(Li Hongzhi, November 21st, 2004)
You've been working hard. (Applause)
As a cultivator, and especially as a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, you shoulder enormous responsibility, and you have a great mission that history has bestowed upon you. But you have done great, and I, your master, can say this in front of all the beings in the cosmos. Put another way, you have won their admiration. Even though the things you do in this world look a lot like the day-to-day things that ordinary people do, the fact is that the Dafa disciples' basis and the purpose of what you do are completely different. Because the human world is simply in delusion, being caught up in what is real and tangible to them, it's hard for ordinary people to tell the real from the fake. So whether ordinary people understand it or not, Dafa disciples are merely making use of ordinary people's forms to save all beings. And for you cultivators, precisely because of the delusion that is here in human society, being in this environment allows you to cultivate, and those who succeed in cultivation are outstanding.
Most students have done very well overall validating the Fa. Of course, there are some who haven't, but they came here specifically to do bad things; the old forces had it arranged from the outset that they would do those things. So no matter how they act around Dafa disciples during normal times, only at the critical times do you see their true side. No matter how well they talk about things or how well they act in front of everyone, it's only at the critical times that how they really are shows through.
You have come through difficult times that were full of trials and hardships. Looking at the situation now, it's nothing like how it was before. When it first started after July 20, 1999, the evil's fury was so intense, and the way they lined up their evil forces it seemed as if they would really put the Dafa disciples in grave danger. But now you have seen, haven't you, that history was not created for those evil beings, but for forging Dafa disciples and for saving sentient beings during the final time. (Applause) Starting ages ago, mankind went through many, many civilizations in different periods. Human beings have been infused with many, many things from all kinds of historical cultures ranging from ancient times to today. As ordinary people see it, everything that has happened with human beings' recent history and cultures, and everything that happened ages ago with the lives on earth, makes up mankind's history and the process of the proliferation of life. As scientists see it, it is the process of life's evolution. Well the truth is, it's neither. The entire Three Realms, including all beings in human society, were constructed, formed, came about, were born, and were created so that sentient beings could be rescued and saved amidst the Fa-rectification at the cosmos's final time. In other words, the Three Realms were constructed for this purpose, for the purpose of saving the beings in the cosmos.
During ages even longer ago, in this dimension where mankind is, in this environment where mankind is, and in the material plane that is composed of molecules, mankind simply did not exist. Through exploration modern people have discovered that extraterrestrial life exists. Yes, in the past it was such beings that were spread out over this plane composed of molecules, and man didn't even exist. Why did gods create man later on? Because the cosmos was to be reconstructed, sentient beings had to be rescued, and the Three Realms needed an environment like this--one that would become the focal point of the cosmos's reconstruction, and one where when the Great Law would be taught in this special environment the beings in all realms could hear the Fa. It was for the great purpose of saving all beings in the cosmos that the Three Realms, and especially mankind in the Three Realms, were created. So everything that has taken place in each of the periods in history, including recent human history, has been for the purpose of creating a culture for man, for today's mankind, so that it may understand the Fa. This was by no means intended for mankind just to live, and even less was it for mankind to develop or to make some kind of good life for itself in human society. Man may long for good things and may work toward them, but the emergence of the Three Realms and mankind absolutely was not meant for that.
That being the case, think about it: those things that happened over the course of history, even the really major events, didn't they have a reason behind them? Weren't they laying a certain foundation for today's mankind? Suppose Shakyamuni, Jesus, Saint Mary, Laozi, etc. never existed, then would people know what right faith is, what a God is, what a Buddha is, what a Dao is, how to cultivate oneself, and what cultivation means? And what would heavenly paradise mean to them? If people had no idea what those things were, then it would be incredibly hard for me to teach the Great Law today. If I had to explain those concepts to people from scratch, then it wouldn't be teaching a Great Law. The different states beings of each different ethnic group have gone through in each period in history, and their worldviews in terms of telling the righteous from the wicked, right from wrong, and good from evil, all of these things were purposefully created by gods for humans over the long, drawn out years, thus enabling people to have a basic understanding of what is right and wrong, good and evil. Then when Dafa would be spread and the salvation of sentient beings would begin, people would understand all of these things and be able to tell whether this Fa was good and whether it was upright.
Over the course of history people have come to know gods. What's a "god"? Although it's only a very shallow sense, people do know that gods are glorious and holy. And even though different lives know and conceptualize "gods" differently, they all believe that gods are good to people and can save them. All of the heroic figures who emerged in the various dynasties and periods of Chinese history, all those outstanding cultural figures that made history, they were all in fact establishing ways for mankind to think, establishing the structure and ways of thinking that characterize people today. It has been a magnificent undertaking in which the composition of the human species's thought was created. It has taken place over ages and ages, where the human race had to experience different things and cultures firsthand before it could understand the meaning of them. So that's why when something happens a person can know what it means, and through that event, he can know what it represents on a deeper level. For example, what is "good," what does goodness entail, what are its connotations, and what is the scope of the term? Or likewise, what is "evil" like, and what does it mean for something to be "right" or "wrong"? Through their real-life experiences, people came to understand all of these things, and they could truly grasp what they mean. Only then could people have a deep understanding of all of this. These aren't simple, basic things that you can have people understand overnight.
When gods first created human beings, there was nothing in people's minds, it was a complete blank, they couldn't distinguish between right and wrong, and goodness and evil existed side by side. The extremes [in their behavior] were huge: when they were happy, they were kind, and when they were unhappy, they were vicious. But modern man is a different story. Why is it that when today's people arrived at modern times they suddenly became so much wiser? That had to do with another factor aside from the process of creating people that I just talked about, and it is that high-level beings have incarnated as human beings. As for the human race itself, its process over the course of history was actually one of establishing human behavior and thought, or put another way, it was one of creating the real people of today. So what was the point of all these things? To make it possible for man to understand the Fa when Dafa is spread widely today. What I'm saying is, this matter was planned ages and ages ago; its establishment began that early.
And there's something I want to tell you about, which is, who really does cultivation and who really has right faith. In the past, a lot of people would talk about this or that way of cultivating, about such-and-such practice, or about such-and-such faith. But I'm going to tell you that in history, regardless of how many gods or how many enlightened beings came here, their true mission was to establish the culture of cultivation and right faith that Dafa needed to have established. (Applause) Nobody saved people, and nobody has made it to a heavenly kingdom, the reason being, the cultivation methods of old came about in order to lay a foundation for this Dafa that can truly save people today. With the gods who came down in the past, there were indeed some people who as a result of those gods' actions gained salvation. Yet that wasn't the person's real self who was saved, but rather his assistant soul. And even those gods who came down, the bodies that they inhabited in those days... a human being, he's still part of the cycle of rebirth in the human world, and even those who inhabited those bodies didn't get saved. So in other words, in history many have proclaimed that they were "saving people," but nobody saved people. When Shakyamuni imparted his Fa ages ago, his disciples asked him, "Master, is it possible for us to cultivate into a Tathagata without breaking our ties to the secular world?" Or in other words, could they cultivate into gods or Buddhas without leaving behind ordinary people's surroundings and the social environment of this world? Shakyamuni thought about it and said, "For that, you have to wait until the Holy King Who Turns the Wheel descends to the world." (Applause) More than two-thousand years have passed, and all the disciples of true religions have been waiting. Waiting for what? For gods above to make a grand display? For gods to come here, so that you don't need to cultivate or care about cultivating well, and it won't matter if anyone is good or bad, and everybody will just go up to Heaven together?
Of course, regardless of who I am, people know that I am transmitting the Fa and saving people. But the Master who is with you here today teaching the Fa has an ordinary person's physical body. As for how people think of me, a lot of ordinary people have their opinions. That's fine--it doesn't matter if they believe in me or not. I haven't said that I am a god or a Buddha. Ordinary people can take me to be just an average, common man, that's fine. All of what I do takes the form of human activity; I'm using the means of common, plain human beings as I save Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples. No high-level life will, when he saves people in this social environment, in this kind of illusory dimension, use only grand, divine displays to miraculously save people in the human world. (Applause) But it's different if what he does is on a small scale, or only involves a few people, or if it was something done in the past to create culture. That's how things are for mankind. Of course, though, nothing is absolute. Maybe when the Fa rectifies the human world I will use divine means, since at that time things might need to be done that way. But if around the start of the Fa's rectification of the cosmos things here in society were handled with divine means on a large scale, that would have led to some attachments on the part of cultivators.
Some people are thinking, "Gods have a lot of abilities. Why don't they save poor people and punish bad ones? Why don't they come and perform miracles?" The formation of the Three Realms established human society's way of existence and purpose. This is a society filled with delusion, and it's meant to be a society where the sentient beings can't see all of the truth. Whoever wants to cultivate here has to do so amidst delusion, and be a good person, do good things using ordinary human means, and let go of attachments. Only then can they escape from here, and only then can it be called cultivation. If a person does something here using completely divine means, that isn't cultivation. In history many cultivators of the Dao did carry out divine acts in the human world, and that was creating historical culture. Why has that become rare in recent times? It's because the closer it got to the time when Dafa was to be spread, the less it was allowed for such things to occur. In recent times, after Fa-rectification began and Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples were about to start cultivating, the requirement grew higher. In particular, when this special group of the cosmos's beings began to validate the Fa and move towards Consummation, the environment here became even more important, so the rule got even more strict and people are rarely allowed to see the true situation. This batch of beings is to cultivate to high levels, so the requirements for them are correspondingly high. This group of beings shoulders great historic responsibilities and they have to come out of a very trying environment. (Applause) So that is why Dafa disciples are remarkable.
In other words, the cultivation situation that today's Dafa disciples are in is different from any cultivation method or situation in history. I have always said that the old forces' participation is a form of persecution and a form of interference. If what gods in the past saved were people's assistant souls and not their actual main bodies, then think about it everyone, would that method of saving people work for Dafa disciples' cultivation today? The main bodies of Dafa disciples, as well as those of the world's people, are at the surface. Then is what they did fitting? Would it work? It wouldn't at all. So that's why I say that they are causing interference. This method and form of cultivation that I've told everyone to take today is to cultivate while conforming to ordinary human society and to validate Dafa using ordinary human means to the greatest extent possible (applause), and that's unprecedented. Those gods, they don't know anything about how to deal with such a cultivation method, and what they've done is completely out of line, so they are definitely a form of interference with Dafa disciples' cultivation. This is not to say they lack abilities, it's just to say that this is how the old cosmos created such beings, and that's the extent of the wisdom from the old cosmos. During this Fa-rectification, the cosmos has perfected the past imperfections and changed the things that the cosmos of the past failed to change. Because of that, Dafa disciples can be saved and can reach Consummation through cultivation. If the cultivation approach of the past were followed today, not a single Dafa disciple could cultivate to Consummation.
Only when a person follows the method that Dafa uses today to accomplish things, cultivate, and truly save people can he Consummate. (Applause) And it's not just Consummation--the person is truly saved, the person's master soul is saved. (Applause) As for those so-called gods who interfere with Fa-rectification, they only know a part of it but not the whole, they only know about the past but not today or the future, and only know the surface form but not the inner content. When they try to do things they aren't capable of doing them, and they have brought serious interference to Fa-rectification itself and Dafa disciples' cultivation. That's why I say everything that I'm doing today is completely different from what took place in history. Looking at the persecution of Dafa disciples and that of Christians in history, on the surface both were being persecuted. But for these cultivators, beings on their way to godhood, what actually takes place is different. They strictly had to endure because in the past the cosmos didn't have the ability to resolve those deeply rooted historical issues, causing even high-level beings to persecute gods as well as human beings who were on their way to godhood. All of that was shameful, both for the history of the cosmos and on the part of the gods. Today what I'm doing is not just different from the path that they took in the past; it is the difference between the future and the past. This is the way that the cultivation method Dafa has bestowed upon people is; Dafa disciples and I are laying a foundation for the future. The cultivation methods of the future will be like this forever! (Applause) Only this can be called truly saving people, and only this can truly save people.
None of this could be changed at will. Everyone knows that right now is the Fa-rectification period--the cosmos is being renewed, rebuilt, and recreated. Only under this circumstance can the imperfections be mended, and the only time that imperfections can be mended is when the colossal firmament is being rebuilt. So this is an opportunity. No being is allowed to interfere with or damage this opportunity. Whoever interferes is committing a sin, and whoever interferes has to bear the responsibility.
What I said just now basically summarizes the difference between the cultivation method of today's Dafa disciples and the cultivation of people in the past. If a person wants to be saved, he must transcend the fact that he is in and experiencing firsthand a tough environment where there is adversity, self interest, emotions and desires. Everything will involve a cultivator's self-interest, and anything can affect you as a person, your thoughts and emotions, your xinxing,1 and the things that you are attached to inside. If you manage to take a certain path and make certain choices, then you are extraordinary. Otherwise, you are an ordinary person. If you are able to step out of the reasoning and attachments of ordinary people, then you are a god. (Applause) That's totally different from the cultivation methods of the past.
People in the past went to temples and monasteries or into the mountains to cultivate while avoiding the world's people. Those people didn't physically endure too many xinxing tests or have their attachments directly tugged upon, and didn't have the most direct test of material things. So for the person's main body it is as if he didn't cultivate. Even though the person gave up a normal life during his lifetime, for that person it was nothing more than taking up a different lifestyle. If his assistant soul really cultivated to success and an assistant soul that came out of his body became a god, then it meant blessings for him. That person would receive blessings in his next life. By "blessings," that meant he would have worldly blessings, nothing more than that. Looking at it from the perspective of a being seeking something through cultivation, who would cultivate to get those things? Speaking on a fundamental level, nothing in the Three Realms was created for that, and no sentient being came for that. Then in other words, the cultivation of today's Dafa disciples is the most magnificent, and it is blazing a trail for the future. That's why walking your path well is of utmost importance. (Applause)
I've said all along that Dafa disciples can't go to extremes. You must walk your path well. If you let your imagination run wild, and you have a crooked understanding about something today and have a sudden inspiration and do something else tomorrow, or you keep doing stupid things while driven by your attachment to showing off, all of those things are direct reflections of your master soul and of you as a being. How could such a person Consummate? Your actions are displays of your main body that is cultivating, and that is the same main body that's to be saved. Could such a being be placed among the gods? No, it couldn't. So you must do things well and cultivate rationally, clear-headedly, and with righteous thoughts. And you are allowed to cultivate while conforming to ordinary people's way of life to the greatest extent. As long as Master says something is okay, you can just go ahead and follow ordinary people's way of doing it, because you are meant to walk your path in that way, and human beings are meant to be saved in that way. In the future, if a god wants to come and save people, he too will have to do it that way. That's because in the future cosmos, when it comes to saving people, the target will be people's main bodies. So don't worry about how the cultivation methods of the past and the types of faith then were, and don't worry about how influential they were--you are the only ones who have truly cultivated. (Applause) The cosmos is undergoing Fa-rectification, and the gods that they believe in are repositioning themselves, so where would they go to get saved? How would they get to a heavenly kingdom? The heavenly kingdoms are all being reconstructed. Which heavenly kingdom would they go to? You are the most magnificent beings and are moving toward heavenly kingdoms while truly saving sentient beings in an upfront, open, and amazing way! (Applause)
What I said just now was meant for our Dafa disciples. Those of you who aren't cultivators or who are new students might not quite understand what I just said and find it hard to believe. Don't worry, I am not here to hurt anyone, and there is nothing here that's bad for people. If you didn't understand it, you can come to understand it gradually, and it's fine to come to understand these cultivators incrementally.
There's one final thing I want to emphasize. A small number of students aren't clearheaded and have very strong attachments! They can hear a little bit and see a little bit, and they even feel that they have certain abilities or think that they're some important figure. So they've begun to act in an irrational and crazy-seeming way, and say things that make no sense. How can you still cultivate? No matter who you are, if I can't save you today, you will be a ghost in hell! Why are you being so irrational? Why do you spread things among students that interfere with their cultivation and validating the Fa? Is it simply an issue of you breeding demons in your own mind? You are interfering with Dafa. Is that a small sin? If today I, Li Hongzhi, decide not to recognize you as a Dafa disciple, not to recognize you as a student of mine, do you think you could remain here? The Three Realms was created for this purpose. Even though this firmament in the cosmos is immense, all beings are focusing their attention here, and all beings here have to be recognized. So I urge those students who are still being irrational: come to your senses and be responsible to your own lives. Your own attachments have led wicked beings from outside to command, interfere with, and control you, making you so irrational.
Master's words just now were fairly harsh. You might have noticed that recently, sometimes my words to such students have been pretty harsh. That's because I have seen the terrifying consequences that await them. No matter how you take those words, no matter how the people who don't understand me or Dafa disciples see things, I, Li Hongzhi, came for all beings. I'm saving all beings, and I don't want to see a single being destroy himself, because I came exactly for you! (Applause) I am worried, I am worried about you. Time is becoming more and more pressing. You have seen that, and the overall situation has changed a lot. If the persecution suddenly ends, then no opportunity is left, and everything will have been decided.
It's been a long time since I attended one of your Fa conferences, so I want to stay with you a little longer. (Enthusiastic applause)
I've heard that some students came from Russia and there are others that came from some other Eastern European countries. It was hard for them to make it here, as they face a lot of challenges, both financial and otherwise. There are also some new students who have never seen me in person and have always wanted to see Master. And a lot of veteran students likewise haven't seen Master for a long time. It seems that you all have a lot of things to say, and you would be disappointed if I left now. (Master laughs) (Applause) In that case, let's still use our old method--if you have something to say, write it down on a piece of paper and pass it up, and I'll answer questions for all of you. (Applause)
You all really have worked hard. The weather is getting colder. During the summer when you clarified the truth and validated Dafa in front of the consulates, on the streets, or in other settings, even though it was hot, it was still bearable. When the weather gets cold, the climate poses a certain degree of challenge for you. Even so, you haven't let the harsh conditions stop you. Quite the opposite, you are still working hard and haven't let up. That's truly amazing, and the beings of the future and the world's people in the future will thank you, because the people that will remain here in the future will owe that fact to you. (Applause) The world's people are in delusion. Dafa disciples are the ones going through so-called tests, while all sentient beings are lost in a state of delusion. But in the future, everyone will know who the Dafa disciples were. They will all know the greatness of Dafa disciples, and those who remain will feel gratitude toward Dafa disciples.
Disciple asks: If circumstances allow, can I go back to Mainland China to work?
Teacher: If the persecution ends and the Fa's rectification of the human world hasn't arrived yet, then if you want to go back to Mainland China to work, you can go ahead. Are you asking if you can go back now? Right now it's best not to go back because the persecution is still going on. I know that a few individual students might have received phone calls or messages from certain officials in Mainland China or people with certain positions. They told you to go back and guaranteed certain things, promising that you wouldn't be persecuted and some other things. Think about it everyone, were those officials the ones that set the policy of persecution? Then isn't the simple fact that they can guarantee something suspicious? So who is directing them behind the scenes? (Applause) How is it that they can make a guarantee? Who is giving them that guarantee? Isn't that suspicious? What is meant by "forming a unified front for battle," anyway? When their low tactics no longer work, they start "forming a unified front for battle." They're up to their old tricks again, and you need to be on guard. We don't pose a risk to any political power. We simply want them to stop the persecution. (Applause) They persecute people and at the same time try to bring those people over to their side. They have used all the dirty tricks in the book. (Audience laughs)
Disciple: Dafa disciples in the city of Chongqing send greetings to Master. (Teacher: Thank you!) (Applause) Master, we promise we will do well at every moment the things that we should do.
Teacher: Wonderful! (Applause)
Disciple: Dafa disciples at Beijing's Tsinghua University send greetings to Master.
Teacher: Thank you all! (Applause)
Disciple: Dafa disciples who are illegally detained at a women's labor camp(s) in Beijing send greetings to Master.
Teacher: Thank you! (Applause)
Disciple: Dafa disciples who are being illegally detained in a prison(s) in Beijing send greetings to Master.
Teacher: Thank you! (Applause) No matter what kind of environment you are in, you must keep your righteous thoughts firm, because you are Dafa disciples and you are special beings.
Disciple: The European Fa conference will be held in London next year, and we eagerly hope that Master will grace us with his presence. (Audience smiles and applauds) Master, please tell us why "seven Buddhas" has been changed to "six Buddhas."
