of Bodhisattva, all of your bodies in the course of your cultivation will have been female, and that is why your future body will be female. Of course, gods can transform themselves. What I’ve described is how their permanent bodies are. When a person becomes a Buddha through cultivation, he or she will have a male body. When a person becomes a Tathagata through cultivation, regardless of whether the person was a man or woman, his or her original body will manifest. In other words, he or she will manifest as whatever his or her original being really is. When the person was first cultivating in the human world the bodies were different, but when he or she reaches the Tathagata level his or her body will be whatever the main soul is. Of course, there are special cases. We are talking in a general sense. So as it happens to be, people in the human world reincarnate back and forth. Whether you are male or female is dictated by karmic returns and causal relationships. Though a body might appear female, she could very well have reincarnated from a man, and some men have actually reincarnated from women—there are causal reasons at work here. I don’t hold any prejudice against women. In Buddhism it was also once said, and Shakyamuni himself said, that in order for one to reincarnate in a male body, virtue had to be accumulated in the previous life. Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, if you have done bad things or done wrong in certain respects, you might reincarnate in a female body in your next life. That’s how it was in the past. This issue doesn’t exist for modern people, though. It will exist again in the future. Also, I have many female disciples who have cultivated very well. There were people who before obtaining the Fa specifically wanted to reincarnate in female bodies for cultivation purposes. There is a historical reason involved here. Perhaps women don’t easily generate large amounts of karma.

Student: When I spread the Fa to people around me, they say that they can’t understand why we are so involved in Fa-study, doing the exercises, and spreading the Fa. We feel that we haven’t done well at cultivating while conforming to ordinary human society to the maximal extent, as taught by Master. As a result, this has hindered others from obtaining the Fa. Have we already caused irreparable harm?

Master: It’s not that serious. If you didn’t do well, correct it next time. You all want to have more people obtain the Fa and to save the people of the world. In the human world nothing is constant. You can’t bring anything along when you are born nor take anything away when you die. Nothing can be taken along. Only cultivation is different. Once you have obtained the Buddha Fa, you will have obtained it forever. You can take this with you when you are born or when you die, so it is the most precious. Giving people the Fa is better than anything else. Many of us have wanted to let more people know about Dafa, it being the most magnificent truth. So you want more people to know about it, and you engage in Fa-spreading activities. If you didn’t do well during a certain time, just do better next time. But people cultivating compassion should always have a kind heart toward all sentient beings.

Student: Three or four years ago, there were already large groups of students who had reached the state of Unlocking Gong and become Enlightened. During the last three or four years, they have still been enduring human suffering and doing cultivation. Are their levels rising continuously?

Master: Let’s put it this way. New people keep taking up the practice, and before you achieve Consummation you still have to keep cultivating. In cultivation, there are some people who have passed their ordeals well. They cultivate fast and are very diligent. Then there are some who haven’t passed their ordeals well and who aren’t that diligent, and they are taking a long time [to improve]. As for achieving Consummation or not, let’s not talk about that now. Every student, as long as you are still here: You need to keep cultivating.

Student: Gods without bodies and shapes are “like wandering gods or solitary Immortals.” Do they not have their own paradises?

Master: Gods without bodies and shapes are different from wandering gods or solitary Immortals. “Wandering gods or solitary Immortals” is an expression I use, borrowed from everyday people’s language. I can talk like this. It’s fine as long as you understand what it means. It means that some do not have their own paradises. I will illustrate it for you: Like wandering gods or solitary Immortals, they wander about everywhere. Actually, that is how Daos were in the past. Daoism was established later. Daos in the heavens didn’t have paradises before. After a Daoist cultivates to Consummation, he is free and very much at ease in the cosmos. Maybe he finds a cave, decorates it beautifully, and stays there for its serenity and comfort. “Gods without bodies and shapes” refers to the fact that when they are created they don’t have bodies or shapes, or that when they reach a certain realm through cultivation they are not allowed to have bodies or shapes. But they can transform and take on bodies and shapes. Gods without bodies and shapes are usually of very high levels. With a single thought, they can be whatever they want to be. But they don’t want to do that as they find it too troublesome—“What’s the point of doing that? It’s too troublesome. This is so nice, having nothing.” Of course, while I am talking like this here, it’s hard for you to understand these things using human thoughts.

Student: In other dimensions, once the life that is created comes into existence, it possesses the Fa of that level. As it was created at that level, it was created with the standard established by the Fa for the beings at that level, unlike the infants in the human world who need a long process of gaining consciousness and who need to acquire knowledge from external sources.

Master: Except for in the Three Realms, beings developed at different levels—and particularly those in gods’ dimensions—for sure meet the standards of beings at those levels. They were created by the Fa at those levels. Infants born in a god’s realm are gods, too. As to human beings needing to gain consciousness and learn, today’s so-called “development” is, materially speaking, deviated and non-human. Beings are regressing, speaking in terms of their fundamental nature. It can’t be called gaining consciousness; it is entering into delusion, rather. As a matter of fact, it is a process of degenerating, a process in which innocence is lost. People call it a process of development. Gods call it a process of regressing.

Student: Which god is in charge of wiping out memories at the time of reincarnation?

Master: You’re pursuing knowledge and being curious. Any god can be called on to oversee it. Different lives are overseen by different gods. But there is only one set of standards in the cosmos. Unlike what you have imagined, it’s all very natural. Conceptually, it is overseen by the gods in charge of the reincarnation of beings in the Three Realms.

Student: Esteemed Teacher Li Hongzhi, at the Toronto Fa Conference, questions submitted to Teacher by many of us who rushed there from abroad and by those who couldn’t attend the Fa Conference were taken out by those who did the “screening.” This is hard for disciples to understand.

Master: I can understand how you feel. Actually, with one or two thousand people at the Fa conference, if everyone were to ask a question, we wouldn’t be able to end the Fa conference until the following night. So what should be done if some can’t be answered? We have to do some screening. During the screening, it’s very possible that some important questions that you really wanted Master to answer are screened out. Even so, it is certain that you will be able to get the answers while studying the Fa. Actually, when they did the screening I told them a principle: Don’t bring me any questions on politics; do your best to keep the questions that pursue knowledge to a minimum, and do your best to screen out things unrelated to the cultivation of Dafa. Ensuring the quality of our Fa conference is precisely the purpose.

