Fa Teaching Given at the 2009 Washington, D.C. International Fa Conference

Hongzhi Li
July 18, 2009 ~ Washington, D.C.

You’ve been working hard!

We just concluded the New York Fa Conference, and I saw you there. I don’t want to talk too much this time, so I came a little late. (Laughs) (Audience applauds) The state of things here in this world has changed tremendously, owing to the rapid progress of Fa-rectification as a whole as well as to the work Dafa disciples have done together to save sentient beings and validate the Fa. You have seen this, and so have the world’s people. Early on in the persecution that began on July 20, 1999, many people asserted that Falun Gong wouldn’t make it more than a few days. Some people who had wanted to support Falun Gong didn’t take a stand as a result of that notion. The CCP’s suppression of the students in the Tiananmen Massacre left many people with little sense of hope for China, and there were some people who even said publicly that Falun Gong didn’t warrant any concern since it too wouldn’t be able to withstand the suppression for more than a few days. Whatever mentality it was that led them to say that, all the same, Falun Gong didn’t end up as they predicted. Falun Gong made it through (enthusiastic applause), and it did so without the benefit of outside support. (Enthusiastic applause) This has truly caused the world’s people to look at us in a new light, and it shows just how extraordinary Dafa disciples, the cultivators of Falun Gong, are. Some people have in fact gone from being indifferent to paying close attention, from watching what happens amusedly to instead having admiration.

But it hasn’t stopped at that: Fa-rectification is still forging ahead; Dafa disciples are still validating the Fa and saving sentient beings without letup; and the situation is still changing—and rapidly, at that. As the evil’s factors in other dimensions continue to be destroyed in large quantities, the world’s people are becoming more clearheaded. And with the reduction of those bad factors that control people’s thoughts, the world’s people are now able to think soberly about this persecution and Dafa disciples. In reality, though, how the world’s people regard us is not critical or even important. What’s most important is doing our own things well. We haven’t paid attention to what attitude people have as we’re subjected to persecution, and we haven’t placed our hopes in ordinary people doing something for Dafa; nor have we given up on saving the world’s people or sentient beings. Saving people is something that only Dafa disciples can do—it is a monumental responsibility. Even when the persecution was at its severest, you never shirked the responsibility you have as Dafa disciples. And while the persecution was most severe, you always remembered, from beginning to end, to see sound cultivation as the fundamental thing, thus validating the Fa and saving sentient beings in a rational manner.

Indeed, when the persecution first started, people fell short in many things that they were doing. That was somewhat inevitable, though, since many people didn’t know what to do at first. They were suddenly faced with this persecution that just sprang up out of nowhere and with the slander that blanketed the earth. And the misinformation had spread all throughout the world, as Falun Gong had no media of its own or forum through which to speak. All of the world’s media repeated the propaganda put out by the CCP’s media, and it amounted to persecuting Falun Gong and Dafa disciples on the CCP’s behalf, with the scale being overwhelming—it spread to just about every corner of the earth. Even then we were unafraid. Cultivators don’t value ordinary things, after all. Cultivation is a matter of extricating oneself, and what one cultivates is oneself, with no weight being given to what others may say. It is just that Dafa disciples have a duty to save sentient beings, so they are concerned for sentient beings. That’s unlike how things were in past forms of cultivation. And moreover, the kind of responsibility that this entails is monumental. The sentient beings before you, the people here in today’s world, are different from the lives of any era in history. Though they appear to be human beings, many came from higher planes and are in fact reincarnated gods. This makes the responsibility associated with saving them and what you are doing even more significant and extraordinary, as well as absolutely necessary. Were this not the case, the persecution would not have lasted so long, nor continued to exist. After all, if it were merely a group of people doing personal cultivation, that would pose no threat to the old forces. Rather, what stirred up the old forces and bad factors was the cosmos’s need for Fa-rectification. The persecution seen in human society is merely the manifestation on this plane. The bad factors rose up because, as can be readily seen, the form of cultivation that Dafa disciples have puts them in ordinary society and is different from past forms; because it involves such a large group of people; and because its positive impact disturbed the balance between what is righteous and wicked, good and evil. But even then, that wouldn’t have been enough to trigger persecution on a scale such as this. It owes to arrangements by factors of the old cosmos combined with the bad lives of other dimensions having constantly accumulated and fallen downward during Fa-rectification, and that is why the dimensional field in this world became exceptionally bad. This has caused society’s morality to plummet and people’s hearts to change dramatically, making this world even more chaotic than before; making it still harder to save sentient beings; and making the demonic manifestations here even worse. Just the fact that Dafa disciples could make it through such circumstances is extraordinary, much less the fact that they are saving sentient beings that are in such a wretched state.