Teacher: I'll talk about it from a couple of angles. One is that no small number of Buddhas have come down to the human world over the course of history. It's more than six, and in fact more than seven. Of course, there have been other gods as well. Just talking about Buddhas, quite a few have come down to save people, yet when it comes to the Buddhas like Shakyamuni who had special missions, there were six of them before Shakyamuni. When I've talked about them, I have counted Buddha Shakyamuni as one of them, so there were seven. But Buddhism has always talked about six, because Shakyamuni's disciples thought of those Buddhas as his disciples, so they haven't counted Buddha Shakyamuni and ended up with six. When I have talked about them I have counted Buddha Shakyamuni in, so that made seven. But that said, when imparting the Fa you of course need to do it according to people's ability to accept things. So, to do our best to save the followers of Buddhism, we went with what they say and changed the number to six. (Applause)
Disciple: Greetings to esteemed Master! I'd like to send greetings to Master on behalf of students in Romania.
Teacher: Thank you! (Applause)
Disciple: Most of the students in Romania are new. They have dealt with all kinds of challenges, but they are all very diligent. I respectfully ask Master to talk about how students in Romania can do a better job of participating in validating the Fa, as well as how Romania can play a better role in validating the Fa.
Teacher: I said earlier that relative to the number of people in the world, the number of Dafa disciples right now is very small, but you have a great mission that history has bestowed upon you. So as for the Dafa disciples in any region, you are basically the hope for the beings in that region to be saved--their only hope, in fact. The beings there need to hear the Good News, and they need to hear you clarify the facts to them so that they can understand what Dafa is. That is why Dafa disciples' responsibilities are weighty. Then you might ask, how can you do better? I think that for you, Dafa disciples, if each of you uses simply your mouth to tell the people in each region the facts, then we won't get to all of them. The energy Dafa disciples carry as they cultivate and stick to righteous thoughts and actions, as well as the mighty virtue from their cultivation, have an additional effect.
On the other hand, everything that Dafa disciples have done and everything that Dafa disciples have said when clarifying the facts causes the facts to circulate in ordinary human society and creates an environment that fosters communication among the people. Then with that environment, the discussions people have are another way for those beings to get saved, an indirect way. Another thing is that many beings have been poisoned by the evil beings, and in their minds there is a lot of propaganda from the CCP's slanderous media. In that case, it's better if you can clear it away through clarifying the facts, because the negative thoughts that human beings have about Dafa can be taken advantage of and used by those evil beings that persecute Dafa disciples. So Dafa disciples can remove them while sending forth righteous thoughts and through their righteous thoughts and righteous actions. As a matter of fact, if your thoughts are very righteous, when you walk down the street and go about your life in the city where you live, all of your surroundings will be cleansed. Your mere existence has the effect of saving sentient beings. But, despite your great abilities, you will still face adversity for the benefit of your personal cultivation, since everyone has a journey that he must make in cultivation. At the same time, the old forces have created many forms of interference to your validating the Fa. Under normal circumstances it is very hard to clear away that interference if the righteous thoughts aren't strong enough.
As for how to do things well, that means doing well in the three things that Dafa disciples should do--that is doing things best. (Applause) But the amounts of effort being put forth are different. Some people don't put forth too much effort while other students are more diligent and put forth more. Of course, Master sees that in society each individual has a family and a job, not to mention different social obligations due to your ties to society, so you have very little time left over. Master knows about all of this and is understanding. As a matter of fact, Dafa's method of cultivation takes that issue into consideration and won't disrupt things in that area.
Disciple: Disciples in Taiwan send greetings to Master. (Applause) Master, please tell us the current direction for the Asia-Pacific Pure Awakening website.
Teacher: Dafa disciples' websites should be run well, because they are a vehicle for clarifying the truth and are playing a role in saving sentient beings. So they should be run well. As for what to do specifically, that's up to you. (Teacher smiles) Why is it that Master doesn't talk about things too specifically? Master only makes sure that no problems develop in the overall scheme of things. But as for the problems, arguments, and differences in understanding among students, those are things that reflect the state of your cultivation. So when it comes to how to walk your path and how to handle each thing, those are things that you yourselves must address as a part of establishing your own mighty virtue. If I tell you how to handle each thing, then it becomes something I did, and no god will acknowledge that you did it. (Teacher smiles) (Applause) So I have to leave those things to you. I can't deprive you of your opportunity to cultivate.
Disciple: Dafa disciples in the city of Guangzhou send greetings to esteemed Teacher.
Teacher: Thank you! (Applause)
Disciple: Esteemed Teacher, could you please tell us if it's okay for Dafa disciples in Mainland China to send [overseas] money that they have saved through living frugally, to be used for truth-clarification projects in New York City?
Teacher: It is okay in principle--if you are very well off financially, then it's not a problem. But here we're talking about money saved through living frugally, so it means the person isn't that well off. In that case, it's best to keep the money for clarifying the truth in Mainland China, because the environment outside of the Mainland is still much better than inside. (Applause)
Disciple: Master, please tell us if the truth-clarification activities in Manhattan will continue until the Fa-rectification ends. (Audience laughs)
Teacher: No, they won't. I talked about this before when students who are clarifying the truth in Manhattan held a meeting. You will do this for only a period of time. Manhattan is pretty unique: it's practically the financial center of the world, and a lot of major corporations all over the world have offices or branches here. In other words, it is a point of convergence for the financial world and is closely connected to the whole world. And the people who gather in Manhattan are, owing to its uniqueness, themselves unique. Many well-educated people are concentrated here, as well as people with a certain amount of power and financial means in society. In other words, the roles that they play in society are no ordinary thing.
Even though relatively speaking there are a lot of students in the New York region, including the area around New Jersey, after what has taken place over the last few years it still looks like a great many people in Manhattan are indifferent. After such a long period of doing things to clarify the truth, a lot of people still haven't come into contact with Dafa disciples. The CCP has put a lot of evil here to persecute Falun Gong, and that has resulted in some people here in this environment always having impediments to understanding Dafa.
And in addition, there is another problem I've discovered. There are Chinese employees in Manhattan's many big corporations, and even in some of the small corporations and establishments, and the majority of those Chinese people have been deceived by the falsehoods spread by the CCP's slanderous propaganda machine, and those things in their heads have not been cleared away all this time. So they have become people who spread venom in American society. It's not that those people are evil by nature. But indeed, while Dafa disciples are clarifying the truth in one place they are over there spreading the slanderous things from the CCP in some other place. It wouldn't hurt for you to write the following on flyers, display boards, or have the media report it: "The Chinese people in your company have been misled and they are helping the CCP spread its venom (applause), so you should examine the facts for yourselves." (Applause)
Disciple: How can I do a better job of validating the Fa if I don't have any of the skills ordinary people do?
Teacher: It's fine not to have ordinary skills. Many students pass out flyers and newspapers on the street and clarify the truth to ordinary people face to face. Those are all things that you can do. Many students gather in front of the consulates and embassies year-round, and that too is really admirable. There are a lot of things that you can do.
Disciple: Hello, esteemed Teacher. Many characters in Zhuan Falun and other Dafa books have been changed recently. What is the deeper meaning behind that?
Teacher: I'm not going to talk about the meaning behind it. I'll just talk about it at the surface. Let's take the [Chinese] character "practice" from the [two-character term] "cultivation practice" as an example. If the persecution of Dafa disciples had not happened, I would have given you the path that you should have taken. But after the persecution started, those sham qigong practices and all kinds of messed up things started participating in the persecution, and even went on TV to attack Dafa. Of course, the reason they did those things was that so many people were learning Dafa--their own people included--that they couldn't make money anymore. So they became jealous and hateful. That's why some students raised the question, "Master, in the character 'practice,' when we use it to describe other qigong practices, could we change that one part of the character from the one meaning 'fire' to the one meaning 'silk'? They don't practice true cultivation in the first place."
That's just an example. In all kinds of other places there were many factors caused by deviations arising from the deviant culture. Chinese is a special written language, and it is similar to the written language in the heavens. And oral Chinese is similar to the language spoken in the heavens, because it is a form of culture that gods directly created for mankind. Also, since what was established in China was a semi-divine culture, the form and sound of Chinese characters are interconnected with the cosmos. It's different from the written languages in the West and the written languages of other ethnicities. That's because from a certain perspective, the written languages of other cultures are actually sets of symbols that gods created for human beings so that they could await the Fa in those regions after forming predestined connections. That way the people awaiting the Fa in those places could lead normal lives and temporarily have a set of symbols to communicate with each other. But if the sound and form of Chinese characters are interconnected with the cosmos, then think about it, what kind of interference could they have on mankind, on Fa-validation by Dafa disciples who have obtained the Fa and cultivated on this plane, and even on Fa-rectification? Put another way, the old forces used those factors to exploit things in Fa-rectification. Let's take the word "目的" (mu di or "destination") as an example. In ancient times when the word "destination" or other words used to describe reaching a certain place were written, the character "di" was always the same "di" as in the Chinese character "土地" (tu di or "earth"). In modern times, with the apparent rationale of standardizing grammar and making it easier for people to master grammar, that "地" (di, as in "earth") has been written as "的" (di, a grammatical article). So even after you have supposedly reached the "destination," you still haven't gotten to the "place." (Audience laughs, applauds)
There are problems with many factors. In modern times the old forces have damaged Chinese culture and left a big mess for me to deal with as I impart the Fa. There are just so many damaging factors in a myriad of areas, so a lot of things needed to be put right. But there was no time to do that, so the corrections simply addressed a few things. The good thing is, the Fa's inner meanings aren't affected. The book Zhuan Falun manifests differently in each dimension, and the Zhuan Falun in the heavens looks completely different from the one on earth, so it hasn't been affected.
Disciple: I haven't been able to cultivate while conforming to ordinary people to the greatest extent possible. Will that leave me with a lot of regrets in the future?
Teacher: So you haven't managed to cultivate while conforming to ordinary people to the greatest extent possible, well, "to the greatest extent possible" means meeting the requirements completely. So if it ended today, whichever level you belonged to would be fixed. It hasn't ended today so, since it hasn't ended, when it comes to the standards that you have or haven't met, and the things that you have or haven't cultivated well in, those are still just parts of the ongoing process, so no one can conclude that this is just what you are. If you have come to recognize your shortcoming, and I believe that you must have since you submitted the question slip, then correct it and do better. (Applause)
Disciple: Esteemed Teacher, the word "?̶ȼ" (cheng du or "degree") from previous editions of Zhuan Falun has been changed to "?ɶȼ" (cheng du or "degree of accomplishment"). But one of my fellow practitioners said that the Minghui website hasn't published that change, so, should it be changed back to the original?
Teacher: There have been several rounds of character changes; there were just so many things to change. Once one matter is dealt with, a lot of things happen, so as of now the changing of characters ends and no additional changes will be made. To find out about the changes that have been made, you can refer to the edition of Zhuan Falun that will soon be published and then make your changes based on that edition. This happened because Minghui was only sometimes notified of the character changes, so that's the situation.
Disciple: Is the structure of the cosmos that you have talked about referring to the new cosmos's structure?
Teacher: The structure that I talked to you about before was all about the old cosmos's structure. The state that is evident during the Fa-rectification is also the state displayed by beings of the old cosmos. The new cosmos can't be talked about. Not only can't it be talked about, but the secrets of heaven cannot be revealed. (Teacher smiles) (Audience laughs, applauds) Many of the secrets of heaven in the old cosmos can no longer be called secrets of heaven, because those things will be altered, they will undergo changes. But the old cosmos does have many many good beings and factors, including structures that are good, so those will be kept. So, a great many beings and the vast majority of the structure of the old cosmos have been kept.
Disciple: With the time for saving sentient beings being so pressing, why do my selfish thoughts persist as they do? I am worried about myself.
Teacher: I think that being able to see your own shortcomings is cultivation. That's actually very normal. When you can recognize it, that's the first step to improving. If you can manage to pay attention to those things on a day-to-day basis and do them well little by little, then you are improving. Don't get anxious, as doing so will lead to attachments. When you see problems, make changes, and when you see shortcomings, overcome them. There are a lot of things that you might not be able to do, and I've taken that into consideration in every respect, and I foresaw it when I disseminated the Fa. In other words, what I want to save is mainly the master soul, the person himself. How much ability does a person have? If a person can recognize his own mistakes and overcome them, then he is cultivating, but what happens if the elements that make up a person's being become deviant? Or, more specifically, what happens when a person's way of thinking is deviant? Case in point: for so many years the CCP has intentionally educated people in a way that reinforces its own things. Many people have seen that the Party is not good, but they're only able to say that the Party isn't good from within the culture fostered by the Party's education. They haven't truly recognized it and can't see it for what it is outside of the culture of the Party that has been instilled in them. That's a deviant way of thinking. What can be done in that case? That's why I say that there are certain things that you can do, and you're not a cultivator if you don't do the things within your power. But whatever you can't do, Dafa will certainly do those things for you, and Master definitely has ways to do them. (Applause)
In other words, you must cultivate the part that you are supposed to cultivate. As for the things that you can't cultivate, and can't detect or recognize--or take care of even if you could recognize them--Master will take care of them. Of course, it doesn't mean that when you see attachments that you can't get rid of you can use the excuse of "I can't do anything about that" and thereby shrug off your responsibility. (Audience laughs) That won't do. What I'm talking about is, when it comes to the structures of your being and your way of thinking--things that you can't detect at all and can't take care of--Master will definitely take care of those things.
Disciple: Master, is the time when the persecution ends the time that the Fa will rectify the human world?
Teacher: That is quite possible. (Applause) It's better if I don't talk about those things, though. As soon as I talk about that, everyone's mind will become unsettled. I'll leave the wonder and magnificence of that for you to see for yourselves.
Disciple: Master, could you talk about the origins of the evil political party that persecutes Dafa disciples? (Audience laughs)
Teacher: As far as how that thing came into existence on a fundamental level, I think it's better that I don't talk about it at a Fa conference. As far as how it came into existence in the human world, that is something that everyone already knows without my saying anything. Actually, whether you want to talk about a crooked political party or an evil political party or any other kind of political party, as cultivators we have absolutely nothing to do with that. No matter how evil a party might be, it's something of the human world, and no matter how good it might be, it is still something of the human world. Being a cultivator means stepping out of the human world, and when it comes to cultivating in the human world, cultivators don't get involved with all those worldly conflicts and issues. Things that are evil, well, there are reasons for their existence, and with things that are good there are reasons for their existence too. It is determined by the state of human society, and Dafa disciples don't concern themselves with those things at all. But everyone saw clearly that back when that arch devil started persecuting us, it was yelling that its political party "must defeat Falun Gong" and "I refuse to believe the *** Party can't defeat Falun Gong." I know that it did those things out of jealousy and resentment, but I also know that there were elements of its political party behind its words. Put another way, we exposed them only after they persecuted us. We don't recognize this persecution. In the process of clarifying the truth, we will tell the world's people why Falun Gong is being persecuted, what Falun Gong is, and what that political party is. Whoever it is that has persecuted Dafa disciples should be exposed and the malignant influence that has spread among the minds of the world's people should be cleared away.
After listening to students clarify the truth, some people still say, "Falun Gong is pretty good, but I think the *** Party has its reasons." And there are a lot of people who think that what the CCP says can't be wrong, and so they refuse to listen to the truth. Those people haven't seen that it is evil to the core. Some people say, "Falun Gong is pretty good, but the Party hasn't done anything wrong. It's that arch devil's fault." In that case, we should tell the world's people why it persecutes Falun Gong and what kind of motive it had when it began persecuting Falun Gong; we should help people see who the evil cult really is and what the Party is all about. The Dafa disciples that are being persecuted should expose its disreputable past.
Worldly affairs are not the concern of Dafa disciples, who are cultivators, but I, Li Hongzhi, know about all such affairs. (Applause) I've been explaining these things all along over the last several years of persecution, and yet the persecution continues. The new leadership of the CCP has been in power for two years so far, and the persecution continues. Is it just a matter of isolated individuals committing evil acts? Then why shouldn't we tell the world about the fundamental evilness of that political party? If you didn't persecute us, we wouldn't want to have anything to do with you, and we wouldn't want to say anything about you. The lives of so many Dafa disciples have been taken, and the persecution continues. How evil! Also, the Party has used the one-sided media to broadcast slanderous propaganda to every corner of the earth, and it's even worse than that of the Cultural Revolution. It is targeting a group of such good and kind people. Even if I forbear it and tolerate it, none of the gods will stand for it! (Applause)
Disciple: Because of my attachment of emotion, I have made mistakes. I feel remorse over the path I have taken. How should I make up for it?
Teacher: (Teacher sighs) These are in fact the things that pain Master the most. For a cultivator, it's just so shameful. It's shameful even for an ordinary person, but you are a cultivator, so how could you even raise this for open discussion? It is just so shameful. Did you know that in old-time cultivation, as soon as a cultivator broke the rule pertaining to this, he wouldn't be able to cultivate again for the rest of his life. That's how serious it is.
So, what can be done? Dafa is merciful, and Master looks at your being in its entirety, and you will still have chances before the Fa's rectification of the human world arrives. But you can't make those mistakes again. You just can't. And during this period of time especially, the evil will capitalize on your emotion to aggravate its persecution of you and will cause your desires and attachments to be particularly strong, to the point where you can't handle yourselves well and will take an evil path. Master has seen that. If you can walk your path well and cultivate well, that sin will belong to the evil. But if you still don't walk your path well, that sin will be your own. Of course, the evil that is interfering with you will be eliminated, and after that anything you do will be yours.
During the Fa-rectification period, when the Fa is rectifying the entire cosmos, do you know how Master is doing it? As for all the beings in the entire cosmos, including the world's people, and beings that are lower than this world--even ones that are down very very low, including beings in the underworld and hell--I have been doing things according to one principle: no matter what sins or mistakes a being committed in its past, I disregard all of that; I can get rid of all those things for you and make everything good. Nobody has ever treated sentient beings like this before. If a certain place in the cosmos was no longer up to par, it was destroyed through explosion and then recreated. If a certain place was no longer up to par, it was just like the metabolism of the human body, where if a cell is no longer up to par it dies off and a new one is created. Treating all beings with such mercy is something that has never ever happened for as long as the cosmos has existed. (Applause) I've been doing this all along, and I have achieved this. But there is one thing. If a sin was committed against Dafa during the Fa-rectification period, interfering with the Fa-rectification, then that sin cannot be forgiven. There is just this one stipulation. If even this stipulation weren't there, the Fa of the cosmos would no longer exist. Beings of the future wouldn't have the Fa to follow and abide by, and it would be the same thing as the cosmos not having a Fa, making it a messed up, chaotic world. That cannot happen! That would be the same as harming the cosmos, so having a negative effect in Fa-rectification means having committed such a sin. For a being, it could be caused by just one misplaced thought, but the consequences are devastating.
Disciple: Greetings to esteemed Master. I'm a Korean disciple from Heilongjiang province. Please allow me to greet Master on behalf of all Dafa disciples from Heilongjiang and the different truth-clarifying teams in Korea.
Teacher: Thank you. (Applause) The Dafa disciples in Korea have done quite well. There are also many Dafa disciples of Korean ethnicity in Mainland China and they have been persecuted very severely. I know about all of this.
Disciple: Our truth-clarifying team focuses on clarifying the truth to the Beijing area, putting 80% of our effort there, and using the other 20% on other things, including efforts to rescue students. When we strengthen efforts to clarify the truth to the Beijing area, will the evil that's concentrated in Manhattan be reduced?
Teacher: The right way to put it is this: when Dafa disciples from different places are all doing very well, the evil can't deal with them all and it is cleared away in all places. The evil that came to Manhattan is in the process of being completely eliminated. Right now, the evil in the Three Realms has been eliminated in large quantities. You can see that the current situation is changing, and even the weather is changing. The Dafa disciples that have sat in front of the New York Consulate know that it was the coldest place, and our Dafa disciples have really endured a lot over these years. Looking at the current situation, the Dafa disciples from different places are fully utilizing their skills and talents to do things to validate Dafa, so it is causing this evil to become less and less. It's really difficult for it to concentrate itself and do anything.
Disciple: How can I and everyone else work together so that we can look at matters broadly and put Dafa first?
Teacher: This is a question that all Dafa disciples should think about. As far as what to do, only by studying the Fa well and acting according to what Master tells you can you walk this path righteously.