There are two factors involved here. To be sure, the students who did the screening are cultivators too. It’s very possible that they screened out important questions that had to do with cultivation. That’s possible. I think they will do better next time.

Student: In French history, Louis XIV was shining with infinite brilliance, like the Sun. Did his main soul come from heaven? I have come to the realization that Louis XIV was your…

Master: I have reincarnated in many countries. I reincarnated as persons of almost every kind. Sometimes there wasn’t enough time for reincarnation. There were people coming down to this world to establish karmic connections in different historical periods, so I had to find them in order to establish those connections. Later, when there wasn’t enough time to reincarnate, I split my body and then reincarnated simultaneously. I might have been a few different persons in the same lifetime. Let’s just take this in jest. (Applause)

Student: Teacher has said that after we cultivate, Teacher will save the lives we killed and place them in our paradises. If we can cultivate merely into an Arhat or a Bodhisattva and don’t have our own paradises, what can be done?

Master: Let me tell you, I have created a path to Consummation for every student sitting here. As for which realm you will achieve Consummation in through cultivation, you shouldn’t think about that. So, as far as how these matters are to be handled, I have ways of dealing with them all. I was just talking in a general sense about turning bad things into good things, about how to change them. Of course, there are ways to handle all of them. If you weren’t able to pay back your karma and achieve Consummation, perhaps you wouldn’t be sitting here today. (Warm applause) I have to say it again. That is, if the path I arranged for you couldn’t enable you to go up, you might not have become a Dafa student. I have arranged excellent paths for you. So how you fare cultivating is up to you. The Master leads you into the entryway, and it is up to you, yourself to cultivate.

Student: Master says in Zhuan Falun (page 91), “…when your cultivation reaches a high level... As long as you improve your character your gong will be growing, and you won’t even need to do any movements.” How do the “high levels” mentioned here manifest? When can we stop doing all exercises?

Master: In the cultivation done in ancient times, the physical movements in many cultivation ways were quite complicated at the initial stages. By the end [of one’s cultivation] those things would serve no use, though. After reaching higher realms during the final periods no exercises would be used; it was completely sitting there doing tranquil cultivation, and there would be no outer, physical movements. But with the Dafa that you cultivate today, you must, regardless of what traits you brought with you, cultivate it according to the method I have taught you today. Why is that? Because I am continually assimilating you [into the Fa] from microscopic levels towards the surface, and at a very fast speed. You can see people changing every day. Upon reaching the Three Realms—actually, human bodies that are made up of all [levels of] particles in the Three Realms are called human bodies—upon entering the Three Realms, the speed suddenly slows down and can even come to a halt. It can’t reach the human part. That is to say, you will undergo changes when your human part improves through xinxing cultivation.

Cultivation in the past took the approach of changing the surface first. Right at the start, not long into it, as you may know, they would swallow an elixir (dan) in Daoist school cultivation methods, and that enabled cultivators to quickly be rid of disease; all bad things and disease karma hidden in the surface body would be forced out, all of it was expelled, resulting in this body being purified. After that, once his practice began surface cells would start to change. Once the surface cells and molecules were changed, think about it everyone, that person would immediately become a Transcendent. He didn’t cultivate to a high level; he merely changed the molecular particles of the first layer of his body. In other words, he just entered the first layer of the heavens in the Three Realms and merely departed the ordinary human realm. In the eyes of humans, he could display many divine powers. Nothing of humankind could restrict him. The reason is, everything that people see is made of molecules, and once this layer of molecules and cells is changed, then perhaps he could fly up, pass through walls, or with but a glance see what is happening in other dimensions that are composed of a layer of particles different from molecules. Of course, he couldn’t see things of higher or of more microscopic levels, for his level was limited.

In that manner he would continue to cultivate in depth. When the highest level was reached, the methods he used at lower levels could no longer be used. He could no longer apply any of those methods that he had used in his practice. When high levels were fully reached exercises were no longer necessary. He would just cultivate in tranquility, so there would be no more physical movements. That’s what it means.

But that doesn’t work with Dafa cultivation, since if the majority or all of our students were to change starting at the surface [layer] right at the outset—think about it everyone, we now have 100 million people learning Dafa—if everybody underwent changes starting at the outermost surface, I can tell you that today we would have 100 million gods here in this world. The form of human society would be utterly devastated. We still have to maintain this form of human society since it is the lowest level that the Great Law (Dafa) of the cosmos has created for sentient beings, and you still have to do cultivation and improve here. Only in this environment can we improve and change ourselves at the fastest speed. So we treasure this environment. Humankind is very bad, but humankind can allow us to cultivate more quickly. Humankind has many, many things that people hold to be true, and those are precisely the attachments we want to abandon as we cultivate. For whom is cultivating via Fa-study easier, today’s people or the ancients? It has little to do with societal factors. The key is that it is Dafa that is saving people, and these are students during the Fa-rectification period. I say that Dafa can allow people to cultivate higher, and do so the fastest. In ancient societies, people all believed in gods, so they could understand the true Dao and Fa better. Relatively speaking, though, they couldn’t cultivate as high. The entire society could understand it, and relatively speaking, people’s moral standard was very high. So the ordeals people had weren’t as great. On the other hand, the worse things are today, the more it highlights how we are cultivating with more hardship and more magnificently, thereby allowing us to cultivate to higher levels. That’s the relationship.

Student: Disciples from Shenyang send their greetings to Master!

Master: Thank you all! (Applause)

Student: It now seems that Falun Dafa is known to people around the world.

Master: That’s how it looks now. We were quiet and did not want to disturb society so cultivators could cultivate in a serene setting. Now it looks like we have suddenly been pushed onto the world’s stage. Many of us have become famous because of it. (Laughter) It sounds interesting when people talk about it, but we cultivators don’t want this.