At the beginning, it really was the case that you didn’t know what to do, and some people were not adequately calm or composed. With that pressure, the cultivation states of Dafa disciples varied widely, and this made it hard for us to coordinate the things we did. It’s just a fact of cultivation that there are always those who are diligent and those who aren’t, and a variety of human mindsets are brought into the mix, all of which makes things complex. I have said before that nobody could persecute this Fa, and that a negative impact can only come about by Dafa disciples failing to do well. You have seen how much the persecution has managed to do to Falun Gong, right? Nothing—it is powerless. This persecution can only serve to enhance the mighty virtue of cultivators, and other than that it is nothing, and has no effect aside from ensuring [the evil’s] demise as the persecution plays out. During this contest between good and evil, Dafa disciples have gone from at first not collaborating well to gradually being able to work together, and have gradually become more rational. Although at this point there’s still evidence of poor coordination and cooperation on many fronts and in many places, as a body Dafa disciples have, when things are looked at as a whole, been tempered by the cultivation and validating of Fa in these years such that they are increasingly mature and rational. You have gone from not knowing what to do and being irrational to, bit by bit, knowing what to do and becoming rational.

Cultivation was in the past merely a matter of one’s own Consummation, and how well or poorly one did had bearing on only that one individual. Now you are to save sentient beings, and that means that coordinating with each other and cooperating come into play. Human attachments will surface as you work together. The gratifying part is that regardless of [what has surfaced], the main segment of our disciples has always been good and your motive has been correct. Even if there have been human attachments involved or factors arranged by the old forces, your starting point has been to validate the Fa, and that’s something nobody could change. And for that reason, your endeavors to validate the Fa and save sentient beings have never stalled. When the coordination was poor, you proactively did things on your own; when the coordination was poor on a larger scale, you got things done on a smaller scale; and when the coordination went well, you did things together. So whatever the situation was, you made it through. I hope that going forward you will do a good job with whatever you are supposed to do, and will do so with even greater rationality.

It’s just remarkable that your validation of Fa as well as your personal cultivation have become what they are today. You have been tempered to maturity, and the process that led to it was one of removing human attachments. To go a little further, I want to say that all of what you do is intertwined with your personal cultivation, and nothing you do is in any way just for the purpose of that action alone, and never is what you do isolated. Everything is tied to Fa-rectification, everything is tied to the responsibilities of Dafa disciples, and everything is tied to your personal cultivation. All of these are inseparable. Thus, your actions will be a reflection of the state of your cultivation. When you are working together and you feel wronged or get angry, it’s hard at that moment to reflect on your role in the matter or look within and realize what your state is or what attachment triggered that event. The majority of the time it’s that [you are upset about] your suggestion not being adopted or that you looked down on someone. The manifestation of these two attachments tends to be the most intense. I can see that even now these things still exist. But whatever the case, it’s cultivation after all, and I hope that you can discipline yourselves such that you become ever more mature and rational, and act more and more like a cultivator.

It is true that in the past I’ve said that the time left for Fa-rectification was not that long, quite short in fact. I really hope that you will quickly mature and grow rational, thus allowing this affair to be concluded in a short time. If Dafa disciples cannot all be rational and mature, and instead often act with a human frame of mind—and one that manifests so strongly, at that—how could this affair be concluded? How could one say that Dafa disciples have completed their cultivation?

Another thing is, some people have a hard time realizing how urgent it is to save sentient beings. And there are only so many Dafa disciples acting on this at present. Some people have not stepped forward and don’t take this task seriously, and they don’t think that saving sentient beings is all that important. In reality, your responsibilities as Dafa disciples all lie right there. If you don’t take action to save sentient beings, you will not have fulfilled your responsibility as a Dafa disciple and your cultivation will amount to nothing, for your becoming a Dafa disciple was not for the sake of your own Consummation. This means that you shoulder a monumental mission.