Disciple: It isn't easy for us disciples from Mainland China to get to the U.S. to attend Fa conferences, and it is rare for us to see Master in person. We would like to sincerely ask Master to address the disciples from Mainland China who went to Korea to help Master in Fa-rectification. Please tell us how we can do well what we should do and fulfill the vows we made before history.
Teacher: Dafa disciples are all the same, and you should do well no matter where you are. Whether you are abroad or are in an environment where you are directly persecuted by the evil, you should display Dafa disciples' righteous thoughts and righteous actions, as that strikes fear into the evil. The evil is raucous on the surface, but inside it is afraid. You are Dafa disciples, and you can't have fear inside. If a cultivator can truly let go of [the fear of] death, then that death will forever be far removed from you. But this isn't something you can will to happen--it's a point that you cultivate to in the Fa, one at which you become that kind of being. When the persecution in Mainland China started, if all of the Dafa disciples had managed to act fairly righteously like now, the persecution would have never gotten off the ground, and those evil things would have been destroyed instantly. The human world is no place for them to make a display of evilness.
Now you folks have gradually become more clearheaded, calmer, and more rational, and you know what to do, and one might say that a lot of your human attachments have been cultivated away. Well, actually, with some students it's not that their human attachments have been cultivated away but that the students have been too scared to do anything out of line, and if the environment eases up a little bit they will dare to do those things again. That's no good. If a person can't cultivate in the Fa, then he isn't able to truly understand the Fa. Only when a person has truly grasped the Fa can he walk the path righteously and can his being be assured a good outcome. Otherwise that kind of being remains in the most perilous situation, because the evil can take advantage of his gaps at any time. If he were an ordinary person, no matter how bad he was, the evil wouldn't pay any attention to him. Because he wants to cultivate, though, the evil will try to stop him from cultivating. And when you don't cultivate solidly you become a target for the evil's persecution.
Disciple: A few students are very enthusiastic about clarifying the truth, but they have never been able to go beyond the petty confines of attachment to self. They haven't done well in overall cooperation and coordination, and more seriously, they have affected some other students. If they still can't do well with fellow practitioners' help, I'd like to ask Master, what kind of consequences will those students face in the future?
Teacher: In my opinion, right now you can't say how students are or draw conclusions about them, because there are all kinds of different manifestations in the process of cultivation, and all ordinary people's attachments will show. As long as a practitioner doesn't remove them they will definitely show. As for the part that has cultivated well, it is nowhere to be seen, because the part of him that has cultivated well can't be shown. And the part that hasn't been cultivated well will be seen by others whenever it surfaces. What's key is how he deals with it and whether he can recognize his shortcomings when others point that part out or when his attachments come out in conflicts--that's what is critical. Once you recognize something you need to overcome it, and only that is cultivation. When all is said and done, I'd say that it's a question of diligence.
If a person doesn't cultivate well and affects another Dafa disciple or a lot of other Dafa disciples, and causes their cultivation to fail, that is the severe sin of interfering with Dafa disciples' cultivation, one that cannot be absolved even after a being descends down to the eighteenth level of hell. Some students aren't able to remove their longstanding attachments, leading to their being interfered with by the evil. All of you are thinking that these people are done for and can't make it. Right now you can't look at it like that. Some students have in fact gotten rid of many other attachments, and a lot of attachments are gone and won't show themselves, but those attachments that they haven't cultivated away still show up. Master will definitely have those come out and be affected in conflicts, and will for sure have everyone see that, and the goal will be to have them get rid of those. When you see one, you need to point it out to them. If you don't point it out that is because you have an attachment of fearing to offend others. In that case, they will be made to have clashes and conflicts with you so that both you and him will recognize those attachments. And the goal is to cultivate away those human attachments. But when you look at the students who have attachments that show, you can't think that they're no good. So misunderstandings and mistakes among Dafa disciples are unavoidable. The key is that you can't have real conflicts and clashes among yourselves or start to mistrust one another.
Recently, I have often stressed the issue of cooperating and coordinating well with each other. Whether or not those bad attachments of yours have been removed, you have to cooperate well with each other just the same. Why is it that at times you see arguments coming up a lot, and sometimes the arguments go on and on? Why is it that in validating the Fa, disciples' opinions are time and again not unified? This is something that's been quite prominent recently in Mainland China. What's the real problem? It's very simple--it is a question of whether you are validating the Fa or validating yourself. If you are validating the Fa, no matter what another person says about you, you won't be affected inside. If someone counters your opinion and you get riled up and don't like it, if when other people raise an opinion opposite yours based on some problem you have or disagree with your opinion and you don't like it, and you stand up to oppose it and argue on your own behalf, and when this leads to your going off topic and not listening to others, [in all such cases] you are--even if you are defending and explaining yourself with the best of intentions--still just validating yourself. (Applause) That is because you didn't put Dafa first, and at that time the thing that you couldn't let go of most was self.
But people's thoughts are complex, and sometimes it's hard to tell. Some people truly are thinking of the Fa, really do feel that such-and-such way is right, and are not attached to themselves. They're just holding their ground like that. Some may say, "You're so insistent, aren't you validating yourself?" So at those times you have to be calm and collected. In fact, when everyone is thinking of the Fa the problem of not cooperating is non-existent. We should be good people wherever we are--aren't we supposed to think of others first when we do things? Why is it that Dafa disciples don't think of others first when dealing with each other? You're thinking, "We're all cultivators and everyone is cultivating, so when we're with other disciples there is no need to think about how we talk to each other." Isn't that what you're thinking? Well, that's not right. Do not forget this point: you are human beings that are in the process of cultivating, you are not gods cultivating, so you must be considerate of others.
Disciple: Students in Korea are using all sorts of ways to step up the effort to clarify the truth to different kinds of people, and they are gradually getting people's attention and support. The truth-clarification has yielded better and better results, and at the same time, all over the country great numbers of new students are pouring in. But recently, one after another, a few students have had accidents and died tragically. One died when the bus he was riding in flipped over, one drowned, and another died in an accident at work. One of those students was very active in clarifying the truth. The occurrence of several such incidents caused some of the newer students to waver.
Teacher: I just talked about the old forces' interference to Fa-rectification and Dafa disciples. So why do the old forces do things like that, then? What is their goal? They think, "All of you have come here to cultivate and you think that Dafa is good. Is your understanding of Dafa's goodness truly based on the Fa truths? Or rather, do you just go along when other people say it's good? Or is it that you say the Fa is good when you feel like you've benefited from it?" Cultivation and Dafa are solemn, and they can turn human beings into gods. The old forces can't stand that, so they want to test you. They want to see if you will still say Dafa is good and stay and cultivate when they have people pass away who have reached the end of their life spans. The old forces have done that, so when a student faces life-threatening danger, you can't say that he is not good or that he has some serious problems. That is actually the old forces creating a disturbance by taking advantage of human attachments. One thing is that it's easy for some students to waver, and if those kinds of students had all cultivated very well and solidly, those problems wouldn't have taken place. If certain students can't manage to get rid of long-standing attachments inside themselves, they can be persecuted and interfered with. [They might think,] "I've been doing the exercises, and my illnesses have been cured. I feel so good. My life has become easier." Their understanding always remains at that level and they can't understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa, and that makes it easy for problems to come up. Of course, these things don't always stem from that type of problem. The old forces have been doing this for a long time, and these kinds of things also happened before in the cultivation of students in Mainland China. So that's why in cultivation it is imperative to look at things with righteous thoughts and clearly recognize that cultivation is the most serious of matters.
Of course, certain things have happened. Students in different regions have pretty much become clearheaded, they are able to understand things on the basis of the Fa, and they can thus handle those things correctly. There used to be some students who would often say, "So-and-so at our practice site has done so well! We'll do whatever he does." Let me tell all of you that you absolutely must not do that and absolutely must not think that way. Cultivators can't take other human beings as their role models. They must take the Fa as the teacher! (Applause) As soon as you start doing things [like I described] and thinking in that way, two problems will surface. One is that you will likely push that student to a place where there is no way out for him. And it's likely the old forces will lead him to have problems and even make him leave us early in order to test other students. [They'll think,] "You're all looking to him. With things like this, are you still going to study, and are you still going to cultivate?" Under circumstances like this, there are really some students who think, "If even he couldn't make it, will I be able to?" They waver. Isn't that the old forces taking advantage of gaps? [In that situation] even I, your master, can't say anything! The old forces say, "Take a look. See how that test ended up? What we did was right, wasn't it?" So when the righteous thoughts are not strong, people's minds waver. You absolutely must be on guard against that! You should take the Fa as the teacher. You can't look at how well a certain individual has cultivated and as a result learn from that person instead of the Fa.
Weren't there students like that when the persecution in Mainland China first began? Many students were looking to the assistants and doing whatever the assistants did. When the assistants gave in, they followed suit and gave in too. Of course, students are students of Dafa after all, so when they calmed down later on, they realized that they had been wrong. They started to study the Fa anew, and realized that that understanding of theirs had been wrong and that what they did was wrong. But, looking at that one part of it, didn't it bring shame to them? They did do that thing at one point, so for a cultivator, isn't that a black mark? So, causing people's minds to waver will bring trouble to the cultivation environment. You absolutely must be attentive to that.
All kinds of things might happen during cultivation. Some people saw that such-and-such people had their illnesses cured after they started practicing. They thought, "Wow, even such serious illnesses have been cured." Or, "Wow, that person's cancer was cured after he started practicing." "I'll practice too." But why did that person end up coming? He came because of the cancer and for the purpose of getting healthy. He didn't come here to truly cultivate. But I realize that everyone has to start somewhere in understanding the Fa. One person might start to understand the Fa at one point and another at a different point. But once someone enters the practice he must take studying the Fa as first and foremost--only then is it cultivation. In that case, when you can truly understand the Fa during cultivation, you will be able to get rid of any attachment. You will think, "I've obtained the Fa, and I am not afraid of anything. If I die, so be it. Even if I die, I have obtained the Fa. What's going to happen to me after I die? I won't end up in hell. I've obtained the Fa, after all." A person like that will not encounter anything that endangers his life and he won't have any health problems (Applause). That is because the state of mind he demonstrates is that of a true cultivator. He has truly understood [what cultivation is] and has truly elevated himself, and he has let go of all attachments. At least in this one regard he has transcended humanness, he has gone beyond the realm of humanness. Only ordinary human beings have health problems. Once he lets go of his attachment to being healed his health problems will be gone.
Certain people haven't managed for a long time to let go of their attachments to getting healed. Under normal circumstances when a person suffers from a terminal illness he has actually reached the end of his lifespan. He's suffering from a terminal illness and his life is supposed to end, but now he has studied Dafa. Even though he comes in order to get cured, he is still allowed to keep studying the Fa to understand the Fa. He also sees examples [of the Fa] playing out in people's lives, but he still can't understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa. He doesn't read the books, so he can't understand things on the basis of the Fa. He only follows others in doing the exercises. He is still thinking, "I've become a student of Falun Gong. I keep doing the exercises. Why haven't I been cured?" Cultivation is a serious matter. That test of one's mind is a black or white issue. The more attached you are, the worse you will feel. When you go to the hospital for an examination you will be made to see that your illness has gotten worse. Yet you still don't enlighten to it. Since you still don't enlighten to it, it becomes more and more serious, and in the end you truly can't make it. That happens because you are not a genuine student, you don't study the Fa, and you can't let go of your attachment to your illness. You are just an ordinary person who wants to get his illness cured. The purpose of my disseminating Dafa is to save people at the fundamental level of their being, not to help ordinary people get cured. If you can truly cultivate, when you can truly let go of your attachment to living or your fear of death--and not just act that way for others to see while constantly thinking about it inside--then no matter what kind of illness you have, it will be cured. In cultivation, the difference between humanness and godhood is just the difference of one thought. This difference of one thought sounds easy, but it can be achieved only with a deep and solid foundation in cultivation. If you can really devote a lot of effort to studying the Fa, you will be able to achieve that.
Of course, whenever that situation comes up, usually the person is given one chance after another in Dafa over a long period of time, because he has obtained the Fa, after all. He is continually given chances and doesn't die, and he is given chance after chance. But if that person still doesn't get it after being given chances for so long, even if he has cultivated for years and has followed others in doing Dafa work, if he still can't let go on a fundamental level of his attachment to getting healed, then on a fundamental level he is still not a student, and he will depart when he reaches the end of his lifespan. Ordinary people can do Dafa work too, and what they get are blessings. When cultivators do Dafa work, they don't seek ordinary blessings or a good life; the thing that is most important [to them] is raising their level. Cultivators don't seek the things of this world. Isn't being attached to your illness a pursuit of something in the human world? Some people say, "Once my illness heals I'll be able to do so many good things for Dafa! Why haven't I been cured yet?" Your getting well, your cultivating, and your becoming a Dafa disciple would all be conditional. You would cultivate and acknowledge [yourself as a Dafa disciple] only when your illness was cured. Cultivation is done unconditionally though, and things are gained naturally, with no pursuit.
Nothing is absolute, of course. What I was talking about were Fa truths. People's situations are different, and I was just giving an example. If everyone has a good understanding things will go smoothly. But when a person can't let go of his attachments it becomes really hard.
Disciple: I'm a Dafa disciple from Ireland, and I would like to send greetings to esteemed Teacher. For a long time now I haven't been doing well in spreading the Fa or in personal cultivation. Is there still time for me to make up for it?
Teacher: Then you should go ahead and do that. Since it's not over yet, yes, there is still time left. (Everyone smiles and applauds) Even if you haven't done well, no matter what, Master still doesn't want to leave any of you behind. (Applause)
I've said before that the Fa-rectification of the cosmos is one stage and the Fa's rectification of the human world is another stage. What that means is, Master is doing this in two steps. So I haven't taught you the Fa of the Three Realms, I have only taught you the Fa of the cosmos. I haven't talked about the structures of the different living things in the Three Realms, the origin of life, the structure of life, the history of the world, or the theories in this world from religion to science, such as where those things came from, what their purposes are, the reasons behind the different conflicts that take place in the human world--well, everything in history. And as for the state of the structure of the Three Realms and the different heavenly bodies in the Three Realms, I haven't talked to you about those things because they're so insignificant in the cosmos. The Three Realms doesn't deserve to be taught in Dafa, as they are too low. When I teach you the Great Law it encompasses the Three Realms. In the future you will know everything, and there won't be any need for me to tell you about things of the Three Realms. In the future I will handle things that have to do with human beings, and at that point I'll talk about the Fa of the Three Realms. When in the future it's time to do things in the Three Realms, that will be when the Fa rectifies the human world.
Because things are being done in two steps, a certain phenomenon has happened in the cosmos. What kind of phenomenon? It's that the Three Realms has been closed off all this time--the beings inside the Three Realms can't get out and the beings outside of the Three Realms can't get in. I was the one who closed things off from the beginning. The elements created early on by the old forces were and are still there and haven't been cleaned away completely, and before things are done at the surface of the human world, that portion of the old forces' elements is still having a negative effect. So, because the Fa-rectification and the Fa's rectification of the human world are being done in two different steps, the Three Realms needed to be separated from the cosmos. Since the beginning of my Fa-rectification--during the last ten-plus years--it has been continually moving away from the cosmos. Astronomers have seen that the heavenly bodies in the cosmos are no longer the heavenly bodies of the early times, and the Milky Way's position is no longer the same as it was early on, and the other star systems that were around the place where the Milky Way existed early on are no longer the same. That has happened because the Three Realms is being separated from the cosmos. Scientists discovered that fact when it was in the process of being shifted, and they are saying that the cosmos is expanding. In actuality it is the heavenly bodies separating themselves from the Three Realms, as well as the Three Realms moving further and further away from its original location. During the last ten-plus years, the Three Realms has been moving out of the cosmos nonstop. As that has been happening, scientists have discovered that the heavenly bodies have undergone immense changes. Stars that didn't exist before have appeared, heavenly bodies that didn't exist before have appeared, and star systems that didn't exist before have appeared. So where did the stars and star systems that were originally there go to? Why has the cosmos undergone such enormous changes? Those things have in fact come about as a part of the movement of the Three Realms as it separates from the cosmos.
Hasn't the PureInsight website reported that? The cosmos is disappearing into the distance faster than the speed of light, and the Milky Way is being separated from the cosmos. Since it has reached the point where even human beings can see this phase, it means that the separation has arrived at the most surface level. Early on when I was beginning to do this, some gods told me, "In the future, human beings will all be able to see the things that you did, and they will realize in the end that you were the one who did them." That is the case because certain manifestations will gradually converge on where I am.
Once the separation is complete, the dimensions outside of the Milky Way won't even exist. Human beings will find the emptiness terrifying. The stars that used to exist outside of the Milky Way and all the heavenly bodies that were scattered everywhere outside of the Milky Way will be gone. The PureInsight website reported that our Milky Way will become the "lonely soul and roaming ghost" of the cosmos. You might wonder, "What would be the reason for that phenomenon?" It seems as though people--including scientists--are indifferent to it, but it's only because they don't understand it. If such a thing had happened in the cosmos in the past, then the Milky Way would not have existed anymore. If separated from the cosmos, [the Milky Way] would not have been able to exist and would have disintegrated. The Fa-rectification of the cosmos and the Fa's rectification of the human world are being done in two steps, so the Three Realms has to be separated from the cosmos. If the Fa-rectification of the cosmos was complete--and everything was new and pure--but the Three Realms was still so filthy, it would pollute the cosmos. It wouldn't do to have such a filthy place inside such a wonderful cosmos, so it needs to be moved out and taken care of separately. That's why they will be separated. (Applause) Scientists have now discovered what I described.
Disciple: What do we do about correcting the Chinese characters in "On Buddha Law / Lunyu" that some practitioners have hanging on their walls...?
Teacher: Yes, you can correct the "On Buddha Law" text hanging on your wall. Just make the corrections with the appropriate color. Well actually, any method will do.
Disciple: How can we help newer students in China step forward?
Teacher: When it comes to newer students, you can't be too hasty with them since they need to go through a process of improving their understanding. If of their own initiative they offer to do something, then let them. But if they don't want to do something out of their own initiative, I don't think we can compel them to do anything, since they are still newer students after all.
Disciple: How should we view the big corporations outside of China that are poised to make investments in China, and how should we look at our family members' wanting to go back to China?
Teacher: If your family members don't cultivate and want to go back to China, then that's fine. If you are a cultivator it's best that you don't go back--wouldn't you be setting yourself up for persecution? As a Dafa disciple, you wouldn't be able to bear not doing what Dafa disciples are supposed to do, but if you did those things you would be persecuted. And also, there are things here that you should do.
As for a lot of corporations planning to make investments in China, don't do anything about that for now. You should just clarify the facts and tell people what Dafa is about and why it's being persecuted. Bring to light the despicable farces and all of the low acts committed by the government where they made up lies and slander, expose the evil's suppression, tell the world's people about these things and help them see all of this clearly--then you will have reached your goal. When you clarify the truth just talk about things at that level and don't go any higher. As far as some company wanting to make investments somewhere, if you get a chance, all you can say is: "It's only because of investments from you guys that the group of evildoers in China has the money to fund the persecution. You can see how scary it is when they display their wickedness, right? Hasn't your company been subjected to its coercion?" We won't get involved with whether they make investments there. All we can do is talk to them using principles at a very shallow level.
But I think that with material gain right in front of them some people are willing to listen and some aren't, so that issue isn't the focus. The focus is to tell people why Falun Gong is being persecuted and how evil the persecutors are, and that will be enough. Once people can see those evil things clearly, that will expel from their minds the poisonous elements from the propaganda produced by the slanderous media of China's communist government. This means you've saved those people, and that one act enabled them to make it to the next stage. Otherwise when the Fa's rectification of the human world arrives and that powerful gong comes...the Fa-rectification has standards, and at that point they definitely won't have any other chances to understand [the truth]. The standards hold true from the highest place in the cosmos down to the lowest. However a being is at that point, that will be it, and everything will be dealt with in the fastest time. Those who should be weeded out will be weeded out, those who should remain will remain, those who should be raised up will be raised up, and those who should be lowered will be lowered. It will be over in a flash. Whatever is in a being's mind determines what he [or his situation] is, so there won't be any more chances at that point. If a person has the poison from that wicked, villainous gang cleared away, then he will make it past that stage. So at the very least he'll be able to witness the changes that happen in the future.