Student: Some people go out of their way to oppose [Dafa], and spread deceptive and untrue words, causing people with karmic connections to miss the precious opportunity. How do we reverse the negative influence exerted by people doing harm to Dafa? What is the future of those who personally and consciously cause damage to Dafa?

Master: Let me tell you, right now there is only a handful of people truly doing harm to Dafa. Don’t think, just because they are making a big show of strength, that there are many of them doing that. People have to pay for whatever they do. They have fabricated rumors, really bad ones—bad ones indeed. I will still tell you the same thing: Don’t worry that there are not going to be people learning the Fa. Buddhas save people with karmic connections. (Applause) If humans were allowed to harm the Buddha Fa, well, how could that be allowed to happen?

Student: I think the most recent events, including those mentioned in Teacher’s scripture, “Some Thoughts of Mine,” on June 2, were also tests for many overseas disciples to see whether they could achieve Consummation and whether they could give up notions of themselves as well as all of their human notions. Is this understanding correct?

Master: No understanding is wrong. Every person arrives at a different understanding. None of them is wrong. They all understand it correctly.

Student: I often waver. After each Fa conference I have endless regrets and decide to practice with diligence. But after a period of time, I go back to old ways. Sometimes I even feel that I don’t deserve to be Master’s disciple, and feel ashamed in the face of Master’s compassion. Is there any other approach besides reading the books and studying the Fa more? I really want to do true, determined cultivation. Will it be helpful if I can see a little bit of other dimensions or have my Third Eye opened, etc.?

Master: What you just said—“I really want to do true, determined cultivation”—those words, regardless of what state you were in when you wrote them, were pure and genuine, and that is your true self. Yet the words that followed were quickly interfered with by postnatal notions. That’s why you feel that you can’t manage to cultivate with diligence. If the postnatally acquired notions are not removed, you indeed won’t be able to cultivate with diligence. There is no other way. Only by reading the books more can you break through this barrier. Didn’t you realize that the fact that you couldn’t be diligent was in itself a form of obstruction? After you break through this form, take a look and see what it’s about.

Student: There are eighty-four thousand cultivation ways in the Buddhist school. Do they include cultivation ways at different levels? And what about other dimensions…

Master: “There are eighty-four thousand cultivation ways in the cultivation of Buddha Fa” is something that came from Buddha Shakyamuni. Buddha Shakyamuni disclosed what he could tell people. You all know that Buddha Shakyamuni isn’t the ultimate Lord of the cosmos. So he, too, doesn’t know about the things in the larger expanse of the greater and ultimate cosmos. Then in other words, while Buddha Shakyamuni speaking in his realm said, “There are eighty-four thousand cultivation ways,” that was just what could be disclosed to people, and it wasn’t wrong. People probably wouldn’t have a clue if they were told that there are one hundred thousand cultivation ways, so what would be the use.

According to what I see, the eighty-four thousand cultivation ways mentioned by Buddha Shakyamuni appear to be associated with sentient beings in the Three Realms. The systems in other dimensions, meanwhile, have never been disclosed to people. People don’t know about them. Also, Earth isn’t the only setting in the cosmos with Earth-like conditions. But none of the other places is in the central position of the cosmos.

Student: A little while ago, our practice site organized some Fa-spreading activities that students spent quite a bit of time on. But some activities seemed to have very little effect.

Master: Regarding the effectiveness of spreading the Fa, just do however much you can to the best of your abilities. Old forces… the old forces that I am talking about are not real demons, but degenerate beings of different levels, and they include both positive and negative beings. They all think that they are helping me. Yet their help has become exactly an obstacle that I face. The progress of our spreading the Fa has been hindered by the existence of an element of resistance; it’s very hard for new students to obtain the Fa, and the old forces have caused some people to be indifferent toward Dafa, even after they obtained the Fa, and as a result those people gave up. These problems are in the process of being resolved; don’t be scared off by these challenges. Do whatever you are supposed to do. All of these problems are in the process of being resolved.

Student: You say that spreading the Fa has nothing to do with Consummation. But spreading the Fa is most sacred, and can truly save the lives of those who haven’t obtained the Fa. Then feeling unenthusiastic about spreading the Fa should be something that one needs to break through, right?

Master: Spreading the Fa and Consummation are two different concepts which are not directly related. Consummation refers to reaching the realm of Consummation by cultivating in the midst of suffering and completing your cultivation path. Yet, spreading the Fa is something that you should, as a person with infinite compassion, do as you go about your cultivation, and it’s something you should do alongside improving yourself. But what you have done in spreading the Fa won’t be treated separately as a reward of good fortune among ordinary humans, for you do not want to become a human being in your next life. You want to achieve Consummation. So it is connected to compassion and the salvation of sentient beings in your cultivation, and we have it become part of the mighty virtue that is established as you cultivate.

Student: Is a woman’s affinity for wanting to look good her natural instinct or an attachment?

Master: For now, I don’t think we can say that she has an attachment if she tries to look good. Some say that it is a woman’s natural instinct. As a matter of fact, I think women should pay attention to this. Being sloppy doesn’t look good to anyone, but on the other hand, being too gaudy will have just the opposite effect. It’s not only me saying that it’s not good—when everyday people see it, they too are apt to find it unattractive. It’s necessary for people to pay attention to how they dress. Gods, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas in the heavens are incomparably grand, holy, and beautiful. The particles of their flesh’s skin are made up of extremely microscopic particles. You can imagine just how fine and smooth their skin is. When that point is reached, there is no need to pay special attention to dressing up.

Student: Master said in Zhuan Falun, “the life prolonged beyond your predestined time to live is completely reserved for your practice. If your mind goes wrong even a little bit, your life will be in danger.” Please kindly elaborate on that. I have practiced cultivation for more than three years. All of my many diseases have been cured. I have also gotten off the medication that I had taken for decades. Although I’m over sixty years old, I am in much better shape than when I was in my forties. I would like to do some work within my ability beyond doing cultivation. Is that okay?