I hope that as time goes on, you will act more and more like Dafa disciples and cooperate ever better. Be considerate of others when you do things, and look at yourself when you get into disagreements. You probably all know how to talk about this and you know what these words mean, but at critical moments you don’t put them into practice. I repeat these words at every Fa conference and instruct you on this. If you could all accomplish what I’ve described, then there wouldn’t be those disputes among you. If you could all accomplish this, everything could be resolved and you would manage to work together well.

Those who have come from mainland China and aren’t familiar with the outside world will, I believe, come to understand these things and quickly assimilate to this society. So that’s not the biggest issue. The biggest one is having too much of a human mindset. Of course, since we’re on the topic of a human mindset, I would say that you need to have strong righteous thoughts when validating the Fa, saving sentient beings, and doing cultivation, but, how you act in daily life and as a part of society can’t be abnormal. If you think that we should live our lives like divine beings, and you carry yourself differently just walking down the street, or your demeanor in regular life changes into something else, then that is taking it to an extreme. You are to cultivate while conforming to the way of ordinary society as much as possible, and that is something I have told you to do. So you need to cultivate with rationality and in a respectable manner. I don’t think these things should be hard for you to balance. By now you’ve come to understand how things work, after all. There aren’t that many people left who are irrational.

I’m truly worried about the futures of all those who are behaving abnormally among Dafa disciples, whatever form it may take. This includes those who are not thinking rationally; those who talk nonsense; those who play a negative role by specifically seeking out and wanting to be together with those who aren’t diligent, who have lots of human attachments, or who don’t act like cultivators; those who interact with special agents; or those who are irrational and deliberately cause trouble among our students. But that said, I’m also thinking about the people who, when problems arise, give no thought to their own cultivation state and focus solely on how bad this or that person is and who he or she might be. But in those instances, have you considered this: why does someone like that exist among Dafa disciples, and why would such a thing come about? Isn’t that person’s presence meant to target certain people, or certain human attachments? For sure. Nothing happens in cultivation without a reason. When incorrect states and bad human conduct surface among us, those things have come to target human attachments. We don’t acknowledge the old forces’ arrangements, but, when we fail to do well they will exploit our gaps. So, perhaps it was that a particular place needed to be targeted in that manner, and that was why an incident happened. When something of this sort occurs, everyone gets anxious, and thinks, “Why did this happen and make Dafa disciples look bad, and why are there people like that around?” But have you asked yourself, “Did we perhaps do something wrong?” The truth is, when your understanding of it is right and you handle things correctly, those people and occurrences will disappear, for things cannot happen among Dafa disciples without a reason—that is not allowed, and no one dares to violate this. As sinister as the evil may be, it wouldn’t dare to do that. The old forces’ factors are bold enough to play the role they do among Dafa disciples precisely because you have the human thinking that I described and needed such people to appear. You have to be clear on this.

There are many things that I didn’t want to, or could not, discuss before. Once I spoke about any such thing, that ordeal would have expanded in size and become harder to manage. That’s because those old factors think that once I shed light on something, your human attachments there will go unremoved. [The old force factors] would have even caused those [problematic] people to go to the opposite side because of this, leading to even greater problems. So you have to make it through on your own, for the Fa has been taught to you and you are cultivating. Anything can be resolved through cultivation. It’s only a question of whether you cultivate diligently. If you truly do cultivate diligently, anything can be resolved.

What I just said was meant to tell you that no matter what problems might arise among Dafa disciples, they are, for sure, aimed at certain people or the human attachments of a certain group of people. That’s definitely the case. The old forces don’t dare to harm the Fa-rectification, for if this undertaking were to be damaged the cosmos would cease to exist. Dafa disciples are helping Master rectify the Fa, and their doing so plays a decisive role. And nobody would really dare to undermine that effort. It is just that the old forces want this affair to proceed according to their wishes. Then as you cultivate, how will your human attachments be removed? Master has his ways, while they have theirs. But whatever the case, don’t let them exploit your gaps, and make sure to examine yourselves often as you cultivate. No matter what kind of problem arises, first reflect upon yourself and the group you are working with, and quite likely you will find the root of the problem.