Disciple: I'm a little disciple from Taiwan. On behalf of the little disciples from Taiwan, I'd like to present a lotus flower to Master. (Master smiles) (Audience smiles and applauds) We thank our magnificent Master.
Teacher: Thank you. This little lotus flower is truly beautifully done. (Applause) This is the sort of consideration and thought that Dafa disciples have put into clarifying the truth. You've really worked hard and have come up with so many ideas to save people. Today's people are really hard to save. [It seems as though] they'll listen only if what you tell them is in line with their ideas, and they'll listen only if you talk to them in a way that they like. In other words, if you want to save them, they have conditions for you to do so. (Master smiles)
Disciple: Master, one of my family members practices and says that he's special. He doesn't send righteous thoughts or clarify the truth, and he seldom studies Fa other than Zhuan Falun. Right now in the Fa-rectification period we are busy with all sorts of projects. If I spent a lot of time helping him, I would find it hard to make enough time for other things.
Teacher: That's true. If he is a newer student, then you should show some understanding towards him. If he is a veteran student, then he's definitely in the wrong. As far as how to help him, there is no special method for doing it. Take a look to see where he's off track and take the appropriate course of action to address it. Remove the hurdle in his mind and find his attachment.
Disciple: How do we truly break apart the old forces' arrangements, move beyond selfishness, and become true Fa-rectification disciples?
Teacher: The cosmos in the past was based on selfishness. Let's take man as an example: when it came to crucial moments he truly couldn't care less about others. When I started Fa-rectification, some gods said to me, "You're the only one who gets involved in others' business." I know, you find this hard to believe, because you are altruistic beings created by Dafa that have roles in Fa-rectification and that have truly enlightened. If I didn't do that, with the end of history all lives would end. When a being is considerate of others in doing things and displays tolerance in the process, it's because his starting point is selfless.
When Dafa cultivators find selfishness in themselves, they should gradually work to overcome it. Becoming aware of it means that you have taken another step forward in cultivation, because a non-practitioner can't become aware of it and it doesn't occur to him to think about whether he is selfish. Only cultivators make a practice of examining themselves and looking within.
Disciple: Dafa disciples from Fushun send their greetings to you. (Master says "Thank you.") I have a slow-paced personality. I'm normally slow when I work and am often criticized for it. Do I need to change my ways when I'm doing work?
Teacher: There are indeed people who have a slow-paced personality. I know I have a fast-paced personality, and I do everything very very quickly. If you say something needs to be done, I'll be out the door before others are even ready. (Master chuckles) (Applause) Put another way, I've developed this fast pace, and I hurry up and hurry up with everything I do. Of course, I'm not saying that a slow-paced personality is not good. Some people have just gotten into the habit of doing things that way. But I think it's better if we can speed up a little when it comes to saving people. (Master smiles) (Audience laughs and applauds) But it's not that you have to change your personality.
This is how beings in the cosmos are. Everyone is different: some are slow while others are fast, and some tend to be anxious while others are even-keeled. For some, they are just slow-paced with everything they do, and that can't be called an attachment. However, you should hurry up in matters of saving people and the things that Dafa disciples should do. I don't think that has anything to do with your personality. You should know what "hurrying up" means no matter how slow your personality is.
Disciple: I am a newer disciple. I'm very anxious to travel the Fa-rectification path well, but I am not sure, is that a type of attachment? How do I tell?
Teacher: You are a student who recently obtained the Fa, so don't be overly anxious. With many things you can't be held to the same requirements as the veteran students. But there are indeed some newer students who have been doing really well. They are deeply involved in doing things for Dafa and are doing what Dafa disciples need to do. They are truly amazing. Sometimes I really think those latecomers have great awakening capacity. Cultivation consists of step-by-step improvement, and it's not realistic to expect you to soar to a high level all at once and be like veteran students, since they, too, got to where they are through cultivating and improving step by step. Now that you've obtained Dafa you have nothing to worry about. Just go ahead and systematically do what needs to be done, and do what Dafa disciples should do--go as far as your understanding takes you with things. There's no problem with any of that.
Disciple: Would Master explain what effect it will have on our work if Dafa disciples do well in their coordination and cooperation, and what the result will be if we don't do those so well?
Teacher: The evil will take advantage and cause trouble if you don't coordinate and cooperate well. With a lot of the Fa-rectification things, it's not that there is no way to do them. No matter how hard it is, there is a path for you to take, even though it is a fairly narrow one. You have to go down that path correctly, and it won't work if you come up even a little short or stray a little bit. Nevertheless, there is a path for you. In other words, you need to go down it correctly. If you don't, the evil that currently exists will take advantage of it and cause trouble. In fact what I've just been talking about is the question of validating yourself versus validating the Fa when you work together on something--that's the issue.
When everyone is discussing something, you may get upset over someone expressing disapproval of your idea, but if nobody raises objections and everyone says, "This is a pretty good idea, and that one's not bad either"--so that nobody gets offended--I'd say that these students aren't being very responsible to Dafa or to their own cultivation. They don't dare to face a conflict and don't dare to address things directly, and they don't dare to speak up when they see a problem. That is being too attached to self, and that's selfishness. If you deal with a problem without the attachment to self and calmly put forward ideas about how to tackle the problem well, I don't think others will feel uncomfortable upon hearing it, because you're doing it for the Fa. This is one point.
Another point is, if someone's proposal is rejected and that person feels upset, then he really has a problem. Usually the only time when discussions about matters of validating Dafa go off track is when some attachment to self is stirred up. Go ahead and watch for this attentively--if you don't believe me, when you leave here and go home watch for it attentively. When you're talking something over, look at who is taking the conversation off track, and the person who is doing that has a problem for sure. (Audience laughs and applauds) The person who goes off topic is being attached to self, or when his concepts are challenged, driven by a human mindset he gets upset and sets aside Dafa's things. At those times he will be taken advantage of by the evil--he will stray further and further from the original subject as he argues, and the evil will take advantage. At that point he will get more and more upset, and the more upset he gets, the more his human mindset is in fact intensified by the evil and the less he is in a state of cultivation, so the evil will take advantage even further. Where do you think a wicked understanding, or "enlightening" along an evil path, come from? Isn't that where they come from? The evil takes advantage of his attachments and makes fake thoughts show up in his mind, but he considers them real and thinks they're quite reasonable. He's thinking, "None of you understand me, and when all is said and done your cultivation levels aren't as high as mine, and none of you understand the Fa as well as I do." (Master chuckles) That's how it ends up.
Disciple: Dafa disciples' efforts in New York City have changed the situation a lot, and many ordinary people have been moved by what they've seen at our anti-torture exhibits. But more and more Westerners have told us that they are seeing too many of those horrifying images, causing them to lose sympathy for us. Would Master please enlighten us on that?
Teacher: Maybe they say that the anti-torture exhibits you hold to clarify the truth are too shocking, but what I can tell you is that your actions are positive, and the energy is righteous and compassionate, so it absolutely will not shock people in any kind of negative way. Instead, the discomfort that some people feel must have been caused by bad thoughts in those people's minds. Don't people hang everywhere that graphic image of Jesus being crucified, with his hands and feet pierced by nails and bleeding? Haven't people been viewing that image for hundreds or thousands of years? So the problem doesn't lie in what is presented. Haven't Dafa disciples been subjected to similar ordeals in the persecution? You are not trying to use art to portray evil acts, you are saving people. There must be a reason why some people have negative reactions, there must be problems with their state of mind. Perhaps the evil is controlling their minds, or if not, then it's that their notions are not right. Even the people who sympathize with Dafa disciples have notions that have come out of ordinary society, and in terms of understanding, they may feel uncomfortable because of that. Don't worry, though, this can be resolved by a little more thorough explanation.
A human being may form different notions in the world. Some people think spicy food is good, some think sour food is, some like sweet food, and some like bland. Those are all tendencies of one's own making. Even if a comedy is playing in Manhattan, there are still a whole lot of people who don't like it and criticize it. That's how human beings are. There are people on both sides, positive and negative, and humans just live within the principle of mutual generation and mutual inhibition. They can't all be the same. Maybe there are more people out there who think the anti-torture exhibits are good, only they haven't said so. We can no longer keep making compromises to accommodate those with a lot of obstacles in their minds at the expense of saving good people. We are saving the world's people. Some can't bear to see these things, but there are more people who can, and who are moved, awakened, and saved. (Applause)
If someone thinks he can't stand it, well, let's think about it. With such a righteous field and the evil exposed so explicitly, and all of what is shown is actually happening in real life, yet there's this person who still raises issues like that, then doesn't that person have problems? He does, for sure. No matter how hard you work and how much you put into clarifying the truth, let me tell you, there will always be people in this world that you can't save. There is always going to be a portion that can't be saved. We can't be discouraged or demoralized because of those people. How could we be affected by and thus go along with whatever some people might say? We are here to change people, not to be changed by them. (Applause)
Everything we are giving people is wonderful, and we are saving people. We can't compromise to accommodate those who are no longer good and who obstruct the salvation of people, leading to good people not being saved. Of course, when we talk about those who are no longer good, they are not necessarily completely bad, and perhaps it's caused by their notions. But you have to stay coolheaded and rational when it comes to this. Don't be swayed by that small number of people and don't be affected by people. You should be very clear in your mind about what you're doing: you are saving people, you are doing the most righteous and most magnificent thing! (Applause) Our students have taken such great pains and overcome so much adversity in putting together the anti-torture exhibits. It's no small feat.
The key is actually that we ourselves be clearheaded. We should act with the power of conviction, not timidly or hesitantly. You can't see the fact that you are beings walking the road to godhood. (Applause) So you are different from ordinary people and you cannot be affected by them. The gods all admire you for the things you're doing in Manhattan, they truly admire you. Whether it's the gods that are playing positive roles or the ones playing negative roles, they all admire you. The world's people do too. The universal values of what is good and what is evil haven't changed.
Disciple: Is the question of priority involved when it comes to the Dafa work we do in Fa-rectification? If some students want to do Dafa work related to a specific nationality or language because of their own nationality or native tongue, shouldn't they put that aside for the time being and focus on the Dafa work at hand?
Teacher: It's not wrong to want to do Dafa work related to one's nationality or language. Master can't give you specific answers to these questions, because every student is doing things to clarify the truth and save sentient beings. Maybe those people have things that they have to do. But when it's necessary for you to work together on something as a group, Dafa disciples need to cooperate well.
Disciple: I have a question. You said a little earlier that once the persecution is over everything will be set. I'd like to ask, will the ordinary people who are still deceived have any more chances?
Teacher: A being will be whatever is contained in his head, and both for a being who is to be eliminated and one who is to have things end well for him, it will be over instantly in one pass. Some people may say that they just believe in a certain political party or that they just want to work for that party. If the Law of the cosmos considers that party good, then they will be kept when that flash of a moment comes; if the Law of the cosmos considers that party evil, then they'll be wiped out when that moment comes. At that point clarifying the facts will be no more and giving people extra chances to come to some understanding will be no more. At that point there won't be such things anymore, and people will be a member of whatever they contain and will be seen as an element of it. A person will be a part of whatever his head contains, and everything will be over in the blink of an eye.
Disciple: We often participate in community parades in the United States and have been well received by a lot of groups. Would Master tell us how we might help people come to know about Dafa while conforming to the way of ordinary people to the greatest extent? When we have disagreements, should we leave them for our own discussion or report them to Master? (Audience laughs)
Teacher: When you encounter problems you should talk them over together since you are cultivating. It can't be that whenever you have a problem you have Master go cultivate. (Audience laughs and applauds) Isn't that true? So when you encounter problems you should figure out how to address them, and whether you overcome those challenges or resolve them upon agreeing on a solution, those are opportunities for you to establish mighty virtue. That process is in fact the process of maturing, of moving towards the future, and is one of the steps you take on the road to godhood. (Applause) You definitely shouldn't leave the specifics to Master. (Audience laughs)
So how should you help all beings come to know Dafa? Once you've clarified the facts and have truly helped people understand the persecution and know that Dafa is a positive thing, that's good enough. If a person thinks that Falun Gong is really good and expresses a desire to know more about Falun Gong, then you may explain to him at an extremely basic level that Falun Gong asks its practitioners to be good, and in the end you may tell him that we are striving to become better and better people and to reach spiritual perfection. That is all you can tell him, and you can't go beyond that. You would scare him if you started telling him things at higher levels.
And people's realms of thought are different. For example, if you taught college classes to a first grade kid, he'd refuse to go to school and he wouldn't go to class anymore. (Applause) You have reached your current realms and levels step by step through cultivation, and if you want to tell him everything all at once, that's the same as wanting to lift him up from being an ordinary person to where you are instantaneously. (Master chuckles) Even I, your Master, don't do that. (Audience laughs) I can have a being, after he is rid of all low-level factors, reach a level of any height, and I can create beings at any height. But if you want a low-level being to understand things at such high levels, under normal circumstances that being can't handle it. So people have to understand step by step. Why do I ask you not to talk about things at high levels? Why do I ask you to clarify the facts rationally? That's why. So when some students are not quite rational and talk about things at very high levels right away when clarifying the facts, and when they even talk about gods-this and gods-that to government officials and tell them that their Master is so-and-so (Audience laughs), people think that you're talking nonsense. (Audience laughs) That's not the way to clarify the facts. The understanding of a cultivator is acquired step by step through cultivation, and in general people will find it very hard to comprehend if you want them to understand things at such high levels right away. If they can't understand, then it becomes counterproductive and in essence it will have a harmful effect.
Disciple: Some new students have entered the Way and obtained the Fa over the past two years in San Diego, California, and predestined people keep coming every week to learn the practice. Some of those newer students are quite capable and are qualified to get involved in projects to validate the Fa. Shall we have them go straight into doing the three things or ask them to study the Fa and do the exercises only, and then involve them later on in projects to validate the Fa?
Teacher: I can see that you are very shorthanded and are anxious to get some capable new students involved. But I still think it's better not to be hasty. Why is that? Because when veteran students talk about things together and are in that state where they are not very mindful of the way they come across, it will scare the new students. [Because of] your energy, even though your words might not be strong, to them they are strong. And though you might not raise your voice, to them it sounds like thunder. (Audience laughs) That's truly how it feels to them. So you should wait and not get the newer students involved until they've gained a certain level of understanding and knowledge, and had a chance to improve gradually--at least until they have some deeper insight into Dafa. That way it won't lead to their giving up cultivation out of a lack of understanding on something.
Disciple: Ever since the persecution began I've been bogged down with the courses at my research institute and have had no time for anything else. I haven't had much time for Dafa work and I surely haven't devoted 100% my time to Dafa work. Will I reach the level I'm supposed to?
Teacher: If your job truly has you tied up it's not a problem. As you do your job well, make time to study the Fa and use whatever chance you get to do the things that Dafa disciples should do, like clarifying the facts. There are always going to be busy times and not-so-busy times, and it can't be that everyone is busy at the same time or everyone is not busy at the same time. Some are busy when others aren't busy. For a cultivator, however, nothing is constant forever. Whether for the moment you are busy or not, just do what you're supposed to do, and everything may change as time passes. So this is what I think: don't use being busy as an excuse for yourself to not do anything or to neglect Fa study. And there are those who get really worried when they're busy, and that won't do, either. Do what you can based on your situation.
What I just said does apply to clarifying the facts in Manhattan. Those who have the ability and whose circumstances allow them to come may come, and those whose circumstances don't allow them to come shouldn't. It's not that all of you have to do things the same way. When all of you are doing things from your hearts, then that is genuine. Master has never ordered you to do anything. All I've done is to tell you what you should do, and some students go and do it. Just do what Dafa disciples should do based on your situation and your ability to do so. It won't work if you force things when your situation doesn't allow. If you do that, you will bring about problems in both your daily life and your cultivation, and that's no good.
Disciple: Dafa disciples in Turkey send their greetings to you. When might you be willing to visit Turkey? What do you think of Turkey?
Teacher: The principal part of every single nation's population came for Dafa, so I don't want to leave any nation behind as Dafa is spread. And that is why I ask you to go clarify the facts. Dafa disciples in different regions should indeed do well the things that should be done. The sentient beings are waiting for you.
As for when I will visit Turkey, I'll definitely go when the opportunity comes along. (Applause) I will travel to every corner of the globe in the future (enthusiastic applause), because I have to take care of every person you saved as you clarified the truth.
Disciple: I've seen some fellow practitioners who, after playing the role of the evil policemen a lot in the anti-torture exhibits, demonstrate more demon nature than before. Is there a correlation? (Audience laughs)
Teacher: No, there isn't. That's just in your mind. (Master smiles) It will be okay once they go home, study the Fa, and adjust their mindsets a little.
Disciple: Some Dafa disciples recently started a center for and school of the arts, which are open to the public. I'd like to ask for Master's advice on how we should go about playing our roles before the Fa rectifies the human world, given the fact that there are so many Dafa projects going on and finances are tight.
Teacher: Whether it's Dafa disciples running companies or opening schools, I think these are normal activities that they do as members of society. They are means to make a living and might create job opportunities for fellow practitioners at the same time. Also, some ordinary people can be reached through our interacting with society in this way, and they might come to benefit from it.
You asked how you should go about playing your roles before the Fa rectifies the human world. You can do it according to your ability. Running a school of the arts is different from other professions. A school of the arts can teach students to be good people by following Zhen, Shan, Ren. And the school can participate in performances sponsored by Dafa disciples, helping people see another side of the Dafa disciples and see for themselves the contrast between the evilness of that political party and of that arch fiend and the goodness of Dafa disciples. So this should be a really good thing. The Chinese New Year Gala sponsored by New Tang Dynasty TV aims to reach out to and engage more Chinese people so as to clarify the facts to them and save them. If the performances were poor, then nobody would watch, and we wouldn't achieve our goal of saving beings. Good performances will serve that purpose, or at least serve as a bridge. If the school really becomes a success then it can participate in our performances. So all of this is good.
Disciple: Some students have been cultivating for a long time and seem to understand the importance of validating the Fa, yet they haven't been very diligent. How do we help them?
Teacher: There are no miracle cures. Everyone has to cultivate himself solidly before he can rise to higher levels. As far as those who aren't diligent, take a look to see where their thoughts are stuck. There must be a reason for their inadequate understanding of what Dafa disciples must do--try to find out, what do they care about most right now? Since they are our students, we have to take responsibility for them and talk to them. If they were ordinary people we wouldn't need to worry about it. It is fine for ordinary people to care about whatever they'd like. They don't want to cultivate, so we won't bother them. Once somebody starts cultivating, though, that person will be in danger amidst the evil's persecution if he can't keep up, so you have to take responsibility for him.
Disciple: The "Nine Commentaries on the Chinese *** Party" that has been carried by the newspaper run by Dafa disciples are great, but I worry that ordinary people who don't understand us will say that we're getting political.
Teacher: That won't happen. Everyone knows that that political party is persecuting Falun Gong. All we're doing is telling people why that political party is persecuting Falun Gong and, meanwhile, telling them what that party hopes to achieve through its persecution, why the CCP is persecuting Falun Gong, and what fundamental differences there are between Falun Gong and the CCP. So we'll just talk about what that political party is and why it is opposed to Zhen, Shan, Ren. But as far as cultivation is concerned, one of our principles of personal cultivation and of clarifying the facts is that we don't get involved in those things. There is an important connection between the media's exposure of the CCP's persecution of Dafa disciples and saving all beings. The persecution of Falun Gong has been carried out in the name of that certain political party, one that has poisoned many people in the course of its persecution. In order to save those people it's important to help them see that party for what it is.
The Minghui website has not reported on this because, from a perspective that's closer to Dafa cultivation, it is not a key issue. The media reports are another way of saving all beings.
As far as who will govern China in the future, whoever wants to, let him. That has nothing to do with us. Whether he is good or bad, that's a human matter, and we are cultivators. If you didn't persecute us, then we wouldn't need to expose you. You have the gall to do those terrible things, so why don't you have the courage to face up to it?
Disciple: A lot of students who were involved with making FGM television programs don't do them anymore since they are tied up with the recent truth-clarification efforts in Manhattan and preparations for the New Year's Gala.
Teacher: Master can't say anything about that because those are things for you to work out yourselves. They are all important. I watch all of the programs done by FGM--every one of them. (Applause) So they are all important, and you shouldn't overlook any one of them. In fact, I see that all of you are truly busy, and each person is working on multiple projects. Coordinate among yourselves, Master can't say anything specific.