Master: You certainly can, as long as it doesn’t affect your Fa study and doing the exercises. The part, “beyond your predestined time to live,” refers to a situation in which a person is supposed to live for only a few decades in this lifetime. When he reaches that age, he thus has to go. But when he is just about to reach the end of the “predestined time to live,” he starts to cultivate, and is very diligent the minute he starts, and right away it’s evident this person has what it takes. It doesn’t matter how old he is—I don’t look at age. As you may know, Zhang Sanfeng2 attained the Dao in his seventies, and he lived for one hundred and thirty-some years. He formally started cultivation when he was over seventy. That is to say, cultivation has nothing to do with age. It depends on whether you manage to be diligent. If you can really let go of life and death, and think, “Age? So what. Why should I think about things like that? I have obtained the Fa, so I will just keep cultivating,” (applause) when you truly regard yourself as a cultivator, rather than an everyday person, your life will be cultivated continuously and will be prolonged continuously. Your life will increase continuously, allowing you enough time to cultivate. Then there are some people who aren’t diligent, to the extent that they really can’t achieve Consummation in this lifetime. So it can’t be prolonged any further. When the time comes, he will be left to his fate. Otherwise, not only would he not succeed at cultivation in this life, but things in his next life would also be disrupted. What can be done, then? We have to let them go. That’s how it is. So, having gone through ups and downs in the human world, older people who have been around for decades should know better—that’s all there is to it when it comes to the attachments and pursuits they had in life. You should know that already. So what is there that you can’t let go of? It’s easy to say, but hard to do.

Student: I was inspired and improved a great deal through the events that occurred in Beijing and Tianjin. Even as a cultivator, it can be very hard to comply with Zhen, Shan, Ren at crucial moments, yet they achieved Zhen. They went there to speak words of truth purely out of goodwill, and they didn’t do anything that doesn’t meet the standard for cultivators. They endured calmly and peacefully. Master, please be assured, true disciples of Falun Dafa who practice true cultivation will not let Master down. Is what we said correct?

Master: You said it correctly. I have seen it lived out. I wrote in “Some Thoughts of Mine” that “everyone has his own will.” I have been doing only this one thing in this lifetime of mine—that is, being responsible for the Consummation of those of my people who can cultivate. When I saw all of those students of mine passing these major tests to determine Consummation one after another, do you know how I felt? (Warm applause) It’s remarkable, truly remarkable. They deserve to be magnificent gods! I recall that Nostradamus might have said that during a certain time gods and humans would co-exist. Whatever it was he was referring to, indeed, I don’t think you should be regarded as ordinary people now. You can give up what humans cannot. You endure what humans cannot. Alas, that’s why people don’t understand us. But we should try our best to help people understand. (Master laughs)

Student: How should disciples correctly handle the relationship between Dafa being solemn and Dafa being harmonious?

Master: Dafa is solemn. If a person wants to cultivate to Consummation, could he not be solemn? If Dafa deviated even just slightly, it would be impossible for cultivators to achieve Consummation. Can those evil ways allow people to cultivate into magnificent gods? Absolutely not. That is why the Fa is solemn. Every Dafa disciple must meet the standards of every realm that he is in. This is solemn. What needs to be eliminated during the cultivation process has to be eliminated. There is no two ways about it. Dafa can save people and can create everything in the cosmos. It has Fa-principles for different levels. The Fa-principles at each level are connected to the entire Fa, from top to bottom, from inside to outside and from microscopic to macroscopic; they are all inter-connected. The principles are also independently connected within each level. So speaking from any perspective, this Fa is harmonious, can be discussed clearly, is indestructible, and everything can be perfectly explained based on the principles. Because it created the cosmos, it can certainly demonstrate with perfection the fact that the Truth is omnipresent and omnipotent. It can turn all bad things into good things, and can save everything and all sentient beings in the cosmos. In the past, didn’t creation, stasis, degeneration, and destruction exist? Dafa can make things that are headed toward destruction become new and good again. It can have every effect there is, and is omnipotent. So, this Dafa is absolutely perfect and indestructible. (Applause)

Student: We were fortunate enough to come to know about Dafa after [the gathering on] April 25 by hearing those people who persecute Dafa talk about Dafa. After only two months, we deeply feel the broadness and immenseness of Dafa.

Master: Bad people hear bad things, and good people hear good things! When the evil ones curse Dafa, they have to mention the words “Falun Gong” after all. This student of ours then saw “Falun Gong” and saw that it was good. (Applause) Humans aren’t able to damage Buddha Fa. Every time evil uses bad people to damage us, they are actually promoting us! (Warm applause) But people did those bad things out of bad intentions. That’s for sure. And that is where their beings are positioned.

Student: How can I firm up the higher understanding I have of Dafa?

Master: What I teach you are the principles of the Fa, and the reason students initially came to learn this was because they felt that the Fa’s principles were good. Gradually, they saw that these Fa-principles not only told people to be good, but also that this was a book of cultivation, a book of Buddha Fa—heavenly law, the Great Law of the cosmos. They gradually came to see this. (Applause) So, I think it’s better that you go ahead and cultivate without any intention. If all day long you think about going to a Buddha’s paradise, that will actually develop into an attachment. There is a saying that goes, “gain naturally without pursuit.” Just cultivate, and everything will manifest. When it does manifest, you will feel, “Oh, it was all pretty natural.” You will feel it’s natural because your realm will already be there. Humans are in the realms of human beings, and want to see things above their own realms. They all have this desire. When cultivators are in that realm and see these things, they don’t feel it is strange, but rather quite natural.

Student: Disciples in Guangzhou miss you very much, and would like to see you.

Master: I thank the students in Guangzhou. Now it’s hard to say… (chuckling) as it’s not possible for the time being.

Student: Dafa disciples from the practice site of Duolun Road Station of Nanjing as well as the rest of the Dafa disciples in Nanjing send their greetings and highest respect to their infinitely merciful Master!

Master: Thank you all!

Student: All Dafa disciples from Beijing, Lanzhou, Harbin, Qiqihar, Inner Mongolia, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Wuhan cities send greetings to Master, and ask Master not to worry!

Master: Thank you all!

Student: The Great Emperor Kangxi had a lifetime of virtuous governance. Was it a model set up for emperors after him?