For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool. Monks and certain cultivators used to say, “Buddha is found in the mind.” It told of the need to cultivate one’s mind—that’s the real meaning it expressed. And indeed, that’s how it works. Human society is situated at virtually the center of this cosmos, in between the greater and lesser forms of matter. Gazing outward, there seems to be no outermost limit, with things being so large as to be nearly boundless. I have spoken with you about the immensity of the cosmos. When I did so, I spoke at length, only to then stop, for I had no way to proceed. The human language had run out of words to describe it, and human thought could no longer contain the concept. It could only be fathomed with a divine faculty of thought. Gazing inward, then, the cosmos is found to be immense to the same degree. I remember that there was once a film that showed a drop of water falling, which was then magnified, again and again, until it was enormous and revealed itself to be many molecules of water. Then, one molecule of water was magnified still further, and it was revealed that this water molecule was itself formed of many, many particles, and that the formation of those particles was just like celestial bodies in the cosmos. Then, one such celestial body was magnified further, and one particle that formed a water molecule in that body was looked at. Within it was an entire world, with cities, mountains, and oceans. Then a drop of water from rain that was falling in that world was magnified, and again it revealed a vast universe. That’s how infinitely it would go on, without end. Of course, the screenwriter was probably basing it on some scientific theory, but that conceptualization definitely couldn’t have originated from a human being alone. And in reality, the true state of those things is even more complex and immense than what the screenwriter imagined it to be. It’s almost inconceivable how infinitesimal a particle can be. Within but a grain of sand are boundless, limitless, and enormously expansive dimensions as well as boundless, limitless numbers of sentient beings. The Daoist school teaches that the human body, just like the greater universe, is a small universe. But there’s more to it than that. When you compare the human body with what is greater than it, there does appear to be a difference in their sizes. But actually, that’s not the right concept. Whether it is outward or inward that one faces, in either case the expanse is both boundless and limitless. The degree of matter’s minuteness, the factors that form the origin of man’s thinking, the causation behind all matter, and the most original source of all phenomena—one day you will see all of this for yourself. These are too complicated to readily explain. (Master laughs)

I just talked about how cultivation requires that one cultivate inwardly. To speak about this further, Dafa disciples cover an enormous range of places and regions around the world. In other words, while you are here in this world you may have the appearance of simply a cultivating human being, but your field can affect your surroundings—to put it in superficial and plain terms. In reality, the entire world has been divided up with a piece apportioned to each Dafa disciple. This is reflected in how things are on Earth, and the people in this world correspond to the cosmos. If a person came here to gain the Fa, then he is the representative of a system’s sentient beings, and behind him lies an enormous system. And that system is formed as particles are, and it certainly doesn’t stop there; these systems contain even more minute, and immense, systems at a yet more microcosmic level. And how many particles might it take to form a god? All of those particles would also be gigantic, enormous systems. At a higher level it’s the same scenario, repeating itself again, and again, and again. Here on the earth, however, it is just a single person in this world. Yet there is more for a Dafa disciple. Each covers a very large area, which includes many people. If a Dafa disciple’s heart is unsteady, it will cause changes in his or her surroundings. When you have fear, for instance, you will find that the sentient beings around you are not quite right. When you change such that your presence is refreshing and uplifting to people, and your mind becomes broad and full of optimism, you will find the things around you to be correspondingly different. When clarifying the truth, when validating the Fa, and when encountering challenges as you do things, adjust yourself and look at things with righteous thoughts. It might just prove to be effective.

As Fa-rectification continually pushes ahead, that phenomenon will become more obvious, for your strength will be increasing as the evil’s decreases. At times when your human attachments are severe and there is interference from evil and bad factors, however, it will instead be the case that when you get stronger it becomes weaker, and when you get weaker it becomes stronger. As Fa-rectification forges ahead and bad factors are further destroyed and weakened, to the point that they will be no match for you, your strength will show itself to be stronger and stronger. In the future, at a certain point, you will increasingly see Dafa disciples manifest their power, though reaching that point will mean the end has been reached—the very end of the end. So, as Dafa disciples go about validating the Fa and saving sentient beings, their attitude, state of mind, and manner of doing things are all critical, for such things can determine what changes take place in this world. A single person can determine the outcome of things within a certain expanse, and when we are talking about even more Dafa disciples—since there are so many Dafa disciples, even tens of millions—once they put their minds to something, it’s something to reckon with.