Disciple: (Translated question) Since the great firmament was created by Dafa, how could it be in such an improper state today that it needs Master to rectify it? Disciples from Hamilton, New Zealand, send their greetings to Master.
Teacher: Thank you. (Applause) The cosmos's former characteristics determined the cycles it went through. So, what were the characteristics? They were " formation-stasis-degeneration-destruction-emptiness, " and that is what the old cosmos is like. The cosmos is enormous, and when degeneration and destruction took place on a small scale or in a localized area, that area was blown up in an explosion, and then a void followed. After it became a void, the matter still existed, so the gods would use that dead matter to create a new layer in the cosmos from scratch. The process is very similar to human metabolism. If problems cropped up in a larger area, then that larger area had to be blown up and new beings were created afterwards. No one thinks about whether his metabolism has anything to do with mercy. Well, high-level gods in the cosmos look at the process of formation-stasis-degeneration-destruction the way humans look at metabolism--they have no concept of whether it's merciful or not. The cosmos is alive, and if the cells in part of this organic body were no longer up to par, then that part needed to be weeded out and replaced. That's why a similar process occurs in humans: birth-aging-sickness-death.
The future cosmos will be different in that regard. Once something reaches the stage of degeneration, it will be made whole and renewed so that it becomes good again. So that is different from the old cosmos. (Applause)
All of the future beings will be selfless, while the beings of the past were selfish. (Applause) Some beings have no regard for others as they pursue the things they want, and that has been demonstrated in this world thoroughly. For the sake of proving a point or to save face, some people in the world go to any length to harm others and never consider others' welfare. Some people's selfishness surfaces in a very vicious way--some of them deliberately seek out people to push around and always look down on others. Who gave them the right to do that? Nobody. You shouldn't be like that, nobody that cultivates in Dafa should be like that.
Disciple: Thank you, venerable Master, for your merciful salvation. Please help us understand how to put the skills we've acquired in society to use in truth clarification.
Teacher: I think that every Dafa disciple is making use of his skills and abilities to save all beings and validate Dafa. Dafa disciples are running websites, and media outlets such as radio stations and TV stations, and it's all for the singular purpose of clarifying the facts. At this point the Chinese communist government and that arch fiend's evil, villainous faction have used financial leverage so that they now have society's media in the palm of their hand. Nobody is reporting on the persecution we're being subjected to, so with no other recourse, Dafa disciples have worked together to do these things. What I mean is, you have taken it upon yourselves to do these things, and Master didn't specifically take the lead on any of these things. It's true that Master has affirmed what you've done or told you what I felt you should do--that much I can say. But, as for what each person should do, Master can't tell you too specifically. That's because once Master said something, others would think, "Master has asked him to do that," and you too would think, "Master has asked me to do that," so then you wouldn't do or take care of anything else. And when you were needed with other things, you would have an excuse: "Master asked me to do this." (Teacher chuckles) I would have given you an attachment, and that's no good. So you need to do a lot of things on your own. You should establish your own mighty virtue, and that is what's truly magnificent.
Disciple: As we're clarifying the facts, if some people acknowledge that the persecution is wrong but Dafa doesn't resonate with them, and we don't have time to clarify things more thoroughly for the time being, what should we do? Should we make helping people know about the persecution first priority and do that on a large scale?
Teacher: It doesn't matter whether Dafa resonates with them or not. But if they have a negative view of Dafa, that is a result of being poisoned by the evil, and it's necessary for you to clarify things to them. In general when it comes to clarifying the facts, it means talking about the persecution--you don't need to talk about things related to Dafa cultivation. It's fine if people don't want to cultivate. You should tell them that we are a group of good people, and our Dafa teaches people to be good. [You might want to have an attitude like,] "It doesn't matter whether it resonates with you, I'm not trying to persuade you to learn Dafa. I'm just trying to tell you that the persecution is wicked and that what you know is actually venomous disinformation." And that will be enough. Those who come to learn the Fa do so of their own accord, not because they were dragged into it. You absolutely must remember this: we don't want to impose anything on anyone.
Disciple: We have been sending a lot of e-mails to China. The e-mail team has been dealing with tremendous challenges, both with technology and in terms of manpower. Is this because of xinxing problems with the people left on our team or is it because the old forces blocked us off?
Teacher: You each have your own path. I think there are two reasons behind what you brought up: first, there are just so many things to do and as a result you are shorthanded; and second, maybe you've overlooked things in your personal cultivation, so the evil has taken advantage of the gaps, as Dafa disciples need to do each of the three things. Some people have said, "Master, in recent years, especially since July 20, 1999, I've found that my improvement through reading the book has slowed down. It's not like before, when I had that really good feeling of making a breakthrough every day and of my understanding improving really quickly." Why is it that you don't feel as good now reading the book as you did before? It's not that the Fa isn't powerful anymore. It's that the requirements are higher, and that Dafa disciples must do all three things well before they will see improvement. (Applause)
Some people who started studying the Fa in the earlier period say that they read the book at home and that they won't go out and do the things that Dafa disciples must do. I'm thinking that those people are not too far away from having a wicked understanding, and they are lucky if they haven't begun to stray. Over the past few years, Dafa disciples have been validating the Fa amidst the persecution and saving beings through clarifying the truth. Those people won't improve at all, no matter how much they may read the book at home. If you don't do the things that Dafa disciples should do, not only won't you improve, but you will only slide downwards. "Dafa disciple"... "Dafa disciple," what does being a "Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciple" mean? It is the foremost title and the most magnificent being in the cosmos. If you only care about your own salvation, will that do? How could that be called being a "Dafa disciple"? What is a "Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciple"? Have you validated the Fa? You came when Dafa benefited you, yet you hid out and didn't dare to speak up for Dafa when it faced danger. You have shown yourself to be less worthy than an ordinary person, so what's the point of "studying the Fa at home"? All beings are being poisoned in the persecution, so how could you feel at ease being in hiding? Why are Dafa disciples clarifying the truth and saving beings? Because that is Dafa disciples' duty. That is the kind of being that I, Li Hongzhi, want, and a Dafa disciple is that kind of cultivator.
Disciple: It seems that fellow practitioners as a whole do not pay much attention to overcoming the evil's economic persecution, so a lot of practitioners have long been at low-paying jobs, and have thereby been limited by time and financial constraints in validating the Fa.
Teacher: That problem does indeed exist, but sometimes it's our own doing or our own shortcoming of not taking everything into consideration that causes those things to happen. Dafa disciples are walking on a righteous path in validating the Fa and are saving all beings, so all aspects of that path, including financial conditions, should come together. If you don't do well in certain regards the evil will take advantage of the gap. With anything, as long as you do it well, everything will change.
Disciple: Would you say a few words to disciples who are involved in composing music? We haven't done as well as the disciples who are artists.
Teacher: We're not concerned with comparisons between artist disciples and musician disciples and who's doing better than whom. (Audience laughs) Those are just matters of self-improvement and differences in level. The Dafa disciples who compose music have a special duty to do so, and that is on top of clarifying the truth. To save all beings, Dafa disciples have composed some songs, including ones performed at the Gala. Those songs were composed by Dafa disciples themselves, and it's pretty remarkable. On the day when I taught the Fa to the artist Dafa disciples, I also attended the meetings of the disciples responsible for creating music and theatre arts, and I taught the Fa there. It wasn't recorded at the time, though. I'll say more on this in the future when the opportunity comes along. (Applause)
Disciple: There are many disciples who do not pay attention to their appearance and how they carry themselves, such as the way they look, speak, and behave.
Teacher: Let me talk about something extra here. Traditionally different gods have had different views on individual human beings' appearances. You may know that some people who cultivated the Dao in the past didn't care much about how they looked. At least the Daoists who cultivated in this world were like that, and especially the lesser ones, who cared even less about outward appearances. They were pretty slovenly and didn't groom themselves. A small number of them even cultivated in a dirty setting on purpose. Why was that? They felt that for a cultivator, being too particular about the way one dressed was an attachment and that it was better to be casual about it. And what other phenomenon did they see? Cultivation forms in the past cultivated assistant souls, so they discovered something in their cultivation, which was, over time as a person cultivated, everything on his body started to have energy on it. Those people looked bad on this side, but in the eyes of the assistant souls that had completed cultivation on the other side, those things all looked good. That happened because the matter in this dimension changes as a person cultivates, and it gains energy. So as the energy increases, what shows on the other side is supernatural treasure made of energy, from the other side the dirt and mud all over the person's body look like treasures covering the body, glittering and dazzling. But on this side--the human world--what one saw was filth covering the person's head and entire body, he was just dirty from head to toe, with just a lot of dirt and mud on the body. Consistent practice led to the mud and dirty things being fortified by the energy gained through cultivation, so the things the assistant souls took away were all good ones. They saw that, so they intentionally refrained from grooming themselves.
Now let's look at it from another angle. As you know, in Western society people care a lot about appearance and demeanor. Since they don't have that culture of cultivation, they have no concept of these matters. The cultivation in Buddhism teaches that everything a cultivator has was granted to him by the Buddha--he will get whatever Attainment Status the Buddha gives him, and he will get whatever he is supposed to get and not get what he's not supposed to get. The same goes for gods in the West. Of course, though, Dafa is different from all prior forms of cultivation.
Before the 1960s, as the Western students may recall, the men were gentlemanly, well mannered, and civilized. The women were gracious and placed a lot of importance on being well educated and cultured. Humans might have thought it was good, and actually gods didn't think it was all that bad, either. But it led to human beings easily becoming obsessed with it. It got to a point where a person's worth was judged by his manner of speaking and demeanor. A person was deemed noble--or not--based on that, rather than on his fundamental character. Later on, since all human beings came here to obtain the Fa, all actions and tendencies that stood in the way of cultivation had to be removed, and so the old forces got involved and they did that with the approach of using a bad thing to fight a bad thing. Do you know why, once the 1960s began, hippies and street artists appeared, people started having a slovenly appearance and acting against traditional values, and when it came to clothes, the more casual it was, the more fashionable it was? People's outer layer of clothing was smaller than their inner layer, their sleeves covered their hands and only their fingertips were left exposed, the waists of their pants got lower, with their pant legs bunched up on top of their feet--basically, the sloppier it was, the better. I can tell you that it was definitely not just a fashion trend. The old forces did it in order to remove that human fixation on appearance by using a bad thing to fight a bad thing. There is actually nothing wrong at all with dressing neatly, but nothing should become a fixation. Once something becomes a fixation, the human mind has deviated and that leads those human beings to go to extremes with it.
Before the Cultural Revolution in China, the Chinese were quite neat, clean, and civilized, with five thousand years of civilization behind them. You know that the Japanese have always been very clean and neat, right? A few centuries ago when things were not as developed, the Japanese would bathe in a wooden barrel every day with water that was heated in a big pot. They did that even during periods that were extremely underdeveloped. And do you know what? That was the way people lived in the Tang Dynasty, too--it was exactly the same with people in the Tang Dynasty. It's not that the people in ancient times were not clean. It's that today's people don't know how the ancients lived. The people in different dynasties and different periods were all the same, they didn't change. The only difference was with the way they dressed. Today's people portray the ancients as being backward, but that actually comes out of reasoning based on the theory of evolution. The Cultural Revolution did away with the "Four Olds" and thought of cleanliness and tidiness as a "bourgeois mentality"--to quote the absurd words of a certain political party, it was a "bourgeois mentality." They would cut off women's braids, if they found someone walking down the street with high heels they would take the shoes off their feet and chop off the heels, and they would use scissors to cut apart any nice-looking clothes you might have on. That political party in China put forward the slogan of "get a hand full of calluses, roll around until covered with mud, and live with 'revolutionary bugs' all over the body." (Audience laughs) It took only a few years to completely ruin the Chinese civilization.
I do know that some Caucasian students frown upon the appearances of some Chinese students. [That kind of appearance] is a product of being in that society, and over time they got used to it and it came to be a habit, and they aren't aware of the inappropriateness of their actions and demeanor. Nothing should go to extremes, of course, so keep to the way of human beings as much as possible, and act like a normal, dignified person. You can't be too sloppy, casual, careless about manners, or informal.
In fact, from a cultivation perspective, even though it doesn't make a difference whether or not you pay attention to the way you look and it won't affect your cultivation, the key is that you can't get attached either way. The Chinese would say, "I just like to be casual. The more casual the better. It's so much easier to be sloppy and untidy." I would say that isn't good. A Dafa disciple should be a role model for others and look like a dignified human being. When I was teaching the Fa and giving classes in Mainland China, I always dressed formally, and it was to set an example for you. (Applause) And that is because some people feel that actions speak louder than words. Whether those people are right or not, some practitioners just want to copy what Master does--"I'll dress how Master dresses." (Audience laughs) So I pay attention to the way I look and so should all of you. The Cultural Revolution did indeed ravage the Chinese culture so terribly, it destroyed five thousand years of civilization in a matter of a few years. So Chinese should pay more attention to their appearance and demeanor, Western students should refrain from judging people based on appearance, and Asian students as a whole should mind their behavior more. (Audience applauds) No one should go to extremes.
Disciple: How should we look at things that have had a negative effect on ordinary people in the Fa-rectification period?
Teacher: Yes, you might clarify the facts very well, but if people find you to be too displeasing to the eye and hear you using crude language, they won't think you are credible. If you don't do well in truth clarification you will have a negative effect. You need to bear all of this in mind.
Disciple: How should we as disciples look at the incident that happened in Argentina?
Teacher: As far as that goes, I think that if anyone persecutes Dafa disciples we should hold them accountable. We will explain the facts if that's what is needed, and when someone is injured, we'll take it to the courts if necessary. There are precedents for all these things, and you can do whatever you need to.
Disciple: If my mind isn't clear or calm when I do the exercises, can I cleanse myself the way we do during the five minutes right before we send forth righteous thoughts?
Teacher: You may send forth righteous thoughts whenever your mind is not clear and calm or your mind comes under interference. If you want to make an adjustment or send forth righteous thoughts, you don't have to be constrained by time. You may do it at any time and you can just stop when you feel your head is cleared and your righteous thoughts are strong.
Disciple: Are the requirements for doing the three things that Dafa disciples do the same for kids as for adult disciples?
Teacher: No, they're different. The little disciples are different in terms of their skills, communication abilities, and the attention they can get from society. So the requirements can't be the same. Kids and adults are not the same--kids are kids. I've talked about this many times before.
Disciple: You've been talking for nearly three hours. Master is working so hard. Many disciples would like Master to drink some water. (Applause)
Teacher: It's no problem. I think that since there are still so many question slips, I won't address those that have been touched on already.
Disciple: Some students say that we can ease up on going to the consulates and embassies for now since Manhattan is more important.
Teacher: They are all important, and no place can be overlooked. (Applause)
Disciple: We are a married couple who are both disciples, and we have a ten-year-old boy. He's been attending the Minghui School for three years, yet he still often fights with people, lies, and exhibits bad manners.
Teacher: A kid, well, sometimes he might still have the traits of a kid, and the people he comes into contact with will play a role in it as well. Mankind is a big dye vat, and if there were anyone who was untouched by this dye vat, then he would be a god. Even Dafa disciples who are cultivating need to clean themselves off often, and that's even more so for a kid.
And also, if the parents have problems in certain respects, the kid will reflect that. Those will be intentionally shown to Dafa disciples and to the parents. Let's not go on about this too much. He's a kid, after all.
Disciple: The Korean language used to include lots of Chinese characters, but since the beginning of modern times it has generally used Korean only, and that gets in the way to a certain extent with Falun Gong spreading widely. Please shed some light on this.
Teacher: I remember that in the past the entire Asian region, and I'm not referring to Middle-Eastern countries or India, used Chinese characters or at least partially used them, since there were a lot of Chinese people there. The Chinese were doing business or even became government officials there, so there were quite a lot of Chinese schools, too. In the past, the Chinese language was widely used in the Asian region, whether in business or cultural exchanges. That made things quite easy. But the old forces were just intent on impeding the world's people from obtaining the Fa and at the same time creating adversity for me to do Fa-rectification. So it asked that political party to do a terrible thing.
The old forces thought, "If the Chinese language is used [by all of these countries], it will be too easy for people to obtain the Fa and too easy for your Falun Gong to spread around the world." Then the old forces wouldn't have been in control when it came time for them to do what they wanted to. In order to do what they wanted to, they took advantage of people's concept of nationalism so as to have them promote their native cultures, creating symbols [for language] that gods don't see as words. One time at a conference of Communist nations in the then Soviet Union the CCP stated openly, "There are so many of us Chinese in Southeast Asia, a huge number. With just one rallying cry from us those places will turn into nations of our political party." And you know, there were a lot of journalists attending that conference, and they quickly spread that news to the entire world. The conference hadn't even finished when the entire Southeast Asian region began a major campaign against the Chinese. Did you know how that "rejection of the Chinese" started? That's where it came from. In South Asia in particular, the schools run by Chinese were forced to close, the Chinese people there had to take on local surnames and given names, and the use of the Chinese language was prohibited. Furthermore, many countries passed laws and amendments to their Constitutions that prohibited use of the Chinese language. So that created a great many challenges for people in certain regions when it comes to studying and obtaining the Fa today.
Of course, the old forces couldn't anticipate Dafa's might. People not just in Asia, but anywhere in the world, can translate the Great Law into different languages, and the inner meaning of the Great Law remains unchanged no matter what language it is in. But the obstacles were immense for the first group of Dafa disciples, who joined during the Fa-rectification period. The interference against those who obtained the Fa early remains quite intense.
Disciple: The literature that disciples are distributing in Hong Kong contains several stories with the theme of "recite 'Dafa hao' silently and your health problems will be cured." This has led some Mainland Chinese tourists to mistakenly think that we're pushing the idea that if people have health problems they don't need to take medicine and will be healed just by saying to themselves that Dafa is great.
Teacher: Saying "Dafa hao" is not only effective for ordinary people, but also for Dafa disciples since it clears away the bad things in the mind. When you have every cell in your body saying that Dafa is great, you will find that your entire body feels the reverberations. (Applause) It is the Fa that your mind is invoking, so that's why it is so powerful. But I think it's best to clarify the truth with wisdom. Outside Mainland China you don't need to do this or to clarify the truth this way. The environment is more relaxed and you can clarify things to people based on reason. In Mainland China the environment is different, the extent to which people have been poisoned by the slanderous propaganda varies and they thereby have different views on Falun Gong, and people from Mainland China have a certain degree of cultural context for and background on qigong, so you can do it this way among the broader populace in Mainland China. But you don't need to do it this way in urban areas or if you're outside Mainland China. You don't need to do it this way in Hong Kong either. Just tell them the facts in an open and dignified way, and that will be fine.
Disciple: As we've spread the Fa and clarified the truth, some Western ordinary people have been moved and have brought us cookies, fruit, and other things. We would like to ask if it's appropriate to accept them. We've discussed this a few times and students have had different opinions.
Teacher: It depends on the situation. If people give you something out of sincerity and earnestness yet you refuse it, that really is a little impolite. Those things aren't too expensive, so it's fine to accept them after you thank the person. But you need to take it case by case. If somebody wants to give you a huge amount of food, then it really wouldn't be appropriate to accept it. Handle it on a case-by-case basis, and as an alternative you could give them money for it. Some people truly do that out of kindness, though. They see that you are cold, and they bring you some coffee or food, so you can go ahead and thank them for it. It's fine too if you want to give them money. If they don't want to take it, then just thank them a lot. Deal with these things based on the situation.
Disciple: There are some ordinary people's media and TV producers who want to do programs about Dafa now, and they want some of our footage. We'd like to ask Master how we should handle that.
Teacher: It depends on what kinds of programs they want to do. If they want to shoot our parades and anti-torture exhibits, they are free to do so, since those are public events in the first place. But if they want to do programs about the special aspects of your lives, about how you study the Fa and cultivate, then I'd say turn them down. Why turn them down? Because you don't know what they're after and how far they will go with it. Besides, studying the Fa and cultivating are a very solemn thing, and it's not solemn to put them in the middle of some ordinary people's commentary. That's why you should turn them down, and also, it's really hard for people to truly understand us.