Master: The life of the Great Emperor Kangxi was quite magnificent. The talk of the Prosperous Time during Kangxi and Qianlong has been passed down by people through the generations. I won’t talk about human matters. Kangxi was a magnificent emperor.

Student: I once asked a question that made you very sad.

Master: I wasn’t sad. Perhaps I was thinking about other things. The matters I think about are different from what you concern yourselves with. What you see is just the surface appearance. What I see is the true display.

Student: The demon of lust that appeared in my dream was my husband. Was that an instance of a demon causing trouble?

Master: Because your husband was there [by your side], he couldn’t have been your husband. So it must have been conjured. Be alert.

Student: My younger sister is a student at a college of Chinese medicine. They will have a mandatory course on qigong next semester. She is asking whether she should skip it?

Master: A student at a college of Chinese medicine… Right, medical colleges in China have now recognized the direct curing effect that qigong can bring to Chinese medicine. They have started studying it. However, according to what I know, very few have learned upright systems of qigong. When qigong was just being popularized, there were a handful of relatively good systems. Later, sham qigong gradually began to emerge. The first relatively good practice system that emerged was taiji. Now some people have modified taiji to the point that it’s beyond recognition. The modified version is harmful, for sure. Then teachings from the Book of Changing Tendons appeared. Taiji belongs to the Daoist school. The Book of Changing Tendons belongs to the Buddhist school, and was what monks in Shaolin Temple once upon a time used for their internal cultivation. Then what followed right after was the appearance of a folk cultivation system: Five Animals Frolics. These were relatively beneficial to people. There were some other ones too. We won’t name them all. Now there are all sorts of chaotic systems of spirit possession. If they are brought into schools for people to study, they will really do harm to the students of those schools.

Student: When I measure myself against the standards for cultivators, I often fear that Master doesn’t consider me a truly cultivating disciple. But others always think that I am not that bad. More recently, they even asked me to be an assistant. I know well that I’m not qualified. I am afraid of causing harm to the image of Dafa.

Master: It seems that you might have feared too much. Actually, an assistant doesn’t have to deal with too many things, and it’s not some official rank; it just involves going to the practice site and facilitating group practice and Fa study. There aren’t that many things to look after. Don’t be so afraid. It’s good, though, that you feel that you haven’t cultivated well. It says that you are able to see where you fall short. Don’t be afraid when you see shortcomings and mistakes. If there are any, just get rid of them. If you didn’t have attachments or mistakes you would no longer need to cultivate. During the process of cultivation it’s inevitable that you have human attachments.

Student: When I encounter hardships, I know they are ordeals, and try my best not to let my heart be affected. But when I come across happy things, I can’t help but get happy.

Master: Then just be happy. It’s all right. After all, getting happy is much better than failing the tests that you consider hard to pass. Actually, your thought of happiness will disappear naturally as your realm elevates. You don’t have to suppress it artificially. Of course, it isn’t right if as soon as you have something to be happy about you dance for joy. You are all rational and educated, so I don’t think that is a problem. But tests in the form of ordeals are very hard to pass.

Student: (1) Are there different levels among the enlightened beings?

Master: Of course there are. Even Tathagatas are not all at the same level. As I said, they are Fa Kings; cultivators call them “Tathagatas” collectively. There are also Great Fa Kings and other Great Fa Kings at even higher levels.

Student: (2) If so, are the lives of lower enlightened beings arranged by higher enlightened beings?

Master: It is actually not what you think. Don’t use a human mindset to think about gods, or you will never understand. It’s also disrespectful. After a person has cultivated to be a Tathagata, within the reach of his abilities everything is at his command, and he is omnipotent.

Student: I am a student from the early days. If we try our best but still can’t achieve Consummation on the concluding day of cultivation due to our poor innate potential (genji), can we still go with Master, can we still go to…

Master: You have “done your best to cultivate, [yet you still can’t]”… you have too little confidence. If you tried your best and still couldn’t achieve Consummation, that wouldn’t be right. These words contradict each other. (Laughter) The problem doesn’t exist. Just be diligent. You don’t know what kind of innate potential you have. How can you say that it’s poor? If you have tried your best, what awaits you is Consummation! (Applause)

Student: If we think of Earth as a particle, say a molecule, then matter made up of this molecule of Earth is lower than the level of human beings since the higher the level, the finer the elements that compose it.

Master: It wouldn’t do if I told you everything about this cosmos. But I have told you that the finer and the more microscopic, the higher the level. Yet I have also told you that Earth is at the lowest level. The lowest level is in between the large and small particles. So in fact, I have told you that it’s lower than the large particles, and also lower than the small particles. It’s because it is in the middle that it is lowest. We have also talked about larger things. They too are higher than humans.

Student: I don’t have a cassette player to play Falun Dafa music when doing the exercises. Can I change positions during the standing exercises by counting?

Master: Yes, because back in our early days of doing the exercises I taught students without music, and we did them by counting. After all, cultivation is extraordinary. Since we have an automatic mechanism, the hands will, when the mechanism is very strong, go to the lower abdomen and overlap on their own once nine times have been completed. That’s why we call doing the exercises “moving by following the mechanism.” Once the mechanism is formed, it operates automatically, with the mechanism leading and mobilizing the body to do the exercises. The movements will definitely be done automatically. So the purpose of my letting students listen to the music while exercising is to allow beginners to reach, to reach as quickly as possible, the state where they are not interfered with by wild thoughts. Listening to the music will stop them from thinking about other things, using the form of replacing tens of thousands of thoughts with this one thought. That’s the method we use. Then the music itself is a thought. But I added the inner meaning of Fa as well as gong into the music, making it have the effect of aiding the cultivation. So that is the purpose of listening to the music while doing the exercises.

If you can do the exercises accurately without music, that is equally good. It won’t affect anything.

Student: Can I replace sleep with doing the exercises? Will that work?