Back in the day, Dafa disciples brought Chinese society a great deal of change. Once there were a lot of cultivators, good people and their good deeds emerged one after another. Newspapers everywhere were reporting on how Dafa disciples acted and how good they were, and radio stations, news broadcasters, and television stations were making such reports. However, the positive influence of all this began to stir up negative factors. In the Three Realms, there is mutual promotion and restraint, for human society is not a divine society, but rather, one where good and evil co-exist. Even a person’s own body is simultaneously composed of both factors, good and evil. This holds for all material elements in the world, including the basic foods that you eat. The factors that form you are themselves matter of this dimension. When you are rational and your actions are kind, then you are exhibiting Buddha nature, which is shan. When a person is irrational, acts impulsively, throws an angry fit, or even loses any semblance of reason, all of that amounts to demon nature. It’s just that each is expressed to different degrees. Thus, as you save sentient beings and validate the Fa in this worldly setting, the sentient beings will also exhibit those states that I described. When you are clarifying the truth, those that you engage will be people who have varying degrees of good and evil in them. But, though good and evil do co-exist in this world, shan is what should protect and ensure human society. Mankind may lack principles that are ultimately right, but it does have a universal state of existence that everyone agrees should be upheld by shan. So as you clarify the truth, you should do so with awareness and rationality. If you, as Dafa disciples, want to effect change in a person when you clarify the truth and want to save him, you must not arouse the negative elements in that person. You must hold to being shan, and only then can you resolve problems that may arise and save that person.

I have talked with you about what shan is. Some will say that shan is when you smile at someone and come across as kind and genial. Yet that only amounts to a human being displaying friendliness. True shan is what a cultivator attains in the process of cultivation and cultivating goodness, and this is a genuine shan that is achieved by cultivation. When you interact with sentient beings, it’s not possible for you to display your successfully-cultivated divine side in full, since you still have a human side that has yet to complete cultivation. When required, you must be rational and clearheaded like a cultivator, allowing your responsibilities and righteous thoughts to direct you, and only then will your true shan be displayed. That is what’s different about a cultivator and a divine being. And that is what compassion means—not some intentional display, show of human preference for this or that, or an instantiation of, “If you’re good to me, then I will be shan toward you.” It is offered unconditionally and has no thought of reward—it is fully for the sake of sentient beings. When this compassionate goodness emerges, its strength is without equal, and it will disintegrate any bad factors. The greater the compassion, the greater the power. Human society never had true principles to guide it before, so man has not resolved his problems via shan. Instead, man has always resolved things through fighting and conquest, and that has thus become man’s norm. If man wants to become divine and transcend the human state, then he must forsake that frame of mind and use compassion to resolve things.

Compassion is an enormous energy, the energy of righteous gods. The more compassion that is present, the greater this energy becomes, and it can disintegrate anything that is bad. This is something that has never been taught, be it by Shakyamuni or cultivators of the past. The greatest manifestation of shan is compassion, and it is an expression of tremendous energy. It can disintegrate all that is not right. And naturally, the power of your compassion will grow in proportion to your level, which is to say, it is determined by your cultivation level. The strength is determined by the height of one’s ultimate rank, for sure.

What I just taught was meant to tell you to do even better in clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings at this time, and I discussed how to do better. My talk revolved around these things. I didn’t want to talk too much this time since I answered questions for you at the last Fa conference. Whatever more I might say would amount to explaining Zhuan Falun, and with more words from me, there would be less for you to think about for yourself. So I didn’t want to say too much. It’s for the same reason that I haven’t spent much time teaching the Fa in recent years. There are things that must be left for you to cultivate through and mature through on your own. If Master were to teach everything, spelling it all out, whatever you did would no longer count as your cultivation. I will speak up if and when big problems arise. If, however, there isn’t anything that obstructs Dafa disciples’ efforts to validate the Fa and save sentient beings, then I won’t come out to give a talk. In the absence of prominent, widespread problems that pertain to the whole body, I won’t say anything. What I want is for you to blaze your own trails.

I think that’s all I will say. You should resume your Fa-conference. I came this time to see you. I know that some came from other countries, and traveled a great distance. One reason for holding a Fa conference is for you, the attendee, to learn from others and one another’s strong points, offsetting your own weaknesses. It is meant to help you walk your path better and do better at cultivation and validating the Fa. And of course, the other reason I’m here is that so many people wanted to see Master. I knew that. (Enthusiastic applause) I wanted to see you too, so I came. (Enthusiastic applause) Okay, I will stop here. I thank you all! (Enthusiastic applause)

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