A little earlier I talked about how cultivators in the past were sloppy and untidy. I want to stress again that you shouldn't get attached to that. Some of you are thinking, "Wow, those untidy and dirty things might turn into good things. Then I'll be dirty too." (Audience laughs) I want to make it clear to you: that's when it is the assistant souls who are getting things! So you shouldn't copy those things. Even if those things could really turn into good ones and the master soul could get them, that's not the way we cultivate in Dafa. Dafa disciples, let me tell you, in the future you will have everything. (Applause)
Disciple: (Translated question) I haven't done well in clarifying the facts to my family and thus have not explained clearly the things I'm doing in validating the Fa. I want them to understand that Falun Dafa is good and that I am not doing anything extreme. I'd like to ask Master, how should we explain to our family what we're doing? Also, I would like to greet Master on behalf of students from Spanish-speaking countries!
Teacher: Thank you! (Applause) Western society is actually quite unfamiliar with the kind of cultivation that Chinese practice. When I started teaching the Fa, I was thinking, "How high a level of understanding will they be able to reach? And how will the public view it?" Actually, although the differences in culture have caused them to find foreign the [Chinese] way that thoughts are expressed and the concept of a human becoming a god, the goodness and kindness that cultivators show and the positive energy Dafa emits can lead anyone to think that it's good. Just like with clarifying the truth, you should talk to your family in increments about cultivation in Dafa. You should first tell them what Dafa is all about and then slowly let them know that you are learning it. Actually I don't think this is a big issue--a lot of times, it's just your own human thoughts.
Talk to them openly and straightforwardly, but make sure you don't talk at too high a level. They may be your family, but if you say, "I don't want to hide anything, so I'll tell them everything I know"... (Audience laughs) Master is not telling you to lie. I'm saying that you shouldn't talk about things at high levels, or it will scare them. Since understanding the Fa is done step by step, if you talk about things at a high level right away they will be unnerved. What you can say is, "This practice is really good and it's great for health. It's good for the mind and body and it raises people's moral standards. This book is excellent. Do you want to read it? Would you be interested in knowing more about it?" Just talk about it starting from the most basic level, and let them discover more about it on their own and read it themselves. Since Zhuan Falun starts from the truth at the level of the lowest beings, the human level, people can understand the Fa by reading Zhuan Falun. If you start talking about it at a low level, your family members that don't know much about it will not oppose it. If you talk about things at high levels and mention Buddhas and larger universes right from the beginning, they will wonder if there's something wrong with you. (Audience laughs) And that is because they truly can't accept what you say. Besides, Western religions teach that there is only one god; their understanding is that there is only one god in the cosmos. So that kind of thing is really hard for them to accept. Understanding has to come bit by bit.
Disciple: Hello, Master! I'd like to ask if in the future Chinese characters will be standardized according to the traditional style. Thank you.
Teacher: Actually, I haven't thought about that. In fact, the traditional style that people use nowadays is itself something that has evolved from the most ancient characters, and it went through incremental changes to get to where it is now. People in the current cycle of human civilization started out using inscriptions on bones and shells. From there that developed into greater and lesser seal scripts, and later it was official script, followed by regular script. There haven't been any major changes after regular script. Then of course in recent times, various forms of decorative script have emerged, such as the boldface style, the Song typeface, and so on. As far as the traditional script versus the simplified script, it's all fine as long as Dafa disciples can read it and understand the Fa. Don't worry about that, as it is a matter for the people of the future. Even if [what you described] is something Master will do in the future, it has nothing to do with Dafa disciples. After Consummating, why would you be concerned with what goes on here in the human world? There would be no point. Let's stop worrying about these things. It will become another attachment if you think too much about it. Leave what belongs to the future for the future.
Disciple: How do we balance doing everything righteously and conforming to society as much as possible? What do you think about taking out loans to develop media? How about pyramid schemes, something which has stirred up a lot of controversy among fellow practitioners both in and outside of China?
Teacher: Dafa disciples cannot do bad things. Pyramid schemes are not used in Western society anymore. That's outright cheating people. It rips people off tier after tier, and the latecomers get exploited the most.
[You're asking about] Dafa disciples getting involved in pyramid schemes? Is it right to be obsessed with making money off others? No, it's not. If you do that, you are not doing legitimate business. There should be a loss for every gain, with commodities changing hands, but what are you doing? Racking your brain to rip people off. You can't do that! I told you that long ago. You can't get into pyramid schemes, and whoever does is wrong. Among the Dafa disciples in China, whoever gets into pyramid schemes is disrupting the form of cultivation that Dafa disciples do. They will have to bear all the consequences for that later on. (Applause)
As for taking out bank loans to develop a media outlet, I don't support it. That's because when it comes to Dafa disciples, if you ask them to do media work or write articles, that front line work, they can do it. But it's really hard for you to manage a business of some sort or solicit ads, since you have grown a little unaccustomed to interacting with ordinary people. So how would you repay the loans once you took them out? The advertisements are hard for you to come by, yet you want to take out a loan when you can't get advertisements for the media? If you were to pay it off, you would have to pay with advertising revenues and newspaper profits. I don't support your taking out loans--don't ever go into debt. You shouldn't go into debt.
Disciple: Ever since Master told us to spend more effort helping students in Mainland China, I have often made phone calls to fellow practitioners in China who stay at home to cultivate. But still they won't step forward. I am really worried about them, especially since the Fa-rectification has entered the concluding stage. May I ask Master what I should do to help them?
Teacher: Helping fellow practitioners is something that should be done, and there is nothing wrong with not wanting to leave anyone behind. But if they really can't step forward, well, you've done your best. Actually you can try to find out what their mental hurdles are and where their obstructions lie. Once you determine what their hurdles and obstructions are, then those can probably be resolved. But for a lot of people, I think they're just afraid. For a god or a cultivator, fear is considered a major attachment, and it truly won't do if it's not removed. So do what you can based on their situations, though there is nothing you can do if they truly refuse. Some people really will leave you disappointed by not fulfilling their potential and not living up to expectations. There wasn't anything like this with the cultivators of the past, as they would just think, "Who cares about you. If you can't make it or can't live up to expectations then you're finished. Just go home and that's it, it's not as if I am sitting here just dying to save you." Only Dafa disciples would do what we do. (Applause)
Disciple: Over the past two months, we have seen that a lot of people from the middle or lower segments of society in New York have accepted our fliers, whereas 70% of the people from the main part of society have not gotten our literature. How do we break through that? If we dressed formally, like we're doing today, would that make a difference?
Teacher: That's not the problem. The problem is what I explained earlier: the Chinese who work in the companies here have been poisoned by the slanderous propaganda of the wicked, base group that persecutes Dafa, and it is those people, who don't know the truth, that are helping the evil to spread the venom. They are the main cause [of the problem]. You have to start there if you want to resolve the problem. Americans think those people are credible since they are colleagues, and so they listen to them not knowing that those people, too, are victims.
Disciple: A lot of Asian countries close to China have been interfered with a great deal. I'd like to ask esteemed Master, can Western disciples go there to help improve the situation?
Teacher: The students in those nations are basically doing that. But a handful of governments are really afraid of China's communist regime, so some governments have acted very badly. If you are busy with something else, you don't have to work on this matter for now. But if you have the time, you may try to see if you can do something. All I can say is that you can give it a try and see how it goes. When looking at those countries' behavior, treat that as you would a person failing to live up to expectations.
Disciple: Dafa disciples from Australia send their greetings to Master.
Teacher: Thank you. (Applause)
Disciple: May I ask Master how we should handle the balance between clarifying the truth in various countries and local areas, and clarifying the truth to people in New York and Beijing?
Teacher: They are all important. You should do it wherever your circumstances best allow.
Disciple: Greetings to Master from all Dafa disciples in Singapore. Indonesian Dafa disciples also asked me to relay their greetings to Master when I saw you.
Teacher: Thank you. (Applause)
Disciple: Master, are conflicts among people the same as conflicts among cultivators? Why does it seem to me that conflicts among cultivators are always difficult to resolve? On the surface they are getting along, when in actuality they are displeased with one another. If this goes on for long, what should we do about it? (Audience chuckles)
Teacher: What should you do about it? (Audience chuckles) Indeed, what should you do about it? You're cultivators, so how could you be like that? But I know, and I'll tell you the same thing again: although certain problems with certain people may seem glaring, they have in fact cultivated very well with some things that don't show. You can't compare them to ordinary people, and even less should you think that the conflicts they have are simply conflicts. Those are opportunities for them to improve themselves.
If you were all one big harmonious group, everything was really calm and just fine with all of you, no one upset anyone else, and everyone was making others happy, then that would be bad, (audience laughs) it really would be, for you couldn't cultivate then. If nobody's antagonism came to the surface and you couldn't help each other improve, then it wouldn't be a cultivation group. What differentiates us most from ordinary people is, when conflicts and tensions arise, we are able to examine ourselves. (Applause) It's absolutely not that we don't have conflicts come up. When certain aspects of ourselves that we have not cultivated well come out, there will be friction, and there will be discord and differences in opinion. Then look to see where the problems lie. Each person should examine himself for the reasons: "Did I do something poorly, and that's what made people disagree with me?" And the other party should do some thinking too: "Was there a problem with the way I brought up the issue, and that's what made people not accept it?" If each person can examine himself, then that is cultivation. If you didn't examine yourself then you have not cultivated, or at least in terms of that one issue.
There are cases where the conflicts last quite a long time, but sooner or later they will have to see where their problems lie. It's better to get rid of them sooner than later. No one should expect to achieve Consummation when they are still enmeshed in conflicts and attachments. (Applause)
Disciple: Buddhism originated in India, but later on it disappeared from India. Nowadays in India there are many different cultures and languages, and that makes it hard for Dafa to spread there. Is this because of the old forces' arrangements? Esteemed Teacher, please give us some guidance on this.
Teacher: It's the same as China in that regard. China is such a large area, and the dialects of many regions are unintelligible to people in other regions. But everybody speaks Mandarin, the national language, and so people can understand each other. In India it's actually the same. India too has an official language, and many Indians speak English. The British were there for quite a long time, so a lot of older people speak English. India has a large population and a sizeable land mass, so there are bound to be differences in language. I don't think that is stopping them from obtaining the Fa. For sure it's the old forces stopping them. The Dafa disciples in China were able to resolve this issue, and the ones in India can, too.
The people of India have changed a lot since taking up other religions and an assortment of beliefs. In the past, Indians were a people of primal simplicity; the Indian race was created by a Buddha.
The human beings on earth were created by different gods. It's as if the feet of some gods in the cosmos were planted here, the Three Realms--there are Buddhas' feet, Daos' feet, and feet of all kinds of Gods. At the bottoms of their feet--the particles at the lowest level--are the Three Realms and the Earth, on which are the different people of this world, with different people corresponding to different gods' systems. Shakyamuni often said that the feet were dirty. In fact what he meant was that this human place is at a low level. In other words, once a god created a person, the person became part of that god's system, and that is why gods looked after people. But later on, because Fa-rectification began, the gods that created man abandoned the Three Realms and mankind; the gods who created man all separated from the Three Realms, so man became isolated. This surface human form, also called the human skin, still assumes the images of different ethnic groups, but it no longer has any ties with the gods above. In other words, it no longer has ties with the gods who created man before. Didn't the gods from high levels in the cosmos come down one after another, taking on a human form to obtain the Fa? Put another way, most human bodies today are being used by beings who descended from higher realms to become human beings here. This clothing is being donned by beings that came from higher realms. Once they arrive at this human place you can't call them gods anymore, because in the past beings that came down to this human place could never return; once someone arrived at this realm he became a being of this realm. So in other words, he became human, with the only difference being that he came from high levels. Well, at this point in the discussion, what I am saying is that the former gods who can't be saved when my Great Law is widely spread will, provided they are not so bad they must be weeded out, forever be human beings here. And we are talking about those who have not sinned against Dafa and are not overly bad. They will be human beings in the next period, when the future mankind truly begins.
The mankind of today was not meant to be an everlasting level in the cosmos. The Three Realms was created for the Fa-rectification, and no matter how long its history is, the beings here are meant for the purpose of Fa-rectification and existing alongside the Fa-rectification. Gods directed mankind by shaping its cultures, behavior, and ways of thinking, as well as its biological makeup. That process was a part of history that was meant to facilitate the Fa-rectification, it took place for the Fa-rectification, and it was for Fa-rectification that the different dynasties of man constantly changed. In other words, human beings are in fact not truly beings that belong to this level of the cosmos. This level of beings that are humans and this society were created with a purpose. If during this Fa-rectification human beings act well, mankind will be blessed. Because the Great Law is spread here, the true history of this level of beings--humans--will really commence in the future, and the Great Law will establish the lives of human beings for this future level. Put another way, in the future man will really exist, and this level will become forever a part of the cosmos's composition, this level will forever be a level of the cosmos. (Applause) So in the future the people who do not sin against Dafa but do not cultivate in Dafa will forever be human beings here.
Today's human world is scary indeed, and no one dared to come here before. Once they got here they would have entered the delusion, and with their minds wiped clean, no matter how high a level a god was from, he wouldn't know anything once he got here. After getting immersed in the reversed principles in this world, and driven by the human self-interest and qing of this world, people are capable of doing anything. All a being can do here is go down the road to ruin, and it's hard for him to extricate himself. At this human level, qing manifests like water; it is smaller than the particles of water that people can see and highly dense. It is a god, but it is formless, and it's called "qing." It is a god that was created when the Three Realms was created, and it just plays the role it does. Here, any being that is composed of particles within the Three Realms is submerged. When looked at from a microcosmic level, the molecules in the human body are large pellets, and there are gaps between those pellets. So as human beings are submerged here, and the spaces between the molecules in the human body--and even the spaces inside the molecules--are immersed in qing, it is as if they are submerged in water. Who can say he's not affected by qing? If someone can break out of qing, then that person is divine. (Applause) Your being happy, your being unhappy, your liking something, your disliking something, your being angry--any emotional response from you--your liking certain physical objects, your liking certain work, your wanting to have certain foods... all of these things are from qing.
The surface body of man--despite the fact that this being came from high levels--the surface body of the human being is composed from the different foods in this dimension, but at the same time, the surface that you see is quite complicated. Human beings have a True Body. (Of course, this Fa should be taught in the future, as it is Fa that is within the Three Realms.) The composition of the human body is complex. When a person is born, the lower-realm gods in charge of human beings' reincarnation have to give that person a human skin. That human skin is very small at the time; its manifestation in that dimension is quite small. Starting from when it is an embryo, the matter from this dimension that its parents give it--what people call "nutrition"--continually makes it fill out and get bigger. This process of filling it out and making it bigger is the process of growth. It fills out and enlarges because it is continually substantiated by this dimension's matter, which continually fills out and enlarges the true skin. The same is true with the process of a person's growth after birth: whatever human food you eat, your body will grow, and that growth is in fact your true skin being filled out and enlarged by cells formed as a result of the food you consume after birth. Then when a person dies, usually his true skin is extracted and taken away. It is more microcosmic than the matter at the outermost surface, so gods can take it away effortlessly. As soon as the true skin is taken away, the body at the surface starts to break down and rot. Since it was composed of matter of the earth in this dimension, it needs to return to the earth, so it has to rot here.
I'm talking about the Fa in the Three Realms. (Master smiles) (Audience chuckles, applauds) Your human surface likes to hear it, but it serves no purpose in high-level cultivation. In other words, as I said a little earlier, beings that came from upper realms are actually wearing this set of clothes now--the human skin that is, this human body at the surface. Since human beings' surface appearances were created by gods before, in the past they were always connected to those gods, so they basically had those gods' images. They were identical for the most part, with only minor differences. Each person might have his own appearance, but overall he has that god's basic image. So different gods created different human beings. But, due to the Fa-rectification period starting, they all abandoned mankind. Some people say they are of such-and-such ethnicity, but in the eyes of gods they actually don't belong to any ethnicity. It's just that their bodies at the surface still have the appearance of that ethnicity; the true them is not part of it. They might very well have reincarnated from other ethnic groups, and many beings came from the heavens.
When gods created man they did not do so in the heavens, they did it on earth. That is, they used the matter on earth to create man. Apparently it was said in the Old Testament that Yahweh created man of clay. In fact, molecules are one kind of particle that are at the surface of the lowest level of the cosmos. Put differently, in gods' eyes this layer of particles is the earth, the clay. [They see it that way] because their matter is the best matter in the cosmos, and the further down you go in the cosmos, the lower things are and the larger and coarser the particles get, which means the worse things are, and in their eyes the filthier things are. So heaven and earth in their eyes are different from how human beings perceive them. When people say that someone has gone to the heavens, he has in fact only gone higher and traveled further among the molecules. He still hasn't left this dimension of molecules, so he is not really in the heavens. The heavens that gods refer to are composed of microcosmic particles--those are the real heavens.
Scientists ask, "Where can you find the gods? We've seen the heavens with our telescopes--where are the gods?" That's not the true heavens, but just the heavens as humans think of them. It's not the true "heavens" spoken of by the beings in the cosmos. And "Earth" as we know it doesn't fully encompass the true idea of earth. Human beings look at Earth and think, "Oh, this earth, it is our earth. We are standing on the earth. The earth is round." Gods say that it isn't round. [People might think,] "How is it not round? We can see it more clearly than the gods." But think about it, gods think of molecules as dirt on the ground, and isn't this dimension's matter made up of molecules? Isn't the air, which our human eyes can't see, made up of molecules? And in the air there are substances just like the air, numbering in the hundreds of millions, that are distributed all throughout the Three Realms. It's just that eyes cannot see molecules and the smaller particles, though everything in this dimension is packed full of them. Mankind is buried in the piles of molecules and smaller particles. The surface forms in the human world are different forms made up of surface matter composed of molecules. Some of the forms were made by gods, some by man. The ones made by man are things such as this building. The ones made by gods are: water, rocks, soil, the air, metals, plants, animals, and human beings, as well as the stars in the sky and the earth. Human beings are merely perceiving the world from within the dimension made up of this layer of particles, and perceiving the cosmos from inside this very narrow dimension. The heaven and earth that are in human beings' minds are not the true heaven and earth. Earth, like the air, is composed of molecules, so in gods' eyes, all of it is earth. [Looking at it from] the microcosmic level, the dimension made up of this level of particles is in fact earth, whereas the realm made up of more microcosmic particles is the true heavens.
A moment ago I said that Indians were created by a Buddha. The way they talk and carry themselves is very much like a Buddha. In the past the resemblance was even stronger. In modern society things have gotten a bit jumbled due to issues with race. The Arabs and the Chinese are close to India, so a large portion of the Indians of recent times are of mixed race. In the past the Indian race was very pure. You can see what I described in Indian ethnic dance. Their hand gestures and movements closely resemble the mudras and postures of a Buddha. I find them very, very similar. (Applause)
Disciple: In Russia there have recently been several incidents of terrorist attacks on tourists, so a lot of people don't want to hear about the terrorist-style persecution happening in Mainland China.
Teacher: That, too, is a form of interference. It doesn't matter--clarify the truth as you would normally. [The evil] is intent on trying to interfere with you. Don't let it interfere with you, though, and just go on doing what you would normally do. It's hard for the time being, but it won't be hard for long.
Disciple: With regard to the correction of the Chinese characters, is it to be done only with Dafa books? Since media work...
Teacher: When it comes to the articles you write for ordinary people, don't change the characters in them. If ordinary people couldn't understand them, that would be a problem, right? Let's not involve these things in ordinary affairs at present.
Disciple: I have bad thought-karma. I have refused to acknowledge it all along and I have been trying to get rid of it. But it's been a long time and I still haven't managed to get rid of it. I am able to tell that it is not me.
Teacher: If it's something truly bad, then eliminate it. And sometimes there is another approach that has good results, and it's not necessarily an extreme way to handle it. You can have this thought: "During the Fa-rectification of the cosmos, I can make a reasonable arrangement for those of you who don't interfere with my validating the Fa; I can have you become beings in the future. Those of you who seek a benevolent resolution should leave me and wait in my surroundings. If you really cannot leave me, then don't have any part in interfering with me. In the future I will be able to achieve Consummation, and I will offer you a benevolent resolution. Those who are completely bad, who still interfere with me and who cannot remain will, according to the standards, have to be eliminated. Even if I don't eliminate you, the Law of the cosmos won't let you remain." If you have that thought, it is tremendously merciful to some of those extremely low-level beings, and it will make it easy to eliminate those who still interfere.