Master: No, because that would lead you to another extreme. While you are cultivating you still rely on this body to cultivate. Without this body you wouldn’t be able to cultivate all of what we do. That’s why you need to eat and sleep, ensuring that your body is in healthy condition. So you all need to sleep. As to what to do when you get busy with your work—be it things you do for Dafa or your ordinary work—and you don’t sleep for a few nights, that is an occasional thing, and it’s a different matter. By doing the exercises you will recover right away. But suppose you keep doing the exercises alone and forgo sleep for a long time, replacing your sleep with the exercises. That’s not going to work. That is not how one cultivates in Dafa, so why would you go about it like that? The improvement of your xinxing is first priority in your cultivation, and that is what makes for true improvement. If your xinxing isn’t raised, you won’t improve no matter how much you do the exercises. You can’t force improvement by doing the exercises. Without improving your xinxing you will never improve, no matter how you do the exercises.

Student: I know it’s not good to speculate in stocks, but I don’t understand the real reason behind it. In the United States, companies distribute stocks to people as one of their benefits. Is this considered unethical wealth? Aren’t stocks a way for companies to raise capital for growth?

Master: I can tell everyone that things considered correct by humans aren’t necessarily correct. Particularly when human morality is inadequate, what humans consider good may very well be bad. You know, getting paid for your work or for doing brainwork, or if you have a big business, or if you have certain talents—all of these are normal ways to make money and it doesn’t matter how much money you make. That’s earning money through proper means, and it doesn’t matter how much you earn. I never feel quite right when speculative means are used, for there is a principle in this cosmos called “no loss, no gain.” Perhaps when you have gained that money, you don’t know how many good things you will have lost on account of not giving anything out in return. Stocks go up and down, and people’s hearts move along with them. How can you cultivate while doing that? While some get rich, it’s quite possible that there are others who are driven to jump off buildings. The truth is, [speculating in] stocks is in fact gambling. Then as a cultivator, should you gamble? I would say no. Of course, I’m not saying how ordinary people in human society should deal with stocks. It is a human matter whether people should deal with stocks. I am merely teaching cultivation principles to cultivators. You should, after all, transcend the affairs of ordinary people and measure yourselves against higher standards, right? The portion that is distributed by companies as benefits or salaries can be cashed in right away.

Student: Cultivators cannot bear karma for relatives. Why can children who have no karma bear karma for us?

Master: Perhaps that child sees the parents having too much difficulty passing tests and doing so poorly. So he bears some for you, yet you aren’t grateful, thinking “Why is the child suffering in my place?” (Laughter) I’m only illustrating a principle. That’s not necessarily how it is. But this happens only to children of Dafa disciples.

Student: My five-year-old child has cultivated for two years. He said that he has a television set in his forehead, and that Master lectures on Fa for him day and night. Is this interference or a correct state?

Master: He is a child, so it’s not interference. Maybe this is a way to have the child obtain the Fa. But it absolutely will not disrupt the child’s rest.

Student: In the ordinary human society, when there is an extremely huge force of demon nature that tries to harm Dafa on a large scale, even to the extent of trying to eradicate Dafa, what is the best way to embody Dafa?

Master: A student told me, “I will cultivate Dafa right to the very end. If my head is chopped off, my body is still sitting here meditating.” (Applause) If a person’s mind is not affected, coercive measures can affect him only on the surface and not at the root. In cultivation, I have people understand the principles. If you only regulate people superficially and forbid them from doing something, would that work? Isn’t that true? Of course, some students have said to me that no matter what happens or what kind of interference there is, it won’t affect them. That’s the best. Of course, I am talking about your mind staying unaffected, not your body.

Student: Can thinking all day long about spreading the Fa be taken advantage of by demons?

Master: It’s a good thing to want to spread the Fa. That’s not wrong. But don’t let it interfere with your cultivation. As a Dafa disciple, you should indeed do things to spread the Fa.

Student: In Western societies, people care quite a bit about how their teeth look. As disciples, can we have our teeth cleaned?

Master: If you want to clean your teeth, then have them cleaned. That’s not considered a big deal. Just look at it as a wish to groom yourself. These are ordinary affairs.

Student: When Buddha Shakyamuni and Jesus were spreading their Fa and saving people, the sentient beings of the cosmos had already deviated from the Fa. Why wasn’t the Fa rectified at that time?

Master: They were only Tathagatas, so they were not able to rectify the Fa of the cosmos. They could rectify only their own Fa.

Student: Teacher, please tell us, is it true that everyone has already encountered the test of whether one can achieve Consummation? Will those who didn’t pass the test have another chance in the future?

Master: I can’t tell you that. If I told you there would be more you would wait and be prepared, and then it wouldn’t count as one. Nor will I tell you whether all of you can achieve Consummation or how many of you have achieved Consummation.

Student: I have lived in the United States for a long time. Toward people in China, I always have a feeling of wanting to help, particularly those school students who are poor. I think this is a feeling of compassion. After beginning to cultivate Falun Dafa, I have started to struggle with this mindset. I’m not sure whether I should help or not. The psychological battle in my mind has been intense. I don’t know whether this is an emotion of everyday people or a higher compassion?

Master: There is nothing wrong with having a feeling of patriotic kinship with people in your homeland. And there is nothing wrong with giving a helping hand to those who are poor. But I would say that cultivators should spend more effort cultivating, since you can’t see the karmic reasons behind many things. What if the person you help is someone who will damage Dafa in the future? Of course, if those you want to help were to all learn Dafa in the future, you would then have boundless virtue, since they would repay you with good returns later on. You should hold yourself to the high standards for a cultivator when encountering everything. Some say, “I’m doing a good deed by building a temple.” I would say, actually—and even Shakyamuni said that a Fa that involves intention is as illusory as the shadow of a bubble—without cultivating yourself you will never ascend. Even if you build temples everywhere all over the city, you will still not become a Buddha, for you did not do cultivation. How could the Buddha allow people to go through the back door3—as if you could go right up since you built a sizable number of temples. That is evaluating things with human thoughts. Is it like that? No. Nobody can elevate without cultivating. From a different perspective, perhaps there are no Buddhas in the temples you have built, and Buddhas won’t go there, and they are instead occupied by foxes, weasels, ghosts, and snakes. Then you have helped evil to do evil, and have in fact done something bad. Anyway, there is this causality here that people aren’t able to see. As cultivators, we must be clear about it.

Student: On page 72 of Further Discussions About Falun Dafa, it says, “If the person is truly able to continue cultivating, ‘I can continue cultivating and I still want to cultivate,’ then he can take on his close relatives’ or good friends’ karma, and he can work it off and turn it into virtue. Anyway, it is really hard, because it goes hand in hand with the person’s xinxing and the capacity of his mind. That’s why when a certain point is reached it is full, and can’t be filled any further—it manifests this way. A person who endures any more hardship might become bad, drop down, and cultivate in vain because his capacity isn’t enough.” Master, please tell us how to understand the last sentence.

Master: Those words were said in terms of the Fa-principles. If this situation really happens, we still have ways for people to cultivate and move up. If a test is too severe for a cultivator to endure, he will go to another extreme. When an everyday person criticizes another person, he shouldn’t go too far. Once he has gone too far, that person won’t accept it, and what’s more, he may go to another extreme right away. This happens when an everyday person doesn’t handle things properly. The same goes for cultivation. When you have cultivated to that stage, if an excessively large ordeal were thrust upon you, you would really be in grave danger. You won’t be told when you are going through a test. How could you be told that it’s a test for you? You are cultivating, and you won’t be told. Also, when a person achieves Consummation, it is certain he will instantly be Enlightened. This is for sure. If you weren’t allowed to be Enlightened when you arrive there, with everything being full—if you were at the limit and still couldn’t achieve Enlightenment—you would suddenly feel things were hopeless. Hopelessness can lead people to another extreme, which is very dangerous. That’s what it means.

Student: Students from Fushun and Xi’an send their greetings to Master!

Master: Thank you all!

Student: I have relatives who cultivate Falun Dafa in China. Due to the external interference, they are not able to practice at the practice site. They practice at home and their determination in cultivation remains unchanged. Master, will this affect their achieving Consummation?

Master: I have said in Zhuan Falun that it’s the same whether it is at home or outside. But you shouldn’t lose the conditions that allow you to help each other improve. Dafa can make it possible for students to approach Consummation; and students should harmonize with Dafa.

Student: Will disciples have the chance to hear you personally read Hong Yin? It could be videotaped…

Master: If the opportunity arises in the future, it can be done.

Student: You have taught that we should be kind to people and that female disciples should be gentle. But this often causes misunderstandings from members of the opposite sex. Should we still treat members of the opposite sex the same way as everyday people do?

Master: That’s right. Why should you have to act and talk like men? A woman should just be like a woman, and act like a woman in everything she does. I just told you how it should be. As to causing misunderstandings, if you act normally it won’t cause any. Don’t overdo it when dealing with people and handling things, do things naturally, and I’m sure there won’t be any problems.

Student: My husband is an American. After I obtained the Fa, I introduced Dafa to him. When he was reading [it], I saw a Falun above his head. But one day all of sudden he started to learn Yoga, and said that Yoga made his body strong. Also, almost every night he wants to…

Master: You should look at certain matters objectively and with a cool head. You should check yourself first to see whether there are any problems on your part. If not, then it must be demonic interference. But regardless of whether it is interference or due to your own problems, you can reason with your husband. A person should be rational. We all have to guard our xinxing. Other people may do wrong, but we cannot. If you can guard your xinxing these things will pass after a while. They won’t last long. In the end, he will surely change as a result of your own breakthrough in cultivation levels. It’s sure to be like that! (Applause)

Student: [What is] the relationship between subjective desire and selflessness.

Master: Don’t confuse ordinary people’s ideas with a cultivation state. The “subjective desire” you’re talking about is likely an everyday person’s attachment. I require that you achieve selflessness through cultivation, instead of doing it in a self-imposed way. However, if you don’t try hard to achieve this during your cultivation, that’s not cultivation. In other words, you shouldn’t force it—“I have to achieve this selflessness right at the outset, but I don’t even know how to be selfless.” So you can only truly achieve that when you come to an understanding of things by improving through cultivation.

Student: My husband tore up some Dafa books and said many disrespectful things about Dafa. He has also done a few things that are disrespectful to Dafa. I’m very sad. He hasn’t read any Dafa books.

Master: We have people like that in our audience. They did similar things in the past when they didn’t understand Dafa, but later they learned the Fa. You should check to see whether it was caused by your own factors or whether it was true interference. But there’s one thing. Regardless of whether it is interference or a state that appeared during cultivation, a student should guard his xinxing. People can do bad things and make mistakes, but we cannot. Actually, people have to pay for whatever they do. It’s an enormous sin to do harmful things to Dafa.

Student: At times Dafa disciples’ deep commitment to the exercises and studying the Fa baffles people around them, and even causes some not to want to interact with them. Is it true that disciples didn’t do well in “cultivating while conforming to ordinary human society to the maximal extent?”

Master: Then we should take a look at what their “deep commitment” is like. If students often do the exercises and study the Fa all day long without doing any house chores or work, then that’s not right. Also, if we’re all dressed in yellow outfits while exercising every day, ordinary people will think that you are a religion, and they won’t want to get involved. If instead we are all dressed in the clothes that we wear regularly, just like ordinary people, and try our best to be like the people around us when we exercise, people might join the practice and obtain the Fa.

Student: A layer of transparent, balloon-like film has been rotating in front of my eyes for more than two years, and there are many black spots changing inside. I wonder if they have anything to do with the Mysterious Pass? Master, kindly tell me.

Master: It’s possible. I don’t want to explain the specific states of any one person. This is good for your cultivation.

Student: I have a one-year-old granddaughter of mixed race. I look after her twenty-four hours a day. When I read Zhuan Falun she always wants to kiss the book and Master’s picture. I don’t know if I can play Master’s recorded lecture for her to help her obtain the Fa?

Master: Of course you can, of course you can. Children of Dafa disciples really aren’t the same as the children of everyday people.

Student: I send greetings to Master on behalf of Dafa disciples of Haidian district in Beijing!