The Fa-rectification of the cosmos has standards. If you do it that way no one will have any grounds to challenge you. The principles are clear, as those who are supposed to be eliminated are to be eliminated. And yes, when it comes to many low-level things you may eliminate them completely--there's no problem with that in terms of the principles. But when you handle it as I just described, no being can say anything in objection. Those who continue to do bad things will have no justification whatsoever, and whatever is supposed to be done will be done. (Applause)
Disciple: In translating your teaching of the Fa, some students think that it should be done word for word according to the original text, and some think the translation should conform to the conventions of the foreign language.
Teacher: I think that translating word for word, except in the cases of some Asian languages where it might work, may not be so easy to do; that's especially so with Western languages. It's fine just to translate the most surface ideas using words of similar meaning. Making the translation consistent with the original meaning as much as possible is pretty much good enough. These questions come up a lot with translation. The translation should be very close to the surface meaning, and that will be fine.
Another thing is, some people have felt it's better to make the translations more like spoken language. Take English, for example. One book was translated in a fully oral style. Some people say that kind of translation is easier for people to understand. Of course, there's nothing wrong with doing that, but I think in fact it's best to do it both using standard structure and diction as well as making the translation consistent with the original meaning as much as possible. Scholars of English and of language might not be able to accept vernacular that's too specific to any one region. If you use standard structure and diction, then everyone can study it and everyone can read it. Don't worry that people might not be able to understand it. Don't we already have so many English-speaking students? Didn't they all understand it? It's not a problem.
You are holding a Fa conference, but I'm taking up all the time--that's not good, right? (Applause signifying that it is all right) There are a lot of greetings.
Disciple: Greetings to Master from all Dafa disciples in Spain, Austria, Hungary, Portugal, Vietnam, Indonesia, New Zealand, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, Australia, Latvia, Ireland, Singapore, the Greater New York area, Scotland, Laos, Iran, Russia, India, the Czech Republic, and South Africa!
Teacher: Thank you all. (Applause) Here are some from Mainland China.
Disciple: Greetings to Master from all Dafa disciples in Guangdong, Jiangmen, Henan, Zhengzhou, Xuzhou, Pingdingshan, Xi-An, Hainan, Wenchang, Tangshan, Jiamusi, Heze of Shandong, Harbin, Hunan, Huaihua, Shandong, Gaotang, Pingxiang of Hebei, Xinxiang, Sanheyanjiao, Tianjin, Beijing University, Tsinghua University, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Jinan of Shandong, Shijiazhuang, Laiyang of Hunan, Nanchang, Hongdu, Zhejiang, Fuyang, Ningbo, Qiqihar, Hubei, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Liaoning, Shanhaiguan, Shandong, Guangxi, Shenyang, Hefei, Dandong, Yanji, Dalian, Zhanjiang, Guizhou, Chongqing, Chengdu, Wuhan, Jinzhou, Yunnan, Macau, Zhuhai, Lanzhou, Hebei, and Jilin!
Teacher: Thank you all. (Applause) Since there are a lot of question slips, if I read all of them, I'll be doing all the talking at today's Fa conference. (Applause signifying that they would like Teacher to continue) I'll read as many as I can. (Applause)
Disciple: We would like to establish a charitable foundation for Dafa disciples' orphaned children. Would Master please give us some advice on that?
Teacher: That would be a good thing, and you may do that. I've been thinking about this all along. After some Dafa disciples were killed by the persecution, their children became homeless and they have been staying in foster homes. I can't do nothing about it, so I thought that we could collect their names and then figure out a way to rescue them out of China. (Applause) We'll raise them, and we can set up a school(s) for them. (Applause)
Disciple: The question I'm running into is: how do I know which project is more important and more of a focus for me to do well in?
Teacher: That is for you to figure out. (Audience laughs) That's too specific. Don't ask Master that, okay?
Disciple: A student suffered from psychosis a few years ago and had to stay in the hospital, but in the last few years he has not had a problem. Right now he is taking part in Fa-validating work. Should we advise him to appear in public as little as possible, keep a low profile, and do behind-the-scenes type work?
Teacher: That's a good suggestion. If some students can't handle themselves well or suffered from psychosis before learning the Fa, then it's okay for them to cultivate at home. Back when I was imparting the Fa, I always said that those who had psychosis were not allowed in the seminars. When [those] people took up the practice, I would take care of them, and if they studied at home, I would save them just the same. But they were not allowed in the seminars. We needed to protect that cultivation environment of Dafa disciples and prevent interference, and that is why I didn't allow critically ill patients or those who had psychosis to attend the seminars. Students who used to have psychosis can do some things that are in the background, and it's okay if they do less or nothing when it comes to clarifying the truth.
Disciple: Dafa requires students not to sit by, watch, and ignore things like murder and arson. In Mainland China students are losing their lives right now. I really cannot just sit idly by and wait at home. I want to go to Tiananmen Square to tell people "Falun Dafa is great" and that Dafa saved my life.
Teacher: It's still quite evil over there right now. While you cannot sit by and watch Mainland China's students being persecuted, I don't want you to be persecuted, either. Work harder on clarifying the truth to stop the persecution. As your Master, I need to first consider your safety. (Applause)
Disciple: When we create art, how should we balance and handle appropriately creating art that today's people can accept and art people should have in the future? Are we establishing new art?
Teacher: You should do your best to make the cultural performance shows put together by Dafa disciples more upright and better. What a work of art depicts is only an issue of its subject matter, whereas the artistry and quality of the created work is often the key that determines whether the audience will be receptive to it.
Disciple: I am prone to sinking into a despondent mood. I think the most painful thing in my life is loneliness, as I don't have the warmth of family. I find it hard to get rid of the cloud cast over me by the feeling of loneliness. How should I look at this problem? Is it caused by karma from my past, or is it certain factors that I need to get rid of in my cultivation?
Teacher: If it's karma or interference, then eliminate it. As a living being, why do you no longer have the excitement you had when you initially obtained Dafa, pride in having obtained this Dafa, and the feeling that you have something that others cannot get? Are you not diligent anymore? Is that it? Or, even if you were too busy clarifying the truth to mull over your feelings, that would be because you were doing Dafa things or working on saving sentient beings. Why do you feel lonely? If you go do things to save sentient beings and things that a Dafa disciple is supposed to do, you definitely won't feel that way. If you were studying the Fa and diligently cultivating, could you feel that way? Only when you are not diligent will you have the leisure to mull over those ordinary human feelings, right? (Applause)
Disciple: A fellow cultivator has been giving me financial support recently, which has enabled me to stay in New York to do more Dafa work. I don't think it is quite right to accept others' help. Master, is my understanding correct?
Teacher: Yes, I think that since all Dafa disciples are giving of themselves and you too are giving of yourself and clarifying the truth, if you rely on other people's financial contributions, then aren't you doing things conditionally? If others didn't provide for you, then would you not do it? When we take from others, don't we have a sense of indebtedness? Do we feel right about it? Sure, there are special circumstances, and we can't be absolute with this. It's understandable when students who have their own businesses give more and support certain projects by students. But under normal circumstances I don't think that seems right. Even when it's for doing things like clarifying the truth, I don't think it is quite right. If you can stay here long term, then find a job and do [the Dafa] things in your spare time--that works, too. In any case, ultimately you have to resolve your financial situation on your own. You can't depend on someone else to provide for you--that would be a problem.
I'm talking about this in terms of the Fa's principles. In fact, the observing gods are glaring at you, so you shouldn't be borrowing from people. If circumstances really don't allow, then do other Dafa-disciple things at home. What I said was that those whose circumstances allow could stay here to clarify the truth. If your circumstances don't allow, then go back to your hometown and do truth-clarification things there, which is the same.
Disciple: Could you please talk about certain members of that despicable Jiang's overseas clique poisoning the Chinese people's minds outside of China?
Teacher: Those things aren't worth discussing at our Fa conference. A being is responsible for the consequences of whatever path he takes. The path those people took was their own choice. Even when, with your help, they come to realize things, they still have to pay back what they owe. A person has to pay for whatever he has done. It's absolutely not allowed if he does not. Think about how many people they have harmed with their spreading of the venom, though. That sin is as large as the mountains and the skies, so they can't pay it off, for they have poisoned the minds of too many beings. So if a media outlet does bad things, its sin is huge; what I'm referring to is when it harms Dafa.
Disciple: How can disciples in Poland help the disciples in Mainland China? Greetings to esteemed Teacher from Dafa disciples in Poland!
Teacher: Thank you! (Applause) With regard to Dafa disciples in Poland, I think that no matter where you are, you can clarify the truth, and if you have the time you can do it in other regions as well. All of that is fine, and it helps the students in Mainland China. Right now the students outside Mainland China have created a better situation [in China] to some extent and effectively restrained the evil [there]. And also, they are helping the students there realize that they should step forward and the importance of doing so. There are all sorts of things like these that you can do, and if you have other ideas, that's okay, too.
As far as sending money to them, though, don't do that. The money might not reach them, and they, too, are cultivating. If the money got to be a lot, their human thoughts might arise and in turn actually lead to attachments. They are in an evil environment, and it is indeed tough in some regions. But as long as they handle themselves well, Master will take care of all of them. They need to walk their own paths. Master takes everything into consideration; these things are not fundamental problems.
Disciple: When some students obtained the Fa they didn't truly understand things from the Fa and were not strict with themselves. As a result, their detrimental behavior affected the newer students around them and caused those students to lose their desire to cultivate. Can those people be saved? And can the students who affected them make up for the harm they did?
Teacher: Whenever a student makes it so that others cannot be saved, it's a very serious matter. As a cultivator, you can only save sentient beings, you can't ruin them. In the human world you are capable of cultivating into a god, and in the human world you are capable of ruining others. These are things of equal magnitude, so you cannot overlook the importance of this. As far as what you owed before you started cultivating, those things have been segregated, and they are a separate matter. Then what you do during cultivation is simply huge. If you really cause someone to be ruined, unsalvageable, or even unable to make it to the future, then that will prevent you from ever becoming a god. It's that serious. So be very, very sure you don't do anything like that.
Of course, things done intentionally and unintentionally can be looked at differently, but didn't we come here for sentient beings? When your negative impact causes serious harm, what happened to your righteous thoughts to save sentient beings? How could you not consider how others might feel? Aren't you cultivating to become a righteous enlightened being of a righteous Fa, a being who puts others' interests before his own and considers others first? When you have conflicts with others it affects newer students, so why did you do that in front of the newer students? Weren't you being self-centered and not thinking of others? Sure, maybe it was unintentional, but didn't it effectively drive newer students away?
You ought to be more mindful when it comes to a lot of things, and you should make up for what you didn't handle well before. Don't just think, "That's a new student, he came in because we spread the Fa, and if he doesn't want to practice he can leave." Don't look at it that way. You know, your efforts to spread the Fa merely provide the circumstances, whereas whether he is accepted is up to Master. It's Master who truly brought him in, so if you drive him away it's no trivial thing. Besides, once someone has learned Dafa, he is a Dafa student, and many things are to be done for him. When many things are done for him and yet he stops practicing, then do you have any idea of the consequences ahead?
Disciple: If the old forces' persecution hadn't happened, what would the cultivation path(s) you originally arranged for us have been like?
Teacher: Things have transpired and the situation changed, so why ask about that?
Disciple: With our righteous thoughts and righteous actions, will we be able to end the persecution before the Fa rectifies the human world?
Teacher: The truth is, Dafa disciples, in supporting the Fa-rectification, your righteous thoughts and righteous actions have already made the persecution draw closer to the end. (Applause) Think about it, the evil beings have let up quite a bit now. If you weren't strong, if you hadn't done well, why would they have let up on you? When some students do fall into their hands, the wicked people don't dare to persecute them too badly anymore. Why not? Isn't it because they are afraid that Dafa disciples will bring them to justice later on? Isn't it because no matter where those evil ones who have persecuted Dafa disciples try to escape to, they will eventually be tracked down? If during this persecution Dafa disciples had all been beaten into silence and had feebly vanished, then would the evil be afraid? They wouldn't think twice [about doing evil]. The things you are doing can shock and frighten the evil today, can greatly reduce the evil and restrain it, can terrify the evil and prevent it from having the strength to carry on with the persecution, and can ultimately force this evil persecution to do nothing but end. That's what Dafa disciples are doing in this time before the Fa rectifies the human world, and it is magnificent.
Disciple: Some students don't participate in group study or exercises. Are those students at risk? How can we help them get rid of their fear?
Teacher: I think that with newer students, you shouldn't be too hasty. It's all right for them to take their time. But you should try your best to advise them to take part in group study sessions, because the group study environment is indispensable for your helping each other improve, it is essential. Why, back early on, did I ask people to hold them? Because the form of cultivation that this Fa takes dictates that it be done this way. Why did the people in the past have to leave the secular world to cultivate? They knew there was a problem: when they were back in the secular world and interacted with ordinary people, they became like ordinary people and couldn't stay diligent. Moreover, they cultivated their subordinate souls. That is why they left the secular world and grouped themselves together. The cultivators could help each other improve and see how they compared with others, they always had things to share that were specific to cultivators, and they formed a cultivators' environment.
Without that environment, then... think about it, it's the same with today's Dafa disciples: when you go back out there into ordinary society, you are in the environment of ordinary society. If you don't seize the day [to cultivate], then today you might feel like reading and so you read a little, but tomorrow you might get lazy and read less... so without that environment it's hard to stay diligent. After all, it's human beings who are cultivating. So with human laziness and all kinds of disturbances affecting people in this world, it's very hard for you to see on your own where you fall short. And in particular, if on top of that you aren't diligent, you don't read the book a lot, or you don't comprehend the Fa very well, you won't be able to see your attachments at all. That's why you have to participate in group study and exercises.
Right now we are at a time when the persecution is taking place, so there are all kinds of reasons why students can't, or can't frequently, do the exercises as a group. In the future you will definitely have group exercises. Outside Mainland China many veteran students are busy doing a lot of things to validate the Fa. But, for the sake of newer students, veteran students should create an environment for them so that they can study the Fa and do the exercises together.
Disciple: (Translated question) I'm a Western student. Esteemed Teacher, would you please say something to encourage more Western students to step forward? A lot of Dafa projects need English-speaking students right now.
Teacher: It's true that they should be diligent. I've been thinking that The [Chinese] Epoch Times, a newspaper run by Dafa disciples, has had a fairly big impact in the Chinese community. In fact, The Epoch Times newspaper is already the largest media outlet in the world; it covers many countries, including the entire United States. I've seen it even in small towns in the U.S. It covers a very large area, and on top of that there is the web version. But, that said, it reaches only Chinese people. Beyond Mainland China, the true mainstream society, the principal part of society... for instance, the U.S. is an English-speaking society, and that language is what most of the people speak. So how could we not have a publication that clarifies the truth to them? There are limitations to solely relying on clarifying the truth by word of mouth. And even if that were feasible, we should still try as much as we can to add on some other ways to better help people see the truth. Wouldn't that be better? So I've been thinking that whenever the English version of The Epoch Times that you are running can truly get off the ground, that will be the greatest thing. And actually, the same goes for other countries. (Applause)
Many of the media outlets in mainstream society have business relationships with China, and some of the managers and editors have even been bought off by China's wicked band of gangsters. In this day and age, such a severe persecution is taking place--such a significant thing--yet the international community turns a blind eye to it. Isn't that odd? Is that acceptable? It's a crime! That band of gangsters is just so evil. If Dafa disciples have a local media presence, that might resolve these problems. But if these media outlets [we are involved in] are going to achieve a good effect, they need to resolve the challenges of human and material resources, which means that they need to increase their staff. So from this perspective, the number of Western students who are currently involved is indeed not meeting the need. The students involved are worried about this, too.
Of course, everything will gradually get better. There will be new students who will get involved; there will be new students who will understand the Fa over time and get involved. Everything will get better. The situation with the Chinese-language newspaper was like this before, too. They went from being shorthanded to having more people, from not knowing what to do to knowing, from not being familiar with it to being familiar, from being immature to eventually becoming mature. So I think that when it comes to new students who can cultivate themselves according to the Fa, you can have them get involved in more things. But, if they can't understand things from the Fa yet, then you really can't get them involved, because they won't understand a lot of things and they don't realize yet that we are the ones who have to do things to validate the Fa. It is another way to save sentient beings, so if we don't do it, who will?
When a new student doesn't understand, it might even negatively affect him or ruin him. So you should consider that aspect of things. Let them know that the things we are doing save sentient beings, clarify the facts, and expose the persecution. I think that each veteran student was a new student once, too. Gradually these new students will, likewise, become mature.
Disciple: When I've gone through ordeals or tests, every time I have found filthy attachments that come from selfishness. I've cultivated for so long now but I still haven't removed it completely, while the Fa-rectification is drawing to a close...
Teacher: Don't be anxious about that. Removing those things is done layer by layer, and that's why they surface. When it comes to certain things, if you really can't do them, Master will do them for you.
Ordinary society is just one big dye vat, and the moment you let down your guard you get corroded by it. So you must cultivate nonstop and resist the contamination. As soon as you let up it will come for you. You are cultivators, and Master has let you keep the things that allow you to cultivate among ordinary people. That's one of the reasons [behind what you described]--it's so that you can conform as much as possible to the way of ordinary society in your cultivation. When you aren't diligent, though, those human things of yours will be exploited. But as cultivators you are able to continually rectify yourself and continually get rid of bad things through your cultivation. However, you might still have some left. Don't think that you have failed to cultivate well, though, and even less should you let it become a burden. Then it would become an attachment. When there are [bad things], just remove them. Cultivate in a noble and confident manner, and don't let those things affect your actions. When they show up in your thoughts eliminate them in a timely manner.
Disciple: As the time of Fa-rectification rapidly moves forward, [I am concerned that] it's still really difficult to clarify the truth to my family. I find it hard to figure out how to go about clarifying the truth to them.
Teacher: Some students do find it really difficult to clarify the truth to their families. I think for the most part it's actually because you still see them as people in your family and treat them differently from people in the outside world. You should remember that they, too, are sentient beings in the human world, instead of thinking of them first as your family. And you should find out what in their minds is unresolved. Once you work those things out everything can be resolved. Under normal circumstances when you clarify the truth, don't think about having people learn the Fa right away and the results will be better.
Disciple: Although I realize that we are all very fortunate, sometimes I get unhappy. Would you please tell me, does that happen because of the side of me that hasn't been fully cultivated, or is it a result of karma-elimination, that is, karma?
Teacher: Actually, it's normal to get unhappy. Newer students have formed many notions in the human world, and their notions perceive things differently. You might find one thing good, some other bad, and so on--people have feelings like that. Those are human notions reacting. Your notions can't be removed all at once as soon as you start cultivating, so reactions based on notions will affect your emotions, putting you in a bad or happy mood.
These are things that happen in your cultivation. Gradually your understanding of the Fa will become clearer and clearer, your righteous thoughts will get stronger and stronger, you will look upon sentient beings with more and more compassion and mercy, and things will be different.
Disciple: Now that the new Zhuan Falun has come out, what should we do with the ones that have uncorrected [Chinese] characters in them, that is, the old Zhuan Falun? Should we continue to use them?
Teacher: It is the Book, it is the Fa, and for just a few words... can't you just correct the characters? Am I right? You can't go and do something you shouldn't, right?
Disciple: The five-thousand-year-old Chinese culture is [a combination of] the cultures of different cosmic bodies in the cosmos. Then are Western cultures also cultures of cosmic bodies from ages ago? Are they related to the spreading of Dafa?
Teacher: Western gods created Westerners. Whether it be Asians or other ethnicities, they were all created by different gods, so they definitely bear the characteristics of those systems. As for culture, you should say that gods created human beings' cultures for them, instead of saying that those cultures are cultures of the heavens. If you say that the skyscrapers in Manhattan are the same as those in the heavens, that's not true, because they were brought about by modern science, and modern science was brought about by aliens. Yes, the cultures of China's different dynasties bore characteristics of the heavenly kingdoms that came to form karmic connections. But, gods determined what was left behind at this human place with specific goals in mind, since human history was laying the foundation for Fa-rectification. Western culture is a surface culture that was created for human beings while they lived and waited for the Fa-rectification.
Disciple: I find it very hard to return to Zhen-Shan-Ren. Master, could you please tell me what it means to truly remove attachments at a fundamental level?
Teacher: You're a newer student, so don't be anxious. You will gradually come to realize and understand many things during your cultivation process. The best approach is to read the book(s) a lot--you have to read the book(s) repeatedly. What Master is telling you is absolutely good for you.
You saw that in just a few years of my imparting the Fa in Mainland China, 100 million people came to learn it. Since leaving China I haven't directly taught the exercises or the Fa, and it has been the students who have been passing it on, holding nine-day seminars, and spreading the word about this Fa. Although the old forces have been controlling certain things, they haven't been able to block it, and a lot of people have still come to learn it. Why is that? Because this Fa can truly guide people's cultivation, it can truly help people improve, and can truly change the state of a being. The evil in Mainland China has been carrying out such a severe persecution, and the evil's pressure felt by Dafa disciples in the international community has been huge as well. So why have they been able to withstand the evil and come through? It's because they have come to know this Fa and they have truly improved themselves through this Fa and through their cultivation. Of course it's unrealistic to want to reach a very high level of understanding right away. But, gradually by studying the Fa you will come to know everything.
As far as attachments go, if today Master told you to get rid of this or that one, it would be something forced, and any desire to get rid of it wouldn't have come from your heart. And as time went by, when you couldn't take it anymore after Master had said a lot of those things, you would become resentful and think, "Why should I do that?" But when you've realized things from the Fa's principles and have understood the effect that doing that might have on your existence, only then have you truly improved, and only then are you truly able to do it. No external restriction comes out of your own will or out of true improvement on your part. Restrictions and coercion can never change someone or make him improve. And once the restrictions are gone, the person will go back to being how he was before, so that doesn't work.
Disciple: Since the suppression started in 1999, some students who got out of labor camps have gone to practice Buddhism. The truth is, they were all afraid.
Teacher: I think that if they are laden with fear, no matter where they go they won't be truly cultivating, and they won't be able to reach Consummation. Once they get into Buddhism they will see what it is like. Compared to the students who have conducted themselves well, they have, of course, done poorly. They came when Dafa benefited them, but when Dafa was persecuted they ran away. They reaped the benefits, but while we are resisting the persecution, they are not speaking up for Dafa and don't want to validate the Fa. In gods' eyes that kind of being is the worst. As far as what to tell them in terms of cultivation, all you can do is suggest to them that they do what's good for them; there's no special method. What a person wants is up to him.
Disciple: The Middle East has been constantly plagued by war, and the people there don't have an opportunity to obtain the Fa. Would you please tell us how Dafa disciples should spread the Fa in that region?
Teacher: It is hard indeed. All of that is the old forces' doing.
The U.S. government knows that the persecution of Falun Gong students has been very severe. The United States was founded on freedom of belief and they advocate for human rights. The first immigrants to the U.S. were the Puritans, who came to this land for freedom of belief. The persecution of Dafa disciples directly involves the most fundamental interests of the U.S. and its founding principles, but why hasn't the U.S. government gotten involved? Trying to be understanding of their situation, I'd say that it is because the old forces have been stirring up trouble in the Middle East, which has kept the U.S. tied up and prevented it from having the energy to focus on China and do something about the persecution of Dafa disciples.
If it weren't tied up with the issue of terrorists right now, I believe the U.S. government definitely wouldn't tolerate evil like this being so rampant in today's world. That's because the U.S.'s role in the world is to maintain order--it is actually the international police. Why did gods make it so powerful and rich? The gods wanted it to play that role in the world. China is the main stage in this play of mankind, it is the place where the main play is acted out. But someone has to maintain order in the theater--you can't let it become chaotic, right? So the truth is, the gods really do want the United States to do that. The CCP always criticizes the U.S. for being "the international police." Well, it is the international police, and gods want it to be that. If the U.S. government really doesn't fulfill that responsibility and doesn't play that role, then the gods won't have it be so strong or rich. It's not that Americans are supposed to be special but that gods arranged it that way. (Teacher smiles)
Disciple: Myself and some Dafa disciples around me recently had babies. It feels like we no longer have as much time to clarify the facts as we did before, and we're a bit troubled by that.
Teacher: I don't think that's a problem. A lot of Dafa disciples have children. If the child is very young, it's all right to spend more time taking care of the child. When you have time you can do work to clarify the facts, and when you have little time you can do a little bit in a supporting role, which is fine, too. When the baby gets older and your hands are freed up, then you can do more, and that's okay.
Disciple: (Translated question) When we hold anti-torture exhibits, a lot of ordinary people pass by many times in the same day and have already taken our truth-clarification materials, but some Chinese fellow cultivators still walk up to them and stuff materials into their hands.
Teacher: Perhaps they were different students and didn't know that those people had already taken the materials, so they gave them the same materials again. You should be mindful of things in this regard. As time goes on, when some people have become familiar with you and have learned the truth, if you stuff the same material that you gave them before into their hands, it's actually wasting resources. Don't treat it like ordinary people do when they distribute materials, where you've done your job when everything has been given out. You are saving sentient beings. Otherwise what are you here [in New York] for?
Disciple: The City of Atlanta and the Georgia State Senate are pushing to have a Chinese consulate established. Is that happening because our truth-clarification hasn't been powerful enough, or is it due to the old forces' interference?
Teacher: They can build whatever they want to build, it doesn't matter. Whether or not they establish a consulate has nothing to do with us. And who knows whose consulate it will be in the future. (Audience chuckles) Indeed, we are not concerned with ordinary people's affairs. We're just cultivators. Look at how China is now. The CCP is really sitting on the mouth of a volcano this time, teetering on the edge. It looks grandiose and high-flying on the surface but it's already beyond cure. Its clothes on the surface are glamorous, but inside it is all rotten.
Disciple: As of now what phase has the Fa-rectification in New York reached?
Teacher: There are no phases. Just clarify the truth, help people understand by telling them [the facts], and help the world become aware of the truth. What you actually want to know is what the overall status is now. In fact, in the time since you started clarifying the truth like this, a lot of people who live in New York City have come to understand the truth. More than half, in fact. They understood things quickly. But those who only work in New York and don't live here account for only a small portion of them. That's the state of things.
Disciple: Because of security concerns, there are some things we want to keep secret. But going too far with this hampers sharing and communication among students and dampens people's enthusiasm. How can we handle this better?
Teacher: Cultivators, you know, need to think about others no matter what it is they are doing, and even more so should they think about Dafa. So don't be upset when somebody doesn't disclose something to you. Some projects can't be discussed in big meetings, they can't be known to everyone. When a larger number of people know about such a project, people let down their guard. One person talks about it, and another talks about it, and before you know it those secret agents from China's band of gangsters know about it, too. Their means of monitoring and eavesdropping on what you do are getting out of hand. Whether you have your phone turned on or off, they can [use it to] listen in on you. So for security's sake, a lot of the things you do to save sentient beings can't be known widely before you do them. You have to be clear on this point: you need to make allowances for students [when they don't let you in on things]. They're not trying to hide things from you--they are trying to keep them low-key. For example, let's say you want to hold an art exhibit to clarify the truth, and before things start up the consulate makes a phone call to intimidate the gallery, saying, "If you let them use the gallery, you'd better watch out: there will be an explosion." No underhanded behavior is beneath them. So with some things we can't have a lot of people involved. As Dafa students you have to be understanding of every student.
Disciple: Some students have done a great deal of work and put forth a lot for Dafa, but while doing the work they often lose their temper. Can somebody like that cultivate to Consummation?
Teacher: I don't think that would affect something as major as Consummation. Why would he lose his temper? Of course, if it's just a matter of getting angry, then we can't conclude that he has cultivated poorly. But, losing your temper really does have a terrible effect. The impact on newer students is too much, it's almost enough to scare people away. You are all still cultivating--it's humans cultivating, after all, not gods--so you will cause misunderstandings [when you get mad] and cause disruption. You can have differences of opinion or feel upset all you want, but you still need to talk things out in a calm way. Don't our Dafa disciples have to not return blows or insults, even in the face of evil? Don't you have to forbear? To patiently clarify the truth? Then when you lose your temper, what was that for? What is there for a cultivator to get angry about? And shouldn't there be even less of that when you are with other cultivators? No matter who you are, you are cultivating. How come you always get mad at my disciples? Did I agree to your acting like that towards my disciples?
Disciple: Because of my strong attachments, at the time of a Fa conference I snapped a few pictures of Master in haste and they didn't turn out so well. I've come to realize that doing that was disrespectful of Master.
Teacher: Well, that's the reason I tell you not to take pictures. The second some students spot me, "click-click-click," they start snapping pictures. I'm not so worried about it, and it doesn't matter to me personally if the images don't turn out well. But after you take the pictures you won't feel so good about it. Just bear that in mind from now on. In cases like I just described, when it's tough to handle, just give all the photos to me and I'll deal with them.
Disciple: (Teacher: This one has a lot of words on it.) Differences come across in the way Chinese and Westerners distribute truth-clarification materials. For example, our Western students invariably hold the leaflets in their hands and quietly stand aside, waiting for people to take them. But very few people take the initiative to come over and get them. Meanwhile, [with Chinese students,] especially those from Taiwan, they always hand them out politely and enthusiastically, and usually they manage to give out a lot of them. But they often get asked not to do this by the Western students, especially when we are clarifying the truth at anti-torture exhibits. For many reasons, our hope is that Western students can be more proactive in clarifying the truth and not feel like they have to wait for people [to come to them].
Teacher: My sense is that our Western students do have that view for sure, which is to say, they feel that since we're cultivating Zhen, Shan, Ren, we should be polite and show people a Dafa disciple's Shan. That's surely what they are thinking, so they don't directly approach people and prefer to wait for them to come take leaflets on their own. I don't think there is anything wrong with that view, but that said, saving people is a really urgent matter. Dafa disciples have given up the comforts of home, sacrificed their careers, and overcome all kinds of challenges, and on top of that their finances are tight. So coming here to clarify the truth and save people really hasn't been easy for them. So, since this is about saving people, it's good to be a little more proactive. But you do have to be polite.
Be both a little more polite and a little more proactive. That way people won't be put off and we'll be able to give them materials, too--I think that would be better. If you wait for people to come take them, while it's possible your thoughts are on saving those people and you are telling them [in your mind] to come take it, when people's human side gets strong, the knowing side won't be able to come into play. The people in Manhattan, for example, are all really busy. Their minds might be occupied with thoughts of making money, going to meet someone, or closing some kind of deal, and so they hurriedly walk by. So while they are thinking about something, that thought you send out could make their knowing sides want to come over and take your materials, but their human sides are still strong, and so they might miss the opportunity. So, what I'm thinking is, it would be great if we could greet them politely and be a little more proactive.
I know that this approach is hard for our Western students. They always feel bad about bothering people, about actively bothering them. But that's not how it is. What you should keep in mind is that you are saving people, and things will go fine. (Applause)
Disciple: When clarifying the truth in Manhattan to the employees in the skyscrapers, we still encounter a lot of obstacles. How can we do better in breaking through the layers upon layers of obstacles and check points that the old forces set up, and thus bring the sentient beings in those buildings salvation? Would Master please...
Teacher: Yes, in fact when we go to those buildings to clarify the truth, it really is hard to get in, since everybody there is working. While everyone is working, if we go there to clarify the truth, their bosses will be upset for sure, and then they will think badly of us. Of course, that's not to say it is always that way. When circumstances permit we can do it. As for the employees in those companies, there are usually three times of day when you can come into contact with them. One is when they go to work, another is when they get off from work, and the last is when they eat lunch. Most of them come down for lunch. So at those three times we can opt to make an effort to reach them, and perhaps the results will be better.
Disciple: I'm a Dafa disciple from Beijing. Before departing [for the U.S.], my fellow cultivators told me to be sure to pass their regards on to Master. (Teacher: Thank you. My thanks to the Beijing students.) (Applause) Though they all do sense that Master is constantly by their side, they can't help but miss Master greatly--tears well up at the mere mention of Master's name. These past two days I have joined in with the activities put on by the overseas Dafa disciples, and found it deeply moving. Though we [in Beijing] are in the evil's other hub, some fellow cultivators have gotten into a mode where they're following a mechanical routine since the persecution has gone on for a long time. It's not like the overseas Dafa disciples, who are so diligent and maintain a sense of urgency. Here one truly feels that the pace of things is so swift and each Dafa disciple is so hard working. I can sense the difference between us and the overseas Dafa disciples. I will definitely bring back and share with fellow cultivators in China what I've experienced in Manhattan firsthand and the magnificence of the New York Fa conference. We really need to pick up the pace and be ever diligent. May Master put his mind at ease: we will achieve this, we definitely will.
Teacher: I believe you. (Applause) Actually the evil over in Mainland China has been given quite a scare by the Dafa disciples there and around the world doing things as you described and making such efforts. This has done a great deal to restrain the persecution, and massive amounts of evil have been destroyed along the way. So when the situation is such as this, if we still have students not stepping forward and not doing things because of the fear in their hearts, then they really are losing their opportunity. Some people say, "We know Master is good and we know Dafa is good. We're studying [the Fa] at home and clandestinely doing the exercises there." But the fact is that Dafa has been imparted to you, and it was given so that you could save all beings, it's for you to establish even greater mighty virtue and be responsible to all beings. Haven't I said this before: lives of the future do things for others' sake, not for their own? This process is exactly one in which such qualities are forged in you, so you can't think about only yourself. What is it that you fear? Just about everything, it seems. Yes, when there is such cruel persecution going on, I don't want to see students suffering persecution, either. But the current situation is gradually changing, and that means we should do even better. In fact, with the students who have done very well all along, didn't they have to make it through the severe, cruel persecution?
So my hope is that the students in Mainland China can really learn from and emulate the students outside of China. In order to lessen the evil's persecution of you, take a look at what they're doing. They have worked so hard. Some barely sleep day after day, each person is doing many things, and they are all shouldering a lot of projects. And I'm not talking about just a few of them--it's the majority of them, and they really are working hard. So with this, when we compare things, even though their environment is relaxed and comfortable, as Dafa disciples, it's still about being diligent. If under very harsh circumstances you failed to do things or failed to do them well, maybe it was indeed the product of circumstances. But now things have changed and you should step forward and do well.
Before, when so much evil was pressed down here, the Three Realms was saturated with it, and it filled the air. Take a breath and it would get sucked into your belly--that's how much there was. Evil was everywhere, and each and every little thing was dominated by that evil. The grass would trip you up, and tree branches would whip you in the face. When you walked beside a wall it would hit you in the head. It all seemed natural to you, but it wasn't--that was how evil it was. Now that evil has been cleaned out and our surroundings are getting ever more relaxed and easy. In many areas the evil flees at the sight of Dafa disciples. It doesn't dare in the least to visit those areas, for the Dafa disciples there have done well. Then with so many Dafa disciples here in Manhattan, why would the evil dare to come here? It's because the old-force elements are--as if sweeping up trash--driving the evil over here, sweeping it here, and gathering it here, so that Dafa disciples and the multitude of gods can eliminate it. Otherwise the evil absolutely wouldn't dare to come here right now.
Now when we look at Mainland China, with the environment how it is at present, if some students still can't step forward, then they are about to truly lose their chance. Of course, many students have done a great job there, and they have been doing things all along. That is really magnificent.
Disciple: People have different understandings on sending righteous thoughts at the consulate. Some people believe that if we send righteous thoughts after each exercise, the evil won't even have a chance to catch its breath. Is that thinking going against Shan?
Teacher: The evil that persecutes Dafa disciples simply has to be cleaned out. As for the specifics of things, I'll leave them to you to work out.
Disciple further asks: Some people are of the understanding that to do it that way [that I described] is using human thinking. Sending righteous thoughts is something solemn, and the Fa's principles dictate that things are gained only when we are free of pursuit, that we should let nature take its course. Only when we send righteous thoughts after doing the standing exercises and again after the sitting exercise will it not impact our own cultivation. Could you tell us if there's any problem with breaking up an exercise and doing it over the course of a few hours?
Teacher: Don't develop an attachment. Follow the requirements that have been set forth when you do the exercises. As for sending righteous thoughts, you can, except for when it's done collectively, do it at any time you choose. My thinking is that doing the exercises is doing the exercises, so just do them normally. As far as sending righteous thoughts goes, you can do it any time, any place. So long as you haven't worn yourself out, you can send them forth, and it should be fine. All of what you expend will quickly be replenished. Doing the exercises just to do the exercises isn't the point--the exercises strengthen your mechanisms, and it is the automatic mechanisms that really elevate you and replenish your energy. Twenty-four hours a day you are being refined by the gong and by the Fa, so no matter how much energy you emit forth when you send righteous thoughts, none of it is lost. And as for your supernormal abilities, they will return on their own. Other things that are depleted will likewise be swiftly replenished, and that is because your standard is there at that height. It's like I have said: however high your gong is, that is due to your xinxing being at that height, for there is a measure. When that measure is there at that height, the gong can't help but go up to that point, and things are thus quickly replenished. Increasing gong is actually really easy. It is raising xinxing that's hard. So that is why gong is so hard to build up. (Applause)
I've now read all the question slips. (Applause) Our Dafa disciples really have been working hard in the past few years of validating Dafa, clarifying the truth, and saving sentient beings; for a lot of Dafa disciples so much so that they feel really fatigued, and many people have overcome challenges of every type along the way in doing these things. You can't help but say that Dafa disciples are amazing. Actually, though it's me saying you are amazing, I'm just repeating the words gods are using. It is they who say you're amazing. If it were just me saying you are amazing, well, I'm your master, so of course I'm a little partial to my disciples. The broader range of lives had to be convinced, and that's why, no matter how it may seem, things are getting better overall for our disciples even though you might meet with a lot of trouble and setbacks as you validate the Fa.
The Fa's rectification of the cosmos is sure to succeed. Even those things arranged by the old forces wouldn't dare to have it not succeed. It's only that their plans interfered with the Fa-rectification and harmed a lot of things in the Fa-rectification, which is why the factors of the old forces must be thoroughly eliminated. Dafa disciples won't be validating the Fa forever here in the human world, for the time when the Fa rectifies the human world will definitely arrive. Soon the Fa-rectification that Dafa is doing in the cosmos will draw to a close. People now know that the cosmos is growing further apart from the Milky Way. In other words, all of this isn't just something that only I am saying, and it's not something that just Dafa disciples can know: even human beings will gradually come to know it.
Everything that man doesn't believe in shall unfold before his own eyes. Every unsolved mystery of the past will come forth here in the human world, and when that happens it will be the time of the Fa rectifying the human world. With everything that you Dafa disciples have done, you have shown yourselves worthy of all that Dafa has given to forge you. I can say that the Dafa disciples' validating of the Fa has, on the whole, achieved what it should, and they have fulfilled their responsibilities. (Applause) And though there still remains the rest of the journey to take, and though some things remain to be done, I think none of that should pose a problem, for the most trying time has passed and the most evil period is over. (Applause) The road ahead should grow only broader, while everything should become ever more clear, and you will become more and more mature. And being cultivators, you should embody ever more greatly the poise and bearing of a Dafa disciple. In the time to come Dafa disciples will be given recompense for all that they have given over the entire Fa-rectification process. And even when it comes to the persecution and losses suffered by mankind, in the time ahead mankind too will be compensated. (Applause) Dafa will establish a future for mankind, and when a person can act in an upright manner during this time when Dafa is being spread and Dafa disciples are in the harsh predicament of being persecuted, that kind of person should be blessed. Such a person has done what a person is supposed to, so in the future a real, true environment for human living will be established for them.
Before long everything will change, but as Dafa disciples, you can't waver in any way before Consummation. You should do what you have to, just as you have been all along. If so much as one thought or idea of yours is extreme, and if you don't consider the consequences, or if you don't think of Dafa's sake, I'll tell you, then you have not walked your path well. Since your path is to be left for the future, you must succeed in blazing it. Your cultivation's goal goes beyond self-Consummation, as you are to save sentient beings, and you are helping the lives of the future to establish that future. Your responsibility is big, but the payback that awaits you is enormous. What you will gain later on far exceeds what you put in, as much as that may be. So I hope that under no circumstance will you waver. Whether the verdict on Dafa is overturned by people or not, whether a new situation comes about or not, whatever the case, Dafa disciples should still save the sentient beings that need to be saved. Keep doing what you should do all the way until Consummation! (Long, enthusiastic applause)
1. "mind-quality" (lit.), "character," or "thought"
2. Defined as "old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits."
3. "Dafa is great"
Editor's note: The translation is subject to further improvement so as to be closer to the original text. Last updated: October 22, 2005.