Master: Thank you! (Applause)

Student: During cultivation, the more I dig out and eliminate my attachments, the more I can recognize the various attachments of ordinary people and how ugly these attachments are. Master, please tell me, what frame of mind should I have toward this?

Master: This is normal. Many have feelings like those after cultivating for a while. Every person in ordinary human society has things that have been developed in ordinary human society. Ordinary people can’t recognize them. The reason you can is that you have surpassed ordinary people in your cultivation. But you should have the thought of eliminating and resisting those things.

Student: When translating “The Falun of the Buddhist school, the yin-yang of the Daoist school, and everything of the Ten-Directional World are all reflected in the Falun,” some translated “The Falun of the Buddhist school” as “the Dharma wheel of the Buddhist school.” Master, kindly point out what is the difference between the Dharma Wheel and the Falun that our Dafa talks about. In English, the word “Dharma” refers to teachings of Buddhism. Master has instructed us to directly transliterate “Falun” in both places using pinyin.

Master: Yes, it’s better to directly transliterate it, because certain terms must be directly transliterated. With some languages it is really hard to capture the true meaning of “Falun.” That is why some things can’t be translated. That’s what I think. We can’t use “Dharma Wheel” because the inner meaning is completely different.

Student: (1) At the beginning of the month when I read the report in the World Journal newspaper that said, “Extradition…” I was really very sad. I often stood alone in front of Teacher’s picture in tears, and I developed the thought of returning to China and bearing the suffering for Master.

Master: I can see the hearts you all have.

Student: (2) Master, please tell me, is it because Master has given us so much that I acted like that, or was I handling these things with human attachments?

Master: No, neither, neither… That thought is actually natural. (Applause)

Student: Will I lose virtue if my husband asks for a divorce and I refuse?

Master: You don’t lose virtue for what others do. But you should have a handle on these things. No matter what, you must always treat yourself as a practitioner, a cultivator. Divorce isn’t a good thing, after all. But oftentimes it is hard to persuade the other person, and it becomes quite hard. Yet anything is possible, including that this is to allow you to remove certain attachments. No matter what, we must conduct ourselves well.

Student: I didn’t handle well my ordinary studies and daily life. If divorce happens, is it considered against my will? I studied the Fa a great deal and still couldn’t break through this. I can let go of my emotions and accept it. Have I met the standards of a cultivator?

Master: I can only tell you to act in keeping with the standards for a cultivator. It’s true there are many who can’t let go in this regard. I know another student had this happen to him or her as well—that is, divorce. It became no use trying to persuade the other person, nor could they live together any longer. The student then went ahead with the divorce. When the other person saw this was happening for real, that person stopped fighting. When the student truly let it go—not being contentious—the other person then didn’t want a divorce. Instead, that person said, “If you want to practice go ahead.” That kind of thing happens as well. But not all cases follow the same pattern as this one. We have indeed had people who went through divorce. So I really can’t tell you that [it will happen] that way. I can only tell you to act according to the standards for a cultivator. Let’s conduct ourselves well and see how things develop.

Student: When I practiced in Wuhan, the assistant at our practice site said that my sister was a veteran student, yet she still hadn’t passed the test of lust. I don’t think she is a true cultivator. That’s my understanding. Is this interpretation correct?

Master: I think it depends on how you see it. If it was between husband and wife, then you can’t see it that way, for I have told everyone to cultivate while conforming to ordinary human society to the maximal extent. We’re not to let our cultivation affect the normal relationship a husband and wife have. We are cultivating among ordinary people. Cultivate while conforming to ordinary human society to the maximal extent. If it wasn’t between a husband and wife, then this student has a serious problem.

Student: I’m a painter and have a regular job right now. After work, sometimes in my heart I want to do some painting that I’ve wanted to do. But I fear this will consume my Fa study time. So I often suppress that wish. However, my family and friends all think that I no longer seek to advance myself and have given up my original aspirations after taking up Falun Gong. Should I conform to the ordinary human society, let nature take its course, and paint the things I have wanted to paint?

Master: I want to talk about this with you by dividing it into two issues. First, you didn’t balance well work and Fa study. If you balanced it well, it wouldn’t have impaired your painting or creation of new work. Each of us has a job, and each is a member of society. And many do balance these things very well. Also, I was just talking to reporters about this. After a person learns the Fa, can he paint well if he has no attachments? The wisdom an everyday person has is limited. They rack their brains, compromising their eating and sleep, and try to study it, to work out the composition and create something new. And after they do paint it, it still might not be good. Since you, as a cultivator whose profession is painting, have that job, you should do your job well. And as you go about cultivating your realm of thought will ascend in the process. With a realm of thought above that of ordinary people, what kind of composition would there be to require you to rack your brain? All the things you want to paint, the way you express yourself, and your artistic achievement are sure to be higher than those of ordinary people. Isn’t that how it works? But that said, painting does take time, I know. But still, this can be handled correctly. Think, “I will study this much Fa, and do the exercises this much every day. Then I will spend the remaining time working, and that’s that.” Doing it that way won’t negatively affect things at all.

Also, you have raised an issue here. Painters sometimes talk about “inspiration.” Once inspiration comes, they have a compulsion to paint it. What are they to paint? It depends on what their creative thoughts dictate. Of course, we can’t paint something that doesn’t meet the standard of a cultivator. As a cultivator it’s true you should, in ordinary human society, cultivate while conforming to ordinary human society to the maximal extent. But if some things don’t even measure up to the moral standard for an ordinary person, then we can’t paint them. That would be creating karma and doing something bad, since what you paint is shown to others. If what you paint are truly good things, then go ahead and paint.

I have answered all the questions. This concludes my answering questions for you today. I want to thank you all. (Long applause)

Under trying circumstances of any type, you must all keep steady in thought. Just by staying unaffected you will be able to handle all situations. (Warm applause)

Footnotes (from the translators):
1 Chinese version, Yih Chyun Corp. December 2004 printing. All subsequent pagination here is from the same edition.
2 Zhang Sanfeng (jahng sahn-fung)—Daoist immortal; creator of Tai Chi, a kind of traditional Chinese shadow boxing.
3 An expression referring to being given special privileges or allowed to take shortcuts.

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